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Series Sollecito team

Monday, March 03, 2014

As Knox & Sollecito Try To Separate Themselves, Each Is Digging The Other In Deeper

Posted by willsavive




1. Sollecito Blabs Yet Again

One of an increasingly long list of “gotchas” for the prosecution, flowing from their tendencies to talk way, way too much. 

In a recent exclusive interview on an Italian TV news broadcast, Sollecito said he has several “unanswered questions” for his former girlfriend, Amanda Knox.

“You all know that the focus was only through Amanda to her behavior, to her peculiar behaviour, but whatever it is, I’m not guilty for it. “Why do they convict me? Why do put me on the corner and say that I’m guilty just because in their minds I have to be guilty because I was her boyfriend. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

This adds yet another waiver to the many different explanations Sollecito provided over the years about the same details.

In their “official” story, in the part that remained consistent, Knox and Sollecito both claimed that Knox left his flat the morning after Kercher’s murder and returned home, where she noticed the door left wide open and witnessed blood spots in the bathroom.

Knox claimed that she found it odd and just assumed that one of her roommates was menstruating and left blood behind. She proceeded to take a shower and returned to Sollecito’s flat and ate breakfast.

2. Telling Narrative Change

“Certainly I asked her questions,” Sollecito explained in his latest interview. “Why did she take a shower? Why did she spend so much time there?” When asked what responses he had for these question Sollecito replied, “I don’t have answers.”

In the interview, Sollecito said Knox left his apartment to take a shower, then returned hours later looking “very agitated.”

Yet, in an interview with Kate Mansey on 4 November 2007 just two days after the murder, and two days prior to arrest, Sollecito said:

But when she went into the bathroom she saw spots of blood all over the bath and sink. That’s when she started getting really afraid and ran back to my place because she didn’t want to go into the house alone.


3. RS Differs Sharply From Knox

This is a far cry from what Knox said in her email also dated 4 November 2007 to friends and family, Knox wrote:

I returned to raffael’s place. after we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen i told raffael about what i had seen in the house over breakfast. the strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit left in the toilet. he suggested i call one of my roommates, so I called filomena.” (6th paragraph).

The discrepancies between Knox’s version and Sollecito’s version is strikingly different.

  • Raffele claims Knox was visibly distraught when she returned and that this was the focus of discussion (i.e. being the first thing they discussed).

  • Knox claims that she did not even bring up the bizarre circumstances back at her apartment until “after” they finished mopping the kitchen floor.


4. My Analysis Of The Above

In his latest statement, Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox, believing that there is far more evidence against her than against him. But:


  • Sollecito forgets to mention the bloody barefoot prints at Knox’s apartment, found to be in Kercher’s blood attributed to him.

  • Also the knife found in his apartment that scientists say was the murder weapon.

  • Also his DNA found on Meredith Kercher’s bra that was found in her room, even though Sollecito claims that he was never ever in that room.

  • Also his own strange behavior, which includes providing a false alibi (saying he and Knox were at a party with a friend on the night of the murder).

Also several conflicting other versions.

But what’s there to question if you [Raffaele] were with Knox the whole day and night of Meredith Kercher’s murder?

It appears as though Sollecito is alluding to the notion that he knows something far more than he is saying; yet, he is being very careful with his words—only providing us with a hint of this.

His latest statement is a clear attempt to distance himself from Knox.

5. Sollecito Freaks Out On Twitter


Sollecito appeared on Twitter recently, for what he claimed was to answer questions and clear his name.

He was very outspoken of his innocence and had no problem in his witty, sarcastic responses to those who questioned his innocence.

However, when I asked him about the Mansey interview he denied claiming that he was with Knox at a friend’s party on the night of the murder [huh?!].

Sollecito disappeared for a couple of days, came back to Twitter writing only in Italian, and ceased responding to any more questions.

Is it possible that Sollecito will turn on Knox altogether at some point when the pressure mounts over the next year? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…



Cross-posted from Savive’s Corner


Thursday, February 27, 2014

What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)




Under the table & over the top

The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.

A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation – and the whole justice proceedings – on trial.

The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.

The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.

But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.

Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire  (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.

It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.

The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.




(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)


A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”

Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.




(photo by Ansa)


At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.

The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.

It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.

The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.

Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” – the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement. 

Aggressive Digressions

After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements). 




(Palace of Justice of Florence – photo by FrederickStudio)


A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.

Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?

A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.

Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” – which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.

Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.

I use the word “ rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.

Introducing to ‘Halves’

In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss ‘Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga,  the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks). 

She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying ‘basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.

The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him.  And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .






Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.

The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech. 

Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.

Primordial Fossils

Only after recollecting all these things in the ‘aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.

It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.   

Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.   

The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.

Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.

The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings – what she sees as such – which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.

It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.

The ‘topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as ‘main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and ‘the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length). 

In the same ‘knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection ‘the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.

Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the ‘principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.

But the bulk of her defence hinged around those ‘mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.

It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.

Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the ‘investigators’ errors’, their ‘excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.

The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.

The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.






At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.

Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.

She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.

This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.

She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils – like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint – putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct. 

The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.

The purpose behind the Black Curtain

The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached. 

We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?

The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence. 

Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.

She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument.  Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.

From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence,  the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.

But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.

In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.






Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.

What was most stunning to me – as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech – was   the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement. 

The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife”  that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.

All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.

She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.

She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti”  (waffling, raving).

I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half – and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.

Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists,  “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different;  and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder). 

The Mark of Infamy

Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.

Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.

She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.

She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.

The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The ‘excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.

Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.

If you consider how the police are responsible for ‘excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.






This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea. 

In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.

I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low. 
 
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a ‘psychic’. 
 
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a ‘translator’).

She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.

She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.

She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.

As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.

The Questura of Perugia used to hire ‘language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.

The Questuras of some bigger cities also have ‘cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.

To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.

Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.

This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.

But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a ‘psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.

But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.

This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also – a further reason – because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.

She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health. 

The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it.  A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate”  for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.

Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.




(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)


Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.

But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting   an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause. 

Conclusion

A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.

We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot”  to mention another half of the phone call recordings.

Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers;  and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot ‘under the table’ help from some politician.

Expressing their intent to ‘scorch’ officers and ‘destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by ‘running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.

Never mind.






After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.

Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it ‘pathetic’).  I did not listen to his argument myself,  I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.

One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.






This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a ‘honour bound’.

He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.

Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has ‘deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before. 

If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow ‘separate’  his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just ‘less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.

Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as‘I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.






Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse – for example the rather psychopathic ‘Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.

Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of,  there would be a possibility for a ‘casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated.  But to see him as ‘less guilty’ or as ‘rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.   







Posted on 02/27/14 at 09:24 PM by Machiavelli (Yummi)Click here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesAppeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Raff SollecitoSollecito team
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Power Shift In Italy Very Unfavorable To Anyone So Stupid As To Thumb Their Noses At Italian Justice

Posted by Peter Quennell




Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi

Mr Renzi was sworn in by the President of the Italian Republic on Saturday as the new Prime Minister of Italy. As a top German newssite remarks, he is looking like a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Mr Renzi is colorful and dynamic and very popular, and may become one of the most effective leaders in recent Italian history and a major player on the world stage. Mr Renzi comes from FLORENCE where he was the popular and effective mayor.

Unlike the Berlusconi faction in parliament (which once included Giulia Bongiorno) Mr Renzi is a big friend of law and order, police, and justice. In the image at bottom you can see him opening the huge Palace of Justice in Florence with all the top officers of the court who just organized the appeal.

This is very bad news for Sollecito and Knox and their foolish gangs, as Mr Renzi will be very unlikely to look kindly on that same Florence court - and any court in Italy including, especially, Cassation - being flouted by convicted perps and made to look weak.

If the new Minister of Justice sends an extradition request to his desk, you can bet that he’ll send it on to the United States. And the US, very keen to stay on good terms with Italy as one of its 2-3 most reliable allies, will exhibit little if any resistance to the extradition of Knox.

More bad news for Sollecito and Knox

The sardonic Italian media is paying very close attention to the ongoing game of each of them pushing the other closer to the flames, and the almost-certain prospect of the two of them and Rudy Guede explosively flying apart.

The Italian media is picking up on signs that Sollecito has become highly resentful at his on-again off-again rejection by Knox, especially as many or most in Italy believe it was Knox who wielded the big knife that killed Meredith to which the other two had maybe not signed on in advance.

There are additional pressures headed down the pike. First, Rudy Guede will be given brief study leaves soon, and under Italy’s new “clear the over-crowded prisons (somewhat)” law Guede could even soon see himself released and free to talk.

Plus the investigators examining the criminal defamation of the justice system and officers of the court by Knox and Sollecito in their exceptionally foolish books are believed very close to announcing that a case against them has been made.

Sollecito’s father on national TV has already admitted that Raffaele lied about a deal to get him off, and this on Knox seems an open & shut case. Knox and Sollecito might face additional sentences of 3 to 7 years if they keep provoking a hard line.

Here are two articles translated by Miriam which summarise (not perfectly in our terms but good enough) the signs of the growing divide and the evidence that will see Knox and Sollecito back in prison.

Vitadamamma

Amanda Knox Will Return to Italy and Go to Jail, as Will Raffaele Sollecito, While Rudy Guede Will Be Freed

This scenario is not only plausible, but seems to be the natural outcome of the last sentencing of the Mez case. Few believe that the Corte di Cassazione could overturn, again, the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence.

So Amanda Knox will return to Italy and go to jail.  For Amanda Knox, “her extradition is quite possible” Christopher Blakesely say without equivocation. He is one of the main experts on such penal proceeding in the United States.

The day after the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence, Giovanna Botteri, the RAI correspondent in the USA, reported something similar, underlining that Amanda rushed to CNN to cry all her tears didnt help.

Knox uses even the social networks to scream again her innocence, but the law says something different.

Even Italian popular opinion seems not in Amanda’s favor : Perugia,  through the social networks, has literally screamed its disagreement and displeasure against Amanda (read: L’Urlo di Perugia: a Facebook page against Knox:  from the people of Perugia)....

Rudy is at the moment the only one sentenced in jail…. How does Rudy reconstruct that night?  Rudy swears to having consensual sex with Mez.

After the intimate relation Guede went to the bathroom and from there he heard her scream, rushing to her room he found her in a pool of blood, and tried to help her. Realizing that Meredith was dead, in shock he ran away.

On the plausibility of this reconstruction, the judges had numerous doubts, to the point of finding Guede guilty and sentencing him.

This reconstruction, according to his lawyers, explains not only the biological traces of Rudy all over the crime scene but also his flight.

How does Amanda reconstruct that night?

Amanda continues to sustain that she did not wield the knife that killed Mez, that she heard her scream while she was in the kitchen and that she covered her ears like a scared child.

The “whys” are many and heavy.  Why did Amanda accused Patrick Lumumba, incarcerated for 14 days while innocent, due to her ignominious accusations? Why on the knife used for the murder are there traces of Mez and Amanda?

Knox DNA was on the handle of the knife that killed Meredith: only because she used it to cut potatoes? The alibi of the potato has always been used by Knox and her lawyers, but it is plausible?

