Breaking news: Judges deliberating in chambers. Decision may be around noon US east coast time. US media might soon stop invites to Knox PR shills due to legal liabilities which freaked Gogerty Marriott off the scene. For same reason, fight against extradition may be non-event.
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Sunday, January 04, 2015
That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?
Posted by Peter Quennell
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.
Archived in Officially involved, The prosecutors, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, American context
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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
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?
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?
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
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…
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
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?
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.
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?
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?
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
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
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…
...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?
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?
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”…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
[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…
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…
...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…
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.
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.
Archived in The convicted perps, Amanda Knox, Officially involved, The prosecutors, The defenses, Trials 2008 & 2009, Prelim hearings, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The many hoaxes, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog. hoax, Reporting on the case, Vacuum of reporting
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014
A Mistake Or Lie By Bongiorno On The Location Where Knox Texted Doesnt Let RS Off The Hook
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Bongiorno’s Claim About Knox’s Location
Giulia Bongiorno claimed yesterday that Amanda Knox texted Patrick while she was away from Sollecito’s house.
Mobile-phone-tower records show that Knox’s phone received Patrick’s incoming text telling her not to come to work when she was already somewhere on the route to his bar in Via Alessi.
Knox apparently then turned around and went back to Sollecito’s house, because mobile-phone-tower records show Knox texted back, responding to Patrick, from Sollecito’s house in Corso Garibaldi at 8:35.
Some five minutes later, Knox and Ms Popovic met at Sollecito’s house so Knox was still there then. That is still three to four hours away from the best estimate of Meredith’s death.
So the time-period prior to 8:35 pm when Knox texted from Sollecito’s flat was the only time-period when there is hard proof that Knox and Sollecito were ever apart that night. In her unforced statements on 5-6 November Knox did claim she went out alone to see Patrick, but we have only her word she was alone.
It seems Bongiorno made a serious mistake or lied - and Sollecito sat beside her happily nodding his okay.
2. The Narrative From Judge Massei’s Report
− 20:18:12: Amanda receives the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic‛ pub on the evening of 1 November. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell. This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub
− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7.
3. The Narrative From Judge Nencini’s Report
At 20.18 and 12 seconds, Amanda Marie Knox received a text message sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, in which he informed her that it would not be necessary for her to go to the bar to carry out her usual work. At the time of receipt, Amanda Marie Knox’s handset connected via the sector 3 mast at Torre dell’Acquedotto, 5 dell’Aquila, as shown by phone records entered in evidence. This mast cannot be reached from the vicinity of 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito. According to the findings of the judicial police entered in evidence, this mast could be reached by anyone in Via Rocchi, piazza Cavallotti or piazza 4 Novembre, all locations in Perugia which are intermediate between 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito, and Via Alessi, where the “Le Chic” bar is located.
From this set of facts established in the case, Amanda Marie Knox’s claim, according to which she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message while she was at 130 Via Garibaldi, appears false. Given the mast connected to and the time, it is reasonable to assume that, when Amanda received the message, she had already left Raffaele Sollecito’s home and was on her way to the “Le Chic” bar. Presumably, she then turned around and went back.
Here, then, is the first crack in the account of the young woman who, in her narrative, claims never to have left the house at 130 Via Garibaldi from the moment of her entrance into the house in the afternoon of 1 November 2007, together with Raffaele Sollecito. There is oral evidence (the deposition of Popovic) and evidence obtained through phone records that, at around 18:00 on 1 November 2007, Amanda and Raffaele were at the home of the latter. Later, at precisely 20:35 and 48 seconds, when Amanda Marie Knox sent a text message to Patrick Lumumba, connecting to a mast serving 130 Via Garibaldi, both were once again together at Raffaele Sollecito’s home. This fact is confirmed by Popovic, who went there to cancel that evening’s appointment with Raffaele. In fact, the witness reported that she had visited Raffaele’s home at around 20:40 in the evening.
In essence, it can be established with certainty that Amanda and Raffaele were apart, albeit for a limited period of time, on the evening of 1 November 2007, contrary to what is stated repeatedly in multiple statements made by Amanda Marie Knox.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Monday, June 30, 2014
Apart From Cassation’s Unyielding Mandate, More Problems With The Belated Sollecito/Bongiorno U-Turn
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. The Appeal’s Grounds For Separation
That bizarre infatuation of Bongiorno’s with Knox as Jessica Rabbit is clearly long-gone.
Now the poor boy was home alone and the absent Miss Rabbit had reason and opportunity. Tiziano posted these ten translated points from the new Sollecito appeal to Cassation, which seems to have the highly nervous Knox camp’s tongues tied.
Among the numerous flaws the proceedings appealed against present, the one linked to the claimed impossibility of differentiating between the two accused stands out.
On this point the Appeal Court denied any in-depth analysis at all of the individual roles - an investigation urged by the defence - avoiding taking any position about alternative constructive hypotheses.
10 points are enumerated by the defence in this regard:
- AK’s memorial referring to events at via della Pergola was in the singular
- AK reported receiving SMS not to go to work from Lumumba, but went out just the same
- AK admitted having lied to RS
- RS did not calumny anyone: the accusation against PL was never confirmed by RS
- AK in her memorial positioned only herself at the crime scene at the time of the scream
- only AK’s blood was on the knife blade
- no mixed traces RS/MK were found and highlighted by luminol in the house
- Quintavalle claimed to have seen AK the morning of November 2nd, not RS
- RS did not know RG and had no reason for wanting MK’s death
- the alleged bad relations and the question of disappearance of money regarded only MK and AK
2, Popper Explains Why They Will Go Nowhere
Popper the highly informed Italian commenter on TJMK and PMF has explained on a previous post why this will fall on deaf ears in Cassation.
if RS said something he has not said before it would make no difference now. No more evidence can be admitted at the trial.
Fase istruttoria is over as judgement of merit. Cassazione can only respond on points appealed and they must be points of law otherwise they are not admissible. Defendants do not talk in hearing.
Once they are convicted, for example, if he had new information on the case and new evidence that proved (in a convincing way) he is not guilty, he could ask for revisione, basically a review of the trial.
He clearly has nothing to say though ... if he said she went out, judges knew that already. If he said that night he was in Milan and could prove it conclusively, that could trigger a review of a final sentence.
We are clearly talking in theory, no such thing will happen.
3. Could The 10 Points Have Worked Previously?
If Judge Nencini was still in the saddle could the ten points have had merit?
Our continuing Interrogation Hoax series has been hammering on the fact that on 5-6 November 2007 quite unpressured Knox herself did state that she went out alone without Sollecito on the night Meredith was murdered.
But these ten cherrypicked points above and a claim that RS was not even at Meredith’s house that night are self-destroying over-reach. They would not have caused a win or partial win for Sollecito. Not one of them stands up as a get-out-of-jail-free card upon close readings of the reports of Judge Massei and Judge Nencini.
The lower courts did NOT deny analysis of the individual roles - the two themselves opted to be tried together, while Rudy Guede, fearing two snakes, chose to be tried separately.
WHEN did the defense urge investigation of their differing roles? What did the Massei trial court miss? It had many months of the sight of Sollecito - sitting there sulky, saying little, not taking the stand. Yes, not assisting Jessica Rabbit with an alibi, but that was not so obvious.
The wounds on Meredith and the evidence points in Meredith’s room point overwhelmingly to three attackers. They prove the use of two knives from opposite sides. It was Sollecito’s knife that was used for the fatal blow; that remains unshaken - actually, more confirmed by the Carabinieri.
See Ergon on the implacable knife evidence. Sollecito was the knife fetishist, and the one who was already into the cocaine or crystal meth that Knox was probably on judging by her telling smell the next day, her bizarre behaviors through the week following, and her odd money trail.
See the implacable evidence against him on the bathmat by SomeAlibi and Yummi. That footprint had to have been imprinted within a few minutes of the end of the attack on Meredith.
After the hijacked Hellmann appeal in 2011 Sollecito was deeply craven to Knox and her family and entourage on the US west coast. Craven to the extent that his own family (which despises the Knox-Mellases and blames Knox for his predicament and their lost name and enormous expenses) once hurriedly hopped on an aircraft to Seattle to enforce their separation.
Sollecito’s hapless book-agent Sharlene Martin and shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel both live on the West Coast and Knox’s radioactive FOA obviously provided most of the malicious fantasy that constitutes his defamatory book.
Playing chicken with the Italian justice system is notoriously suicidal. The crazy aggression of the Prestons, Fischers and Moores did not help Sollecito at all at the Nencini appeal (though it helped Knox even less - she got handed the longer sentence.)
The gods-in-their-own-minds in the FOA got Sollecito no US job and no US viza. The email to Judge Nencini and the appeal to ECHR and the promised fight against extradition for Knox are to him merely insults, and attempts to separate Knox off.
So, back in Italy, he is confused, let-down, disgruntled, and loaded for bear. Knox was the loose canon in 2007, Sollecito is the loose canon now.
Here is a key exchange between our main posters SeekingUnderstanding and Hopeful from previous threads.
4. Take On RS Now By SeekingUnderstanding
[t does seem so very sad and frustrating that Raphaele did not open the window of opportunity, as Judge Nencini tried to nudge him to do, just before Christmas.
He is less easy to read than Ms. Knox , for a number of reasons - more introverted, less articulate (certainly in English; but he also doesn’t seem expressive in his own language), and because of the psychology itself.
You may remember I suggested AK finds it unbearable to acknowledge her darker side, to own her projections; unbearable to be thought of as ‘a monster’, to be unlovable, or indeed hated by people. This may be a strong component in her lying.
I believe Raphaele also finds things unbearable, but whereas Amanda appears to turn this unbearable feeling into lashing out to others, - I think in Raphaele, he finds himself and ‘what has happened to him’ (passive aggression) unbearable. His judgement has not only been poor, but catastrophically poor, - and he must know this. One wonders why the self-destruct.
He knows his life is ruined, and he knows his appalling judgement was instrumental. He truly doesn’t have confidence in himself, but bluffs anyway. His ‘ex’, by contrast,has too much. If only she could have self-doubt, and feel shame.
He is not unintelligent, by no means, yet his choices and decisions at times have seemed near idiotically stupid. So there must be something else going on, something deep in his psyche that causes such confusion in his mental and emotional universe.
He seems unable to organize his emotions. He appears to want or expect or need a woman to ‘sort them out’ (sort him out). His relationship with his mother would probably reveal the source of this. How did she manage her emotions? Or did they rule her? . These are the sort of questions I might be asking. He seems overwhelmed, swallowed up by the juggernaut that AK set in motion.
Was his mother easily overwhelmed by life’s problems? Something has gone wrong (drastically) with a healthy model for his ‘anima’.
Where Amanda is the arch manipulator, he is highly manipulable. He seems to copy. Like her, his self-identity is weak, but for different reasons. Drug use, I would suggest, has been both crucial and disastrous for his mind. From this point of view, prison will be a constructive environment for him, (as AK too). Perhaps without the distorting and illusory aspects of drugs he might begin, over many years, to experience true spiritual (and therefore moral) issues.
I always think drugs give a delusion of spiritual experience (‘the highs’), - wanting them can be (for an introvert) indicative of longing for something more spiritual, but using them will actually prevent such an experience, emphatically.
So then there is bitterness and emptiness, as well as despair and, still, confusion. Thus the addiction which starts as a cycle in the mind.
I knew a psychologist who worked with highly motivated and successful people in the Arts - people who would have burn out, creativity, and performance issues. He was extremely clever. But he was adamant that there had to be a hierarchy for dealing with problems.
That is to say, if someone was using drugs and/or alcohol to the point of misuse (extremely common in the performing arts), - this problem had to be mastered and dealt with FIRST, before anything else could even be addressed. This may seem irrelevant (as Sollecito hasn’t shown he is creative), - but I would
say the signs are that his past (and current?) drug use needs to be sorted before anything else can possibly be.
Such a destructive shame that this has all dragged on for 7years.
I don’t think he has any idea as to how to give a ‘press conference’ - even supposing , by a miracle, he was going to tell the unadulterated truth. He is way out of his depth. I doubt he has sufficient communication skills in his own language, let alone In English for the American media.
5. And The Take Of Hopeful On RS Now
As he is back in the spotlight for the July 1 press conference, your observations about him are timely. He does seem more introverted than Knox, and less articulate. Correct me if I misinterpret what you said about him, that rather than lash out at others aggressively like Knox does to disperse and blame others for her awful feelings about her dark side, Sollecito does the opposite and feels the weight of shame but turns the unbearable feelings inward. He is poster child for passive-aggressive.
I also believe he does have a sense of deep loyalty and faithfulness to his family, since his father has never abandoned him nor did his mother. He has misplaced loyalties at times, and combines a stubborn streak with false sense of need to persevere after he has made wrong steps.
This comment is mainly a review of what you conclude about Raf, but bears repeating. He is ashamed of his “catastrophically bad judgment.” I agree, his pride is wounded, his vanity more than his love for Knox.
