All our posts on The wider contexts
Sunday, January 04, 2015
That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. How The Supposed Leaks Began
On 6 November 2007 investigators into Meredith’s death thought they had caught a big break.
That was when Knox herself snapped and claimed to be an eyewitness to Meredith’s killing on the night. From 1:30 am to about noon on 6 November Knox repeated that claim and staged her huge fright of Patrick Lumumba again and again. She proved hard to shut up though police did gently try.
Three times in those ten or so hours Knox herself insisted on writing her claims down, including a claim that she did go out alone. She was repeatedly warned she should have a lawyer present first but pressed on.
False claims to have witnessed a murder are rare, but not entirely unknown - there can be fame and big bucks in it, played right.
But in Knox’s case this did not seem to apply - she snapped explosively under no pressure except that just placed upon her by Sollecito who had claimed she made him lie and she had gone out alone from Sollecito’s on the night Meredith died.
And she had to some extent implicated herself - she said she saw a crime she did not report.
On 8 November supervising magistrate Claudia Matteini reviewed police and psychology reports and what Knox and Sollecito had claimed (including Sollecito’s writing that he never wanted to see Knox again).
Judge Matteini declared them both to be bad news. She ordered them to remain locked up.
In coming months Knox was given repeated opportunities to clear herself, to put the evil genie back in the bottle, but she failed every time. In April 2008 Cassation ruled there was plenty of prima facie evidence, and that Judge Matteini had done the right thing.
Knox herself inspired these events of 6 to 8 November. They are what caused the voracious UK media and relatively mild Italian media to get their paid snoops to Perugia fast.
All of them were lobbying to get an edge. Investigators had some difficulty performing their tasks because they were getting so many calls and being crowded in the streets.
2. Did The Police Or Prosecution Ever Leak?
The Italian rules are quite clear. Unlike the US, cases for and against the accused must be fought only in court, and when the prosecutor or judge speaks, it will mostly be in a document that has been cleared.
How many proven examples do you think there are of police and prosecutors slipping reporters leaks and tips and inside tracks to advance their case?
In fact NONE. Not one.
Among the frustrations we picked up from the excellent Italian-speaking reporters who were actually there was how under Italian rules there was so little that police and prosecutors were allowed to share.
In the UK it is also a bit like this. But in contrast in the US there would typically be daily press conferences and prosecutors (85% of them are elected in the US) appearing on the cable-news crime shows like that of Nancy Grace.
And Dr Mignini himself famously never leaks. The few things he ever says are on the record and they always prove accurate, low-key, and very fair. From 2007 right up to today he continues to maintain that Knox had no advance intention to kill. A softer line than some of the judges settled upon.
3. Did The Defenses And Families Leak?
Sure. This case must have broken all records for defense-biased leaks. Finding themselves in a vacuum of police and prosecution information and pushback, the Knox PR grew to an angry and often abusive and dishonest roar.
The sharp-elbowed Knox-Mellas presence was constantly “available” in Perugia and Burleigh and Dempsey among others got totally taken in. Ann Bremner and Judge Heavey and Paul Ciolino became more and more shrill. Heavey wrote to the president of the Italian Republic on his official letterhead. Senator Cantwell issued many unfounded claims.
And through 2008 and 2009 one can spot increasing leaks from each defense team, often to try to advantage their client against the other two. We were offered some of those leaks, among others “the truth” about the autopsy and “the knife”.
The Perugia Shock blog by PR shill Francesco Sfarzo (now on trial in Florence for making things up, and wanted by police in the US) came to be a main conduit for defense lies and misleading information, possibly some from a disgruntled cop.
Here is one easily proven leak from the Knox defense that was intended to hurt the police and prosecution in the case.
But putting police so overtly on the spot was a dangerous game. More often each perp and their defense team took whacks at the other two as a Rome lawyer showed here and we showed here. In the past few posts we have been showing how many things about Rudy Guede were made up (more to come).
4. Making Things Up For Profit And Fame
In 2007 and 2008 various unsavory characters surfaced in Perugia, to try to win fame and make a buck. This quote is from our post directly below.
Christian Tramontano, who had claimed someone threatened him in his house in the dark with a knife who looked like a shot of Guede in the papers two months later, was not even called, perhaps because at a hearing in October 2008 Judge Micheli denounced him as having made things up.
Tramontano is right now a jobless bouncer, as the mafia was found to have some involvement in his club. Judge Micheli scathingly repudiated his tale as his story did not ring true - he made no police report about it at the time.
But worse, he looked like one of quite a few around Perugia (and later in the US) who were seeking global fame and big bucks from the media for “inside knowledge” and claimed close connections to one or other of the alleged perps.
Despite this Tremontano’s self-serving claims are repeated as gospel by the PR shills all over the place. Those claims appear as gospel in every one of their books.
This is from Tom Kington of the Guardian in a report posted 27 September 2008:
The trial in Italy of Rudy Guede, one of the three suspects accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was thrown into disarray yesterday when a judge stopped proceedings after learning that one of the main character witnesses had allegedly tried to sell his story to Italian television.
Abuker Barro, known as Momi, a Somalian acquaintance of Guede, was due in court in Perugia yesterday to repeat claims made to investigators that he had seen Guede rifling through women’s handbags in clubs in Perugia and making aggressive advances to women when drunk.
But the judge, Paolo Micheli, blocked him from completing his testimony after lawyers for Guede showed a video of Barro meeting journalists to allegedly negotiate payment of €2,000 (£1,588) for revealing his testimony on Italian television. Micheli will ask magistrates to decide whether Barro should be prosecuted for abusing his role as a witness, which could exclude his testimony.
The incident, described by Guede’s lawyer, Walter Biscotti, as ‘an assault by the media’, follows a series of leaks to the press of evidence and even jail diaries by suspects during the investigation into the brutal slaying of Kercher, 21… [bold added]
Few real reporters were unethical or incompetent enough to accept and report biased and unconfirmed claims like Tramontano’s or Barro’s. But you can find those false claims hyped pervasively throughout the pro-Knox books as if they were gospel.
Among others Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, Moore’s, Preston’s, Hendry’s, Waterbury’s, and Fischer’s books come to mind.
Archived in Officially involved, The prosecutors, The defenses, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, American context
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Thursday, December 18, 2014
The Dangers Of Not Extraditing Convicted Felons Labeled An Explosive Threat To Other People
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Lessons From Australia
It looks like several Australian judges may have wrecked their careers for allowing Man Haron Monis to be at large even though police said he should be denied bail.
Man Haron Monis was the former Iranian who took 17 hostages in downtown Sydney and caused the death of two others and himself. Coming to light is how many times previously the Australian justice system had treated him with kid gloves for major crimes.
Iran tried to extradite the gunman behind Sydney’s deadly hostage crisis years ago, Tehran’s top cop said, amid questions over how the self-styled cleric had found his way to Australia but not onto a watch list…
Monis grew up in Iran as Mohammad Hassan Manteghi. In 1996, he established a travel agency, but took his clients’ money and fled, Iran’s police chief, Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, told the country’s official IRNA news agency Tuesday.
Australia accepted him as a refugee around that time. The police chief said Iran tried to have Monis extradited from Australia in 2000, but that it didn’t happen because Iran and Australia don’t have an extradition agreement.
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he wanted to know how Monis had been granted permanent residency and why he had been receiving welfare benefits for years, despite being able-bodied “if not necessarily of sound mind.”
Monis had a gun licence, a rarity in Australia - and he walked free after being charged for writing letters of hate to families of dead Australian soldiers, and for having a hand in the killing of his wife.
2. The Relevance Of This To Knox
Regardless of extradition treaty situations, countries almost universally extradite convicted murderers. They dont want dangerous people to have another chance to cause deadly havoc in their own midst.
Knox is already a felon for life. If Knox is confirmed guilty of murder next March she will be a DANGEROUS felon for life.
The Italian-US extradition treaty gives a US judge no wiggle room other than to check if the paperwork is in order and then send her on her way.
But another bent judge could again throw a spanner in the works.
How dangerous is Knox? Our psychologists generally think that, untreated, she is not good news. Not a latent serial killer, or one who sits around and plots, but one who could again explosively hit back when she imagines or exaggerates slights.
More than anyone in Perugia, Meredith tried to get along with Knox. But Knox showed no sign of a learning curve. The very heavy drug use went on, the sleeping with a drug dealer went on, the dirtiness and laziness around the house went on, and the noisy sex episodes with strangers through paper-thin walls went on.
She really was the housemate from hell.
For a month or two after Meredith died, Knox was highly erratic about her role in that death, and showed an extreme eagerness to talk with the prosecution which resulted in the long session with Dr Mignini on 17 Dec.
In a move serially misinterpreted by the dimwits of the Knox brigade, the prosecution, suspecting she was both mixed up and high on hard drugs, in effect offered Knox and her team a way to a lesser count, when they said that the murder could have been a taunting attack which spun out of control.
In her book, Knox describes how the family and lawyers worked hard on Knox to destroy all elements of trust. By the summer of 2008 she was in a mood of full-blown paranoid mistrust, and all chances of a lesser charge were gone.
At trial in 2009 Knox was daffy and uncomprehending, making irrelevant interventions and really shooting herself in the foot when she took the stand. Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, almost the last two in Perugia to still give her the time of day, both said she was very odd.
Knox was mentally tested in Capanne Prison and apparently scored high on the psychopathic chart. The three courts hardest on Knox all knew this - the Matteini court, Cassation, and the Nencini court - which was a major reason why Cassation did not allow bail in April 2008.
Assuming she killed once, in what was an exceptionally barbaric attack, Knox may or may not kill again. She is certainly inciting or condoning a massive amount of dangerous hate toward Meredith’s family and toward the Italian officials of the court.
One unhinged attack has already occured - that of the disturbed Michele Moore against Dr Mignini in the Perugia court - and the British resident David Anderson has screamed at meetings and runs an incessant campaign to stir up hate. Court officials have received messages of hate, and there is a small mountain of false and dangerous accusations against them on the web.
Left untreated and unpunished, a convicted but not extradited Knox would be a killer walking loose on American streets and could continue to condone or incite violence for the rest of her life.
If Knox killed and remains loose, could she kill again or cause others to kill? Any extradition judge needs to ask as the Australian judges did not:
Do we REALLY want to find out?
Archived in Italian justice v others, Officially involved, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The many hoaxes, No-extradition hoax, Other legal cases, Others elsewhere, The wider contexts, American context, Amanda Knox
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Monday, November 24, 2014
Italian Media Spotlighting The Perversion Of Killer Groupies Of Alleged Murderer Of 38 Patients
Posted by Peter Quennell
1. Alleged Nurse-Killer Attracting Deviant Males
Convicted killers and alleged killers facing trial often attract deviant support with sexual undertones.
Why the case of Nurse Daniela Poggiali, arrested a month ago in north Italy, is capturing so much attention is not only the seeming extent of her crimes - some 38 patients in her care died mysteriously - or her bizarre selfies exulting over one dead patent.
