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Sunday, September 16, 2012
Powerpoints #15: Katie Couric Interviews Raffaele Sollecito! We Already Have A Sneak Preview!!
Posted by Kermit
We are not really too surprised that Sollecito caves, as we observe the Sollecito camp increasingly panicked now by the appeal of Dr Galati, Still, thanks a lot Katie insiders! Thanks a lot Sollecito-camp insiders!
And a great job on the couch, Katie Couric. You managed to winkle out the truth and respect the REAL victim even if Raffaele seemed a little tongue-tied…
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Crime hypotheses, Kermit Powerpoints, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Solleci book hoaxes
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Thursday, September 13, 2012
Questions For Sollecito: Katie Couric, Push Back Against Sollecito’s Bluster And False Facts #1
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Last Monday at 3:00 pm in the ABC TV1 studio on West 66th in New York city, Katie Couric launched a one-hour talk-show which will run five days a week. Next tuesday she will interview Raffaele Sollecito.
Who is Katie Couric?
In the fifteen years leading up to 2006, Katie Couric was a lively, bright and often very funny morning-show compere on NBC’s Today show . In 2006, she switched to CBS, to become the first woman to anchor the evening news. She also did a number of interviews for CBS’s 60 Minutes airing on Sunday nights.
In those years, she cultivated the broadest range of interview styles of anyone in American TV. Many of her interview questions are sympathetic puffballs. Her own husband died of cancer in 1998 when he was 42 and she 41, with two daughters not yet in their teens, so she relates unusually well to guests who have had tragedies in their own lives.
At other times, though, she can be as tenacious as a tiger. In 2008 she did a series of interviews with Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, in which Palin looked far from ready for prime time. Palin and John McCain, the presidential candidate, lost the election to Barack Obama and Joe Biden by a substantial margin.
Some still blame Couric for asking Palin the few “gotcha” questions which stumped her, though in general it is accepted that Couric helped to show up somebody too misinformed, strident and shoot-from-the-hip to be a president-in-waiting. A recent movie version confirmed this.
So which Couric will viewers see weekdays on ABC? The puffball thrower, or the tiger? Almost certainly a bit of both, for ABC hope it is this danger and uncertainty in Couric’s interviews that will drag millions of viewers in daily.
The Sollecito interview next tuesday
For Katie Couric, this represents a good opportunity - she could really make news here - and maybe something of a risk. The risk comes only if she is briefed only by the Knox-Sollecito PR people and the book agents and book publishers that handle Sollecito.
She may leave her millions of viewers only dimly aware of Sollecito’s true legal status, and presuming that both Sollecito and Knox are off the hook, and that there is “no evidence”, and that those meanie Italians have done something really nefarious.
All of the media reports on Sollecito and Knox this past week that said “they were acquitted” have it seriously wrong.
This is merely the interval between the second act (the first appeal of 2011) and the third (the Supreme Court appeal 0f 2013) which will start playing out on 23 March. There could be several more acts to come, maybe including a complete repeat of the first appeal, which the Supreme Court has not hesitated to insist on before.
Meanwhile, Sollecito’s correct legal status under Italian law (along with that of Amanda Knox) is that he still stands accused of murdering Meredith, until the Supreme Court signs off on a verdict.
The risk for Couric is that if she does only a puffball interview, and allows herself to be snowed by the dishonest PR and in effect turned into yet another shill, she could come down on what could soon emerge as the losing side, and helped build sympathy for a killer.
We just saw the perfect example of this. A senior psychology professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, less than 10 minutes walk from ABC’s west-side studios, swallowed the PR line on Knox and Sollecito without the slightest checking. You can read his sorry story here and here.
Since then, only an embarrassed silence.
This is a 20 point road-map of the Perugia case for the Couric people and any new readers that her show sends to TJMK and PMF. Post (2) will have some really tough questions, which Sollecito can be expected to flunk. With luck, these posts will turn Couric & company into tigers. Enjoy the hot seat, Sollecito.
1. Sollecito is not the real victim in this case
While Couric’s predecessor Oprah was snowed by the PR 18 months ago, she did to her credit remember Meredith, and closed with a huge photo of her that lingered. This is the real Meredith as an in-memoriam post described her.
Meredith really hit the ground running in Perugia. She had dreamed of it for a long time.
She bonded immediately with her two nice Italian flatmates, who were both working in town, and soon with the neighbors downstairs. Within days she had an “instant crowd’ of the girls from Leeds and other UK universities.
She liked the house, liked the clubs, liked walking Perugia, liked the culture and the fun festivals in Perugia. Her first encounters with her new boyfriend downstairs, an Italian musician, were said to be shy and sweet.
And she was focused and already working her tail off. She had won a well-funded Erasmus grant and although she wanted to work a little, she had no worries about money.
She arrived with an excellent command of Italian after two years of hard study at the European Studies school in Leeds, and at the Università per Stranieri she was clearly going to excel.
She was also studying politics and economics at the main university, which was very close, and she seemed set to go very far. her eyes were already on the powerful international bodies in Brussels.
2. Italy’s excellent justice system is very pro defendant
Prosecutors have to jump through more hoops than any other system in the world. Major errors and framings of innocent parties never make it through to a final guilty verdict. Please read here and here.
Proportionally Italy has only one-seventh the murder rate of the US and proportionally less than one-twentieth of the prison population of the US. Hardly a justice system out of control. .
3. Meredith’s murder was a cruel and depraved act
Although a key trial session on the barbaric 15-minute struggle with Meredith was closed to the public Italians know how cruel and depraved it was and how it HAD to have involved three attackers.
4. The case was well investigated and well prosecuted
The investigation and crime-scene analysis resulted in a very powerful case at trial as that long series of Powerpoints brilliantly summarises
The judges’ reasoning was brilliant and precise and showed NO media influence, NO satanic theory, NO desperate prosecutor, NO rush to judgment, and NO hint that it had all been inspired by Knox’s and Sollecito’s quirky callous behavior after Meredith died - that behavior by the way suggested they enjoyed toying with the police until they were finally arrested.
They were convicted based on clashing alibis, autopsy evidence, blood evidence, footprint evidence, cellphone evidence, computer-use evidence, eye-witness evidence, and so on and on. Quirky callous behavior (which did happen) was barely on the radar at trial.
5. Knox and Sollecito were never cross examined at trial
Had they been, they would almost certainly have collapsed almost instantly - as Couric hopefully will find out.
Instead, the defendants made repeated unchallenged statements to the court, as the Italian system allows, many highly self-serving, and when Knox took the stand only to explain why she fingered Patrick Lumumba, prosecution questions were highly hedged by prior agreement.
These are among the many dozens of open questions (more for Sollecito in our next post) which the defendants have still never confronted.
- Here is Kermit’s list of 150 questions which so far have never been answered by either of the formerly convicted perps.
- Here is Kermit on Sollecito’s footprint on the mat which Judge Micheli and Judge Massei accepted and Judge Hellman only weakly and possibly illegally rebutted.
- Here again is the Machine on RS’s various alibis the strange arc of which two years later is still unexplained.
- Here is lawyer SomeAlibi’s list of evidence points of a year ago which Hellman weakly rebutted or ignored and which still call for convincing explanations.
6. This was no lone wolf crime by Rudy Guede alone
After a fatuous failed attempt by a defense attorney to have a tall athletic staff member climb through Filomena’s bedroom window the defenses NEVER EVER argued that Guede acting alone could have done it.
They simply ignored the evidence of a rearranged crime scene in that bedroom and at appeal introduced TWO conflicting witnesses Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello to try to show other people were involved. Both collapsed under examination.
7. Investigative and prosecution staff performed just fine
Curt Knox’s campaign and American media have carried out what looks to us like the real frame here, that of claiming (only in English) that the police and investigators and prosecution were corrupt or incompetent or driven by Satan.
NONE of this conspircacy theory is believed by anyone in Italy who knows about it. Police and investigators and prosecution had every chance to explain themselves (in Italian) in the court and newspapers and on TV. Read here and here and here and here.
8. The “guilty” trial outcomes convinced more than Italians
With few exceptions Italians continue to regard Sollecito and Knox as guilty. No wonder he is so desperate to get out of the place. He was never ever very popular there, and prior to Meredith’s murder he came across like a perverted loner with a drug habit who needed constant supervision by his father.
In 2008 when Sollecito was being transported to Verona University for an entrance exam in virtual reality (which he failed) he was yelled at by an angry crowd when the police van stopped at an autostrada service area for a restroom break. He was bundled back in and the police van took off in a hurry.
The entire officialdom of Perugia holds a pro-guilt view. Umbria’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati holds this view. Relevant officials in Rome all hold this view. Probably 95 percent of the interested Italian population hold this view. The vast majority of Italian journalists hold this view. The Rome-based foreign reporters all hold this view. A large if unknown fraction in the UK and US populations hold this view.
Behind the scenes in the NYC media a majority seem to hold this view. Some of the publishers who were offered the books hold this view. Hillary Clinton and the ambassador in Rome seem to hold this view. Many lawyers and even judges who read here hold this view. Even Knox’s and Sollecitos lawyers at trial in 2009 seemed less than firm believers in them.
Even some who knew Knox and Sollecito from way back in childhood in their home towns were unsurprised when they were first arrested and locked up in November 2007.
9. Both families face trials for attempted subversion of justice
While suggestive of a belief in their offsprings’ guilt rather than probative, both families are charged with attempts to subvert justice. Knox’s parents are being sued by the police interrogators who they claimed without evidence had abused her. (Mignini is not one of them, as he was not there.)
The highly qualified senior criminal judge in Perugia Judge Chiari was slated to preside over the appeal. He was mysteriously yanked at the last moment and reported angry, and instead two ill-qualified civil judges with questionable impartiality (they each had something to gain from a not-guilty verdict) presided over the appeal.
Our Italian lawyers say this is the most amateurish sentencing report in a murder case they have even seen. Please read here.
12. The independent DNA report’s quality is appalling
There a strong internal hint that the grandstanding American academic Hampikian might have been involved in its creation. Please read here.
13. The prosecution has lodged a very strong Supreme Court appeal
The chief prosecutor of the province of Umbria, Dr Galati, was himself until last year a deputy chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court in Rome. His expertise and credibility at this level outclasses that of all the other lawyers on the case combined. Please read here.
14. More trouble ahead for the families and defenses in other cases
Please read here. The key cases from the point of view of an outcome for Sollecito and Knox are the investigations into Alessi and especially Luciano Aviello who claimed that bribes were offered in his prison for testimony favorable to Sollecito.
That Judge Hellmann chose not to pursue that stunning claim, which could have thrown the appeal trial, is one of the points of Dr Galati’s appeal to the Supreme Court which if accepted could result in a new appeal trial.
It could also result in Sollecito’s lead lawyer Giulia Bongiorno (who is reputed to dislike him) having to take herself off the case.
15. Sollecito did a much derided interview in Italy
This was late last year after the appeal verdict. That much-watched one-hour interview with Sollecito seems to have totally bombed. Sollecito gave little away, and sounded smug, narcissistic, whiny, and sophomoric.
He probably convinced nobody of his innocence and reinforced the suspicions of those who are pro-guilt. He is said to come across 5 to 10 years below his real age, and that certainly is what happened here. After that one interview, other Italian networks were not exactly lining up for more of the same.
There are of course many excellent pro-guilt commentators in Italy, including Garofano, Sarzanini, Benedettelli, Giuttiari, and Castellini, Dont hold your breath hoping the little coward is ever put face to face with them.
16. No lawyers or media lawyers now publicly support RS
The probable problem is that they have actually got to grips with the translated court documents. Even Knox legal advisors Ted Simon and Robert Barnettt have long been silent. Please read here and here and here.
17. Several who did speak out for him looked like PR shills
Geraldo Rivera of Fox cable TV was one who bizarrely spoke out, and Jane Velez Mitchell of CNN Headline News was another. So was Joe Tacopina of ABC News, who also soon disappeared. So was Lis Wiehl. So was John Q Kelly.
18. Several good media lawyers speak out against him
In the USA Nancy Grace, Wendy Murphy, Jeanine Pirro, and Ann Coulter have all stated that they perceive guilt. Please read here and here and here and here.
19. Public relations hoaxes in attempt to help defendants
While suggestive of a belief in their offsprings’ guilt rather than probative, campaigns for both defendants have run under the Italian radar what amounted to hoaxes to mislead the American and British publics. Please read here and here.
Agents and ghost writers and publishers for the pro-Sollecito and pro Knox books also seem to fall into this category. Please read here and here and here and here.
20. Bigotry and xenophobia should be no part of any campaign
Huge strains of bigotry against Italians and black people and xenophobia against Italy have always been kept on the boil by Curt Knox’s defense campaign. Oprah Winfrey didnt realise, and she ended up in the absurd position of supporting probable white killers while pointing only to Rudy Guede, a black man, and smearing Italy.
Curt Knox’s hatchet men have made a considerable industry out of ridiculing the Italian police and the prosecution - but only in English. As explained here the police for the most part are the Italian equivalent of the FBI and considered among the finest in the world.
There were always several prosecutors at least on the case throughout the entire process, and they all followed the letter of the law. The impugning of Italian officials by falsely accusing them of crimes as Curt Knox’s campaign often does is itself a crime under Italian law.
Italians and Italian-Americans and Italian officials and black people everywhere deserve very much better than this. Katie Couric seems ideally suited to finally assert a balance and a return to decency, legality, and justice for the true victim, Meredith, and her loving family.
She should use this interview to nail Sollecito and hammer a stake through the PR campaign’s heart.
Next post: questions we recommend that Katie Couric put to Raffaele Sollecito.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Solleci book hoaxes
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Friday, August 24, 2012
Giulia Bongiorno Loses A High Profile Case Watched All Over Europe And May Soon Lose Another
Posted by Peter Quennell
The real national pasttime is soccer as the thousands of YouTubes and Google images and news reports and hundreds of blogs attest. The case Giulia Borngiorno has just so publicly lost concerns the coach Antonio Conte (image below) of the crack Turin club Juventus.
The Juventus coach Antonio Conte is set to miss the whole of the Serie A season with the defending champions after losing his appeal against a 10-month ban over a match-fixing scandal.
Conte, who led an undefeated Juventus to the Italian title in his first season in charge, was banned on 10 August for failing to report two incidents of match-fixing in the 2010-11 season when he was coach of Siena.
