Category: Massei prosecution

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Analysis #3 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Contradictions Between RS & AK

Posted by Cardiol MD




1. Overview Of This Series

In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial. His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

(1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

(2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

(3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

(4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

(5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

Dr Chiacchiera was submitted to cross-examination on the above 5 items by 4 Attorneys for the Defence of Knox and Sollecito, by 2 Civil Party Attorneys, and to Re-examination by the Prosecution. He had a gruelling time as a witness.

All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Continuation of Dr Chiacchiera’s Evidence-in-Chief:

MaCh: It emerged that normally Sollecito kept his cellphones, and also Amanda Knox, they kept their cellphones on until a late hour, evening, [sic] there is no telephone traffic from 20:40 hours. A thing of this “¦

{Witness begins Testimony re cellphones and is interrupted}

MC: But did this emerge from the declarations or did it emerge from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days?

{Examiner interrupts witness with good Q re source of telephone-usage information}

MaCh: It emerged from the analysis of the [phone] records in the preceding days.

{Witness answers clearly}

GCM: Excuse me. Let me understand. In other words you say: the cellphone was switched off and there was no telephone traffic, these are two different things.

{Court asks good clarifying Q}

MaCh: I’m saying, Mr President. Two things. The first, normally Sollecito’s telephone and the telephone of Amanda, were switched on until the late hours. The fatal evening, they were switched off from 20:42 hours until “¦ one [of the phones] from 20:42 onwards and the other from about 20:50 onwards. One. Two, the traffic “¦

{Witness is Answering Court's Q in 2 parts. When he gets to his part #2, Court interrupts}

GCM: Before going on to “Two”, excuse me: “normally” ““ what does that mean? You had “¦

{Court is asking good Q re witness's Part #1, but is interrupted}

MaCh: We had done a comparative analysis of the telephone traffic of that evening with the telephone traffic of the preceding evenings. Shall we say the habits ...

{Witness interrupts Court with narrative response, and is also interrupted}

GCM: And so the “normally” emerges from this?

{Court interrupts witness's response with good Q}

MC: How many evenings? If you recall, or not?

{Examiner asks witness relevant Q, adding redundant Q}

MaCh: Months, no “¦ honestly, I don’t remember how many [evenings], but months.

{Witness stumbles, seeming uncertain re 'evenings' vs 'months'}

MC: I mean to say, not “¦

{Examiner preambles re her redundant Q but is interrupted}

MaCh: Not three days, no. The telephone traffic habits were evaluated. [This is point] one. [Point] Two, the element that emerged, that contradicted the declarations, I can’t report on the declarations but I can report on the element that contradicted [sic. i.e. provided the contradiction], that in effect no telephone call had arrived at 23:00 hours, as had been declared: on the phone line that was declared to have received that “¦ the recipient of that very phone-call. Another element: no interaction with the computer emerged, unlike what was declared. So there were a few objective elements of comparison from the analysis and from the technical checks that contradicted what had previously been revealed.

{Witness interrupts Examiner with narrative response to Examiner's Q, witness indicating contradiction between suspects' declarations and objective records of telephone and computer activity}

MC: For Amanda Knox, were there incongruities of this type?

{Examiner asks if incongruities/contradictions existed for Amanda Knox}

MaCh: Yes, there were incongruities because Amanda Knox was, how to say, contradicted by Sollectio, and then she contradicted herself, if I may “¦

{Witness answers affirmatively, amplifying applicability both to Sollecito & Knox, but is interrupted}

GB: President, if we continue in this way, then we might as well do the old [trial] procedure.

{Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito's lawyer interjects, objecting-subjectively to Court, but submitting no legal basis for her objection}

GCM: Excuse me, please.

{Court seems to politely rule GB out-of-order}

MaCh: The elements, these are [sic], Mr President, I don’t know how to do.

{Witness communicates uncertainty to Court}

MC: But it is so difficult, however.

{Examiner chimes-in apparently commiserating with her witness's uncertainty}

MaCh: Mr President, I really don’t know what to do.

{Witness seems to repeat statement addressed to Court, who possibly interrupts}}

GCM: Excuse me”¦

{Court seems to begin response to Witness, but is possibly interrupted}

MaCh: If I have to describe the investigation activity “¦

{Witness may be interrupting Court or is continuing Witness's unfinished statement to Court}

MC: He’s not referring to declarations.

{Examiner chimes-in with his opinion re Witness's reference to Defendants' contradictions/incongruities - GB's interjection seems to have side-tracked court procedure}

GCM: Regarding these declarations, you can report on this [sic. i.e. in this instance?], and with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, you reported ““ citing the telephone traffic and citing the use of the computer. There now, and this is one point. With regard to Amanda Knox, you cannot report the declarations. But you may, however, say ““ following these declarations ““ what type of investigations you carried out, and the outcome of these. So, following the declarations given by Amanda Knox, did you do similar investigations, as [those you did] for Sollecito Raffaele on the [phone] records? Or was there nothing to do, except to “¦?

{Court rules on subject of testimony re Defendants' declarations, seeming to rule admissibility of Sollecito's declarations re telephone traffic and computer usage, but inadmissibility of Knox's declarations. Court does seem to permit description of investigations that followed Knox's declarations, without describing Knox's actual declarations, and Court asks whether phone-record investigations similar to those done for Sollecito were done for Knox.}

MaCh: Mr President, all the necessary checks were made, but in that immediate moment the most important element “¦ that is to say, in [this] place [NdT: i.e. “in this Court”], in this moment, in this place, that is to say, when they were “¦ I said [that] when the arrests were made, I don’t, I don’t know how to do, however, the incongruity of the declarations with the facts that we had found, and with the declarations that Sollecito had previously given us, [this] was the most important element. I don’t know if I have managed to “¦

{Witness seemingly responding to Court that he doesn't know how to deal with the declarations, is interrupted.}

GCM: No, excuse me (overlapping voices). So, with regard to Raffaele Sollecito, we have
understood these checking activities were carried out on the declarations made, the verification activities carried out, and [that’s all] very well. With regard to Amanda Knox, if you also carried out “¦ maybe there were no objective elements for possible checking, there were no “¦ or else, there were activities carried out of “¦

{Court, interrupting over witness's testimony, seems to be explaining his Q to witness, but is interrupted by witness}

MaCh: Later, there emerged a series of further elements.

{Witness interrupts with statement re unspecified further elements}

GCM: Not evaluations on the congruity, incongruity, likelihood, these are evaluations and will be done, there you go, comparably. I’m thinking of the [phone] records, of the use, if she had given indications on the basis of which [you] could carry out investigative activity “¦

{Court seems to want evidence in Knox's phone records justifying further investigation.}

Here ends the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera covering the relevant Phone Records, elicited by the Prosecution.

Next comes the Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera elicited by the Prosecution, covering Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house, Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Analysis #2 Of Testimony Of Dr Chiacchiera, Organized Crime Section: Discounting Any Lone Wolf

Posted by Cardiol MD



Dr Chiacchiera (talking) with his team explaining reason for charges in another case

Overview Of This Series

In 2007 Dr Chiacchiera was the Director of the Organized Crime Section and the Deputy Director of the Flying Squad.

He was one of the most senior and experienced law enforcement officers to testify at the trial.  His testimony and his cross examination by the defenses occupied a lot of time of the court late in February 2009. He covered the following ground.

    (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

    (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

    (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

    (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

    (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.

All the translation is by the ever-dedicated main poster ZiaK. This series is highlighting some key portions. Here is the full 50-page transcript which will be posted in the trial testimony area of McCall’s great Wiki.

This post continues analysis of the evidence that the lone burglar/lone wolf theory was not credible to those that were first on the crime scene and that the “break-In” to Filomena Romanelli’s room was to them obviously faked.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC] Leads Testimony

Judge Massei [GCM}:  Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, “¦ there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

{Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}

Manuela Comodi [MC}:  Well, in short, they were called “¦ they are the only ones who can describe the whole progression of the investigations - Dr Profazio and Dr Chiacciera ““ because they are directors, they are the only ones who will come to describe for me, thus, what was the progression of the investigations. Clearly, in order to pass from one investigative act to another rather than “¦ and the choice of the subsequent investigative acts. It’s clear that they have to describe, in order to make a complete reasoning, even the lines of thought that, as Dr Chiacchiera said, it sometimes happens that they make. However, one point: apart from the break-in, apart from the broken window, there are “¦ did you acquire further elements that corroborated the idea that there had been a burglary? Nothing from Romanelli’s room had been carried off? Valuable things had been taken?

{Examiner acknowledges Court's admonition, argues importance of her witness's testimony, and segués into triple-Q addressed to witness re elements corroborating idea of burglary.}

Dr Chiacchiera [MaCh]:  This ... in fact, in the progress ...

{Witness begins to answer, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:  Was a declaration/complaint of theft made then, with a list of the things taken?

{Examiner interrupts witness with new double-Q}

MaCh:  In the logical progression, if I may in some way still, in summary, say what “¦.

{Witness begins narrative response but is interrupted by Court}

GCM:  Say the objective facts, if you have “¦.

{Court interrupts witness, beginning to admonish him to respond by testifying to objective facts, but is itself interrupted by witness}

MaCh:  Nothing disappeared, so a burglar would have had difficulty “¦

{Witness answers 3rd Q of Examiner's above triple Q, but then launches into a narrative beginning: "so…", but Court interrupts}

GCM:  Excuse me, nothing had disappeared? Before all else, what thing .... you knew what things were in that room that did not disappear?

{Court interrupts, questioning basis for witness's statement that "Nothing disappeared"}

MaCh:  Yes, because, shall we say, the investigation elements that then subsequently emerged, allowed us to deduce that from Romanelli’s room absolutely nothing disappeared. There was a complete mess/chaos, but nothing disappeared from Romanelli’s room. And this is another element to [lead us] to obviously deduce that the desired hypothesis of a burglar and of a theft was objectively “¦ But then the burglar does not [sic] close the door and throw away the key. The burglar does not cover the victim. The burglar “¦

{Witness answers Court's Q, with narrative explanation including reference to "the key", and Court interrupts}

GCM:  Excuse me. They key. What is this detail about the key? What is it?

{Court asks Q simple Q re "the key" - with apparent transcriptional error: "They key"}

MaCh:  There was no key.

{Witness answers Court's Q}

GCM:  There was no key where?

{Court asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Those who entered into the inside of the house first found the door closed. A closed door that then aroused the suspicions and that then gave concern and then it was decided to “¦ to break [it] down.

{Witness responds to Court's Q with narrative explanation}

GCM:  Excuse me, on [sic] Romanelli’s room there was no key?

{Court asks another simple Q}

MaCh:  No, I’m talking of Meredith’s room, Mr President; Meredith’s room was locked by key.
This is another “¦ how to say, the investigative deductions that we drew from these details that emerged, also from the declarations that we gathered.

{Witness responds to Court's Q, and informatively amplifies A}

MC:  Was it normal that Meredith closed herself [sic. i.e. her room] by key?

{Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

MaCh:  No.

{Witness gives simple A}

MC:  And did you find the key of Meredith’s room?

{Examiner asks witness a simple Q}

MaCh:  No.

{Witness gives simple A}

MC:  So it was closed by key, but there was no key inside?

{Examiner summarises witness's testimony re key and poses a simple Q}

MaCh:  But there was no key inside, so that it was necessary to break down the door in order to enter. Also the almost inexplicable detail of the presence of two cellphones in a garden of a house, doesn’t tend to favour the thesis of someone who enters and who accidentally, so to speak, finds a person and then kills them, because [he] is forced to kill them because they have seen [his] face.

{Witness responds to Q in form of confirming-repetition and amplifies A in expanded narrative-form}

MC:  But is via Sperandio far from via della Pergola?

{Examiner poses vague Q re proximity of 2 streets}

MaCh:  No. And there we tried to deduce. And via Sperandio, as I said earlier, Doctoressa, is not far from the house. We discussed [this] to understand why these telephones went and ended up there “¦

{Witness answers simply, and respectfully, introducing " the house" on one of the streets, seguéing into subject of the mobile telephones and is interrupted by the Court}

GCM:  Excuse me. When you say it is not far from the house, can you specify at what distance? How one reaches it?

{The Court's interruption is also vague, with double-Q, referring to an unspecified "it"}

MaCh:  Not far from the house means that, by following a route that any Perugian knows, Mr President, one passes through a park and one arrives, let’s say, near the gateway of Porta Sant’Angelo. So for this reason, as the crow flies, how much would it be, but less [sic] “¦ three hundred, four hundred metres. But to reach it by foot from via della Pergola to via Sperandio I think that it doesn’t take more than 5, [or] 7 minutes.

{Witness responds to Court in explanatory narrative form

MC: But do you have to pass by via Garibaldi?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes. But you can also pass through the park ““ there’s a park that then comes out right in front.

{Witness answers Q, and amplifies his response}

MC:  Of the villa?

{Examiner seeks clarification of witness's response}

MaCh:  In front of the villa, at the entry to the villa. Looking from the street that crosses with the provincial [road], the one that, shall we say, borders the villa, whoever is looking at it, I repeat, I ““ who am 44 years old, am Perugian ““ I did not know that there was a garden behind there.

{Witness clarifies his response, amplifying further}

MC:  And how far away is via Sperandio from via Garibaldi, corso Garibaldi?

{Examiner asks apparently simple Q}

MaCh:  it’s parallel. It’s very close, very very close. It’s 200 metres away, as the crow flies. I think even much less, because they are almost parallel, let’s say. Even that is something that in some way made us understand that there was an interest in getting rid of those cellphones, clearly, by whoever did that thing there.

{Witness gives detailed response;
See: "Just seeing police could panic the killers into instant dumping of the telephones, without even needing to know why the police were where the police were (There is no need to invoke any awareness by the phone-dumper[s] of the reason the Police were near Mrs. Lana's place - the hoax-call.). So if the killers saw flashing police-lights, or any other sign of police near Mrs. Lana's place, that sign could be enough to explain panic phone-dumping - then and there (not considering whether the phones were switched-on or switched-off)." In TJMK: "Updating Our Scenarios And Timelines #2: An Integrated Comparison Of The Timing of the Phone-Events." 6/28/2013}

MC:  When you arrived for the first time in via della Pergola, did you enter the room of the crime?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Immediately, no. I went in afterwards, when Dr Mignini also arrived; and later with Dr Lalli. Then I had, how to say, occasionally entered when the crime-scene inspection of the Forensic Police, of the colleagues arrived from Rome, was already begun, so late. I didn’t stop long inside the house, I say the truth, also because the measures/orders that I issued immediately were those, yes, of deducing, [of] drawing out all the investigative elements that might emerge in the immediate surroundings [and/or immediately after the facts] to seek to immediately direct the investigation activity, but also to “freeze” [sic. i.e. to solidify, or to make concrete] another aspect, which was that of hearing/questioning all the people who might tell us details on Meredith’s stay in Perugia, in general, but above all on her final hours, on her visits/visitors, everything about those who Meredith had known in some way and “¦ This was the thing that we considered logical to do precisely in relation to this, to these first investigative deductions that we drew from the [above]-described crime-scene.

{Witness gives detailed narrative reply}

MC:  And so that same day you were present when they began to hear/question…

{Examiner begins preamble to presumed Q, but is interrupted}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness interrupts Examiner with witness's answer to assumed Q}

MC:  “¦ the people [who were] acquainted with the facts.

{Examiner completes interrupted Q-in-the-form-of-a-statement, which omits Q-mark}

MaCh:  I was present. I did not participate personally in the examination [of witnesses], but I was present, in the sense that both with [my] colleague Profazio and with [my] other colleague from the central operative service”¦

{Witness responds with narrative description of circumstances, but is interrupted}

MC:  from Rome.