It is also the astonishing volume and and rabid lust of the fanmail now arriving at the place where she is awaiting trial, and the increasing numbers of Italian killer groupies emerging online and jostling to head her parade, Italian Knox groupies such as Luca Cheli maybe among them.
Here is a UK report and a translated Italian-media report will follow.
Italian nurse who took photos of herself with patients she had murdered is flooded with fan mail in prison – including marriage proposals
An Italian nurse who took photos of herself with dead patients she had murdered is being flooded with fan letters from male admirers, including some containing marriage proposals.
Daniela Poggiali, 42, from the town of Lugo, in the Emilia-Romagna Region of central Italy, was arrested after police investigating the mysterious death of a 78-year-old patient stumbled upon 38 other unexplained deaths on her shifts.
Rosa Calderoni, 78, was admitted with a routine illness but died after being injected with high levels of potassium - the compound used in lethal injection executions in the U.S.
Nurse Daniela Poggiali from Lugo, in central Italy, has been sent fan mail and wedding proposals while she awaits trial in relation to 38 unexplained deaths on her shifts
Further investigations revealed that over a three month period, 38 out of 86 patients under Poggiali’s care at the Umberto I hospital in Lugo had all died mysteriously.
Now awaiting trial at a prison in Forli, a city in central Italy, Poggiali is being inundated with fan mail from admirers calling her ‘good looking’. A prison spokesman said: ‘Over the last few weeks since she was placed here there has been a steady stream of letters from males.
‘Most of them say how pretty and good looking they think she is, and one or two have even contained proposals of marriage.’ Prison officials said Poggiali has received a steady stream of letters from men calling her ‘good looking’
According to investigators the nurse had found the dead patients ‘annoying’ or that they had ‘pushy relatives’. During their investigations they discovered pictures of Poggiali grinning alongside the dead bodies.
The lead magistrate investigating the case, Alessandro Mancini said: ‘We believe she is sound of mind, but simply took satisfaction, and real pleasure in killing.
‘The photos reveal an unbearable cruelty that I have not seen in 30 years on the job.’
A spokesman from the hospital where she worked said: ‘She always came across as being a very cold person. ‘But she also used her charms to flirt with male doctors if she thought she could get favours from them.’
Poggiali has denied killing any patients and says she is being framed by jealous colleagues.
2. Killer-Groupies Get More Media & Research Attention
The growing fear in justice circles is that killer groupies are helping to elevate murder rates.
They are certainly elevating anger levels, and making potential killers feel competitive and jealous of the media coverage of others. They are damaging professional careers and sparking death threats, making law-abiding people more distrustful, making police-work and convictions more difficult, and distracting hard-pressed politicians and populations from looming world-wide problems.
All of which comes at a high cost and puts all of us in a great deal more danger. So the spotlight upon killer groupies is intensifying. Here is one media report.
A look inside the bizarre world of serial killer groupies
If you type the phrase “serial killer addresses” into an Internet search engine, you’ll get some disturbing results.
A number of websites list the prison addresses of convicted killers, and police investigators told FOX 12 there are plenty of people — serial killer groupies — writing to convicted serial killers.
Portland police homicide detective Jim Lawrence said he once investigated a Portland man who corresponded with two convicted serial murderers.
Lawrence showed FOX 12 some of the correspondence, including a letter he said the Portland man wrote to serial killer Douglas Daniel Clark.
Clark and a partner were known as “Sunset Strip Killers.”
The pair were convicted for a series of killings in Los Angeles. The letter to Clark included an illustration of a hand with the phrase, ”Who knows what these hands will do, what they’ll do 20 years from now.”
“He really seemed to put a kind of hero worship behind this serial killer, and it was a kind of morbid fascination,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence also showed FOX 12 violent artwork the man received from serial killer Ottis Toole, convicted of killing six people in Florida in the 1980s. Police believe Toole also killed 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981. The sketch depicts a decapitated head.
Criminal psychologist Dr. Frank Colistro said serial killers often radiate a perverse charisma that groupies find attractive.
“A lot of them get caught up in the drama that’s associated with these people forever,” Colistro explained.
And the list is long for love behind bars, for killers who’ve been married in prison.
I-5 killer Randy Woodfield, who was convicted for murder and attempted murder and suspected in dozens of other crimes in the early 1980s, has been hitched twice at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and Scott Peterson all have had loyal female followers.
“The Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, convicted of 13 brutal murders in California in the 1980s, had groupies who called themselves, ‘the women in black,’ who attended his trial.
“You do get a lot of inadequate, insecure women,” Colistro said. “In a sense, they’re the perfect boyfriend, the perfect husband. In a sense, you can do a relationship light, so to speak.”
Then there are groupies who want to befriend the notorious. Lawrence said some write to convicted killers for profit, to potentially sell the letters online. He said others have a bizarre admiration for the killers.
Lawrence said he interviewed the Portland man who wrote the detailed, expletive-filled letters after out-of-state police discovered the man’s relationship with killer Ottis Toole.
“So they contacted us and I had a little chat with him,” he said.
He said it turned out the man was trying to get letters and artwork from Toole to sell online.
Colistro, however, said there are some people hoping to become copycats.
“They’ll study the M-O of the offender and they’ll start to duplicate it,” he said.
Archived in Crime hypotheses, The psychology, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Friday, October 31, 2014
Prime Minister Renzi’s Justice Reforms: One System-Change Need Strongly Suggested By Meredith’s Case
Posted by Peter Quennell
After all, it was not his pals that were being plagued with investigations and charges, it was ex-PM Berlusconi’s, and business is leaning on him.
Those reforms being talked about (of a system which most Italians rightly feel proud of) seem to mostly involve economic efficiency. But it would be popular if a more-pro-victim tilt is also promoted.
The only slight pro-victim tilt at present is the presence of a lawyer representing the victim at trial. Dr Maresca in fact is representing Meredith not her family, but this small tilt toward fairness drives the Knox crazies like Bruce Fischer even crazier. It also promotes the (illegal under the laws of all countries) stalking and harassment of Meredith’s family.
A more-pro-victim tilt polls well in Italy. A clear majority of the population would like to see it. This post was about one of the fearless campaigners, a popular TV presenter who has written to us with thanks for siding with her.
Surely introducing a hurdle to all those automatic appeals (unique to Italy) that so clog the court agendas and eat up judges’ time would be a good idea.
Surely a really good idea, one which all of those tied up by the case in Italy and also many elsewhere would side with, is: No fast-track trial and automatically reduced sentence like Guede’s without a REAL confession and repentance.
Our poster Popper explained (again) in comments here on 21 October what the law on fast-track trials is for the moment, and why Guede got no special breaks from anyone except the Italian system itself for not talking.
[A deal with Guede? All such deals are illegal.] Not only illegal, impossible I would say, as not envisaged by the code for serious crimes, ie not practically possible, there are no exceptions ... in addition 1. a prosecutor cannot promise or decide anything in that system (even if it was a small crime for which plea bargain is possible, judge or court decides and can say no) 2. Mignini was not the PM responsible of the Guede appeal as the groupies should know if they had read the primary documents they publish on their, for the rest, useless website 3. Mignini got a life sentence for RG (decreased to 30 years for fast track discount) I do not believe he appealed this verdict, obviously.
So as we said many times (I repeat for newcomers and for the benefit of people in good faith, FoA in bad faith know already) Guede got this reduction as the life sentence (with fast track discount 30 years, this is an automatic formula) became 24 years given the judges of appeal gave generic mitigations equivalent to aggravations, exactly as in the first instance and appeal trials of Amanda and Raffaele. Once this factor is introduced, the base penalty for murder becomes 24 years (like Amanda and Raffaele) but there is, for Guede, the automatic reduction of 1/3 for the choice of the abbreviated trial. Result is 16 years of prison.
Amanda and Raffaele got from 24 to 28.5 and 25 for their other crimes in continuation, theft phones, simulation, transportation of a weapon, calumny to Lumumba (only Knox).
Many might live more easily with the idea of Guede getting his sentence pared down to only 16 years in prison, if only he had been made to fess up properly about what happened and make a real bid to express sorrow and remorse to Meredith’s family.
But his sticking point even now which the current law allows is that Meredith INVITED him in for sex and he was only a bystander to her murder.
Wail at his callous obtuseness all you like, but he has only gone where the system itself points him.
Judge Massei had tried to punish him additionally by reversing Judge Micheli on primary blame and placing primary blame for the fatal attack on Guede.
But that weird stretch didnt hurt him, his eventual sentence was unaffected, and it caused enormous problems down the road when Judge Hellmann was enabled to go even further and roll back the guilt of RS and AK entirely.
This is a problem Judge Nencini then had to set about correcting, which never would have even existed had Guede been forced in 2008 to fully confess and repent, in exchange for his fast-track trial and reduced sentence.
If the Italian system had forced Guede’s confession in 2008 as his part of the deal, how radically different would have been the history of this protracted process. And how radically different would have been the lives and peace of mind of Meredith’s family, left suffering now both financially and in health terms.
It wasn’t meant to be, but in this respect Italy’s is a cruel system. Please, Prime Minister Renzi, correct it. Call it the Meredith Amendment.
Archived in Italian justice v others, The wider contexts, Italian context
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Thursday, October 30, 2014
Why Numerous American JUDGES Favor The Supremely Neutral Italian Kind Of System
Posted by Peter Quennell
See that above at the bottom of the YouTube screen? Some $280 million has been spent since the year 2000.
Can you guess what the $280 million was for?
In fact the $280 million is funds raised and spent for judges’ election campaigns in the roughly 3/4 of all American states where such judges’ elections are held - the original intention of which was good: to get judicial choices out of smoke-filled rooms.
Sitting judges and prospective judges themselves usually dont like this fundraising, because they have to take time off to raise these funds, and pressures from donors - including bad-boy donors and in some cases defense lawyers seeking a break - can become extreme.
We have posted previously on enlightened American lawyers favoring main aspects of the Italian kind of system and on American cities now doing the same. Now we see many American judges and public-interest groups inclining the same way.
Why all judges in Italy are impartial and well-trained in the extreme (like all prosecutors) and dont have to keep their paws outstretched is that they are in a merit-based system where only their performance and not their politics counts.
We described how Italian justice system officials have to jump hurdle after hurdle in getting their cases advanced. A very demanding process in which only the best succeed.
It’s the same with their careers. They have to jump hurdle after hurdle in exams and peer assessment to advance from level to level - to make it as high for example as this revered prosecutor here.
Do such serial defamers of the Italian system as Doug Preston and Steve Moore and ex-judge Michael Heavey bother to tell you this about the Italian system? Probably not. They have never been truthful about it before.
Archived in Italian justice v others, The many hoaxes, Italian justice hoax, Spezi/Preston hoax, The wider contexts, Italian context, American context
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Sunday, September 14, 2014
Now Raffaele Sollecito As Well As Amanda Knox Is Using A PayPal Link To Encourage Donations
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
Sollecito And Knox Paypal Accounts
Please check out the images at bottom here. As of today Knox’s PayPal account still exists.