The Italian federation (FIGC) said in a statement on Wednesday that Conte, whose hearing was heard on Monday, had lost his appeal.
Giulia Bongiorno seems to have a tendency to be a sore loser. La Gazetta del Sporto quotes her “the dog ate my homework” excuse thus:
Giulia Bongiorno said — “We were not given the opportunity to defend ourselves to the full. This is a violation of constitutional rights which go far beyond these issues. Negotiating sentences is becoming very attractive for those who falsely turn state’s evidence,” said Giulia Bongiorno, Antonio Conte’s legal representative.
“If you examine Carobbio and find him not credible, and if you take one of his crutches away (the charges regarding Novara v Siena, Ed), the other one will collapse too, because Conte is being charged with the same thing for Siena v AlbinoLeffe. Carobbio is a bit like Jessica Rossi at the Olympics, and the only clay-pigeon missed is Novara v Siena. And our intention was not to obtain a reduction in the sentence, if it had been we would have negotiated.”
This is the most public case Bongiorno has lost since the Andreotti mafia-connection appeal in 2002. She was on the defense against Prosecutor Dr. Sergio Matteini Chiari.
This is the same Dr. Sergio Matteini Chiari who as the highly competent head of the Umbria courts’ criminal division was first nominated to preside over the Sollecito-Knox appeal.
Giulia Bongiorno, who did some very odd things during the trial and appeal to ensure winning, at least one of which is being investigated, is also the powerful head of the justice committee in the parliament.
Is that the mother of all conflicts of interest or what?! We know of no parallel in any other country and it seems highly unconstitutional. Nevertheless, despite all the caution of the Italian justice system, this conflict is allowed to persist.
In November 2002 Prosecutor Chiari won his prosecution appeal, and the ex-PM Mr Andreotti was sentenced to 24 years (later reversed by the Supreme Court).
Giulia Bongiorno was widely reported as collapsing in court at the verdict, and seemed to take it very hard.
Fast forward to 2010. Suddenly Giulia Bongiorno is about to face Dr Chiari once again, as a judge in what was to be a very tough appeal. Under UK and US law, she would have had to be the one to step aside, or not even take the case back in 2008.
But she didn’t step aside.
Instead, all of a sudden, lo and behold, her nemesis back in 2002 is yanked off the 2011 appeal trial, and seemingly demoted to head the childrens’ branch of the court. Meanwhile, labor judge Hellmann is in effect promoted, into being the lead judge in the murder appeal.
Who made the call from Rome that fixed this suspicious judge rearrangement? Rumors around Perugia suggest that maybe it was made or inspired by the head of the justice committee in the parliament.
True or not, the seriously out-of-his-depth labor judge Hellmann joined the seriously out-of-his-depth civil judge Zanetti - and produced an appeal verdict and reasoning the chief prosecutor of Umbria Dr Galati sees as a complete fiasco.
Contending with the myriad illegalities of this reasoning is for Dr Galati like shooting fish in a barrel. Bongiorno may soon be facing yet another big loss if Cassation accept his prosecution arguments.
As they say, always be careful what you wish for. Wishing for Hellmann might have been a bridge too far.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Hellmann appeal, Hellmann Report, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Other legal cases, Others Italian, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Thursday, August 09, 2012
Correcting Saul Kassin’s Massively Inaccurate Description Of Amanda Knox’s So-Called Confession
Posted by brmull
Conflicts between Kassin’s academic and court personas
Saul Kassin is a psychologist with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He tries to advance the notion academically and in court that many confessions are coerced by the police and thus false.
In writing about American cases of confessions, Kassin would normally be very sure to interview all the parties to the confession. Police would not simply be sidelined, and the confessor’s tale would not be the only narrative he pays attention to. His academic pieces would normally be peer-reviewed and any claims which were questionable would be examined by the academic peers or the readership. False claims by Kassin could result in criminal complaints and civil lawsuits.
It is quite clear from online postings that Saul Kassin was taken on as a hired gun for the Knox defense in the Knox/Sollecito trial in Perugia. He was being paid NOT to simply be academic and objective, he was being paid to give the police witnesses and prosecution as hard a time as possible.
Although he seems to have flown to Perugia at one point he definitely did not encounter let alone interview even one police officer, even one prosecutor or even one judge. He made no visit to the questura where the Knox questioning took place. He doesnt speak or read Italian so he would not be able to get to grip with original evidence.
He does not reveal if and when he interviewed Amanda Knox herself. She makes no mention of any meeting with Kassin in her book. Kassin was definitely not in court in mid-2009 when Amanda Knox was cross-examined for two days on the witness stand about her false allegations against Patrick Lumumba. Her stint on the stand was regarded as a disaster for her by most of those present.
Conflicts consequentially plaguing Kassin’s academic judgments
During the Hellmann appeal in 2011 [subsequently annulled by the Supreme Court in 2013] Kassin started to use his academic standing and ostensible objectivity to propagate to American and later global audiences his hired-gun take for the defense. He had still not interviewed anyone in the Perugia police or prosecution.
He never made clear that his description of Knox’s interrogation was already UNIVERSALLY discredited in Italy - and that even Knox had admitted that the police treated her fairly. He never explained what peer review process his many pieces went through. Not one police officer or prosecutor in Perugia was contacted by any peer reviewer seeking confirmations. This suggests either that there was no peer review or it was unethically cooked in some way.
Our own peer reviews of Kassins proliferating claims
One month ago my fellow poster the Machine took apart ten claims which Saul Kassin made last year in a Seattle radio interview. As the Machine showed, every one of those claims fall apart once one refers to official documents and the more objective case books and websites.
Another post one month ago by my fellow poster Fuji showed that Amanda Knox is NOT likely to issue false confessions in the heat of an interrogation moment.
That is Kassin’s key claim here, and in effect Fuji used Kassin’s own “science” against him.
Then we were warned by a John Jay colleague critical of Kassin that he had repeated these same spurious claims live on television - and that Kassin had made even more wrong claims in a keynote speech to a conference of the elite John Jay College in June in New York, in front of an influential international audience.
And he did so again in a paper, possibly peer-reviewed, which the respected journal American Psychologist has placed online. This post provides the truth on the Knox-related claims at the front and back ends of that American Psychologist paper.
Saul Kassin still appears to want to argue that Amanda Knox was convicted ONLY based on a false confession (as the Machine and numerous posts on TJMK show, she wasn’t - and in fact, Knox didn’t even confess) and he now makes almost 50 erroneous assertions about the case.
You can see highlighted in the first box-quote below those misleading and erroneous passages of PR shill Kassin which I correct in the second box-quote below.
(1) SAUL KASSIN’S ORIGINAL VERSION WITH WRONG STATEMENTS HIGHLIGHTED
As illustrated by the story of Amanda Knox and many others wrongfully convicted, false confessions often trump factual innocence. Focusing on consequences, recent research suggests that confessions are powerfully persuasive as a matter of logic and common sense; that many false confessions contain richly detailed narratives and accurate crime facts that appear to betray guilty knowledge; and that confessions in general can corrupt other evidence from lay witnesses and forensic experts—producing an illusion of false support. This latter phenomenon, termed “corroboration inflation,” suggests that pretrial corroboration requirements as well as the concept of “harmless error” on appeal are based on an erroneous presumption of independence among items of evidence. In addition to previously suggested reforms to police practices that are designed to curb the risk of false confessions, measures should be taken as well to minimize the rippling consequences of those confessions….
Meredith Kercher was found raped and murdered in Perugia, Italy. Almost immediately, police suspected 20-year-old Amanda Knox, an American student and one of Kercher’s roommates—the only one who stayed in Perugia after the murder. Knox had no history of crime or violence and no motive. But something about her demeanor—such as an apparent lack of affect, an outburst of sobbing, or her girlish and immature behavior— led police to believe she was involved and lying when she claimed she was with Raffaele Sollecito, her new Italian boyfriend, that night.
Armed with a prejudgment of Knox’s guilt, several police officials interrogated the girl on and off for four days. Her final interrogation started on November 5 at 10 p.m. and lasted until November 6 at 6 a.m., during which time she was alone, without an attorney, tag-teamed by a dozen police, and did not break for food or sleep. In many ways, Knox was a vulnerable suspect—young, far from home, without family, and forced to speak in a language in which she was not fluent. Knox says she was repeatedly threatened and called a liar. She was told, falsely, that Sollecito, her boyfriend, disavowed her alibi and that physical evidence placed her at the scene. She was encouraged to shut her eyes and imagine how the gruesome crime had occurred, a trauma, she was told, that she had obviously repressed. Eventually she broke down crying, screaming, and hitting herself in the head. Despite a law that mandates the recording of interrogations, police and prosecutors maintain that these sessions were not recorded.
Two “confessions” were produced in this last session, detailing what Knox called a dreamlike “vision.” Both were typed by police—one at 1:45 a.m., the second at 5:45 a.m. She retracted the statements in a handwritten letter as soon as she was left alone (“In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make it clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion.”). Notably, nothing in the confessions indicated that she had guilty knowledge. In fact, the statements attributed to Knox were factually incorrect on significant core details (e.g., she named as an accomplice a man whom police had suspected but who later proved to have an ironclad alibi; she failed to name another man, unknown to police at the time, whose DNA was later identified on the victim). Nevertheless, Knox, Sollecito, and the innocent man she implicated were all immediately arrested. In a media-filled room, the chief of police announced: Caso chiuso (case closed).
Police had failed to provide Knox with an attorney or record the interrogations, so the confessions attributed to her were ruled inadmissible in court. Still, the damage was done. The confession set into motion a hypothesis-confirming investigation, prosecution, and conviction. The man whose DNA was found on the victim, after specifically stating that Knox was not present, changed his story and implicated her while being prosecuted. Police forensic experts concluded that Knox’s DNA on the handle of a knife found in her boyfriend’s apartment also contained Kercher’s blood on the blade and that the boyfriend’s DNA was on the victim’s bra clasp. Several eyewitnesses came forward. An elderly woman said she was awakened by a scream followed by the sound of two people running; a homeless drug addict said he saw Knox and Sollecito in the vicinity that night; a convicted drug dealer said he saw all three suspects together; a grocery store owner said he saw Knox the next morning looking for cleaning products; one witness said he saw Knox wielding a knife.
On December 5, 2009, an eight-person jury convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of murder. The two were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively. Finally, on October 3, 2011, after having been granted a new trial, they were acquitted. [Actually they still stand accused - and facing a tough fact-based prosecution appeal] Ten weeks later, the Italian appeals court released a strongly worded 143-page opinion in which it criticized the prosecution and concluded that there was no credible evidence, motive, or plausible theory of guilt. For the four years of their imprisonment, this story drew international attention (for comprehensive overviews of the case, see Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011).1
It is now clear that the proverbial mountain of discredited evidence used to convict Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito was nothing but a house of cards built upon a false confession. The question posed by this case, and so many others like it, is this: Why do confessions so often trump innocence? ...
Third, it is important to realize that not all evidence is equally malleable or subject to corroboration inflation. Paralleling classic research indicating that expectations can color judgments of people, objects, and other stimuli that are ambiguous as opposed to those that compel a particular perception, forensic research indicates that ambiguity is a moderating condition. Asked to report on an event or make an identification decision on the basis of a memory trace that cannot be recovered, eyewitnesses are particularly malleable when confronted with evidence of a confession (Hasel & Kassin, 2009). This phenomenon was illustrated in the case against Amanda Knox. When police first interviewed Knox’s British roommates, not one reported that there was bad blood between Knox and the victim. After Knox’s highly publicized confession, however, the girls brought forth new “memories,” telling police that Kercher was uncomfortable with Knox and the boys she would bring home (Burleigh, 2011). ...
In recent years, psychologists have been critical of the problems with accuracy, error, subjectivity, and bias in various types of criminal evidence—prominently including eyewitness identification procedures, police interrogation practices, and the so-called forensic identification sciences, all leading Saks and Koehler (2005) to predict a “coming paradigm shift.” With regard to confessions, it now appears that this shift should encompass not only reforms that serve to minimize the risk of false confessions but measures designed to minimize the rippling consequences of those confessions—as in the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted.
(2) MY REPLACEMENT VERSION WITH CORRECT FACTS AND CONTEXT NOW INCLUDED
On November 2, 2007, British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found sexually attacked and murdered in Perugia, Italy. The next day, 20-year-old Amanda Knox, an American student and one of Kercher’s roommates, became a person of interest, along with Meredith’s downstairs neighbors and several of her other acquaintances. Interviewing close contacts is a cornerstone of police work. Two of Meredith’s close English friends, who were so scared they couldn’t sleep alone, left Perugia in the immediate aftermath of the murder. Everyone else stayed on.
Months before arriving in Perugia, Knox received a citation for a noise violation when a going-away party she’d thrown for herself in Seattle got out of hand. One of the officers described it as a “scene from Baghdad.” Within about three weeks of moving into the cottage in Perugia, Knox was ejected from a nightclub for pouring her glass on the head of a disc jockey.
It’s often said that Knox had no motive to kill Meredith, but it was Knox’s claim of drug use which indicated a possible motive: a drug-fuelled assault. There are various others, though a motive is not actually required for conviction. In crime scene videos from the day Meredith’s body was discovered, Knox can be seen outside the cottage glancing furtively around. Still, it was not this and other odd behavior, but rather the many conflicting witness statements by Knox and her new Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, that led police to believe Knox was involved and lying when she claimed she was with Sollecito at his home continuously on the night of November 1.
Police interviewed dozens of witnesses in the days after the murder, some more than once. All witness statements were written down and signed for, not recorded. The police interviewed Sollecito for the third time beginning at 10:40pm on November 5. Knox later testified that she voluntarily accompanied her boyfriend to the station, because she didn’t want to be alone. The police did not summon her. To the interviewers’ surprise, Sollecito repudiated his earlier alibi when shown phone records, and now said Knox had left his apartment for much of the evening. Some time after 11:00pm the police asked if they might interview Knox. An interpreter was called and by 1:45am Knox had given a signed statement that she had witnessed the sounds of her employer, bar owner Patrick Lumumba, murdering Meredith at the cottage.
In that statement she acknowledged that she had been given an interpreter, and that she herself was now officially a suspect. Knox later testified that she was treated well. She was offered snacks and drinks during the interview and afterward. Made aware that she could not be interrogated without a lawyer, but still anxious to put out as much information as possible, she then requested a chance to make a spontaneous statement without any questioning. Dr Mignini, the magistrate on duty, was called from his home, and she gave a statement in front of him very similar to her witness statement from hours earlier. He asked no questions.