And Raffaele Sollecito?

One of the most decisive evidence against Sollecito in the first trial was the bloody foot print on the bathroom math. In the appeal process that footprint was challenged, it was said that it could be not Sollecito’s and was ascribed to Guede with benefit of doubt .

Now it seems certain that Rudy was wearing shoes ,as is demonstrated by other prints at the scene of the crime, thus the bloody footprint goes back to being ascribed to Sollecito.

Why is Rudy Guede in jail while Amanda and Raffaele are on the loose?

After the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence the appeal to the Cassazione,  was announced, while waiting for the Cassazione, the guilty Raffaele Sollecito had to hand over his passport in order to make it impossible for him to leave Italy.

Right after the sentence Sollecito was stopped in Udine about 60km from the Italy/Austrian border and about 40km from the Slovenian border.

Before the verdict of Corte D’Assise d’Appello of Florence Sollecito was a free man, and therefore legally in possession of a passport and the right to cross the border.

Sollecito, instead of waiting for the verdict in the court room, around 12 o’clock that day left with his new girlfriend and arrived in Udine [in north-east Ital]..

Around night time during a snow storm the two of them took refuge in an hotel , and the owner recognizing Sollecito by name, alerted the police that promptly arrived in order to confiscate Sollecito’s passport as decided by the Court.

Sollecito told the media that he had no intention of fleeing the Country.

One can ask what Sollecito was doing in Udine then, a few hours after his guilty verdict. To excuse Sollecito one can perhaps say that the young man was overpowered by anguish and fear, in fact up to today

Sollecito had never seemed to want to evade justice, instead he was usually in the Courtroom.

Amanda in contrast was not sanctioned with any precautionary measures.  She arrived in America as a free citizen after the not guilty verdict.

Now,  if and when the Cassazione confirms the verdict of the last proceeding, America needs to extradite Amanda and remit her in the hands of the Italian Justice… 

America is tied to Italy by sanction accords by name of international laws, thus if the Cassazione upholds the guilty verdict, Amanda must return to Italy. Nothing makes one think that America could oppose an extradition.

Rudy Guede is the only guilty one in jail at the moment.  His detention was confirmed after a fast track trial, decided by his layers, and his detention was 16 years in jail. (with time off for the fast track trial)

Not many know that while the doors of the prison may soon open for Amanda and Raffaele,, for Rudy instead “freedom” may be close by.

Thanks to the new decree passed last December by the Parliament, Rudy could leave the prison where he is detained. Guede is one of 3 thousand detainees who could benefit from the “empty the prisons” decree.

 

Menti Informatiche

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are close to a break up after the sentencing..

Raffaele wrote Amanda a letter saying: “Amanda I am tired. I don’t want to be punished, neither do I want to continue to give justifications for matters that concern you and not me”.

Amanda says “I understand him but: I want to say that Raffaele is not my slave and I am not his oppressor. Raffaele has many reasons to be resentful, but not with me.”

The bond between the two, accused of the homicide of Meredith Kercher, is cracking. A bond that lasted from that horrible night of November1st 2007, when in a house in Perugia, via della Pergola, their English friend was savagely killed.

Looking at a concrete possibility that the Judges of the Cassazione will confirm the sentencing which condemned Amanda and Raffaele to 28 years of jail for her and 26 for him, the two ex-lovers are starting to distance themselves from each other.

Amanda took a picture of herself holding a sign that read “we are innocent” so as to underline a common faith, from which Raffaele can’t dissociate. Not anymore.

Raffaele after six years may be starting to understand that being Amanda’s “fiancé” did not help him at all. He said this to Giulio, in an interview a few months ago, and now in an interview to CNN:

In the Judges head I must be guilty because I was Amanda’s boy-friend. It does not make any sense for me. According to the Judges because in some way I supported Amanda, I must be implicated. According to me this is aberrant. My standing has not been just ignored, but completely forgotten. In all the proceedings I was not part of them unless for the scientific investigations.

For many, many hearings the topic was my DNA, but nobody said nothing of the reason why I was accused of the homicide except the fact that I was Amanda’s boy-friend and because I was with her very often and spent many nights with her, I had to be in some way connected with the homicide.

Is Raffaele’s defense thinking of ditching the girl? Is Raffaele ready to tell the truth of what happened that night? Now Raffaele is in Bari, and is thinking over what happened to him. He reveals:

I discussed with my friends and family the possibility of going abroad a year ago, but I cannot accept the fact of leaving all the people who are dear to me for a theory. I had no motive to hurt Meredith Kercher.

Now I have no light in my future. They took away my passport and I.D. card, and I do not know if I can realize my dreams, or anything I want to do. I do not accept that my future is destroyed.

Too often, though, Amanda and Raffaele forget to mention that Meredith’s life really was destroyed.

Against Amanda and Raffaele there are scientific evidence, bloody footprints on the floor, DNA on the bra clasp and knife, and the many contradictions in their alibis.

From the beginning their behavior caused the carabinieri to be suspicious of them.

Without forgetting the spontaneous confession of Amanda of being in the house while her friend was being murdered. “I have a vision of being in the kitchen, covering my ears while they kill her.” She even gave the name of the killer Patrick Lumumba, her boss, who was then discovered to be innocent.

The attempt to divert the investigation, pointing the finger against an innocent man, is evidence of the quilt of Amanda.

Even Raffaele changed versions more than once. In one of the interrogations he said Amanda was not with him that night and arrived at his apartment in the early hours of the morning. He then said he smoked too much marijuana and could not recall what happened that night.

In the meantime Rudy Guede, 27 years old, condemned to 16 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, with others, writes:

Now that my verdict is definite, for too long the judicial reasoning have been subjected to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings…  I would like to point out that I do not accept being labeled as a homeless man,  drifter, and a thief; when instead I had a splendid family and precious and clean friendships in Perugia.

Amanda Knox’s defense team wants to pass him off as a habitual thief. Rudy adds: “ “Meredith’s house was turned upside down, someone simulated a break in. I was not condemned for this simulated break-in.”

If it was not Rudy, then who?


Posted on 02/24/14 at 08:31 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Appeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+News media & moviesThe wider contextsItalian contextRaff SollecitoSollecito teamSollecito Book
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our First Reviews Of The Painstaking BBC-3 Report First Aired In The UK On 17 February

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Review by SomeAlibi

Watching “Is Amanda Knox Guilty” was a funny thing. I suspect for people following the case closely, on either side, it was a sobering experience. Not because it changed perspectives, but simply to see how quickly one hour passed and the necessary trade offs that had to be made to fit within that schedule. The opportunity cost was a level of detail to which in-depth followers have become accustomed.

Just one example: Sollecito and Knox’s partial alibi that they were checking their emails on the night of November 1st was explained as being challenged by two broken computers. Perhaps, (although unlikely to be the material issue) but where was the much more salient fact that their ISP records showed that was conclusively untrue? Where was the challenge: if you say you’re checking emails to establish part of your alibi against a murder and it is shown to be absolutely untrue, what does that suggest…?

There were many other “clinchers” that had to be let go in the name of brevity. But it wasn’t that sort of documentary - it was neither a case for the prosecution or a case for the defence: it put the main suggestions at the level of detail that was possible and it allowed both sides to speak to the points at that level of detail.

I find it interesting that there has been such a howl of bias from those supporting Knox and Sollecito. Objectively there’s no good ground for it: the documentary allowed both sides forward in equal measure and no pro-justice watcher would celebrate it as a pro-conviction piece.

The arguments were balanced, the video, audio and picture quality eye-opening. For those on the other side, their markedly different reaction appears to be that the documentary has broken the taboo that The Evidence Shall Not be Told. The idea that there is an easy-to-consume piece that puts forth the case and defence equally is seen as a disaster.

The campaign for Knox continues to be obsessed, beyond all things, with trying but now failing to make sure the public doesn’t know the basis of the case. For a long time they hoped to drown out the multitude of terribly inconvenient truths within it by screaming “no evidence”. ‘Is Amanda Knox Guilty’ put the lie to that conclusively, but fairly, and now many hundreds of thousands, perhaps soon to be millions will ask themselves why those supporting Knox and Sollecito have had to adopt this tactic at all.

If they really are innocent, why has the case against them been so comprehensively white-washed in the US?

The conclusion, is rather simple and I saw it encapsulated on a large television screen last night with the repeated clips of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito outside the cottage kissing and “comforting” each other: there for a fraction of a second, shown several times, is Amanda Knox, unable to stop herself glancing at the camera filming her and stealing her gaze away again very quickly pretending she hasn’t.

It’s a look that says everything: furtive, pretending it didn’t happen, immediately covering up in a way that poses a stark proposition: why on earth would you do that if you had nothing to hide?  And like so much of the multiple collapsing alibis and non-working answers and the desperately dishonest fingers-in-the-ear “no-evidence” pretence of those supporting her, is a proposition that can withstand no scrutiny.

Review by SeekingUnderstanding

What a relief to watch a very clear and unbiased narrative. The quality of the visual information was top rate - seeing so much original footage, and presented as it was in a logical time sequence.

Even though I was already familiar with the evidence, including the photographic material, I found it very helpful to see it all presented in this way. I appreciated, too, hearing and seeing the excerpts in original Italian (along with English translations). It added even more authenticity.

I hope that, at long last, this will have helped some - or hopefully many- people to see that the two ‘camps’ in this case do not divide into AK supporters and AK ‘haters’. There are the FoA and their followers ...and there are the others who seek the objective truth and justice.

If hate has been generated in some quarters, then the Knox (and Sollecito) camps need to look to themselves and their own behaviour. This programme was important in the tone it set.

I actually found it to be quite lenient towards the defence on a number of counts.

There were several instances where the defence point of view could have been strongly countered by known and established facts, but, bending over in fairness, these were left unanswered.

Here are just four instances :

1) In the discussion around the blood and DNA left in the bathroom - Dr. Gino’s assertion that ‘the blood/DNA ‘could have come from anywhere’ might have been countered with AK’s own declaration that the bathroom was previously clean. Dr. Gino also suggested a very improbable scenario of ‘it could be saliva’ (on the bidet?). Cassation emphatically said that it must be shown HOW any suggested contamination could have occurred.

2) There was a missed opportunity in discussing the knife presumed to be the murder weapon to mention Sollecito’s lame, unreal excuse of ‘Meredith pricked her hand’ etc.

3) Anne Bremner stated ‘Amanda could not have turned overnight…into a murderer’. Attention could have been drawn to many things, both physical events (her predilection for cruel pranks, including a staged burglary in the US, and wild parties, etc), and also many psychological indicators that would have clearly shown how her behaviour has, in fact, demonstrated consistency.

4) In the discussion re the bra clasp, the delay partially being caused by the defence themselves was not mentioned. Also, detailed discussion re the one bare footprint on the bathmat was omitted.

Since there is, in fact, so much evidence, it must have been difficult to chose and balance what did go into the hour long programme. All in all, I feel Andrea Vogt and her team worked hard, and did very well to let the facts speak for themselves.

I hope it will lay a few fictions and myths to rest.