At the same time Sollecito has created a new one as GoFundMe dropped his solicitation page. PayPal and their own Italian lawyers are likely to regard these two accounts as hot potatoes when the following implications are shared with them.
Imperiled Bank Accounts
Each PayPal account will point behind the PayPal scenes to a bank account, which as this example among many others describes can be seized by American and Italian authorities.
The Government wants the seized properties to be handed over to the authorities, and claims it’s permitted under U.S. law. This includes the bank account that was used by Megaupload for PayPal payouts. The account, described as “DSB 0320,” had a balance of roughly $4.7 million (36 million Hong Kong Dollars) at the time of the seizure, but processed more than $160 million over the years.
“Records indicate that from August 2007 through January 2012 there were 1,403 deposits into the DBS 0320 account totaling HKD 1,260,508,432.01 from a PayPal account. These funds represent proceeds of crime and property involved in money laundering as more fully set out herein,” the complaint reads.
PayPal refused to channel payments to the hacker organization Wikileaks and 14 members of the hacker group Anonymous who attempted denials of service attacks (DOS) against PayPal were charged and pleaded guilty.
Strong evidence that law enforcement will work hard to help prevent the use of PayPal for activities it considers illegal.
How It Gets Worse For Them
Knox is already a convicted felon for life for calunnia with no further appeal possible. Under PayPal’s terms of service that by itself seems sufficient grounds to bounce her. From Paypal’s rules for Donate buttons:
Note: This button is intended for fundraising. If you are not raising money for a cause, please choose another option. Nonprofits must verify their status to withdraw donations they receive. Users that are not verified nonprofits must demonstrate how their donations will be used, once they raise more than $10,000.
Neither have publicly specified in even the least detail who will get what and why out of the funds raised by this Donate button intended for good causes (think charities).
How It Gets Worser For Them
The pitches on the Knox and Sollecito websites are essentially the same as in their two books which are both riddled with demonstrably false accusations, for which Sollecito has already been charged and for which Knox will also in due course be charged.
The charges against Sollecito are a mixture of calunnia and diffamazione, which are explained at the bottom here, and the charges against Knox are expected to be the same.
In effect then this is seemingly not only Knox and Sollecito attempting to profit from crimes, but attempting to profit from crimes based on highly fraudulent accounts of those crimes for one component of which (as pointed out above) Knox has already served three years in prison.
How It Gets Even Worser For Them
“Defense Fund” implies the money being raised is all going to their Italian lawyers. If the lawyers accept such payments as fees that could become a problem for them.
The same thing applies if any of the money raised goes to David Marriott, Ted Simon and Robert Barnett. It is now radioactive. They will presumably know this - know that they cannot profit from proceeds which are illegal under Son of Sam laws and obtained on fraudulent pretenses.
And In Fact Even Worser For Them
If Cassation dismisses the final appeal of Knox and Sollecito (for which the grounds seem very flimsy) they will each be liable for the millions in damages which Judge Massei imposed as modified by Judge Nencini.
Donations legally labeled bloodmoney cannot under any circumstances be used to pay damages. Knox and Sollecito would have to generate new funds to pay the damages awards by legal earnings or by voluntary or forced selling off of any assets.
The Bottom-Line Liabilities Here
The financial liabilities Knox and Sollecito are presently incurring for themselves include (1) payment of all fees for legal and PR help in the US and Italy; (2) the clawing back of all bloodmoney profits from their crimes; (3) the payments of millions in damages as assessed by Judges Massei and Nencini; and (4) further fines and damages that are expected to result from their two books.
Under the post below Popper posted this partial calculation for Knox; the forfeit of bloodmoney and possible future damage awards are additional.
Massei gave (and Nencini confirmed) provisional damage to father and mother of Meredith of Euro 1 million each, to brothers and sister Euro 800,000 each, to PL Euro 50,000 and to the owner of the flat Euro 10,000.
To this it must be added more for the legal costs in Appeal and Cassazione, so a total a bit short of Euro 5 million, about 6 million dollars.
VAT and CPA must be paid on all the above sums, so more than that, we probably go over USD 6 million
Together with the forfeit of bloodmoney and possible future damages imposed, this adds up to around the $10 million estimated in this post. Sollecito’s burden would be less, somewhat more than half of that.
Explanation Of Calunnia And Diffamazione
The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.
The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone’s reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.
The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.
The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.
Click for larger image
Archived in Officially involved, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, The many hoaxes, Other legal cases, Associated trials, The wider contexts, American context, Raff Sollecito
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Crazed Overkill Of Knox PR Causes Not Only A Sollecito-Camp Reaction But Hurt To Knox Herself
Posted by Peter Quennell
Act 1. Hubris Of The Knox Public Relations Described
A long report on Marriott’s PR appeared late in 2011 after Knox was provisionally released.
David Marriott never visited Amanda Knox during her four years in an Italian prison. He met her this month, when she stepped off a plane in Seattle.
Yet for Knox and her family, Marriott was as important a player in her ordeal as anyone in the courtroom. As Knox’s publicist, beginning three days after her arrest, Marriott worked to convince the international public that she did not murder her British roommate while studying in Perugia.
“Hiring him was one of the smartest things we ever did,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father.
The article goes on to describe how family and friends were pushed into the limelight and specific big TV networks targeted. It talks about great financial opportunities for Knox.
Marriott himself demonstrates no understanding of the case - in fact. he sounds proud of his ignorance and his reflexively anti-Italy stance. To a smarter Curt Knox those might have been red flags.
Act 2: Brutal Overkill Of A Flailing Campaign Described
In October 2013 our main poster Media Watcher laid the blame for the slow-moving Knox media cooling at David Marriott’s door.
Now The Examiner is only one of many preparing to take another retaliatory whack.
Public relations is perfectly understandable for celebrities, politicians, or executives, but murder suspects too? At first this aggressive proliferation of pro-Knox articles, tweets and commentary were justified as a defense against the European media’s negative portrayal of her. However, as time wore on, the overpowering presence of Knox’s media campaign has reached outlandish proportions.
Nowadays no blogger is safe to write a factual article about the Meredith Kercher Murder Case without contemptuous comments filling up their Disqus community. Patient webmasters at CNN.com must brace themselves for the onslaught of tens of thousands of interjections cluttering up each and every news article concerning the Meredith Kercher cum Amanda Knox murder case. Mob mentality seems to have taken over Knox’s PR initiative. Knox’s advocates have gone so far as to aim their crosshairs on the victim’s family.
The article, very well researched so far as it goes (it omits the third act below) goes on to describe how Sollecito’s camp has had to open a PR front to unchain Sollecito from Knox.
Act 3: How Knox Herself Is Losing Big Described
Know your enemy. Dont go about attacking the king unless you can kill him dead. Italy’s Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote about it in The Prince:
If one is striking out at an opponent, one should make sure that the fatal blow is struck, successfully ending the confrontation. Machiavelli wrote that “the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”
Wise words for Marriott and Curt Knox. They have remained steadfastly ignorant of the enemy. The attack has clearly failed. Wall-to-wall Italy now has the upper hand. And the PR is a millstone around Knox’s neck.
Here are seven of the ways the Knox-Marriott campaign has fallen short and has actually done real harm.
- 1) The real case for conviction remains rock-solid with many times the number of evidence points that a US or UK court would require for guilt.
2) No paper trail helpful to Knox exists between the American Embassy and the State Department, and the extradition agreement is precise and firm.
3) Knox’s bedrock claim, that she was pressured into a false accusation, not only cost her three years for calunnia but will cost her a defamation trial.
4) The defamatory Knox book that was the windfall David Marriott so jubilantly talks about is turning into an albatross around Knox’s neck.
5) The bloodmoney windfall will not remain Knox’s to keep, under Italian and American laws, and even Marriott’s fees could be at risk.
6) The PR is being unresponsive to ANY damaging claims, such as Knox’s attempted framing of Mignini, and its output is increasingly surreal junk.
7) The PR is making the Sollecito camp hostile, Italian media too; at the same time, since the failed appeal, the US media have chilled.
And so we see the slow death of a campaign built on xenophobia, racism, personal abuse, zero understanding of the details of the case, and zero understanding of the real Italy and its law.
Italy is actually rather a sucker for confession and penitence. Against a famously impervious justice system, the hard line was a terrible, terrible mistake.
Archived in Officially involved, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Sollecito's alibis, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Sunday, July 06, 2014
Spitting In the Wind: Sollecito News Conference Backfires On Him AND Knox - What The Media Missed
Posted by SomeAlibi
What on earth were they thinking?
At Tuesday morning’s press conference Raffaele Sollecito’s team did at least two completely inexplicable things.
Firstly, they scored a spectacular own-goal on the facts surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher, which has been missed by the press.
Secondly, they did it all for no legal benefit.
In the run up to the press conference it was widely trailed that Sollecito would throw Amanda under the bus by removing her alibi - that she spent the whole of the night of the 1st of November with him at his apartment. After the press conference, it was widely reported he’d done that very thing.
Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, Team Sollecito did the opposite and put a position forward entirely consistent with how the prosecution says Knox, Sollecito and Guede all come together.
Speaking in tongues
There are only a few grains of sand left in the hourglass before Cassation and confirmation of the sentence, which will see Sollecito return to jail until he is well into his forties. You would have thought that it would be “absurd” for him to do anything other than speak clearly and unequivocally.
But that is precisely what didn’t happen…
Sollecito and lead counsel Giulia Bongiorno performed a bizarre tip-toe dance, avoiding saying anything clear or direct. Instead, they made points by reference and allusion, with an unhealthy assortment of metaphorical nods, winks, heavy coughs and adjustments of the lapels at key points.
Did Raffaele say that Amanda left his apartment in the early evening? No. As Bongiorno tortuously phrased it: “Raffaele takes note of the fact the court of appeal found there was something of a lie over Amanda’s whereabouts… of the fact the court [says] she was not with him in the early evening”.
Takes note? What on earth was that all about? Well, the sentence mangling was because at the final Cassation hearing next year, no fresh facts can be heard. The only arguments that can be heard are on failure of due process or failure of logic and reasoning as pmf.org Italian legal expert Popper explains extremely clearly here:
I think we should clarify a number of points after discussions of past few days:
1) Corte di Cassazione does not hear evidence and can only discuss the possible invalidation of a sentence or part of it ref the points appealed, not other points. Corte di Cassazione does not hear defendants or private parties. In public hearings only a specific category of lawyers (Cassazionisti) can speak before them
2) Corte di Cassazione therefore cannot take into account evidence now given spontaneously by the defendant RS directed against AK (eg open door of Filomena) as in Court he has never accepted cross-interrogation of AK’s lawyers, except if on some points RS’ lawyers appealed in writing for manifest illogicality of reasoning but what he says now cannot be used. Keep in mind Cassazione cannot discuss the merit of the judgement of Nencini and Massei, only invalidate it if this judgement and reasoning were based on clearly illogical arguments or neglected key evidence
3) Only if Cassazione invalidated Nencini and remanded to a further appeal a possible renovation of “istruttoria” (evidence discussion) may take place. Otherwise all RS has to say now, even if he confesses she did it and he only helped clean [unlikely IMHO], cannot be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione and would have to be the possible argument for a “revisione del giudicato” (a case in which, after a final judgement, a convicted person claims there is a clear error and brings solid evidence to prove it, it is quite rare only in case of obvious errors. Procedure can be easily denied and IMHO will be denied if he said he just helped clean as Courts have already considered that scenario and rejected it)
4) any discussion on cocaine was not taken into account to convict (even if true, no evidence they sniffed that night) and will not be taken into account by Corte di Cassazione, in theory will not be taken into account for extradition hearing in US Court as this only verifies there is a conviction and treaty respected. PR is another matter, but I think it is not correct to say that would be added to extradition request and may change legal course. Same goes for garage video.