I believe Raffaele sincerely regrets what he realizes he has done to his own family, but still can’t quite confess it. Maybe part of him is sorry but part of him is secretly glad he is controlling his father’s destiny, in punitive action for divorcing his mother. He also sent his sister’s career down the cliff. His sister is really to blame for that so with true passive-aggressive deceptiveness he can hide his responsibility for it while causing it.
His wanky emotions have made a trainwreck of his intelligence and caused him to do “idiotically stupid” things and self-destruct.
His drug use to relieve inner confusion caused by lack of self-identity is a coping method that does more harm than good. His patience is more of a drug stupor that makes him slow to act, than real gritted teeth patience, which may be why we’ve waited this long (6 years) for him to reveal the truth about Knox.
He stayed in a cloud of marijuana until she came along. She liked the drugs, too. He allowed her to set the course of his life because he needed or wanted a woman to sort out his emotions. Maybe he was competing with dad with a new hot blondie, too. He didn’t fathom that Knox would become so extreme and so terrifying.
He underestimated Knox, and she saw she could manipulate and destroy him with one hand tied behind her back. She reveled in the besotted weakling, and she felt superiority over Guede too, and soon despised them both. She wouldn’t fall into some darkened room or quiet void of depression like Raffaele’s mom had done giving up on life. The insulated quiet Italian boy raised scrupulously did not see that with Knox he would be “swallowed up in the juggernaut AK set in motion”. He wanted her power and excited vision, but he couldn’t understand her mental illness that went with it. Love is blind.
As long as he could blame her and not himself maybe he was OK with it, especially with drugs to dull the pain, until he felt the full impact of her punishment and years later her treachery. Finally he grew a brain and saw it was Knox who betrayed him, not vice versa. Maybe the press conference is to set that straight.
His drug use got him through much of his first year of prison when he lost all sense of time and space. He was a basketcase. He probably used meds his last 3 years behind bars as well. Perhaps Dr. Sollecito saw that his son got legal prescriptions for him, maybe even purchasing prison favors that way, who knows?
Maybe Knox scoffed at Raf’s crutch, and she continued to compete with him behind bars. She scoffed at her mom for taking antidepressants. Knox had no room to talk as she herself was reportedly a massive drug user at UW and in Italy found a job where liquor flowed.
Has Raf continued the drug use? Does Greta his new girlfriend use drugs? Or has he sworn them off motivated by anger and determination to clear his head for his legal fight?
The concept of “anima” is unknown to me, although the term is familiar. I will research it online, thank you. Your insights are always valuable, thank you for sharing them. Thanks for educating us in the short comment format which can’t do justice to your full knowledge of the subject, but does shed a lot of light and points the way.
Raffaele’s mother and her sad demise seem to be at the root of her son’s depression. Raf has lack of confidence and the need to bluff where he feels no real power. He and Knox are still learning tricks from each other.
I think Knox may have been a father-figure to him in a twisted way, because Amanda is energetic and adventurous and for a short while in Perugia seemed to have it all together and be a hard worker like his dad. Raf met Knox at the peak of her exhileration with her new life in Italy. Like a drug high, it might not have lasted. He was completely deceived.
He may have felt he could never compete with his older sister who might have seemed to him like Amanda and his dad: energetic, capable, feet on ground. This is probably what Raf needs in his life.
Raf commented on Knox living life as if in a dream, there was no reality in her mind, she lived only for pleasure. Maybe he did not like this side of her. This was his wakeup call and he spoke about it openly because it was something he didn’t like, having thought at first glance she was a strong American. He didn’t know whether to attribute her odd mental impracticality to her nationality, her genetics, her femaleness, or her unknown religious upbringing. He had no clue, and maybe it even made him feel stronger and more grounded by comparison since he had formerly thought of himself as a tetherless dreamer but he didn’t want another spaced out confused dreamer like himself for a partner and was having second thoughts. He preferred her rough kick-butt side. She was the brother he never had, a wild West type, a cowboy to climb trees with and roam the range, the key to a new country after his launch to Munich didn’t work out.
In early childhood Raf maybe got labeled or saw himself as “slow” or “dumb” and began to live a self-fulfilling prophecy. He might have felt misunderstood knowing that he did have a lot of intelligence, but that he did not have the same personality as his dad or sis, and not wanting to be equated with his pushed aside mom. He must have felt very alone.
He also may be carrying a lot of shame about his MPD Psycho habit and his secret fantasy life of violence.
Raffaele may have been turned off yet partly tantalized by his father’s profession. A doctor sees a lot of blood and gruesome things with the body.
Raffaele may hero worship a father who can face such grotesque things without wincing, and a sister who had power with the police and saw crime victims.
You mention the Arts and a psychologist who treated performers with burnout and creative types who needed help or a life coach. Maybe Raffaele does see himself as more that artsy type of person, someone wanting to create computer games, sci-fi fantasy, or be an “Experience Teller”. He did write a book, so maybe he does fall into the category of artistic temperament, which often needs a guide or an infusion of stiffened backbone to face the realities of life in a business sense.
Knox seems to be struggling with math, yet her mom is a math teacher and her dad an accountant.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, The many hoaxes, Spezi/Preston hoax, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Sneak Preview Of Giulia Bongiorno Making Silk Purse Out Of Sow’s Ear At RS Media Nonevent This Week
Posted by Peter Quennell
What is the Sollecito lawyer and politician Giulia Bongiorno most famous in Italy for?
Well it sure aint her grasp of the finer points of Italian law. Or her ability to win in court without over-the-top PR and peculiar tricks. Or her accuracy on those pesky facts of the case. Or her foolish tongue before a very key judge.
Most of all, what Bongiorno IS known in Italy for is being shrill, bullying, and high-key - most especially when yet another of her hapless clients is going down, or when she is on the political stump.
Watch this spot-on satirical impersonation by the terrific Italian impersonator Dario Ballantini which was aired nationally on Italian TV and made a lot of Italians laugh. You can hear the audience there.
It doesnt need a grasp of the Italian language to amuse long-suffering Bongiorno skeptics seeing her taken down a peg. Meredith, the name of the victim here: does Bongiorno even know that? If the victim’s suffering family was Italian and regularly on Italian TV would Italy tolerate her callous, cruel act?
Here is an Italian woman one really can admire.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, The wider contexts, Italian context, Raff Sollecito
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Sollecito Takes On A New Lawyer To Help Him Work His Way Past The Minefield That Is His Book
Posted by Peter Quennell
The serious charges Sollecito and Knox will probably face for those books are of three kinds: (1) the contempt-of-court misrepresentation of the Italian justice system itself; (2) the obstruction-of-justice twisting of the evidence in the case; and (3) the claims of crimes committed by numerous career police and prosecution officials.
If false, in effect a gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.
At the eighth session of the Florence appeal court back in January, Giulia Bongiorno engaged in a day-long summation which was peculiar, to say the least.
Like Sollecito and Knox in their books, Giulia Bongiorno seemed to be attempting to put the justice system and investigation and prosecution in the dock.
If false, another gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.
Bongiorno’s rant didnt seem to help Sollecito in undermining any of the hard evidence in the case, and it left the judges visibly unmoved. But it was notable how closely it resembled the rants on the justice system and its officials by Sollecito himself in his book. See the examples in the post below.
There are some complex later passages in Sollecito’s book and some recurring themes that we will analyse which would seem impossible for Sollecito to write about in such detail without the extensive help of a lawyer who was in the court.
Who precisely was that?
Reports from Italy now state that Alfredo Brizioli, not Giulia Bongiorno, will be the lawyer the Sollecitos choose to respond to the investigating prosecutor’s report on the book. Perhaps Mr Brizioli (who right now is himself on trial for obstruction of justice in another case) can try to negotiate a way for his client to spread the blame before the charges are set in stone.
The Sollecitos seem weak. Alfredo Brizioli seems weak. Giulia Bongiorno seems weak. And Knox also seems weak - if Sollecito is ever going to back away from Knox (perhaps to try to claim the final murderous stab of Meredith was solely Knox’s crazed idea) there is just this one last chance.
We in no way favor Sollecito getting off lightly without recanting. We do want to point to the potential fireworks a smart prosecution has engineered that might help achieve this.
Although there was a sort of bidding war for both books, not every publisher, having seen what was to be in them, was eager to join in. Some did sit on the sidelines.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, Other legal cases, Associated trials, Raff Sollecito
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Council Of Magistrates In Effect Shrugs At Judge Nencini Answering Loaded Question Of A Reporter
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Cassation judge Antonio Esposito who just faced down a similar complaint to the CSM]
The only ones pushing for the CSM committee hearing today and maybe another one at Cassation were Giulia Bongiorno and a few political friends.
Everybody knows she has once again lost very big and once again is snakily trying to demonize the court rather than gracefully moving on.
The final vote of the full CSM will be announced next week, but it seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will shrug and move on.
Judge Nencini explained himself well for one hour (with his wife, also a judge, present) and probably no magistrate on the Council would have acted so differently, given that the michievous reporter had been asking if the killing of Meredith happened simply because the three had nothing better to do.
Maybe some of the magistrates were thinking “So Bongiorno didnt put Sollecito on the stand? Hmmm, she KNOWS of his guilt only too well”. There is no mood among them to to see the defiant Sollecito who has slimed the system and slimed a much admired judge use a loophole to get himself off.
Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM
Inquiry over post-conviction press statements
Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.
In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down. But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.
As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased. One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.
The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse. He also denied saying the murder was the result of ‘‘kid’s play’’ gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito’s defense strategy.
The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official. The consensus seems to be that Nencini’s statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said. Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, The judiciary, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos
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Thursday, February 27, 2014
What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)
Under the table & over the top
The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.
A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation – and the whole justice proceedings – on trial.
The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.
The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.
But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.
Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.
It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.
The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.
(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)
A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”
Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.
(photo by Ansa)
At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.
The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.
It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.
The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.
Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” – the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement.
After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements).
(Palace of Justice of Florence – photo by FrederickStudio)
A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.
Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?
A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.
Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” – which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.
Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.
I use the word “ rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.
Introducing to ‘Halves’
In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss ‘Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga, the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks).
She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying ‘basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.
The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him. And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .
Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.
The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech.
Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.
Only after recollecting all these things in the ‘aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.
It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.
Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.
The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.
Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.
The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings – what she sees as such – which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.
It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.
The ‘topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as ‘main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and ‘the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length).
In the same ‘knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection ‘the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.
Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the ‘principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.
But the bulk of her defence hinged around those ‘mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.
It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.
Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the ‘investigators’ errors’, their ‘excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.
The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.
The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.
At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.
Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.
She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.
This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.
She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils – like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint – putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct.
The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.
The purpose behind the Black Curtain
The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached.
We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?
The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence.
Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.
She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument. Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.
From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence, the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.
But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.
In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.
Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.
What was most stunning to me – as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech – was the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement.
The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife” that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.
All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.
She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.
She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti” (waffling, raving).
I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half – and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.
Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists, “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different; and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder).
The Mark of Infamy
Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.
Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.
She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.
She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.
The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The ‘excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.
Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.
If you consider how the police are responsible for ‘excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.
This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea.
In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.
I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low.
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a ‘psychic’.
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a ‘translator’).
She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.
She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.
She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.
As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.
The Questura of Perugia used to hire ‘language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.
The Questuras of some bigger cities also have ‘cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.)
To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.
Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.
This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.
But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a ‘psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.
But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.
This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also – a further reason – because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.
She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health.
The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it. A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate” for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.
Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.
(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)
Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.
But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause.
A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.
We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot” to mention another half of the phone call recordings.
Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers; and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot ‘under the table’ help from some politician.
Expressing their intent to ‘scorch’ officers and ‘destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by ‘running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.
After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.
Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it ‘pathetic’). I did not listen to his argument myself, I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.
One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.
This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a ‘honour bound’.
He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.
Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has ‘deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before.
If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow ‘separate’ his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just ‘less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.
Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as‘I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.
Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse – for example the rather psychopathic ‘Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.
Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of, there would be a possibility for a ‘casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated. But to see him as ‘less guilty’ or as ‘rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Raff Sollecito
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Monday, February 03, 2014
Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?
Posted by Jools
Judge Nencini offers corrections
This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.
“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.
I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.
I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence. In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.
In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’
If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.
These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”
Context for those corrections
This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.
In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CSM rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.
Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CSM, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).
As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.
Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.
And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…
In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.
The later, longer interview
The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.
Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.
Posted 1 February
Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.
HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks
SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”
SUBHEAD2: “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”
By Fiorenza Sarzanini
“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”
It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.
You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?
“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court. You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason. We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.
And then the decision was unanimous?
“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”
Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.
“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”
Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?
“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles. We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”
Why didn’t you question Guede?
“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent. We didn’t think it was necessary. Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth. In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”
Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”
And this influenced your choice to convict him?
“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”
Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?
“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning. For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created. If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?