Knox and the police gave different accounts of how the 11:00 to 1:45 am interview was conducted. Police said Knox was told Sollecito now no longer confirmed her alibi and he had called her a liar. She now had no alibi. Sympathetic to her because Knox was freaking out, the interpreter urged her to try to remember at least something. Shown a text she had sent to Lumumba at 8:35pm saying “See you later. Have a good evening!” she was asked to explain this. The police describe how Knox started to cry and burst out, “It’s him! It’s him!”
Both Knox’s witness statement at 1:45 a.m and her voluntary suspect statement at 5:45am were written out in Italian and translated back to her before she signed. After Knox was formally taken into custody at midday on November 6, she asked for paper and wrote a slight modification of her earlier statements, adding: “In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make it clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion.”
Lumumba was arrested along with Knox and Sollecito. Knox and her mother held out on his non-involvement for weeks, but he was eventually determined to have a solid alibi. Another man, Rudy Guede, was identified through a hand print in Meredith’s bedroom. Knox appeared to have substituted Lumumba for Guede in her statements, and several details of the crime in her so-called confession were later corroborated by witnesses.
Because police had not needed to provide Knox with an attorney at the impromptu witness interview after 11:00, the Supreme Court ruled that statement inadmissible in the murder case against her. However both statements were ruled admissible in court for the purpose of establishing the crime of defamation against Patrick Lumumba. Knox’s November 6 letter was also ruled admissible.
Guede, the man whose DNA was found on the victim, told a friend while he was still on the run that he had found Meredith stabbed and that Knox had nothing to do with the murder. However, in the same conversation, which was recorded by police, he speculated that Knox and Sollecito might have been at the cottage. In a letter dated March 7, 2010, while his sentence was awaiting final confirmation by the Supreme Court, Guede wrote that Knox and Sollecito murdered Meredith. He reiterated this claim as a witness during Knox and Sollecito’s appeal.
Forensic police from Rome concluded that a kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment had Knox’s DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade. Sollecito’s DNA was on the victim’s bra clasp in Meredith’s locked bedroom.
Several eyewitnesses came forward. Three neighbors testified that they heard a disturbance around 11:30pm in the vicinity of the cottage. A homeless man who at appeal admitted heroin use was reading a newsmagazine at the basketball court near the cottage. He testified that he saw Knox and Sollecito four or five times that night. An Albanian, a possible drug dealer. who the Massei court deemed unreliable after the Micheli court accepted him, said he had seen all three suspects together, and that Knox had accosted him with a knife. A grocery store owner testified he saw Knox at his shop early on the morning after the murder.
The conflicting alibis of the two were never resolved during trial. On December 4, 2009, an eight-person panel consisting of two professional judges and six lay judges found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of murder aggravated by sexual assault, simulation of a burglary, unlawful carrying of a knife and, in Knox’s case, criminal defamation of Patrick Lumumba. The two were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively….
Knox’s mother later described her daughter as “oblivious to the dark side of the world.” Knox herself wrote that, on the night of the murder, she and Sollecito were talking about his mother’s suicide. She told him her philosophy was “life is full of choices and that these choices are not necessarily between good and evil, but between what’s better and what’s worse.”...
Results of our own peer-group analysis
Kassin asserted that the witnesses in this case imagined “new memories” unfavorable to Knox because of her highly-publicized confession. He referenced an experiment in which an unknown actor walked into a classroom and stole a laptop. The students were asked to try to identify the thief from a line-up. Two days later, the students were told which person in the line-up had confessed. Many changed their minds when told of the confession, although in truth the thief was never in the line-up at all.
Obviously this contrived scenario has nothing at all to do with Amanda Knox or people who had met her.
In his book, Meredith, the victim’s father John Kercher recalls his daughter complaining about Knox’s poor hygiene and how she brought home strange men several weeks before the murder. Numerous witnesses recounted specific anecdotes of Knox’s sharp-elbowed and offputting behavior. Her circle of friends quickly diminished only to Sollecito.
Really, could all these be “new memories”?
Psychologists studying eyewitness testimony, interrogation techniques and false confessions need to be circumspect. Even DNA testing, considered the best of the forensic sciences, requires a thorough understanding of circumstances in order to be interpreted correctly.
Kassin’s continued stonewalling and legal risks
I really wonder who agreed to publish him. I work in a science-based field. When I first learned Kassin had been recruited by Curt Knox’s hatchet men as a PR shill, had been put directly in touch with Knox herself, and had been provided with pre-selected reading materials, I wrote to ask him why he hadn’t disclosed all this to his readers.
Still no reply.
It’s true that numerous talking heads have exaggerated their qualifications and concealed their conflicts of interest and financial stakes when speaking in support of the defense. Judge Mike Heavey abused his oath of office to try to sway the process.
What’s different about Kassin is that, using his John Jay College aura, he has corrupted the scientific record with misinformation.
And he has done this, at least in part, with the goal of misleading an Italian court. These dirty tricks are especially dangerous because most people, including judges, expect that what’s stated as fact in prominent academic journals is objective and true.
Kassin looks to us nothing like an academic here. He looks instead like a defense hired gun who (only in English and only in America) has repeatedly falsely accused police officers of serious felonies in how they questioned Knox as a witness.
If even a single complaint is lodged in Italy and Kassin cannot prove his 50 or so seemingly-spurious and very damaging claims, he could find himself facing years in an Italian prison for attempted obstruction of justice.
Kassin’s peers need to press him for the truth once and for all, and to stop him using his academic mantle illegally and academically unethically as a cloak for a sleazy defense campaign.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Saul Kassin, Reporting on the case, Poor reporting, The wider contexts
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Friday, July 27, 2012
Heads-Up To The Amanda Knox Forces: A Case Showing How Closely The US and Italian FBIs Co-operate
Posted by Peter Quennell
Meet Doctor Mark Weinberger.
That report about his arrest in Italy was broadcast in 2009. We last posted on him here.
Weinberger was apparently a wildly successful doctor who ran a sinus clinic in Indiana and lived a wildly affluent lifestyle a few milers north outside Chicago. In 2004 he disappeared off his large yacht which was then anchored at a Greek marina, and for six years his (very impressive) wife Michelle presumed he was dead.
In the meantime she had found out that he had actually been running a huge fraud, scamming health insurance and the US government via false billing and unnecessary surgery (often botched) for many millions. And that far from being left comfortably off, she was financially wiped out.
In 2006 in absentia she divorced Weinberger and started over.
In 2009 Weinberger was captured in the Alps by the Italian equivalent of the FBI and returned to the United States as soon as his extradition was requested. In perhaps 99 percent of all US-Italian extradition cases, the fugitives are handed over by both governments very promptly. This sure wasn’t any exception.
Weinberger began to lose the first of numerous civil suits a year ago, and on wednesday he pleaded guilty to 22 criminal charges in federal court.
His prison term is set at ten years.
One moral of the tale apparently still not learned by Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and their hapless ship of fools, so desperate for approbation, is this: much or most of the time it is the fine Italian equivalent of the FBI that they are misrepresenting and defaming.
In the past two weeks alone, we have seen new ramblings by Saul Kassin and Nigel Scott (engineered by Bruce Fischer) that to any informed lawyer are quite crazy. Kassin and Scott clearly didnt have the slightest idea WHO they were defaming or accusing of crimes.
Or how much more determined thier defaming makes the Italian FBI and other law enforcement agencies and the courts to give Amanda Knox (or Curt Knox or Edda Mellas) no special breaks.
The daffy Steve Moore first introduced this confusion way back here. And of course Bruce Fischer, Curt Knox’s hotheaded chief hatchet man, sustains it up to this day.
Eighteen months ago, Chris Mellas (whose business in Seattle is doing well) sensibly recommended from Perugia that the Knox campaign should finally acquire some cool heads and some REAL experts, and toss the trouble-making grand-standers they had acquired over the side.
Perhaps predictably, Curt Knox (whose business in Seattle is doing badly) reacted red-faced and steaming, and shot this seemingly quite smart idea down. So the abrasive, misleading, very amateur campaign goes on.
Added. We are now told that Frank Sforza and David Anderson are in Seattle, and Sollecito will be there soon, to actually jack up the level of defaming in the RS and AK “we were the victims” books being written.
Wow. THAT is Curt Knox’s end-game?l He ran that one past Chris Mellas? It seems universally believed in officialdom in Rome and Perugia that Curt Knox KNEW all along that Amanda did it. Apparently with good evidence.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Police and CSI, Appeals 2009-2014, Extraditions, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Francesco Sforza, More sockpuppets, Other legal cases, Others elsewhere
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Friday, July 13, 2012
Also See This Post Of Jan 2011 Rebutting Kassin’s Substantive Claim Of Forced Confession
Posted by Fuji
This was first posted on 12 January 2011 (see 30+ comments under that post). It shows in effect that EVEN IF the timeline on the night of Knox’s “confession” in which she actually blamed Patrick Lumumba resembled Saul Kassin’s fantasy timeline there is no sign that Amanda Knox is one of the very few with the “right” psycho-sociology to cave quickly under police interrogations.
My original post pre-dates by some month Dr Kassin’s erroneous, self-serving claims to Seattle radio and CBS 48 Hours, and by over a year his misleading KEYNOTE address (scroll down) to the John Jay College global conference last month (see page 31 of the program).
We don’t know yet when Saul Kassin’s submission to the Hellman court via Amanda Knox’s lawyers was made, or the nature of its impact on judges and jury, if any. Dr Kassin is welcome to try to explain all of Amanda Knox’s other “confessions” as described here. Also to try to explain all of Sollecito’s “confessions” as described here.
Meredith’s case is absolutely riddled with fabricated false myths.
They are now found by the hundreds on some misleading websites, and they simply make experienced law enforcement and criminal lawyers laugh.
For example “Police had no good reason to be immediately suspicious of Knox simply because the murder occurred at her residence”. And “The double-DNA knife is a priori to be disregarded as evidence, because no murderer would retain possession of such a murder weapon.”
One of the most strident and widespread myths is that Amanda Knox’s statements to the Perugian investigators on 5 and 6 November 2007, placing her at the scene of Meredith’s murder, are to be viewed as the products of a genuinely confused mind imbued with a naïve trust of authority figures.
The apparent certainty with which many of Amanda Knox’s most vocal supporters proclaim that Knox’s statements are actual “false confessions” as opposed to deliberate lies is not supported by even a cursory reading of the pertinent academic literature regarding false confessions.
What actually are “false confessions”?
Richard N. Kocsis in his book “Applied Criminal Psychology: A Guide to Forensic Behavioral Sciences” (2009), on pages 193-4 delineates three different kinds of false confessions:
First, a voluntary false confession is one in which a person falsely confesses to a crime absent any pressure or coercion from police investigators….
Coerced-compliant false confessions occur when a person falsely confesses to a crime for some immediate gain and in spite of the conscious knowledge that he or she is actually innocent of the crime….
The final type, identified by Kassin and Wrightsman (1985), is referred to as a coerced-internalized false confession. This occurs when a person falsely confesses to a crime and truly begins to believe that he or she is responsible for the criminal act.
The first problem facing Knox supporters wishing to pursue the false confession angle as a point speaking to her purported innocence is epistemological.
Although much research has been done on this phenomenon in recent years, academics are still struggling to come to terms with a methodology to determine their incidence rate.
The current state of knowledge does not support those making sweeping claims about the likelihood of Knox’s statements being representative of a genuine internalized false confession.
As noted by Richard A. Leo in “False Confessions: Causes, Consequences, and Implications” (Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2009):
Although other researchers have also documented and analyzed numerous false confessions in recent years, we do not know how frequently they occur. A scientifically meaningful incidence rate cannot be determined for several reasons.
First, researchers cannot identify (and thus cannot randomly sample) the universe of false confessions, because no governmental or private organization keeps track of this information.
Second, even if one could identify a set of possibly false confessions, it is not usually possible as a practical matter to obtain the primary case materials (e.g., police reports, pretrial and trial transcripts, and electronic recordings of the interrogations) necessary to evaluate the unreliability of these confessions.
Finally, even in disputed confession cases in which researchers are able to obtain primary case materials, it may still be difficult to determine unequivocally the ground truth (i.e., what really happened) with sufficient certainty to prove the confession false.
In most alleged false-confession cases, it is therefore impossible to remove completely any possible doubts about the confessor’s innocence.
The next problem Knox supporters face is that, even allowing for an inability to establish a priori any likelihood of a given statement being a false confession, the kind of false confession which is usually attributed to Knox is in fact one of the LEAST likely of the three types (Voluntary, Compliant, and Persuaded, as Leo terms the three different categories) to be observed:
Persuaded false confessions appear to occur far less often than compliant false confessions.
Moreover, despite assertions to the contrary, Knox and her statements do not in fact satisfy many of the criteria researchers tend to observe in false confessions, particularly of the Persuaded variety:
“All other things being equal, those who are highly suggestible or compliant are more likely to confess falsely. Individuals who are highly suggestible tend to have poor memories, high levels of anxiety, low self-esteem, and low assertiveness, personality factors that also make them more vulnerable to the pressures of interrogation and thus more likely to confess falsely…
Highly suggestible or compliant individuals are not the only ones who are unusually vulnerable to the pressures of police interrogation. So are the developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired, juveniles, and the mentally ill….
They also tend to occur primarily in high-profile murder cases and to be the product of unusually lengthy and psychologically intense interrogations… ordinary police interrogation is not strong enough to produce a permanent change in the suspect’s beliefs.
Most significantly, there is one essential element of a true Persuaded False Confession which in Knox’s case is highly distinctive:
To convince the suspect that it is plausible, and likely, that he committed the crime, the interrogators must supply him with a reason that satisfactorily explains how he could have done it without remembering it.
This is the second step in the psychological process that leads to a persuaded false confession.
Typically, the interrogator suggests one version or another of a “repressed” memory theory.
He or she may suggest, for example, that the suspect experienced an alcohol- or drug-induced blackout, a “dry” blackout, a multiple personality disorder, a momentary lapse in consciousness, or posttraumatic stress disorder, or, perhaps most commonly, that the suspect simply repressed his memory of committing the crime because it was a traumatic experience for him.