5) The press conference of RS was useless, the panel of Corte di Cassazione judges has not even been appointed and, while not illegal, it is completely unusual for a defendant to hold a PC talking about an appeal (RS is not a public figure or administrator). What counts is the appeal document that we have read. The “great” point that AK does not talk about RS in memoriale is too stupid for me to discuss it here. We must conclude this was only publicity for Bongiorno, she knows she is likely to lose and wishes to make it seem it is a close call. She has minimal chances, approximating 0%.
6) RS has very low chances to succeed, and LG for AK even less, as Corte di Cassazione explained well what they wanted and Nencini gave it to them. Court presided by AN explained who the people concurring with RG in the murder are and gave clear logical explanation for such conclusion. Also, Nencini confirmed first instance, a trial that was perfectly valid for Cassazione after first appeal was invalidated.
There have been cases of a double iteration at Cassazione eg in very complex terrorism trials, evidence was scarce mostly based on witnesses who wanted to sidetrack other investigations. Here, as Alan Dershowitz said [he does not know much about case but this and a few other points he got absolutely right] all pieces of evidence point exactly in the same direction creating a good case [AD does not know it is overwhelming; maybe he did not read all docs].
One other thing AD said, most FOA and JREF and IIP tend to forget: Court is the judge, not them, Court has the responsibility to evaluate all evidence and issue a judgement that, as long as explained logically and legally in writing [something a US jury would not be required to do] using all available elements, will stand and be final after Cassazione.
So, Team Sollecito needed to phrase all of their “points” as things already said by the Appeal Court, which are now facts in law unless overturned due to failure of logic etc.
From there they must then try and make insinuations about these ‘facts’, all the while dressing it up as if it were procedurally in accordance with the pre-Cassation phase. Even though … and here one should be allowed a Pepto Bismol given all the twisting and turning… as Popper explains, it will have no effect on the outcome whatsoever.
In the real world, it was quite clear that what Sollecito was actually saying was, “Yes, she did go out in the early part of the evening, even though I’m not personally saying it, those are the Court’s words.”
He left a massive hanging dot dot dot in place of: ‘Hey everyone - Amanda went off and performed the murder with Guede, not me! No, I haven’t stated the time of her return, because it’s not me talking, it’s the court, but she was out, so figure it out for yourselves…’
Not with him in the early evening, which is not the night, we are told, that begins around 11:00 pm
The light at the end of the tunnel has steam billowing underneath it
Here, Team Sollecito run into a horrendous brick-wall of facts which lays Raffaele and Knox out cold. It’s not hard to work it through, but the world’s weary press are too fatigued by this case to even do some simple “if-then” calculations and draw the appropriate conclusion.
So, let’s do it for them here…
- Team Sollecito are saying Knox went out before she sent her SMS reply to boss Patrick Lumumba at 8.35pm. This is in accordance with the case for the prosecution from day dot. They now agree, as the prosecution have always said, that Knox is out of Sollecito’s flat sometime before 8.35pm. (In fact, we know it’s by at least 8.17pm because this is when she received Lumumba’s text to say that she didn’t need to go into work).
- Team Sollecito then pause and wink to let you do the math(s). If the murder occurred circa 9.30pm by their estimate (which it didn’t, but let’s go with this for a second) and you don’t know when she returned to Sollecito’s for the night, then he couldn’t have done it, because he was at home, but she could.
Here, the Press stop and report Amanda is under the bus. Thank heavens for that, not a stain on Raffaele’s Warren Beatty white suit and can we all go home now?
Wrong. In fact, it’s a horrendous own-goal, which ricochets in hard off the testimony of both independent witness Jovana Popovic and Raffaele’s own father Francesco.
- At 8.40pm, Popovic arrives at the front door of Raffaele’s apartment and testifies that Amanda Knox opens the front door. It has been suggested that Popovic’s self-estimated timing of 8.40pm is wrong, but this rings very hollow indeed. Popovic had done the walk from her late class ending at 8.20pm many times, and knew it took 20 minutes because she lived on the same road – Corso Garibaldi – as Raffaele himself. Both Massei and Nencini agreed with this too. Ouch.
- So Knox, who was out previously, is already back, at least 50 minutes before even the putative time of murder put by the defence and a couple of hours plus before the real time.
- In fact, Raffaele’s father Francesco testified to the Massei court that he was certain that Amanda was with his son when he spoke to him at 8.52pm that night. And this was not contested by the defence. Double ouch.
So, even if Knox went out in the early evening, she is objectively shown to have been back at the apartment well before 9pm. And, if that is the case, both Knox and Sollecito are 100% back in the frame. And this is even before they are also seen by a third person who corroborates that they were together that night – Antonio Curatolo. Triple ouch.
Confirming how three became company
Worse yet, Knox has argued for 7 years that she never left the apartment. If Sollecito now “says” she did, but we know objectively that she is back at least by 8.40pm, it supports the prosecution case.
This was that Knox left for work and walked to near the cottage, in the area of the basketball court at Piazza Grimana, around where she received the text from Patrick saying not to come to work.
This is the exact time that Rudy Guede was having a kebab, only a couple of hundred yards away. This provides the opportunity for Knox and Guede to have seen each other. Knox, suddenly at a loose end, makes a plan, which involves asking for Guede’s help.
What might that help be? Well, the resurfacing story of Knox’s link with a cocaine dealer chimes nicely with the idea that Knox asked Rudy either to supply her or help her get some sort of drugs and that they arranged to meet back up once he had secured them.
Knox then returns to Raffaele’s to fetch him, is seen by Popovic and her presence acknowledged at 8.52pm by Papa Sollecito and son, before they both head out to connect with Guede back at Piazza Grimana. (Remember, this is where Knox “saw” Patrick Lumumba, when she tried to frame him).
Guede, as was his wont, managed to get himself invited back to the cottage, perhaps for a shared line. This is consistent with Knox’s prison piece “The Story of Marie Pace”, where there are at least two++ men present in a kitchen in a “party” type atmosphere taking drugs which ends up with a hospitalised victim.
It’s only one theory and there are others. However, what Team Sollecito managed to do this week was to confirm that Knox left the flat. Objective facts and witness testimony tell us the time by which she had returned.
And, in that round trip lies the entire timing, location and mechanism for how Guede became involved, which otherwise makes little sense. Now all confirmed by Team Sollecito…
One of Raffaele Sollecito’s telling grimaces when Amanda Knox’s name is mentioned
What silence gets you
So what was the point? Face-saving for Raffaele? Hoping to key up populist support? Fat chance in Italy, where the case has been properly reported.
An opportunity to allude to a “truth” (the best one he can think of for now – other truths are available) and say that he and his family believe Knox is innocent? Pull the other one Raffaele!
It is quite clear that several members of the Sollecito clan think that Knox absolutely is guilty and their Raffaele is still too “honourable” to tell the truth. He merely aided the clean-up perhaps. Well in that case, why hasn’t he said exactly when she came back? Was it 11pm? 1am? Was it at 5am when the music starts playing. Why won’t he or you say?
Or… was it face-saving for Bongiorno, as she faces defeat and seeks to protect her valued public persona? Well, as much as I’ve tried, I have no idea what they thought they were doing.
And to be honest with you, I honestly don’t think they were entirely sure, nor did they think through the consequences of the brick wall objectivity of Popovic + Papa Sollecito.
In the meantime, a family sits in Surrey listening and watching the weasel words and once again is insulted by this “honourable” all-in-white character who knows what “Amanda Marie Knox” did that night, but simply will not say.
Which of course he could choose to do at any moment, court proceedings or not, the way us normal human beings do it: not making allusion, not tipping a wink, but speaking the truth.
But he hasn’t and I suspect he won’t, even though it actually would now be the only thing that could mitigate the length of his inevitable prison term.
And for his acts and that silence he still won’t break - and at least here it is possible to finally speak with certainty - I believe he deserves every one of those 25 years.
Archived in Italian justice v others, Officially involved, Public evidence, Sollecito's alibis, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, Raff Sollecito
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014
A Mistake Or Lie By Bongiorno On The Location Where Knox Texted Doesnt Let RS Off The Hook
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Bongiorno’s Claim About Knox’s Location
Giulia Bongiorno claimed yesterday that Amanda Knox texted Patrick while she was away from Sollecito’s house.
Mobile-phone-tower records show that Knox’s phone received Patrick’s incoming text telling her not to come to work when she was already somewhere on the route to his bar in Via Alessi.
Knox apparently then turned around and went back to Sollecito’s house, because mobile-phone-tower records show Knox texted back, responding to Patrick, from Sollecito’s house in Corso Garibaldi at 8:35.
Some five minutes later, Knox and Ms Popovic met at Sollecito’s house so Knox was still there then. That is still three to four hours away from the best estimate of Meredith’s death.
So the time-period prior to 8:35 pm when Knox texted from Sollecito’s flat was the only time-period when there is hard proof that Knox and Sollecito were ever apart that night. In her unforced statements on 5-6 November Knox did claim she went out alone to see Patrick, but we have only her word she was alone.
It seems Bongiorno made a serious mistake or lied - and Sollecito sat beside her happily nodding his okay.
2. The Narrative From Judge Massei’s Report
− 20:18:12: Amanda receives the SMS sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, which let her off from having to go to work at the ‚Le Chic‛ pub on the evening of 1 November. At the time of reception the phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. The young woman was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell. This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub
− 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723; the message was sent when the young woman’s mobile phone was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or in the immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, in fact, was that of Via Berardi sector 7.
3. The Narrative From Judge Nencini’s Report
At 20.18 and 12 seconds, Amanda Marie Knox received a text message sent to her by Patrick Lumumba, in which he informed her that it would not be necessary for her to go to the bar to carry out her usual work. At the time of receipt, Amanda Marie Knox’s handset connected via the sector 3 mast at Torre dell’Acquedotto, 5 dell’Aquila, as shown by phone records entered in evidence. This mast cannot be reached from the vicinity of 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito. According to the findings of the judicial police entered in evidence, this mast could be reached by anyone in Via Rocchi, piazza Cavallotti or piazza 4 Novembre, all locations in Perugia which are intermediate between 130 Via Garibaldi, the home of Raffaele Sollecito, and Via Alessi, where the “Le Chic” bar is located.