Review by Earthling

What is the “Amanda Knox trial” (really the Meredith Kercher murder trial) really about? Is it about an innocent 20-year-old pretty white girl being railroaded by the medieval Italian justice system?

Or is this actually a murder trial, about the fact that a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious young woman, innocently trying to improve her life by study abroad, was brutally murdered?

I believe it’s the latter, and the BBC3 production gives us one of the first truly balanced reports on this trial.

The filmmaker starts from the beginning, and takes us through the murder, investigation, and various trials and appeals up to the present day. Instead of the breathless “Perils of Penelope” tone (toward Amanda Knox) that most such previous “documentaries” have taken, this one takes a sober look at the actual evidence.

Did you realize that there are luminol-revealed bare footprints in Knox’s size in the apartment? Luminol reveals blood and a few other substances; but those substances can be ruled out because the test was done six weeks after the murder, by which time those substances would have dissipated.

Blood doesn’t dissipate. This documentary shows you those bloody footprints in all their creepy glory, something never shown on American TV before.

“Is Amanda Knox Guilty” also speaks of the actual DNA evidence in the cottage linking Knox to the murder, including five mixed-DNA spots (Knox and Kercher) that tested positive for blood. Both prosecution- and defense-oriented experts are allowed to comment on this evidence, and the viewer is allowed to make up his or her own mind.

My one criticism is that a lot of the evidence against Knox (witness statements, cell phone data, fake break-in) is skimmed over or not even mentioned. Also, because the documentary quotes Rudy Guede’s position at length without any contradictory narrative, it is confusing as to whether the filmmaker might have believed him.

In the end, the filmmaker says, he was convicted of participating in the group murder. However, a stronger statement against his “I’m entirely innocent” defense would have been good.

Other than these quibbles, this is the best documentary on the Meredith Kercher murder case that I have ever seen.

Review by ZiaK

I watched the BBC programme on the Meredith Kercher case hoping for a more balanced view of the case than has been presented in the English-speaking media to date.

The documentary does present some of the evidence against Knox and Sollecito - including the bloody footprints, the mixed blood/DNA traces in the bathroom and corridor, the bra clasp, the knife DNA evidence, the strange timings of phone calls to police, the unlikelihood of the “break-in” being anything other than staged - but omits to point out that none of the other flatmates’ DNA was found in the blood traces, so saying that “it’s because Meredith and Amanda shared a flat” is misleading.

Nor does it point out that, although the murder knife was found in Sollecito’s flat, none of HIS DNA was found on it: it had only Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA.

The programme didn’t cover the cell-phone evidence, showing that neither Knox nor Sollecito were where they said they were, at the times that they claimed. The programme also repeated the “Friends of Amanda” PR soundbites, such as “there was no evidence of Amanda in the murder room” - whereas the fact that her footsteps tracked blood OUT of the room are actually evidence of her having been present IN the room before it was locked (i.e. at the time of the murder).

Furthermore, in my opinion, the narrator’s voice seemed to evince sympathy towards Amanda, rather than describing events with a passive or objective tone of voice.

As one of the translators who has participated in translating case documents (such as the judges’ reports describing why they came to their decisions), I am only too aware of the extent of evidence against Knox and Sollecito, and I would like to see knowledge of this evidence become more widespread throughout the English-speaking world.

The BBC programme is a step towards this, but in my mind, only a very small step. I hope the pace will pick up soon, and more objective and extensive knowledge of the true facts of this case will be made available to everyone so they can form a rational opinion of the case based on true understanding.






Review by Cynthia

I’ve just watched this, and it’s very good - with a huge amount of footage hitherto unseen (directed by Andrea Vogt).

For what it’s worth, I note the following points:

1) There’s no mention of Meredith’s friends who heard Amanda say ‘she fucking bled to death’ before the fact was known to anyone else. Perhaps they didn’t testify, being too distressed? If so, it’s a great pity, because it seems a veritable clincher that hasn’t been used at all.

2) The bra DNA arguments are quite extraordinary. If we can determine that we all have Neanderthal DNA (tho’ I know a lot of American fundamentalists don’t believe that mankind goes back more than 6,000 years!) I can’t for the life of me see why DNA would be unusable after a poxy delay of 12 days ...

3) The argument that the Luminol traces may indicate not barefoot treading in blood but in bleach seems absolutely unbelievable to anyone who does housework (like me!) Bleach is horrible stuff, and you really, really don’t want to be getting it on your bare skin. Even Amanda, with her vestigial domestic skills, would have noticed if she’d trodden in it.

4) Bremner says Amanda was an honor student. She wasn’t; she had funded herself (not that that’s discreditable). (Also, are honor students unable to write cursive script? The shots of her handwriting show that she can’t do joined-up writing. [Or thinking.] I don’t know whether the phrase exists in American English, but not doing joined-up writing is a term of great intellectual contempt in English.)

5) We saw Amanda’s ‘mask’ speech. This is really interesting - who would even think that masks were being put on them if they weren’t using them themselves?

6) The programme mentions the little-reported fact that another, smaller knife found at Sollecito’s also had Meredith’s DNA on it.

7) The film omits to mention Hellman’s lack of any experience in criminal trials.

8) Every shot of Amanda in the film has her talking about ‘me’ and ‘I’. She never, ever mentions Meredith - it’s all about HER suffering. She never even says ‘the murderer is out there - I wish you’d stop persecuting me and get them’.

Presumably this is because Guede is supposed to be the sole murderer - and nobody seems in the slightest bit worried that there’s no murder weapon with HIS DNA on it! (Yes, there are his turds - but that wasn’t what killed Meredith.)

9) FOA has used the fact that the recent jury took 12 hours to deliberate over the verdict as an indication that they couldn’t agree. But why not just that they were being extremely careful and re-examining everything?

10) Finally, just an observation: Maresca speaks the most beautiful Italian - you can hear every word calmly flowing past.

Review by Miriam

Much appreciated. Outside of the Porta a Porta transmissions on the case, the best I’ve seen.

I understand they had to give both sides, but I felt that the defense came out on the losing side. I thought it funny that it was implied that since they only tested for blood it could of been saliva.

I don’t believe even her supporters would argue that Knox was so quirky as to brush her teeth in the bidet! Or maybe she spit in the bidet, in which case Meredith would have had every reason to complain about her bathroom habits!

Now if only this or something like this would air in the U.S.






Review by Sara

This is actually one of the most objective and well-researched reports I have seen on the case and I am very happy that BBC has managed to be so unbiased.

It presents both sides of the story equally well and does an excellent job of countering the extremely silly “no evidence” argument that the FOAkers like to repeat at equal intervals.

Regardless of what one believes, I think the documentary will at least succeed in convincing most people that there is indeed sufficient evidence against the two of them, and Italy’s judicial system is not crazy to convict people without any evidence.

My favourite part was when the defense DNA expert (can’t recall her name) tried to explain away the mixed blood evidence by saying that one of them could have had a nose bleed, and the other could have cut her hand in the same place leading to mixed blood.

Come on already, what are we? Kindergartens making excuses for not handing in homework? What is the possibility that both of them would bleed in exactly the same places not once or twice but multiple times? I think anyone with a bit of sense can see that they are clutching at straws.

However, I was a bit disappointed that few things were missed out. For instance, the fact that Guede’s footprints led straight out of the house, the fact that Amanda’s lamp was found without any obvious reason in Meredith’s room, Amanda’s extremely odd midnight call to her mom that she conveniently “forgot”, her million showers despite her concern towards “water conservation” etc.

Sollecito’s multiple changing stories were not really elaborated upon (the story in which he went to a party, the one in which he checked emails, the one in which he pricked Meredith etc etc).

Also, inconsistencies between their accounts of various events could have been pointed out (Was Filomena’s door open or close? Did AK call Filomena from the cottage or from Sollecito’s house? etc).

Witness accounts were not given any screen space either. I think touching upon these would have made the documentary even more impressive.

That said, I understand that the team has done the best they would within the limited time they had, and everything just cannot be accommodated within one hour.

So, all in all, kudos to the team and BBC for a job well done.

Review by Odysseus

I though it was a very competent overview of the case. After so much pro-defendant spin in the MSM (no doubt engineered by the American defendant’s PR outfit), it was refreshing to have a sane, measured and rational presentation. The victim deserves no less.

Congratulations to BBC3 and to the programme makers. It’s good to know that the BBC of blessed memory hasn’t been entirely dumbed-down nor intimidated by “partial outside interests”, the latter being director Andrea Vogt’s own description of the forces intent on muddying the waters in this case.





Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Congratulations To The BBC For A Report Emphasizing The Sheer Extensiveness Of The Evidence

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[From the BBC report: Meredith the night before the cruel, deadly attack with her Halloween friends]


This is the painstaking and obviously expensive report by Andrea Vogt and Paul Russell with interviews in London, Seattle and Perugia.

It was aired by the BBC on 17 February. Considerable time is allocated to defense lawyers and experts and the Knox family and Ann Bremner of the FOA taking their best shots at explaining how Knox could maybe have not been involved.

Still, the sheer mass of the evidence remains as the 80,000 pound elephant in the room, lacking any hint of a realistic alternative explanation. Three people committed the horrific attack, including Rudy Guede and two others.

Only Knox and Sollecito remain pointed to by dozens of evidence points as those two others. Not one single evidence point indicates anyone else was involved. The Masssei trial court got it right as the Nencini appeal court just confirmed.

We will enquire if we can embed the hour-long video. But as it may be picked up by US and other foreign media outlets, we will start by simply summarizing it soon.  Assessents by those who have already seen it are welcomed.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hard Questions By Italian Journalist Giuseppe Castellini For Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above: Giuseppe Castellini of Giornale dell Umbria has long exposed the Knox/Sollecito lies]

1. Overview Of Italian Media Takes

The fast-growing satires of Knox and Sollecito in Italy described in our previous post are not just emerging in a vacuum. 

The many tough crime-show comperes and crime reporters in Italy have rarely let Knox or Sollecito get away with any of their lies. One example was when Bruno Vespa, the host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show, forced Francesco Sollecito to admit to Italy that his son lied extensively in Honor Bound. Another example is when Oggi published some of Knox’s lies and they were rapidly exposed. For seemingly endorsing Knox’s lies Oggi will face trial for obstruction of justice. 

There are countless other examples where Sollecito and Knox have been exposed as liars. The super-sharp editor of the Giornale dell Umbria, Giuseppe Castellini, has just published this challenge to Sollecito who had absurdly had claimed that nobody ever wanted to ask him any questions in court.

2. Giuseppe Castellini Questions RS

The translation is by Miriam. 

Murder of Meredith:  a few questions for Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty and condemned to 25 years by the Appeals Court of Florence, for the murder of the English student Meredith Kercher (for the same crime Amanda Knox was also found guilty and Rudy Guede is already serving a definite sentence of 16 years) has stated that he was never questioned in court, because no one ever asked him.

For the record and in order to have a complete picture at, it should be remembered that during the investigation, Sollecito twice took advantage of his right to not respond to the questions of the PM Mignini.

So if it’s true that the prosecutors, in all the trials never asked to question him in court, neither did he ask to be, limiting himself to giving several times making spontaneous statements, without being cross examined.