“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”
Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?
“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.
And you don’t believe that there were errors?
“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”
You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?
“She is legally in the United States. At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence. For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”
So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?
“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”
And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?
“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, The judiciary, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Continuing Enormous Strength Of The Evidence Which Defenses Seem To Have Abysmally Failed To Shake
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
What this Florence appeal is REALLY about
There is much confusion on this, sowed by various at-distance commentators who don’t read the Italian press or the excellent English-language reporters right there on the spot.
This is NOT a re-trial. This is a FIRST appeal by Sollecito and Knox against the guilty verdicts and sentences Judge Massei awarded them late in 2009. It is being repeated since their defense teams helped to bend the first (Hellmann court) iteration of the first appeal two years ago.
Since the end of 2009 they have been provisionally guilty of murder and other crimes, subject to final ratification by the Supreme Court, which has not yet occurred. Judge Hellmann decided to let them out and travel worldwide. Many think his decision on this was legally weak.
Was there prime-face justification for this appeal?
Under US and UK law many lawyers and judges think the judicial process could have stopped right there in the US and UK, because the grounds for appeal the defenses came up with in 2010 were essentially innuendo about DNA and little else.
But the pro-defendant Italian system unlike almost any other in the world allows appeals if any are filed to automatically go forward. So the bent, stretched-out and illegally wide-scope Hellmann appeal of 2011 was the first result.
Appointed apparently in illegal circumstances to replace the highly-qualified Judge Chiari (the lead-judge for criminal appeals, who then resigned) Judge Hellmann was ill-qualified at best - he was not a criminal judge and had handled only one other murder trial before, which he got wrong.
The annulment of the first first-appeal
The Supreme Court very rarely completely annuls any trial or appeal. But in this case in March 2013 it did just that, on a large number of grounds.
The 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court in Florence starts with the early-2010 Massei report plus new guidelines from the Supreme Court. Nothing else floated since early 2010 counts.
This case seems to break all records ever for (1) defamatory and dishonest PR; (2) dirty tricks, many illegal, by the defense; (3) dishonesty by those accused in two defamatory books and multiple statements to the press; and (4) greed and blood money while the process still goes on.
Contempt of court trials and investigations have commenced to push back, Amanda Knox is particularly at risk because her book contains false accusations of crimes (again) and she defies the Supreme Court in not paying Mr Lumumba his damages though she destroyed his business.
Suggested Reading: Part One
Sooner or later (no necessarily now) read all the must-read posts in this group here, all the open questions for Sollecito in this group here, and all the open questions for Amanda Knox in this group here.
1. Getting up to speed on the 2008 RS and AK charges
Our four-part summary of Judge Micheli’s report is the best thing to read (scroll down) especially Micheli’s argument that ONLY Knox had any reason to re-arrange the crime scene - she lived there and needed to point evidence away from herself.
2. Getting up to speed on the 2009 RS and AK trial
The prosecution performed brilliantly and left the defenses despondent and out-classed (paving the way for more dirty tricks in 2010-13) and we were told that two defense lawyers nearly walked off.
3. Getting up to speed on the Massei 2010 Report
The most vital read of all is the short-form version of the Massei Report by Skeptical Bystander and a team on PMF dot Org. If you have no time to read any posts, make sure to read that.
We had a large number of posts starting in 2010 checking out whether in all details the Massei Report got it right. Read this first take.
4. Getting up to speed on the crime-scene scenario
Vital to understanding the Massei court’s crime-scene scenario which Prosecutor Crini espouses, wade through this excellent reconstruction of the crime in a long Powerpoint by our lawyer James Raper with the Powerpoint whizz Kermit.
About Part Two
The next part of our most-recommended reading from 2010 to 2014 will follow after the verdict to help correct the ill-informed debate over whether Knox goes back to jail.
It hardens the case and in our view leaves no holes for RS and AK to wiggle through. We will point the post to those arguments that anyone tries to raise.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Public evidence, The timelines, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, DNA and luminol, The two knives, The computers, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal
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Friday, December 20, 2013
Multiple Provably False Claims About “Forced Confession” Really Big Problem For Dalla Vedova & Knox
Posted by FinnMacCool
The Breaking News
This post goes live just as the news breaks that it was Knox lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova who filed these patently false claims against the justice system of Italy with the European Court.
1. “There would be no need for these theatrics.”
Amanda Knox has not been present for any part her latest appeal against her own murder conviction. Nevertheless, she has made two meretricious contributions to the proceedings.
First, on the day that the prosecution opened its presentation of the case against her, she announced that her lawyers had filed an appeal against her slander conviction to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). ECHR hears only allegations of human rights abuses, which must be reported within six months of the alleged incident (or within six months after all local avenues have been exhausted; in this case none has even been explored).
This out-of-date application to an inappropriate body in pursuit of a groundless allegation is therefore bound to fail.
Knox’s second publicity stunt came on the day that her own defense lawyers began their own presentation. She sent a five-page email in English and Italian, with grammatical mistakes in each language, protesting her innocence and affirming that the reason she is not present in the court is because she is afraid of it.
There are many comments that could be made about the email, but perhaps its most grievous legal error comes in the aside where she claims that the “subsequent memoriali (sic), for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false ‘confession’.”
That singular document does not recant her previous statements (“I stand by what I said last night…”), but does contain further accusations against Patrick Lumumba (“I see Patrik (sic) as the murderer”), as well as seeking to cast suspicion on Sollecito (“I noticed there was blood on Raffaele’s hand”) and an unnamed “other person”.
However, by claiming that she has been “wrongfully found guilty” on that charge of calunnia, she is refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Italian Supreme Court, which has definitively found against her on that count, and also of the Hellmann appeal court (the only court to date that has not found her guilty of the main charge of murdering Meredith Kercher).
Dr Alessandro Crini presented the prosecution’s case on November 25th/26th. It was not a particularly theatrical performance, but rather a very long summary of the many items of evidence against Sollecito and Knox.
The most theatrical element of the case so far has been when one of the defendants insisted that the judge should read out five vacuous pages of her email immediately before her own lawyers presented their case on her behalf.
This gives a certain dramatic irony to Knox’s claim, “If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics”.
Such ironies appear to be lost on Knox, however, since she seems incapable of reading back over her own work for solecisms or contradictions. (In the email itself, for example, in consecutive sentences she writes: “I had no contact with Rudy Guede. Like many youth in Perugia I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guede.”)
One of the many errors she makes in the email is to put in writing some of the wild claims that she and/or her supporters have previously made regarding the witness interview she gave on the night of November 5th/6th 2007.
The purpose of the current post is to consider that interview in greater detail, using as source material primarily Knox’s memoir “Waiting to be heard” (2013) and Raffaele Sollecito’s memoir, “Honor Bound” (2013), abbreviated here to WTBH and HB respectively.
2. “When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside.”
Amanda Knox was not even supposed to be at the police station on the evening of November 5th, 2007. She should have been attending a candlelit vigil, in which Meredith Kercher’s friends, classmates and supportive well-wishers met at eight o’clock at Corso Vannucci to process through to the Duomo, carrying candles and photographs of the victim.
A friend of Meredith’s – a young Polish student – texted Amanda Knox to invite her to this vigil, but Knox had better things to do. (WTBH: 82) She accompanied Sollecito to his friend Riccardo’s house for a bite to eat (HB: 29) where she absent-mindedly strummed a ukulele. (WTBH:82)
Knox writes of the vigil: “I wanted to be there but… the decision was made for me” because “Raffaele had somewhere else to be”. (WTBH: 82)
One consistent feature of her narrative is her refusal to accept responsibility for anything, including her failure to turn up for her murdered roommate’s vigil, but we should note also that the vigil (eight o’clock) and the dinner (nine o’clock) both take place within the timeframe of her supposed series of interrogations, which according to her email involved “over 50 hours in four days”.
By her own account, when she ignored the police’s request not to accompany Sollecito to the Questura and just came anyway, it was the first contact she had had with the police in well over 24 hours.
Let us consider what was happening in the early part of the evening of November 5th, 2007.
The police are at the station studying the evidence; Meredith’s friends are proceeding downtown with candles and photographs of the victim; and Knox is playing the ukulele at Riccardo’s house.
Far from taking part in a lengthy coercive interview, Amanda Knox had gone to her University classes as normal, had bumped into Patrick Lumumba, whom she would later accuse of Meredith’s murder, and had later skipped the vigil to have dinner with Sollecito. (WTBH:83)
Meanwhile, back at the Questura, the police could see that Raffaele Sollecito’s stories simply did not add up.
They therefore called Sollecito and asked him to come into the station for further questioning. They told him that the matter was urgent; that they wanted to talk to him alone; and that Amanda Knox should not accompany him. (HB: 29)
Sollecito responded that he would prefer to finish eating first. (The same meal is used as an excuse for not attending the vigil at eight o’clock, and for delaying their response to the police request at around ten.) By his own account, Sollecito resented being ordered what to do by the police (HB: 29), and so he finished eating, they cleared the table together, and Amanda Knox then accompanied him to the station. (HB:30; WTBH: 83)
Naturally the police were both surprised and disappointed to see her. Their civilian interpreter, who had worked flat out through the weekend accompanying not only Amanda Knox but also the rest of Meredith’s English-speaking friends, had gone home. The only person they were planning to speak to that night was Sollecito, and even he was late. According to Knox, the police were not expecting their interview with Sollecito to take very long:
When we got there they said I couldn’t come inside, that I’d have to wait for Raffaele in the car. I begged them to change their minds. (WTBH: 83)
The police were not prepared for an interview with Amanda Knox. They had asked her not to come, and they tried to send her away when she got there. It was late on a Monday evening and there were no lawyers or interpreters hanging around on the off-chance that someone might walk into the police station and confess.
However, that’s what happened. And it is on that basis that Amanda Knox is now claiming that the interview which she herself instigated was improperly presented by the police:
I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. (Knox email, December 15, 2013)
But she wasn’t a suspect. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to be there.
3. “Who’s Patrick?”
We will now examine Knox’s claim that “the police were the ones who first brought forth Patrick’s name” (Knox blog, November 25th, 2013).
She has already admitted in court that this is not true. In fact, it is clear from her own book that the police did not even know who Patrick Lumumba was, at that point.
If they had suspected him or anybody else, they would have brought them in for questioning, just as they had already questioned everyone else they thought might be able to throw some light on the case.
The police plan that evening was to question Sollecito in order to establish once and for all what his story was. They would perhaps have brought Knox back the following day (together with the interpreter) to see how far Knox’s story matched Sollecito’s. In the event, their plan was disrupted first because Sollecito delayed coming in, and second because when he finally arrived, he had brought Knox with him.
“Did the police know I’d show up,” Knox asks rhetorically, “or were they purposefully separating Raffaele and me?” (WTBH: 83) She does not offer a solution to this conundrum, but the answer is (b), as the patient reader will have noticed.
She thus turned up to the police station despite being expressly asked not to come. The police asked her to wait in the car and she refused, complaining that she was afraid of the dark. They allowed her inside.
Today, she might complain that she “was denied legal counsel” (Knox email, December 15th 2013) as she entered the Questura, but there was absolutely no reason for a lawyer to be present, since by her own account, all the police were asking her to do is go home.
Knox did not go home. According to WTBH, while Sollecito is in the interview room, she sits by the elevator, doing grammar exercises, phones her roommates about where to live next, talks to “a silver-haired police officer” about any men who may have visited the house (she claims to have first mentioned Rudy Guede at this point, identifying him by description rather than name) and does some yoga-style exercises including cartwheels, touching her toes and the splits.
It is at this point – somewhere between 1130 and midnight – that Officer Rita Ficarra invites Knox to come into the office so that they can put on record Knox’s list of all the men she could think of who might have visited the house.
Knox takes several pages (WTBH 83-90) to explain how she went from doing the splits to making her false accusation against Patrick Lumumba. Like much of her writing, these pages are confused and self-contradictory.
One reason for the confusion is that Knox is making two false accusations against the police, but these accusations cannot co-exist. First, she attempts to demonstrate that the police made her give the name of Patrick Lumumba. Second, she wants us to believe that Officer Ficarra struck her on the head twice.
This is denied by all the other witnesses in the room, and Knox did not mention it in her latest story about applying to ECHR. In her memoriale (WTBH: 97), she claims she was hit because she could not remember a fact correctly.
But in her account of the interview (WTBH: 88), Knox explains that Ficarra hit her because, the fourth time she was asked, “Who’s Patrick?”, she was slow in replying, “He’s my boss.” This is the exact opposite of not remembering a fact correctly. Knox is so keen to make both false charges against the police stick that she fails to notice that one contradicts the other.
Knox at least provides us with two fixed times that allow us to verify the start and finish times of the formal interview. It began at 1230, when Anna Donnino arrived to interpret, and ended at 0145 when Knox signed her witness statement.