From this set of facts established in the case, Amanda Marie Knox’s claim, according to which she received Patrick Lumumba’s text message while she was at 130 Via Garibaldi, appears false. Given the mast connected to and the time, it is reasonable to assume that, when Amanda received the message, she had already left Raffaele Sollecito’s home and was on her way to the “Le Chic” bar. Presumably, she then turned around and went back.
Here, then, is the first crack in the account of the young woman who, in her narrative, claims never to have left the house at 130 Via Garibaldi from the moment of her entrance into the house in the afternoon of 1 November 2007, together with Raffaele Sollecito. There is oral evidence (the deposition of Popovic) and evidence obtained through phone records that, at around 18:00 on 1 November 2007, Amanda and Raffaele were at the home of the latter. Later, at precisely 20:35 and 48 seconds, when Amanda Marie Knox sent a text message to Patrick Lumumba, connecting to a mast serving 130 Via Garibaldi, both were once again together at Raffaele Sollecito’s home. This fact is confirmed by Popovic, who went there to cancel that evening’s appointment with Raffaele. In fact, the witness reported that she had visited Raffaele’s home at around 20:40 in the evening.
In essence, it can be established with certainty that Amanda and Raffaele were apart, albeit for a limited period of time, on the evening of 1 November 2007, contrary to what is stated repeatedly in multiple statements made by Amanda Marie Knox.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, Appeals 2009-2014, Cassation appeal 1, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Sunday, June 29, 2014
Sneak Preview Of Giulia Bongiorno Making Silk Purse Out Of Sow’s Ear At RS Media Nonevent This Week
Posted by Peter Quennell
What is the Sollecito lawyer and politician Giulia Bongiorno most famous in Italy for?
Well it sure aint her grasp of the finer points of Italian law. Or her ability to win in court without over-the-top PR and peculiar tricks. Or her accuracy on those pesky facts of the case. Or her foolish tongue before a very key judge.
Most of all, what Bongiorno IS known in Italy for is being shrill, bullying, and high-key - most especially when yet another of her hapless clients is going down, or when she is on the political stump.
Watch this spot-on satirical impersonation by the terrific Italian impersonator Dario Ballantini which was aired nationally on Italian TV and made a lot of Italians laugh. You can hear the audience there.
It doesnt need a grasp of the Italian language to amuse long-suffering Bongiorno skeptics seeing her taken down a peg. Meredith, the name of the victim here: does Bongiorno even know that? If the victim’s suffering family was Italian and regularly on Italian TV would Italy tolerate her callous, cruel act?
Here is an Italian woman one really can admire.
Archived in Officially involved, The defenses, The wider contexts, Italian context, Raff Sollecito
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Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Legal Nightmare For Knox: How Tough American Laws Will Wind Back Her Blood-Money Profits & Spendings
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
The 40-Plus State Son-of-Sam Laws
David Berkowitz or Son-of-Sam as he called himself during his killing spree is a convicted American serial killer. Watch a documentary at bottom here.
In New York State (where Knox’s publisher is) and Washington State (where Knox herself is) and about 40 other American states Son-of-Sam has a much-exercised and now rarely-challenged law named after him.
A Son of Sam law is any American law designed to keep criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes, often by selling their stories to publishers… Son of Sam laws are designed so that criminals are unable to take advantage of the notoriety of their crimes. Such laws often authorize the state to seize money earned from deals such as book/movie biographies and paid interviews and use it to compensate the criminal’s victims…
In certain cases a Son of Sam law can be extended beyond the criminals themselves to include friends, neighbors, and family members of the lawbreaker who seek to profit by telling publishers and filmmakers of their relation to the criminal. In other cases, a person may not financially benefit from the sale of a story or any other mementos pertaining to the crime—if the criminal was convicted after the date lawmakers passed the law in the states where the crime was committed.
Son-of-Sam Laws In The News
The Son-of-Sam laws are in the American news almost daily. See these for example:
- Here is an article about the admitted killer Jodi Arias who could have otherwise been in line to profit from a movie showing her killing of her former lover Travis Alexander from her point-of-view.
- Here is an article about the former university football coach and male rapist Jerry Sandusky who may be writing a book to benefit himself and his family.
- Here is an article about OJ Simpson, the former footballer and convicted killer of his wife and one other, who is essentially in prison now for trying to circumvent a Son-of-Sam law mandating payments to the families of his victims.
How Son-of-Sam Laws Work
Here from the Criminal Lawyers website is a generic description of how such State laws work.
Each state’s law is different, but here some of the things you may see in any particular Son of Sam law:
What’s covered? Practically just about anything a criminal defendant might gain or profit from his crime. Some state laws generally define “profit from crime.” For example, a law may state it’s “any property obtained through or income generated from the commission of a crime.” Other states are very specific and may, for example, state “profit of crime” is money or other property with value a defendant may receive for a book, movie, television show, play or newspaper article about the defendant and his crimes.
Who’s covered? In some states, only the criminal defendant is covered. In other states, members of his family are covered, too. They may be related by blood or by “affinity” or kinship, such as a spouse or father-in-law. The idea is to make sure a family member doesn’t get the money and hold it for the defendant.
Payment. Most states require the person paying the defendant - the book publisher, movie producer, etc. - to pay the money directly to a court or special state agency, like the state’s Crime Victims Assistance agency. The money is held in a special account for the crime’s victims.
Getting the money to the victims. In most states, once money is deposited, the court or the state agency in charge of the money notifies victims the money is available. In other states, the person or company paying the defendant must notify victims. Either way, victims are usually notified by ads or “legal notices” in local newspapers where the crime was committed. It’s also possible the names of specific victims may be found in the court records connected to the case, and those victims may get personal notification, such as by mail.
Ten Grave Weaknesses In Knox’s Position
Under these 40-plus Son-of-Sam state laws Amanda Knox and her agents appear to be in an extremely weak legal position. Here are 10 reasons.
- 1) Knox was confirmed convicted without further recourse by the Italian Supreme Court of calunnia (against Patrick Lumumba) in March 2013 and she was also provisionally confirmed guilty of murder and other crimes when her appeal before the Florence Appeal Court failed six months ago.
2) That final false-accusation conviction occurred prior to Knox’s book Waiting To Be Heard being released. The British and Italian arms of the publishers, HarperCollins, refused to release the book in the UK and Italy, citing major legal liabilities. The New York based HarperCollins publishers and therefore Knox herself knew that there were very serious legal questions.
3) Amanda Knox was represented by Washington DC lawyer and book agent Robert Barnett who touted the book to various publishers for a claimed $4 million. If Robert Barnett was misled as to the truth of the book, Knox may find herself kicked under the bus by him. If he was not misled, he too is entangled.
4) Knox’s book (available globally via Amazon Kindle) includes many serious misstatements on (among other things) the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her felony conviction and sentence.
5) Knox also misstated the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her felony defamation conviction in (a) an arrogant email to Judge Nencini at the Florence appeal and (b) an arrogant press release after the judge’s sentencing report was released.
6) Knox appears to have misstated the nature of her false-accusation crime, the nature of her police discussion on 5-6 November 2007, and the real reason for her conviction in a submission to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg. She also uses those false claims for her continued refusal to pay damages to Patrick.
7) Large numbers of opportunists appear to have directly profited. While we don’t know for sure, it seems Knox blood-money may have been used (a) to pay off her parents’ legal debts; (b) to pay her Italian and American lawyers; (b) to pay David Marriott’s public relations outfit; (d) to pay travel to Seattle and other expenses for some of her wackiest supporters, Sforza and Fischer included. Fees for abusive work by many in online support of Knox are rumored
8) We have repeatedly been told that any media request for access to Sollecito or Knox results in a greedy hand being stretched out. Any media who paid anything to Knox or her family (CNN? ABC? CBS? The Guardian? Oggi?) for access since 2007 could be seriously vulnerable.
9) Knox will face a new trial in Italy in due course for numerous new felony accusations in the book, including a very serious false charge against Dr Mignini. Also she and her followers are widely on record as disrespecting and harrassing the real victim and her ailing family.
10) And a mandatory Son-of-Sam Law investigation by State Attorney Generals can be triggered in over 40 American states via a simple report from a citizen. The Italian Government could also trigger such a criminal investigation.
And Amanda Knox still has her greedy paw out for contributions. See her highly misleading website. Tread warily, folks. Up to 40-plus investigators could come calling at your door…
Early Death To Any Political Support
American politicians almost all favor the Son-of-Sam Laws. The thought of a convicted killer profiting is something almost 100% of American voters wont tolerate. Anything that encourages crimes and the flouting of laws is a really big American no-no.
And if Knox is trying to assemble any bought-and-paid-for political support to resist extradition, such political support will dissipate in a heartbeat when Son-of-Sam again rears his head.
Not a very nice slippery slope for Knox. On multiple counts she looks like a sure-fire loser.
Archived in Officially involved, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The many hoaxes, Other legal cases, Associated trials, The wider contexts, American context, Amanda Knox
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Monday, February 24, 2014
Power Shift In Italy Very Unfavorable To Anyone So Stupid As To Thumb Their Noses At Italian Justice
Posted by Peter Quennell
Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi
Mr Renzi was sworn in by the President of the Italian Republic on Saturday as the new Prime Minister of Italy. As a top German newssite remarks, he is looking like a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Mr Renzi is colorful and dynamic and very popular, and may become one of the most effective leaders in recent Italian history and a major player on the world stage. Mr Renzi comes from FLORENCE where he was the popular and effective mayor.
Unlike the Berlusconi faction in parliament (which once included Giulia Bongiorno) Mr Renzi is a big friend of law and order, police, and justice. In the image at bottom you can see him opening the huge Palace of Justice in Florence with all the top officers of the court who just organized the appeal.
This is very bad news for Sollecito and Knox and their foolish gangs, as Mr Renzi will be very unlikely to look kindly on that same Florence court - and any court in Italy including, especially, Cassation - being flouted by convicted perps and made to look weak.
If the new Minister of Justice sends an extradition request to his desk, you can bet that he’ll send it on to the United States. And the US, very keen to stay on good terms with Italy as one of its 2-3 most reliable allies, will exhibit little if any resistance to the extradition of Knox.
More bad news for Sollecito and Knox
The sardonic Italian media is paying very close attention to the ongoing game of each of them pushing the other closer to the flames, and the almost-certain prospect of the two of them and Rudy Guede explosively flying apart.
The Italian media is picking up on signs that Sollecito has become highly resentful at his on-again off-again rejection by Knox, especially as many or most in Italy believe it was Knox who wielded the big knife that killed Meredith to which the other two had maybe not signed on in advance.
There are additional pressures headed down the pike. First, Rudy Guede will be given brief study leaves soon, and under Italy’s new “clear the over-crowded prisons (somewhat)” law Guede could even soon see himself released and free to talk.