However, this is not the real point. The fact is that Raffaele could not or did not want to respond to the questions of the investigators.

His version was always brought forth in detail by his lawyers, obviously, but that is not the same thing.

Important questions remain to which Raffaele did not answer directly during cross examination by the Prosecutors.  Let’s try to summarize some crucial unanswered ones. Who knows if Raffaele will ever decide to respond in detail right here on these pages even though – at the moment – it seems improbable. We address him directly, sure that he reads these pages.

1. The first time that you were questioned in Questura you said that the first of November 2007 (Meredith was murdered the night between the first and the second of November) after a walk through downtown Perugia (before that you and Amanda have been in the house in via della Pergola). You came home around 08.00pm while Amanda come back much later around 01.00am, you then changed your version saying that you had always been together.  Your first statement seem like a distancing from Amanda, in those hours nobody knows what she did, while the second one has a complete different flavor.  Why did you radically changed your version?

2. It’s proved by the findings (even if your lawyers contested it) that the computer in your house was activated for about half an hour from 05.32am till little after 06.00am of the second of November.  For the experts of the Police it was certainly a human interaction.  You, instead declare that you and Amanda were sleeping.  So who was it then that was using your PC at that hour? 

3. Your and Amanda’s cell phones were turned off at the same time around 08.40pm of the first of November and they were turned on, practically at the same time, a little after 06.00am of the second of November (at that time you received the “good night” sms sent from your father the night before).  How do you explain all this? 

4. You stated that you were not in the house in via della Pergola.  How it is possible that your DNA is on the bra clasp (17 loci that shows your genetic profile, and for the father of Italian genetics, Prof. Vescovi, that with the current processes are not only enough, but more than enough to match your DNA).  And why did luminol revealed a bare right foot print compatible with yours, in addition to the one on the bathmat in the small bathroom? (the size of the big toe, just to point out one thing, is just like yours, while Rudy’s is a lot smaller).

5. Why, if Rudy was the only assassin, in the corridor would he cancel only the bare foot prints, leaving in plain sight always his, but left with the shoe print of his left foot?  Doesn’t it come to mind that whoever cleaned up the prints thought to cancel theirs (specifically the ones ascribed to you and Amanda) leaving behind those recognizable as Rudy’s?

6. You and Amanda were seen by the homeless Antonio Curatolo late the night of the murder and Amanda was seen by the shopkeeper – that knew you well and already saw you with Amanda – enter in the shop at about 07.45am to buy something and go back toward piazza Grimana.  You and Amanda say that at that hour you were sleeping in your house. Is there something that can demonstrate this, that up to now has slipped away and that would give you the missing alibi?


3. Questions For RS Of Our Own

We have advanced plenty of questions for the evasive Sollecito of our own. Here are seven examples.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Italy The Faux Self Pity Of Knox And Sollecito Is Increasingly Becoming A National Joke

Posted by Peter Quennell



Meet Amanda Knox the Perugian Chipmunk version.

Knox’s Facebook page is also being satirised and ridiculed (one message there reads “Perugia Hates You”.) Some may actually believe the rumor that Knox is shopping herself around for salacious movies.

Sollecito being nabbed at the Austrian border because of a quick tip to the police also inspired sarcastic humor in Italy, and several journalists have come up with questions to challenge Sollecito when he gets on the stand, as he so desperately wants or says he does.

We expect some more Italian satire (and maybe not only Italian) and will report on that as well, as this long-needed and much-deserved hit-back against dishonest pandering to media audiences could prove an important trend.

If satire proves the way to stop RS and AK babbling lies daily about the case and Italian justice via every craven media outlet, then well done Italy!! Nothing else seems to work to shut the two up, although their false claims and smears could constitute obstruction of justice.

If Knox and Sollecito want to avoid being spoofed, they have two very easy ways to do so: (1) shut up and avoid the media, or (2) stick to telling the truth.

Posted on 02/12/14 at 03:03 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesThe wider contextsItalian contextAmanda KnoxRaff SollecitoKnox-Mellas teamSollecito teamKnox BookSollecito Book
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Much-Demonized Rudy Guede Is Back In The News And Increasingly Threatening

Posted by Peter Quennell





Rudy Guede has long DELIBERATELY been demonized so that the attack on Meredith can be assigned to him alone.

This description of Guede’s early days in the Ivory Coast and Perugia in the excellent Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson remains the ONLY one that fully checks out. Certainly not that by the dishonest PR shill Nina Burleigh.

Guede wasn’t especially an angel, and some in Perugia were iffy about him. But he had real friends, and up north he held a real job with a real career future, until that prospect imploded and sent him haplessly back to Perugia.

Late in October 2008 Judge Micheli discounted all that Guede ever said about his role in the attack on Meredith in various conversations and statements, and sentenced Guede to 30 years.

But Judge Micheli also concluded that there was no firm evidence either that Guede acted alone or that Guede was a drifter, drug dealer, knife wielder or burglar (Micheli was very sharp with one witness who claimed Guede may - may - have broken into his house).

In 2009 through his lawyers Guede enquired of the prosecution whether he might testify at the Knox-Sollecito trial.

But the prosecutions’ hands were already tied by the indictments and they (rightly) believed they had a really strong case regardless of anything Guede could add.

At the 2009 trial the defenses pussyfooted around and never settled for a firm position on Guede. They floundered in their subdued attempts to prove that Guede or somebody else unknown was the so-called Lone Wolf.

The Lone Wolf theory is really a zombie theory with so many stakes through its heart that no court will ever take it seriously.

Guede’s steadfast fallback position before and since was that he was only in the house on the night of the attack because Meredith invited him to come in and they began love-making.

At his late-2009 first appeal and also at Sollecito’s and Knox’s 2011 appeal before Judge Hellmann, he increasingly firmly pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito as the murderers.

Guede had been initially inclined to let sleeping dogs lie after he was mysteriously beaten up in the sex offenders wing of Viterbo prison, where prisoners are meant to be kept very safe.

But Judge Massei’s scenario of the attack on Meredith in his March 2010 Sentencing Report, with Rudy Guede as the lead instigator, really bothered him.

And in mid 2010 he became even more bothered when claims were made by a fellow prisoner the baby killer Mario Alessi that Guede confided that he really had committed the murder, along with two others. Not with Knox and Sollecito.

A very angry Rudy Guede in turn wrote a letter denying this which very rapidly went public.

In 2011 there was a tense confrontation in the Hellmann court (which several times descended into chaos) when this letter, in which by now Guede firmly accuses Knox and Sollecito, was read out for him.

Guede stuck to this position on the stand, and he was not required to face full cross-examination by the shrill, frustrated defenses because he was already convicted and no longer the one on trial. 

Seemingly fed up with all the dirty tricks against him and the now-incessant Knox and Sollecito mantras in the media that Guede had acted alone, he has come out with another letter.

Italy’s AGI News Service has posted this letter to an unidentified recipient, along with this report.

(AGI) Perugia, February 11 “Against me are being repeated false imaginated reconstructions of the crime for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way, in the public eye and not just in Italy.”

He apparently also posted what he wrote in his own hand on the Facebook page “Legal processes and their surroundings”...

The letter is on a sheet of notebook paper handwritten and signed by Guede.

“To my regret I am again forced to take a pen and paper and write for the sake of the truth.. to all those thousands of people who still believe in justice.”

“They can not access all the pleadings and components of this sad and extremely complex legal case which was dramatically painful for those who lived it . My sentence and judicial reasoning have been for too long subject to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings.”

“Against me are made continuous false and imaginary reconstructions for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way in the public eye and not just the Italian.”

“In the final judgment, as far as I’m concerned about these false and imaginative reconstructions, is that I was acquitted of theft and simulation of crime, a fact that I never hear mentioned in the various journalistic reconstructions.”

“I also want to point out I do not accept in any way to be passed off and continually held up as a drifter, a thief, a homeless man, seeing my person and my dignity offended continually, denigrated and stereotyped by facts and things that do not realte to me… when I had a beautiful family and precious squeaky clean and friendly relations in Perugia.”

Fast-forward to today, where reports say that Guede is getting close to day-release for study purposes and may only be months away from making more evidence against Sollecito and Knox public.

Our posting lawyer TomM has looked at the issue of Guede being allowed out to study, and finds it regular and humane in this assessment.

I respect the Italian system of criminal justice. Just as I recognize that the Italian courts have much better information than anyone posting on the internet relating to the culpability of the defendants in this case, I also think that the people who oversee Guede’s stay in prison are better informed as to his fitness to be reintegrated into society. That he would be allowed out during work days to become better educated, returning to his prison cell at the end of the day seems to me a more enlightened approach than what we do here.

We used to have training programs in prisons. I don’t know that they were “cushy”, but they did work, so that when these convicts were released they were equipped with a marketable skill and rarely re-offended. But, the public thinks these were too cushy, so more Draconian circumstances and longer sentences are now the norm. It used to be people were sent to prison as punishment, now they are sent for punishment.

Sometimes when a prisoner who has spent his or her entire adult life in prison completes the sentence imposed, they have to be physically dragged from their cells, so ill-prepared are they for anything other than doing time. With no skills, social or job-related, they re-offend—surprise, surprise. Sometimes re-offense is for the purpose of being returned a world that, for all its dangers is, to them, relative safety.

While it is certainly true that prison doesn’t have much impact on sociopaths, the one thing they are attached to is money. Taking away their money does impact their behavior, so there is an alternative to killing them.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Hubristic, Meanspirited Campaign: What Sort Of Life Has It Left Knox And Sollecito Now?

Posted by lauowolf





Sometimes it can be frightening to see how people’s self-interested choices turn around to bite them instead.

Had Knox and Sollecito simply told the truth to begin with, this case would have been only a nasty local story in Italy, with a bit of light coverage in Seattle and London. They would have had to accept some narrative that explained their involvement and their guilt, and they would have been sentenced accordingly.

They would then have served their time and gotten out. Eventually they would have gone on, perhaps, to live relatively normal lives.

After all, by the time they left prison virtually no one outside the families involved would remember, or much care, what they had done. Their criminal records would follow them forever, of course, but certainly there would have been no public repercussions for an obscure murder in Italy, years in the past.

People live with such pasts: they live their lives and create a future despite their pasts.

Instead, Knox and Sollecito have rendered themselves toxic for the rest of their lives. Everywhere they go, as long as they live, they will be recognized, whispered about, and pointed out by supporters, opponents, and even the relatively uniformed public.

Always.

Already, Sollecito’s Austrian side-trip was busted by someone who, predictably, recognized him. The intense paparazzi effect will eventually wear off, but years from now, whenever either of them does something simple, its effects will live on.

Apply for a library card – instant name recognition, walk through the airport - and someone will realize why that face is familiar.  They’d better get used to it because some stranger will always recognize them. At their every life event, there will be a news alert, and someone potentially selling the story or a photo.

They and their families deliberately established an intensive PR effort for selfish reasons: in order to avoid the repercussions of a terrible act.

But this press creation is a terrible beast. Now that it is here it will need to be fed. Always. Get drunk in public - someone will have a cell phone handy; a marriage breaks up - the ex-spouse will tell all. (And, really, neither of them has the kind of money needed to live forever insulated from the vulgar public.)

