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Series Cellphone activity

Friday, March 20, 2009

Trial: ABC News Report: Experts Remark On Very Odd Phone Patterns

Posted by Peter Quennell


In another objective report for ABC News, Rome-based reporter Ann Wise adds the following details.

Sollecito was particularly cheerful today…. as the 10th hearing of the trial concentrated on phone records.

Sollecito has always maintained that he was home in his apartment the night of the murder and initially told police his father had called him at home around 11 p.m.

Phone records later showed that he received no such call.,,,

Police investigator Letterio Latella testified today that Knox and Sollecito’s cell phones were inactive most of the night, and activity on the cell phones stopped almost simultaneously….

Latella said that he did not find any evidence of a similar “blackout” of Knox and Sollecito’s phones in the month preceding the murder.

Normally, investigators have said, both Knox and Sollecito’s phones were on until late at night and would come back on in the late morning.

Posted on 03/20/09 at 02:18 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Testimony On Mobile Phones, Suspicious Silence At Just The Wrong Time

Posted by Peter Quennell


Expert testimony essentially did not depart from the narrative in particular set out by Judge Micheli.

He was the judge who committed Knox and Sollecito to trial. For the full report by Alessandra Rizzo of AP click above. 

1) On the switching off and on of the mobile phones:

The cell phones of two defendants in the murder of a British student killed in Italy remained inactive the night of the murder, witnesses testified Friday.

Investigators say having their cell phones turned off made their whereabouts untraceable. Defense lawyers contend that the cell phone data were inconclusive….

Police inspector Letterio Latella, who analyzed the data, said Knox’s and Sollecito’s cell phones showed no activity on the night of the crime. His testimony confirmed previous witness accounts and provided details of the cell phones’ traffic.

In lengthy testimony supported by PowerPoint slides, Latella said Sollecito’s cell phone remained inactive between 8:42 p.m. of Nov. 1 and 6:02 a.m. of Nov. 2, when he received a text message from his father.

Latella suggested that the cell phone had been turned off because the text message had been sent the night before. He said there were no reported glitches in the network that night, and that other cell phones active in the area appeared to function properly.

Knox’s cell phone was inactive between 8:35 p.m. of Nov. 1 and 12:07 p.m. of Nov. 2, according to Latella, who studied documents provided by the phone operators. At 12:07 p.m., Knox’s called Kercher’s British number….

2) On Knox’s text exchange on the night of the murder with Patrick Lumumba

Phone records showed [Knox] exchanged text messages with the Congolese owner of a pub where she used to work part-time, Latella and other witnesses said.

The messages Knox sent at 8:35 p.m. to the man, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, said: “Sure. See you later. Have a good night!” said Simone Tacconi of the telecommunications branch of Rome police. The message was written in Italian.

Lumumba was detained for two weeks in November 2007 after he was implicated by Knox. He has since been cleared and is seeking defamation damages from Knox.

Posted on 03/20/09 at 01:43 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Proceedings Resume, The Agenda For Friday And Saturday Is 11 Witnesses

Posted by Peter Quennell


Eleven witnesses are scheduled - and they are probably about to provide some really dramatic testimony.

On Friday, the police experts who analysed the locations and activities of the phones relevant to the case will take the stand. The phones in question include Meredith’s two mobile phones (one of which was in Filomena’s name) which may have been removed from the house to prevent Meredith from calling for help as she lay dying.

They were both tossed into a garden very close to Sollecito’s and Guede’s places. The finding and reporting of one of the phones resulted in the Communication Police visiting Meredith’s house, where they have testified they found Knox and Sollecito outside apparently quite startled, with a mop and a bucket and the washing machine still running just inside.

One issue is whether anyone tried to use one of Meredith’s phones to communicate deliberately with Meredith’s password-protected bank account in the UK. Her rent money of course disappeared at the time of the murder, and Guede, Sollecito and Knox may all have been low on funds.

There should be confirmation that Sollecito’s father called Sollecito on his apartment’s land-line very late on the evening of the crime. His call went unresponded-to, perhaps because nobody was home at the time.

