Breaking news: Exceptionally highly classified details of nuclear weapons were in part what was seized from Chez Trump. Added: Maybe no legal fight today Friday over searchwarrant release except "USA Today" suit to try to stop it being redacted.

Category: Victims family

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression Anti-Guede Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

First Post Reports That Meredith’s Family Have Joined In The Supreme Court Appeal

Posted by Peter Quennell





Click image above for a long and impressively fast report by Andrea Vogt about the Supreme Court appeal: and Meredith’s family being a party to it.

Andrea Vogt also notes the huge mismatch between the Hellman outcome and its terms of reference which Attorney General Galati targeted in his remarks today (see post below) and which the Supreme Court, based on past performance. may not take kindly to..

First the Court of Cassation must decide whether to consider the case or not. Once under consideration, if the court agrees with prosecutors, a new appeals trial is triggered. If they disagree, the current acquittal stands.

“They [the petitioning lawyers] will seek nullification of the second instance decision on points of law,” explained Stefano Maffei, an expert on Italian criminal law. “If they are successful, the case will then return to the Court of Appeals for a further assessment of the merit of the case.”

And on the problematic Amanda Knox book:

While US media this week described Knox as having bowled over editors with her “smart, self-assured and intelligent” manner, some in Italy have been less than impressed, instead criticising her for everything from her appearance since returning home to her latest attempts to profit from Meredith Kercher’s murder.

The real question is, how much exactly will Knox reveal? Will she publish all the letters she received in prison… including those fawning pleas for first interviews? Will she describe the jealousies of fellow prisoners, which she finally overcame working for the prison dispensary?

How much will she disclose about Rocco Girlanda, the Umbrian parliamentarian who used his parliamentary right to enter the Capanne prison at any time to regularly visit her and bring her gifts? Girlanda eventually capitalised on those visits to write his own book in Italian - a cloying account of those visits in which Knox’s letters to him were reprinted after being censored and redacted.

We will be drawing attention in a later post to several hundred additional questions. 

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/14/12 at 06:32 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedThe prosecutorsSupreme CourtVictims familyComments here (1)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Italian Criticisms Of The Hellmann Verdict Statement Now Starting To Appear

Posted by Peter Quennell





Early days yet and the main crack at Hellman’s report will not arrive for another month from the prosecution, but the Italian news service Adnknonos offered this editorial. .

The Appeal Court is ridiculous to think that Guede is the only one guilty

The reasons set forth by the Assize Court of Appeal in Perugia for the killing of Meredith read oddly. According to the criminal court Rudy Guede alone did it.

This is ridiculous. Prosecutor Manuela Comodi spoke in court of the ‘embarrassing performance of’ experts’ on the testing of the murder weapon and the victim’s bra clasp.

“Too bad that the judges of the Court of Appeal have slavishly married the thesis of these so-called ‘experts’‘’ says Massimo Montebove, the president of the National Council of Police Unions.

‘‘The work of forensic science, the testimonies, the reconstruction of the truth of the facts of the case carried out to date all show that the verdict of guilty in the first instance was well grounded. ” Mr Montebove added.

Do not forget that attempts at delegitimization will always be directed at the police and the scientific flying squad, including international pressures that many say were placed and other murky development talked about in the media.

One thing is certain: the game is not’ over. We are only sorry that Amanda Knox may not pay for her responsibilities if she is again found guilty following a new appeal trial that could be decided by the Supreme Court


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crticism Of The Hellmann Verdict From Meredith’s Family’s Lawyer Francesco Maresca

Posted by ziaK





Mr Maresca made remarks last week critical of the verdict to various Italian media outlets. This is a translation from the Umbria Journal.

Maresca, on Mez: “They were acquitted for lack of proof, but the sentence takes a very one-sided approach”

“Only the defences’ expert witnesses were given any credence. It’s excessive to completely throw out the first instance case”.

The “reasoning report” of the Assizes court of appeal has confirmed that this is a case of an acquittal because of lack of evidence, rather than an acquittal with “formula piena” [approximately “proof of innocence without doubt”]

However it is also a sentence which is a result of a one-sided approach”.

This is the commentary of Francesco Maresca, who together with the lawyer Serena Perna, represents the young victim’s family, on reading of the “reasoning report” on the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of having murdered Meredith Kercher.

“This reasoning report”, he added, “leave us with an even more bitter taste in our mouths because we consider that the judges gave credence only to the defence-team experts, even on items of evidence of a scientific nature which were never the object of consultation”.

“For them to have completely tossed out the preliminary investigations and the first-instance trial seems excessive to me”....

“There are no great surprises”, said Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, who was prosecutor in the first and second-level trials. “It seems to me”, she added, “that there is a lot of room to challenge the sentence. That duty [however] lies entirely with the Attorney General.”