Plus the investigators examining the criminal defamation of the justice system and officers of the court by Knox and Sollecito in their exceptionally foolish books are believed very close to announcing that a case against them has been made.
Sollecito’s father on national TV has already admitted that Raffaele lied about a deal to get him off, and this on Knox seems an open & shut case. Knox and Sollecito might face additional sentences of 3 to 7 years if they keep provoking a hard line.
Here are two articles translated by Miriam which summarise (not perfectly in our terms but good enough) the signs of the growing divide and the evidence that will see Knox and Sollecito back in prison.
Amanda Knox Will Return to Italy and Go to Jail, as Will Raffaele Sollecito, While Rudy Guede Will Be Freed
This scenario is not only plausible, but seems to be the natural outcome of the last sentencing of the Mez case. Few believe that the Corte di Cassazione could overturn, again, the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence.
So Amanda Knox will return to Italy and go to jail. For Amanda Knox, “her extradition is quite possible” Christopher Blakesely say without equivocation. He is one of the main experts on such penal proceeding in the United States.
The day after the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence, Giovanna Botteri, the RAI correspondent in the USA, reported something similar, underlining that Amanda rushed to CNN to cry all her tears didnt help.
Knox uses even the social networks to scream again her innocence, but the law says something different.
Even Italian popular opinion seems not in Amanda’s favor : Perugia, through the social networks, has literally screamed its disagreement and displeasure against Amanda (read: L’Urlo di Perugia: a Facebook page against Knox: from the people of Perugia)....
Rudy is at the moment the only one sentenced in jail…. How does Rudy reconstruct that night? Rudy swears to having consensual sex with Mez.
After the intimate relation Guede went to the bathroom and from there he heard her scream, rushing to her room he found her in a pool of blood, and tried to help her. Realizing that Meredith was dead, in shock he ran away.
On the plausibility of this reconstruction, the judges had numerous doubts, to the point of finding Guede guilty and sentencing him.
This reconstruction, according to his lawyers, explains not only the biological traces of Rudy all over the crime scene but also his flight.
How does Amanda reconstruct that night?
Amanda continues to sustain that she did not wield the knife that killed Mez, that she heard her scream while she was in the kitchen and that she covered her ears like a scared child.
The “whys” are many and heavy. Why did Amanda accused Patrick Lumumba, incarcerated for 14 days while innocent, due to her ignominious accusations? Why on the knife used for the murder are there traces of Mez and Amanda?
Knox DNA was on the handle of the knife that killed Meredith: only because she used it to cut potatoes? The alibi of the potato has always been used by Knox and her lawyers, but it is plausible?
And Raffaele Sollecito?
One of the most decisive evidence against Sollecito in the first trial was the bloody foot print on the bathroom math. In the appeal process that footprint was challenged, it was said that it could be not Sollecito’s and was ascribed to Guede with benefit of doubt .
Now it seems certain that Rudy was wearing shoes ,as is demonstrated by other prints at the scene of the crime, thus the bloody footprint goes back to being ascribed to Sollecito.
Why is Rudy Guede in jail while Amanda and Raffaele are on the loose?
After the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence the appeal to the Cassazione, was announced, while waiting for the Cassazione, the guilty Raffaele Sollecito had to hand over his passport in order to make it impossible for him to leave Italy.
Right after the sentence Sollecito was stopped in Udine about 60km from the Italy/Austrian border and about 40km from the Slovenian border.
Before the verdict of Corte D’Assise d’Appello of Florence Sollecito was a free man, and therefore legally in possession of a passport and the right to cross the border.
Sollecito, instead of waiting for the verdict in the court room, around 12 o’clock that day left with his new girlfriend and arrived in Udine [in north-east Ital]..
Around night time during a snow storm the two of them took refuge in an hotel , and the owner recognizing Sollecito by name, alerted the police that promptly arrived in order to confiscate Sollecito’s passport as decided by the Court.
Sollecito told the media that he had no intention of fleeing the Country.
One can ask what Sollecito was doing in Udine then, a few hours after his guilty verdict. To excuse Sollecito one can perhaps say that the young man was overpowered by anguish and fear, in fact up to today
Sollecito had never seemed to want to evade justice, instead he was usually in the Courtroom.
Amanda in contrast was not sanctioned with any precautionary measures. She arrived in America as a free citizen after the not guilty verdict.
Now, if and when the Cassazione confirms the verdict of the last proceeding, America needs to extradite Amanda and remit her in the hands of the Italian Justice…
America is tied to Italy by sanction accords by name of international laws, thus if the Cassazione upholds the guilty verdict, Amanda must return to Italy. Nothing makes one think that America could oppose an extradition.
Rudy Guede is the only guilty one in jail at the moment. His detention was confirmed after a fast track trial, decided by his layers, and his detention was 16 years in jail. (with time off for the fast track trial)
Not many know that while the doors of the prison may soon open for Amanda and Raffaele,, for Rudy instead “freedom” may be close by.
Thanks to the new decree passed last December by the Parliament, Rudy could leave the prison where he is detained. Guede is one of 3 thousand detainees who could benefit from the “empty the prisons” decree.
Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are close to a break up after the sentencing..
Raffaele wrote Amanda a letter saying: “Amanda I am tired. I don’t want to be punished, neither do I want to continue to give justifications for matters that concern you and not me”.
Amanda says “I understand him but: I want to say that Raffaele is not my slave and I am not his oppressor. Raffaele has many reasons to be resentful, but not with me.”
The bond between the two, accused of the homicide of Meredith Kercher, is cracking. A bond that lasted from that horrible night of November1st 2007, when in a house in Perugia, via della Pergola, their English friend was savagely killed.
Looking at a concrete possibility that the Judges of the Cassazione will confirm the sentencing which condemned Amanda and Raffaele to 28 years of jail for her and 26 for him, the two ex-lovers are starting to distance themselves from each other.
Amanda took a picture of herself holding a sign that read “we are innocent” so as to underline a common faith, from which Raffaele can’t dissociate. Not anymore.
Raffaele after six years may be starting to understand that being Amanda’s “fiancé” did not help him at all. He said this to Giulio, in an interview a few months ago, and now in an interview to CNN:
In the Judges head I must be guilty because I was Amanda’s boy-friend. It does not make any sense for me. According to the Judges because in some way I supported Amanda, I must be implicated. According to me this is aberrant. My standing has not been just ignored, but completely forgotten. In all the proceedings I was not part of them unless for the scientific investigations.
For many, many hearings the topic was my DNA, but nobody said nothing of the reason why I was accused of the homicide except the fact that I was Amanda’s boy-friend and because I was with her very often and spent many nights with her, I had to be in some way connected with the homicide.
Is Raffaele’s defense thinking of ditching the girl? Is Raffaele ready to tell the truth of what happened that night? Now Raffaele is in Bari, and is thinking over what happened to him. He reveals:
I discussed with my friends and family the possibility of going abroad a year ago, but I cannot accept the fact of leaving all the people who are dear to me for a theory. I had no motive to hurt Meredith Kercher.
Now I have no light in my future. They took away my passport and I.D. card, and I do not know if I can realize my dreams, or anything I want to do. I do not accept that my future is destroyed.
Too often, though, Amanda and Raffaele forget to mention that Meredith’s life really was destroyed.
Against Amanda and Raffaele there are scientific evidence, bloody footprints on the floor, DNA on the bra clasp and knife, and the many contradictions in their alibis.
From the beginning their behavior caused the carabinieri to be suspicious of them.
Without forgetting the spontaneous confession of Amanda of being in the house while her friend was being murdered. “I have a vision of being in the kitchen, covering my ears while they kill her.” She even gave the name of the killer Patrick Lumumba, her boss, who was then discovered to be innocent.
The attempt to divert the investigation, pointing the finger against an innocent man, is evidence of the quilt of Amanda.
Even Raffaele changed versions more than once. In one of the interrogations he said Amanda was not with him that night and arrived at his apartment in the early hours of the morning. He then said he smoked too much marijuana and could not recall what happened that night.
In the meantime Rudy Guede, 27 years old, condemned to 16 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, with others, writes:
Now that my verdict is definite, for too long the judicial reasoning have been subjected to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings… I would like to point out that I do not accept being labeled as a homeless man, drifter, and a thief; when instead I had a splendid family and precious and clean friendships in Perugia.
Amanda Knox’s defense team wants to pass him off as a habitual thief. Rudy adds: “ “Meredith’s house was turned upside down, someone simulated a break in. I was not condemned for this simulated break-in.”
If it was not Rudy, then who?
Archived in Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Diversion efforts by, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, The wider contexts, Italian context, Raff Sollecito
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Friday, February 21, 2014
The US Lacks Legal Authority To Decline To Deliver A Guilty Knox To Italian Authorities
Posted by TomM
Recent reporting on whether the US would extradite Amanda Knox continues that tradition, ranging from assertions that “sources” within the State Department say they would never extradite her, to claims that the risk of extradition is real, but that the Secretary of State has the discretion to refuse to extradite.
If the Secretary of State actually has this discretion, it must be grounded in the law.
That means it must be found in the Constitution, or in an act of Congress, or in a treaty—all of which constitute the “law of the land”. Beyond authorizing the President to make treaties, with the consent of two thirds of the Senate, the Constitution sheds no further light.
The only act of Congress dealing with extradition of US citizens is Title 18, United States Code, section 3196; a bit of background first.
There is no uniform US extradition treaty. Each treaty is separately negotiated with the other sovereign nation. Historically, many of the treaties entered into by the US contained clauses providing that neither country was obligated to extradite its own citizens.
Notwithstanding this, the US had extradited US nationals on the basis of discretion to extradite even though extradition was not required by the language of the treaty. But in 1936 the US Supreme Court held that if the treaty does not “obligate” the requested party to extradite its own citizens, the Secretary of State does not have the discretion to deliver the person sought to the requesting country. [Valentine v. United States ex rel. Neidecker 299 U.S. 8]
In 1990, Congress passed 18 U.S.C § 3196, captioned “Extradition of United States citizens:”
“If the applicable treaty or convention does not obligate the United States to extradite its citizens to a foreign country, the Secretary of State may, nevertheless, order the surrender to that country of a United States citizen whose extradition has been requested by that country if the other requirements of that treaty or convention are met.”
That is the full extent of Congressional action on extradition of US citizens; there is no Congressional grant of discretion to the Secretary of State to decline extradition in the face of a treaty obligation.
Some US extradition treaties contain clauses that give the requested country the discretion not to extradite its own citizens; perhaps that is where the idea that the Secretary of State has discretion not to extradite Knox comes from.
Here, for example, is a clause from the US-Sweden treaty:
“There is no obligation upon the requested State to grant extradition of a person who is a national of the requested State, but the executive authority of the requested State shall, subject to the appropriate laws of that State, have the power to surrender a national of that State if, in its discretion, it be deemed proper to do so.”