And there should be confirmation that Sollecito’s and Knox’s mobiles were turned off more or less simultaneously at Sollecito’s house less than an hour before the crime against Meredith took place, and that at least one of them was switched back on before daybreak the next morning, at a time when Knox and Sollecito have both claimed to have been asleep. 

On Saturday, the manager of the Conad supermarket in lower Via Garibaldi (in Sollecito’s street, and about 200 meters from Meredith’s house) will give testimony on whether Knox was seen in the supermarket early on the morning after the crime, and whether any bleach was sold. His previous statement included this:

I saw Amanda, on the morning they found the body of Meredith, doing some shopping at around 7.45am,” the witness, whose name has not yet been released, claimed.

“She was in the part of the shop where they keep detergents, but I couldn’t say for sure if she bought anything,” the man was quoted as saying by the Giornale dell’Umbria newspaper.

“I thought it was very strange for a student to be out so early in the morning. That morning was virtually a holiday, there were no lectures, if there had been I could understand her being up so early.”

Also on Saturday, the boyfriend of Alessandra Formica who apparently saw a black man similar to Guede running up the stairs near the house will testify. He and his girlfriend are often referred to as the diners, and they were returning to their parked car at the time. This could be vital to a firm timeline.

And also on Saturday the man sitting on a bench in the Piazza Grimana, from which the gate of Meredith’s house can easily be seen, is expected to testify that Knox and Sollecito came and sat nearby, late in the evening, and seemed to be keeping an anxious eye on that gate.

The timing of that action appears to be just minutes after a neighbor whose apartment looks onto the house heard a terrible scream and then footsteps running from the house in several directions.

Knox’s stepfather Chris Mellas is expected to again be present. He doesn’t speak Italian. Nevertheless, his spin on the above is awaited with great interest.

Posted on 03/20/09 at 03:22 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, February 27, 2009

Trial: Lot Of Evidence Introduced In First Pass In Afternoon Session

Posted by Peter Quennell


This was testimony from the crime-scene investigators who searched Meredith’s and Sollecito’s apartments on the day after the crime.

The UK press and the Associated Press (the main source for reports in American media) have not yet updated their stories beyond those linked-to below.

But the Italian press is reporting testimony from the officers who found the knife in Sollecito’s apartment which may have Knox’s and Meredith’s DNA on it (see Nicki’s post Monday on the knife and other DNA below).

Also there was testimony on the phone records which seems to indicate Knox’s and Sollecito’s mobile phones were turned off almost together around mid-evening on the night of the murder. There is a record of Sollecito’s being turned on again at daybreak the next morning, but apparently no record of when Knox’s phone was turned back on.

Also introduced this afternoon was the first of the testimony on the finding of Meredith on the floor of her bedroom (see Brian’s post Wednesday on this sad and apparently very telling scene).

There was crime-scene-officer testimony also on the finding of the large rock in Filomena’s bedroom. The defenses are reported to have put on a spirited show here, and to have again argued the possibility that an intruder could have got in via Filomena’s window.

Crime scene officers testified that a ready-made much-easier break-in route existed, by way of the balcony and the windows and balcony door out back.

On Sunday, our poster Kermit will be putting up new Powerpoints showing why this route is so viable. And again but even more-so how absurd Filomena’s window looks as a preferred point-of-entry.

Posted on 02/27/09 at 12:47 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Nick Pisa Of On-The-Ball Sky News Reports Early Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell

Hmmm. Many officers testifying = weakness of the case? That seems a stretch.

And in the accompanying article on Sky News, Nick Pisa reports one officer’s testimony.

Mr Profazio, who now leads the narcotics division in Rome, told the court how he had been on holiday at the time of the murder, but immediately returned to work.

“I was away when I had a phone call from colleagues telling me that there had been a terrible murder. The body of an English girl had been found with her throat cut,” he said.

“I immediately headed back to Perugia and got to the scene at the same time as the forensic officers from Rome.