{Examiner interrupts with her assumed next part of witness's response}

MaCh:  from Rome. We began to put the pieces together, excuse my [use of] the expression; that is to say all the “¦ all the elements that emerged from the examination of witnesses, were checked, were gradually verified/cross-checked.  Both with cross-checks that enlarged the group of witnesses, of the people to be heard/questioned, and with the checking of the alibis of many people, [as well as] with a technical activity that was carried out.

{Witness confirms Examiner's assumption, and completes his narrative description of circumstances}

MC:  That is to say?

{Examiner enquires as to witness's reference to indefinite "technical activity"}

MaCh:  A technical activity. A bugging activity was carried out. There was also an activity carried out also for the cross-checking of the phone [activity] printouts. There was an activity to understand also the cross-checking of the [phone] cells. There was a very wide-range activity carried out. Without excluding, I repeat, all also [sic] ... shall we say, the minor hypotheses. For example, the news arrived of a Maghrebi who had been in a rush to wash his own clothes in a launderette, not too far from the scene of the crime. This piece of information was excluded for a very simple reason, because from the first results of the investigative inquiries, he had arrived there in the early afternoon, but instead, in the early afternoon of the day before her death, Meredith was still alive [sic]. Because from the witness examinations we had determined that the last person who had seen her alive, saw her in the late afternoon. After which, we also did another series of checks relative to the one [sic] that there was a strange telephone call that the people who found the cellphones in the famous villa, the beautiful one on via Sperandio, had received in the evening. However, we had, how to say, understood that it was a case of a boy who had made a call from Terni and of a strange coincidence, but absolutely irrelevant for the investigation activity. Indeed, we made checks on all the hospitals in order to evaluate, to check, whether maybe there were [patients] who had presented blade/cutting wounds that in some way might have been compatible with a wound, let’s say, or at any rate with a reaction by the victim. Only one had presented, it was a [person] from Foligno who, [while] cutting salami, had cut their hand during the trip back from an away-game with Foligno ““ he was a football fan. Nothing else. So no investigative hypothesis was rejected. It was, obviously, because this is how it is done, and thus I believe that it is logic, we began to discuss/think in a certain way, because we had deduced from all this scen, another series of further elements, that is to say that the person “¦.

{Witness responds with prolonged narrative re "technical activity" and seems to pause}

MC:  Speak. Don’t be afraid to say it.

{Examiner urges witness to continue}

MaCh:  No, no. I’m not afraid.

{Witness argues with Examiner}

MC:  That is, let’s say, when was it that the investigations turned to, [started] to focus on today’s defendants?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  When on the evening of “¦ they did not focus on today’s defendants, that is to say, progressively the analysis of the investigative elements made us “¦ made us start, even us, to suspect. Because going into a house, finding a [sic] door of Meredith’s room closed, a [sic] door of the apartment opened, faeces in the toilet [bowl], while I take a shower, a series of bloody prints”¦

{Witness responds in narrative form and is interrupted}

MC:  However the faeces were in which of the two bathrooms?

{Examiner interrupts witness with clarifying Q}

MaCh:  Of the bathrooms. Me, if I take a shower in a bathroom where there are faeces, instinctively I flush the toilet, in short.

{Witness makes non-responsive subjective statement and is interrupted}

MC:  Yes, but the faeces were in the other bathroom.

{Examiner engages witness in argument}

MaCh:  Yes, yes, I understood. However, in short, in some way it comes instinctively, no?, to flush the toilet? The fact is that “¦.

{Witness joins argument and is interrupted}

GCM:  Excuse me, do you know how many bathrooms there were in the house?

{Court interrupts argument with simple Q}

MaCh:  Two.

{Witness ignores actual Q and responds with answer to assumed follow-up Q}

GCM:  Two bathrooms. Excuse me, please. Do you know that a shower was taken?

{Court asks another simple Q, using vernacular ref. to whether a person used the shower, rather than that the the shower device was taken away.}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Court's actual Q}

GCM:  How do you know?

{Court asks simple follow-on Q}

MaCh:  I know because it is a thing that I cannot, I believe, report because it was “¦.

{Witness seems to answer in non-responsive, subjective narrative form, and is interrupted}

GCM:  But you checked”¦?

{Court seeks objective answer to his simple Q}

MaCh:  I am trying to be very very careful.

{Witness hints that he has reasons for apparent evasion}

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]:  Mr President, we are talking of nothing.

{Sollecito's lawyer chimes in with distracting comment}

GCM:  Excuse me, Attorney.

{Court appears to admonish GCM not to chime-in without specified legal-objection}

MaCh:  Well, the main point [is] that very slowly we began to understand that there were strong inconsistencies in the revelations that were made. And there were behaviours that on the part of above all, indeed exclusively, of Sollecito and Knox, appeared to us as [being], at the very least, particular. Behaviours both immediately after the event ““ a sort of impatience/irritability shown [with regard to] the investigation activity that we were carrying out, and obviously we could not but ask [NdT: i.e. “we had to ask”] those who were close to Meredith [about] elements that we considered useful, even necessary, in order to continue the investigation activity.

{Witness launches into apparent justification for his evasiveness}

MC:  Excuse me if I interrupt you. I’ll just make a few precise questions, thus: you checked, let’s say, let’s call them alibis, even if it’s a term that’s very so [sic] from American TV films, but in any case [it’s] understandable”¦ Did you check the alibis of the people closest, let’s say, to Meredith?

{Examiner, after preamble, asks relatively simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Q as phrased}

MC:  In particular, did you check the alibis of the young men from the [apartment on] the floor below?

{Examiner asks simple Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers Q as phrased}

MC:  Results?

{Examiner poses Q in casual form}

MaCh:  Positive for them, in the sense that they were at home, in their own home, that is to say their respective houses, because they were here for reasons of study, so they were not present in Perugia during the days when “¦

{Witness responds with allusive casual A, begins to amplify, but is interrupted}

MC:  Because they had left for “¦

{Examiner interrupts with suggestion for next part of witness's response}

MaCh:  Yes, for the All Souls’ Day long-weekend, let’s call it that.

{Withess reacts to Examiner's suggestion by stating reason for upcoming week-end absence, but not stating week-end destination}

MC:  Did you check the alibi of Mezzetti and of Romanelli?

{Examiner asks double Q}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers for both Qs}

MC:  Results?

{Examiner poses Q in casual form}

MaCh:  The result in this case also [is that] Mezzetti and Romanelli were not there, so “¦

{Witness gives clear Answer, apparently begins explanation, but is interrupted}

GCM:  Excuse me, can you say what checks you did?

{Court interrupts witness's testimony to ask Q re witness's method}

MaCh:  We carried out a whole series of checks that brought us to evaluate, establish, that these persons were not present in the premises that evening.

{Witness ignores Court's Q as phrased and answers anticipated next Q}

MC:  Let’s say, I imagine that you heard/questioned them.

{Examiner makes statement-in-form-of-Q with ?-mark omitted}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness answers presumed Q}

MC:  Did they tell you where they were that evening, what they did that evening”¦?

{Examiner seems to interrupt and asks double-Q}

MaCh:  And in effect, we assessed/considered that “¦

{Witness ignores Q-as-phrased and is apparently interrupted}

MC:  And you ascertained that in effect “¦

{Examiner apparently interrupts A and continues his interrupted multiple Q}

MaCh:  That it was true what they had told us. I can report on the circumstance.

{Witness seems to continue his interrupted answer and offers to expand his narrative.
Q &A cycle is confused and confusing because of repeated multiple Qs, instead of orderly single Q & A}

MC:  Did you check the alibi of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito? Was there a comparison between the declarations of Amanda Knox and of Raffaele Sollecito with regard to the night of the murder, and what you were able to compare, shall we say, objectively, through the other declarations, through the phone records?

{Examiner asks multiple Qs}

MaCh:  Through the phone records and through the checks [that were], shall we say, objective, it was found that what Sollecito had declared was not truthful because there was a phone call that was never received [i.e. answered] by Sollecito at 23:00 hours. Because it turned out that there was no interaction with the computer, but I believe that this “¦ as declared [sic]. But above all there was an absolute incongruity of the “¦.

{Witness summarizing findings wrt phone records, is interrupted}

GCM:  There now. Excuse me. Maybe we will not ask the question in these terms: following the declarations, on which you cannot report, that you got from and that were given by Amanda Knox and Sollecito Raffaele, what type of investigations you carried out”¦

{Court interrupts to restrict Qs but is interrupted}

MaCh:  We carried out ...

{Witness interrupts Court's interruption and is interrupted}

GCM:  ... and the outcome of these investigations. There now. This is where we’re at.

{Court completes it's interruption, seeming to believe he has made himself clear, but confusion still reigns}

MaCh:  Well, in summary ...

{Witness begins a summary, but is interrupted}

GCM:  Following the declarations given by them, you had “¦ With regard to Sollecito Raffaele, what did you do and what [information] emerged?

{Court interrupts witness with double-Q}

MaCh:  It emerged that, unlike “¦

{Witness begins to answer Court's 2nd Q, but Court interrupts}

GCM:  What did you do, first?

{Court repeats1st Q}

MaCh:  We did an analysis of the telephone traffic, and from the analysis of the telephone traffic it emerged that Sollecito had absolutely not received/answered the 23:00 hours phone call as he had declared. From the analysis of the telephone traffic, there then emerged a very strange detail, in the sense that the cellphones “¦

{Witness answers 1st Q, begins answering 2nd Q, and is interrupted by Sollecito's lawyer}

GB:  (overlapping voices) “¦ continue with the opinions/judgements, with all the opinions/judgements.

{Sollecito's lawyer seems to demand comprehensive testimony}

GCM:  That which emerged.

{Court makes seemingly cryptic statement which is probably a Q relating to witness's interrupted A to Court's 2nd Q above: "It emerged that, unlike "¦" }

MaCh:  A detail/particular emerged ... unlike what “¦. (overlapped voices).

{Witness resumes testimony but is interrupted, multiple voices are heard}

GCM:  Excuse me. What emerged?

{Court asks witness to clarify what witness was saying}
_____________________________________________

Here ends the Analysis of the Evidence #2, discussing that the lone burglar theory is not credible, and that “Break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

The next Post:  Analysis of the Evidence #3, will Analyse the Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

 


Monday, September 15, 2014

Analysis #1 Of Testimony Of Marco Chiacchiera, Director, Organized Crime Section, Flying Squad

Posted by Cardiol MD



Dr Chiacchiera with Dr Comodi explaining reason for charges in another case

Overview Of This Series

Yet another vital translation which will be posted in the trial testimony areaof McCall’s great Wiki. This again is translated by the ever-dedicated main posterr ZiaK.

Although I graduated as a medical doctor I also graduated as a lawyer, and was often in courtrooms. For this post and the rest of the Chiacchiera series I am wearing my lawyer’s hat to point out what strikes me in Prosecutor Comodi’s questions,  Marco Chiacchiera’s testimony, and the cross-examinations by defense lawyers.

Prior Preparations And Procedures

Under the Italian Code, before the beginning of the trial phase in Italy, the parties file a brief, detailing all evidence they want to present ““ the parties have to indicate by name every witness and precisely what these will be asked. The aims include creation of a Record of Admissible Facts.

Also under the Italian Code, both the defendant and the prosecutor can cross-examine each other’s witnesses. The Judge may choose not to admit any testimony that appears patently superfluous, reject irrelevant or improper or irregular questions ““ such as leading questions, and Inadmissible Hearsay ““ and also ask questions to the witnesses and experts.

Ground Covered In Dr Chiacchiera’s Testimony

    (1) He found Knox and Sollecito uncooperative when he asked them questions.

    (2) Saw evidence contradicting any lone burglar theory and indicating that the “break-In” to Romanelli’s room was faked.

    (3) Phone records and the police investigation into the accused phone activity the night of the murder.

    (4) Discovery of pornographic magazines at Sollecito’s house.

    (5) Details of how the large knife, Exhibit 36, was collected from Sollecito’s and the evidence that it is the murder knife.


My Assessment Of This Court Exchange

It is immediately obvious to me that this witness is a skilled witness; as such, and given his deep hands-on involvement in the immediate investigation this witness’s testimony is credible.  My assessment therefore is that this was a very good and unflinching witness and that Dr Comodi shows no signs of leading the witness or seeking other than a truthful record.

I have seen prosecutors examine witnesses differently but dont believe the resultant record would have been superior. This would have stood up well in any American court.

(GCM=Giancarlo Massei; MC=Manuela Comodi; MaCh=Marco Chiacchiera; GB=Giulia Bongiorno; DD=Donatella Donati; CP=Carlo Pacelli; LG=Luciano Ghirga; CDV=Carlo Dalla Vedova; FM=Francesco Maresca)

Public Prosecutor Comodi [MC]

MC:  Dr Chiacchiera, you carried out your duties where, when, at what moment of the events?

MaCh:  I was and am the director of the Organized Crime Section of the Flying Squad and I am the vice-director of the Flying Squad. The Organized Crime Section is a branch of the Flying Squad that deals with “¦ the term, I think that in this place [i.e. the court] it is enough to say that it deals with organized crime. However, I am also the vice-director of the Flying Squad, for which [reason] I deal with, in the case of need, everything that is necessary [for] the various aspects.

{Witness supplies 5 items of relevant information that Examiner should elicit at beginning of examination.}

MC:  Can you tell the Court how you became aware of events, who called you, when you became involved?

{Examiner asks another triple-question}

MaCh:  Yes.

{Witness simply answers question as worded by Examiner}

MC:  For now, start to tell us, then maybe I will intervene [NdT: i.e. interrupt with further questions] if necessary.

{Examiner, asking no Q, instructs witness, suggesting provisional forbearance if witness does not make interruptions necessary.}

MaCh:  On the fateful day, at around 12:33, I had gone to the cemetery with my mother. The operations room called me immediately after the discovery of the body.

{Witness begins appropriate narrative response, but Examiner interrupts}

MC:  So the 113? [NdT: 113 is the Italian State Police emergency number]

{Examiner interrupts witness with a Q, suggesting witness's receipt of call from an emergency number, but suggests wrong source-number}

MaCh:  110. The operations room of the Questura called me, and informed me of the happenings in an initially obviously very summarized manner. They said to me that there was a suspicious death, a young woman who lived in via della Pergola. I rushed to the place directly in my mother’s car. I didn’t stop by at the Questura, I didn’t go to get the service [i.e. police] car. I got myself taken to via della Pergola. We took about 15 minutes from the cemetery to there, ten fifteen minutes. In the meantime, I phoned the deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, in the temporary absence of the director, Dr Profazio, who arrived later, who was “¦ he was enjoying a period of leave, and with deputy Commissioner Napoleoni we arrived almost at the same time. We arrived almost simultaneously at the premises. Forensics, too, arrived almost at the same time at the premises.

{Witness supplies correct source-number and resumes interrupted narrative response}

MC:  The Perugia Forensics?

{Examiner questions witness's correction, as if to verify and to ensure accuracy of court's record}

MaCh:  The Perugia Forensics, I highlight, yes.

{Witness emphatically agrees with Examiner's question}

MC:”‹[They were] alerted by you, or ...?

{Examiner pauses mid-Q, inviting witness to guess complete Q, or is interrupted}

MaCh:”‹Alerted by the operations room, and also alerted by me.
,
{Witness responds to invitation, or interrupts with A to assumed complete Q}

MC:”‹So you arrive, and who do you find?