For the rest of their lives, in everything they want to do, the whole did-they-or-didn’t-they narrative will be weighed in other people’s reaction: Would you hire either of them for anything? Would you rent them an apartment? Elect them to the school board?

All other things being equal, there will always be someone else available, someone equally good who has no awkward history. And everyone will know about that history; they worked hard to make it so.

And I’m not talking about the prejudice against ex-cons. That’s a real thing, and it will have its impact too. All convicted felons have real problems, after all, but few of them have achieved such notoriety, let alone embraced it.  What I’m talking about is the impact of even old-news celebrity, of always now, and for the rest of their lives, being tabloid fodder.

Sure, there will always be people (Mad Pax?) drawn to the faux glitter of it all, but a life accompanied only by those wanting to share in your “fame” seems pretty ugly to me. What normal person wants the hassle of becoming involved with something like this?

Furthermore, they will never know when someone they think of as a friend might suddenly start thinking of a way to cash in. There might be a book in it, or at least a juicy article for a tabloid.

This isn’t meant as expressing any kind of sympathy for them at all, by the way. They have blood on their hands and horrors in their heads.

Eventually they may come to some kind of terms with their actions. Frankly, though, I hardly care, for it is not merely their crime that requires expiation. I have been sickened to see the unfolding ruthlessness and the sheer ugliness of their publicity campaign.

At its center their PR beast reveals an utter selfishness that is willing to appeal to the worst in their supporter through appeals to American xenophobia, to racism, and in smears against Meredith, Rudy, and Patrick, as well as the entire system of Italian justice.

The PR beast they created denigrates every other element in the case, while portraying the pair of them as young, innocent, and only guilty of a visible passion for each other and a naïve belief in the police.

This tactic required a media product for sale: the attractive young lovers. Their campaign has forced their names, and images and story in all our faces for years now. They and their families did this entirely voluntarily, and they have seemed to relish the attention it brought them.

They’ve been interviewed extensively, treated sympathetically by those who should know better, and altogether have had much more than their fifteen minutes of fame. But celebrity is a beast that turns on its own.

And, importantly, unlike other famous people – actors, politicians, authors and the like - there is no proper use for their fame. They have nothing real to share with us, only their story. It is, literally, all about them. And that is how it will remain.

They have become a narrative whose next chapter will always be told. The PR beast, for all its reach, will not be enough to keep them out of prison. But the cameras will be there the day they finally leave prison, in case we have forgotten their faces.

And there will be photos when they drive drunk. Or marry. Or divorce.

Their names are out there, waiting for the tagline, waiting for the joke. (“How bad is your new roommate? Well, at least she’s no Amanda Knox.”) There will be no end to it, ever. They will have no privacy, ever. Karma at work is a scary thing. They invited the beast into their lives, and now it will never leave them alone.

[Below: Said to be Amanda Knox leaving home hiding under a windcheater]


Monday, February 03, 2014

Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?

Posted by Jools




Judge Nencini offers corrections

This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.

“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.

I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.

I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence.  In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.

In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’

If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.

These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”


Context for those corrections

This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.

In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CSM rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.

Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CSM, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).

As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.

Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.

And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…

In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.

The later, longer interview

The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.

Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.

The Freelance Desk

Posted 1 February

Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.

HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks

SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”

SUBHEAD2:  “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”

By Fiorenza Sarzanini

“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”

It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.

You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?

“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court.  You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason.  We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.

And then the decision was unanimous?

“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”

Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.

“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”

Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?

“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles.  We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”

Why didn’t you question Guede?

“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent.  We didn’t think it was necessary.  Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth.  In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”

Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”

And this influenced your choice to convict him?

“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”

Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?

“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning.  For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created.  If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”

Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?

“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”

Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?

“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.

And you don’t believe that there were errors?

“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”

You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?

“She is legally in the United States.  At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence.  For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”

So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?

“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”

And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?

“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”

Posted on 02/03/14 at 09:17 PM by JoolsClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe defensesThe judiciaryAppeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Sollecito team
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Defenses’ Dishonest, Distinctly Ill-Conceived War Of Aggression Against Perugia

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: the annual Eurochocolate festival - Nestle is a big employer in town]

1. Appreciating the real Perugia

The relatively small town of Perugia (population below 1/4 million) has been a formidable and exceptionally high-achieving presence in the world for 20 centuries.

Perugia has one of the highest median IQ’s not only in Italy but in Europe. It is the home of some cutting-edge research, produces premium high-quality fashion products, and has one of the highest per-capita economic outputs in Italy with impressive job-creation. It has an exceptional transport system and an exceptional communication system, many fine hotels, and many high-end boutiques. Its various sporting teams are formidable. 

Perugia is known as the City of Universities, because it is home to so many of them, and it runs several annual festivals - chocolate and journalism (images just above and below) and jazz - that attract leaders in those fields from around the world. From Wikipedia:

The city is also known as the universities town, with the University of Perugia founded in 1308 (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges such the Academy of Fine Arts “Pietro Vannucci” (Italian: Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci”) public athenaeum founded on 1573, the Perugia University Institute of Linguistic Mediation for translators and interpreters, the Music Conservatory of Perugia, founded in 1788, and other Institutes. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival (July), and the International Journalism Festival (in April).

There is a very high proportion of foreigners living in Perugia at any one time - not only well over 25,000 studying and teaching there, but also those who first come to the University for Foreigners and so on and choose to get married and stay on. A high proportion of the population - far higher than for Italy generally - speaks foreign languages and has traveled internationally.

In terms of Italian justice, Perugia is unusually trusted, efficient and important. Like Florence, it takes some of the investigatory and judicial caseload from the capital city, Rome, including cases involving national politicians and the mafia. Florence and Perugia police and the courts have a symbiotic relationship - each handles some cases involving the officials of the other. 











2. The bizarre war on Perugia of the defense teams

Despite all of the above, Sollecito and Knox and their lawyers Bongiorno and Dalla Vedova are all trying very hard to belittle it. Meanspiritedly and dishonestly to put Perugia itself on trial.

All four seem to carry big chips on their shoulders about Perugia, and do little to hide them - which, contrary to what they may be supposing, is NOT going over well or helping their cause in the appeal court or the cities of Florence and Perugia.

Raffaele Sollecito

Sollecito was first sent to Perugia by his father to attend a high-school for the children of doctors who were proving a handful. He fell behind in his studies, was disciplined for porn, and made almost no friends there. By the time Knox encountered him, his social circle seems to have been largely confined to drug dealers.

His book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself.

Amanda Knox

Amanda “Typhoid Mary” Knox may have been attracted to Perugia because of its reputation as a party city - back then it had a reputation for drugs being easy.

In her book in her own words Knox claimed she was amazed to find that Perugia hosted a really, really large university - she claimed that had she known that she would (like Meredith) have enrolled there.

Really? The University for Foreigners is in fact A PART of the main university and for some years has been that way. She actually was enrolled there and if study had mattered could have carried exactly the same study load as Meredith. 

Her book seethes contempt and resentment for the officials and the town itself. Knox fell out with almost everybody and probably now does not have even one person in Perugia who she might label her friend.

The city of Perugia has done its best to honor the graceful talented Meredith. In contrast the sharp-elbowed, self-absorbed Knox who has brought so much harm to the town is now despised there. 

Carlos Dalla Vedova

Dalla Vedova is a business lawyer from Rome who is quoted in Knox’s book as sneering at Perugia and the officials there - who in turn think he is a joke in the courtroom for his many wrong claims of the facts of the case, poor cross-examinations, and mistakes at law.

Judge Nencini sharply shot Dalla Vedova down when he tried to make the false claim that Perugia officials were malicious in releasing a false HIV result for Knox in her early days in Capanne. In fact, it may well have been Dalla Vedova himself who “secretly” put about that interim result and started the unfounded meme that it was malicious.

Giulia Bongiorno

And Giulia Bongiorno? Well, she is from Palermo in Sicily, and a reliable water-carrier for the mafia. She lost both of the biggest trials of her legal career in Perugia.

One was the retrial of ex-PM Andreotti for mafia connections in 2002 (she collapsed at the verdict) and the other was the Knox-Sollecito trial in 2009 with Judge Massei presiding.

If she loses this appeal Bongiorno could be facing three or more criminal investigations - for offers of bribes in Aviello’s prison, for meddling with the appointment of judges (Judge Hellmann replacing the better qualified Chiari), and for the numerous criminal libels in Sollecito’s book, in which she is credited as a main source.

Good reasons for now being a tad hysterical?

Last Thursday in court, Bongiorno impugned a huge cast of characters - police and prosecutors in Perugia, many of the witnesses, the population of Perugia, the police lab specialists in Rome, the media, the Supreme Court - seemingly almost anyone she could think of related to the case except the disgraced Judge Hellmann and the disgraced DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti.

We have a post coming up which will contend with some of Bongiorno’s false claims about the evidence and police and prosecution behavior - which Judge Nencini himself several times signaled that he knew about quite differently.

These below are among the nasty cracks Bongiorno made at Perugia and the respected officials and good people there. They are taken from Machiavelli’s courtroom reporting, and are what helped cause the growing skepticism and resentment.

3..  Reads book snippet about French revolution, describe a horde of sanculots and armed citizens

4.  Bongiorno: a bloodthirsty mob chasing defendants

5.  Bongiorno was shocked by the angry mob before Perugia courtroom [after Hellmann verdict]

6.  Bongiorno speech hinges around the persecution of defendants.  Describes her fear, fleeing from Perugia.  Says people didn’t know trial papers

7.  Bongiorno focuses on the “early bias” against accused, since four days after finding of body. 

8.  Complains Sollecito doesn’t find a job because has a murderer’s face

9.  Why did they accuse and put them in jail so early? They didn’t even have the knife. 

10.  Bongiorno: authority had to chose between a “tranquillizing” student motive and a dangerous serial killer “worrying” scenario. 

11.  Says: it was Perugia population who chose the less disquieting scenario, and the investigation was based on “less alarming motive” choice

14.  Bongiorno: women are suspected because of today women’s empowerment movements. 

15.  Most active and free women are seen as more suspicious. 

19.  Speaks about “creativity” before the trial.  Speaks at length about the bloody shoeprint. 

20.  Says Knox was the main character, she was so before the trial. 

21.  She is tired of Raffaele reduced by “half”, a half character seen as a reflection of Amanda

24.  Says Raffaele was “halfed”, against him only half pieces of circum evidence: half shoeprint’ knife compatible only if you consider half of blade

25.  Only half of the house of murder investigated.  An interrogation considered evidence of Knox’s calunnia. 

29.  Amanda was caught by anxious urge to answer.  She became uncomfortable because police asked too much, altering her serenity

30.  Says they also insulted Knox

31.  Talking about insults [to Sollecito’s family members], Bongiorno cries. 

32.  Sollecito’s aunts wiretapped as if they were the most dangerous murderers. 

33.  Bongiorno criticized interpreter Anna Donnino. 

34.  Said Donnino altered Knox’s statements. 

35.  Said Donnino acted as mediator not interpreter

36.  Called Donnino a “medium” ( means .  “psychic”)

37.  One of the elements against Sollecito is the accusation of having sidetracked investigation.  Said it was false. 

38.  Said the Cassazione suggests Raffaele lied about timings of call to carabinieri, accused him of sidetracking because he lied. 