“A window was pointed out to me, which was broken and which was said to have been the point of entry, but I thought it was strange as it would have needed a superhuman effort to climb up to it.

“I noticed that there was a much easier way into the house at the back, via a terrace and a boiler, there was a chair and table on the terrace and it would have been a lot easier to get in this way.”

He also told the court how both Knox and Sollecito’s mobile phones had been switched off “practically at the same time” between 8.00pm and 8.30pm the night of the murder.

Mr Profazio also told the court that a search of Sollecito’s house had discovered a 30cm kitchen knife which was given to forensic experts for examination.

Posted on 02/27/09 at 08:24 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, February 13, 2009

Trial: Friday Morning, More Testimony From Meredith’s Sad Friends

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the first report by Richard Owen.

Ms Knox had spoken to someone on her mobile phone while at the police station, claiming that she had found the body, Ms Butterworth said. Ms Knox said: “How do you think I feel? I was the first to find her, it could have been me.”

Ms Knox had described the crime scene, saying that Ms Kercher’s body was “in the closet with a blanket over her. I would say wardrobe, I wouldn’t say closet, that’s why I remember it. When I went home I wrote the word down.”

 

 

 

 

Posted on 02/13/09 at 09:17 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, February 06, 2009

Trial: Friday Morning Not A Good Start For The Knox Team

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for The Times’ report by Richard Owen. The main highlights:

1) Knox’s written admission that she was present at the murder is admitted.

The American accused of murdering British student Meredith Kercher suffered a setback today after a judge ruled that her confession to being at the scene of the crime could stand as evidence.

The statement Ms Knox was trying to keep from the court contains the same testimony as a controversial “confession” she made to police four days after the murder. In it she admitted to having been at the cottage the night Ms Kercher was killed. She said that she had covered her ears so as not to hear her flatmate’s screams and accused Patrick Diya Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner in Perugia, of being the murderer…

Despite the Supreme Court ruling, the judge in today’s trial decided that a memorandum Ms Knox had later written in English was admissible because it had been given voluntarily. It could be heard in the defamation case brought by Mr Lumumba against Ms Knox and which is being heard at the same time as the criminal trial.

2) Raffaele Solllecito may be opening up some space for himself here.

Mr Sollecito was granted permission to address the court, and said that he was “the victim of injustice” and “would never hurt a fly”. He said that he found himself in a “completely surreal and totally strange” situation since he was “not in any away involved” in the murder of Ms Kercher, adding: ” I am not a violent man.”

He said that his “sentimental relationship” with Ms Knox had only begun in September 2007 and stressed that he did not know Guede: “I never met him.” There had been a “lot of confusion” in the case, he said, and he appealed to the court to “clear it up”.

Added: Nick Pisa of the Daily Mail has noted: “As Sollecito gave his speech, Knox looked on clearly worried and biting her nails”

3) When police arrived the defendants seemed “surprised and embarrassed”

Mr Bartolozzi said that he had despatched a team of officers to the cottage, where they had found Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito already there. The officers had phoned him to report that Ms Kercher’s bedroom door was locked and he authorised the officers to break it down. Inside they found Ms Kercher’s body….

Michele Battistelli, one of the officers, said that he reached the cottage “after midday, at around half past twelve”. He found Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito at the house, and they appeared “surprised and embarrassed” at the arrival of the police.

They are accused of breaking a window to fake a break in. Mr Sollecito claims that he had already telephoned the Carabinieri, but the prosecution says that he only did so after the postal police turned up.

Police testimony on the finding of the two dumped cellphones was also heard. One was traced to Filomena Romanelli who later told police she had lent the phone to Meredith.The second phone was owned by Meredith.

Posted on 02/06/09 at 09:30 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Powerpoints #9: Defense Claim That AK And RS Couldn’t Have Disposed Of Meredith’s Phones Is Wrong

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

It looks like justice for Meredith will get a very strong push from what the mobile phones tell the court.

We don’t know all of this evidence. Possibly not by a long shot. The huge majority of assembled evidence remains sealed until trial, starting just over two weeks away.