{Examiner's 1st simple Q.}

MaCh: “‹I found there ... there was already deputy Commissioner Napoleoni, there were also a few of Meredith’s co-tenants. There was Amanda Knox, there was Raffaele Sollecito. There were two young men who were, I believe, the friend of the boyfriend of one of the co-tenants. In short, there were a few people who had already been inside the house. There was the Postal Police.

{Witness answers Q in reasonable detail}

MC:”‹In the person of”¦?

{Examiner seeks more detail re specific Postal Police Personnel}

MaCh: “‹Battistelli and another of Battistelli’s colleagues. Inspector Battistelli, with whom there was immediately a discussion in order to understand what were the reasons for his intervention there, because it is not normal to find the Postal [police] in a crime of this sort. And he explained to me immediately what was the reason for his intervention. The origin of the, shall we way of his intervention, was due to the discovery of a pair of cellphones in a period of time, I believe, of an hour, [or] two, I don’t recall clearly, that were one in the name of one of Meredith’s co-tenants and one in the name of, later it [sic] “¦ I mean the SIM [card], obviously, the cellphones’ SIMs, the cards, they were in the name of a co-tenant and the other in Meredith’s [name]. The co-tenant, however, then told us, we then ascertained that both of the cellphones in fact were used by Meredith. And already that was, how shall we say, a first detail on which we began to reflect because, in fact, that was an element than in some way made us [become] immediately occupied/involved from an investigative point of view.

{Witness responds to Q and includes relevant amplifying narrative, anticipating probable future Qs re cellphones}

MC: “‹So, excuse me, also if the Court already, shall we say, knows this, because others have reported it, on this point however, where were the cellphones found?

{Examiner seems to interrupt with simple Q to clarify specific relevant fact not yet reached}

MaCh:”‹Inside the garden of a villa that is in via Sperandio.

{Witness responds appropriately}

MC:”‹In via Sperandio.

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: “‹A villa that ... I am Perugian, [and] honestly, I didn’t even know there was a villa there. I’m Perugian, and I swear that I would have sworn [sic] that behind there was a wood.

{Witness flounders, seems unable to be more specific}

MC:”‹A field

{Probably a Q, but implicitly inviting more specificity}

MaCh: “‹It [was] the first time that I went in behind there. Instead, I see a marvelous old mansion with an enormous garden that gives ... that is almost adjacent to the street ““ the street that leads towards Ponte Rio. Anyone from Perugia understands me maybe.

{Witness seems to be in informal conversational mode}

MC: “‹From the structure of the fencing/enclosure, could you tell, shall we say, whether it was possible to throw these cellphones from the street, or whether it was necessary to enter the garden itself?

{Examiner engages witness, and asks Q to clarify how cellphones got into that garden}

MaCh: “‹Yes, obviously, we checked that. In fact, immediately, in short, the detail that seemed, how shall we say, of great investigative interest was that [very point], besides other details that I will go [into] a bit [sic], so to speak, also to give the impression of what the immediate impact was that we saw in the moment when we found ourselves in a situation of this type. So, deputy Napoleoni immediately entered inside the house in order to check it for herself. I did it [entered] shortly afterwards, also because [as] you will imagine that in that moment whoever was there had to notify all those who [sic], amongst whom Dr Mignini who was the Public Prosecutor on duty, and immediately give orders so that the correct checks are carried out. Because it was not just a crime scene that had to be analysed immediately: there also had to be, how shall we say, correlated with the information that we had got from via Sperandio ““ because the entry of the Postal [police in the case] originated with via Sperandio. And so we immediately asked ourselves: “Ah, what are these cellphones belonging to poor Meredith doing inside the garden of a villa?” And then And then immediately after, we asked ourselves, obviously, what might be the profile of the possible, or probable, murderer, and we discussed/talked about the crime scene. The crime scene immediately seemed fairly strange to us, if you wish [NdT: literally “if we wish” in Italian, but meaning the same as “shall we say”, “if you wish”, “so to speak” etc.]

{Witness responds to Q with detailed narrative}

MC:”‹Why?

{Examiner asks ambiguous Q, probably wrt crime scene seeming "fairly strange "}

MaCh:”‹Because the door did not show”¦ the entry door to the villa did not show signs of break-in. The we checked “¦

{Witness seems to decipher ambiguity correctly, begins narrative response, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:”‹We are not talking about the villa on via Sperandio obviously?

{Examiner interrupts with Q, apparently not comprehending Witness's narratives}

MaCh: “‹For the love of god! It was called a “villa” “¦ (overlap of voices), let’s say the house, of the house on via della Pergola there was no forcing/break-in. We found a forcing on the window. The window is this one, on the side of the house. I don’t know if you’ve seen the house? Anyhow, it is this one on the side of the house that can be seen immediately when you come down the slope from the gate. Logically reconstructing the thing, a hypothetical prowler [NdT: literally “ill-intentioned person”] who entered the house, breaking the glass with a rock - because inside the room, which was Romanelli’s room, which was the, shall we say, hypothetical arena of the entry, was completely in utter chaos. For that reason, what should we have hypothesized? That the hypothetical prowler took a rock, managed to throw the rock; the shutters, the external ones, the external shutters were not “¦

{Witness is exasperated at Examiner's apparent incomprehension, is repeating his previous testimony, but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:”‹The dark-green wooden ones?

{Examiner interrupts with Leading Q re colour of external shutters. Now begins a confused and confusing colloquy. The arrangement of Filomena Romanelli's window, with Outside, and Inside Shutters, the Broken-Glass-Frame in-between, and the glass-splinters on the window-sill is complicated and needs a picture-exhibit that the witness can refer-to; this is apparently not provided, leading to the confusions}

MaCh:”‹The dark-green wooden ones were half shut, for which reason [he] must have had an aim like “Pecos Bill” [NdT: a cartoon Wild West cowboy], takes aim and throws that rock, smashes the window. After, he climbs up and does a turn on the little slope, and has to clamber up towards the window on the smooth surface, it seems to me, that from the ground up to the window there are two and a half metres-three [metres]. And then would have said: “bah, in short” [sic]. Yeah, well, the thing seemed to us…. in short, the first hypothesis that the investigator normally does, finds a level of unlikelihood of this kind of happening. After which, we looked at the house and we saw that an entry of a potential prowler [ill-intentioned person], still reasoning on the hypothesis”¦

{Witness amplifies narrative response but is interrupted by Examiner}

MC:”‹Of theft.

{Examiner inappropriately interrupts, incorrectly guessing what witness was about to say}

MaCh: “‹Of theft ending badly. Of theft that then degenerates because the burglar in some way thinks that he will find no-one in the house and instead finds a person, and then it degenerates “¦ We saw that there were easier means of entry, without wishing to bore you, but behind the house there was the possibility of climbing in a much easier way, without being seen by people that might have passed in the road. Let’s remember that, in short, it was not very late; quite the contrary. Normally people passed there, for which reason, if [he] had done it, the thing would probably have been seen. That thing there, as an hypothesis, we didn’t immediately discount it, that’s clear, because it’s a good rule to never discount any hypothesis. But we immediately considered that it was not a priority.

{Witness corrects Examiner's wrong guess, amplifies and seems to end narrative response}

MC:”‹Dr Chiacchiera, I interrupt you. (The witness is shown an exhibit.)

{Examiner, seems to acknowledge her habit of interruptions without actually interrupting, while introducing an unspecified exhibit. This introduction seems very informal, because Exhibits are normally identified by an assigned title.}

MaCh:”‹Ah! I didn’t remember it as being so big.

{Witness recognizes unspecified exhibit}

MC:”‹Precisely! You saw it? This is the rock that ...

{Examiner engages witness, stating it is "the rock".}

MaCh:”‹Yes, but it has been some time I have not, how shall we say, yes, I saw it. Absolutely.
However, it’s big, it’s huge.

{Witness engages Examiner, commenting on how large the rock exhibit is}

MC:”‹Do you consider that it could be this?

{Examiner ambiguously (what are "it" & "this "?) asks witness's opinion}

MaCh:”‹I believe so.

{Witness seems to overlook ambiguity of Q with vague A)

MC:"‹I try "¦

{Examiner begins to speak but is interrupted}

Judge Massei [GCM]:”‹How?

{Court interrupts as if to ask Q how Examiner 'tries'}

MC:”‹It is this. Yes, it is this one that was collected, yes, that was found.

{Witness seems to confirm that exhibited rock is the rock found in Filomena's room}

GCM:”‹So the rock is shown. [NdT: an “aside” for the court records?]

{Court formally announces admission of rock-exhibit, seemingly trying to reduce confusion caused by informal dialogue}

MaCh:”‹Inside the room where we then found the rock…
??:”‹But what was the question about the rock?

{Witness amplifies that rock had been found in a room, but enquires re rock Q, exposing confusion caused by informal dialogue}

GCM:”‹If this was the rock. And the witness said ...

{Court begins explanation to confused witness}

MaCh:”‹I said yes. Yes.

{Witness interrupts Court - confusion reigns}

GCM:”‹You saw it? You saw the rock?

{Court asks witness 2 Qs, trying to clarify that 'it' refers to 'the rock' that witness saw.}

MaCh:”‹Yes.

{Witness confirms that witness had previously seen the rock introduced into court as an unlisted exhibit.}

GCM:”‹When you saw it, where was it?

{Court proceeds to clarify confusion re where the rock was when witness originally saw the rock}

MaCh:”‹The rock [was] in the room of Romanelli.

{Witness specifically testifies, for witness's first time, that when witness originally saw the rock, the rock was in Filomena Romanelli's room}

GCM:”‹How far from the window? Can you say?

{Court continues to seek clarification using double-Q.}

MaCh: “‹A few centimetres [NdT: “un palmo” = “a hand’s width”] from the window sill, under the window, from the wall where the window is.

{Witness testifies clearly in answer to Court's 1st Q of above double-Q.}

GCM:”‹So from the internal perimeter wall, from where the window gives onto it, a “hand’s breadth”. So 20 centimetres…

{Court apparently begins to seek verification of witness's testimony, but is interrupted}

MaCh:”‹Mr President ....

{Witness begins to Interrupt Court}

GCM:”‹... away from it approximately.

{Court finishes his interrupted statement}

MaCh:”‹Yes.

{Witness agrees with Court's completed statement}

GCM:”‹And this is the rock. You remember it.

{Court states his understanding in form of Qs.}

MaCh:”‹Yes, yes, yes, yes. That is the rock.

{Witness impatiently agrees with Court's understanding}

MC:”‹At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it corresponds thus to the one that was collected [as evidence].

{Examiner makes statements in form of Q, seeking verification of resemblance of exhibit-rock to original rock}

MaCh:”‹At least as far as size and colour [are concerned], it absolutely corresponds. If it was collected, I think that ...

{Witness begins narrative agreement with statements of Examiner, but is apparently interrupted by Examiner}

MC: “‹Very well. WITNESS [sic? Should be MaCh?] and Romanelli’s room was a complete shambles. The clothes were on the floor, the glass was strangely on top of the clothes, the [glass] shards were strangely on top of the “¦ on the windowsill, let’s put it that way.

{Apparent Transcriptional confusion attributing to interrupted witness narrative the interrupting .statement of Examiner}

MC:”‹The outside one.

{Examiner seems to amplify statement of Examiner wrt which window-shutter witness had been referring-to}

MaCh: “‹The outside one, precisely. The one that is between the shutters and the shutters [sic. NdT: “imposte” in Italian, but this can also mean shutters, or flap, as in the inner “scuri” shutters, or he may mean the window-frame itself, with the window-panes, given his following description], the green shutters and the shutters, the broken ones in short, where the glass is. The shutters ““ the wooden ones. The rock was a bit too close with regard to the wall if I [were to] throw it from least two metres. Unless it was lobbed [i.e. thrown in a high arc]. But in that case it’s rather unlikely that it would smash the glass. For that reason, I repeat, in the context of immediate likelihood, this one “¦

{Witness agrees with Examiner that he was referring to "The outside one", continuing with narrative of reasoning, but is interrupted by Examiner…}

MC:”‹Yes, it’s true. These are considerations. However they are considerations, shall we say, that refer [sic], because they are reasoning/lines of thought that are formed in the “immediacy” of the events [NdT: i.e. “in the immediate aftermath”. NOTE: throughout the text, a number of speakers use “immediatezza” (lit. “immediacy”) to convey a number of meanings, from “in the immediate aftermath”, or “in the immediate surroundings”, or “very soon after”, etc. I will translate them appropriately according to the context, without further explanation of the use of “immediatezza”], in order to proceed in one direction rather than another.

{Examiner, interrupting witness, apparently agreeing with witness's reasoning. While Examiner is apparently stating his own argumentative reservations re the possible evolution-in-time of witness's changing lines of reasoning, he is interrupted by Giulia Bongiorno, Sollecito defense lawyer:}

Giulia Bongiorno [GB]: “‹I never like to interrupt an examination [of a witness], however if one wanted, between the Public Prosecutor’s hypotheses, to do that [sic] of demonstrating that from a ballistic point of view it is not possible, then the ballistic expert should be called.

{GB interrupts Examiner to comment that Witness and Examiner are expressing opinions on Ballistics that require the testimony of a Ballistic Expert.}

MC:”‹But in fact, his considerations are not the considerations of an expert: they are the considerations of an investigator who made certain deductions in the immediacy of the events.

{Examiner argues that witness's testimony is that of an investigator's temporal train of thought.}

MaCh:”‹It happens to us too, at times, to reason/think rationally “¦

{Witness joins colloquy, amplifying Examiner's argument.}

GCM:”‹These reasonings/deductions, then determined your investigative activity in one direction rather than in an “¦?

{Court seems to invite further amplification by witness}

MaCh: “‹Yes, obviously, Mr President. I was trying to ... (overlap of voices) it is a premiss/basis to be able to then, how shall we say, reach ““ I won’t say conclusions ““ but in order to try to understand what our way of broaching the thing was, there and then. We had, I reassert, reasoned immediately also on via Sperandio. So the first thing, I may say, [was] the unlikelihood, or at any rate it was not the top priority hypothesis, the one of a prowler/ill-intentioned person entering. The open door without signs of break-in. But above all, a young woman who is [sic] probably killed in her own room, nude or almost nude, with a wound of that type, in a lake of blood, covered with a duvet. I repeat, the door was not smashed/wrecked, there’s a broken “¦ a window broken with a thrown rock, how can I say, it’s obvious that we immediately found this situation as “¦ (overlap of voices).

MaCh:”‹”¦ particular.

{Witness further amplifies narrative}

GCM:”‹You formed these considerations, and what did they lead you to?

{Court asks simple Q.}

MaCh: “‹That very probably the author or authors knew the person, or at any rate that the author or authors did not enter “¦ did not enter from the window-pane of that window.

{Witness responds with his conclusion that the authors of the faked break-in did not enter from the window-pane of that window.}

GCM: “‹Excuse me a moment, just to give some guidelines, but of the evaluations that the witness is expressing, obviously it’s not that they can be taken account of, however we will acquire them [for the trial files] in order to understand the investigation activities, the appropriateness of the investigations that were carried out, directed in one way or in another, there you go. However, maybe, “¦ there you go, yes, maybe if we can manage to keep with the bare essentials this will help everybody.

{Court proceedings seem to have been diverted into a free-for-all colloquy, with multiple participants chiming-in, and creating confusion. Court-President, GCM, now politely intervenes, apparently trying to restore order, ruling that the professional evaluations made by the witness, testified-to by the witness, should be admitted for the trial files. The appropriateness of the witness's evaluations can be dealt with separately and later.}
_________________________________________________

This segment of Chiacchiera’s Testimony re the Crime Scene, which he believed had been remodeled by the criminals to dupe Investigators into believing that there had been a burglary, committed by a single criminal, is paused here because it is so prolonged.