39.  But, said, if we look at Knox, it’s not her sidetracking investigation, but rather investigators sidetracking her. 

40.  Said trial was determined by the fact Donnino fid not understand English well, thus sidetracked Knox

41.  Talked about police mistake on the “see you later” message

42.  Said Knox did not commit a crime but convinced herself she did.  B.  mentions the internalized false confession type. 

43.  Explained the three types of false confessions. 

44.  Said Amanda was “induced into raving” by “psychic” Donnino. 

48.  Bongiorno urged judges to get out from codes and get into the hearts of the two young accused. 

49.  Amanda, B.  says, did not understand why Raffaele accused her. 

50.  When Knox learns about bring accused by Sollecito she had a collapse while the “psychic” was saying “remember!”

51.  She described Knox as almost unconscious, buckled because she trusted Sollecito, thinks the police and Raff say so, must be true. 

53.  Said the room is flooded with evidence of Guede all over the place. 

54.  Said that was the nightmare of Perugia, the intruder nightmare. 

55.  Spoke about Guede’s alleged lifestyle. 

56.  Said there is no evidence the three people hung out together. 

57.  Said when the investigators found Rudi, they could not abandon the first suspects, because it’s difficult like leaving your first love mate

61.  Said Mr.  Kokomani “materialized” when investigators had desperate need to prove Sollecito and Guede knew each other

62.  Bongiorno talked about “Aladdin lamp effect”: detectives wishes which materialize. 

65.  Said that Kokomani was offered 10k euros for his testimony.  [Wrong, that was a media offer he refused.  ]













Thursday, January 09, 2014

Appeal Session #8: Sollecito Attorneys Today Try To Show Where Police And Prosecution Went Wrong

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

[Giulia Bongiorno today; previously she collapsed in court after a guilty verdict in PM Andreotti’s case]

4. Tweets by Main Poster Machiavelli

148. Bongiorno relies on her “personal belief” as last argument. Bye bye!

147. Bongiorno offers the known arguments to maintain an early time of death. But (now) it’s late for me.

146. She had opened her arguments by quoting Sardinian judge and author Salvatore Satta, to me the choice suggest setting a desperate defence

145. Bongiorno built and waded through a complex building of argument employing extreme rhetoric devices, seemed to be in difficulty to me.

144. I had the impression Nencini was skeptical because not interested in the photos and videos, did not look at them attentively.

143. Details the “plausibility” of an intrusion through the window. Glass shards etc. arguments already seen.

142. “Cogne” is a famous Supreme Court ruling saying guilt can be found “by logical exclusion” on sheer “a contrario” arguments.

141. After brandishing two knifes before the court, talking about footprint, makes an emphatic comment “We are not in Cogne”

140. Bongiorno has ended the ninja-knife-rotating phase.

139. Now Bongiorno speaks about the bathmat bloody print. Says Sollecito’s big toes do not balance on the dystal phalanx. (old argument)

138. Bongiorno shows a picture with an envisioned “knife” (pocket knife belonging to Guede?) together with the print on the bed sheet

137. Nobody brings a “small blow with a big knife”.

136. Says: to paint a large wall you need a “great” (big) brush (paraphrase of a pun from old advertisement) but you don’t use half of a big knife

135. Bongiorno handles a big knife!

134. My opinion: just behind the hyoid bone base there is the cervical vertebra, very resistant, it was the vertebra that offered resistence.

133. When there is a will to kill, the blade penetrates entirely.

132. Bongiorno dismisses the possibility that hyoid bone could have somehow stopped the blade, prevent from penetrating, it’s not resistant enough

131. cites the report by Dr. Umani Ronchi, saying the knife is compatible, but the blade was not used entirely.

130. Last point about the knife is the kind of blade: 17 cm long, while the wound is 8 cm deep. It’s too big, not the murder weapon.

129. Says there isn’t a note indicating a quantifying was done.

128. B: alleges “many mysteries” about Stefanoni’s report. Says there is no DNA amount.

127. In Stefanoni’s report it looks like as if for all knife DNA traces RealTime had been used; and it’s not true. SAL say Fluorimeter used

126. Another point: Fluorimeter. Stefanoni said the PCR method would have been better.

125. Question how he could deduce the knife was compatible. Bongiorno’s points seem extremely weak.

124. Bongiorno attacks on Finzi’s word: quotes testimony when says “It’s the first knife I noticed” and “seemed compatible with wounds”.

123. Question is: possible that Sollecito kills and then puts the knife back in the drawer again? and that he uses a knife from his own kitchen?

122. How is it possible to touch the clasp, but not the rest of the bra? Then Bongiorno says, now let’s deal with the knife.

121. B: There are two questions: 1. why no traces of Knox and Sollecito (except the clasp); 2. why Sollecito’s DNA on clasp but not on bra?

120. No trace of Knox, how could they clean only their own traces…. etc

119. Attributes to Guede the “rest of the whole bra” plus the purse and sweater traces.

118. Emphasizes that other objects in the room instead are “stuffed with” traces of Guede

117. Also, there is the Y chromosome sequence but says it is not reliable for the same reasons.

116. Mentions further reasons for criticism: 1 low template DNA 2 no second amplification (maybe confuses with knife) 3 unknown biological origin

115. Talks about the expert claiming the DNA profile could be compatible with herself (actually wrong, the expert was a female had no Y profile)

114. Says they “found Sollecito’s profile among a 4- individuals mixed trace”.

113. Says Stefanoni applied a suspect-cantered interpretation method on a mixed trace with multiple possibilities. Old argument, weak.

112. The profiles mixed in the trace are more than two, thus DNA not usable. This point of arguments perceived as weak in room.

111. Says the bra clasp trace is a mixed trace.

110. Says mixed DNA profiles are like overlapping of spider webs. High probability of mistake which thread belongs to which one

109. Bongiorno bashes “inconsistence” of Stefanoni and maintains she mistook stutters for alleles.

108. Says if we apply Stefanoni’s criteria to her own findings, the clasp X trace is not attributable to Sollecito

107. Points out the C&V report where they object how Stefanoni considered the peaks departing from guidelines. Say C&V analyzed each peak.

106. Asks, rhetorically, about the way how Stefanoni read the DNA profiles.

105. Mentions the presence of other DNA contributors on the bra clasp.

104. The usual magnified photo showing the dirt on police glove.

103. Calls these “touchings within a contaminated environment”.

102. Says clasp fabric was touched 14 times with one glove, then touched by other gloves.

101. Says the clasp was moved, found under the carpet, originally was under the pillow.

100. B. shows pictures about the object moved around in the room, carpet under table, cloths on bed etc.

99. Complains about the searches made by Napoleoni’s team on Nov 6 & 7 and objects Prosecutor Crini is wrong when says there was only one collection.

98. Says the bra clasp has a “materialization” on the night of Nov. 3 but was not collected because they forgot to place a tag letter.

97. Emphasizes that the forgotten bra clasp has become the pivotal piece of evidence against Sollecito.

96. Says about 20 people have manipulated objects on the crime scene.

95. Emphatically lists the names of all officers who entered the house.

94. Calls the DNA collection “mother of all mistakes” in this case.

93. Items should be touched only once. Stefanoni told the police to not move the items.

92. Disposable gloves must be used, new ones for each item. Quotes Intini saying impossible avoid contamination of crime scene.

91. Says the collection of DNA is fundamental. The collection must be early.

90. Says Cassazione didn’t read the C&V report carefully. Says not all DNA is usable. Stutter peaks should not be considered.

89. Now Bongiorno is talking about DNA.

88. Basically Bongiorno defined evidence against Sollecito as only three points: (1) late call to police (2) knife with Meredith DNA (3) shoe/foot print

87. When B was describing Donnino as a psychic there were people laughing in the room. Her arguments became more effective after the first hour

86. Bongiorno’s series of “half pieces of evidence” seemed like empty rhetoric. The use of video seemed somehow better.

85. The late clock theory is to maintain that Sollecito did not call the 112 after police arrival.

84. The defence theory is the clock was slow, not fast.

83. Bongiorno showed video of alleged Police arrival recorded by parking CCTV, explains defence theory.

82. One thing the SC and PG doesn’t know is about what she calls the “real” timing of Sollecito phone call to 112, as “proven” by defence.

81. One mistake at the Guede trial was about the shoe print attribution.

80. Explains that the subsequent trials of Guede got many facts wrong because they ignored subsequent development.

79. Said Cassazione did not assess the DNA judge appointed report and that testimonies and defence reports were missing.

78. Bongiorno explained the “reverse funnel effect” by which superior court is unaware about additional findings.

77. Sollecito - said B.- would not intervene to help a guy he didn’t know, and not even to protect Knox whom he had been knowing 9 days

76. If cleaning issues were a casus belli among the girls, why would Sollecito enter a raw to defend Rudy?

75. But B. objected this is still only half a motive, because Sollecito had nothing to do with it.

74. Apparently B. acknowledged Laura Masotho testified about problems with Knox cleaning habits. PG thinks means problems living together

73. Talked about the “second motive” calling it “improper use of toilet”

72. Said Guede was a drop-out, the opposite pro-black prejudice is also unacceptable.

71. Urged the court to not assume as individual is a weak and discriminated subject just because a black man

70. The sex theme party is “surreal” Bongiorno said.

69. Said Knox-Sollecito was a tender relation, they enjoyed romantic kisses, were not bored 50y old seeking hot emotions

68. The motive (sex) for the “festino” (little party) was smartly dropped by the PG

67. The motive “accepted” (by courts) was a sex party, but the PG does not believe it.

66. Said motive was considered almost as an optional; said prosecutor general changed the motive because had no choice.

65. Said that Kokomani was offered 10k euros for his testimony.

64. Bongiorno criticized media trials and said witnesses must be “virgins”, otherwise the Aladdin lamp taints the trial

63. Said the Aladdin lamp effect is generated by media trial, in which a “monster” is chased by public opinion

62. Bongiorno talked about “Aladdin lamp effect”: detectives wishes which materialize.

61. Said Mr. Kokomani “materialized” when investigators had desperate need to prove Sollecito and Guede knew each other

60. Bongiorno talked at length to substantiate a scenario of Rudy as a burglar who was used to knives.

59. Rudi would physically approach girls and try to kiss them when he was drunk, B. Said

58. Said Guede harassed girls and Sollecito did not know him.

57. Said when the investigators found Rudi, they could not abandon the first suspects, because it’s difficult like leaving your first love mate

56. Said there is no evidence the three people hung out together.

55. Spoke about Guede’s alleged lifestyle.

54. Said that was the nightmare of Perugia, the intruder nightmare.

53. Said the room is flooded with evidence of Guede all over the place.

52. Bongiorno criticized factual points addressed by Cassazione, mentions wrong early experts reports.

51. She described Knox as almost unconscious, buckled because she trusted Sollecito, thinks the police and Raff say so, must be true.