Bearing in mind that this statement would have needed to be typed up and printed before she signed it, the interview thus took little over an hour, and was not the “prolonged period in the middle of the night” that her recent blog post pretends. (We might also remember that Knox’s regular shift at Le Chic was from 9 pm to 1 am, meaning that the interview began during her normal working hours.) (WTBH:31)
WTBH also flatly contradicts Knox’s own claim that her accusation of Lumumba was coerced by the police.
According to her own account, she first mentions her boss (although not by name) in the less formal conversation, before the interpreter’s arrival, telling the police : “I got a text message from my boss telling me I didn’t have to work that night.” (WTBH: 84)
The police appear to pay no attention to the remark (which undermines Knox’s argument that the police were pressing her to name Lumumba) but instead keep questioning her on the timings and details of what she did on the night of the murder. And Knox finds those details difficult either to recall or to invent.
Donnino arrives at half past midnight, and the formal interview begins.
Again, the focus is on the timings of Amanda Knox’s movements on the night of the murder, and again she is having difficulty remembering or inventing them. Ficarra picks up Knox’s cell phones and observes: “You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?” and Knox answers, “My boss at Le Chic.” (WTBH: 86)
There is a short discussion about this text message, and then a second police officer asks her: “Who’s Patrick? What’s he like?” This time Knox answers: “He’s about this tall… with braids.” They then continue to discuss the text message, and then the police ask her a third time, “Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?” Knox again replies: “Patrick is my boss.” (WTBH: 87)
Donnino then makes the intervention about how traumatic events can sometimes affect memory. Such events certainly seem to have an effect on the memory of the police, because one of them asks Knox a fourth time: “Who’s Patrick?” At this point, Knox claims in her memoir that Ficarra struck her on the head. (WTBH: 87)
This is nothing to do with failing to remember a fact correctly, because the fact is correct: Patrick Lumumba is indeed her boss.
The police continue to believe that she is hiding something, and they ask her who she is protecting. After a few minutes of questioning along those lines, Knox has an epiphany in which she claims that the face of Patrick Lumumba appeared before her and she gasps: “Patrick – it’s Patrick.”
If we believe one of Knox’s other stories, that the police were cunningly trying to get her to name Patrick Lumumba, we might expect them to be quite pleased to have succeeded at this point. But according to Knox, their response is to ask her a fifth time, “Who’s Patrick?” The whole room must have wanted to chorus at this point, “He’s her boss!”, but according to Knox, it is she herself who simply repeats: “He’s my boss.”
4. “I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly…”
Shortly after lunch on Tuesday November 6th, Knox wrote a piece of paper (known as her “memoriale”) in which she makes her first accusation that the police hit her. She hands this memoriale to Rita Ficarra, the very person she would later name as doing the hitting. We have noted above that in her account of the interview, the context Knox provides for this alleged blow is as follows:
This singularly repetitive catechism is supposed to have taken place at around one o’clock in the morning.
However, writing the following afternoon, Knox describes the event like this:
Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly. I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received. (WTBH: 97)
This makes no sense as a reflection on the interview as she has earlier described it. In her version of the interview, she claims that the police kept asking her the same simple question, to which she keeps replying with the same factual answer, and the blows to the head take place in the middle of all that. Yet in her “memoriale”, she claims that the blow was because she could not remember a fact correctly.
In case two mutually contradictory accounts of that false allegation are not enough, Knox also provides a couple more explanations for why she was hit. Her third bogus claim is that the police said they hit her to get her attention, which makes for a dramatic opening to Chapter 10 of WTBH:
Police officer Rita Ficarra slapped her palm against the back of my head, but the shock of the blow, even more than the force, left me dazed. I hadn’t expected to be slapped.
I was turning around to yell, “Stop!”—my mouth halfway open—but before I even realized what had happened, I felt another whack, this one above my ear. She was right next to me, leaning over me, her voice as hard as her hand had been. “Stop lying, stop lying,” she insisted.
Stunned, I cried out, “Why are you hitting me?” “To get your attention,” she said. (WTBH: 80)
This is a direct allegation against a named police officer, and not surprisingly it has resulted in another libel charge against Amanda Knox. It is a strong piece of writing, too: on its own, isolated from context, it reads like a trailer for the movie version. The trouble is, that when Knox later tries to set it in context, it makes no more sense than “because I didn’t remember a fact correctly” as an explanation as for why the blow came.
They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,
“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.
“Why are you hitting me?” I cried.
“To get your attention,” she said.
“I’m trying to help,” I said. “I’m trying to help, I’m desperately trying to help.” (WTBH: 88)
This makes no sense. They already have Knox’s attention, and she is having no difficulty giving them a factual response to their repeated question, “Who’s Patrick?”
It is difficult to explain any logical motivation for that slap in terms of any of the three suggestions Knox has made so far: (1) because she couldn’t remember a fact correctly; (2) because she failed to answer the repeated question “Who’s Patrick?” quickly enough; or (3) to get her attention. She’d got the fact right, she’d answered the question, and they already had her attention.
Knox then provides us with a fourth version of possible reasons for the alleged slap. She describes the following encounter between herself and Rita Ficarra on their way to lunch at around two o’clock on Tuesday afternoon:
With my sneakers confiscated, I trailed [Ficarra] down the stairs wearing only my socks. She turned and said, “Sorry I hit you. I was just trying to help you remember the truth.” (WTBH: 94)
Once again, this makes no sense in the context of a blow to the head while waiting for a reply to the question, “Who’s Patrick?” It is perfectly true that Patrick Lumumba was Amanda Knox’s boss, and she had already correctly answered the same question twice, by her own account.
These are the four main WTBH versions of how Amanda Knox was struck on the head by Rita Ficarra. Perhaps she hopes that readers will choose the one they like best and will ignore its discrepancies with the others.
When testifying in court, however, Knox provided three further versions of the same alleged incident.
First, when asked to explain why she had stated in her witness account that Meredith Kercher had had sex before she died, Knox answered that the police had suggested this to her and that they hit her to make her says so in her statement (Knox testimony, June 12 2009).
Second, a few minutes later during the same testimony, she claimed that the police hit her twice before she gave the name of Patrick, to make her give a name she could not give. (WTBH: 227-8; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)
Third, later still, she tells her own lawyer that the police were screaming at her “You don’t remember”, she was struck from behind, and when she turned around she was struck again. (WTBH:227; Knox testimony, June 12 2009)
These are seven different stories Knox has told about how she was hit during her interview. Even her most generous supporters would have to admit that at least six of them must be false. Everyone else in the room at the time has testified that it did not happen.
When Knox published her fantasy claim about appealing to ECHR last month, she neglected to mention that she was hit. This essentially confirms what has been obvious for some time: Rita Ficarra did not hit Amanda Knox during the interview.
Nobody did. All seven stories are false.
5. “She was screaming in Italian, ‘Aiuto! Aiuto!’”
However, Sollecito provides an ear-witness account of Knox’s traumatic interview, claiming that he could hear her shouting from where he was being interviewed in a nearby room. Here’s his version:
Then came a sound that chilled my bones: Amanda’s voice, yowling for help in the next room. She was screaming in Italian, “Aiuto! Aiuto!” I asked what was going on, and Moscatelli told me there was nothing to worry about. But that was absurd. I could hear police officers yelling, and Amanda sobbing and crying out another three or four times. (HB:33)
If Sollecito’s aim here is to invent a story even more ridiculous than Knox’s, he has succeeded.
For one thing, it does not match any of Knox’s seven stories about how her interview went. But even on its own terms, Sollecito’s story makes no sense. If we imagine for a moment an Italian witness or suspect being interrogated in Italian by Italian officers in an Italian police station, what possible motivation could such a woman have for shouting “Aiuto!”? Who could she be hoping might conceivably respond to her call?
How much more absurd, then, to suppose that an American woman accompanied by an interpreter would shout “Aiuto!” when by her own account she was trying to help the police with their inquiries at that point.
Perhaps Sollecito wants us to believe that Knox was offering to help the police with their inquiries, and Donnino was loudly translating it to “Aiuto!” at this point. Or perhaps, as is often the case with Sollecito, he has given so little thought to his lies that he has not made the slightest effort to make them believable.
There are other occasions when Sollecito is cavalier with the credibility of his explanations for the evidence against him. For example, when confronted with evidence that the victim’s DNA is on his kitchen knife, he suddenly remembers an occasion when he accidentally pricked her while cooking.
(Astonishingly, he repeats this absurd fiction on page 49 of Honor Bound, although he shifts the pricking to Via della Pergola and makes it a knife local to there, since it is obvious that the victim had never visited his own apartment.)
Or again, on being confronted with the (incorrect) evidence that his shoeprints have been found at the scene of the crime, he speculates to Judge Matteini that someone might have stolen his shoes and committed the murder in them. (HB:42)
Even today, Sollecito is currently making a public appeal for funds for his defense, pleading financial hardship, while taking lengthy vacations in the Caribbean, with photographs of his tropical lifestyle appearing in Oggi.
In his book, Sollecito also decides to make a claim of his own that the police struck him:
One of my interrogators opened the door noisily at one point, walked over, and slapped me. “Your father is a fine upstanding person,” he said. “He doesn’t even deserve a son like you, someone who would stand by a whore like Amanda.” (HB:36)
This is actually one of his more plausible stories. He has not named the officer, and he has created an incident to which there are no witnesses; he gives the impression that he was alone in the interview room when this officer came in.
Of course, he has made no formal complaint about this, nor has he mentioned it before publishing it in his book, nor has he named the officer or given any clue as to his identity. Nevertheless, these details simply stand in contrast to Knox’s libelous allegation, in which she named the officer, gives several contradictory accounts of how the blow occurred, and there are several witnesses all of whom deny that any such blow took place.
6. “Maybe a cappuccino would help.”
Finally, it seems only fair to speak up for Anna Donnino, the much-maligned interpreter who was given the task of accompanying Knox as she made her slanderous accusation of Patrick Lumumba.
Knox describes her arrival at the station like this:
The interpreter sat down behind me. She was irritated and impatient, as if I were the one who had rousted her from bed in the middle of the night. (WTBH:86)
While someone else must have done the rousting, by Knox’s own account it is indeed her fault that Donnino was called into the police station that night. Knox was the only English-speaker present, and she had ignored the police’s request that she stay home while they interviewed Sollecito.
Although Donnino must have had every right to feel irritable and impatient, Knox gives little evidence of it in her transcript of the interview. On the contrary, Donnino patiently volunteers an explanation that might attribute Knox’s self-contradictory stories to trauma and stress rather than deliberate lying.
Amanda Knox has often repeated her assertion that police called her a liar during that interview. For example, in the movie-trailer-type excerpt at the beginning of Chapter Ten, she writes:
They loomed over me, each yelling the same thing: “You need to remember. You’re lying. Stop lying!” (WTBH:80)
However, in the more detailed version that she gives on pages 83-90, she does not mention a single police officer calling her a liar. Only once do the police even ask her “Why are you lying?” (WTBH:88) The only person to call Knox a liar, in her account, is Anna Donnino, in the following passage:
“In English, ‘see you later’ means good-bye. It doesn’t mean we’re going to see each other now. It means see you eventually.”
In my beginner’s Italian, I had had no idea that I’d used the wrong phrase in my text to Patrick—the one that means you’re going to see someone. I’d merely translated it literally from the English.
The interpreter balked: “You’re a liar.” (WTBH:87)
The verb “balked” makes no sense here, and so let us charitably call it a printer’s error for “barked”. However, that is the only instance of Knox being called a liar her entire remembered account of the interview.
It seems that she is so reluctant to admit to having said anything that her readers might think sounds like a lie that she forgets this gives the police no context for calling her a liar. This in turn means that the only “lie” she can be accused of is her demotic interpretation of the English phrase “see you later”, in which she presents herself as correct and Anna Donnino getting it wrong.
Ironically, Anna Donnino’s next intervention, for which there are several witnesses including Amanda Knox herself, is clearly intended to suggest that failing to remember the details of a traumatic event properly may NOT be an indication of lying, but instead may be the result of the stress of the trauma:
The interpreter offered a solution, “Once, when I had an accident, I didn’t remember it. I had a broken leg and it was traumatizing and I woke up afterward and didn’t remember it. Maybe you just don’t remember. Maybe that’s why you can’t remember times really well.”
For a moment, she sounded almost kind. (WTBH:88)
“Kind” is a key word for Amanda Knox, and she continually judges people by whether they are kind to her. On this occasion, she is quite right: Anna Donnino does sound kind and helpful in volunteering this intervention. It is not a kindness that Knox would repay, however. On the contrary, in her later account of the trial, she is scathing of prosecutor Mignini’s description of Donnino as “very sweet”:
As for my interrogation at the questura, Mignini described the interpreter— the woman who had called me “a stupid liar” and had told me to “stop lying”—as “very sweet.” “I remember that evening how she behaved toward Amanda,” he said. (WTBH:244)
Knox has evidently forgotten that she has failed to mention anybody at all calling her a “stupid liar” during the interview, or that anybody told her to “stop lying”. Even her claim that Donnino called a liar over a translation error is illogical and is out of keeping with Donnino’s subsequent intervention.