Sunday, October 09, 2011

“Wrong To Capitalise On Any Murder. Not Just For Us, But For Anyone”

Posted by Peter Quennell





Helen Weathers reports on a face-to-face interview with Meredith’s father John in the Daily Mail.

On John’s memories of Meredith which haunt him daily: 

“˜Meredith was extremely intelligent and humorous as a child. She had an almost adult sense of humour, and was always very thoughtful and considerate “” sensitive to other people,’ says John, who was divorced from Meredith’s mother in 1997 after 20 years of marriage.

“˜Meredith was very witty. She had quite an original line in humour, what you might call a barbed wit, I suppose, but not hurtful; never hurtful.

“˜I remember once coming back from a holiday in Egypt and showing Meredith a photograph of myself wearing a floppy sunhat I’d bought. She took one look and said: “Dad, just tell me you didn’t pay any money for that hat.”’
Amanda Knox cries following the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roomate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court in Italy

Like her father, Meredith loved the relaxed Mediterranean way of life. Indeed, her love of Italy started on family holidays to Rimini and continued on school trips and exchanges. John was not surprised when she chose to study Italian and European studies at Leeds University.

“˜The irony was that after two years at Leeds she found they’d accidentally put her on a three-year course which would have excluded the year in Italy, so she fought to get put back on the four-year course and get out there,’ says John.

“˜She had the choice of going to Rome, Milan or Perugia. While she loved Rome and would have liked Milan, she felt she’d have a better chance of making friends more easily in Perugia than in a large city.

“˜Meredith was very excited about going. For the first three days she stayed in a small family-run hotel until she found the cottage. She told me her room was a bit small, but the views were beautiful.’

John last saw his daughter a month before she was murdered. She’d returned to Britain on a flying visit to buy some clothes for the Italian winter and arranged to meet her father for coffee at an Italian restaurant in Croydon.

“˜Meredith had bought a new pair of boots which she wanted to show me. I think they were leather with a small heel. And that’s the image of Meredith I want to remember: my daughter smiling, laughing and showing me her new boots.’

On the media speculation about the megabucks that Amanda Knox and her clan could make.

“˜I think it would be more sensitive to Meredith’s memory if Amanda Knox maintained a low profile,’ says John, a freelance journalist, in his first in-depth interview.

The Amanda Knox cult insults my Meredith’s memory: Victim’s father says it’s wrong to capitalise on murder in his first interview since the verdict

“˜I don’t want to say anything confrontational, but I believe it is wrong to capitalise on any murder. Not just for us, but for anyone.

“˜This cult of celebrity is demeaning to Meredith’s memory, disrespectful. I don’t think Amanda Knox has actively sought out celebrity status; I think that has been created for her. But then again, she hasn’t actively rejected it.

“˜It is distressing that all this will go on for a long time and that all the focus is going to be on the defendants for some time yet.

And at the shock of the U-turn first appeal verdict

“˜I thought the judge might uphold the conviction but possibly reduce their sentences to be more in line with Guede’s “” but not this,’ he says.

“˜We thought the original evidence would be upheld, so it is a huge shock. You hope the appeal jury is going to recognise what was established in the first trial. In this case, it wasn’t.’


Monday, February 28, 2011

Andrea Vogt: Supreme Court Report Highlights Amanda Knox Mention To Mom She Was There

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Amanda Knox and her mother in courtroom when Edda Mellas testified 19 July 2009]

Andrea Vogt in the Seattle PI translates from the Cassation Report described in our two previous posts.

A sentencing report just released by the highest Italian appeals court sheds new light on why so many Italian judges have maintained Amanda Knox was involved in her roommate’s murder.

The document, among others, cites a conversation Knox had with her parents while under surveillance during a prison visit in which she said “I was there,” apparently referring to the night of the murder.

Amanda Kox’s remark was recorded at Capanne Prison and was long public knowledge, but that the Supreme Court listed it among other evidence of involvement in this report is significant.  The report summarises what is the evidence against all three, especially that against Rudy Guede.

The court…said that based on the 43 wounds to Kercher’s body (and the time it would take to inflict them) that it was… probable that Guede and two others forcibly held Kercher down, threatened, taunted and eventually fatally stabbed her.

The Court’s quoted language is extremely hard and gives a sense that the judges were appalled. The Court’s report has been out in Italy for over four days now - but the Seattle PI’s is the first extensive US or UK media summary.

The US and UK media have a pretty consistent habit of ignoring these inconvenient reports.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Perhaps Heeding Meredith Family Pleas And Our Open Letter Lifetime Claim Movie Now Less Shrill

Posted by Peter Quennell


If we are reading this somewhat cagey explanation by Lifetime executive producer Craig Piligian correctly, the scenes with Meredith have almost disappeared.