50. When Knox learns about bring accused by Sollecito she had a collapse while the “psychic” was saying “remember!”

49. Amanda, B. says, did not understand why Raffaele accused her.

48. Bongiorno urged judges to get out from codes and get into the hearts of the two young accused.

47. Said if you believe to the Memoriale, where does it mention Raffaele?

46. The recording of Knox’s conversation with her mother “proves she was still in delusional state”

45. Bongiorno said even if you believe her confession, she doesn’t mention Sollecito.

44. Said Amanda was “induced into raving” by “psychic” Donnino.

43. Explained the three types of false confessions.

42. Said Knox did not commit a crime but convinced herself she did. B. mentions the internalized false confession type.

41. Talked about police mistake on the “see you later” message

40. Said trial was determined by the fact Donnino fid not understand English well, thus sidetracked Knox

39. But, said, if we look at Knox, it’s not her sidetracking investigation, but rather investigators sidetracking her.

38. Said the Cassazione suggests Raffaele lied about timings of call to carabinieri, accused him of sidetracking because he lied.

37. One of the elements against Sollecito is the accusation of having sidetracked investigation. Said it was false.

36. Called Donnino a “medium” ( means .“psychic”)

35. Said Donnino acted as mediator not interpreter

34. Said Donnino altered Knox’s statements.

33. Bongiorno criticized interpreter Anna Donnino.

32. Sollecito’s aunts wiretapped as if they were the most dangerous murderers.

31. Talking about insults [to Sollecito’s family members], Bongiorno cries.

30. Says they also insulted Knox

29. Amanda was caught by anxious urge to answer. She became uncomfortable because police asked too much, altering her serenity

28. Bongiorno says if the court doesn’t want to read the whole interrogation (of Dec 17) they should at least read the memoriale

27. Nencini interrupts Bongiorno: how could I read all interrogations entirely, when Supreme Court prevents me from doing so?

26. Calunnia doesn’t mean there is evidence of murder.

25. Only half of the house of murder investigated. An interrogation considered evidence of Knox’s calunnia.

24. Says Raffaele was “halfed”, against him only half pieces of circum evidence: half shoeprint’ knife compatible only if you consider half of blade

23. [My] Impression that Bongiorno’s start of defence speech was rather weak. Too much over the top, reveals weakness.

22. shoeprint attributed in advance because boyfriend of Amanda. Speaks about “admission” by Rinaldi-Boemis

21. She is tired of Raffaele reduced by “half”, a half character seen as a reflection of Amanda

20. Says Knox was the main character, she was so before the trial.

19. Speaks about “creativity” before the trial. Speaks at length about the bloody shoeprint.

18. Bongiorno: Raf thinks he was put in jail because of wrong print. But not true: it’s because he was Amanda’s boyfriend.

17. Shows pictures of Vinci’s analysis of pillowcase prints.

16. Bongiorno also said other reason for suspicion was that Knox had the keys. The motive chosen was “ideal” not real.

15. Most active and free women are seen as more suspicious.

14. Bongiorno: women are suspected because of today women’s empowerment movements.

13. Started from a sex party gone awry theory. They asked themselves: who could take part to such party? A 20y American sexy girl.

12. Investigators followed Lombrosian criteria (inspired by Cesar Lombroso theories)

11. Says: it was Perugia population who chose the less disquieting scenario, and the investigation was based on “less alarming motive” choice

10. Bongiorno: authority had to chose between a “tranquillizing” student motive and a dangerous serial killer “worrying” scenario.

9. Why did they accuse and put them in jail so early? They didn’t even have the knife.

8. Complains Sollecito doesn’t find a job because has a murderer’s face

7. Bongiorno focuses on the “early bias” against accused, since four days after finding of body.

6. Bongiorno speech hinges around the persecution of defendants. Describes her fear, fleeing from Perugia. Says people didn’t know trial papers

5. Bongiorno was shocked by the angry mob before Perugia courtroom [after Hellmann verdict]

4. Bongiorno: a bloodthirsty mob chasing defendants

3. Reads book snippet about French revolution, describe a horde of sanculots and armed citizens

2. Bongiorno quotes Italian author Satta. Talks about “chase” of the two accused

1. Sollecito is in courtroom

3. Tweets By Freelance Andrea Vogt

15. Leaving court, raffaele sollecito and father expressed satisfaction w/closing args. Perugia attorny Maori to close at next hearing, Jan.20.

14. Bongiorno closing finish: Turn amanda off. Acquit them both, but judge Raffaele Sollecito for who he is, not for half-truths against him.

13. A loud emergency evacuation request was just broadcast in Florence court, but the presiding judge says hearing will continue.

12. Once you’ve seen Bongiorno wave two knives in front of an Italian jury, most other court reporting one has done seems rather dull.

11. Bongiorno holds up butcher knife like the one in evidence to jury: “This knife is too big. It is not the murder weapon.”

10.  New amanda knox court schedule: [prosecution] rebuttals Jan 20, with verdict on Jan 30.

9. Florence amanda knox appeal: court breaks until 14:15. Unclear if sollecito defense will finish today or spill over.

8. Bongiorno: Sollecito is not a puppy dog. He may have brushed her hair, cleaned her ears, but he would not kill for love of amanda knox.

7. Bongiorno and judge exchange laughs over “unca nunca” the eskimo kiss. “I’m over 50,” he said “I need an explainer.”

6. Bongiorno on witnesses found by local journos: “This trial had an Aladdin’s Lamp. Every time cops needed a witness, one materialized.”

5. Bongiorno defending Amanda Knox, while at the same time clearly separating Sollecito’s position from that of Knox.

4. Bongiorno reading amanda’s statement: “If you believe this is a confession, where’s Raffaele? He is never, never, never mentioned.”

3. Bongiorno just read wiretapped comms of Perugia cops Napoleoni and Zugarini insulting Sollecito’s family.

2. Bongiorno: “Amanda amanda amanda amanda amanda . . . And raffaele? Basta with sollecito always being considered Knox’s other half.”

1. Bongiorno: Perugia declared “case closed” 4 days after Kercher murder, w/no murder weapon and a motive intended to calm public fear.

2. Tweets by La Nazione Court Reporter

66. Bongiorno: “In conclusion Amanda and Raffaele are innocent “

65. Bongiorno: “I am convinced that the murderess is Rudy who has already been convicted “

64. Bongiorno “The attack on Meredith takes place at 21.10 when Raffaele ‘s at home “

63. Bongiorno: “Guede had already entered into three more apartments in the holiday periods “

62. Warning to evacuate the court. But it is only a test

61. Bongiorno: “Is it possible that the glass has been broken from the outside “

60. Bongiorno: “The absence of traces of mud on the wall is because in those days it was not raining”

59. Bongiorno: “Plausible hypothesis that someone has entered the window “

58. Bongiorno: “You can not get to a liability via just exclusion . We are not in Cogne “

57. Bongiorno: “Against Sollecito, no real clue “

56. Bongiorno: “The footprint on the rug is not Sollecito, his foot does not match “

55. Bongiorno: “The murder weapon is a boxcutter knife with 8 inches “

54. Bongiorno: “The knife found at Sollecito’s house is not the murder weapon “

53. Bongiorno: “Depth wounds on the victim is not compatible with the size knife “

52. Bongiorno addresses the issue of the knife

51. Bongiorno: “Absurd to think that Amanda and Raffaele have deleted only their tracks

50. Bongiorno: “How can you think that there is only a trace of Sollecito on the clasp ? “

49. Bongiorno: “On the scene of the crime no trace of Amanda, but only Rudy Guede “

48. Bongiorno: “On the hook there are traces of four profiles of DNA “

47. Bongiorno: “That hook looks like it was taken from a landfill “

46. Bongiorno: “The hook was crushed during the inspections “

45. Bongiorno: “The bra clasp was moved “

44. Bongiorno: “The hook of the bra is not at the first inspection reperted “

43. Bongiorno: “About 20 people came to the house between the two surveys

42. Bongiorno: “The finding attributed to Sollecito jumps out only in the second survey “

41. Bongiorno: “It is not true that no one came on the scene between the two surveys “

40. Bongiorno addresses the issue of DNA on the bra clasp of the victim

39. After the break the summation of lawyer Giulia Bongiorno starts again.

38. The hearing is adjourned for an hour

37. Bongiorno ( Sollecito defense ) : ” Rudy Guede did not want to respond to our defense [at Hellmann appeal] “

36. Bongiorno ( Sollecito defense ) : “No survey has ever spoken of the presence of more subjects [than one]”

35. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “It was Raffaele who raised the alarm”

34. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “And we demonstrated that Sollicito called 112 before the police arrived “33. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” If the motive are disputes on the hygiene of the house, where was Raffaele ? “

32. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The indictment identifies the changes to driving and excessive use of water”

31. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : “the relationship of Amanda with Raffaele was tender, kissed like Eskimos “

30. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Guede unwelcome, if there had been a party he would not have asked “

29. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” In this process, the motive is considered an option, but it is not “

28. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Absurd to think that Sollecito and Guede became known that night “

27. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The witness who spoke of the friendship between Raffaele and Rudy Guede was denied “

26. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda Raffaele prosecuted even when they told [the truth?] “

25. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Absurd Amanda putting herself at the scene of the crime”

24. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda never pulled into the dance Raffaele “

23. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” Amanda wassidetracked , it is she who is derailed “

22. According to the lawyer Bongiorno interpreter on night of interrogation of Amanda did not just translate

21. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” The interpreter admiited to having helped in the court”

20. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” The interpreter confirms that she has done so in trial court as mediums in the interrogation “

19. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda says that the interpreter invited her to remember”

18. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “There are black pages in this investigation “

17. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” According to the documents offenses of aunts of Sollecito by those who listened to the wiretaps “

16. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda and nighttime interrogations without a lawyer “

15. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” The identikit identfication of the killer as Amanda proceded and generates slander “

14. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “On the footprints attributed to Sollecito there was a big mistake “

13, Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) shows some slides in the court on the footprints at the crime scene

12. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Raffaele is not the only other half of Amanda . Just a quick passion “

11. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda was the stronger of the pair with Sollecito “

10. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Amanda was leading [the two] before becoming involved in the legal process”

9. Bongiorno : ” Starting from the motive of the game , Amanda seemed like the perfect one guilty “

8. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” They have chosen an ideal motive and then followed the criteria Lombroso “

7. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” A creation was the motive to reduce fear in Perugia , a party gone wrong “

6. Bongiorno ( Sollecito’s defense ) : ” In record time, the case was declared closed almost immediately , after four days ‘

5. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “Against Amanda and Raffaele horde of red herrings”

4. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : “Sollecito was branded a murderess when there was no evidence “

3. Bongiorno ( Sollecito ) : ” Raffaele and Amanda have become the symbol of depravity ‘

2. Start of the argument of the lawyer Giulia Bongiorno , Sollecito’s defense

1. Start of the hearing. Today it’s up to the lawyers Raffaele Sollecito

1. Overview post Wednesday by Andrea Vogt

Website of Andrea Vogt

Defense lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori will give closing arguments on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito Thursday in Florence, starting at 10 a.m.