The suspect can only be persuaded to accept responsibility for the crime if he regards one of the interrogators’ explanations for his alleged amnesia as plausible.
Knox did not in fact claim drug or alcohol use as the source of her amnesia - rather, she claimed to have accepted the interrogators’ attribution that this was due to being traumatized by the crime itself, and she offers no other explanation for her selective amnesia:
This is from Knox’s statement to the court in pretrial on 18 October 2008 with Judge Micheli presiding.
Then they started pushing on me the idea that I must have seen something, and forgotten about it. They said that I was traumatized.
Of course, Knox’s initial statement went far beyond being that of being merely a witness to some aspect of Ms. Kercher’s murder, as the interrogators at first seemed to believe was the case.
Rather, her statement placed her at scene of the murder during its actual commission while she did nothing to avert it, which naturally made her a suspect.
In other words, in the absence of any of her other testimony which indicated that she was only a witness to the murder, her own self-admitted rationale for providing a false confession was that she was traumatized by the commission of the murder itself.
Perugia judges will be familiar with all of the above and we can be sure that they brief the lay judges on the remote circumstances and incidences of false confessions.
If I were a Knox defense attorney, I would find it to be a far more fruitful line of argumentation to argue that she was simply lying, rather than claiming the supremely unlikely provision of an actual internalized false confession.
First posted by Fuji on 12 January 2011.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, Saul Kassin, Hoaxes about the case, On psychology, Amanda Knox
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Saul Kassin: An Example Of How The Knox Campaign Is Misleading American Experts And Audiences
Posted by The Machine
Seemingly good, well-qualified lawyers and experts in police science have repeatedly been made to surface to spout inanities and wrong “facts” put out courtesy of Curt Knox’s “public relations” campaign.
It seems that Dr Saul Kassin is yet another of these naive dupes.
Who is Dr Saul Kassin?
The Social Psychology Network website states that he is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the John Jay Criminal Justice College in New York City. The website outlines his impressive academic credentials which include a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.
Curt Knox’s chief hatchet man Bruce Fischer, himself notoriously unqualified in every field relevant to the case who for a long time masqueraded pompously under a false name, claimed on his website that Saul Kassin gave help to Amanda Knox’s lawyers in Perugia.
Also that his work was presented to the court during the 2011 Hellman appeal.
Many may not know this but Sarah was instrumental in bringing Kassin in to analyze Amanda’s interrogation. His work was presented during the appeal..
The family had asked that we not release Kassin’s work to the public until they received clearance from the attorneys. I know I often state that this case is over but the attorneys rightfully want to keep everything professional until the Italian Supreme Court confirms Hellmann.
Last October, Saul Kassin did speak at length about Amanda Knox’s interrogation in an interview with John Curley on Radio Kiro FM.
In this post we’ll examine ten of the false claims which have long been circulated by Curt Knox’s campaign, with Bruce Fischer’s site as the central clearing house, and which were regurgitated by Saul Kassin in that interview.
False Claim 1: They brought her in for that final interrogation late at night.
No they didn’t.
Neither the police nor the prosecutors brought Amanda in for questioning on 5 November 2007. Amanda Knox herself testified in court that she wasn’t called to come to the police station on 5 November 2007.
Carlo Pacelli: “For what reason did you go to the Questura on November 5? Were you called?”
Amanda Knox: “No, I wasn’t called. I went with Raffaele because I didn’t want to be alone.”
Amanda Knox went with Raffaele Sollecito because she didn’t want to be alone. Kassin’s false claim is the first red flag that Saul Kassin is very confused or has been seriously misled when it comes to this well-documented and well-handled case.
False Claim 2: The so-called confession wasn’t until 6:00am.
No it wasn’t.
If Saul Kassin had actually read Amanda Knox’s first witness statement, he would have known that it was made at 1:45am. Knox had admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed some time before this.
False Claim 3: She was interrogated from 10:00pm to 6.00am.
No she wasn’t.
According to the Daily Beast Amanda Knox’s questioning began at about 11:00pm.
Since Knox was already at the police station [in the company of Raffaele Sollecito] the head of the murder squad decided to ask her a few questions. Her interrogation started at about 11 p.m.
After Amanda Knox had made her witness statement at 1:45am, she wasn’t questioned again that evening. That was it.
However, Amanda Knox herself then wanted to make further declarations and Mr Mignini who was on duty on the night sat and watched while Knox wrote out her declarations.
Mr Mignini explained what happened in his email letter to Linda Byron, another who was factually challenged.
All I did was to apply the Italian law to the proceedings. I really cannot understand any problem.
In the usual way, Knox was first heard by the police as a witness, but when some essential elements of her involvement with the murder surfaced, the police suspended the interview, according to Article 63 of the penal proceedings code.
But Knox then decided to render spontaneous declarations, that I took up without any further questioning, which is entirely lawful.
According to Article 374 of the penal proceedings code, suspects must be assisted by a lawyer only during a formal interrogation, and when being notified of alleged crimes and questioned by a prosecutor or judge, not when they intend to render unsolicited declarations.
Since I didn’t do anything other than to apply the Italian law applicable to both matters, I am unable to understand the objections and reservations which you are talking about.
In Amanda Knox’s written witness statement, she explicitly states that she’s making a spontaneous declaration:
Amanda Knox: “I wish to relate spontaneously what happened because these events have deeply bothered me and I am really afraid of Patrick, the African boy who owns the pub called “Le Chic” located in Via Alessi where I work periodically.
False Claim 4: They banged her on the back of the head.
No they didn’t.
All the numerous witnesses who were actually present when Amanda Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, testified under oath at trial in 2009 that she wasn’t hit. She has never identified anyone who hit her and on several occasions confirmed that she was treated well.
Even one of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, confirmed that Amanda Knox had not been hit: “There were pressures from the police but we never said she was hit.” He never ever lodged a complaint.
False Claim 5: All the other British roommates left town.
No they didn’t.
The police also told Sophie Purton that they needed her to stay on in Perugia on precisely the same basis as Amanda Knox. In chapter 19 of Death in Perugia, John Follain states that Sophie Purton was questioned by Mignini and Napoleoni in the prosecutor’s office on 5 November 2007.
Sophie had been counting on leaving Perugia to fly back home as soon as her parents arrived, but the police called to tell her they needed her to stay on; they would let her know when she could leave.
False Claim 6 : Amanda Knox stayed back to help the police.
No she didn’t.
This claim is flatly contradicted by Amanda Knox herself. In the e-mail she wrote to her friends in Seattle on 4 November 2007 she categorically stated she was not allowed to leave Italy.
i then bought some underwear because as it turns out i wont be able to leave italy for a while as well as enter my house
Knox actually knew on 2 November 2007 that she couldn’t leave Italy. Amy Frost reported the following conversation (The Massei report, page 37),
I remember having heard Amanda speaking on the phone, I think that she was talking to a member of her family, and I heard her say, No, they won’t let me go home, I can’t catch that flight.
It’s not the first time that the myth that Knox chose to stay behind rather than leave Italy has been claimed in the media. And incidentally, lying repeatedly to the police isn’t normally considered to be helping them.
False Claim 7: Amanda Knox had gone 8 hours without any food or drink.
No she hadn’t.
Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 1 March 2009
Ms Napoleoni told the court that while she was at the police station Ms Knox had been ‘treated very well. She was given water, camomile tea and breakfast. She was given cakes from a vending machine and then taken to the canteen at the police station for something to eat.’
Reported by Richard Owen in The Times, 15 March 2009.
Ms Donnino said that Ms Knox had been “comforted” by police, given food and drink, and had at no stage been hit or threatened.
John Follain in his meticulous book Death in Perugia, page 134, also reports that Knox was given food and drink during her questioning:
During the questioning, detectives repeatedly went to fetch her a snack, water, and hot drinks including camomile tea.
False Claim 8: The translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox.
No she wasn’t.
Saul Kassin offers no evidence that the translator was hostile towards Amanda Knox and there is no evidence that this was the case. Nobody at the questura has claimed this. Amanda Knox’s own lawyers have not claimed this.
Even Amanda Knox herself has never ever claimed that Anna Donnino was hostile towards her although she had every opportunity to do so when being questioned on the stand.
False Claim 9: The translator was acting as an agent for the police.
No she wasn’t.
Saul Kassin offers no evidence to support this claim, which by the way in Italy is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits. Do ask Curt Knox.
False Claim 10: The police lied to Amanda Knox.
No they didn’t.
The police didn’t mislead Amanda Knox. They told her quite truthfully that Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, and that he had just claimed in the next interrogation room that that she wasn’t at his apartment from around 9:00pm to about 1:00am.
This also is the kind of unprofessional charge that incurs calunnia suits
Saul Kassin clearly hasn’t been directed to any of the official court documents like the Massei report, available in accurate English on PMF and TJMK, or the relevant transcripts of the court testimony.
Worse, he clearly hasn’t even studied Amanda Knox’s own witness statements before claiming to the media that they were coerced.
What he seems to have done is to fall hook line and sinker for the fantasy version of Amanda Knox’s interrogation which has been propagated in the media by Amanda Knox’s family.
He has then mindlessly regurgitated this false information in this interview. For somebody with Saul Kassin’s academic qualifications and educational background, it’s inexcusable that he gets so many facts wrong.
He needs to use much more reputable sources or, as so many other dupes before him have done, simply shut up. Of course, it would be professional for him to admit his mistakes.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Crime hypotheses, On psychology, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Saul Kassin, Hoaxes about the case, Reporting on the case, Poor reporting
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Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Dr Galati: Seems One Of Curt Knox’s PR Operatives Who Has Been Bullying Meredith’s Father Online
Posted by Glinda The Good
We have long heard that the PR run for Curt Knox by David Marriott in Seattle controls all the pro-Knox anti-Italy message everywhere. David Marriott unwisely claimed this, in fact, right after Amanda Knox returned to Seattle. See here.
The PR is said to abuse reporters who dont go along, reward those that do, and fan out nasty commenters around the web to post selling points under various false names. It presumably does that to make the movement look spontaneous and big. An expanding but questionable technique which goes by the name astroturfing.
Every month more evidence piles up, suggesting that online comment threads and forums are being hijacked by people who aren’t what they seem.
The anonymity of the web gives companies and governments golden opportunities to run astroturf operations: fake grassroots campaigns that create the impression that large numbers of people are demanding or opposing particular policies. This deception is most likely to occur where the interests of companies or governments come into conflict with the interests of the public. For example, there’s a long history of tobacco companies creating astroturf groups to fight attempts to regulate them.
After I wrote about online astroturfing in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.
Like the other members of the team, he posed as a disinterested member of the public. Or, to be more accurate, as a crowd of disinterested members of the public: he used 70 personas, both to avoid detection and to create the impression there was widespread support for his pro-corporate arguments. I’ll reveal more about what he told me when I’ve finished the investigation I’m working on.
The Knox PR astroturfing operation now has Meredith’s father John Kercher and his fine new book in its crosshairs, and for some days it has been raining contemptuous abuse. .
Officialdom in Perugia and Rome and the Italian Supreme Court all seem to know that the Knox-Mellases KNEW Amanda Knox was involved in the crime against Meredith almost as soon as they arrived in Perugia, and that they have been trying to cover that up ever since.
The PR scheme had already swung into operation by then, but the Knox-Mellases made the fateful choice to stick with it regardless, instead of maybe more wisely switching off the PR and turning to a good American lawyer to spread the word instead. Curt Knox recently claimed, before Amanda’s “innocent” persona started to implode, that using PR was one of the best choices he ever made.
This image above is of Seth Chandler, the managing director of Axolotl AB, a public relations firm linked to David Marriott’s which does the usual advertising, copy doctoring, social media campaigning, and so on. The image was captured online before it was hurriedly disappeared.
Seth appears to be the same chap caught red-handed the other day propagating the all-too-familiar FOA selling points while sliming the family of Meredith, who is the real victim here. Under an article on Worldcrunch which reported the imminent release of John Kercher’s book “Meredith” Seth Chandler was observed repeatedly posting that John Kercher (and others there trying to explain the truth) should simply STFU..
With only a couple of exceptions, real names of identifiable people are not used by the PR. We’ve seen them, we’ve read them, but this appears to be only the second time (after “Bruce Fisher of New York”) that one of the anonymous PR operatives/contractors has been exposed for what and where he is. Perhaps we might expect a few more.
For four years in the US and the UK, with big money at stake, the operatives have bashed Italy, the Italian justice system, Italian culture, and the Italian law enforcement agencies involved in the case. The operatives have slimed the Scientific Police, the prosecutor Mr Mignini, the prosecutor Ms Comodi, the British press, the Italian press, the Kerchers’ lawyer Mr Maresca, and all the prosecution witnesses. In various postings they have accused many of these people of crimes, an imprisonable felony in the US.
They have bashed the lay judges in the court because they wear their tricolour sashes routinely as a badge of office. They have claimed that this is an anti-American display. They have decried the Italian courtroom because behind the lead judge a crucifix hangs there.
The operatives have thrown mud at anyone they perceive as dangerously surfacing any hard truth about the case. Respected journalists have received exceptional abuse. Any perceived enemy not so much of Amanda Knox herself as the defense narrative of the murder and the legal processes can expect to get roughed up.
So it’s quite a game-changer when Seth Chandler, or “Seth C” as he now wants to be known, the managing director of Axolotl PR, is apparently caught red-handed telling John Kercher to STFU. Seth Chandler has claimed as he tried to wriggle off the hook that “no one paid” him to say STFU, and that anyway PRs would never say such a thing. Really? But the abuse was right there in his name.
Seth Chandler also works for Electrolux. Its competitors are are Dyson, and LG. I wouldn’t imagine that he employs the same tactics for firms, though I haven’t yet checked his Amazon customer reviews.
Shame on Seth Chandler - and on Curt Knox, whose vile temper reverberates throughout this case and some increasingly believe sent Amanda Knox over the top.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, More sockpuppets, Hoaxes about the case
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Friday, May 04, 2012
Dr Galati: Please Check Out What Looks Like A Mischievous Defense-Inspired Global Hoax
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Throughout the trial which began back in January 2009 the defense teams often seemed down or depressed or distracted or floundering.
Reports surfaced in Italy that one or two of them might even have considered walking. Knox defense counsel Luciano Ghirga was reported as nodding off or distracted. Sollecito defense counsel Giulia Bongiorno was photographed seemingly showing some exasperation with Sollecito and at zero notice she missed several days in court.