Lifetime is set to premiere the movie on February 21, but the channel has slightly altered their marketing in response to criticism from both Knox’s lawyers and the family of victim Meredith Kercher.

The channel recently removed the original teaser-trailer for the movie, which stars Hayden Panettiere as Knox, from its website and YouTube, and today replaced it with a new, slightly edited version.

The new promo no longer includes scenes depicting Kercher being assaulted, which caused a stir in the U.K., where she is from, and which her father called “absolutely horrific.”

If this is true then we have to thank you, Lifetime, for a kind gesture that matters a great deal to Meredith’s family and her many supporters worldwide.

Mr Piligian says the movie will air in the US starting 21 February and the UK and some other markets, but no longer in Italy.

Insiders also confirm that Amanda Knox will not air in Italy due to legal reasons, because Knox’s case is ongoing. Knox’s lawyers had sent a letter to Lifetime, asking the network to pull the clips down, arguing that the movie’s depictions might jeopardize her chance of a fair trial. A Lifetime spokesman confirmed that the network received the letter, but beyond that, they have not commented on the controversy.

We also presume that Lifetime had no wish to pin a calunnia target on their own backs,  as the Italian police and investigators and prosecutors may have quietly warned them. 

The producers and cast continue to make some rather loopy claims about how controversial the evidence actually is.

“This is a factual drama and we feel we did a very fair and balanced telling of the story, crafting a script from court records and other public documents,” executive producer Craig Piligian tells TV Guide Magazine.

“At the end of the movie people will be wondering whether she really did or didn’t do the things she’s accused of,” he says. “We weren’t leaning one way or another, but took a very even, fact-based approach, which ultimately allows the viewers to make their own decision.”

Amanda Knox is simply accused? Actually she already was unanimously convicted. The Supreme Court of Cassation has already accepted that all three were party to the attack.

Certainly the conviction is not final until Cassation confirms it (probably by late summer 2012) but that existing Cassation position really means it is all but game over. And Capanne Prison continues of course to be Amanda Knox’s home.

But the auspices behind the movie say they’ve made sure not to take sides in the debate over Knox’s guilt or innocence… Piligian said he screened the movie internally to his staff, and even in-house there’s no consensus on whether or not Knox was involved in the crimes. “Everyone’s divided, and the viewing public will likely be divided as well… That’s what makes this such a great story.”

No consensus? Try again. Read the voluminous evidence rather than simply watching a hedging semi-fictional film

We are finding that maybe 98 out of every 100 bright people who read the Massei report and the Micheli summaries do not have the slightest difficulty seeing that the case has been made and the first verdict a fair one.

We will watch the Lifetime movie for sure on 21 February.

We will be curious to see if Lifetime somehow depicts what a sad drug-driven slide into dependency and desperation the seemingly not-quite-right Amanda Knox appeared to be embarked on.

What a deservedly friendless, obsessive and bizarre person the heavy drug user Raffaele Sollecito seemed to be, despite all his deeply concerned father’s best efforts, in real life.

And what an exceptional fast-track student with an amazing future already mapped out the real victim, Meredith, really was.  We believe Lifetime may have picked up some strong vibes of that.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kercher Family Lawyer Walks Out As Amanda Knox Engages In What Looks Like Yet Another Stunt

Posted by Peter Quennell


The other day Meredith’s father John made a strong plea for the cruel and callous PR games to stop.

John Kercher made it pretty clear that he disbelieves EVERYTHING now that Amanda Knox and her parents say in their endless media quotes and appearance.  The English version of John Kercher’s letter is here and the Italian version is here.

Amanda Knox’s mother Edda Mellas was almost immediately reported as reacting to John Kercher thus:

Mellas also addressed the issue today on KIRO Radio in Seattle saying the Kerchers do not “know the whole story.” She said they were not in court except for a few days during Amanda’s trial and feels that they fell “hook, line and sinker” for what their lawyer and prosecutors told them. “They may not have the whole picture,” she said.

That callous and inaccurate reaction did Edda Mellas no good at all. Many who were still cutting her a little slack were appalled by this dishonest and smearing attack.

In fact the Kercher family have been extremely well informed and they have remained singularly cool-headed, dignified and truthful throughout. .

Unlike Edda Mellas they have actually read the Massei Sentencing Report. Unlike Edda Mellas they show no signs of having swallowed anything hook line and sinker. Unlike Edda Mellas they do not again and again lie about basic facts of the case. Unlike Edda Mellas, they did not hide the fact that an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, was in jail because Amanda Knox lied to put him there. 

And unlike Edda Mellas their view of Amanda Knox’s guilt is no different from maybe 95 per cent of the Italian population. They do get the whole picture.