Knox has also forgotten that the only other mention she makes of Donnino at the questura is in the following passage, from the day before the interview. While Knox is going over the events of the night of the murder in her mind, she reports:
“…the interpreter walked by, looked at me, and said, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?... You’re pale… Maybe a cappuccino would help. Come with me.” (WTBH: 76-77)
Once again, Knox unwittingly provides evidence that supports Mignini’s description of Anna Donnino, and undermines her own. Once again, she unwittingly provides evidence that her human rights were perfectly safe at Perugia police station.
7. “What does this say about my memory?”
The accounts of all three defendants in this case are so obviously fictitious that the subject should no longer be open for discussion. Any level of reasonable doubt that might have been acceptable to the Hellman appeal court has been removed not only by the Italian Supreme Court but even more so by the self-penned accounts published by Knox and Sollecito themselves.
Their bizarre and delusional writings will appear incredible to any objective reader who troubles to read them. The physical evidence against them - the DNA, the footprints, the knife, the faked burglary, and so on - only serves to confirm the most likely explanation for their wildly unbelievable stories - namely that they are lying to cover up their involvement in a brutal murder.
Given that his own account was patently fictitious, Guede has been fairly well advised to opt for a fast track trial which offers a reduced sentence and an abbreviated process. (Better advice might have been to plead guilty, but that is for him to choose.)
As a result, he will be eligible for parole relatively soon, even as the longwinded trials of Knox and Sollecito grind toward their conclusions. Whether or not it is right and fair for Guede to be given that parole is a separate question that will be considered in due course - even his expressions of remorse sound false and are undermined by his continuing refusal to give a plausible and honest account of what happened that night.
However justice systems all over the world are obliged to balance the rights of victims against the rights of defendants, with resultant compromises that are often uneasy and unsatisfying. Victims’ families may want the truth, but the perpetrators don’t always want to tell it.
The situation for Knox and Sollecito is different because their preposterous stories have been shored up by a coterie of supporters who in the long run have done the two defendants no favors whatsoever.
The pair have chosen the full trial process which may have postponed the final decision for several years, but which is also likely to result in much lengthier prison sentences.
It is too late now for Knox and Sollecito to opt for a fast track process, and everyone, no matter how ill-informed, can surely agree at least that the path they have chosen has been painfully slow and longwinded.
But there were many other options that, although previously open to them, have now been closed down by their supporters’ stubborn insistence that the case against them was first concocted by a vindictive prosecutor who took an early dislike to them and was subsequently supported by a vast conspiratorial network of police, judges, journalists, shopkeepers, students, friends and relatives of the victim, and so on.
This conspiracy theory is not only daft, but it provides no help at all for the two people at its core whose words and actions remain delusional and psychotic.
Amanda Knox wrote in her memoriale, “Is the evidence proving my pressance [sic] at the time and place of the crime reliable? If so, what does this say about my memory? Is it reliable?”(WTBH 98-9). These words are a clear cry for help.
Whether or not this cry was genuine, or was simply a cunning attempt to diminish punishment, is a matter that could and should have been determined at the time by a qualified psychiatrist. Instead, Knox was provided with a set of lawyers and a PR firm both of whom were set the task of claiming and proving their client’s innocence.
Her false allegation against an innocent man was then explained as resulting from a coercive police process - another ludicrous claim, contradicted by all the available evidence, including the self contradictory accounts published by the defendants themselves.
Knox and Sollecito are damaged individuals whose grip on reality is loose and whose delusional ramblings suggest that they need urgent psychiatric help. Instead, their fantasies have been cocooned by highly vocal supporters who have enabled the fantasists to maintain a series of fictions that, in the final analysis, will almost certainly fail to stand up to legal scrutiny.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Other legal cases, Others elsewhere, Amanda Knox
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Saturday, November 30, 2013
Note For Strasbourg Court & State Department: Knox Herself Proves She Lies About Her Interrogation
Posted by James Raper
If any of the busy, hard-pressed ECHR investigators do choose to press beyond the ECHR guidelines, they will almost instantly establish that in her voluntary interview on 5 November 2007 Knox was treated with complete fairness.
Also that her false accusation of Patrick (which she never retracted) was entirely of her own doing.
And also that she is not only trying to throw sand into the wheels of Italian justice during an ongoing judicial process (a felony in Italy) but she is trying to welsh out of paying Patrick his damages award of $100,000 (a contempt of the Supreme Court) thus foolishly risking two more charges of aggravated calunnia.
This post derives from a post of mine last May. In another post, we showed that Dr Mignini was not present for the interrogation that night, and Knox maliciously invented an illegal interrogation at risk of a third aggravated calunnia charge.
In fact Dr Mignini met with Amanda Knox only briefly, later, to charge her and to warn she should say no more without a lawyer. He asked her no questions.
I will compare the various accounts of the interrogation to demonstrate that Amanda Knox is indeed lying to the ECHR, just as she did repeatedly in her book this year and also on US and European television.
- There are two main bodies of truth about the interrogation: (1) all of those present at various times on that night and (2) Knox’s own testimony on the witness stand in mid 2009.
- There are two main bodies of lies about the interrogation (1) The Sollecito book and (2) the Knox book, which by the way not only contradict one another but also contradict such other accounts as those of Saul Kassin and John Douglas.
The police had called her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in to the station for questioning and Knox had accompanied him because she did not want to be alone. They had already eaten at the house of a friend of Sollecito’s.
Knox’s interrogation was not tape recorded and in that sense we have no truly independent account of what transpired. The police, including the interpreter, gave evidence at her trial, but we do not yet have transcripts for that evidence other than that of the interpreter. There are accounts in books that have been written about the case but these tend to differ in the detail. The police and the interpreter maintain that she was treated well. Apart from the evidence of the interpreter all we have is what Knox says happened, and our sources for this are transcripts of her trial evidence and what she wrote in her book. I shall deal with the evidence of the interpreter towards the end of this article.
I am going to compare what she said at trial with what she wrote in her book but also there was a letter she wrote on the 9th and a recording of a meeting with her mother on the 10th November which are relevant.. What she wrote in her book is fairly extensive and contains much dialogue. She has a prodigious memory for detail now which was almost entirely lacking before. I am going to tell you to treat what she says in her book with extreme caution because she has already been found out for, well let us say, her creative writing if not outright distortion of facts. I shall paraphrase rather than quote most of it but a few direct quotes are necessary.
Knox arrived with Sollecito at the police station at about 10.30 pm (according to John Follain). The police started to question Sollecito at 10.40 pm (Follain).
In her book Knox describes being taken from the waiting area to a formal interview room in which she had already spent some time earlier. It is unclear when that formal questioning began. Probably getting on for about 11.30pm because she also refers to some questions being asked of her in the waiting room following which she did some stretches and splits. She then describes how she was questioned about the events over a period from about the time she and Sollecito left the cottage to about 9 pm on the 1st November.
Possibly there was a short break. She describes being exhausted and confused. The interpreter, Knox says, arrived at about 12.30 am. Until then she had been conversing with the police in Italian.
Almost immediately on the questioning resuming -
“Monica Napoleoni, who had been so abrupt with me about the poop and the mop at the villa, opened the door. “Raffaele says you left his apartment on Thursday night,” she said almost gleefully. “He says that you asked him to lie for you. He’s taken away your alibi.””
Knox describes how she was dumfounded and devastated by this news. She cannot believe that he would say that when they had been together all night. She feels all her reserves of energy draining away. Then -
“Where did you go? Who did you text?” Ficarra asked, sneering at me.
“I don’t remember texting anyone.”
They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.
“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
“My boss at Le Chic.”
Stop right there.
How were the police able to name the recipient of the text? The text Patrick had sent her had already been deleted from Knox’s mobile phone by Knox herself and Knox hasn’t yet named Patrick. In fact she couldn’t remember texting anyone.
It is of course probable that the police already had a log of her calls and possibly had already traced and identified the owner of the receiving number for her text, though the last step would have been fast work.
In her trial testimony Knox did a lot of “the police suggested this and suggestd that” though it is never crystal clear whether she is accusing the police of having suggested his name. But she is doing it here in her book and of course the Knox groupies have always maintained that it was the police who suggested his name to her.
The following extract from her trial testimony should clear things up. GCM is Judge Giancarlo Massei.
GCM: In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?
AK: No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”
GCM: But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?
AK: Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone…………………..
GCM : But they didn’t literally say it was him!
AK : No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”
GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?”
AK : Well, first I started to cry…....
And having implied that it was the police who suggested Patrick’s name to her, she adds….. that quote again -
“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
“My boss at Le Chic.”
Here she is telling the Perugian cops straight out exactly to whom the text was sent. “My boss at Le Chic”.
But that does not quite gel with her trial testimony -
And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!”
At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember…..
Doesn’t the above quote make it clear that the police were having considerable trouble getting Knox to tell them to whom her text message was sent? It would also explain their growing frustration with her.
But perhaps the above quote relates not to whom the text was sent but, that having been ascertained, whether Knox met up with that person later? Knox has a habit of conflating the two issues. However there is also the following quote from her trial testimony -
Well there were lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?”
Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman and she gave me another blow to the head.
The woman with the long hair, chestnut brown hair, Knox identifies in her book as Ficarra. Ficarra is the policewoman who started the questioning particularly, as Knox has confirmed, about the texted message. “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Again, surely this is to get Knox to identify the recipient of the text, not about whether she met up with him?
In the book though, it is all different.
In the book, the police having told her that the text is to someone called Patrick, Knox is a model of co-operation as, having already told them that he is her boss at Le Chic, she then gives a description of him and answers their questions as to whether he knew Meredith, whether he liked her etc. No reluctance to co-operate, no memory difficulties here.
Notwithstanding this, her book says the questions and insinuations keep raining down on her. The police insist that she had left Sollecito’s to meet up with - and again the police name him - Patrick.
“Who did you meet up with? Who are you protecting? Why are you lying? Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?”
Remember again, according to her trial testimony the police did not mention Patrick’s name and Knox still hasn’t mentioned his name. But wait, she does in the next line -
“I said “Patrick is my boss.””
So now, at any rate, the police have a positive ID from Knox regarding the text message and something to work with. Patrick - boss - Le Chic.
Knox then refers to the differing interpretations as to what “See you later” meant and denies that she had ever met up with Patrick that evening. She recalls the interpreter suggesting that she was traumatized and suffering from amnesia.
The police continue to try to draw an admission from Knox that she had met up with Patrick that evening - which again she repeatedly denies. And why shouldn’t she? After all, she denies that she’s suffering from amnesia, or that there is a problem with her memory. The only problem is that Sollecito had said she had gone out but that does not mean she had met with Patrick.
Knox then writes, oddly, as it is completely out of sequence considering the above -
“They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,
“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”
That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.”
A couple of blows (more like cuffs) to the head (denied by the police) is mentioned in her trial testimony but more likely, if this incident ever happened, it would have been earlier when she was struggling to remember the text and to whom it had been sent. Indeed that’s clear from the context of the above quotes.
And this, from her trial testimony -
Remember, remember, remember, and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me.”
In the CNN TV interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox was asked if there was anything she regretted.
Knox replied that she regretted the way this interrogation had gone, that she wished she had been aware of her rights and had stood up to the police questioning better.
Well actually, according to the account in her book, she appears to have stood up to the police questioning with a marked degree of resilience and self- certainty, and with no amnesia. There is little of her trademark “being confused”.
So why the sudden collapse? And it was a sudden collapse.
Given the trial and book accounts Knox would have us think that she was frightened, that it was due to exhaustion and the persistent and bullying tone of the questioning, mixed with threats that she would spend time in prison for failing to co-operate. She also states that -
(a) she was having a bad period and was not being allowed to attend to this, and
(b) the police told her that they had “hard evidence” that she was involved in the murder.
Knox has given us a number of accounts as to what was actually happening when this occurred.
In a letter she wrote on the 9th November she says that suddenly all the police officers left the room but one, who told her she was in serious trouble and that she should name the murderer. At this point Knox says that she asked to see the texted message again and then an image of Patrick came to mind. All she could think about was Patrick and so she named him (as the murderer).
During a recorded meeting with her mother in Capanne Prison on the 10th November she relates essentially the same story.
In her book there is sort of the same story but significantly without mention of the other officers having left the room nor mention of her having asked to see the texted message again.
If the first two accounts are correct then at least the sense of oppression from the room being crowded and questions being fired at her had lifted.
Then this is from her book -
In that instant, I snapped. I truly thought I remembered having met somebody. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I didn’t understand that I was about to implicate the wrong person. I didn’t understand what was at stake. I didn’t think I was making it up. My mind put together incoherent images. The image that came to me was Patrick’s face. I gasped. I said his name. “Patrick—it’s Patrick.