Amanda Knox’s testimony over two days on the stand in June 2009 was widely seen in Italy as a disaster. From then on many in the court and throughout Italy believed this seemingly callous, evasive, forgetful girl had to have had a role in Meredith’s death.
Having failed to attend to observe any of the key forensic tests at the Scientific Police labs in Rome, the defenses were able to introduce some forensic witnesses who testified that there might, possibly, somehow, be contamination in the collection and tests which they chose not to witness, but they never came close to showing how.
By the summations in November 2009 both defenses seemed to be seriously floundering.
2. Fast forward to Friday 20 November 2009
What happened on 20 November might well have made it the defenses’ very worst day.
On that day during their summation the prosecution BEHIND CLOSED DOORS devoted an entire day to reconstructing how Meredith died and the events in the few hours before and since.
The presentation was closed because Judge Massei had ruled in favor of Meredith’s family to close the court to the media when any upsetting material was being presented. For example the results of the autopsy had been presented in closed court.
This resulted in the Massei judges and jury receiving a much more disturbing picture than the Italian public and especially the foreign publics ever did.
The Italian media pieced together what had been presented behind the closed doors on 20 November and Il Messagero and several other Italian newspapers published it several days later. You can read a combined summary in this post here.
To our knowledge none of that summary of events ever appeared in the US or UK media, so the full impact of the reconstruction felt by the jury and to a lesser extent by the Italian public was never felt at all by the US or UK publics.
This excerpt is from that post:
We have left out the depiction of the final struggle with Meredith, which is extremely sad and disturbing. In the evidence phase this was testified-to behind closed doors at her family’s request and we have never posted anything from those sessions….
23:21 - Amanda and Raffaele go into Meredith’s bedroom, while Rudy goes into the bathroom.
23:25 - A scuffle begins between Amanda, helped by Raffaele, and Meredith. The English girl is taken by the neck, then banged against a cupboard. Rudy Guede enters and joins in.
23:30 - 23:45 Depiction in the timeline and computer simulation of a horrific struggle with Meredith
23:50 - Amanda and Raffaele take Meredith’s mobile phones and they leave the apartment. Guede goes into the bathroom to get several towels to staunch the blood, then puts a cushion under Meredith’s head.
That simulation video was a second-by-second depiction of what the crime-scene specialists from the Scientific Police in Rome had concluded, from the position of Meredith’s body in the room, evidence traces and the placing of various objects, and the many wounds described in the autopsy.
It was extremely difficult and laborious to get just right, and every tiny movement of the four that it depicts in three-dimensional space had to be able to stand up unchallenged - as they did.
The fight with Meredith took a horrific fifteen minutes. It only ended when she was lying bleeding on the floor, her hands grasping her neck. She was locked in her room to die, with her keys and phones removed to make sure she could not save her own life.
This was not a minute or two of hazing and a slipped knife. The evident intention was to see her dead - and in the reconstruction it required THREE ATTACKERS to explain all the evidence points.
The prosecution never entered the video into evidence so it could not be leaked to the public (the Sollecito family already stood accused of leaking one video) but the effect on the jury seems to have been profound and the defenses could do nothing to blunt it.
The lone wolf theory was well and truly dead in that courtroom and a perception of three attackers was well and truly alive. The defenses did what they could in their summations but they were unable to shake the perception of a depraved three-against-one attack.
A few days later a verdict was announced. By a UNANIMOUS verdict Sollecito and Knox were found guilty.
3. Fast forward to the first-level appeal before Judge Hellman in 20011
Judge Sergio Matteini Chiari, the most senior judge in the criminal division, was appointed to preside over the appeal.
He was very experienced at presiding over murder trials and appeals. What happened next surprised many among the judges and prosecutors and Italian reporters and the Italian public generally. From the Italian Wikipedia:
Although the Assize Court of Appeal was to be chaired by Dr. Sergio Matteini Chiari, Chairman of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal in Perugia, in circumstances not well understood Dr. Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, who chairs the Labor Chamber of the Court, has been called on to preside over the appeal court,
The judge to the side of the main judge, Dr. Massimo Zanetti, came from the Civil Section, and both had had limited experience with criminal trials both rather remote in time (only the cases of Spoleto and Orvieto).
Judge Hellman readily consented to the defense requests. First to re-examine several witnesses previously heard on the stand during trial (primarily Mr Curatolo) and two new ones (Alessi and Aviello) intended to show that Guede or Aviello’s missing brother could have attacked Meredith with unknown others.
And second to appoint two independent experts who would re-examine the DNA on the large knife found in Sollecito’s apartment and the DNA for which traces were collected in Meredith’s room and the methods used for processing them.
The examination of the witnesses seemed to end indecisively, but the vague suggestions of the independent consultants that there COULD have been DNA contamination - never proven - was accepted readily by Judge Hellman.
The reconstruction and the showing of the simulation which the trial jury sat through in later 2009 was not repeated by the prosecution at the first appeal in late 2011. Judge Hellman showed no inclination to sit through the full depiction of the day or the horrific 15-minute attack on Meredith.
So the explanation of all the evidence points in the room and on Meredith’s body was never solidly brought home solidly to Judge Hellman or his jury. In his verdict he overturned the outcome of the first trial, provisionally pending any Supreme Court ratification, and he handed Amanda Knox a three-year sentence for framing Patrick Lumumba.
Having refused to see the reconstruction, he could very torturously argue that the attack on Meredith could have been carried out by a single person. If he and his jury had actually watched the video, they could never have argued that.
4. Fast-forward to the grounds of Dr Galati’s appeal to the Supreme Court
The Umbria Chief Prosecutor’s grounds for appeal were spelt out by him at a new conference in Perugia on Monday 13 February 2012. The PMF translation team will soon have the full document ready in English.
The summary of the grounds for appeal below is translated from the Umbria24 report and to our knowledge NO English-language website except this one and PMF has ever reported what are the full grounds.
Meredith case: the prosecution appeals to Cassation: the acquittal verdict should be “nullified”.
For the Chief Magistrates of the [Umbria] Prosecution, “it was almost exclusively the defence arguments which were taken heed of”
By Francesca Marruco
The first-level conviction verdict was “complete and thorough” while the verdict of the second-level is “contradictory and illogical”. For this reason, the General Prosecution of Perugia asks the Cassation to revoke or invalidate it.
“We are still extremely convinced that Amanda and Raffaele are co-perpetrators of the murder of Meredith Kercher” said the Chief Prosecutor of Perugia, Giovanni Galati and the Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Giancarlo Costagliola.
Verdict that should be revoked “The second-level verdict should be annulled/revoked…. There are precise reasons for revoking it”, Mr Galati went on to say. In the Hellman reasoning report on the verdict with which the second-level judges acquitted the ex-boyfriend and girlfriend “there are so many errors, and many omissions. There is inconsistency in the grounds for judgement, which brings us to nothing.”
“It is as if they had ruled ex novo [anew] on Meredith’s murder” added the Deputy Prosecutor, Giancarlo Costagliola, “basing their decision solely on the arguments of the defence.”
“Normally the appeal judge evaluates the reasoning procedure of the first-instance judge and compares it to new elements. But this one missed that out altogether: there is no comparison between the checks carried out in the first and second instances. Only what was carried out during the appeal was evaluated.”
Only defence arguments were taken heed of For the magistrates, in fact, the second-level judges “took heed, almost exclusively, of the arguments of the defence consultants or the reconstruction hypotheses that were largely to the benefit of the defense theses”.
The prosecutors who authored the appeal [to Cassation] also criticized the “method used”. “The first-instance verdict”, they wrote, “was summarized in just a few lines”,
“The verdict [which we] challenge completely ignored all the other aspects which corresponded with the accusation’s hypothesis, all the aspects which, on the contrary - as was seen in the reasoning report of the first-instance verdict - had been rigorously pointed out and considered by the Assizes Court [trial court] in its decision.”
“In examining the individual [items of] evidence, the challenged sentence has fallen into consistent procedural error in the weaknesses and evident illogicality of the grounds for its decision.”
Prejudice For the General Prosecution magistrates, the second-level [first appeal] judges appear to have shown “a sort of prejudice” with the “infelicitous preamble of the judge [the author], who is supposed to be impartial”, when he declared that “nothing is certain except the death of Meredith Kercher”, which to the others [Mr Galati and Mr Costagliola] is nothing more than “a resounding preview/forecast of the judgement” and a “disconcerting” affirmation.
The ten points The reasons for the appeal to Cassation which Perugia’s General Prosecution presented today against the acquittal verdict of Amanda and Raffaele are based on ten points of the second-level verdict.
The first is the lack of grounds for the decision, in the decree of 18 December 2010, to allow the forensic testimony/expert witness in the appeal judgement.
The second, in contrast, concerns a contrary decision: the decision to not allow a new forensic investigation requested by the prosecution at the end of the ruling discussion. In the appeal to Cassation it is written that the Appeal Court’s rejection reveals “contradictoriness/contrariness and demonstrates manifest illogicality in the grounds for the judgement/reasoning report”.
The other points deal with the decision by the Appeal court of Assizes of Perugia to not hear the witness Aviello, also the definition of “unreliable” [in the Hellman Report] with reference to the witnesses Roberto Quintavalle and Antonio Curatolo, also the time of death of Meredith Kercher, also on the genetic investigations.
As well as the analyses of the prints and other traces, also the presence of Amanda and Sollecito in via della Pergola, also the simulation of a crime [the staged break-in], and also the exclusion of the aggravating circumstance of the crime of “calumny”.
Missing assumption/acceptance of decisive evidence In the appeal to Cassation there is also mention of the “missing assumption/acceptance of a decisive proof”
In other words, of that proof [presented at trial court] which consisted of “the carrying out of the genetic analysis on the sample taken from the knife by the experts appointed by the Court during the appeal judgement, who did not carry out the analyses of that sample, thus violating a specific request contained in the [orders given to them] when they were assigned to the expert-witness post”
“In the second-level [Hellman] verdict”, the magistrates said, “the judges sought to refer to this in their own way, by speaking of an “experimental method” by which these tests/checks could be carried out.
But this is not the case”, said Deputy Chief Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola: “Dr Novelli [the prosecution’s DNA consultant at appeal] spoke of cutting-edge technology, not of experimental methods”.
So Dr Galati, himself formerly a deputy chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court who for years handled nothing but Supreme Court cases and knows what constitutes a sound appeal argument, argued that Judge Hellman had made ten serious mistakes. (Aviello claimed in court that he had been bribed; instead of investigating, Judge Hellman very quickly move on.)
But even worse, that Judge Hellman had illegally vastly expanded the scope of the appeal. And he had illegally appointed the independent DNA experts.
Because of Hellman’s alleged sloppiness and overreach, the defenses now stood to lose EVERYTHING they thought they had gained - and had been so noisily jubilant about, especially to the media in the US. An arrogance not taken kindly to in Italy at all.
5. Fast forward to English language press reports of the past few days.
Nick Squires may have been the first to carry the report quoting unnamed sources in the Daily Telegraph.
Two prosecutors in Perugia, where Miss Kercher was murdered, face accusations of wasting 182,000 euros (£150,000) of public money by commissioning a controversial 3D video which purported to show how the murder unfolded.
The contentious video, which defence lawyers said was based on circumstantial evidence, showed Miss Kercher being held down and stabbed to death by Miss Knox and her two co-accused.
The Leeds University student and her alleged murderers were represented in the 20 minute film by animated ‘avatars’. It was played on a big screen to the judge and jury in the original trial in 2009.
The National Audit Office is now investigating the prosecutors, Giuliano Mignini and his deputy, Manuela Comodi, on whether the video was a necessary part of their case.
If found culpable they could have to pay the money back to the prosecutors’ office.
Really? Accusations? Wasting? Controversial? Purported? Contentious? Now investigating?
Note that Nick Squires didnt name his sources. He didnt explain why he claimed the video simulation was controversial. (It wasn’t at all controversial at trial in 2009.) He didnt seem to know who had made the accusations or how or when they had been made or to who.
He failed to mention that the video was played behind closed doors, and that the defenses had no comeback to it. He said it depicted Knox, though in fact it deliberately didn’t. He didn’t explain that the depiction of the fight lasted 15 minutes. He didn’t explain that the depiction of three attackers was overwhelmingly convincing to Judge Massei and his jury.
Nick Squires’s report was nevertheless comparatively brief and restrained in contrast to that of Michael Day which came next. His very much embroidered version was published in the UK Independent. The accusatory tone and serious charges in Nick Squires’s and Michael Day’s reports were then picked up without checking by a large number of American and European media outlets.
Note that not one of these reports was checked out in Italy, and that all these reports slam Mr Mignini (yet again) and indicate that this was an OFFICIAL accusation of “wasting public funds”. Many US reports wrongly state that the British audit office is investigating.
Michael Day claimed that “Agostino Chiappiniello has said he suspects the two of inappropriately spending €182,000 (£148,000) on a crude and cartoonish 20-minute video,”
Really? Agostino Chiappiniello, did you tell Michael Day precisely that?
Michael Day then states that “In both trials [Mr Mignini’s ] interventions were notable for the outlandish motivations and personality traits he attributed to the defendants. He promoted the idea that the murder was the result of a sex-game that got out of control, despite having little or no evidence to support the theory.”
Really? Actually Guede and Knox and Sollecito were all CONVICTED of a sex crime at trial, because to their judges and juries that is what the evidence inescapably pointed to.
And Michael Day concludes with yet another misleading statement (see above on Dr Galati’s appeal for the correct facts which he seriously garbles here.):
Judges at the Cassation court may only overturn the first-appeal verdict on technical grounds. Thus, no new evidence may be introduced and the prosecution’s room for manoeuvre is limited. The pair could not be retried for the same crimes.
Really? But nobody is talking about the pair being retried for the same crimes. This does not arise. Under Italian law they STILL stand accused of the same crimes as they were before trial back in 2009 until the Supreme Court signs off on their case.
6. Fast-forward to the ITALIAN reports of the past two days
Translation by our main poster Jools from an Umbria24 report, posted on Wednesday, which tells a very different story.
[There was several months ago]… a complaint from “a group of private citizens” who did not sign their names and surnames about an alleged misuse of public money….
No comment from the two prosecutors of Perugia, no comment on this news.
As we have learned the prosecutors have not received any legal papers regarding the investigation and they heard of the news from the press.