Time for damage control?  Today in court, Amanda Knox seemed to set out to try something completely different. A limited qualified evasive emotional non-explanation of an explanation. An “I didnt do it but I am so sorry for Meredith and her family anyway” kind of hangout.

To underline his contempt for this ploy, Mr Maresca conspicuously walked out of the court when Amanda Knox started her rambling nervous statement. If the statement actually won any new sympathy for her among the case-watchers in Italy, we are not seeing this reflected in the Italian media reports.

Here is Nick Pisa reporting objectively from Perugia in the Daily Telegraph - in his final para below, it seems he has the same interpretation of the real purpose of Amanda Knox’s statement as we do. 

Knox, 23, broke down several times as she delivered an emotional 20-minute address to the court hearing her formal appeal against conviction, her voice sometimes quavering as she claimed that she had nothing to do with Miss Kercher’s brutal death.

The American dismissed the prosecution’s view of her, saying she was not the “dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring and violent” person depicted during her original trial, telling the court: “That girl is not me.”

Knox also expressed her sympathy towards’s Miss Kercher’s family and friends and said through tears: “I am very sorry that Meredith is no longer here. I have little sisters as well and the thought of being without them terrorises me.

“What you are going through and what Meredith went through is unacceptable and incomprehensible. I remember Meredith and my heart breaks for you. I am honoured to have known her. I don’t know how you must feel, your suffering over a lost life.”

Knox’s words appeared to be in response to John Kercher, Meredith’s father, who recently complained that Knox had been accorded the “status of a minor celebrity” while his daughter was a forgotten victim.

Amazingly, all three of the largest US networks had Ella Mellas on their breakfast shows, unchallenged and fawning, to claim that Amanda Knox’s performance was amazing. Edda Mellas of course speaks no Italian.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Italian reporting highlighted Mr Maresca walking out and reported his highly critical statement verbatim. NO media website today carried a majority of pro-Knox comments.

And in making herself so obviously the center of the universe in her statement, Amanda Knox may have already cooked her own goose with the new judges.

[Below: This now is a full audio recording of the full statement of Amanda Knox with court images ]

 


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1st Appeal Session: Kercher Lawyer Maresca Says Verdict Perfect, Seems Optimistic This Soon Over

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Kercher family lawyer Maresca with Knox defense lawyer Ghirga]

Dario Thuburn of the AFP reports remarks by Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca and Meredith’s father John.

A lawyer for Kercher’s family, Francesco Maresca, said the original sentence against Knox was “perfect” and said he would “call for justice again.”

He said the Kercher family is eager “to close this chapter.”...

Kercher’s father, John, meanwhile sent a letter to the mayor of Perugia through his lawyers to thank local authorities for setting up a scholarship in her name at the university where she was on an exchange programme.

“Meredith loved Perugia and had made a lot of friends there,” John Kercher wrote, adding that the family was “moved” by the scholarship decision.

Also included in Dario Thuburn’s report on today’s short session:

A nervous-looking Amanda Knox began her appeal on Wednesday against her conviction for the gruesome sex-murder of a British student in the medieval Italian city of Perugia in 2007….

“We feel as though we have a very good case,” her step-father, Chris Mellas, told AFP ahead of the hearing. “She’s going to go home,” said Mellas, who has been living in Perugia since September to help Knox prepare for her appeal….

Wednesday’s hearing lasted only a few minutes and the appeal court judge scheduled the next hearings for December 11, December 18 and January 15…

[Knox defense lawyer] Ghirga said the defence would focus on DNA evidence linking Knox to the crime scene that he said had been questioned by three scientific opinions. The lawyer said Knox’s mother and father would be at the hearing on December 11 and said he expected the trial to conclude in February or March.

Asked about her health, he said: “She looks terrible. She’s very thin.”.. Prosecutors have said they will seek a life sentence for Knox—their original request in her first trial—if the conviction is upheld.

Note what Mr Ghirga said about the appeal maybe being over in February or March. The judge decided on sessions only once a week (Saturdays to suit the pregnant lawyer Giulia Bongiorno) which suggests it’s all over in 10 sessions or less.

We believe the only way it can conclude as soon as that is if all or most of the requested DNA re-testing and new witnesses are refused. DNA re-testing alone could take months.

That makes the 11 December appeal session into quite a cliffhanger.

We can see no overwhelming reason yet for the verdicts to be overturned, and if there is going to be one it can only come from that retesting and any new witnesses if allowed.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Kercher Family Lawyer Francesco Maresca Confident Appeals Will Fail And Justice Will Prevail

Posted by Peter Quennell





This excellent interview of Mr Maresca by Leonardo Molinelli just appeared in Canada Corriere.

The interview is similar to several others Mr Maresca has just given in Italy. Mr Maresca shows in all of them that he is very confident about the defense appeals not succeeding in any dramatic way.