It’s her account, of course, but this “Patrick - It’s Patrick” makes no sense at this stage of it unless it’s an admission not just that she had met up with Patrick but that he was at the cottage and involved in Meredith’s death.
And this is from her trial testimony -
GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?
AK : Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of Patrick I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation.
There is a clear difference between these two quotes.
The one from her book suggests that she was trying hard but that the police had virtually brought her to the verge of a mental breakdown.
Her trial testimony says something else; that a scene and an idea was forming in her mind brought on by her naming of Patrick.
In her book she states that a statement, typed up in Italian, was shoved under her nose and she was told to sign it. The statement was timed at 1.45 am. The statement was not long but would probably have taken about twenty minutes to prepare and type.
The statement according to Knox -
... I met Patrick immediately at the basketball court in Piazza Grimana and we went to the house together. I do not remember if Meredith was there or came shortly afterward. I have a hard time remembering those moments but Patrick had sex with Meredith, with whom he was infatuated, but I cannot remember clearly whether he threatened Meredith first. I remember confusedly that he killed her.
The fact that the statement was in Italian is not important. Knox could read Italian perfectly well. However she does insinuate in the book that the details in the statement were suggested to her and that she didn’t bother to read the statement before signing.
Apart from what has been mentioned above, there are some other points and inferences to be drawn from the above analysis.
- 1. Knox’s account destroys one of Sollecito’s main tenets in his book Honour Bound. Sollecito maintains that he did nothing to damage Knox’s alibi until he signed a statement, forced on him at 3:30 am and containing the damaging admission that Knox had gone out. But Knox makes it clear that she had heard from the Head of the Murder Squad that he had made that damaging admission, at or shortly after 12.30 am. Or is Knox is accusing Napoleoni of a bare-faced lie?
2. It is valid to ask why Knox would not want to remember to whom the text had been sent. Who can see into her mind? Perhaps Knox realized that discussion of it would confirm that if she had indeed gone out then it was not to Le Chic, where she was not required. However even if she thought that could put her in the frame it’s not what an innocent person would be too worried about. Perhaps she did just have difficulty remembering?
3. If there was no fuss and she did remember and tell the police that the text was to Patrick, and the questioning then moved on to whether she met up with Patrick later that evening, what was the problem with that? She knew the fact that she hadn’t met up with him could be verified by Patrick. She could have said that and stuck to it. The next move for the police would have been to question Patrick. They would not have had grounds to arrest him.
4. Knox stated in her memorial, and re-iterates it in her book, that during her interrogation the police told her that they had hard evidence that she was involved in Meredith’s murder. She does not expand on what this evidence is, perhaps because the police did not actually tell her. However, wasn’t she the least bit curious, particularly if she was innocent? What was she thinking it might be?
5. I can sympathise with any interviewee suffering a bad period, if that’s true. However the really testy period of the interview/interrogation starts with the arrival of the interpreter, notification of Sollecito’s withdrawal of her alibi and the questioning with regard to the text to Patrick, all occurring at around 12.30 am. There has to be some critical point when she concedes, whether to the police or in her own mind, that she’d met “Patrick”, after which there was the questioning as to what had happened next. Say that additional questioning took 20 minutes. Then there would be a break whilst the statement is prepared and typed up. So the difficult period for Knox, from about 12.30 am to that critical point, looks more like about 35 to, at the outside, 50 minutes.
6. Even if, for that period, it is true that she was subjected to repeated and bullying questions, and threats, then she held up remarkably well as I have noted from her own account. It does not explain any form of mental breakdown, let alone implicating Patrick in murder. In particular, if Knox’s letter of the 9th and the recording of her meeting with her mother on the 10th are to believed, that alleged barrage of questions had stopped when she implicated Patrick. An explanation, for what it’s worth, might be that she had simply ceased to care any longer despite the consequences. But why?
7. A better and more credible explanation is that an idea had indeed formed suddenly in her mind. She would use the revelation about the text to Patrick and the consequent police line of questioning to bring the questioning to an end and divert suspicion from her true involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She envisaged that she would be seen by the police as a helpless witness/victim, not a suspect in a murder investigation. As indeed was the case initially. She expected, I am sure, to be released, so that she could get Sollecito’s story straight once again. If that had happened there would of course remain the problem of her having involved Patrick, but I dare say she thought that she could simply smooth that over - that it would not be a big deal once he had confirmed that there had been no meeting and that he had not been at the cottage, as the evidence was bound to confirm.
At the beginning I said that we also have a transcript now of the evidence of the interpreter, Anna Donnino. I will summarise the main points from her evidence but it will be apparent immediately that she contradicts much of what Knox and her supporters claim to have happened.
Donnino told the court that she had 22 years experience working as a translator for the police in Perugia. She was at home when she received a call from the police that her services were required and she arrived at the police station at just before 12.30 am, just as Knox said. She found Knox with Inspector Ficarra. There was also another police officer there whose first name was Ivano. At some stage Ficarra left the room and then returned and there was also another officer by the name of Zugarina who came in. Donnino remained with Knox at all times
The following points emerge from her testimony :-
- 1. Three police officers do not amount to the “lots of people” referred to in Knox’s trial testimony, let alone the dozens and the “tag teams” of which her supporters speak.
2. She makes no mention of Napoleoni and denied that anyone had entered the room to state that Sollecito had broken Knox’s alibi. (This is not to exclude that this may have happened before Donnino arrived)
3. She states that Knox was perfectly calm but there came a point when Knox was being asked how come she had not gone to work that she was shown her own text message (to Patrick). Knox had an emotional shock, put her hands to her ears and started rolling her head and saying “It’s him! It’s him! It’s him!”
4. She denied that Knox had been maltreated or that she had been hit at all or called a liar.
5. She stated that the officer called Ivano had been particularly comforting to Knox, holding her hand occasionally.
6. She stated that prior to the 1.45 am statement being presented to Knox she was asked if she wanted a lawyer but Knox said no.
7. She stated that she had read the statement over to Knox in english and Knox herself had checked the italian original having asked for clarification of specific wording.
7. She confirmed that that she had told Knox about an accident which she’d had (a leg fracture) and that she had suffered amnesia about the accident itself. She had thought Knox was suffering something similar. She had also spoken to Knox about her own daughters because she thought it was necessary to establish a rapport and trust between the two of them.
The account in Knox’s book is in some ways quite compelling but only if it is not compared against her trial testimony, let alone the Interpreter’s testimony: that is, up to the point when she implicates Patrick in murder. At that point no amount of whitewash works. The Italian Supreme Court also thought so, upholding Knox’s calunnia conviction, with the addition of aggravating circumstances.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The many hoaxes, Knox interrog. hoax, Amanda Knox
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Thursday, October 03, 2013
Tomorrow Could See The Beginning Of The End Of The Rampaging “Public Relations” Campaign
Posted by Peter Quennell
Instead the court under a Supreme Court requirement will get into the myriad dirty tricks of the defenses, why such campaigns had to be run if the accused perps had no blame, how the mafia is infiltrating its way in, and maybe some hard evidence of real crimes.
The three shown above are of course defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, Judge Hellmann, and Francesco, Sollecito’s dad.
Bongiorno may have offered bribes for false testimony, tame judge Hellmann may have attempted to cover up evidence of crimes (those bribes), and Papa Doc may have been over-eager to get his son out of prison by any means fair or foul.
Except for Luciano Aviello’s photo, which has never yet appeared on the web, as he had that protection as a jailhouse snitch, we have had a pretty comprehensive series of posts about him starting back in June 2010. These seven are perhaps the most key.
- His initial claims about alternate murderers; and his life history.
- Prosecution disbelieves him, and searches his prison cell.
- Prosecution know a lot about Aviello, and are loaded for bear.
- How Aviello is expected to appear (or not appear) in court.
- Why Aviello wanted money: his cellmates explain all.
- Reports of suspected witness tampering by the Sollecito family
- Start of Aviello’s trial in Florence for perjury and contempt of court.
Note that NOBODY knows exactly what the prosecution has up its sleeves. The FOA wannabees still don’t realize what a huge jump the prosecution has on them. It plays its cards very close to the chest.
Going back a very long time the prosecution appear to have set a number of traps. Back in 2010 it knew Hellmann’s presence at the appeal had been quietly organized by the defense. It knew that the Supreme Court understood that Guede could not have killed Meredith on his own.
And it knew that Aviello was a walking time-bomb and knew how to set him off. And all of the three above seem to have unwittingly walked into that trap.
Of course there is no way that the court closes the book on Aviello tomorrow, because his own trial in Florence under the same prosecutor’s office is still going on. There is immense pressure on Aviello to come clean and not end up inside yet again.
All three above could be called to give testimony at his trial. And he could pave the way to all three facing trials of their own.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The many hoaxes, The Aviello hoax
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Appeal Session #1: Detailed Report On Enquiries The Court Has Okayed
Posted by Peter Quennell
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.
Archived in Officially involved, The prosecutors, The defenses, The judiciary, Public evidence, DNA and luminol, The two knives, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, The many hoaxes, The Aviello hoax
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Saturday, August 24, 2013
Desperate Ghirga Urges Amanda Knox To Show At Florence Appeal, But She’s Created More Problems
Posted by Peter Quennell
Meeting in Seattle, Amanda Knox’S lawyer urges her to be at the Florence appeal, but his suggestion falls on deaf ears.
Here is a brief report from Italy. Clearly her lead defense lawyer Ghirga (who normally handles only small-time crime) thinks the presence of Knox and her entourage coould humanize her and allow her to speak out and to guide him.
But Knox has really been burning her bridges to Italy big-time. Let us list some of the ways in which they are now foolishly dug in so deep.
Since the end of trial in 2009 Amanda Knox’s entourage and she herself appear to have broken law after law after law, issuing new smears, harassing the victim’s family, having her book taken to court in Bergamo.
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Evidence Could Strengthen
The evidence in the case as presented at trial in 2009 remains rock solid to this day (the Massei outcome is the state of play) and if the large knife is retested, it could actually get way worse. Hundreds of open questions remain which Knox has strenuously avoided answering, either on the stand or in her book or on TV.
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Calunnias Of Justice Officials
Every instance where Amanda Knox and any of her entourage alleged without hard proof that Italian police and prosecutors have committed crimes (and there have been literally hundreds of such accusations by Preston, Fischer, on and on, now all captured and preserved) could see any or all of them hauled into court with zero heads-up (ask Sforza).
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Framing Of Dr Mignini
In 2011 Knox was sentenced to three years (served) for the crime of framing Patrick Lumumba. So what does this slow learner do? Turn right around and commit the SAME crime in her nasty book, only this time she makes it worse. This time, she frames the chief prosecutor, in describing in detail a highly illegal interrogation that never took place.
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Threat Of Conspiracists
There are perhaps 40 felony allegations against police and prosecution in Sollecito’s blood-money book and maybe another 20 in Knox’s own. Each of them will be put on trial separately for those claims and either one of them or both in desperation could take down all the writers, all the agents, all the publishers, all the wild-eyed conspiracists who helped write the books, and all those who made the illegal multi-million dollar deals, including their own two dads.
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Threat Of Frank Sforza On Trial
The contempt of court trial of Frank Sforza is about to start. He is desperate to stay out of jail, and all of his alleged felonies since 2008 in contempt of the court could put him there for up to ten years. Consider the list of precisely who in Italy and the US Frank Sforza might take down, to try to give himself something of a break. This list is nothing if not long (see next post).
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Threat Of Hellmann And Aviello
Witness Luciano Aviello is now on trial and as this post explained Aviello could take down all of the defense lawyers (for illegal dealing over the “right” judge), all of the Sollecitos, if they offered bribes, and both of the judges, Hellmann and Zanetti, who presided over the annulled appeal.
In Florence, how does she talk about that?
Nobody with any sense flouts the Supreme Court, or the extremely important, powerful court in Florence, which has sent down some of the toughest perps in the land.
Both courts and both prosecution teams are well-know in Italy for being cold and relentless in their search for the truth. None of the four lead lawyers for Sollecito and Knox has ever won even one case either in Florence or before the Supreme Court.
This might well be a trial balloon, to see how the Florence prosecutors and courts react. An arrest warrant, maybe? As we have seen lately, they act fast, and suddenly at any time.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The many hoaxes, Knox interrog. hoax, The Guede hoax, The Aviello hoax, Other legal cases, Associated trials, Amanda Knox
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Sunday, April 28, 2013
The Amanda Knox Book: Could Her Book Legally Entangle These Four?
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Could Amanda Knox’s forthcoming book be considered a crime, or more precisely a series of crimes? We wait to see what it says, but for starters its mere existence flouts Italian law. From our 22 April post:
Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.
At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.
Get that? Knox can talk her head off in court (as she did for two full days and many “spontaneous” interventions at the trial and annulled appeal) but because of a torrid history of false allegations against Italian courts, especially by the mafia and accused politicians, Italian law forbids her to do so outside in ways that misrepresent the evidence and impugn any officers of the legal system, prosecutors and prison staff counted in.