Who will pay? To decide if the expense was adequate for the State coffers will be the task of the prosecutor at the Court of Audits of Umbria.
Meanwhile if the Supreme Court were to overturn the judgment of the Perugia appellate court, the costs would be paid by the two accused [Knox and Sollecito].
If instead the Supreme Court were to confirm the acquittal, the bill for 182 thousand euros would be borne by the Italian State.
7. In summation
Quite a fizzle. The prosecutors are NOT quaking in their boots. They didnt even know about it. And the full force of Italian justice does NOT have them under the microscope.
- The anonymous complaint was filed over two months ago. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
- If the enquiry is actually pursued (not at all certain) then it is Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito who could in fact be stuck for the costs (plus VAT) of producing the video. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
- The Corte dei Conti is not the equivalent of a criminal or civic court, it is essentially an investigating tribunal. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
- The Corte dei Conti has so far not accused anyone of anything, and it may never do so. It sure doesn’t seem to regard the matter as urgent. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
- In fact it has taken over two months to, well… not even assemble the evidence or bother to get in touch with Mr Mignini or Ms Comodi. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
On the same basis Judge Hellman could in theory be accused of incurring TWO huge cost over-runs.
- One for running his appeal court only on saturdays to suit just one defense lawyer, when the overtime costs to Italy became huge - substantially more than the cost of the video. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
- And one for (according to Dr Galati) illegally appointing the two DNA consultants - the costs of that investigation to Italy became much more than the cost of the video. Nick Squires and Michael Day sure did not make that clear.
The reconstruction video is so powerful and accurate that it could, if it is watched by the Supreme Court in Rome or a new appeal court in Perugia, be quite devastating to the defense of the two accused. This is because it depicts the full cruelty of the attack on Meredith - and it shows that THREE people had to have attacked her.
So who filed the anonymous complaint against Mr Mignini and Ms Comodi? And who used Nick Squires and Michael Day as puppets to make a private claim look official, and make that hoax go viral? We are sure Dr Galati will have all the answers before many days go past. Calunnia charges might apply.
Someone must REALLY fear that Sollecito and Knox will be cooked if that video reconstruction ever gets shown again. Case closed? At one stroke.
[Below: Knox and Sollecito, who could be billed over $300,000 for the reconstruction video]
Archived in Vital Must-Read Posts, Officially involved, The prosecutors, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, More sockpuppets, Hoaxes about the case, The wider contexts
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Monday, April 30, 2012
Does ANY Competent Lawyer Actually Believe RS And AK Are 100% Innocent? If So, Then PROVE It
Posted by James Raper
After 3 days and growing, unfortunately no sign that pro-innocence lawyers (if any) want to respond. Mr Simon? Mr Barnett? Ms Nancy Grace? (Well perhaps not you)
The Italian, US and UK lawyers who guide TJMK (of which I am one) look around and wonder: why are genuinely-convinced pro-Knox lawyers (if any) still not comprehensively answering all the open questions?
I contrast this with the various media talking heads who have offered drive-by comments without a really deep understanding of the facts of the case or Italian law.
In the law of all three countries, defense lawyers don’t need to KNOW either way whether their client is guilty or innocent. They don’t have to come out with a complete scenario to account for all the facts and point to innocence that would be the counterpart to my scenario (powerpoints - wait a few seconds to load) seemingly accounting for all the facts, which is still an unchallenged case for guilt.
But a comprehensive rebuttal would do the hard-pressed Sollecito and Knox factions a big favor, and provide a much-needed framework for the media (which is posting many incorrect legal claims), and make the Cassation appeal and the book-writing by Knox and Sollecito so much easier.
Consider the ups-and-downs of the defense legal teams on the case,
It was clear in 2008 that her lawyers absolutely didnt like Knox speaking out, offering different versions that between them made her look distinctly guilty. They didnt like the anti-Mignini campaign run from Seattle and they publicly said so - when Mr Mignini was attacked by a main speaker at an event at Salty’s they actually spoke up and publicly defended him.
In December 2008 NBC TV aired an excellent Dateline report. The main legal talking head, Ted Simon, explained that this was a really tough prosecution case to beat, and that whacking down individual points of evidence would not win the case in the public eye (justice would not be seen to be done) and that only a complete alternative explanation of the crime would do.
At trial in 2009 the defense teams did what they could with a torrent of facts and two unpredictable clients. The cross-examination of Amanda Knox on the stand mid-year in the context of Patrick Lumumba’s alleged framing must have seemed a real low-point for them, as she came across as rather flippant and chilling, and she said a number of things that all defense lawyers would probably prefer that she hadn’t.
Through the publication of Judge Massei’s report the defenses seem to have been faced with an uphill battle.
In 2011 an experienced criminal-case judge was initially appointed to preside over the first appeal. But quite suddenly, to the surprise of many in Italy and the alleged unhappiness of the judge himself, he was removed from the case, and Judge Hellman was appointed in his place.
Defence counsel would of course have had no role in that surprise change of lead judges for the first appeal, but from Day One of the appeal (spaced out to one session a week by Judge Hellman to suit one of them) the defenses seemed much happier.
The prosecution were now on occasion publicly hinting that they were now stuck with the uphill battle. The defenses now seemed the side energized and confident. But please note these three things which suggest that they knew they were not all-powerful.
- 1) They appealed on very narrow grounds, essentially on some witness testimony and a small part of the forensic evidence, and they kept well away from the multiple alibis, mobile phones and computers, and forensic evidence in the hallway, bathroom, and Filomena’s room.
2) They never argued that Rudy Guede was the lone-wolf killer in the case (the surprise preference in his report of Judge Hellman) and even put their own witnesses Alessi and Aviello on the stand to in effect try to prove otherwise.
3) Knox legal advisor Ted Simon was reduced to arguing on TV that there was no evidence of Knox and Sollecito IN the bedroom, while never accounting for the mishmash of alibis or all the mixed-blood and footprint evidence just outside the door.
As Dr Galati’s appeal and public opinion in the three countries are showing, the defences may have mostly won the second battle, with Judge Hellman’s interim verdict and sentence (Knox was still sentenced to three years), but they seem to be falling far short of winning the war for the two clients.
Now the defences again face an uphill battle.
So here we go. An opportunity for any good pro-innocence lawyer to help to win the war for Knox and Sollecito. Forget the forensics for now. I offer these several dozen questions for you and/or Amanda Knox which, truthfully answered, might put many concerns to bed.
I will be happy to post here any real attempt at answering all of these questions by any qualified lawyer who is thoroughly on top of the case - or of course any attempt by Amanda Knox herself.
1. Why did you not mention the 16 second 12.07 phonecall to Meredith’s English phone on the 2nd November in your e-mail? When explaining why you made this call, please also explain why it was to the English phone rather than Meredith’s Italian phone which you knew Meredith used for local calls?
2. Why did you not mention this call when you phoned Filomena immediately afterwards?
3. Why did you make so little effort to contact Meredith again after being told by Filomena to do so. Remember the logged 3 and 4 second phone calls?
4. Why did you tell Filomena that you had already phoned the police when neither you, nor Raffaele, had.
5. Can you and will you explain the contradiction between your panic at the cottage (as described in the e-mail) and the testimony of all the witnesses who subsequently arrived that you appeared calm, detached and initially unconcerned as to your friend’s whereabouts or safety?
6. Why did you tell the postal police that Meredith often locked her bedroom door, even when it came to taking a shower, when this was simply not true, as Filomena testified?
7. Can you and will you explain why you did not try either of Meredith’s phones at the cottage if you were indeed in such a panic about Meredith’s locked door?
8. Can you and will you explain how you knew that Meredith’s throat had been cut when you were not, according to the witnesses’s testimony, a witness to the scene in Meredith’s bedroom after the door had been kicked in and, with the exception of probably a postal police officer or the ambulance crew, no one had looked underneath the duvet covering the body when you were there?
9. What made you think that the body was in the cupboard (wardrobe) when it was in fact to the side of the wardrobe? Were you being flippant, stupid, or what, when you said that? Do you think it just a remarkable coincidence that the remark bears close comparison to the crime scene investigators conclusions, based on the blood at the scene, that Meredith had been shoved, on all fours, and head first, at the door of the wardrobe? She was then turned over on the floor and moved again. How did you know that there was any position prior to her final place of rest?
10. Will you ever be able to account for the 12.47 pm call to your mother in Seattle ( at 4.45 am Seattle time)? Do you remember this now because it was not mentioned in your e-mail nor were you able to remember it in your court testimony?
11. Why do you think Raffaele told the police – contrary to your own alibi that you had spent the whole time with Raffaele at his apartment – that you had gone out at 9 pm and did not return until 1 am?
12. Did you sleep through the music played for half an hour on Raffaele’s computer from 5.32 am?
13. Were you telling the truth when you told the court that you and Raffaele ate dinner some time between 9.15 and 11 pm? Can you not narrow it down a bit more? The water leak occurred, you said, whilst washing up dishes after dinner. Why then did Raffaele’s father say that Raffaele told him at 8.42 pm about the water leak whilst washing up dishes?
14. What was the problem about using the mop, rags, sponges etc already at Raffaele’s apartment, to clear up a water spill? Why was the mop from the girl’s cottage so essential and if it was, why not collect it immediately since it was just a short distance away?
15. Why, when you knew that you were going to Gubbio with Raffaele on the 2nd November, did you not take a change of clothing with you, if needed, when you left the cottage on the afternoon of the 1st?
16. Why did you need a shower at the cottage when you had already had one at Raffaele’s apartment the previous evening?
17. If you had needed one again why not have it at his apartment, in a heated apartment, before you set off, or on your return, rather than have a shower on a cold day, in a cold flat?
18. Why did you not notice the blood in the bathroom, and the bloody footprint on the bathmat, until after your shower? If the blood you then observed was already diluted and faded, how do you explain this?
19. Do not ignore your blood on the faucet. In your own testimony you said that there was no blood in the bathroom when you and Raffaele left the flat on the afternoon of the 1st. What is your considered take on this now? Did your ear piercings bleed when having that shower or drying afterwards? If so, why were you not perfectly clear about the matter in your e-mail? But then again you said that the blood was caked dry, didn’t you?
20. Why did Raffaele say that, on entering the flat with you, Filomena’s door was open and he saw the damage and mess inside, but you said, in your e-mail, that Filomena’s door was closed when you returned at 10.30 am? Did you subsequently look inside on that occasion, or not? It’s just that if you did, then why did you not mention the break in to Filomena prior to you and Raffaele returning to the cottage?
21. You are a creative writer so please explain. What is the point of the word “also” in the following extract from your e-mail? “Laura’s door was open which meant that she wasn’t at home, and Filomena’s door was also closed”.
22. In your trial testimony you mentioned shuffling along the corridor on the bathroom mat after your shower. From the bathroom to your room. Because there was no towel in the bathroom. You had left it in your bedroom. Then back again. Why is this not mentioned in your e-mail?
23. In your e-mail you stated that you changed for your shower in your bedroom, and then afterwards dressed in your bedroom. That makes sense. What you don’t explain is why, if you towelled and dressed in your bedroom, there was any need to shuffle back to the bathroom on the bathmat. Why not just carry it back?
24. But why, in the same testimony, did you then change your mind as to where you had undressed for your shower? Not in your bedroom - saying so was a mistake you said - but you did not say where. Some people might think, uncharitably, that your change of mind was necessary to incorporate the double bathmat shuffle.
25. Were there any things that you disliked about Meredith? Be honest because we know from her English friends and other sources that there were things that she disliked about you.
26. Why are pages missing from your diary for October?
27. Once again, and this time so that it makes some sense, please explain why you permitted the police, on your say so, to believe that poor Patrick Lumumba was involved in Meredith’s murder. Clearly, had you been at the cottage you would have known that he was not, and had you not been there you could not have known that he was.
There are actually over 200 open questions on this site, and I can think of others, but I consider these between them to be the core several dozen that relate to the quirks,contradictions, omissions and inconsistencies in Amanda Knox’s own account and behaviour. Answer all of these and in the public eye Amanda Knox really could be home free.
Archived in Vital Must-Read Posts, Officially involved, The prosecutors, Trials 2008 & 2009, The Massei Report, Appeals 2009-2014, Hellmann appeal, Diversion efforts by
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012
My Letter To Claire Wachtell of HarperCollins Protesting How Distasteful Knox’s Book Promises To Be
Posted by mimi
I am guessing, and in fact hoping, that you are receiving many letters similar in content to the one I am about to write. I hope, also, that you have been inspired by these letters to look further into the matter of Meredith Kercher’s cruel and untimely death, and at the bizarre and disrespectful behaviour of her flatmate and purported friend, in the hours subsequent to Ms. Kercher’s murder.
None of us witnessed the attack - had we been there, we would surely have intervened on her behalf - and, therefore, we cannot absolutely finger Ms. Knox and/or her “boyfriend” as the attackers, in spite of a curious amount of suggestive and incriminating circumstantial and physical evidence.
We can, however, express our considerable distaste at the idea of Ms. Knox benefitting financially from exploiting the sordid tale of a misadventure that resulted purely from her own irresponsible and reckless behaviour. Please consider:
- She arrived in Europe and proceeded to revel in her newfound sexual identity, indiscriminately associating with men unfamiliar to her flatmates. She behaved without consideration for her own safety, let alone theirs. She laughed off their concern as prudishness.
- With her “boyfriend” (the term could only be taken in the loosest sense, as she had met him barely a week before the murder), she proceeded to experiment with narcotics, to the extent that she apparently believed that to tell the police investigating a vicious murder which took place in the bedroom adjacent to her own, that she was “too stoned too remember” her whereabouts or actions, was a wise course to take.
- While Meredith’s tortured body lay upon a cold slab in the coroner’s, Ms. Knox saw it as fitting conduct to galavant about a lingerie shop with her “boyfriend”, holding up g-strings and giggling about wild sex. She absented herself from a candlelight memorial held for Meredith, attended, respectfully, by close friends as well as people who certainly had less of a personal connection to the slain woman than did her own flatmate. She concocted ridiculous and contradictory accounts, both for the increasingly frustrated police and for friends, family and acquaintances back home (in a 4 page email, which I highly recommend you read), which not only illustrated her callous disregard for Meredith and of the seriousness of her own situation, but pointed to clues as to her involvement.