Justice will be served in Kercher case

“The investigation was carried out very well”: lawyer

By Leonardo N. Molinelli

There’s less than a month to go to the start of the appeal process for the murder of 20-year-old American student Meredith Kercher. The next phase will begin on Nov. 24, which should establish the guilty parties in the death of Kercher, who was killed in Perugia, Italy between Nov. 1 and 2 of 2007.

Charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault, and theft is 26-year-old Amanda Knox and 23-year-old Raffaele Sollecito with whom Knox was having a relationship.

The other person facing charges ““ Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast ““ will not be part of the process since he has already been condemned to 30 years [reduced to 16 at first appeal] at a summary procedure. He will face the Court of Cassation (appeals) for final sentencing [in December].

All three of the accused have always declared their innocence and the upcoming process promises to be controversial and sensational. The defence for Sollecito and Knox, in fact, has requested access to all forensic investigation from the Court of Cassation.

They’re requesting the analyses of all the principal exhibits, maintaining that the two were not present at the murder scene and thereby placing the blame squarely on Guede.

“The Kercher family has taught the world the dignity of silence.” 

With these words, the family’s lawyer Francesco Paolo Maresca outlines the trial that went beyond the usual standards in legal battles in Italy, moving from the courtrooms to TV and newspapers.

Corriere Canadese/Tandem recently spoke to Francesco Paolo Maresca about the trial.

Has there been any new developments since the preliminary sentencing and the appeal?

“No, let’s say that the defence requested the appeals court for a review of all forensic findings, following the defence line in the preliminary trial, in which they contested all the assessments.”

Accusations that were discredited with the preliminary sentencing.

“Yes, so much so that the preliminary sentence is based on all these laboratory results accepted as fully reliable in the presence of the parties, and no one ever contested anything on that basis.”

So what is the defence’s objective in this case?

“They’re requesting, in substance, the detailed analyses of all the main exhibits, therefore the bra hook containing Sollecito’s DNA and the bathroom rug with Sollecito’s footprint.”

Do they intend to demonstrate the non-involvement of the two youths in the murder?

“They’re aiming to demonstrate the total non-involvement, unloading everything onto Rudy Guede.”

So Guede would have killed Meredith by himself while Amanda and Raffaele were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“Actually, they say they were at Sollecito’s house after having smoked hash, made love, and woken up early the next morning.”

So they would have been connected to the crime scene as part of a conspiracy?

“They got there by coincidence based on test results. They say that the DNA on the bra isn’t Sollecito’s and if it were, it would have been found in other parts of the house, that the footprint on the rug isn’t Sollecito’s), that the DNA on the knife isn’t Knox’s, and so on.”

Instead, what are the facts as pieced together by the preliminary sentence?

“The facts pieced together would be a sexual attempt gone wrong, with a series of progressive and worsening knife wounds, with intimidation and threats and with three very serious wounds to the neck, of which one was fatal. We ““ and the sentencing acknowledges this ““ maintain that the facts cannot be viewed as a premeditated theft but as a crime of violence.

They probably attempted some sort of sexual game, Kercher refused, they threatened her, wounded her, blood spilled, and they panicked. Knox knew everyone so if they had called an ambulance or the police, they would have had to justify their presence, which is why they finished her off.”

So it wasn’t premeditated?

“There’s no premeditation. There is no premeditation. The event needs to be examined using the approach of a contingent situation, of the fear of being discovered, of the fear of making noise. Kercher screamed horribly from the pain, the simulation of a theft was to throw the research on the wrong track.”

America insists there were leaks in the Italian justice system, a conspiracy against Amanda, and so on. What impression did you get during this trial? Are there any deficiencies in this trial?

“The investigation was carried out very well, and forensic science and the police did a good job. There was just the one deficiency ““ and un-influential ““ of this blessed (bra) hook that was left behind and discovered 40 days later, but it was proven that it could not have been contaminated, using a series of technical valuations.

One must consider that 368 exhibits were gathered if I’m not mistaken, and above all we made an enormous commitment of deliberating for about a year (Editor’s note: January to December, 2009), which was very quick for Italian trials. Rudy Guede was examined with a summary procedure within a year of the act, and the other two to three years from the act, but with a deliberation that involved 170 witnesses and technical consultants.”

An exemplary trial considering that Italian justice system is often blamed for being slow.

“It gets blamed because they have completely different parameters and have juries and courts that dedicate themselves to a single trial ““ they begin and end that trial over three-to-four consecutive months, doing nothing else. In our system, the criminal court does this while the judges concurrently do another 20, 30 or 40.”

A difference in systems that could be the reason for these accusations.

“They were astounded because we didn’t have daily hearings. We pointed out that having weekly hearings on Friday, Saturday, and Monday ““ that is three days out of six ““ is a very unheard of commitment. We all risked our families because we couldn’t see them anymore”¦”

The defence for this case is reminiscent of the one used for the Cogne case, with the victim who disappears from the media, and the likely murderer who becomes a celebrity of sorts.