Sollecito’s book published six months ago made four kinds of mistake: (1) publishing for blood money while still accused; (2) including many false claims which contradict his own case at trial and will almost certainly contradict claims Knox makes; (3) defaming numerous officers of the court in freely accusing them of crimes - falsely, as his own dad admits; and (4) maligning the entire Italian justice system, the most popular and trusted institution in Italy with heavy protections at its disposal when it wants.
The criminal investigation into Sollecito’s book is under the wing of the same chief prosecutor in Florence who will oversee the re-run of the murder appeal. His investigation target is expected to be broad, and will certainly include the shadow writer and publisher and Sollecito’s own legal help. At the max, because Sollecito has impugned anti-mafia prosecutors and judges, he might face close to ten years.
PLUS the mitigating circumstances Massei allowed which brought his sentence down by five years will likely be disallowed by the Florence appeal court, adding five more years if the new appeal concludes guilt.
It seems an open secret in Perugia that Knox’s lawyers there have long shrugged off the US campaign and acted locally as if it really isnt there. They may or may not have attempted to forestall the book, though by now they certainly know it will make things far worse for Knox.
Sollecito’s lawyers have even more reason to know this as they are already under the gun, and they are probably sitting back and watching the trainwreck with ever-growing glee.
Going forward, the prosecution is in a very sound and dominating position.
The evidence is very, very strong. The Massei Trial Report is still unscathed. The Galati Appeal and the late-March Supreme Court decision absolutely destroyed the Hellmann appeal, and heavily implied that it had been bent. And the prosecutor who has been so unfairly maligned in the US has zero legal problems of his own, after Cassation nailed a rogue prosecutor for pursuing him and put his Narducci investigation back on track, and he was promoted and is set to be the Region of Umbria’s number one prosecutor very soon.
In contrast even without the albatross of the book Knox’s position was very weak.
She has already served three years for criminally lying to protect herself, and that sentence is subject to no further appeal. (Talk of taking it to the European Court is a joke.) Nobody in Italy will trust her word after that. As the post below this one shows, dozens of witnesses will speak up against any false claims. Who will testify on her behalf?
Also Knox seems intent on skipping the appeal, which is itself a contempt of court. And Sollecito, who has said he will be present, showed strong tendencies in his book to sell her short. If her book and her ABC interview are not roundly chastized on Italian TV as Sollecito’s was late last year, it will be a surprise. And complaints are already on their way to Florence - a prison guard she impugns in the book who earlier she herself had said meant no harm is moving forward.
Curt Knox, Ted Simon, Robert Barnett, and David Marriott may end up in the crosshairs of the anticipated investigation for enabling or encouraging or inciting the book. And if Knox is handed extra years because of their zero due diligence, she may have a malpractice case against Simon and Barnett.
We hope their fingers are crossed.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The many hoaxes, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog. hoax, The wider contexts, American context, Amanda Knox
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013
The Real Catastrophe For The Defenses That Was The Supreme Court Ruling Last Week
Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)
The Supreme Court annulled almost the entirety of the 2011 Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdicts, declaring the appeal outcome completely invalid on five of the six charges. The Court only upheld the sixth charge which made definitive Knox’s conviction for calunnia for which she had been sentenced to three years.
Calunnia is the crime of maliciously placing false evidence or testimony against an innocent person, something the Italian Criminal Code considers not as criminal defamation but as a form of obstruction of justice, a more serious offence.
Worse for Knox, the Court annulled a part of the appeal verdict which had dropped the aggravation known as continuance, the aggravation that acknowledges a logical link between the obstruction of justice and the murder charge.
Once the dust has settled, the defendants and pro-Knox and pro-Sollecito supporters and defences may finally realize how severe a defeat has been dealt to their side.
Most American journalists were completely unprepared for and very surprised at the outcome. But most Italian commenters and a very few others elsewhere considered the outcome quite predictable (the criminologist Roberta Bruzzone for example hinted so in written articles, so did Judge Simonetta Matone, as well as John Kercher in his book, and many others too).
This really is a catastrophe for the defences. A complete annulment of an acquittal verdict is just not frequent at all. They do occasionally occur, though, and this one appeared easily predictable because of the extremely low quality of the appeal verdict report.
For myself I could hardly imagine a survival of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti outcome as being realistic.
I previously posted at length on the Galati-Costagliola recourse (that is an important read if you want to understand all angles of the annulment). I argued there that a Supreme Court acceptance of the verdict would have so jeopardized the Italian jurisprudence precedents on circumstantial evidence that it would have become impossible to convict anyone in Italy at all.
The previous appeal trial obviously violated the Judicial Code as it was based on illegitimate moves such the appointing of new DNA experts for unacceptable reasons. It contained patent violations of jurisprudence such as the unjustified dismissal of Rudy Guede’s verdict on a subset of the circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti even “interpreted” the Constitution instead of quoting Constitutional Court jurisprudence.
They omitted a number of pieces of evidence, literally “forgetting” them or dismissing them without providing an argument (they should have, being an appellate trial based on the previous findings and arguments of the lower court). The appeal trial had obvious illogical contradictions on a macro level, such as the contradictory putting together of the conviction for calunnia and the acquittal on the murder charge (ignoring a logical link required by statute without introducing any reason at all).
The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was also based on an illogical processing of all pieces of evidence (such as the dismissal of Nara Capezzali’s evidence without logical reason, even after calling her “credible,” and that of Quintavalle; and attributing the bloody footprint to Rudy Guede on the basis of some ludicrous reasoning).
The appeal verdict basically ignored the concept of “a contrario” evidence, like concluding that the luminol footprints are probably not in blood but in some other substance and not related to the murder (despite failure to indicate any alternative substance nor any reasonable scenario).
The verdict was also biased with open prejudice in favor of two of the suspects in assuming they would be unlikely to even socialize or hang out together with the third, based on social or racial discrimination (two whites from good-looking families are called “good fellows” while the third is “different”).
Beyond the glaring, major faux pas in procedure, the verdict’s low quality, unlawfulnesses, and hypocrisy in its reasoning tended to be pervasive and obvious through all its paragraphs, and possibly this also could have caused an aura of distrust toward the work of the Hellmann-Zanetti court.
One could assess the strikingly low quality of the appeal verdict especially by comparing it to a sophisticated recourse such as the 100-page Galati-Costagliola Supreme Court appeal. While nobody could anticipate with total certainty the Supreme Court decision between the Galati-Costagliola appeal and the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict, to good legal eyes the outcome would be as uncertain as the result of an England versus San Marino football game!
EACH of the eleven single mistakes, plus EACH of the six “method” mistakes pointed out in the Galati-Costagliola recourse could by itself have been a sufficient cause for the annulment of the acquittals.
The redundancy of reasons and remarks by Cassation sheds light on the judgment shortcomings from many different angles, and all the reasons presented for the recourse were certainly assessed by the Supreme Court.
But on the practical side, most probably the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict did not even survive beyond the first mistake. The appeal verdict most likely crumbled completely from the very beginning on reason #1, the illegitimate appointing of new experts by Hellmann-Zanetti to re-examine the DNA.
But even given that the defences’ defeat could be foreseen, I never expected the defeat to pervade to this extent.
I thought the appeal verdict might be quashed entirely and a new appeal would start from scratch. But the Supreme Court went further and decided to “save” only the parts of the verdict that were unfavorable to Knox, and declared her conviction for calunnia definitive.
Meanwhile, the Court accepted the Calati-Costagliola reason #10, and quashed the part that denied a logical link between calunnia and murder.
The Supreme Court thus sends Raffaele Solecito and Amanda Knox back to appeal trial, but this time Amanda Knox will enter the trial as a felony convict with a definitive criminal record, which – the Supreme Court hints – is to be considered logically linked with the charge of murder.
Moreover, judges in the appeal that will come next in Florence will have to follow the decisions set by the Supreme Court. Since the Supreme Court’s motivations report has not been issued yet, we still don’t know what points exactly Cassazione will make. But we can expect that several arguments used by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti that were “needed” to acquit Knox and Sollecito will be now declared illegitimate.
This might mean that we will not see for a second time such faulty reasoning as “Knox’s statement can’t be used as evidence of lying because it is not true.” It may not be possible to dismiss the verdict that found Guede guilty of concurring in murder “with others” from the set of evidence just because it was “weak.” It may not be possible to deduce the time of death based only on declarations of Rudy Guede.
We also may not have a chance to again see an expert declaring that contamination is “likely” on the sole basis that “everything is possible.” We also may not have another judge attributing footprints without talking about any measurements.
The Supreme Court session began on March 25, and it is only a rare event that a Cassazione session extends over into two days.
The first criminal division of the Supreme Court – scheduled to decide on this case – was a five-judge panel presided over by Dr Severo Chieffi. His name never did sound like a particularly favorable omen for Knox and Sollecito. Dr Chieffi is a 70-year-old judge, known for being the author of a famous 2008 verdict which definitively closed a notorious criminal case (“the first time a Cassazione hearing attracted massive live media attention”), a verdict among the most quoted in jurisprudence which is known as that “on reasonable doubt.”
Dr Chieffi and his nine-judge panel explained reasonable doubt as to be intended as an “a contrario” concept, the concept used to formulate a logical reasonable alternative. That verdict pointed out the concept of “reasonable” and also stressed that the nature of evidence is “logical” – reasonable depends only on the plausibility of alternatives, not on how conclusive or reliable single pieces of circumstantial evidence are, and a piece of evidence does not require any specific “physical” element or conclusive quality.
The rapporteur judge was Dr Piera Maria Severina Caprioglio. The rapporteur judge goes through the papers of the whole trial and summarizes their content to the other panel judges; the rapporteur and the president are the two who physically write the report (it may sound like irony that both judges have the adjective “severe” in their name). I was told Dr Caprioglio was a rather stiff judge, known for her scrupulosity in procedure matters, and she is also a specialist – and hard liner – about sexual crime (maybe that’s why she was chosen by Dr Chieffi as the one to do the research on this case).
At the Supreme Court there is also an office known as the Office of Procurator General, which has more than 50 magistrates. The Procurator General appoints a magistrate (normally called the “PG”) to study cases and to make arguments on all cases dealt with in Supreme Court sessions. The PG is considered “neutral” in the sense that their office represents no party only the “precedents” of the court. While the rapporteur makes a description of the case, the procurator makes arguments about the recourses submitted by the parties.
At 10:30 am on Monday, Judge Caprioglio begun her 90-minute speech summarizing the case. She detailed legal events that led to the first Massei-Cristiani verdict, and then the appeal trial led by Hellmann-Zanetti and their verdict.
She sounded rather neutral; hers was a sheer summary with no comment attached. Nevertheless, it sounded most ominous for the defences: right from Dr Caprioglio’s speech, in fact, Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys understood that they were going to lose.
This is because Dr Caprioglio devoted half of her rapporteur time or more to detailing Massei’s first degree trial and verdict, explaining the arguments and evidence used by the Massei court. Such attention was itself ominous to the defences.
A main basis of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti verdict is in fact a series of denials about the work of the lower court, in which plenty of evidence was simply ignored or dismissed without dealing with the first degree conclusions; while the strategy of Giulia Bongiorno was to entirely “replace” the details of the evidence set with a self-made narrative, quite unattached to actual trial events, which somewhat “worked” as rhetoric and in the media.
Yet Dr Caprioglio was not yet the biggest problem facing Knox and Sollecito. The defence was about to face a pincer front, because the Procurator General’s offices did not appreciate the appeal verdict at all.
A bomb went off with the speech of Procurator Riello which followed next.
Dr Riello recalled the points of recourse submitted by Galati-Costagliola, which may sound technical or subtle to those unaccustomed to them. Dr Riello endorsed the radical censures made by Galati-Costagliola and made clear his own view in an overview of the whole verdict. His arguments had the subtlety of an anvil.
To summarize, he basically maintained the appeal judges had conducted an appeal trial as if they were idiots, and followed the paths of logic, procedure and law like sailors without a compass.
Seen from the point of view of the Procurator General, their way of conducting the appeal trial itself was like a journey through a dreadful series of unlawful steps, decisions informally taken without deliberation, and arbitrary and unjustified ordinances. The court simply “lost their way.”
In the body of their findings, it seems they understood almost nothing about the evidence – in particular about how circumstantial evidence works. They did not deal with the findings and arguments of the first instance court as they should have, as if they didn’t exist, and they trivialized the previous legal material.
In fact Dr Riello sounded almost sarcastic; outraged by the incredibly amateurish work of this appeal court, he tended to detail the merit of questions and was interrupted by the president asking him to stick to the discussion on the table.
At the close of his speech, he called the appeal verdict “a rare concentration of law violation, a monument to illogicality.” He said “the judge of merit lost their way in this trial.” Dr Riello noted “they fragmented, they parceled out the pieces of circumstantial evidence.”