A police wiretap on Amanda Knox’s mobile picked up her words “I cannot do it any more” to Raffaele Solecito, which resulted in her being taken in for questioning. The investigation was almost foreshortened right about then.

Triangulation of phone whereabouts seemed to confirm that her employer who Amanda Knox fingered as the perp, Patrick, was actually there near the house. That defense strategy soon fell through.

The mobiles of Meredith, Knox, and Sollecito (Guede did not have one) all seem to have experienced some strange atypical usage and some suspicious switchings-off-and-on on the night in question.

And that formidable national police force, the Polizia delle comunicazioni, first started investigating when two mobiles surprisingly started ringing in a garden the morning after the crime.

That garden - that house -  is about one kilometer from Meredith’s house (you can just see it between trees near top-left above). And less than 100 meters from Guede’s apartment and 200 meters from Sollecito’s apartment (in the center house below), by way of a small city gate.

The Sollecito and Guede defenses maintained that, because that gate is locked at night, there’s no way their clients could have tossed the phones in the garden.  So. Someone else must have done it. Both that and the crime.

Once again we use Powerpoints to examine the possibilities here.


Posted on 11/18/08 at 08:46 AM by KermitClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Judge Micheli’s First Statement - The 10,000 Pages Start To Talk

Posted by Peter Quennell




Judge Micheli’s dossier. This below is from London’s Daily Telegraph. Click above for the full story.

In a dossier on the high-profile case, Judge Paolo Micheli said the 21 year-old’s murder was more likely spontaneous rather than pre-planned.

The judge, however, appeared to agree with prosecution claims the Leeds University student was murdered by more than one person.

He said that footprints in the flat showed there was more than one attacker in Miss Kercher’s flat on the night she was killed.

The revelations came after the Italian judge rejected one of her accused killer’s applications for bail…

Judge Micheli said he feared the two suspects could flee the country or commit another murder.

[Meredith’s] semi-naked body was found in the whitewashed cottage she shared with Miss Knox and two other students on November 2 last year.

She had been stabbed in the neck three times, and sustained more than 40 other injuries.

The judge attached weight to a kitchen knife found in Mr Sollecito’s flat which allegedly carried traces of Miss Knox’s DNA on the handle and Miss Kercher’s DNA on the blade.

He also said there were inconsistencies in Mr Sollecito’s accounts of where he was that night.

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini told the court last week that Miss Kercher was killed when all three suspects tried to force her to participate in “a perverse group sex game”.

Judge Paolo Micheli has a terrific reputation as a judge, He did not of course devote only last Tuesday to reviewing the case.  That has been a full-time job for him for several months now. In particular, he will have read the 10,000 pages of evidence the police and prosecutor have submitted. Almost certainly again and again.

The partial evidence already out here is pretty telling to those who have worked so hard to put it all together.  And the 30-year sentence Judge Micheli handed down to Rudy Guede on Tuesday suggests just how overwhelming the full body of evidence must be. How it must really hang together.

And how it must evoke the intense agony of the final moments of Meredith Kercher, as she was seemingly tortured to death amid laughter and taunts. What is actually in those 10,000 pages will soon be common knowledge, by way of both the Knox/Sollecito trial in December and the Guede appeal thereafter.

Tick tick tick..


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sollecito Turns On Knox? This Is Extraordinary…

Posted by Peter Quennell





A report says Sollecito places Knox at the scene of the crime.

As she had herself as well, twice, in the evening before her arrest. Still, a surprise move coming so soon after this truce.

The report, by Richard Owen from Perugia for the UK Times went online on the Times website three hours ago.

It also confirms what case-watchers already know; that tomorrow, Tuesday, is quite a cliff-hanger for the third defendant, Rudy Guede, who may be convicted and possibly sentenced right there and then.

Amanda Knox, the American flatmate of the murdered British student Meredith Kercher, has for the first time been implicated as being at the scene of the crime by her former Italian boyfriend.

With a verdict imminent in the pre-trial hearings over the murder in Perugia almost a year ago, the three suspects in the case appear to have turned on each other.