“From a theoretic interpretation, I’d say that’s justice, and I must say that Meredith Kercher’s family taught the elegance of silence to the entire world. Because as the families of Knox and Sollecito organized foundations, associations, sought funds, gave interviews, requested political help, Meredith Kercher’s family remained under the radar screen notwithstanding the offers, including financial (ones).”


Friday, December 04, 2009

The Rulings: The Families And The Media Have Been Summoned To The Courtroom

Posted by Peter Quennell


The as-usual impartial Ann Wise reports for ABC News.

An Italian court deliberating the fate of Amanda Knox has summoned the defendants and lawyers to the courtroom in what may be a verdict in the nearly year-long murder trial.

The long awaited verdict may be delivered when court resumes at midnight in Italy [6 p.m. ET] after the defendants, lawyers and their families—as well as the family of murder victim Meredith Kercher—arrive at the court in this medieval town.

If convicted of murder, Knox, 22, and her co-defendent and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, could be sentenced to life in prison.

The announcement of a verdict came 11 hours after the six jurors and two judges began their deliberations this morning, and 11 months after the prolonged trial began.

The last 24 hours have been tense for Knox whose younger sister Deanna told ABC News that Knox was torn between excitement about the prospect of going home for Christmas, but scared that she would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

This we believe will be the first time Meredith’s family has ever had to encounter the Knoxes and the Mellases. They have seen Amanda Knox in court several times, and it was once noted that Knox seemed to stare fixedly at them, perhaps hoping for eye contact.

And below, translated by our poster Tiziano, is a an article in Il Messagero today explaining what the judges and lay-judges are going through,

The Court of the Assizes is called upon at this time to undertake a very difficult task, and frankly this writer feels compelled to express his understanding of the difficulty within which the judges will have to operate.  Furthermore, the function of the Court of the Assizes is linked to the examination and the decision-making on trials which have a notable social profile in relation to the crime for which the judgement arises. 

As is known, the Court of the Assizes is composed of a president and an assistant judge (a “side judge”: trsl.), both of whom are stipendiary (=career) magistrates, and of a full six civil judges, chosen from those who have matriculated from high school (ie: who are qualified for university entrance), who have full civil and voting rights and who are between the ages of 30 and 65.

The ambit of the Court of the Assizes is a very special jurisdiction, which our order imported from the French law:  the term “assise” was already noted in the medieval epoch with the French word “asise”, that is to say, “a fixed article”, which in its turn derived from the latin “assidere”, that is, “to seat next to”.  It was only in 1810 that the French order introduced “le cour d’assises”.  In the Italian order the Court of the Assizes appeared in 1859, in the Sardinian penal procedures code, until in alternate phases, it found a new place in the reform of the judicial order which came into force in 2003. 

Briefly, it is competent to decide on all those crimes for which the law sets out a penalty of life imprisonment or a penalty of not less than 24 years.  In the Kercher judgement, therefore, the decision will be in the hands of two career judges (“robed judges”: trsl.) and six civil judges,  who will have the difficult task of evaluating even complex technical legal questions.  The worth of the vote of the civil judge is equal to that of the career judges, thus substantially each of the eight judges is to be considered equal in grade in the expression of his/her own conviction on the guilt or otherwise of the defendants. 

Because of the nature of the structure of the Court of the Assizes , as well as because the circumstances of the Kercher trial are substantially that of a circumstantial trial, it is to be presumed that the deliberations of the panel will be extremely long.  On each of these judges weighs the delicate task of having to decide on the future life of two young people, and at the same time, of giving an answer to the thirst for justice of the Kercher family and of society as a whole.

It is not to be excluded that a majority decision will be arrived at, in so far as in these cases, it is arduous to obtain an unanimous one, for in addition to technical reasons, the individualities of each single judge must must prevail, each of whom must be intimately convinced of his or her own choice.  There still exists, borrowed from Anglo-saxon law, the border which separates guilt from acquittal, constituted by the principal of a choice made “beyond any reasonable doubt”.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/04/09 at 11:06 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (0)

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Summations: Court Session Concludes After Lawyer Speaks For Meredith’s Family

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Mr Maresca is getting robed in court this morning.

His stark and very moving remarks for the family were the last item for the day. Mr Maresca spoke extensively of the remarkable qualities of Meredith, the supreme dignity and discretion of her family, and the enormous damage done by this very callous crime.

Listening to these remarks were various members of Amanda Knox’s family and the father of Raffaele Sollecito. Meredith’s family were not present in court. It is never seems easy for them to be there.