- She had no one but herself to blame for her repeated questioning and subsequent arrest. Had she behaved like any normal person (and one need only look to the plentiful examples of Meredith’s other friends and neighbours in Perugia for inspiration: Filomena Romanelli, Laura Mezzetti, Giacomo Silenzi, Robyn Butterworth, Sophie Purton, Amy Frost, Samantha Roddenhurst, all of whom were aghast at Knox’s coldness) she had ample opportunity to say,“Please, I am upset, I’m in shock; someone was stabbed and left to die in the room right next to mine! I don’t know who it was, but, dear god, it was not me!” Instead, she made up stories about mops and doors that were normally locked or unlocked, about being terrified of her employer whom she had described only days earlier as being a kind and good person. She sat in the police station with her lover of the week, and in whispers tried to incriminate other acquaintances - anyone they could throw to the wolves to save their own hides.
- The DNA evidence may not have been abundant, but it was ample and most certainly was not absent. Their lies were indeed abundant, contradicting not only one another’s alibi accounts but their own. The circumstantial evidence against them is most disturbing.
- Despicable only in second place to the behaviour of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito was the conduct of their immediate families, subsequent to their understandable arrest.
I live in West Seattle and have witnessed firsthand the distasteful circus that was the Gogerty-Marriott PR circus designed to recreate Amanda Knox as the Ivory Snow Girl, while grinding Meredith Kercher, who deserved nothing she suffered on 1 November 2007, into utter obscurity.
The Sollecitos went even lower than paying a set of spin doctors, when they released forensic video footage of the crime scene, including unmistakable images of the victim’s nude and battered body, to the Bari television network, Telenorba, which proceeded to air the footage several times. Imagine how you would feel, as the parent, sibling, or friend of a young stabbed, strangled and sexually violated individual, to learn that this is her only value to the world after her death. Shock entertainment to a television viewing audience?
So, having read this, I ask you, honestly, what is the value to the world of a ghostwritten (as she lacks the ability to compose a coherent sentence, unaided) memoir by Amanda Knox?
- She can’t tell us what we want to know about Meredith’s final hours (unless she wishes to revert to the alibi version in which she WAS at the cottage, blocking out the screams).
- She wouldn’t have the nerve, four years on, to suddenly gush on again over how horrible it must have been for Meredith, how terrifying and agonising to be mutilated in such a manner, and left to die without hope of attracting attention or alerting aid from outside her bedroom walls.
- She wouldn’t have the gall to offer her condolences to the Kerchers within the same covers of a volume whose main thrust is to whine to the world about how miserable it was to spend 4 years in prison because her brain was so addled by narcotics she was unable, throughout her police and courtroom questioning, to come up with a scenario that made one iota of sense.
I don’t know your opinion on her conviction, which, until the Supreme Court has rendered a decision, still stands, but I sincerely hope that you are not viewing this book project as an enjoyable opportunity to work with an ebullient and bright Amanda Knox, or, worse, to put the “real truth” before the public.
In either case, I fear you will be gravely disappointed and sorrowfully mistaken.
Yours, Mimi (full name in the original)
Archived in Crime hypotheses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, Knox book hoaxes
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Thursday, March 29, 2012
Why Didn’t Giulia Bongiorno Fight A Lot Harder - For Meredith Kercher, The Real Victim Here?
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Bongiono as proponent for female victims
Sollecito lead lawyer and parliamentarian Giulia Bongiorno is persistently prominent in the Italian news.
Here she is captured by paparrazi while walking her baby son Ian around Rome. She is also in the news a lot for her political activities as a former senior member of the party of Silvio Berlusconi and possible future mayor of Palermo Sicily.
And she is fighting hard in court and the media for the interests of the passengers who were on the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia, and for the families whose loved ones died.
She also runs a group called Double Defense with Italian-speaking Swiss supermodel Michelle Hunziker (images of both above). Michelle just got engaged to the Italian fashion heir Tomaso Trussardi so she also is a lot in the news.
To raise funds for Double Defense they just co-hosted a glittering gala event in Milan. Many of Italy’s richest and most famous attended. Lots of money was raised.
So what is Double Defense?
Giulia Bongiorno and Michelle Hunziker founded Double Defense specifically to tilt the law and the courts more toward women who are the victims of violent crime. As Barbie Nadeau reports, that is much needed in Italy right now.
This description of Double Defense is from the Italian website Beautiful World.
Double Defense aims to help women who have suffered and are suffering domestic violence, physical or psychological, through assistance in the interpretation of the rules and regulations in force.
In addition to that the non-profit organization, born from a chance encounter between the Swiss showgirl and Bongiorno the lawyer, wants to raise awareness of this terrible phenomenon, promote a culture of nonviolence, and prevent passive acceptance and silence from being the only refuge of those who suffer such terrible and barbaric mistreatment.
There are many names known and loved who have decided to put their fame at the service of Double Defense. Anna Tatangelo, Federica Pellegrini, Francesco Totti, Nek, Ilary Blasi and Silvia Toffanin are some of the celebrities who support the non-profit organization which was created by the duo of Hunziker and Bongiorno. .
The Foundation has a new partnership with the Italian brand Pandorine. Co-promotion will include a new marathon and relay race in Piazza Castello, and a special type of bag that is symbolically called Women: completely white, perfect for summer, and bearing a meaningful and touching inscription…
2. Female victim here be damned
We wonder. Did it never occur to Giulia Bongiorno that one of the most prominent women victims in many years was in fact Meredith Kercher? A victim of a cruel and gratuitous murder? Seemingly the MOST deserving victim for Bongiorno to wage a fight for?
Maybe the answer was yes - back at trial in 2009.
Sollecito’s father seemed to have wanted to retain Ms Bongiorno because of her political clout, from wiretap mentions made public which seem to show zero belief in Sollecito’s innocence. Ms Bongiorno often seemed disinterested at trial, and even disappeared or failed to show once or twice.
She seemed from photos in court to have poor chemistry with Raffaele Sollecito, and we heard that both she and Luciano Ghirga were so disbelieving in the innocence of their clients and so irritated at the PR that they might walk and leave Knox and Sollecito to find new defense counsel.
But in 2011 we saw something entirely different.
During the first appeal under Judge Hellman, Ms Bongiorno seemed to have other things on her mind than the truth of her client’s guilt or innocence, or the fact that the victim in this case, was a super-achieving woman. Meredith’s family being in another country, with few resources of their own, helped to enable an arrogant callousness.
She presumably could have used a win right about then against the justice system of Italy, in support of the beleagured PM Berlusconi, and she may have had (and still have) on her mind that run for the office of mayor in Palermo, Sicily.
Who knows what else might have been on her mind? But in 2011 she certainly mounted a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners defense of Raffaele Sollecito, and the female victim Meredith be damned..
Bongiorno introduced the bizarre witnesses Alessi and Aviello to discredit Rudy Guede, and one of them (Aviello) openly claimed that he had committed perjury because bribes were being offered in his prison in exchange for testimony helpful to Sollecito. (That is still being investigated.)
Ms Bongiorno also went to remarkable lengths, with witness after witness after witness, to discredit Antonio Curatolo, the claimed observer of Knox and Sollecito in the park. Impartial lawyers think that Curatolo did still emerge as having seen something on the correct night, but he was now openly tarred as a heroin dealer, and in his report Judge Hellman displayed suspicion towards all of the witnesses.
Ms Bongiorno’s performances at trial and at appeal were like night and day.
3. Bongiorno as contemptible hypocrite
So two people who Ms Bongiorno may have always disbelieved and had little time and respect for presently walk free. While the precise kind of victim Bongiono now claims to go to bat for is simply shrugged off, with absolutely no sign of her caring.
Obviously not all women victims in her eyes are equal. Winning at all costs no matter the hurt is what she is really about.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Dear CEO Gary Pruitt: Could The Associated Press Try To Report Right A Little Harder?
Posted by Peter Quennell
[From the AP website] More than one billion people look to The Associated Press (AP) for news each day. Founded in 1848, the AP is the world’s foremost information resource with more than 3,700 employees at 242 bureaus worldwide serving 121 countries 24 hours a day, seven days a week via newspaper, radio, television and the Web.
The AP is a co-operative owned by over 1,000 newspapers and, like most of the mainstream media it serves, the AP rather has its back against the wall. From the Wikipedia entry:
The AP lost $14.7 million in 2010 as revenue plummeted for a second consecutive year. 2010 revenue totaled $631 million, a decline of 7% from the previous year. This is despite sweeping price cuts designed to bolster revenues and help newspapers and broadcasters cope with declining revenue.
That image above is of Gary Pruitt. A lot is riding on him to sustain a quality service and deversify in any way he can to pump those revenues back up. Right now, he is a senior media executive in Sacramento, California, but he will become the president and CEO of the AP in two months.
Most Americans hear far more about Meredith’s case from the AP than they do from any other source. Typically the AP sends out a story every few days when the case is live in Perugia. Typically these stories then get posted on 200 to 2,000-pus media websites in the US and around the world.
The AP also sends out many video reports, which are broadcast by the many member TV stations, and the AP also posts them on YouTube. If you search Google Video for “associated press meredith kercher” you will get 30,000 hits, and if you search “associated press amanda knox” you will get ten times that amount.
The AP reports on the case have at times veered to the deeply trivial. Here is a post about Amanda Knox’s 2008 Christmas in prison which included only a single sentence about the real victim Meredith and her family. Within hours it was up on 800 websites.
The AP reports have also at times included seriously wrong facts. Sometimes it corrects them, sometimes not. Here is a post about a correction of a mistake which appeared on about 2,000 websites. The apology has been removed but the story when posted was inaccurate and it has been re-written to hide that. .
But the real gut problem in AP reporting on the case is one of deep superficiality and of leaving an awful lot unsaid.
Here is a report by the AP cultural and publishing correspondent Hillel Italie (image below) in New York. It is essentially correct so far as it goes, but it is a good example of the republishing of press releases while leaving an awful lot unsaid.
Here are just three examples of what the AP could have covered in this report and its many other reports but so far hasn’t.
- All trials and appeals have concluded with a sentencing report in Italian explaining what the reasons of the judges were. The AP has not only done no translation (it has bilingual reporters in Italy); of the reports’ very existence, the AP audience would never know.
- There is a lot of legal activity just ahead in the Supreme Court appeal against RS and AK and the calunnia and perversion of justice trials. The once-convicted perps are now looking at a formidable new prosecutor, though the AP audience would never know.
- There has been a costly, huge and highly onesided PR effort which has been unfairly hard on Italy and its justice system and its police and prosecutors and experts, to the point often of defamation, but the AP audience would never know.
Anyone who gets their news on the case only from the AP would essentially know NOTHING of the facts we have advanced in all the recent posts on the books and shortly before that in all the recent facts on the appeal and family trials. They would know only a tiny fraction of the full universe of facts and much of what they do “know” is flat-out wrong.
Nice going, Associated Press. Your worst performance ever, perhaps? But then, why bother, when only an entire very civilized country and hundreds of its officials and truth and justice are being slimed?
What most Italians know of the details of the case is maybe ten times more detailed and comprehensive and fair and accurate than what most Americans and many Brits know. Italian reporting and interviews and media investigations are very fair. In contrast the AP is proving lazy and sloppy and inaccurate. Not to mention very dishonest.
Mr Pruitt, please ensure that AP reporting learns something from this? Right now, they are falling seriously short.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Reporting on the case, Poor reporting, Media news
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Thursday, March 22, 2012
No, Book Agent Sharlene Martin, Your Client Raffaele Sollecito Really IS A Hot Potato
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Above and below: Verona in north Italy where Sollecito is accepted by the university for a masters degree]
Los Angeles book agent Sharlene Martin posted this gung-ho comment on a Daily Telegraph thread (presently page seven) late Sunday night UK time.
I couldn’t be happier for Amanda Knox getting $4M for a book deal. What happened to her and Raffaele is a sin. BTW, I represent Raffaele for his book that we’re working on.
There is no restitution for wrongful conviction and both families incurred absorbent costs to help exonerate them so good for them if they help recoup the lost monies. They’ll never recoup the lost time of 4 years in prison.
She posted that at just about the same time we posted (post below) on the various hot-potato qualities of Raffaele Sollecito. Since then… no further word.
In terms of the book’s sale to a publisher she may not have much to worry about.
For this reason the deal is probably set in stone: Simon and Schuster are a fully owned subsidiary of CBS Broadcasting, which has gone to eye-popping lengths (post on this soon) to remain in bed with the Knox-Mellases.
The content of this ill-considered book might be a lot more problematic. Sharlene Martin might still believe that there are just a few open questions, easily accommodated to by the FOA talking points. In actual fact there are hundreds.
And the FOA have studiously stayed away from creating the alternate-universe scenario that Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel must now create, if they don’t want to end up as the laughing-stock of the western world.
This is a road-map of the Sharlene Martin-Andrew Gumbel-Simon & Schuster minefield.
- Here is the Machine’s list of 10 lies uttered by Sollecito which was posted three years ago and so far never challenged.
- Here is Kermit’s list of 150 questions which so far have never been answered by either of the formerly convicted perps.
- Here is Kermit on Sollecito’s footprint on the mat which Judge Micheli and Judge Massei accepted and Judge Hellman only weakly and possibly illegally rebutted.
- Here again is the Machine on RS’s various alibis the strange arc of which two years later is still unexplained.
- Here is lawyer SomeAlibi’s list of evidence points of a year ago which Hellman weakly rebutted or ignored and which still call for convincing explanations.
- Here is lawyer James Raper’s presentation with Powerpoint artwork by Kermit of the ONE convincing scenario that the evidence still points to.
Hmmm. Lotta questions to be answered in a hurry, if the book is to stir a wave of sympathy or outrage to stop the Italian Supreme Court punting the case back to Perugia to get it right this time around.
Above and below are images of the northern Italian city of Verona. It has the largest and best preserved intact Roman ampitheater in the world. It also has a very good university.
Possibly legitimately or possibly by way of strings pulled by his father, Raffaele Sollecito had gained a place in a graduate class at the university there for the Department of Computer Science’s masters degree in computer engineering.
In January Sollecitos father made several statements from Bari to the effect that Raffaele really was done with Amanda and dreams of visiting Seattle and would soon be headed for Verona to complete that postgraduate degree.
Rather suddenly, less than two months later, Raffaele is headed for Seattle, with his father and sister seemingly in hot and unexplained pursuit. Microsoft is suddenly mentioned as a firm which will interview him, masters degree or no masters.