Analysis of Chiacchiera’s Testimony will continue in a future post.

 


Friday, August 15, 2014

Legal Timeline Of The Main Case, On Which The Next Ruling By Supreme Court Could Be Final

Posted by catnip



Cassazione (Supreme Court of Italy) seen from the east across the Tiber River


Todays Status

The Supreme Court is due to rule, possibly in the autumn, on what might be the final appeal by Sollecito and Knox on grounds which have not been published. Main steps prior to this:

November 2007

Meredith Kercher is found violently killed in her home while studying abroad in Italy. Her housemate, Amanda Knox, and Amanda’s friend Raffaele Sollecito, as well as Amanda’s boss, Patrick Lumumba, are arrested. A fourth person, Rudy Guede, is tracked down and also arrested. Patrick Lumumba’s alibi is confirmed and he is released.

December 2007, January 2008

Due process hearings authorise the continuation of preventative custody for the suspects, on the grounds of flight risk and possibility of tampering with the evidence.

October 2008

Preliminary Hearing Court, Perugia, Micheli presiding ““ after investigations have completed, the committal hearing finds there is a case to answer and remands Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to stand trial on the charges of :

    (A) aggravated murder in company of Meredith Kercher
    (B) illegal transport of a knife from Raffaele Sollecito’s apartment
    (C) aggravated sexual assault in company of Meredith Kercher (later folded into charge (A), on the grounds of being part of the same criminal event)
    (D) illegal profiting by possession, to wit: of a sum of money approx. €300 and of credit cards belonging to the victim, and her mobile phones
    (E) simulation of a crime, to wit: staging a break-in in Filomena Romanelli’s room
    (F) Amanda Knox, in addition, calunnia, for falsely claiming, knowing him to be innocent, Diya Lumumba also called “Patrick”, of being the author of the murder

Rudy Guede is tried summarily “on the papers”, as he has requested the expedited trial procedure (“fast-track” trial) and is found guilty of charges (A) and (C), and not guilty of the theft, charge (D), and sentenced to life, automatically discounted to 30 years for choosing the expedited trial procedure.

December 2009

On appeal to the Court of Appeals, Perugia (4/2009, on 22 December 2009), his sentence is reduced to 24 years, automatically discounted to 16 years, the aggravating factors of the charges not being found by the court. His final appeal, to the Supreme Court of Cassation, First Criminal Section, is rejected (7195/11, hearing of 16 December 2010, reasons handed down 24 February 2011).

December 2009

Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Massei ““ finds Amanda and Raffaele guilty of all charges (except the theft of the money and credit cards) but without the aggravating factors applying, and sentences them, with mitigating factors included, to 26 years for Amanda, and 25 years for Raffaele (the extra year for Amanda being for the calunnia).

October 2011

Court of Appeals of the Court of Assizes, Perugia, presided over by Hellmann (after a last-minute replacement) ““ trial convictions quashed, except for the calunnia charge against Amanda (charge (F)), where sentence was increased to time served (3 years); both prisoners released (4/2011, decision 3 October 2011, reasons handed down 5 December 2011).

March 2013

The Supreme Court of Cassation (25/3/2013) found the acquittals on charges A&C, B, D, and E to be unsafe, and annulled that part of the decision, remanding the matter to the Florentine jurisdiction, as per the usual cascade rules, for a fresh determination, and rejected Amanda Knox’s appeal on the charge (F) conviction and sentence.

January 2014

Court of Appeals, Second Chamber, Florence, presided over by Nencini ““ trial convictions on the non-calunnia charges upheld, therefore sentence increased to 28 years and 6 months for Amanda (11/13, decision 30 January 2014, reasons handed down 29 April 2014). All convicted parties to pay the relevant compensation to the various injured parties. Appeals to the Supreme Court of Cassation have been lodged.

Associated Timelines

See the posts here and here on the timing of events arrived at by the trial judges.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Appeal Session #10: After Defense Remarks Panel Of Judges Reaches Its Decision: BOTH GUILTY

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Verdict: Both are confirmed guilty

The Massei verdict is upheld. The sentences are 25 years for Raffaerle Sollecito and 28.6 years for Amanda Knox. Sollecito is to have his passport taken away.

For Knox they could issue a worldwide Interpol Red Notice for immediate arrest around the world, even before going for extradition, to stop her dishonest self-serving blabberings. 

Take a look at our conjectures down the bottom of this post on the judges’ deliberations. Looks like we got One, Two and Four right and Knox will be named in the judges report as the prime instigator.

That will hardly help her resist extradition. And it will please Guede and Sollecito, who both always hint at that.

To CNN: yet again this is NOT double jeopardy. Read the extradition treaty. It was ONE valid trial (2009) and now ONE valid and failed appeal (2014). Not two trials.

Tweets from our main poster Machiavelli

26. All these many thanks are so warming and comforting; I’m glad my contribution was useful among the many others.

25. No measure taken for expatriation of Knox because she is a US citizen currently in her own country.

24.  Passport withdrawn for Sollecito and movement restriction within the boundaries of the state of Italy.  No restriction for Knox.

23.  Ruled that Knox’s royalties belong to Lumumba,

22.  Accessory penalties/settlements: established Knox stinks, ordered Dalla Vedova to change jobs… (!)

21.  Her calunnia sentencing has been increased from 3 years (Hellmann-Zanetti) to 3 years and 6 months.

20. To be more precise: Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and 6 months. (She has already served four years).

19. Massei sentence confirmed (25y), Knox sentence increased to 28 years because of calunnia aggravation

18. Bongiorno very agitated

17. Five minutes and a half from a verdict?

16. Judge declared the verdict will be 3D and distributed goggles [?]

15. Sollecito was in the courtroom. Appeared nervous.

14. Said because of the greatness of their power they should acknowledge reasonable doubt.

13. Ghirga emphasized discretional power of the court. Said they have big power to acquit.

12. In point of law: Ghirga said evidence must be considered as a whole in compliance with SC, but assessment should find reasonable doubt

11. Said no blood on knife because of negative TMB and blood confirmatory tests.

10. Ghirga: cited the claims about picograms, said amount is not the point, the problem is test repetition and other conditions

9. Says bruise at back of head is compatible with frotal fight against single aggerssor (disagreement with Introna on this too)

8. Ghirga: Meredith’s blue sweater was removed before fatal stabbing, as for Torre’s opinion. Admitas he disagrees with Sollecito’s defence.

7. Ghirga talked about: Meredith’s blue sweater, an echimosis at back of her head, DNA laboratories and Stefanoni’s quantization

6. Ghirga recalled a small number of details of physical evidence and autopsy.

5. Dalla Vedova asked acquittal, did not specify, whereas Ghirga instead, talking later, invoked reasonable doubt.

4. D.V. says believes there are other Supreme Court rulings in his favor.

3. D.V. emphasized the single pieces of evidence should be assessed each one in parceled out, atomized way before considering the whole

2. DV focused on evidence assessment procedure, quoted SC rulings.

1. Dalla Vedova’s talking lasted a short time, and not very orderly.

Tweets from reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

28.  Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty. See more in The Daily Beast.

27.  Kercher family members being briefed by lawyers and British consulate.

26.  Sollecito must surrender all documents, passports, identification,

25. Its 25 years for sollecito and 28.6 years for amanda knox

24.  Amanda Knox [2009] guilty verdict upheld,  sollecito [2009] guilty verdict upheld.

23. Judges and jury enter.22. Huge security presence ahead of verdict including riot police outside and in public area of courtroom amandaknox tense

21. meredithkercher sister stephany and brother lyle have arrived in court for verdict.

20 Prosecutor Crini has arrived in court for verdict in amandaknox appeal

19. Clerk says between 9-930 local time judges will return. Says judges want “utter silence no shouting or clapping”

18. Court clerk says verdict will be delivered between 9 and 9:30 tonight.

17. Amanda Knox “˜Afraid’ Of Today’s Court Verdict http://thebea.st/LeteHD  via @thedailybeast

16. Court clerk says at 8pm she will go back to judge to find out if and when they are ready to deliver verdict.

15. Court clerk says “presumably verdict at 8:00 but everyone come back at 7:00

15. Court clerk just announced that at 6pm local they will tell us when the verdict will be announced.

14. Mario Spezi, author of Monster of Florence, has come to court to hear amandaknox verdict.

13. Lawyers for amandaknox and sollecito, journalists already in courtroom ready for verdict that come come any time from 5pm Florence time.

12. Lunch has just been brought in to judges and lay jury deliberating amandaknox case. No wine.

11. Refreshments just delivered to jury members in amandaknox new appeal, espresso, cappucino and possibly a tea…

10. Judge in amandaknox new appeal says decision will not come before 5pm.

9. amandaknox lawyer asks court to absolve his client.

8. amandaknox lawyer says the dna on the knife attributed to meredithkercher can not be verified, can not be considered.

7. amandaknox lawyer Ghirga tells court they have to look at all the evidence to reach verdict, not value pieces here and there.

6. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t put two innocent people in jail to cover up mistakes of judicial system.

5. amandaknox lawyer tells judge: you cannot convict for murder in the name of Italy when evidence is ‘probably’ attributed to a defendant.

4. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t cancel out evidence, says Amanda’s rights were violated, she was in shock when she accused Lumumba.

3. sollecito in court by his dad who said they are all nervous for verdict over drinks with journalists at hotel bar last night.

2. amandaknox lawyer CDV says they are serene going into verdict because they believe in her innocence,

1. Court in session. One of the jurors wearing a shiny spangled skirt, rest dressed soberly.

Tweets from Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt

13. Meredith Kercher’s brother: It was the best we could have hoped for, but amanda knox verdict not cause for celebration.

12. amanda knox guilty verdict upheld. Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said he has called her. She did not cry. She was “petrified.”

11. amanda knox conviction upheld. sentenced to 28 years and six months. Sollecito to 25. Ordered passports to be taken.

10. Meredith’s sister and brother are accompanied by British consulate officials. A hush has come over the courtroom.

9. The family of meredith kercher has arrived in court to hear the verdict.

8. Even most experienced Italian court reporters not predicting what long wait for amanda knox verdict means. Could go either way

7. amanda knox verdict is expected at 9 or 9:30. Clerk reminds about the decorum expected:no applause, shouting, cheering, etc

6. Standing room only in Florence court as media, legal teams, public await amandaknox verdict (timing soon to be announced).

5. Judge and jury in amandaknox case have retreated for deliberations. Verdict not before 5 pm Italy time.

4. amandaknox Judge : we will not give a verdict before 17, after that,can come any time, but will announce with lots of advance notice.

3. Ghirga: We wait anxiously and seriously for justice for Meredith. But doing justice means doing it also for amandaknox and RS.

2. amandaknox lawyers are in court. Ghirga: “siamo fiduciosi, serene, emotionati.” (Roughly: “Trusting, calm, on edge”).

1. Verdict expected late today in amandaknox appeal….

Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt On Website

From The Freelance Desk

Amanda Knox is expected to wait out the verdict in her appeal at her mother’s Seattle home (likely with American television news networks present) while Raffaele Sollecito was in court with his father and a friend. Sollecito made no remarks upon leaving for the courthouse in a taxi, surrounded by a pack of cameras.  Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, and brother, Lyle, are also expected in Florence today for the court’s decision, expected in the evening hours….

Conjectures on what the judges may be discussing

The panel of judges is in effect deciding now on positions that must be sustained in 2-3 months in a 100-400 page document that must be okayed by the Supreme Court.

This might be what the quite long (by Italian standards, they will have discussed the case intermittently) jury discussion today is focused upon. Here are four possible issues.


Possible issue one

As sharp Italian media are pointing out, Prosecutor Crini departed from the Massei scenario and suggested a different driver in one key respect.

Like Mignini and Micheli in 2008 he assigned the role of prime mover to Amanda Knox and not to Guede. (Nobody ever assigned it to Sollecito.)

Maybe hoping to give RS and AK a break the Massei jury (not neccessarily the judge himself) assigned to Guede the primary role in starting the attack, saying maybe he forced himself upon her.

Then maybe the other two came in from next door, and set about helping him to subdue Meredith.

They just happened to have two knives handy, and even Massei assigns the fatal blow to Knox.

Crini argued as more likely that Knox started to quarrel with Meredith over hygiene or drugs or money and the other two joined in and for 15 minutes the attack escalated.

In this Knox and not Guede is assigned the role of prime mover.

The judges may want to accept this and seek to assign Knox a harsher punishment accordingly.

(Neither court seems to have settled on a convincing reason for why the big knife was brought down from Sollecito’s house which looks to us at minimum forboding.)


Possible issue two

This relates to the scenario in the comment above. Judge Massei lopped five years off the routine sentences by conjuring up “mitigating factors”.

One such factor was the duvet placed over Meredith which Massei thought could be a sign of remorse, surely by a woman.

Many including psychologists never agreed with this. It could have been simply an aversion to all the blood, which Knox on the stand in 2009 chillingly described as “yucky”.

If so the sentences awarded could creep up beyond the durations decided on by Massei. Above 25 and 26 years.


Possible issue three

This is an alternative to One and Two above. The judges might think the crime was more like a manslaughter, an attack that ended in murder

But not intended as such and never agreed to by two of the attackers.  In which case sentences could be a lot lighter.


Possible issue four

There are financial award considerations. How much to award to whom, plus maybe ways to ensure their payment in light of Knox blatantly stiffing Patrick..

[Below: image of the judges and lay judges arriving this morning]


Monday, January 20, 2014

Appeal Session #9: Sollecito Team Concludes, Prosecutor Crini Rebutts Defenses’ Claims

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above: Sun hits the facade of of one of the most modern courtrooms in Europe]

5. Andre Vogt’s Excellent Post-Court Reporting In The Week

From Amanda Knox’s fugitive fears: she’s right to be worried

Sources close to defence lawyers confide that they, too, fear it may not go their way.

It didn’t help that Knox ignored her lawyers’ pleas to travel from Seattle and attend court in Florence - she sent an email instead - nor that she repeatedly requested to meet the Kerchers, only to be sternly rebutted by their lawyer, who suggested she act more like a defendant.

Then she started a new blog and began blithely responding to comments ““ most recently posting an admission that she had once faked a break-in as an April Fool’s prank before she left for Italy (a staged burglary is a key part of the case against her).

Have the wheels come off Knox’s public relations machine now that she’s safe in Seattle? She may need them again soon, because this appeal differs radically from the first one in 2011 which resulted in her acquittal, but which was harshly criticised and eventually annulled by Italy’s Supreme Court earlier this year.

There are three good reasons why this trial is different ““ and why Knox has reason to be nervous:

First, her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers have distanced his defence from Knox’s.  “He may have brushed her hair and cleaned her ears, but he would not have killed for the love of Amanda,” his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno told jurors in closing arguments earlier this month. “Turn off Amanda,” she said. “Raffaele is not Amanda’s other half.”

Second, the uncompromising Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini has stayed away from Florence. Without him in court as a convenient villain, the “innocent American abroad being railroaded by a rogue prosecutor” narrative no longer holds water. The Florentine prosecutor, Alessandro Crini, has distanced the state’s case from the always controversial kitchen knife that may or may not have been the murder weapon. He’s also given less credence to the “˜sex game gone wrong’ theory that was central to the prosecution case in the first trial. Instead he’s considered all the evidence as a whole. There might have been a fight about missing money and hygiene, he said, but motive doesn’t matter: murders happen all the time for banal reasons. And convictions happen on much less evidence.