The Italian papers still only have short-form descriptions of Mr Maresca’s speech, and the English-language media dont yet have any. We will post again later, when all stories are filed and online.

Saturday update: We are gathering all the reports of Mr Maresca’s remarks - each has one or two points the others do not - and will post on them on Sunday.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/27/09 at 08:44 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (1)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Moved By Italian Justice: Doing The Very Best It Can For Meredith And Her Poor Family

Posted by Hopeful

Crestfallen and broken, Amanda and Raffaele react in visible distress in the latest courtroom photos.

Amanda looks sad, smitten, perplexed, astounded, with anger not far under the veneer, yet overall truly sorrowful for the first time in 2 years. Raffaele is weeping as the court denies more evidence do-overs. He feels the weight of this blow.

These two are probably guilty, but it still makes me sad to see what prison can do to human beings. Why, oh why, couldn’t they have let Meredith live and simply enjoy her sweet life? Mercy to her would have been multiplied back to them so very many times over.

I believe Prosecutor Mignini and his assistant, Mrs. Comodi, and all the Perugia homicide cops want to see JUSTICE done above all.

Surely they take no pleasure in the misery that native-son Sollecito is undergoing. They had to arrest him to redress a huge evil. I’m sure they regret the repercussions this has meant to his father, a fine medical doctor, an upstanding citizen of Italy. Despite this, and America’s loud outcries, they have proceeded.

I think the Italian police and prosecutors have acted with more intense caution and discretion in handling the evidence against Amanda because of her U.S. citizenship. I don’t think this is a case of two innocents being railroaded.

If the Italian police had wanted to score points politically, they could have closed the case after the arrest and conviction of Rudy Guede. The police saw undeniable proof to their practiced eyes that Amanda and Raffaele were very guilty.

And I don’t think forensic scientist Patrizia Stefanoni of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome is in the prosecution’s back pocket. I believe she acted in good faith. Patient and careful analysis of forensic lab samples requires real intelligence and excludes quick passion.

“To Be or Not To Be”. Methinks Amanda does look a little Danish.

It wasn’t fish blood or cat’s blood or pierced ear blood on their hands, it was the blood of honor. Meredith was defenseless in a foreign land. She was a great asset to her own family, to the Erasmus program, to Italy, and eventually to the world. She deserves the best efforts of her host country, and she’s receiving them here.

It now feels like justice is not only happening here - it’s convincingly SEEN to be happening. We all owed you this one, sweet Meredith. May you rest in peace.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Trial: Mother Confirms Meredith Had NO Appointment With Guede On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell


The family testified for just over one hour. There was no cross-examination, and the court was adjourned early, through to next Friday.

Knox seemingly exited the court pensively and with her head down. Sollecito seemingly exited the court rather shrill and defensive.

The convicted killer Rudy Guede has consistently maintained that he was at the house by appointment. He had a legitimate reason to be there - Meredith wanted to be with him.

Judge Micheli never believed him, and sentenced him to 30 years

And today her mother stated that Meredith told her that, though tired after a late night on Halloween, she would be going home early on the night to complete an essay that she had to get done.

Click above for a report from the BBC.

Addressing the court on Saturday, Mrs Kercher described the last telephone conversation she had with her daughter, who was planning a trip back to Britain for her mother’s birthday.

“She rang to let me know when she was coming back,” Mrs Kercher said.

“She said she was really tired because they had been out for Halloween the night before and they had come back very late and she was going to see some friends to see a film.”

She added: “She was coming back early - she had an essay to finish.”

Rudy Guede’s appeal has been set for November. His entire defense narrative has always flowed from the claim that he was at the house because Meredith invited him to be there.

Apparently a lie, and one quite devastating to be revealed. Should he now crack, and turn on the other two? Again (he already did at his trial) but this time much more-so?

That issue might be keeping Rudy Guede and his lawyers up late.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/06/09 at 05:12 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (0)

Trial: Friday’s Testimony Bolsters The Prosecution’s Case

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image, courtesy AP]

Andrea Vogt now reporting for The Independent.

Upon arrival, the Kercher family quietly took seats in the courtroom behind their Florentine lawyers, Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna, who opened their case with two expert witnesses: a coroner, and a leading forensic geneticist from a Florence hospital.

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

Professor Gianaristide Norelli testified that the multiple lesions on Ms Kercher’s body were consistent with being held and attacked by more than one person. He said she died of suffocation and interpreted her stab wounds as having been inflicted as threats during a struggle. The wounds, mostly on the side of her neck, were possibly inflicted by two different knives, he said, but noted that one of the stab wounds was compatible with the alleged murder weapon.

Professor Francesca Torricelli told the court that she believed the samples of Mr Sollecito’s DNA found on Ms Kercher’s bra clasp was a significant enough amount that it was unlikely to have been left by contamination. She also sustained a previous forensic biologist’s findings that Ms Knox’s DNA was found on the handle and the victim’s on the blade.