After the conclusion of the hearings, Judge Paolo Micheli, 44, a former Carabinieri officer who has been a magistrate since 1990, will decide tomorrow whether Ms Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her former boyfriend, should stand trial for the murder.

At the same time, he is also due to convict or clear Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast immigrant who is accused by prosecutors of taking part in the killing, but who has opted for a fast track trial in the hope of a reduced sentence if found guilty.

Lawyers for Mr Sollecito have told the judge that, according to a forensic expert called by the defence, Ms Knox’s DNA is on Ms Kercher’s bloodied bra-strap as well as that of Mr Sollecito and Rudy Guede.

Professor Francesco Vinci, the forensic scientist, said the DNA traces were “too contaminated” to be useable as evidence, but showed the presence of “at least three people”.

The admission appears to support the prosecution case that all three were present at the scene of the crime.

It also breaks a tacit pact between Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, who have sent each other supportive letters while in custody and until now have avoided incriminating each other. Mr Sollecito even sent Ms Knox flowers on her birthday this summer.

Lawyers for both Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox have repeatedly claimed the couple spent the night of the murder at Mr Sollecito’s flat, indicating that Mr Guede was the lone killer.

Today, the prosecution and defence lawyers will present their closing arguments. They will argue that if a trial date is set, the suspects should be released from prison into house arrest. Ms Knox has asked to be housed at San Fatucchio, a supervised community and farm in the Umbrian countryside, 40 kilometres from Perugia, for recovering drug addicts and young offenders run by the Catholic charity Caritas.

Last weekend Walter Biscotti, one of Mr Guede’s lawyers, accused Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito of framing his client, a drifter and small-time drug dealer who was brought up in Perugia and mingled with the student community. “We believe Knox and Sollecito were the murderers,” Nicodemo Gentile, another of Mr Guede’s lawyers said.

Mr Biscotti said Mr Guede, the only one of the three who admits he was at the hillside cottage Ms Knox shared with Ms Kercher on the evening of the murder, admitted attempting to have consensual sex with Ms Kercher, but had not raped or killed her. The prosecution says that Mr Guede’s DNA was on Ms Kercher’s bloodstained pillow.

Ms Kercher was found last November semi-naked in her bedroom with her throat cut. The prosecution claims she was assaulted just after Hallo’een in a murderous sex game, possibly inspired by a Japanese comic strip about vampires which Mr Sollecito had been reading.

Prosecutors say that Ms Knox stabbed her flatmate while the other two forced her to her knees and held her down, with Mr Sollecito pinning her by the arms and Mr Guede holding her by the throat.

Ms Knox’s lawyers reject this, saying Ms Kercher was assaulted by “one robust killer”. Last week, Ms Knox burst into tears when the allegation was made in court that she stabbed Ms Kercher, saying: “Meredith was my friend, I had no reason to kill her.”

Mr Guede claims he was listening to his iPod in the bathroom when Ms Kercher was killed in the bedroom. He fled to Germany after the killing, but was tracked down three weeks later in Germany.

Mr Sollecito’s defence team, headed by Giulia Bongiorno, a high profile lawyer and parliamentary deputy, brought props including a shop window mannequin wearing a bra into court last week to back their case. They claim “a thief”, who they suggest was Mr Guede, smashed a window to enter the cottage and killed Ms Kercher when she returned and recognised him, fleeing with her two mobile phones.

Ms Bongiorno argued that the presence of Mr Sollecito’s DNA on the bra fastener but not the rest of the garment proved it was due to contamination and mishandling by police forensic scientists.

Hmmm. Perhaps Rudy Guede should back out of the short-form trial (where the chips are loaded against him but the sentence is guaranteed shorter) and go for the long-form trial instead?

Oh, and better send more flowers, Raffaelle. She is going to be ticked at this one.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amanda Knox… Trapped, In Her Own Words

Posted by The Machine




Post Overview

Newcomers to the case and casual readers may not realize this.