Third, the strict Florence judge, Alessandro Nencini, has curbed all antics by lawyers, public and media. There are no perp walks with popping flashbulbs this time. However the appeal ends, no one can argue that this trial wasn’t professionally managed.

4. Tweets by freelance reporter Andrea Vogt

14. Sollecito defense on bra clasp: For us, the condition of the room and conduct of the forensic police tells us there was contamination.

13. Judge interrupted Sollecito lawyer with a booming “No!” saying wiretapped conversations of Sollecito family not to be discussed this trial.

12. Maresca: Whatever you decide, we believe justice will be done & all elements considered in depth. We will serenely accept your decision.

11. Kercher attorney Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to amanda knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.

10. Fabbiani, attorney for Meredith’s brother, urges court to look beyond motive. Perna for her sister: one person alone did not kill Meredith.

9. Lumumba attorney Pacelli concludes with this phrase to the jury: “Convict liar Amanda, the diabolical slanderer.”

8. Presiding Judge Nencini has cut Pacelli’s amanda knox monologue short. Says going off track. Pacelli promises to finish in 5 min.

7. Lumumba’s attorney Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on amandaknox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.

6. Prosecutor asks (in case of conviction) cautionary measures so defendants can’t flee. Options are: passport, house arrest or arrest.

5. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence.

4. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time. Only in Italy!

3. Sollecito attorney: The only things certain are the death of Meredith Kercher and the presence of Rudy Guede in the house that night.

2. Sollecito attorney: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.

1. In court, Sollecito attorney Maori contesting prosecutor’s arguments point by point. Knife, bathmat, alibi, witnesses. Afternoon rebuttals.

3. Tweets by our main poster Machiavelli

[At this point Machiavelli signed off]

62. Crini: Nencini asks the clerk’s officer to write down formally the exact terms of prosecution request to issue cautionary measures [if verdict guilty]

61. Crini says his conclusions are unchanged. Prosecution suggests arrest decrees are issued immediately if defendant(s) is(are) guilty

60. Crini points out the crime and motive originate from group dynamic.

59. Crini: Bongiorno had pointed out that anyway Sollecito should be accounted only for what he had done (implicit: not what Knox did)

58. Crini: The excessive and too quick reaction to a situation of rising argument is typical of group reaction.

57. Crini: Argument about cleaning was also reported by Meredith to her father John Kercher

56. Crini: Massive rejection of English [girls] testimonies is “weak” on the part of defence; tensions and dislikes in the house are recorded on paper

55. Crini: Movite cannot be assessed preliminarily as if it was a piece of evidence to be discussed

54. Crini: if you need to prove a crime, it is opportune to detect a motive, but a motive is only a plausible conjecture not basis for deduction

53. Crini: Bongiorno called all English girls ‘unreliable’ (because English, maybe coached by lawyers etc.)

52. Crini calls ‘amusing’ Bongiorno comparing her client with captain Schettino

51. Crini: Some thoughts about the motive.

50. Crini: It makes no sense to say the large kitchen knife is ‘incompatible’ with the big wound.

49. Crini: To the court: can you imagine a ‘surgical operation’ with a small knife producing a wound with clear margins on a live struggling victim?

48. Crini: it is difficult to produce an 8x8 cm large wound with a small 8cm long knife, it would produce at best a wound with irregular margin

47. Crini: The blade hypothesized by defence from the bed sheet stain is anyway larger; these are anyway conjectures. Datum is compatibility

46. Crini: thinking you can preemptively deduce the size of the blade from bed sheet stain is ‘unrealistic’

45. Crini: The “double knife theory” is based on the small size of the right wound, experts point to a likely much smaller knife with thin blade.

44. Crini: no defence wounds, no fight bruises, nothing under nails, bruises indicate forced restraint of victim; how she was immobilized

43. Crini: Massei court did not decide about attribution of pillowcase shoeprints, Crini objects Vinci’s finding, thinks prints are too small

42. Crini: Knox defence: says when Guede leaves palm print on pillowcase leaves a signature

41. Crini: Bongiorno called the murder scene “flooded” with Guede’s DNA. Crini points out his traces in room indicating he had free hands (no weapon)

40. Crini: The defences also dealt thoroughly with the use of the knife, wounds, blade size

39. Crini: The dynamic of the crime. Maori attributed all traces to Rudy Gede alone

38. Crini: All alleles of the victim were found in a scratch on the knife blade. Human DNA is normally not on knife blades

37. Crini: Vecchiotti admitted there was a scratch on the blade

36. Crini: The same defence experts did not object to the attribution Y haplotype of Guede found in the victim’s vagina

35. Crini: Calls Vecchiotti’s reasoning on bra clasp “a priori”, dismissed for reasons totally general and vague. Doesn’t read Y haplot. and X together

34. Crini: Points out a passage where Vecchiotti’s report misquotes police findings inserting the word “only”, built a strawman

33. Crini says let’s look at the Conti-Vecchiotti report, to see what it says, if you can subscribe with the report.

32. Crini: Tagliabracci in 2008 objected to quotes of prof. Gill calling them “too recent”

31. Crini: Objections referred to Low Copy Number are obsolete, and also partly undermined by the RIS report

30. Crini: Calls “embarassing” Bongiorno when alleges the police was wrong in attributing stains to cat’s blood

29. Crini: Disproves Bongiorno’s allegation that the clasp was stepped over.

28. Crini: Novelli rules out there was contamination in laboratory, as well as tertiary transfer in situ.

27. Crini is “pleased” the defence did not attempt to allege laboratory DNA contamination. Points out findings by Novelli

26. Crini: report says had there been internet surfing or writing activity, this would have resulted as obvious.

25. Crini cites arguments about computer expert reports, hearings of 14 Mar 2009 and Dec 2010 say further investigation is unnecessary

24. Crini: Maori omits to quote pieces of Curatolo’s testimony.

23. Crini will deal with Maori’s “theory of alibi” only very briefly

22. Crini says defence arguments on bathmat print are conjectures. Rinaldi is actually same person who correctly attributed shoeprint

21. Crini: Bathmat print: compatibility assessment can be done on what is measurable

20. Crini: Guede knew the hous and apartments, would have chosen logical entries and logical behaviour, Crini calls burglary theory ‘not credible’

19. Crini: alleged small wounds on Guede’s hand, inconsistent with absence of his blood on scene

18. Crini: Talks about Bongiorno’s criticism to staged burglary scenario - the scenario of Guede already inside apartment

17. Crini says police report timings, records of CCTV video camera and phone calls are ‘consistent’

16. Crini does not see corroboration of alleged 7-minute late clock error of CCTV. The 13.29 call was from Carabinieri HQ and don’t change anthg

15. Crini tris to “strain” the timing of police arival to favor the defence, to see if scenario fits. Considers possible CCTV time error

14. Crini: Sollecito calls Carabinieri too late, also because last phone call to Romaneli was at 12.38

13. Crini: Call to Sollecito’s sister, and then Sollecito’s call to Carabinieri at 12.51-45. Crini: this timing is late independently from Battistelli

12. Crini: Battistelli arrives on foot about 10 minutes eariler than postal police car

11. Crini wants to look better at some arguments about Sollecito’s declarations to postal police. Battistelli recalls 12.35 consistent with CCTV

10. Crini talks about Sollecito ‘sidetracking’, talking about statements to postal police

9. Crini: Knox’s Calunnia also contains details that have external corroboration and she could not have deduced from simple burglary scenario

8. Crini: A Calunnia is itself incriminating (require strong defence explanation), but Knox’s Calunnia also contains furth incrimiating details

7. Crini: Knox maintained her calunnia against Patrick over a period of several days. Crini points out the logicality of Cassazione argument.

6. Crini: Knox statements: ‘Patrick had sex with Meredith’ and ‘there was a loud scream’ were new elements, unrelated to known facts and not retracted

5. Crini: On calunnia, Crini points out that there was an argumentation about Knox defence about usability of Knox’s statement. argument is wrong

4. Crini: Theoretically all defense points could be replied to, Knox’s Calunnia, Sollecito statements to police, the staged theft, the mat print; DNA evidence

3. Crini says he will talk briefly only about a few selected points, without repeating himself, and without discussing old arguments again

2. [After the break] Prosecutor General Crini begins to reply.

1. [After the break] Sollecito entering the court, asked what he expect, says “no comment”

2. Tweets by reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

44. Judge especially hard on Sollecito sub lawyer, reprimanding her for introducing new arguments when she is only supposed to be refuting.

43. Sollecito sub lawyer argues no DNA from Meredith Kercher on bra clasp w/Sollecito’s DNA, failing to mention she was wearing the bra..

42. Six years of Kercher trials and some lawyers still pronounce the K in Knox.. “ka-nox” as Sollecito’s sub lawyer just did.

41. Kercher lawyers finished, now Sollecito lawyers up for rebuttal, but both his principal lawyers had to leave early.

40. Kercher atty Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to Amanda Knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.

39. Kercher lawyers ask court to consider all the previous testimony they say proves more than one person killed Meredith Kercher.

38. Lumumba lawyer says his client has not received any of the €22k he is owed by Amanda Knox even though the slander conviction is final.

37. Judge reprimands Lumumba lawyer for veering off course, he is only to discuss slander aspect of case, not murder itself.

36. Lumumba’s atty Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on Amanda Knox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.

35. Lumumba keeps referring to Amanda Knox as “the American”, says she had a penchant for drugs, alcohol, sex.

34. Lumumba lawyer calls Amanda Knox a “diabolical slanderer” “¦

33. Lumumba lawyer says Amanda Knox substituted Patrick for Rudy Guede.

32. Court back in session with Lumumba lawyer up. Sollecito back in court after break.

31. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence. Amanda Knox

30. Prosecutor focused on knife, says traces of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox are valid.

29. Sollecito staring at prosecutor as he delivers rebuttal, jury taking notes, judge listening intently, journalists trying to stay awake.

28. Prosecutor in new Amanda Knox appeal says motive in murder is never simple and clear, like murder itself is complex.

27. MeredithKercher lawyer says her brother and sister plan to come for verdict Jan 30.

26. Prosecutor just referred to Amanda Knox as “la nostra Knox” as he tries to refute defense arguments.

25. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time.

24. Prosecutor making brief rebuttal, pushing Sollecito and Amanda Knox back together after Sollecito lawyer clearly tried to separate them

23. Sollecito just told group of reporters he was not sure if he would come for verdict.

22. Sollecito lawyer finished. Judge asks lawyers how much time they need for rebuttals. 15 minute

21. Sollecito lawyer says his client is not guilty. Does not mention Amanda Knox in final moments of closing arguments.

20. Sollecito atty: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.

19. Sollecito lawyer tells the court they can only accept that Meredith Kercher was murdered and that Rudy Guede is the lone killer.

18. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno has just arrived in court with three male assistants.

17. Sollecito lawyer says Sollecito was never with Guede, Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. Says testimony that they were was false.

16. Sollecito lawyer working to discredit witnesses. Says store owner who says he saw

15. Judge in response to Sollecito lawyer asking if jury is tired: if we are tired now we will have to kill ourselves by the end of the day.

14. Sollecito in court today. Will he come for verdict on 30th?

13. Sollecito lawyer lays out why homeless man in park who testified he saw Amanda Knox and Sollecito arguing night of murder is unreliable.

12. Patrick Lumumba also absent from court today.

11. Judge in Amanda Knox new appeal rarely looks at Sollecito lawyer, writing notes, scrolling tablet, but minimal eye contact.

10. Sollecito lawyer on mass media tangent, says the “super witnesses” for prosecution in earlier trials were all for show.

9. Judge in Amanda Knox 2nd appeal asks for clarification on hard to follow techie evidence.

8. Sollecito lawyer showing computer records for Raf’s computer access, says access was human, not automated. Jury squinting at slides.

7. Sollecito lawyer moves on to Raf’s computer, how computers belonging to Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher were all “accidentally” destroyed.

6. Sollecito lawyer back on break in. Frequent reference to Guede “the real assassin”. No mention of Amanda Knox at all yet.

5. Sollecito lawyer focusing on staged break in.

4. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno not in court this morning.

3. Sollecito lawyer Maori says luminal also picks up fruit juice, not just blood. Judge taking notes.

2. Sollecito lawyer showing slides of famous footprint on bathroom rug in Meredith Kercher blood.

1. Sollecito lawyer now summing up in Florence, then rebuttals. Verdict expected Jan 30.

1. Tweets by reporter for La Nazione

46. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito) : “In a process based on circumstantial evidence motive is the glue of the whole thing.”

45. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito defense) begins.

44. Sollecito defense : “The Meredith’s bra clasp was contaminated as evidence “

43. Sollecito defense : “It was Rudy Guede who entered through the window after breaking the glass “

42. Sollecito defense : “There was no misdirection in statements of Sollecito “

41. Now it’s up to the defense again, Sollecito team begin their final responses

40. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “On the blade there are traces of the victim “”

39. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “Hellmann appeal, the acquittal was a pre-cooked judgment”

38. Lawyer Francesco Maresca (Kercher family) begins

37. Lawyer Perna (Kerchers) “Wounds on the body victim compatible with the knife found at Sollecito’s house “

36. Lawyer Perna (Kercher family) begins

35. Lawyer Vieri Fabiani , one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, the Kercher family

34. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Judges, sentence the liar Amanda , the devilish slanderer “

33. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Meredith could not stand Amanda”

32. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda is on Lumumba’s mind constantly “

31. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda hoped Lumumba slander would not be discovered “

30. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “the defense of Amanda was rancorous and non-existent “

29. Lawyer Carlo Pacelli (for the plaintiff Lumumba) begins.

28. Crini: “If Sollecito and Knox are condemned then precautionary measures should be decided to ensure execution of the sentence”

27. Crini: “There were tensions in the house for reasons of hygiene ”

26. Crini: “The absence of sure motive is not a defensive threshold “

25. Crini : “At the scene there was no contamination “

24. Crini : the prosecutor carries on his indictment reaffirming the validity of the clues

23. Crini : the prosecutor continues rebuttal,  the Tuscany Attorney General Dr Tindari Baglione enters the court

22. Crini : “Slander of Lumumba in itself is an important element “

21. Crini : the Prosecutor General starts his rebuttal

20. Sollecito’s father::”That’s understandable , too much stress”

19. Sollecito :”I do not know if I’ll be in the courtroom on the day of judgment

18. This ends the argument of Maori (defense of Sollecito )

17. Maori: “The only possible verdict is an acquittal”# meredithnazione

16. Maori: “In the various processes motive , time, and the murder weapon changed ontinuously”

15. Maori: “The witnesses who say that Raffaele and Rudy knew each other, said things false”

14. Maori:”The witness Quintavalle for many days after the murder of Amanda did not speak”

13. Maori: “The witness Quintavalle speaks thirteen months after the fact”

12. Maori: “The witness Curatolo is unreliable , wrong date and report things that are false”

11. Maori: “Some witnesses have had access to financial sinecures”

10. Maori: “The witnesses are characters created by the mass media”

9. Maori: “At 21.26 Sollecito opened from his PC the cartooon Naruto”

8. Maori: “At 21.10 there was interaction Sollecito with his pc”

7. Maori: “Analysis of the computer shows that Sollecito ‘s alibi is true”

6. Maori: “No simulation , glass window broken by a stone from the outside. No glass outside”

5. Maori:”No simulation of theft. Blinds on window with broken glass were not closed”

4. Maori: “The bloody footprint on the bath mat is not Sollecito’s foot”

3. Maori: “Meredith was killed at 21”

2. Maori: “The kitchen knife is the murder weapon . Wounds are not compatible”

1. The hearing begins : now it’s up to the lawyer Maori



[Below: previous image of Attorney General Dr Tindari Baglione who is in court to hear Dr Crini]


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Translations Of Key Testimony Is Being Added To The Daily TJMK Reports Of The 2009 Trial

Posted by catnip





If you read PMF or TJMK regularly, you will know that our many Italian speakers have posted dozens of translations over the years.