Alessandra Rizzo reporting for the Associated Press:

Forensic expert Gianaristide Norelli, a witness called by the Kercher family, said the main cause of Kercher’s death was suffocation.

Court documents have said suffocation was caused by the hemorrhage following the neck wounds. But Norelli said suffocation was also aided “manually” by forcing the victim’s mouth and nose shut and by strangling her.

This, Norelli argued, showed a clear intent to kill, while the neck wounds may have been inflicted with the intent to scare or threaten the victim. He said that Kercher’s own movement may have inadvertently contributed to making the stab wounds deeper.

The wounds were compatible with a kitchen knife the prosecution says might have been the murder weapon, Norelli said. The knife, which was found at Sollecito’s house, has a 17-centimeter (6.69-inch) blade….

Prosecutors say Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the kitchen knife, and Kercher’s DNA was found on the blade. Francesca Torricelli, a DNA expert also called by the Kercher family, confirmed the findings of the prosecutors.

“I have no doubt” the traces are compatible, she told the court Friday. Torricelli also confirmed the prosecutors’ finding that DNA compatible with Sollecito’s had been found on the clasp of Kercher’s bra.

And an unnamed writer reporting for the Daily Sun.

The parents of Meredith Kercher “” Arline and John “” spent their first day in court yesterday under the unwavering stare of her alleged killer Amanda Knox.

One witness said: “It was very unusual. I’m not sure if she was looking for sympathy or trying to offer it, but Meredith’s parents never looked at her.”



[click for larger image, courtesy AP]


Trial: Knox Parents Again Not In Court While The Kerchers Are Present

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger images, courtesy AP]

Amanda Knox’s parents have still never encountered Meredith Kercher’s parents.

At the Rudy Guede trial last October Knox’s parents were in Perugia but they chose to stay away from the courthouse itself.

This week they are not even in Perugia. They are represented by an unnamed Knox relative (above) and a former Knox boyfriend (below).


Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/06/09 at 02:00 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxComments here (3)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Formal Kercher Request That Trial Be Behind Closed Doors

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Kercher family have now formally filed the request that the trial of Knox and Sollecito be held behind closed doors.

The Kerchers’ request was filed by their extremely capable court-appointed lawyer, Francesco Maresca, with the Court of Assizes in Perugia.

The Court will announce its decision on this at the first, public, session of the Knox/Sollecito trial on 16 January.

The trial of Rudy Guede - which was also behind closed doors - largely hinged on evidence from Meredith’s bedroom and from her autopsy.

That evidence was said to have been extremely disturbing to many inside the court-room, and resulted in Guede’s very stiff 30-year sentence.

If the evidence not yet in the public domain really is as sickening as is rumored, it is hard to see the defense teams resisting the request.

And the Italian system hardly needs to prove publicly its extreme caution, carefulness, and fairness. Despite some absurd claims to the contrary.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/05/08 at 03:21 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (8)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So The Trial Date IS Postponed, Now It’s 16 January

Posted by Peter Quennell


This is a translation of the report from La Stampa.

Meredith process, hearing postponed

Amanda and Raffaele have to answer to the charge of murder

The case against Amanda and Raffaele is postponed to allow for the reading of additional investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor

Postponed to January 16, 2009, is the hearing for the murder of Meredith Kercher, which initiates the trialproceedings against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who are accused of murder in the taunting and violence against American student (Rudy Guede has already been sentenced to 30 years jis trial having been expedited, ed.)

The presiding judge, Giancarlo Massei, deferred the opening session to enable the parties to get to know the contents of the additional investigations carried out by the prosecutor of Perugia. Tomorrow is the deadline for the submission of lists and texts that will amount to a total of about a hundred.

And a brief summary of some of the other recent developments in the case….

  • A witness who knew her claims to have seen Amanda Knox in a supermarket early on the day after the crime

  • A second witness claims to have heard a scream on the evening of the crime, this one stating a precise time

  • A witness claims to have seen Knox, Sollecito and Guede together previously - if so, they did know one another

  • A cut was apparently seen on Knox’s neck by another house resident; autopsy and scenario are being reviewed

  • A fund-raising event in Seattle apparently raised $11,000 to help defray Knox’s parents’ defense and travel costs

  • And a Kercher family request for a closed-door trial - permitted in Italy for sex crimes - is now being reviewed

One of the great areas of conjecture is whether the alleged defendants actually pre-planned an assault on Meredith.  Or whether it was perhaps just a taunt, one that took on a deadly spiral.

There was an apparent simultaneous switching-off of their mobiles earlier in the evening, for a reason not so far explained. And now an apparent prior three-way relationship between the two charged and the one sentenced? This does not look good.