The treaty with Italy is short (ten pages) and written in plain language. The treaty has commences with Article I, captioned “Obligation to Extradite”:
“The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the authorities of the Requesting Party have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.”
The cover letter of the Secretary of State to then-President Reagan explains: “Article I obligates each State to extradite to the other, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty, any persons charged with or convicted…”. (emphasis added)
There are mandatory grounds for refusal, such as political or military acts, double jeopardy (if the person sought has already been tried by the requested State for the same offense), or if the prosecution or penalty is time-barred in the requesting State.
There is just one discretionary ground: if the country requested is also prosecuting the person sought for the same act.
Article 4 provides:
“A Requested Party shall not decline to extradite a person because such a person is a national of the Requested Party.”
Thus, any discretion to deny extradition implied by 18 USC 3196 has no application to requests made under this treaty. Further, although some appellate cases have treated some issues regarding extradition of nationals differently, they fairly firmly hold to the difference in the meaning of mandatory words like “shall” and “obligate” on the one hand, and discretionary or permissive words like “may”.
Comments to the effect that the US has declined extradition to Italy in the past are superficial and uninformed.
The first illustration such commentators cite is that of the Air Force pilot who severed a ski lift cable, causing multiple deaths. That was not an extraditable offense under the treaty because of double jeopardy; the pilot had been court martialed. Although his acquittal enraged Italians, the pilot had already been tried by the US, and thus his case fell under the mandatory ground to denial of extradition specified in the treaty.
The other example mentioned is that of the CIA operatives who were prosecuted in absentia for the abduction of Abu Omar in Milan. The Italian Minister of Justice refused, during both the Berlusconi and Prodi administrations, requests of the Milan court to commence extradition proceedings. In Italy, the courts and the government are independent, and the courts lack power to compel government to make a request for extradition.
Even if the Italian government had made an extradition request, there is at least a colorable argument to be made that this was in the nature of a military act in the US war on terror, thus constituting a mandatory ground of refusal.
Thus, if Italy requests the extradition of Amanda Knox, the US lacks legal authority to decline to deliver her to Italian authorities. If the US government wants to avoid extraditing her, it will have to rely on diplomacy rather than law. In other words, it will need to convince the Italian government not to make an extradition request in the first place.
Archived in Italian justice v others, Officially involved, Appeals 2009-2014, Florence appeal, Knox extradition, Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, The many hoaxes, No-extradition hoax, The wider contexts, American context, Amanda Knox
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
In Italy The Faux Self Pity Of Knox And Sollecito Is Increasingly Becoming A National Joke
Posted by Peter Quennell
Meet Amanda Knox the Perugian Chipmunk version.
Knox’s Facebook page is also being satirised and ridiculed (one message there reads “Perugia Hates You”.) Some may actually believe the rumor that Knox is shopping herself around for salacious movies.
Sollecito being nabbed at the Austrian border because of a quick tip to the police also inspired sarcastic humor in Italy, and several journalists have come up with questions to challenge Sollecito when he gets on the stand, as he so desperately wants or says he does.
We expect some more Italian satire (and maybe not only Italian) and will report on that as well, as this long-needed and much-deserved hit-back against dishonest pandering to media audiences could prove an important trend.
If satire proves the way to stop RS and AK babbling lies daily about the case and Italian justice via every craven media outlet, then well done Italy!! Nothing else seems to work to shut the two up, although their false claims and smears could constitute obstruction of justice.
If Knox and Sollecito want to avoid being spoofed, they have two very easy ways to do so: (1) shut up and avoid the media, or (2) stick to telling the truth.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Knox's book, The Sollecitos, Sollecito's book, Reporting on the case, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox, Raff Sollecito
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Friday, December 06, 2013
After 6 Years Heavey Is Still Heedless Of His Errors Pointed Out Again & Again & Again
Posted by pat az
Overview of this post
This post corrects an error-filled letter to President Obama and the Congress dated 16 May 2011.
First, note that Michael Heavey has a considerable record of interventions that seriously mislead. Often corrected, he gravitates no closer to the truth.
Prior misleading Heavey interventions in 2008
During this year Heavey (then still a judge, though one who was merely elected - nothing compared to the rigorous process Italian judges must go through) sent three erroneous open letters (posted on the web and widely copied) to senior justice officials in Italy about the case.
TJMK posted on the errors in December 2008.
Prior misleading Heavey interventions in 2009
By way of interviews in the media, Heavey continued his campaign. He has claimed that his motives really are noble: in effect, Knox could have been his own daughter, though his daughter has distanced herself from this campaign.
Prior misleading Heavey interventions in 2010
One of the 2008 letters to Italy was sent on official judicial letterhead, as if he was speaking for the State of Washington. In 2010 the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct disciplined Heavey although it was only for an illegal use of the official letterhead, not for wrong claims.
Prior misleading Heavey interventions in 2011
In April 2011, one month prior to his misleading letter, Heavey was a droning presence on a panel before an audience of 35 at Seattle University. His familiar talking points were again repeated.
It is cross-posted from my own website here. Links to previous posts about Heavey on TJMK for the period 2008 to 2011 appear at the bottom of this post.
The 16 May 2011 letter to President & Congress
On May 16, 2011, Judge Heavey (now retired) apparently sent US President Barack Obama a letter regarding the Amanda Knox case.
This document was retrieved from the King5.com news site under a search result for “Amanda Knox.” The subject of Judge Heavey’s letter was ”Re: Failure of Rome Consular Officials to protect the rights of U.S. Citizen Amanda Knox.”
The new Heavey letter was written on letterhead “From the chambers of Judge Michael Heavey.” The address given is his house address.
The Judge charged that the State Department absolutely failed to look out for the rights of Amanda Knox. Nowhere in the letter does Judge Heavey actually address any of the evidence in the case.
Ten times in his letter, he charges consular officials failed to take action when they should have.
However, many of his points are false or misstate the events. In many instances, Judge Heavey is proven wrong by statements from Amanda Knox herself.
This letter, full of errors, was carbon copied to Members of Congress AND the Secretary of State (at the time, Hillary Clinton).
These mistakes would have known at the time Judge Heavey wrote his letter by using the interviews and documents available at that time. This did not stop Judge Heavey from writing an error-laden letter to the President and Congress. These errors are detailed below.
Additional signatories to the letter (on letterhead from “from the chambers of Judge Michael Heavey”) include Friends of Amanda representative Thomas L. Wright, and author of “The Framing of Amanda Knox” Dr. Mark C. Waterrbury.
Judge Heavey had been admonished for using court resources and stationary as a part of his advocacy in the Amanda Knox case, as well as his public speeches while he was a sitting judge.
The admonishment only covered the letters written to Italian court officials and prosecutors, using court stationary and court staff. The letter he apparently sent to Obama and congress was not included in the admonishment.
The following is a point by point review and rebuttal of the by-now admonished Judge Heavey’s Letter to President Obama and Congress
False brutal interrogation claims
The letter opens up with a summary of the argument- that this case was a prosecutor’s vendetta against Amanda Knox, and that her rights were violated, and Consular officials did nothing. The letter is arranged as a series of points, which are discussed below.
Judge Heavey writes: “Amanda Knox was arrested for the murder of her roommate after an all-night interrogation [...]. The Perugian Police denied her food and water, cuffed her on the back of the head, and, most importantly, prevented her from sleeping.”
However, Amanda Knox was not the one called into the station. Raffaele was; and they went right after having dinner!
A UK based paper had published the day before an article with quotes from Raffaele. Raffaele said he and Amanda went to a party on the night of the murder. Police were likely calling in Raffaele due to the conflicting stories.
Amanda’s “interrogation” didn’t start until at least 11pm. Police have testified she was offered food and water. She went to sleep after signing her second statement, at 5:45 am. There was a break between signing her first statement at 1:45 am and signing her second statement (after being warned by Dr Mignini to say nothing further without a lawyer) at 5:45 am.
Here is Amanda Knox:
“Around 10:30pm or 11pm Raffaele and I arrived at the police station after eating dinner at the apartment of one of Raffaele’s friends. It was Raffaele who the police called, not me, but I came with him to the Questura anyway while he was to be questioned for support, as he had done for me many times.” -Amanda Knox, letter to lawyers, 9 Nov 2007
“I signed my second “spontaneous declaration” at 5:45 AM [...]. I asked permissions to push two metal folding chairs together, balled myself into the fetal position, and passed out, spent. I probably didn’t sleep longer than an hour before doubt pricked me awake… ” -Amanda Knox, Waiting to be Heard
To this day, Raffaele Sollecito has not corroborated Amanda Knox’s alibi in court.
False no-lawyer claim
Judge Heavey writes: “When a witness becomes a suspect, the police are obligated to appoint a lawyer”
Knox was not a suspect and the interview was merely a recap/summary session with someone who might have information as the defenses themselves agreed. Knox herself twice declined a lawyer before insisting on writing three statements out.
Prosecutor Mignini was interviewed by CNN ten days before Judge Heavey wrote his letter. In the interview, Mignini describes the questioning of Amanda:
“And thus her interrogation as a person informed of the facts was suspended by the police in compliance with Article 63 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure [c.p.p. - Codice di Procedura Penale], because if evidence appears that incriminates the person, the person being questioned as a person informed of the facts can no longer be heard, and we must stop. “Everyone stop! There must be a defense attorney [present]”. And thus the police stopped and informed Amanda” -
Prosecutor Mignini, CNN interview, May 6 2011 (Ten days prior to Judge Heavey’s letter)
Thus, it was known on national television in the US what the sequence of events was. This did not stop Judge Heavey from writing an error-laden letter to congress.
False no-recording claim
Judge Heavey writes: “Article 141 of the CCP requires that every interrogation of a person in custody (for any reason) must be fully recorded by audio or audiovisual means”
However, Amanda Knox was not in custody during her questioning on Nov 5th & 6th. She was not a suspect, and this was not a suspect interview. She merely eagerly listed seven names. She was only at the station because Raffaele was called:
“It was Raffaele who the police called, not me, but I came with him to the Questura anyway while he was to be questioned for support, as he had done for me many times. ”
-Amanda Knox, Letter to Lawyers, 8 Nov 2007
False no-interpreter claim
Judge Heavey writes: “Amanda spoke little Italian, yet was not allowed to have an interpreter to assist her with understanding the questions put to her, the charges against her, or anything else.”
Two sources refute Judge Heavey’s point- official court records of the questioning, and Amanda Knox’s own statement on trial and in her book:
From Court documents
“…assisted by the English-speaking interpreter Anna Donnino” -Signed 1:45 AM statement.
“….assisted by the English-speaking interpreter Anna Donnino” -Signed 5:45 AM statement.