He implied not only incompetence but a kind of disingenuous attitude: “The Court employed a fair dose of snobbism for trivializing the first degree verdict, reducing it to four elements. A very imprecise and superficial synthesis.”
He went beyond the criticism expressed in the Galati-Costagliola appeal when he described an obvious bias of the appeal court “not in just a few passages of the second instance verdict – it’s as if the defendants should benefit from a kind of anthropological and cultural immunity, in relation to the events.”
He criticized Pratillo Hellmann’s dismissal of Amanda Knox’s handwritten memoir, and recommended that a new appeal trial must in part be based on that statement as “it is a usable document”; and he stressed that in his opinion “the scream heard by Amanda is a significant datum, of great importance.” The behavior claimed by Knox on the morning of November 2, 2007 in his view was “chilling” and her taking a shower in a cold bathroom is a “chilling detail.”
Dr Riello concludes by saying: “These are all conditions for not letting the curtains close on an upsetting and extremely serious crime for which the only culprit found up to the present day is Rudy Hermann Guede, who has been addressed through a Lombroso-style assessment, either calling him a thief, a criminal or a drifter. He didn’t confess and he was not convicted by another court for concurring in a crime together with others, maybe with ‘ectoplasms.’” (A reference to Cassation’s previous decision that he did commit the crime with others, but Hellmann-Zanetti identified no other people; hence ‘ectoplasms.’)
The Prosecutor General also dealt with the DNA experts’ report which defined the previous results as “unreliable.” He implied that the report and its language were used as a pretext by the defences “as a tombstone, while in fact it is not.” It was used as a tool to focus the trial on the DNA and steer it away from the whole evidence set, to “bury the set of pieces of circumstantial evidence which all have their vital value.”
The rhetoric of the defences aimed to “blame everything on those involved in the scientific police who are almost depicted as bunglers; however they are not brigadiers playing with toy chemical sets, they are in fact a highly qualified department and they do employ cutting-edge technologies.”
A severe legal bashing like the Riello speech is not at all common at the Cassazione. As I heard the news on the radio, law experts commented that the event was unusually serious, and they hinted that its consequences may lead to the setting of a historic jurisprudence precedent.
Francesco Maresca – who brought his mentor Vieri Fabiani with him – endorsed the recourse points and made points similar to Dr Riello’s. He pointed out that a major flaw of the appeal trial was to focus on two DNA instances as if the case was based on them. The court appointed experts to review items with no legitimate basis, they provided an inconsistent explanation for their steps, and then they refused to analyze and introduce further evidence, totally contradicting themselves and also violating the code.
Their criteria for choosing which piece of evidence to discuss or review were totally contradictory, and their series of steps egregiously violated a series of procedural conditions that any court is supposed to follow.
The analyzing of the knife DNA sample and bra clasp sample as pieces in isolation is a sort of device that serves a defence made-up narrative; the focus on “disputed” items and the re-make of a narrative about legal events is simply a defence strategy which is aimed at the media rather than official court proceedings. For the Kercher family, the evidence points to the guilt of Knox and Sollecito beyond reasonable doubt.
The evidence, explained Maresca, consisted of numerous pieces of evidence and reasoning, that were simply not dealt with by the appeal court. The whole process was “non-transparent” and the result is also contradictory given that Knox is indicted by her own words on the crime of calunnia.
Maresca explained that the appeal verdict is riddled with many flaws and errors in the merit of the facts which cannot be assessed by the Cassazione court, but there are also patent violations of law which are “strong and obvious” and of the most serious kind.
Then it was the defence attorneys’ turn. Giulia Bongiorno knew she would need to apply the full power of her best rhetorical skills: she pointed out a factual error in the recalling of Prosecutor Riello and threw herself head-first into the merit of the evidence.
She even made FOA-style overstatements on the number of Guede’s DNA instances: “So many genetic traces of Rudy Guede were found in the bedroom of the murder, Amanda and Raffaele’s DNA would have been found too if they had been there.” (Her claim is false: in fact, only four samples yielding Guede’s DNA were found in the bedroom, and some were very scant.)
Bongiorno focused on investigation mistakes and complained that Raffaele Sollecito “was put in jail because of a shoe print found beyond the duvet which covered the body, a print that was attributed to Guede.” She also commented on Knox’s handwritten memoir and again put forward the claim – already rejected by all the judges of all instances – that the statement should be “not usable” because there was a “blackout” of defendant guarantees. Apparently, Bongiorno did understand that the most dangerous threat, and the actual battleground, would be about the danger of having Knox now definitively convicted for calunnia.
Bongiorno said “we do not want to put the scientific police on trial” but then said the point defence demonstrated was that they made “an infinite series of errors.” In fact, Bongiorno’s speech largely consisted of the well-known defense stance of pointing the finger at a list of supposed wrong-doings by the police.
Bongiorno’s argument of pointing out supposed “police mistakes” would probably ring true to Knox’s Amarican supporters, who may find these arguments convincing and effective.
In fact, it was obvious that Bongiorno’s position was extremely weak, and that her arguments were not going to have any effect. The weakness of Bongiorno’s arguments was obvious from the start because she backed into arguing the case only on the merit of investigation techniques.
Her arguments would maybe resonate effectively with uninformed spectators, but they had already failed in those courts that were legitimate, and they have no consequence from a legal standpoint. Talking about supposed mistakes during the investigation and supposed bad behavior of police are good to build a narrative for journalists, but they would have zero effect on expert judges.
I think she knew she was going to lose, but besides being a lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno is also a smart public person, and she plays in the public arena as well as in a court of law at the same time. Her technical stances are all wrong, but she knows she will be remembered well for her good-looking performance.
The president did not interrupt her, showing due politeness toward the defence attorneys. But no attorney would convince the Supreme Court by simply saying “we demonstrated that the investigators made mistakes.”
In order to seek to obtain some positive effect, she should have argued in favor of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict on points of law, and put forward arguments for their legitimacy; for example, an argument in response to point #1 of Galati’s recourse claiming that the appointing of DNA experts was unmotivated.
Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova had to take care of their own recourse against the conviction for calunnia on the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. Their line of defence on this point was the same – and could be nothing else – than what they maintained though all the previous instances. Dalla Vedova deals with the handwritten note where he understands “Amanda says she is confused, she does not care about what she said.”
They reintroduced the myth that “she had been interrogated by the investigators for 54 hours.” They explain – almost a paradoxical argument – that the document was “a defensive paper” while then becoming one of the elements on which the charge of calunnia was built. They stressed that “she wanted to cooperate” with the investigation and that “she was a friend of Meredith.”
A failure of their arguments was easily predictable because their recourse was built on points that had already failed at lower instances. Some time ago before this appeal, I posted this criticism of the Ghirga-Dalla Vedova recourse on Knox’s calunnia conviction to the Supreme Court:
Pages 3-11: The first argument is about the non-usability of the evidence for the crime of calunnia.
Such an argument is basically the re-proposal of the same argument that had been already dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2008, and subsequently by Massei-Cristiani in 2009 and also by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti. Therefore, it is an especially weak argument. Ghirga-Dalla Vedova do attempt to use it again at the Supreme Court because it is what they have.
Just like Giulia Bongiorno will likely recall it too, just like she attempted to request of nullification of Stefanoni’s testimony on procedure grounds before Massei, which was rejected again by Hellmann-Zanetti (the Knox supporters have such a spun perception of the proceedings, they apparently don’t see how some basic defensive claims were rejected by all judges).
Pages 11-14 complete the first argument, addressing the further requirements of the crime of calunnia (maliciousness and voluntarity).
Basically, this point contends that the false accusation was not voluntary or not malicious. The only usable point in my opinion in this reasoning consists of one line, which recalls that Hellmann-Zanetti did not acknowledge the aggravation of continuance for the crime of calunnia. But this point has no consequence because it is a weak point in Hellmann’s verdict itself which violates jurisprudence and logic itself.
The other claims at this point are basically useless; they attack the Hellmann verdict in a way peculiar to the prosecution appeal with an opposite stance. But in fact “not knowing” that someone is factually innocent obviously cannot be extended to an absolute meaning; Hellmann is illogical on that, because he dismisses the logical link with the murder without explanation.
Pages 14-18 speak about the alleged “extreme exhaustion” of Knox in order to exculpate her of her confusion and falsehood.
This argument tends to be a stronger attempt to use some of the contradiction in Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti, using as a starting point the fact that H-Z did state that Knox was allegedly under excessive pressure. They convicted her for calunnia nonetheless. I think this argument won’t go too far, for two reasons.
First, because it’s basically on the merits; it quotes the whole writing of Knox and requests the SC to directly re-assess the sincerity of her words, something which the SC are unlikely to do.
Second, because while on the one hand there is a contradiction in H-Z as they accuse her of calunnia but do not use her writings as an evidence of lying on the other crime, and they reject the continuance despite the obvious link between the calunnia and the murder, on the other hand the contradiction addressed by Ghirga is weaker. There was in fact no factual finding about “excessive pressure,” neither in the H-Z appeal trial nor in previous Massei testimonies.
As for jurisprudence, pressure and “psychological alteration” itself is not enough to cause a loss of mental faculties to understand and will. Basically, most crimes are committed in a state of psychological stress or alteration, and people are responsible for themselves notwithstanding. The faculty to understand and will is not a psychological condition; it is something that affects the cognitive and decisional functioning of the brain on more basic functions, and requires a medical assessment.
So there is no way the argument of Ghirga-Dalla Vedova can overturn a conviction for calunnia based on an argument of psychological conditions: they have no basis; and there is no consistent ground to assert “excessive pressure” either.
Pages 19-20 is a very short argument about two articles of the code that Ghirga puts in in relation to a case of defensive rights.
This is an argument I am unable to assess clearly. This point basically claims Knox is somehow protected by the law because of an extension of her rights of defence. I have the feeling this point is wrong, because the boundaries of the right to defend oneself are already fixed and limited by a SC ruling of 2008, and because Article 51 only applies to what she declared as a defendant, but not to what she declared as a witness.
Pages 20-22 is only about the sentencing and not about innocence; it claims that, anyway, even if Amanda is guilty of calunnia, the punishment was too stiff and this severity was not logically motivated by Hellmann. This point is the only that could stand, in my opinion.
After the hearing of March 25 – which was the ninth case the Supreme Court panel dealt with that day – the panel deliberated for six hours, then adjourned the hearing and scheduled the final decision for the following morning.
The question whether to annul the verdict entirely, or to confirm the calunnia conviction, might have been the cause of some of the extra time needed.
When the Supreme Court has to deal with scheduled cases the relator puts a mark – between 1 and 8 – indicating the difficulty of the case: 1 is the easiest and 8 is very complex.
Almost all recourses are below 3, while a case like the one on the Narducci investigation a week earlier, involving Mignini, could have been closer to 8. The difficulty of this case is unknown. But because of some sensitive jurisprudence involved and because of the articulation of the recourses, this could have been around 6 or higher.
After retirement of the court, and adjournment to the subsequent day, at 10 am on March 26, the court’s dispositivo was the following:
ENDING THE RESERVATION FROM THE HEARING OF 03-25-2013, [THE COURT] DECIDES AS FOLLOWS: ANNULS THE IMPUGNED VERDICT, LIMITED TO THE CRIMES UNDER CHARGES: A) (INTO WHICH CHARGE C) IS ABSORBED), B), D), E), AND TO THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER C.P. ART. 61 NO.2 IN RELATION TO CHARGE F), AND REMANDS [THE CASE] TO THE CORTE DI ASSISE DI APPELLO OF FLORENCE FOR A NEW TRIAL. REJECTS THE APPEAL OF AMANDA MARIE KNOX, WHOM IT SENTENCES TO THE PAYMENT OF COURT COSTS AS WELL AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PRESENT PROCEEDINGS BY CIVIL PARTY DIYA LUMUMBA, IN THE AMOUNT OF 4000 (FOUR THOUSAND) EUROS, IN ADDITION TO I.V.A. AND C.P.A., PLUS GENERAL EXPENSES ACCORDING TO LAW.
Thus, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are sent back to appeal trial in Florence on all charges related to the rape and murder of Meredith Kercher (a, b, c, d, e). And Knox is definitively declared guilty of the obstruction of justice charge known as calunnia, while the argument denying any logical link between the calunnia and the murder is quashed.
The article above draws in part upon a translation into English of news information published by various Italian press sources, which our readers may like to look at directly. A good coverage of the case – including Riello’s speech – was broadcast by RaiNews 24 and they also have a lot of information on the website. Online updates were provided by Televideo. Commentaries and discussions were hosted on Radio1 - GR Rai. Dr Riello’s comments were reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano and Style.it. There were reports on Libero Italy.it. Also details and chronicles were reported at the end of the day by Il Giornale dell’Umbria. Coverage and the quotes for March 25 were provided by AGI. The dispositivo official document was obtained and published by Andrea Vogt.
Archived in Italian justice v others, The convicted perps, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Florence appeal, The wider contexts
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