Many were quickies of Italian reports of court or prison doings and the takes of Italian reporters and the public. Perhaps most worthwhile for you to check out are the very meticulous translations of court proceedings and rationales by the painstaking PMF team. 

1) Key court documents

On PMF Clander has posted links to the largest and most important translation efforts with the covering intros and cautions that are vital to understand the difficult work involved and the possible need for small updates.

    1) Judge Massei sentencing report in English: First-level Court - Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

    2) Judge Giordano sentencing report in English: Supreme Court - Rudy Guede.

    3) Judge Hellmann sentencing report in English: Second-level Court - Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.

    4) Dott. Galati appeal to the Supreme Court in English: The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court.

    5) The Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy sentencing report in English: Supreme Court vs. AK & RS.

2) Reports from trial court sessions

Now we are adding more translations of the key testimony at the trial in 2009. All trial testimony will be closely examined by the appeal court in Florence. They are being attached to our daily reports posted at the time. You may find these three especially illuminating. Scroll down each post for each translation.

    1) Daniele Moscatelli (scroll down), a police investigator from Rome who helped question Sollecito. Officer Moscastelli said that defendant Raffaele Sollecito looked “confused and nervous” during the questioning and that he was carrying a “long” knife in his pocket.

    2) Fabio Astolfo (scroll down), an English speaking officer who helped question Knox. He also helped with food and drink from the vending machines, and observed Amanda hitting herself while on the way to get her fingerprints taken.

    3) Oreste Volturno a chief inspector who took part in the search of Raffaele’s place; and investigated when and where the bleach found there was purchased, and investigated the 20 euro withdrawal reported on Meredith’s account, and tried to track down Raffaele’s school and police records; and also participated in the seizure of material from the Telenorba TV station after their broadcast had gone to air.

More such translations will follow.

Posted by catnip on 09/12 at 04:54 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Massei prosecutionComments here (10)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Welcome To New Arrivals #1: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

Posted by Some Alibi



[Merediths window is seen on the top floor of the house in the lower foreground]

Welcome To Common Sense

This briefing was first posted with slightly different opening paras at the start of the annulled Hellmann appeal. New arrivals often tell us this helped them the most.

If you’ve come to this website because of the Amanda Knox book and interview, then welcome.  Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The Knox book and interview seriously cherrypick the case, and perhaps haven’t helped you at all.

On the Internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito; and you will find people who are passionate in their support of an exceptionally talented girl who died, of a fine justice system previously untainted by PR, and of the prosecution’s very strong case.

Click here for the rest


Friday, April 19, 2013

Twenty Forensic Reasons Why Guede Could NOT Have Attacked Meredith Alone

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Bongiorno in 2011 trying to rattle an unshakable Guede claiming Knox and Sollecito did the crime]

1. Guede Persona, An Overview

The convicted murderer Rudy Guede to this day claims that Meredith let him into the house, so we cut him no slack for that.

But at the same time he was no drifter or serial knife carrier, he had no police record in 2007 (unlike Knox and Sollecito), and no drug dealing or breaking-and-entering has ever been either charged or proved.

In October 2008 Judge Micheli mistrusted and sharply rebuked a witness who claimed it just might have been Guede who broke into his house.

Guede seriously discounted his role on the night of Meredith’s death, but some physical evidence (not a lot) proved he had played a part in the attack. Thereafter his shoeprints lead straight to the front door.

2. Moving Target In Court

Neither Judge Micheli nor Judge Massei nor the Supreme Court believed he acted alone or had any part in the very obvious cleanup that had been carried out.

The Knox and Sollecito defenses failed miserably to prove he climbed in Filomena’s window, and despite much innuendo they never really tried to prove he was a lone attacker.

That is why in 2011 we saw two of the most bizarre defence witnesses in recent Italian legal history, the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello, take the stand

Alessi became so nervous making his perjured claim that Guede told him Guede did it with two others that he was physically sick and had to take time off from the stand.

Aviello loudly proclaimed that his brother and another did it (not Guede) and then claimed the Sollecito family via Giulia Bongiorno floated bribes in his prison for false testimony.

Tellingly, although Bongiorno threatened to sue Aviello, she never has. Even more tellingly, Judge Hellmann himself initiated no investigation and simply let this serious felony claim drop dead.

Here is a far-from-exhaustive list of 20 reasons why Rudy Guede could not have acted alone. Also why not one scrap of evidence has ever been found for any two other than Knox and Sollecito themselves.

3. Twenty Lone-Wolf Disproofs

1.  Guede’s Final Appeal Report said Meredith sustained 43 wounds

The testimony at the 2009 trial about the 43 wounds was presented in closed court out of humane respect by the jury for the feelings of Meredith’s family.

So even the diligent and trustworthy Italian media mostly missed this, as they were locked outside. 

Mention of the 43 wounds was omitted from the 2009 Massei Trial Report and also from the 2011 Hellman Appeal Report.

Its inclusion in the December 2010 in Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report on Guede’s final appeal reflects the report’s excellent factual completeness.

The PMF translation reads, in relevant part:

The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone, a wound which caused a great deal of bleeding.

Including the number of minutes occupied by an initial verbal confrontation, the escalation of that confrontation into taunting and then the physical attack, leading to the infliction of 43 wounds, and to the fatal stabbing, how many minutes would all of this occupied?

The prosecution estimated it took fifteen.

2.  Meredith had taken dance classes and played football & karate)

See the Massei Translation, p23.

Every day Meredith called her family, with whom she had a very close relationship. She had taken classes in dance and played sports (football, karate); she was a strong girl, both physically and in terms of temperament (cf. statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie, hearing of June 6, 2009).

3.  Meredith was a strong girl, physically and in temperament

See the statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie (hearing of June 6, 2009). and description of her karate. (Massei Translation, pp23, 164, 366, and 369).

With regard to the totality of these circumstances, it must be considered that Meredith could only have made an outright refusal to Rudy’s advances and in doing so could also count on her slim [fit] physique, which the photos allow [one] to understand, [and] on her good athletic training (other than dance she had also done sports characterised by a certain physicality such as football, and had even taken a course in karate), sustained by her strong character.

4.  Meredith must have been “strongly restrained”

See the Massei Translation, p371; p399, in the Italian original.

Conversely, considering the neck wounds sustained, it must be believed that Meredith remained in the same position, in a standing position, while continuously exposing her neck to the action of the person striking her now on the right and now on the left. Such a situation seems inexplicable if one does not accept the presence of more than one attacker who, holding the girl, strongly restrained her movements and struck her on the right and on the left because of the position of each of the attackers with respect to her, by which it was easier to strike her from that 372 side. One of these attackers was Rudy and the others were those who allowed Rudy to enter the house and who were with him in the house and who, in order to lead the nvestigations astray, then organised the staging of the broken window and the mess in Romanelli’s room: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, according to all that has already been shown.

5.  Meredith remained virtually motionless throughout the attack

That was in spite of Meredith’s physical and personality characteristics [Massei Translation p369]  [Massei Translation p370-371].

A first indication to be taken into account is Meredith’s physical build: the photographs of her body and the data of her approximate height and weight reveal a physique with “normotrophic muscular mass and normally distributed subcutaneous fat” (cf. declarations Lalli p. 3), a slim physique which would have permitted Meredith to move with agility. To this must be added the declarations of the parents and the sister of Meredith. Her mother, Arline Carol Mary Kercher, recalled that Meredith had practised football and karate (p. 7 hearing 6 June 2009), and her sister, Stephanie Arline Lara, stated that Meredith also did boxing, if only the once, and that “physically she was very strong” (p. 20, hearing 6 June 2009). Also her father, John Leslie Kercher, declared that his daughter was quite strong and had taken a course in karate (p. 23 hearing 6 June 2009). It has also been noted that Meredith was not in bed and undressed when the “advances” and the attempts to subject her will commenced. Being still dressed and awake, and since it must be excluded because of what has been said above that the violent action could have taken place with Meredith lying on the bed, it is considered that she, who was sober and fully conscious since no traces indicating either the use of drugs or the abuse of alcohol were found, would have opposed a firm resistance, as she could claim a strong physique, experienced in self-defence by the lessons in karate that she had taken.

6.  The defensive wounds were almost non-existent

See the report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos. Massei Translation p370.

The signs of this resistance, however, consist in a scream, the scream heard by Nara Capezzali at around around 23:30 and by Maria Ilaria Dramis when, having gone to bed at 22:00 pm, she awoke at a later time which she was not able to quantify; they consist also in some tiny defensive wounds: one on the palm of her [396] right hand of a length of .6cm showing a tiny amount of blood; another on the ulnar surface of the first phalange of the second finger of the left hand, also of length .6cm; another on the fingertip of the first finger with a 370   superficial wound of .3cm, and another tiny wound corresponding to the fourth radius.  Compared with these almost nonexistent defensive wounds (cf. report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33,  34, 35 with the relevant photos), there is an injured area which is impressive by the number,  distribution and diversity, specifically of the injuries (bruises and wounds) on the face and neck of Meredith.

7.  One killer couldn’t inflict 43 wounds with so few defensive wounds.

See the Massei Report quotes above.

8.  There must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime

See the Massei Translation p377.

Even this consideration, therefore, leads one to hold that the biological trace attributable to Amanda and found on the knife handle, could have derived from the use of the knife for the purpose of striking, rather than to cut food; it could have derived, therefore, from the harmful action carried out against Meredith and as a consequence, a biological trace attributable to Meredith remained in the tiny striations present on the face of the blade, in spite of the subsequent cleaning, and which does not appear otherwise explainable as to how, in this regard, it was to be found there (Meredith had never been in Raffaele Sollecito’s house and could never have used this knife). Moreover, the knife Raffaele Sollecito carried with him had a definitely shorter blade as has been seen than the length that would have been necessary for causing the deeper resulting wound, with a depth of 8cm, and therefore, there must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime, first one, and then the other, being used against Meredith.

9.  A lone killer would need one hand/arm or both to restrain Meredith

So how could he use 2 knives?  To use 2 knives a lone killer would have to place 1 knife down, leaving blood-stain[s] wherever it was placed, and then reach for the other knife.

Even wiping the blades on the killer’s clothes, using the one hand, and later scrubbing of the knives would not erase all the blood, as has already been demonstrated.

10.  Two killers could divide attack, one holding Meredith, both holding knives

Meanwhile the other killer used one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to use the various knives. Could a lone killer accomplish all that?

11.  Meredith’s shoes, pants and underwear had been removed

See the Massei Translation p.370

“It is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.”  [Massei Translation p.370]

12.  Meredith’s sweatshirt had been pulled up and removed.

See the [Massei Translation p.370

Furthermore, it is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.

13.  Meredith’s bra had been forcibly unhooked

See the Massei Translation p.370

14.  Meredith’s bra had been torn

See the Massei Translation p.370

15.  Meredith’s bra had been cut

See the Massei Translation p.370

16.  Violence to Meredith was revealed by the genital swab.

See the Massei Translation p.370

17.  In Hellmann appeal RS’s lawyers didnt allege lone killer

They themselves brazenly introduced false testimony to the effect that there were two other killers.

18.  Even Hellmann didn’t deny the complicity of AK and RS

Even H/Z seemed to conclude they are probably guilty, but not beyond a reasonable doubt:

“| in order to return a guilty verdict, it is not sufficient that the probability of the prosecution hypothesis to be greater than that of the defence hypothesis, not even when it is considerably greater, but [rather] it is necessary that every explanation other than the prosecution hypothesis not be plausible at all, according to a criterion of reasonability. In all other cases, the acquittal of the defendant is required.”  [H/Z p.92]

19.  Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial, found that Guede did not act alone

And that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

20.  Massei found that the evidence implicated AK and RS

He concluded they were joint perpetrators with Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

4. Obvious Conclusions

Is it really reasonable to claim as Sollecito did in his 2012 book that Guede was a lone killer?

Doesn’t all this contradict the lone-killer theory, beyond a reasonable doubt?


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Considering The Sad And Sensitive But Also Crucial Subject Of Meredith’s Time Of Death

Posted by James Raper





The following is a discourse on the time of death (TOD) arguments in the case.

These have been summarised but not analysed in depth yet on TJMK. A discussion on the pathology is not really everyone’s cup of tea, but the issue was examined in some detail by Massei and to some extent by Hellmann with somewhat differing conclusions reached.

The topic is relevant because Judge Massei used (inter alia) the expert’s findings to corroborate a TOD being after 11pm, more toward 11.30pm, whereas Judge Hellmann argued an earlier TOD as follows: “it is more consistent”¦.to hypothesize that in fact the attack, and hence the death shortly thereafter, occurred much earlier than the time held by the Court of first instance, certainly not later than 10.13 pm”.

In addition to what is covered by the contents of these two Motivation Reports, there is an argument which is presented by the Friends of Amanda, and in particular Chris Halkides who I understand is, or was,  an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina. In fact he presents an argument put forward by Professor Introna (Sollecito’s expert) during the trial.

This argument is to do with the standard time for the stomach to empty from the start of a meal, and relating this to the autopsy findings and in particular that of the pathologist Dr Lalli who found that Meredith’s stomach was 500cc full but that there was no material to be found in the duodenum.  Halkides’ argument is that this demonstrates conclusively that Meredith was attacked shortly after her return to the cottage at 9pm and would have died shortly thereafter. The significance of this, if correct, is apparent in that it opens up, or at least it raises a doubt as to whether there is or not a verifiable alibi for Knox and Sollecito. 

Although Knox does not have an alibi from the time of Meredith’s return home at 9pm, there was human interaction, the last, on Raffaele’s computer at 9.15pm, and one might assume that they were together at that time.  But no verifiable alibi until one takes into account that Curatolo says that he first saw the two on Grimana Square around 9.30pm.

My area is the law, and I have no medical or scientific expertise, so I hesitate to go up against anyone who has, but nevertheless I will endeavour to summarise and rationalise the evidence, arguments and conclusions as presented by Massei, Hellmann and Halkides.

First a word about the digestive system.

Food, already masticated, passes through the esophagus to the stomach, where it is broken down by acids, from where it then passes to the small intestine from whence the body extracts the nutrients it needs.  The duodenum is that part of the small intestine right next to the stomach and it’s function is to dissolve the food “juice” further with enzymes before passing it on to the rest of the small intestine.

Judge Massei

Judge Massei considers the experts’ findings in the following areas to determine a likely time of death.

The first is temperature decrease, “taking the Henssge nomogram into account: rigor mortis; hypostatic marks” etc.

One can note that in fact rigor mortis and the hypostatic marks were not in the least bit helpful due to the 12 hour delay in the pathologist getting to examine the body.

That apart, nevertheless “¦”¦“These led Dr Lalli to conclude that death may have occurred between 21 hours 30 minutes, and 30 hours and 30 minutes, before the first measurement, and thus between approximately 8 pm on November 1st 2007, and 4am on November 2nd”¦.The intermediate value also indicated by the mathematical reconstruction (26 hours prior to the first measurement) puts the time of death at approximately 11 pm.”