And from Amanda Knox:
November 2nd: “…they brought in an english-speaking detective for hours two through six.” -Waiting to be Heard
November 4th: “AK: So, it seems to me that Laura and Filomena were there, but they had arrived with other people, while I was in the car with the police and an interpreter, that’s it.” -Trial Testimony
November 5th/6th: “The interpreter, a woman in her forties, arrived at about 12:30 A.M.” -Waiting to be heard
False vengeful prosecutor claim
Judge Heavey simply engages in a character assassination of Prosecutor Mignini:
“[...] Mignini was well known in Italy for a bizarre theory [...] under investigation for abuse of office [...] previously driven American journalist, Douglas Preston out of Italy[...]“
Judge Heavey, Dr. Waterbury, and FOA representative Thomas Wright conclude point five with:
”Consular officials knew Mr. Mignini was prosecuting Amanda Knox. They knew he had been charged with abusing his office. They knew of the bizarre theory that he pursued, from which the charges arose. They also knew he was under tremendous pressure to achieve some vindication to save face. Why did consular officials do nothing?”
The trumped-up charges against Prosecutor Mignini pursued by a rogue prosecutor ad rogue judge in Florence were overturned by the Florence appeal court and sacthingly roasted by the Supreme Court. Dr Mignini (now Deputy Attorney General for Umbria) was under no pressure at all. See this post here.
False satanic myth claim
Heavey and others raise the satanic ritual myth quoting Prosecutor Mignini as stating at the October preliminary hearing, “the crime was a sexual and sacrificial ritual in accordance with the rites of Halloween.”
The ONLY source for this quote is a defense lawyer for Sollecito who made it up. Judge Heavey then turns around and uses this metaphor himself:
“these and other statements should have shouted to consular officials that Amanda was a defendant in what had become a witch trial, being prosecuted by a delusional prosecutor. Why did consular officials do nothing?”
False US Embassy claim
Despite Heavey’s claims, US consular officials WERE monitoring the case, as revealed in FOI-released documents requested by journalist Andrea Vogt. She released these documents in a May 2013 post on her website.
This is clear: consular officials regularly visited Knox and tracked case developments. The following diplomats’ names appear on the cables: Ambassador Ronald Spogli, Deputy Chief Elizabeth Dibble and Ambassador David Thorne, U.S. Embassy Rome.
Consular staff visited Amanda Knox on November 12 2007, and noted her lawyers had already visited with Knox. The charges against Amanda Knox as stated by the US Embassy were:
* Participation in Voluntary Manslaughter with aggravating circumstances of cruelty
* Participation in sexual assault
* Simulated robbery
* Possession of weapons
* Aggravated theft.
Archived in Italian justice v others, Public evidence, Knox's alibis, Diversion efforts by, Michael Heavey, More sockpuppets, The many hoaxes, The Dr Mignini hoax, Knox interrog. hoax, The Guede hoax, The wider contexts, American context
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The Considerable Number Of Suspected Perps That Countries Extradite Daily To Other Countries #2
Posted by Peter Quennell
Extradition: a hardball game.
Complete refusals of extradition by any countries other than Russia and China seem increasingly rare, as that can cause a rebound effect and economic retaliation in response. The United States very rarely refuses to extradite.
If anything, the US is stepping up the pace of its extradition cases - both ways. The US at federal and state level is at any one time processing hundreds of requests, and transporting suspected perps back and forth.
These are some of the high-profile extradition cases in today’s news:
The US/Italy Robert Lady case
The twists and turns in the story of the fugitive from Italian justice and former CIA chief in Milan Robert Lady were last posted on here. He scampered out of Central America back to the United States mid-2013.
But now official Washington seems to be giving Mr Lady a very hard time which may have him voluntarily headed to Italy to seek a break.
When the anniversary of 9/11 came around this year, Robert Seldon Lady was moving between low-end hotels around Miami. An international arrest warrant keeps him from returning to his home in Panama. He says he’s flirting with personal bankruptcy, fears for his life, and is “getting pretty desperate.” His marriage is broken. He blames this hard luck on his former employer, the Central Intelligence Agency
Mr. Lady helped CIA contractors and agents snatch an Egyptian Islamist off the streets of Milan and deliver him to an interrogation cell in Cairo. This so-called extraordinary rendition—one of 130 or so carried out by the Bush administration—set in train events that soured America’s relations with Italy and upended the life and career of Mr. Lady and other CIA agents.
Saying “I’m fed up with all this,” Mr. Lady has some extraordinary steps in mind to change his fate. His actions and outspokenness are going to add to the discomfiture of his former bosses at Langley over this messy episode from the early days after 9/11.
If the muddle-headed Knox and Sollecito enablers can find any solace in that, good luck. Mr Lady was a top government employee, who claims he was doing only what he was told.
The Brazil/Italy Henrique Pizzolato case
Believe it or not the former director of the Bank of Brazil has fled to Italy to ensure a fair trial.
Sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison for bribery, embezzlement and money laundering, Pizzolato announced in a letter that he fled to have, according to him, a new trial in Italy “removed from politics and electoral motives” and in “a court not subject to the impositions of the media”.
Brazil might ask Interpol for a “red notice” which is the highest form of international arrest warrant and often has the same wanted result as formal extradition.
A red notice chills renegades’ possibilities worldwide.
In fact so tough is life on the lam under a red notice that perps often simply cave before too long, and head back to defend themselves or pay their dues without any court moves or official transport required.
The US/Italy Raoul Weil case
Finfacts reported on this case last month.
Raoul Weil, a former UBS wealth management chief, was arrested last weekend in Italy and faces extradition to the United States to answer charges of aiding and abetting tax evaders.
Weil left Switzerland’s biggest bank in 2009 after he was declared a fugitive from US justice by ignoring a criminal indictment issued in 2008. UBS was forced to pay a $780m fine in 2009 after admitting to actively assisting US tax evaders to break US law.
Several Swiss bankers and lawyers have since been indicted in the US for their alleged role in helping wealthy US citizens hide their assets from the tax authorities.
Weil is one of the most high-profile of the accused as a then head of UBS’s wealth management and he is now a temporary resident of an Italian prison, likely fearing a longer spell in a US one.
A Florida court indictment charged Weil with having a prominent role in aiding UBS’s US clients to hide around $20bn in undeclared assets between 2002 and 2007.
He however has strongly denied the allegation but would not risk defending himself in a US court.
Italy is giving Mr Weil a pretty hard time and accedes to all American extradition requests except where the death sentence might be involved.
The US/Russia gangsters case
The US is trying hard to get some Russian gangsters (okay, alleged gangsters) extradited from countries around the world and Russia is resisting this “extraterritorial application of America law”.
U.S. organized crime experts say Russian criminals working overseas often have connections within the Russian government, and that the Russian government’s defense of them is designed to keep those links from emerging in public light….
In the past six months, Russians have been a frequent target of arrest warrants executed at the request of U.S. prosecutors.
On Aug. 1, the Dominican Republic extradited 24-year-old Aleksandr Panin to stand trial in federal court in Atlanta on charges related to cyberscams using SpyEye malware, which enables the theft of online banking information. Panin is accused of stealing $5 million from U.S. banks.
In mid-August, Lithuania extradited an alleged arms dealer, Dmitry Ustinov, to stand trial in the United States for allegedly negotiating to sell restricted night-vision goggles. He faces a 20-year sentence.
Another Russian, Dmitry Belorossov, was arrested at the Barcelona airport Aug. 17 upon triggering an Interpol fraud alert. Belorossov’s extradition to stand trial in the United States is pending.
When U.S. prosecutors seized Liberty Reserve in late May, they said the company had laundered “more than $6 billion in criminal proceeds.” Liberty Reserve allowed clients anonymity and offered them a digital currency, known as an LR, to facilitate payments for criminal activity.
The US/Spain Javier Martin-Artajo case
Banker Javier Martin-Artajo now in Spain is refusing to be extradited to the United states - because the crime he is accused of took place in England. Good luck with that one. JP Morgan Chase Bank has just paid a huge fine in the US so THEY accept the crime took place there.
Archived in Appeals 2009-2014, Knox extradition, Other legal cases, Others Italian, Others elsewhere, The wider contexts, American context
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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Amanda Knox Dithering Over Court Appearance For Appeal Going Over Very Negatively In Italy
Posted by Peter Quennell
[Above: the outspoken political leader of the region of Umbria Lignani Marchesani warns Amanda Knox]
Amanda Knox has her name on a book that maliciously slimes everybody she ever encountered in Italy. Then she repeatedly goes on TV whining about how people dont like or trust her.
Guess what? Italians are seeing those same wild accusations as being one self-created reason why Knox seems to lack the guts to head for the appeal court. She would be put face-to-face with many of those that she slimed. How embarrasing.
The other reason of course has applied since 2009: Italians believe she really did lead a very cruel murder pack, killed someone vastly more gifted and worthwhile than herself, and now is lying to the American public in the hope that they will insist their government ignores any arrest warrant for Knox from Italy.
She sure has a real knack of making things worse for herself. No-shows are very rare in Italy and they are seen as not only very cowardly but a sure sign of the person’s guilt. Our main poster Jools translated this tart threat from the leader of Umbria’s regional government which is posted on the regional assembly website.
MEREDITH KERCHER MURDER: “IF AMANDA KNOX DOES NOT COME BACK TO FACE THE NEW TRIAL, PERUGIA SHOULD REVOKE THE SISTER CITIES-TWINNING- WITH SEATTLE”.
The chief regional councillor Andrea Lignani Marchesani (Fd’I) seeks to revoke the twinning of Perugia with Seattle, if Amanda Knox does not return to Italy to stand trial for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher.
“Headlines were not needed nor a crystal ball to forcast that Miss Amanda Knox would carefully refrain from returning to Italy to face the new appeal process. The annulment of the judgment at the Supreme Court shows how the references to international pressures were not unfounded and a clear abdication of our sovereignty for the sake of interests that have nothing to do with justice.
“No need to emphasize once more how the city of Perugia, the Umbria [region] and the University have damage to their image and finances from this tragic event, without forgetting the human aspects and family of the victim.”
Andrea Lignani Marchesani calls to revoke the twinning between the cities of Perugia and Seattle, birthplace of the American woman on trial in Italy. According to Lignani, “The city of Seattle, linked in a sister cities twinning for twenty years with Perugia, lost no time during the time Amanda was in custody to criticize our capital city, either by revoking of the naming of a park [in honor] of the city of the Griffon or by petitions tending to the withdrawal of the twinning itself.
“Perugia has no need for undesirable relationships and should, in this situation where a wound of its recent history is being reopened, should proceed to counter offensive.
If Amanda, as is almost certain, does not show up at the trial and does not face the verdict of the Italian justice system, Perugia must withdraw it’s twinning with Seattle. Court judgments are meant to be respected and must be executed, this is what is repeated every day, and this must also apply to the Seattle citizen Amanda Knox.”
As explained in the post below, the Italian court has many ways of applying its own powerful pressure. It could for example put Knox’s entire defaming entourage on trial, including her own dad, and see them all labeled as felons worldwide.
More on this in our next post, about Frank Sforza, which explains all the grief his own meltdown in court could rain down.
Archived in Diversion efforts by, The Knox-Mellases, Francesco Sforza, Reporting on the case, Media news, The wider contexts, Italian context, Amanda Knox
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