So what happened? Well possible one explanation might be found in the comments area of every recent Italian report which allows them, which suggests that just about 100 percent of those posting don’t really like him.
That Italians dont really like him and are even inclined to physically take after him is also well illustrated in this story which we posted 18 months ago.
Sollecito was in the very modern solar-heated Terni prison for most of last year. He was moved back to Capanne this year just before the trial, amidst his loud complaints that Capanne lacks the internet connections for his computer-science homework.
Sollecito has just received word that he failed the virtual-reality entrance exam that he took at Verona University last March.
When he was being transported there in a police van for the exam, he was yelled at by an angry crowd when the van stopped at an autostrada rest-stop for what Americans call a bathroom break.
He was bundled back in, and the police van took off in a hurry. No bathroom break? That must have rattled his exam-taking composure, that is for sure.
Another possible explanation is that Sollecito is putting half a world between himself and Italy, because the Sollecito-Knox-Mellases realize that in light of Dr Galati’s formidable appeal that legally they are cooked.
Lots of good interview questions for Microsoft above. And a suggested new subtitle for “Presumed Guilty: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox” ?
“Oops. This book idea really wasn’t very smart.”
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, Solleci book hoaxes
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Sunday, March 18, 2012
Could A Growing Asymmetry Between Raffaele And Everybody Else Be Ensuring No Sleep In Seattle?
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Louise Burke, Jen Bergstrom, and Tricia Boczkowski, top editors at Sollecito publisher Gallery Books]
Amanda Knox seems to have had a history of putting her foot in it and then (sometimes) when she realizes it she tries to make amends.
That seems to be the arc of her Berlin experience where she upset people by quitting a plum intern job at the parliament after a day and then retroactively at least worrying about it. That may have been what she was doing at the first meeting with her parents in Capanne prison when they very quickly shushed her up.
Meredith seems to have found Knox hard to take with her noise and grubbiness and sharp elbows and general pushiness. But Amanda Knox was losing her few new friends in Perugia fast, and possibly her job in Patrick’s bar, and Meredith seems to have fatefully banked on Amanda Knox coming full circle soon.
There are instances recorded almost to the end where they both seemed to try to get along, although Meredith may have brushed Knox off on Halloween night when Knox made unanswered calls, maybe to ask if she could tag along.
Seemingly a classic loner with no close friends in Perugia, no previous genuine deep relations with girls, apparently no prior sex, a year or two behind the rest of his class in completing his degree, with serious time given to beastie porn and Japanese anime and Japanese manga. Believed to have had a history of cocaine use with some incident on record back in Bari. Loves knives.
Seemingly forever kept on a very short string by his father, who called him on the phone at least once daily, and who made sure to keep his son’s bank balance on a level with Raffaele’s legitimate monthly expenses.
Seemingly already nervous prior to Meredith’s death that Amanda Knox might soon dump him. That after less than one week.
Our Italian poster ncountryside translated these statements by Dr Sollecito which seem to show Francesco trying hard to get a grip over his slippery son.
From a family conversation recorded in Capanne prison
And then this f@cking knife that you carried back and forth .... I told you about leaving it at home .... You’re an idiot from this point of view .... aren’t you? .... and then the f@cking point that you could have avoided the [marijuana] joints .... You promised a few years ago about it, didn’t you? You gave us your promise, to me and to your sister that you would not have used them again, and instead you have not given a f@ck .... is that clear?“
From another family conversation recorded in Capanne prison
If the investigators are finally realizing what the real dynamics of the matter is ... automatically understand that you have nothing to do with [rude in italian] ... Do you understand? ... Amanda can be more or less involved in this matter ... more or less I do not know and do not give a damn ...
She will know something ... precisely ... especially considering all the versions that she has given, maybe she has not told the right one because she was worried about what this character the little negro [i.e. Patrick Lumumba] has managed to do, something like that ... do you understand what I mean? ... But you have nothing to do with [rude in Italian] ... and they understood ... now this morning or Monday there will be also the checking of your computer ... they have already cloned the hard disk ..
If Amanda was home ... if she was out, wtf were you doing? ... were you at the computer? ...... We cannot understand, this [=AK] within three days, when she went to the questura ... she has four to five different versions ... she has pulled in the little negro a@@hole ... Is a strange personality this girl, isn’t it?.
In his second and third alibis Sollecito definitely seemed to throw Knox under the bus.
It was only after hearing of Sollecito’s second alibi from police interrogators that Knox headed off down the slippery slope that now results in a confirmed three-year sentence for her and calunnia trials for both herself and her parents.
It was right then that Knox pointed the finger at Patrick Lumumba, in her own second alibi when still only a witness.
Upon his release by Judge Hellman, Raffaele Sollecito adopts a high and surprisingly jubilant “catch me if you can” profile not dis-similar to that which has been the downfall of many a psychopath throughout history.
He goes on national TV and avoids all the hard questions and he bristles with narcissistic bravado. He makes several statements about himself and Knox from his seclusion in Bisceglie north of Bari, which his father then publicly tries to pull him back from.
A seemingly naive ghost-writer, Andrew Gumbel, is invited in to capture Sollecito’s immortal thoughts, and he seem to have instantly started to mirror Sollecito’s extreme bravado.
More or less the opposite of the cautious, subdued book approach of the Knox camp. Although she may not have wanted this, Amanda Knox will be tied forever to Sollecito in the opportunistic, self-serving title: “Presumed Guilty: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox”.
Book announcements are totally mute about all the legal trouble headed down the pike toward himself and Knox and their two families. The publisher’s announcement makes this inaccurate statement:
Over and over, Sollecito came under pressure to change his testimony and get himself off the hook, but he refused to betray Amanda and he refused to lie.
Really?! No, in fact Sollecito threw Amanda Knox under the bus as soon as he was leaned on, in his alibis two and three. He left her under the bus throughout the whole trial. Even after she rather desperately reached out to him in Capanne prison. And he lied again and again and again. Besides:
- Sollecito seems to show no concern at all that Perugia’s formidable chief prosecutor Dr Galati has filed a devastatingly strong appeal with the Italian Supreme Court.
- Sollecito seems to show no concern at all over his own family’s upcoming trial or the fact that they might end up in prison (which could cause his father to lose his medical license).
- Sollecito seems to show no concern at all that, for over-vigorously trying to defend him, his sister Vanessa has now permanently lost her plum job with the Carabinieri.
And now? Well, now there is a new report from the UK press, which seems to keep stringers permanently on the ground in Seattle and may have a direct pipeline to the Knox-Mellases. The report includes this:
Amanda’s new boyfriend, musician James Terrano is understood to be unhappy about Raffaele’s arrival.
James Terrano has himself been very cautious. He is unlikely to have let that damning remark leak out without a heads-up to Amanda Knox and her family. This seems yet another sign that the secret Seattle meetings are not simply a lovefest.
Both families seem to be struggling with a loose cannon called Raffaele.
Archived in Officially involved, Raff Sollecito, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Seattle context
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Rome Appeal Court Rejects Vanessa Sollecito’s Appeal For Reinstatement In The Carabinieri
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Above and below: Francesco, father of Vanessa and Raffaele, outside their Bisceglie family home late 2011]
In 2008 Vanessa Sollecito and her father Francesco were caught on tape discussing the manipulation of Rome politicians into forcing changes upon the investigation team in Perugia.
Vanessa was fired from the Carabinieri the prestigious Italian national civil-military police force in November 2009 for demonstrating behavior and psychology inappropriate to a law enforcement officer’s job.
Our Italian poster ncountriside has just alerted us to the posting of the official statement that her appeal has been turned down.
The European Court is quoted in that report as confirming that national members have the right to fire official staff for psychological and behavioral cause.
The Carabinieri carried out a very thorough investigation which included the secret bugging of her mobile phone and her father’s phone. Jools translated one key conversation here. Her father suspects they are being bugged by the police but she blithely talks on, digging them in deeper.
This ruling was probably posted when Vanessa Sollecito was already in the air bound for Seattle (see the post below) but she would have known it was coming. This does not bode well for the criminal trial she faces along with her close family, possibly starting in Bari at the end of this month. The charges could incur prison terms.
The Sollecito family arc has almost never been reported on in the English language press. In 21 June 2008 Tom Kington of the Guardian did file this brief report.
The investigation into the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy took a dramatic twist yesterday when the family of one of the suspects was accused of attempting to interfere with the inquiry.
Police tapping the phones of the father of Italian student Raffaele Sollecito overheard discussions that appeared to suggest plans being made to get senior politicians to use their influence and get detectives whom the Sollecitos considered hostile taken off the case. The phone tap information is in files handed over to lawyers as magistrate Giuliano Mignini officially completed the investigation into the strangling and stabbing of Kercher, from Surrey, who was found on 2 November semi-naked in a pool of blood in her bedroom in Perugia.
‘We’ve got to flay the Perugia flying squad,’ a family member was overheard saying, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. ‘If we can get rid of the head of homicide and that other one, we’ll be OK.’
Relatives of Sollecito, including his sister, a policewoman, were also overheard discussing politicians who could help their case. Giulia Buongiorno, a lawyer and MP in Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling coalition, has now been retained to represent Sollecito. ‘She can help out on this case at a political level,’ Sollecito’s father was overheard saying.
Sollecito’s father, Franco, a well-to-do doctor from Bari in southern Italy, has campaigned to prove his son’s innocence, even to the point of allegedly leaking to a TV station a video obtained from the crime scene showing Kercher’s corpse, as well as highlighting perceived errors by the investigators, including the delayed recovery of parts of Kercher’s bra strap which were found to carry Sollecito’s DNA.
Police are holding in custody Sollecito, 24; his former girlfriend and Kercher’s flatmate, American student Amanda Knox, 20; and a third suspect, Rudy Guede, 21. All three deny involvement in the vicious killing.
As you can see here, Italian reporting like that translated by Jools usually includes a lot more damning detail.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Other legal cases, Others Italian, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012
In Desperation A Council Of War? All Of The Sollecito Family Suddenly Hop On Flights To Seattle
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
What’s going on here?
Sollecito has been in Los Angeles working on a book with a shadow writer. His father has said very firmly several times that Sollecito and Amanda Knox are through. Finito.
But Italian media are suddenly reporting that Sollecito is hopping on a plane for Seattle. And that his family, seemingly in a panic, is high-tailing it after him.
Are both families really nervous that the two will get back together for better or (probably) worse? Or is this a council of war between the Sollecitos, Knoxes, and Mellases?
Actually, this meet-up is no surprise at all to the close case watchers in Italy. They were wondering how else the two families and their loose-cannon kids could make it through the minefields ahead. They seem to be facing a five-problem agenda.
Problem One For Discussion
The most immediate problem for the two families is described in the box at the top of the page here. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas are headed for a civil trial brought by aggrieved police, seemingly without an ounce of proof on the family’s side other than any testimony from Amanda Knox herself under cross-examination (for the first time) on the witness stand.
Almost simultaneously the Sollecitos (five of them) are headed for a CRIMINAL trial for illegal release of evidence and attempted political interference which could eventually land them in prison. The two charges against them seem pretty cut and dried with hard evidence on film and audio tape to which they have not so far offered even a sliver of a rebuttal.
Problem Two For Discussion
The second problem is that officialdom in Rome and Perugia seem to almost universally believe that the two families have all along known that both of their kids were somehow involved in Meredith’s murder. Some of the suggestive evidence is out there in broad daylight and we suspect that prosecutors may be holding back more.
Contrary to the claims of Amanda Knox’s supporters that prosecutors maliciously threw the book at the defendants and their tribes to somehow save face, the truth is that prosecutors stopped short of taking all of the possible actions open to them.
For example they turned down an offer by Guede to testify fully at first trial (after which he was beaten up in prison and reduced to a jelly which must have pleased him no end) and they seem to know more than they are saying about hard drugs - Knox apparently had a cocaine dealer’s number in her mobile phone. Also they chose not to investigate any of the rumors and backstories in Seattle which US prosecutors might well have done.
In the Sollecito case they may have felt they had no choice but to proceed. The released evidence tape showing Meredith’s naked body was repeatedly broadcast nationally, and the Carabinieri and Rome police are both involved in the political meddling component. Bari prosecutors will of course be trying the case.
Problem Three For Discussion
The third problem is that Judge Hellman has done the families no favors. On the day after he issued his verdict he contradicted himself in an unhelpful way. Then he published an emotional report explaining the surprise outcome of the first appeal which is short on logic and correct law, and full of innuendo and bizarre intellectual leaps.
PMF and TJMK will be posting a careful translation of the Hellman report with a full analysis of its weaknesses soon.
Problem Four For Discussion
Chief Prosecutor Galati has already filed a formidable Supreme Court appeal against the first appeal outcome, which argues in part that (1) the scope of Hellman’s report was illegal overreach; and that (2) his appointing of the two independent DNA experts was more illegal overreach.
As it has done in many other cases in the past, the Supreme Court might send the outcome of the first appeal back to Perugia to be corrected just as soon as it reads that.
And if it reads further, it cannot help but note that Judge Hellman has brushed right by hundreds of questions that still remain open. The Supreme Court has ALREADY rejected Judge Hellman’s hypothesis that Rudy Guede broke in and attacked Meredith all by himself. It has sided with Judges Massei and Micheli that there were actually three perpetrators.
Problem Five For Discussion
The blockbuster book offers required to pay for all this new legal action seemed very short on due diligence in the context of the calunnia minefield that Italian law creates for writers and publishers. Did the writers and publishers even know about that?
Past explanations and alibis from Knox and Sollecito have repeatedly contradicted one another’s. At one point, each seemed to be accusing the other of the crime. At trial, Knox seemed to want to talk all the time, while Sollecito barely ever said a word. Now we are seeing the exact opposite. Sollecito seemingly cannot keep quiet to save himself, while Knox seems petrified and terminally tongue-tied.
Their books are going to need to be line-by-line supportive of one another, and they will be disasters if they rely on slamming Italian officials and moping (Knox’s apparent angle) or on denying all the hard evidence and moping (Sollecito’s apparent angle).
There will be cancellation clauses in the publishers’ fine print, and what they are we may all soon find out. From the two families’ point of view, this entire landscape must look very nasty and foreboding. An ill-advised legal and PR strategy has led them into this minefield.
Not surprising that they now find a sudden need to chat.
Archived in Officially involved, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, The wider contexts, Seattle context, Solleci book hoaxes
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