Just how one works out TOD on temperature decrease indicators, especially in the absence of a pathological examination earlier than that which took place here, is pretty technical.  I will not attempt to present the data (some of which is missing i.e Meredith’s actual body weight) or explain the mathematical models (so as to calculate body weight and the rate of cooling) (the Henssge nonogram appears to be one such mathematical model in graph form) that the experts used. 

Nearly all the experts, other than Professor Introna, whilst having marginal disagreements about data and formulae, were not in fundamental disagreement about the wide parameters of or even Dr Lalli’s conclusion of a TOD of approximately 11pm.

Professor Introna departed from the other experts to use an “ideal weight” and a specific formula to calculate the ideal weight, to produce a TOD of 8.20pm when of course we know that Meredith was still very much alive. Thus Massei ruled out ideal weight calculations as unreliable and used a median weight based on Dr Lalli’s guesstimates of Meredith’s weight (as used by the other experts) on first examination and at autopsy, though she was not actually weighed at all.

The second area is gastric emptying of the stomach.

It was acknowledged by all the experts that there is something like a standard period between the time that food enters the stomach and it then being processed through into the small intestine.  There was, however, some disagreement as to the parameters, ranging between 2-3 hours and 3-4 hours. One could therefore say 2-4 hours. Remember this.

Most of the experts agreed though that individuals are different, and there are variables leading to wide discrepancies including the type of meal eaten. A number of the experts heard said that the state of digestion was probably the most unreliable indicator as to the TOD.

All agreed that acute stress, psychological as well as physical such as an attack, would inhibit the digestive process.

I will not rehearse Professor Introna’s argument here as this, essentially, is the argument which Chris Halkides deploys, to which I will come in a moment.

It is fairly clear that Massei found the information as to body cooling time more convincing than information as to the state of digestion. However, as I understood it, the Appeal Court was going to be asked to re-evaluate precisely that. Did it?

Judge Hellmann

The Court of Assizes of first instance has acknowledged the difficulty in precisely fixing the time of death based merely on autopsy criteria. Since not all the accurate data is available, the time span within which the death of Meredith Kercher can be placed based on such criteria remains very widely outlined: between 9pm and 9.30pm of November 1st 2007, and the early hours of November 2nd.However, in reconstructing the sequence of events the Court of first instance assessed it was able to fix the time of death based on other elements, in particular the harrowing scream”¦.

The first point to note here is that Hellmann misinterprets the first Court’s findings. He ignores the fact that the first Court did determine a TOD between 11pm and 11.30 pm as probable based on the pathology alone, and gave reasons for this.

None of the expert testimony is rehearsed, let alone re-evaluated by Hellmann.  He proceeds merely to discredit the reliability of the witnesses as to the other elements such as the scream etc.

One recalls that Nara Capezzali says that she heard a scream sometime between 11 and 11.30 pm. That there was a broken down car and the breakdown driver came and went between perhaps 11 and 11.15 pm.

As mentioned earlier his hypothesizing about the other elements leads him to a TOD of not later than 10.13 pm although this time seems a very random one based on what he presents. He talks in this section about Guede’s statement that he arrived at the cottage at 9 pm.

One suspects that if Hellmann could have fixed the time of death at 9.15 pm or 9.30 pm then he would have done so as either time would be a get out of jail free card for Knox and Sollecito.  He did not, but he got them out of jail nevertheless with his hypothesizing - here and elsewhere in his report.

I could just stop here because further discussion on the pathology itself would seem irrelevant as regards the appeal to Cassation, though it could really matter at a second appeal trial.

But here is a comment about Chris Halkides because some do say they find his conclusion convincing.

Chris Halkides

My summary of his argument.

The stomach was full (or at least had 500 cc of contents) and the duodenum had no material in it.  As the duodenum had no material in it then, Halkides deduces, the stomach had not started to release any part of the meal Meredith had consumed at Robyn Butterworths’ into the small intestine at TOD. Death stops the digestive process.

The contents of the stomach observed by Dr Lalli included some of the apple crumble eaten by Meredith and what appeared to be items, in a very advanced state of acidification, thought to be pizza toppings. Meredith and Sophie had eaten pizza at Robyn Butterworths’ home, followed by the apple crumble. In addition there was a small measure of alcohol in the stomach equivalent to a glass of beer.

They had started eating at about 6pm (some accounts e.g John Follain’s have it earlier at 5.30 pm) or maybe 6.30 pm, putting on a DVD to watch a film and finishing at 8 pm or perhaps 8.30 pm. The times here are an indication if anything and are not to be treated as completely accurate.

If it was 6.30 pm that Meredith began to eat then using the standard parameters discussed by Massei we have latest TODs of 9.30 or 10.30 pm for when material from the stomach should have started to enter the duodenum. Not later and certainly not as late as 11 or 11.30 pm.

That is Halkides’ argument in a nutshell. He argues that TOD is actually about 9.30 pm. If so it would have been impossible for Knox and Sollecito who were still at the flat at 9.15 pm and who were seen in the square at 9.30 pm to have committed the murder.

He has referred me to an article in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology about an experiment conducted on volunteers where the mean time (for 95 individuals) for gastric emptying of solids is 127 minutes, give or take, I think, twenty minutes either side.

Using the mean, to be pedantic, this would mean that Meredith died before she got home or at the latest immediately on arrival (6.30 + 2 hours 27 minutes = 8.57 pm.)

That article, incidentally, was published in 2006. It doesn’t seem to date that the results have been peer reviewed and verified and I would have thought that the experts who testified at the trial in 2009 would have been aware of it. So the data set out here may be suspect for a given individual and does not take into account variables excluding age, sex and body mass index which the research found to have no significant correlation.

In any event Halkides is quite happy to have a latest parameter of 3 hours, but no longer. Indeed that would be what brings us to 9.30 pm.

The problem I detect with his argument is twofold.

Firstly there is the uncertainty as to when Meredith began to eat at Robyn’s home (and since it was a two course meal, when she began to eat the apple crumble) and secondly Halkides’ argument is predicated on that two course meal being her last.

If the apple crumble was eaten at 8 or 8.30 pm then (adding on the 2 hours 27 minutes from the above research) it may still have been in her stomach at 10.27 or 10,57 pm, or later indeed (which Halkides has to concede) since the digestive time from the research is only an average.

So with a parameter of 3 hours we might just as well say 11 pm or 11.30 pm.

In addition to variables we could take into account inhibitors such as Meredith suffering acute psychological stress commencing”¦well”¦we cannot be certain when, can we?.

One can play Hellmann’s game and hypothesize to our advantage a number of stress situations on that fateful evening, starting quite early. No one has to accept Massei’s hypothesis of a Meredith on her own and in relaxed mode until about 11pm. Massei’s hypothesis here is in no way crucial.

Furthermore the hypothesis that Meredith actually ate a further snack on her return to the cottage does seem to have some basis in fact in that at the autopsy the pathologist found a mushroom in her esophagus. Mushrooms specifically had not been a topping on the pizzas baked at Robyn’s home. As to the alcohol in her stomach no alcohol had been consumed at Robyn’s home, only water.

It might sound a bit flippant for me to suggest it but it might be the case that Meredith, who was passionate about pizzas, had a beer and grilled a quick meal of pizza toppings from the fridge for herself which Halkides mistakes for evidence of the pizza still in the stomach.

That Meredith might still have been hungry might be because she had not, until eating at Robyn’s, eaten for a considerable time beforehand.

She had been partying all night Halloween and had gone to bed at about 4 am, rising at about midday, and then leaving not so long afterwards to be with her friends. Whether she had anything to eat at the cottage before leaving on the afternoon of the 1st, we simply don’t know.

Knox tells us in her e-mail to Seattle that she and Raffaele cooked and ate there, but she does not mention Meredith having anything to eat, and Meredith left before they did.

For some reason John Follain thinks Meredith did eat then, Paul Russell that she did not. I do not see how either could be sure. If it had been me I might have felt up to a nibble but not much more knowing that in a few hours I would be eating a meal with my friends.

It seems to me that it is quite possible that Robyn’s pizza had passed through the stomach, duodenum, and indeed perhaps most of if not the rest of the small intestine by 11.30 pm and that the apple crumble had not even begun to enter the duodenum.

Let us assume that Meredith actually started her pizza at 5.30 pm (according to Follain) finishing at 5.40 pm. As she was already hungry the stomach acids go to work straight away and the pizza passes at the earliest to the duodenum after two hours, spending a further three and half hours (as per literature) in the small intestine before passing to the rectum . A total of five and a half hours.

Thus the small intestine had disposed of it by 11.10 pm. There would however be an unlikely gap to the consumption of the apple crumble. Yet if the apple crumble was consumed after the DVD (watching the film The Notebook circa 123 minutes) then that would be around 8 pm, entering the duodenum three and a half hours later (possible) at 11.30 pm or at least it would be doing this but for the fact that Meredith was already the subject of a vicious attack inhibiting the digestive process.

I accept that I am not using uniform digestion times in this speculation (indeed I have deployed earliest and latest parameters at will) but nevertheless they are within the parameters accepted by the experts, and even, at a push, by Halkides as well.

The point is that this is a complicated topic and there are many imprecise details that do not allow for certainty but only probablilities, or in some instances, possibilities. This Massei, and to a certain extent Hellmann recognized.

Nobody can be precisely sure and so any other timeline or alibi must stand or fall on their own.


Monday, June 27, 2011

The BBC Reports Rudy Guede For The First Time Accuses Knox And Sollecito Face To Face

Posted by Peter Quennell


See at bottom for the BBC report. It refers to Guede’s letter of March 2010 in the post directly below this one.

Guede was in the witness stand as his letter was read to the court on Monday. “This splendid, marvelous girl was killed by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox,” the letter said.

This also for the first time on Guede’s side (but not on Knox’s or Sollecito’s side) crosses a public boundary between the three of them which the Italian lawyer Cesare Beccaria described starting here.

The Supreme Court has in effect already given Rudy Guede’s credibility an edge. Also this in the report in the Seattle PI report by Andrea Vogt.

As if the appeal wasn’t bizarre enough, two convicts were called by the prosecution as counter witnesses Monday to contradict several inmates called by the defense earlier this month. They maintained they had overheard in prison conversations about a plot among other inmates to testify in exchange for money and benefits, such as reduced prison time.

The person they heard was arranging things, they said, was Sollecito’s attorney, Giulia Bongiorno, who heads up Italy’s parliamentary justice committee. She forcefully denied the corruption accusations in the break afterwards and vowed to file charges and take legal action against her accusers.

One claim by the inmates was that she offered a sex change operation to Luciano Aviello. It would be helpful if some of this if it exists emerged on tape. What possible reason would they have to lie?

****************

Here is the full BBC report in case it scrolls from their website.

Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend did kill Meredith Kercher, a man who was also convicted of the 21-year-old’s murder has told an appeal court.

After Rudy Guede confirmed he believed the US student killed her British housemate, Knox jumped to her feet saying she was “shocked and anguished”.

The hearing in Perugia is the first time that all three defendants have given evidence on the same day.

Knox, 23, and Raffaele Sollecito, 26, are appealing their convictions.
Child killer

Miss Kercher, of Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat cut at her Perugia flat after what prosecutors claimed was a sex game taken to the extreme.

Knox is serving a 26-year sentence for Miss Kercher’s murder while her Italian co-defendant and ex-boyfriend, Sollecito, was sentenced to 25 years.
Image caption Guede admits being in the house at the time of the Miss Kercher’s murder but denies any involvement

Guede told the court that claims by a fellow prison inmate that he thought Knox and Sollecito were innocent were not true. He said he never made that claim to the inmate.

On 18 June, convicted child killer Mario Alessi told the appeal Guede had confided that Knox and Sollecito were innocent.

According to Alessi, Guede said he and a friend went to the house Miss Kercher shared with Knox with the intent of having sex with Miss Kercher and that when she refused, the scene turned violent and his unnamed accomplice slit her throat.

Drug-dealer Guede was jailed for 30 years for the sexual assault and murder of Miss Kercher after a separate fast-track trial. His sentence was reduced to 16 years on appeal.

Guede was in the witness stand as a letter he had written in response to Alessi’s claims was read to the court on Monday.

“This splendid, marvellous girl was killed by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox,” the letter said.

Guede has previously admitted being in the house at the time of the murder, but denies involvement in Miss Kercher’s death.

After cross-examination by the defence, Guede said he had always believed Sollecito and Knox were behind the murder.

“I’ve always said who was there in that house on that cursed night,” he told the court.

Knox stood up after Guede’s evidence and denied his claims.

“The only time that Rudy Guede, Raffaele and I were in the same space has been in court. I’m shocked and anguished.

“He knows we weren’t there and have nothing to do with it,” she said.

Sollecito said Guede was always talking “about a shadow that could be me and a voice that could be Amanda’s… we’ve been fighting shadows for four years. Our lives have been destroyed in a subtle and absurd way.”

Speaking before Monday’s hearing, Knox’s mother Edda Mellas told reporters she hoped that Guede would have the “integrity to stand up and tell the truth”.

She said her daughter was “always very anxious and nervous but I think she’s glad things are moving along. She feels things are going well,” but that it is, “hard to get too hopeful, especially after the first trial.”

Two other witnesses were called to counter claims made by another defence witness, a member of the Mafia named Luciano Aviello, who had told the court earlier this month that his brother - who is on the run - had killed Miss Kercher during a botched burglary.

The two witnesses - two inmates at the same prison as Aviello - testified that Aviello had said he had been contacted by Sollecito’s defence team to stir up confusion in the trial in exchange for money.

Witness Alexander Ilicet said Aviello had wanted the money for a sex-change operation.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

That Widely Watched LA7 TV Interview With Giuliano Mignini - Herewith A Full English Translation

Posted by ziaK

This is a translation of the YouTube video posted by my fellow poster True North two weeks ago.

Many readers asked for a translation of what Mr Mignini said in that interview, and True North, who has pretty good Italian but is not a professional translator, requested some help from the translation team. The sound of the video is not always crystal clear but this appears to accurately reflect what was said. 

Male interviewer: In the biological evidence, is there any one item which is the one which you consider, especially in terms of the trial, to have had the most value?

Giuliano Mignini: I think that, in terms of the trial, the most important were the knife, the bra hook and also the biological traces in the bathroom. From the point of view of the trial, the knife certainly links the two defendants and the victim. Therefore it was (interrupted).

Andrea Vogt: There was low copy number, and that’s not normal, is it, to use DNA when there’s low copy number?

Giuliano Mignini: However, I hold that those traces were nonetheless indisputable traces. That is, there was not an absolute huge amount, in terms that are perhaps more understandable [ndt: to an Italian speaker, “low copy number” is not necessaryily understandable, because it is an English term]. The trace might be really high, with a high quantity, or it may be very low, but however the trace may be, it was never reasonably explained in any other way. That knife was never touched by the victim. She was never (inaudible: possibly “at Raffaele’s”] during the period that the two young folk, the two defendants, knew each other. It was a very short period: we think the relationship was (inaudible) or a week.

Male interviewer: Certainly. However, (inaudible) limited, either a contamination in the place of the crime or a contamination in the laboratory? This is not meant as a criticism of the work, however it is a danger that we technicians have which we must confront.

Giuliano Mignini: Yes. Well, that point about the knife comes from the specific questions of Professor Finsi himself, and of the Superintendant (Parebiochi?), and it was clearly shown that that knife was collected with absolute”¦ that is, there was no possibility of exposure to contact [with the victim?]. Because it was found in Raffaele’s house and it was take with all precautions. This was shown in (inaudible). I was keen to show that (inaudible) that knife.

Andrea Vogt: Also the hook was very controversial because you found it 46 days after.