But it is an indisputable fact that Amanda Knox has spun the truth. Tells lies. Deliberately, repeatedly, and very incriminatingly. I think it’s worth revisiting a few of her many lies for any new visitors to this board, so that they can get a clearer picture of the real strength of the case.

Some of Amanda’s vociferous supporters have claimed that Amanda only lied once - and that was because she was “smacked around” by the police, or put under pressure.

And that her confessions, in which she admitted to being at the cottage on the night of the murder, were thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court.

It doesn’t take a careful examination of the known facts to conclude that both these claims really are nonsense. Amanda’s first known lie wasn’t to the police, but to her flatmate, Filomena, on 2 November, the day after Meredith’s murder.

False claim one.

Amanda phoned Filomena at 12.08 pm, and said she was worried about the front door being open and blood stains in the small bathroom.

Amanda said she was going to call Raffaele, but according to Raffaele, Amanda had already returned to his apartment at 11.30 am, and then they had gone back to the cottage.

At 12.34 pm Amanda and Filomena spoke again. Filomena said, “We spoke to each other for the third time and she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

False claim two.

Amanda and Raffaele didn’t actually call the police until 12.51 pm.

The postal postal police unexpectedly turned up at the cottage at 12. 35 pm.

False claim three.

Amanda and Raffael told the police that they had called the police and were waiting for them.

No they had not.

False claim four.

Amanda told the postal police that Meredith always kept her door locked.

Filomena strongly disagreed with her, and told the postal police the opposite was true.

Amanda and Raffaele were then taken in for questioning.

False claim five.

They said they couldn’t remember most of what happened on the night of the murder, because they had smoked cannabis.

It is medically impossible for cannabis to cause such dramatic amnesia and there are no studies that have ever demonstrated that this is possible.

Long term use of cannabis may affect short term memory, which means that users might have difficulty recalling a telephone number. But it won’t wipe out whole chunks of an evening from their memory banks.

False claim six.

Amanda accused Diya Lumumba of murdering Meredith at the cottage.

It’s true that two of Amanda’s such statements were not allowed out by the Italian Supreme Court. However, Amanda repeated the accusation, in a note that she wrote to the police on 6 November.

This note was not thrown out by the Italian Supreme Court, and it was admitted as evidence.

False claims seven & eight.

In her 6 November note Amanda claimed to have seen Diya Lumumba (1) at the basketball court at Piazza Grimana; and (2) outside her front door.

He was actually at his bar.

False claim nine.

Amanda’s supporters claim that she confessed to a lesser role in Meredith’s murder, and blamed Diya Lumumba, because she had been “smacked around” or put under pressure by the police.

But the real reason she had to say she was at the cottage was because she was informed that Raffaele Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi.

Raffaele had been confronted with phone records, and was now claiming that she was not with him the whole evening, and that she had only returned at 1.00 am. Amanda did not attempt to refute Raffaele’s claim, but now admitted that she had been at the cottage.

The significance of this about-turn cannot be stressed enough.

(Incidentally, Raffaele was also claiming that he had lied, because he had believed Amanda’s version of what happened and not thought about the inconsistencies. He is acknowledging that Amanda’s version had inconsistencies.)

If it had been true that Amanda had been “smacked around” by the police during questioning, why haven’t her lawyers ever filed a complaint? It was very telling that Amanda dropped her allegation of being hit by the police at her recent court hearing, and instead just claimed she had been put under pressure.

There’s a world of difference between police brutality and being put under pressure. It wasn’t the first time that Amanda has made a false and malicious accusation, as Diya Lumumba knows only too well.

False claim ten.

Amanda claimed to have slept in at Raffaele’s until the next morning.

However, her mobile records show that this was not so.  Amanda turned on her mobile at approximately at 5.32 am.

The only plausible explanation for Amanda’s deliberate and repeated lies? That she was involved in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

It should be no surprise to anyone following the case that the same three witnesses who have repeatedly lied, Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, have all been placed at the crime scene.

By a total of 23 separate pieces of forensic evidence.

Renato Biondo has just recently provided independent confirmation that the scientifc police’s investigation was carried out correctly. And that the forensic findings are accurate.


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