Giuliano Mignini: Yes, yes. I know. I understand. This, alas, can happen when there are places that are so full of objects, full of”¦ When one is doing an analysis of this type, it can happen that (inaudible) is moved. However, it remained within that room. And (Andrea Vogt interrupts). And then, if there is contamination, that means that Sollecito’s DNA was somewhere within that room. We’re still there (i.e. at the same conclusion). I think that all the evidence was limited [ndt: to the one place?], and the first findings were of an investigative nature. In particular, that includes the numerous contradictions made by Knox. Which were then repeated during the investigation, during the interrogation in jail, and in my opinion also during the questioning and counter-questioning in court.

Andrea Vogt: I want to talk a bit about the motive.

Giuliano Mignini: As a first impression of the [inaudible: crime?] it was clearly, it appeared clearly to be a crime of a sexual nature. It was extremely clear. A young woman, killed in that way, and almost completely stripped/naked.

Male interviewer: Excuse me, but on the contrary, at times I have heard attributed (inaudible) a different reason, a fight which ended badly, and then instead a transformation of the crime to put forward the idea that it was a sexual murder. Also because, in fact, the position of Rudy, who was however found guilty, also from the beginning changed a bit. There’s his responsibility.

Giuliano Mignini: Also Rudy gave indications which then changed a bit. Rudi too, for example, said that there was an appointment with Meredith. Then in later interrogations he said that Meredith had asked for him to be there, and (Male interviewer interrupts: The reconstruction [by Nabil?]: what could have happened?). Yes, according to me, there was a situation, a progressive situation of disagreement between the two girls. That seems undeniable to me.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

First Of Three Excerpts In Italian from LA7 Program On Meredith’s Case

Posted by True North

Thanks to TJMK poster Cesare Beccaria for the video links. We posted some background last Friday.

The male reporter asks Prosecutor Mignini what was the most damning evidence in this case? Mignini replies: the knife, the bra clasp, and the mixed blood traces in the bathroom.

Mignini stands firm when answering Andrea Vogt’s repeated question of what about “the low copy numbers?” He asserts that it was indisputably Meredith’s DNA on the knife. There was never any transfer or contamination of DNA on the knife because Meredith never touched it nor had she ever been to Sollecito’s house.

While admitting that the bra clasp had not been retrieved until 46 days later, there was never any transfer or contamination of DNA on the clasp. He stresses that the bra clasp never left Meredith’s room and yet still had plenty of Sollecito’s DNA on it.

*********

Added: As suggested in Comments below, there seems very good reason to translate all of Mr Mignini’s remarks, and we will be posting a full transcript of this video one day this week.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Was Definitely Not A Close Or Indecisive Case - Reasonable Doubt Was In Fact Totally Eliminated

Posted by FinnMacCool




Trashing Of Hard Evidence Gets Worse

You can see from the posts directly below that the Knox-was-framed camp is, if anything, becoming more superficial with all those pesky facts rather than less.

Hard reality is that nobody has ever come within light-years of constructing an alternative scenario of the crime. Hard reality is that for Knox and Sollecito the totality of the facts, seen together as the judges and jury did, are extremely damning. Hard reality is that the verdicts were decisive and unanimous. And hard reality is that Judges Sentencing Report due out some time this week will apparently be quite definitive.

Click here for the rest


Friday, February 05, 2010

True Justice Is Rendered For Patrick Lumumba (Sort Of)

Posted by Tiziano



Above & below: Patrick’s bar which Knox managed to drive out of business.

1. Explanation of calunnia

Knox was prosecuted by the Republic of Italy, not by Lumumba, on a calunnia charge and her prison sentence was extended when she was found guilty of that. 

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”Ÿs 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.


2. Knox Defense

Knox took the stand for two days during her trial, of course, trying to explain why she did what she did to her kindly former employer.

She only seemed to dig herself in deeper.

3. Patrick’s Win

Now Terni In Rete confirms his government compensation for his several weeks in Capanne and some damaging badmouthing.

CASSATION:  EIGHT THOUSAND EUROS FAIR COMPENSATION FOR PATRICK LUMUMBA

February 4th, 2010

By Adriano Lorenzoni

The fourth criminal session of the Court of Cassation has established that the sum of eight thousand Euros is fair compensation for Patrick Lumumba, the Congolese involved in spite of himself in the murder of the English student, Meredith Kercher.

Lumumba was dragged into involvement by Amanda Knox, and precisely because of her statements spent 14 days in prison.  Then the elements gathered by the investigators completely exonerated him. For that unjust imprisonment Lumumba had requested damages of 516 thousand Euros.

In the trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox was condemned to 26 years imprisonment, her ex-fiancé, Raffaele Sollecito to 25.

Knox, precisely for her false accusations against Lumumba, was condemned to the payment of damages of the sum of 50 thousand Euros with an interim award, immediately applicable, of ten thousand Euros.  Neither Lumumba nor his lawyer wished to comment on the decision of the Court of Cassation.




Thursday, January 07, 2010

The False Accusation By Amanda Knox Against Patrick Lumumba

Posted by The Machine

This incisive video by our main poster ViaDellaPergola explores Amanda Knox’s accusations against Patrick Lumumba - made even though she knew very well he had then been at his bar.

These accusations resulted in Patrick’s arrest and imprisonment on the morning after the night that she first voiced them. Knox first made the claims as a WITNESS and so no lawyer was present, and so the statement was not entered into evidence.

But later on 6 November 2007 when she was in her prison cell as a SUSPECT she wrote her claims all out again. This purely voluntary written statement (alibi version 4)  by definition puts her at the scene of the crime. 

This written statement WAS entered into evidence - and not retracted or modified in any way until all believability had flown, and Patrick was already back home with his family.

In fact, it was not until she was on the stand on June 12 and 13 2009 that Amanda Knox came up with Alibi Version 5. This is the one never supported by Sollecito - where she claimed she was at his place all night.  Amanda Knox STILL has no alibi that stands firm.

Knox is being prosecuted by the Republic of Italy, not by Lumumba, on a calunnia charge. 

Explanation of

calunnia

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”Ÿs 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.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Our Letter To Senator Maria Cantwell: Please Don’t Take Precipitate Action Till Full Facts Are In

Posted by Highly-Concerned Washington-State Voters


We are all regular voters who live in the Seattle area. We have signed the original of this letter to our US senator, Maria Cantwell, and sent it off to her Capitol office. 

We think we increasingly mirror a very large minority or even a majority of cool-headed but concerned Seattle-area voters who would like to see her speaking up for truth and real justice in this case.

And for the rights of the true victim.

We are not running a campaign. We don’t think Senator Cantwell needs hard persuasion. We think once she immerses herself deeply in the real facts, those facts will tell her the right thing to do.

Dear Senator Cantwell

A number of your well-informed constituents are wondering about your motivations for suddenly injecting yourself into the Meredith Kercher murder trial debate, immediately following last week’s unanimous guilty ruling for American Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy. 

We wonder because you said you were saddened by the verdict and had serious questions about the Italian judicial system and whether anti-Americanism had tainted the trial.  But then you went on to describe how you knew for a fact that the prosecution in the case did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Amanda Knox was guilty. 

We’re confused because it seems to us that if you had been following the case closely enough to be certain that not enough evidence had been presented by the prosecution that you would consequently have a very clear idea of how the Italian judicial system functioned and know whether or not anti-American sentiment had impacted the ruling. 

So, as a group of concerned Seattle area constituents who have been following every detail of this case since poor Meredith Kercher was murdered, we humbly offer you our assistance towards bringing things into proper perspective.

Were you aware that Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian from Giovinazzo, Bari was convicted right alongside Ms. Knox?  Mr. Sollecito received some of the best legal representation available in Italy, including senior lawyer and parliamentary deputy Giulia Bongiorno who won fame as a criminal lawyer when she successfully defended former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti a few years ago. 

Ms Bongiorno has said nothing about anti-American sentiment having influenced the ruling against her client, nor has she complained about fundamental problems with the way this trial was run.  Instead, she is now completely focused on looking ahead to the appeal process as her next opportunity to mitigate sentences or argue for her client’s innocence. 

This should assuage some of your concerns.

But perhaps you are referring to the extra year Ms. Knox received in comparison to Mr. Sollecito’s 25-year sentence as a clear example of anti-American sentiment?  That’s a fair concern; however, in Italy the jury panel for a trial is required to submit a report within 90 days of a ruling describing in great detail the logic used to convict and sentence, or absolve a defendant. 

For example, in Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher last year Judge Paolo Micheli issued an exhaustive 106 page report outlining the panel’s labored decision-making process, in sometimes excruciating detail.  We can expect no less for the trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, and when that report is issued we will have our best look yet at the evidence that was used to convict the pair.

We suggest that you seriously reconsider “bringing” Hillary Clinton and the State Department into the debate.

Consider that State Department spokesman Ian Kelly stated that the US embassy in Rome had been tasked with monitoring the trial and had visited Ms. Knox in jail, and several embassy representatives were known to have attended the reading of the ruling last week. In addition, an American reporter based in Italy who has followed the case from the outset said last night on CNN that the trial had been monitored from the outset.

Secretary Clinton has clearly been very busy with far more critical tasks than to have maintained a personal familiarity with the Kercher murder case; however, Kelly did state that in response to recent press reports Secretary Clinton had taken time to look things over and has yet to find any indication that Knox did not receive a fair trial.  You surely realize that Secretary Clinton will not be interested making public comments regarding an ongoing legal process in a sovereign, democratic nation that is a long-time ally of the United States.

Also note that on the Italian side of the equation, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told his countrymen that he has yet to receive any criticisms of the trial from the office of the US Secretary of State and that the fierce criticism of the case by the Seattle based Amanda Knox support group should not be confused as the position of the US government. 

And Luciano Ghirga, Knox’s own Italian lawyer, has stated that he does not question the validity of the trial and that he believes it was conducted correctly. Furthermore, regarding your desire to have Clinton become involved, Ghirga concluded, “That’s all we need, Hillary Clinton involved”¦this sort of thing does not help us in any way.” 

Perhaps he is referring to the heated discussions in the Italian press these days regarding the strong criticisms of Italy’s legal system coming from a country that supports Guantanamo Bay, the death penalty, and other perceived injustices of a far-from-perfect American legal system.

As these examples demonstrate, and from your own humble constituents’ well-informed perspective, there is nothing out of the ordinary or alarming about the Meredith Kercher murder trial process.  The prosecutors and defense teams will continue to debate the evidence throughout the appeal process, just as we should expect them to. 

If you do decide to go forward with your inquiry, despite significant opposition from your constituents, we recommend that you do so only after becoming more familiar with the evidence presented during the trial, as presented by a neutral source. The family and friends of the US citizen recently convicted are probably not neutral.

If you take a good look, you will see that there are checks and balances in the Italian way of achieving justice, just as there are in the American system. In the final analysis, it is completely as Beatrice Cristiani, deputy judge for the Kercher murder trial, put it: “As far as I am aware our system of justice does not make provision for interference from overseas.”

Fully signed by all of us in the original sent to Senator Maria Cantwell


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Full Roundup On The Verdict, Sentencing And Reactions Here For Sure Sunday Latest

Posted by Peter Quennell

There is so very much to report.

And obviously we are playing catch-up here after yesterday’s crashes despite some amazing support from our hoster in Phoenix. .

This site is very demanding. with the YouTubes, Powerpoints, images, and Acrobat versions of images. The site runs stable on a shared server with up to 300 or so online but above that it loses stability..

TJMK will move to a dedicated server starting next week. We are not going anywhere. An average of 300 readers puts TJMK in THE TOP TWO PERCENT of all sites visited in the world.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/05 at 04:00 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Trials 2008 & 2009Massei prosecutionComments here (2)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Summations: Ghirga Finishes, Mignini Wraps Up. And Knox May Speak Tomorrow

Posted by Peter Quennell

The conclusion of Mr Ghirga’s remarks from Alan Pizzey’s report for CBS

A lawyer for Amanda Knox wrapped up her defense in the Italian murder trial today with an emotional, at times tearful, appeal to the court to acquit her of charges that she murdered roommate Meredith Kercher.

The lawyer appealed for sympathy for Kercher, but also for Knox. “We suffer for what happened to Meredith,” Ghirga told the jurors, referring to the murder victim, “but also for the future of Amanda.”

Ghirga teared up at the end of his summation and apologized for a little “emotion.” Turning to Knox’s parents, he told the court, “Amanda’s parents ask you for her acquittal. There is no Knox clan, just two desperate parents.”

“The prosecutor is right about one thing, you should not forget the victim, Meredith,” he said. “And there is one thing the prosecution should have done for Meredith, and that is an investigation done well from the beginning, with rigor.”

Ghirga concluded by saying, “Amanda asks you for her life. Give Amanda her life back, by acqutting her.”

And Mr Mignini’s remarks translated from Il Giornale

The Rudy Guede is guilty ploy “does not relieve Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, his co-defendants” in the reconstruction of the murder of Meredith Kercher made by the prosecutor of Perugia….

The magistrate said that “Rudy has been tried” by Knox’s and Sollecito’s lawyers. “Accused of everything without the ability to defend himself…. ”  Amanda and Raffaele claim that they were not in Via della Pergola but that they know everything about how Rudy has smashed a window with a rock as he climbed and as he raped Meredith.

Their defenses have claimed contamination of biological traces that match them but insist they match Guede one hundred per cent. There ‘s been a selective contamination? “.

Amanda was like a compressed spring and “felt resentment” toward Meredith Kercher. “Raffaele Sollecito always followed Amanda and tried to please her. And they were full of drugs and alcohol on the night.”

The defense is allowed to have the last word and Amanda Knox may speak in her defense tomorrow.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Could The Italian Authorities Be Starting A Wave Of Libel + Slander Investigations?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Nick Pisa’s report on Sky News about the charges Amanda Knox’s parents are being investigated for.

The sliming of the prosecution, the police and investigators, and even the many judges in the process, never seemed to our legal contacts like a particularly good idea.

The CIA operatives trial we referred to in this post (over which the United States and the Italian prime minister could exert ZERO influence, please note) shows that Italy has a long arm and tough laws.

And the very independent judges and prosecutors are willing to take a very hard line to enforce them.

A Seattle lawyer who propagates what seems to us a pretty daffy and unfounded view of the case, made statements in the recent report by Italian network LA7 which don’t seem to have gone over very well in Italy. They may have attracted some official attention.

We dont know if the many statements made to an American audience on for example the ABC, CNN and CBS networks (most recently by New-York-based lawyer John Q Kelly) could attract investigations. But we do hear they might have all been taken note of, and it is possible the US networks might be monitoring their coverage of the case from now on.

ABC and KING-5 Seattle, both highly negative about Italy in recent months, may be particularly vulnerable.

And if and when the one administrative charge against Mr Mignini is dropped, an American crime-fiction writer and wannabe real-crime reporter might also perhaps find himself in the Italian legal cross-hairs for some very odd things he has said and written.

it will be interesting to see if any of the US-based media pick up on and report objectively on this development in Italy. Someone taking bets?

*******

Update #1: The Associated Press has just fed the defamation story to its client media outlets in the United States.

Update #2: The AP report has now gone viral. As of right now (2:00 pm New York time) Google is returning over 1500 hits. So the word is out: watch one’s tongue where Italian justice is concerned, or there may be consequences.

Update #3: Here is a safe bet based on some insider buzz. This development will make the US State Department and the American Embassy in Rome very happy. They have long wanted the sliming of Italy to stop.

Update #4: It sounds like it might make several million citizens of Seattle very happy too. They have long wanted the Mellases and Knoxes to simply stick to the truth - and address, you know, the hard evidence.


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