While Amanda Knox has been the main focus of attention for most of the U.S. media covering this case, Sollecito has increasingly become the object of gossip in the Italian press, with tabloid magazines like Oggi regularly publishing snaps of him on vacation this winter in Santo Domingo.

More recently several local newspapers in Veneto published speculation about a new woman friend and fellow University of Verona student with whom he had been hanging out with over the holidays in a small town near Treviso.  Amore or amica? He’s not about to tell.

At his last spontaneous declaration before the court Sollecito complained about his lack of privacy and pleaded with the jury to give him his life back. Tomorrow his lawyers will make the case for his innocence formally to the judge and jury. Expect fireworks from Bongiorno, famous for her captivating oratory and no stranger to high-profile cases — having cut her teeth as defense lawyer for former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti.

ol


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Appeal Session #7: The Day For Knox And Sollecito Attorneys To Show Where Prosecution Went Wrong

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above and below: images from previous sessions, here till today’s crop appears]

Long Form Reports

Website of Andrea Vogt

The court hearing reserved for Knox’s appeal defense began with the reading of an email from Amanda, reported here in the Messaggero and then widely picked up in the English-language press, claiming her innocence and explaining why she was afraid to return to Italy. The email was the only “new” aspect introduced Tuesday so made all the headlines, but at the end of the day it occupied just a small fraction of the day’s arguments. 

Several Italian court observers considered the email a considerable “own goal,” having witnessed the presiding judge raise his eyebrows in obvious annoyance at having to himself read aloud an email from Knox, who requested an appeal in his courtroom, but is refusing to attend it, for reasons she detailed.  “Those who want to speak at the trial should come to the trial,” he said. He also declined to consider the letter a spontaneous declaration because, he said, he could not ascertain if she was the true author of the letter. “I’ve never seen her. I do not know her,” he said.

After the email, Knox’s Perugian lawyer Luciano Ghirga made his closing arguments, followed by Carlo Dalla Vedova of Rome.  Most of the discussion focused on two aspects of the case they felt are fundamentally lacking: motive and murder weapon. Below are short quotes/snippets translated quickly during court.  To read the Kercher family lawyer’s arguments, scroll down to yesterday’s notes.

[Report continues on The Freelance Desk with good summaries of arguments made by Ghirga and Della Vedova]

3. Tweets from La Nazione

66. Meredith process , the hearing ends. The next hearing will be on January 9 [Sollecito team]

65. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Amanda Knox is shown to have worshipped [Meredith]”

64. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is a shortage of proof”

63. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There is no evidence, with doubts you have to acquit Amanda Knox”

62. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “On the motive the prosecutor did the same as the Costa Concordia at Giglio”

61. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Room too small for the participation of more people in the crime”

60. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The victim was attacked from the front,  not from behind”

59. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “For Amanda and Raffaele, Rudy Guede was a stranger”

58. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp of Meredith is not a genuine artifact“

57. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The bra clasp November 2nd was white, but 40 days after gray“

56. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Amanda knew the cut was throat because she was told by a policeman “

55. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Absurd that there are missing only traces of Amanda and Raffaele “

54.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The alleged footprint of female shoe on the pillow: pillowcase was folded over.”

53. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The broken glass from the window shows the easiest way to enter the house “

52. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “War between consultants is like “The War of the Roses” where everyone will hate “

51. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Unable for Amanda and Raffaele to commit the crime in 50 minutes “

50. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The mother of Meredith says she and Amanda were friends “

49. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never says that Amanda was in the house, even outside the interrogations“

48. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Guede never talks about Amanda “

47.Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : ” Guede in his chats after the murder told a friend that Amanda had nothing to do with it”

46. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “There are traces only of Rudy Guede at the crime scene “

45. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “The witness Curatolo either is unreliable or is our alibi. Decide for yourself “

44. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox) : “Do not trust the testimony of the witness Quintavalle “

43. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Amanda did not call into question Lumumba to sidetrack the investigation “

42. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is of the same type as her roommates ”

41. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The alibi of Amanda is accurate and unchanged in her deposition ”

40. Meredith appeal: the argument of Carlo Dalla Vedova, defender of Amanda Knox, resumes.

39. Meredith appeal: Judge orders one-hour lunch break

38. President Nencini asks if there are certificates for the AIDS tests done on Amanda, but there are none

37. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was said of Amanda in prison that she had AIDS, but it turned out an error ”

36. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “From the conversations in prison Amanda does not show anything, the sum of zeros ”

35. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “In 30 hours of interviews with parents in prison Amanda never was heard [incriminating herself]”

34. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “It was immediately admited, the mistake by the investigators”

33. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The footprint of Guede on the pillow right now is the signature of the crime”

32. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Lumumba was not to be charged, he confirmed his alibi”.

31. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “There has been judicial harassment against [my client]”

30. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Prosecution and plaintiff leverage statements of Amanda unusable ”

29. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “The declarations of Amanda between 5 and 6 November are unusable ”

28. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Absurd that Amanda is joining the attack on a friend ”

27. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Changing motive is constantly an element of weakness of the prosecution ”

26. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Add up all the clues , the sum of zero is always zero ”

25. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Without connections between clues and evidences the value is zero ”

24. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “In this process there is no evidence ”

23. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “A murder without a motive is fallacious ”

22. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Absurd that the knife used for the murder was brought home ”

21. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “Imaginative reconstruction of the prosecution ”

20. Lawyer Dalla Vedova: “This story has been in the headlines for months ”

19. Lawyer Dalla Vedova (Knox): “Meredith killed in this manner is a defeat for all ”

18. The closing argument of Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova begins (Knox defense).

17. Meredith appeal: the closing argument of the Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) ends.

16. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ) : “Amanda Knox was not present at the crime scene ”

15. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The judgment of Justice is the acquittal of Amanda

14. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The witness Curatolo is unreliable ”

13. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “We challenged from the outset the murder weapon ”

12. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “On the blade of the knife there is no blood and no trace of Meredith.”

11. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The expertise that revealed traces of Meredith on the knife is not trusted “

10. Lawyer Ghirga (Knox ): “The knife found at Sollecito’s house is not the murder weapon “

9. The closing argument of Luciano Ghirga defender Amanda Knox begins.

8. Amanda to the court: ” I am innocent , put an end to this enormous injustice ”

7. Amanda : “I’m not the monster he has been portrayed in recent years ”

6. Amanda: ” I did not know Rudy Guede ”

5. Amanda: “I’m not a killer , the prosecution and the civil parties are wrong , they want a conviction without proof ”

4. Amanda: ” Meredith and I have always been friends , we never quarreled ”

3. Amanda: “I have been subjected to illegal interrogation , I made a false confession extorted”

2. Amanda: “I have not killed , raped , robbed , I was not at the scene of the crime”

1. The email of Amanda : “I’m innocent , but I am not in court because I’m afraid”

2. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

3. Carlo dalla Vedova to #amandaknox appeal jury: If there is no murder motive, you must acquit.

2. Carlo dalla Vedova: We know #amandaknox is innocent. As time passes we’re even more tranquil.There are many more doubts than certainties.

1. In Florence, amanda knox lawyer holds up large knife to jury: “Starch was on the knife. It was not cleaned. It was in domestic use.”

1. Email from Amanda Knox

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, because I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six—year-long defendant and victim of injustice.

The Court has access to my previous declarations and I trust will review them before coming to a verdict. I must repeat: I am innocent.

I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people-Rafael and me.

My life being on the line and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgment:

No physical evidence places me in Meredith ‘s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I was not there and didn’t take part in the crime.

Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario. The prosecution has failed to explain how I could have participated in the aggression and murder—to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith—without leaving any genetic trace of myself. That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime

scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. The analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge.

My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance. I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call for over 50hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer. I never thought or imagined that they would have used my openness and trust to fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed comfort, Rafael embraced me; when I was sad and scared, I cried; when I was angry, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence; when I was trying to help, I answered questions, consoled Meredith’s friends and tried to keep a positive attitude.

Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position. Twenty—years old and alone in a foreign country, I was innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture. I was interrogated as a suspect, but told I was a witness. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew. I was denied legal counsel- The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it illegal. I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I was told I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I was told that if I didn’t succeed in remembering what happened to Meredith that night I would never see my family again. I was browbeaten into confusion and despair. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth.

The police coerced me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which the police wrongfully interpreted (‘Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward—it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable. I simply didn’t know what they were demanding me to know. After over 50 hours of questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

This coerced and illegitimate statement was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship. This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander. The prosecution and civil parties would have you believe that this coerced and illegitimate statement is proof of my involvement in the murder. They are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.

This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filomena Romanelli were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts.

I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.

This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.

It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent.

I had no Contact with Rudy Guide.

Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students

who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

I am not a psychopath.

There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their slanders against me, their personal opinions about me. They want you to think I’m a monster because it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties are both severely mistaken and wrong. They have condemned me without proof of guilt, and they seek to convince you to condemn me without proof of guilt.

If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.

The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes. Not by the experts of the defense, nor by the experts of the Court.

The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.

The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In their haste, they made mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon mistakes.

Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but their personal and highly subjective feeling, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, not Rafael Sollecito, not Amanda Knox, but of Rudy Guide. We would not be here over six years later debating inconclusive and unreliable “clues.” We would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

The prosecution’s accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years they have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should take my life away. I beg you to see the facts and reason of what I say. I am innocent. Rafael is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the truth. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox


Monday, December 09, 2013

The Rise And Fall Of “Frank Sfarzo” And His Disastrous Trip To The US And Canada

Posted by Ergon



[Frank Sforza riding high in his first days in the US]


Part II on Frank

My Part 1 post in this series is just below this post, and others will follow. Much of this first emerged on PMF dot Net. TJMK has posted about Frank in early days, and about the Seattle court.


Who is the real Frank Sfarzo?

Born July 04, 1963, in Rome, his real name is Francesco Sforza. This is confirmed by his passport data which I saw. He tried for years to hide it, and it is of public interest since, when arrested for assault, he again, deliberately misspelled his name. Like Bruce Fis(c)her, he tried to hide his many slanderous and libelous accusations on his blog behind the handle ‘Frank Sfarzo’.

The son of a doctor (like Raffaele Sollecito) he got a degree in philosophy from the University of Perugia (Candace Dempsey, Murder In Italy). Then his peripatetic lifestyle took him from Florence to Naples, a stint in the US, and work as a director of production in the troubled 2006 movie And Quiet Flows The Don.

When the Meredith Kercher case broke late in 2007, he was the first blogger, on his new site Perugia Shock, to write about the case. Moving back from Florence to Perugia, he managed a student flophouse, then he lived with his mother in a flat paid for through her pension check - his pattern for some time had been to live off the patronage of women.

These articles are based on a series of posts I wrote on PMF dot Net  - the SfarzoGate Papers. They are also based on interviews of many people who knew him personally - one common theme was how financially insecure he was, often to the point of stealing from their wallets/purses, and getting caught shoplifting from a local Coop store (September 06, 2010)



[Perugia Shock in 2008 stiil supportive of Meredith, sarcastic of Knox]


Insertion into the case

Despite receiving lots of moneys from US supporter networks for his local intelligence (I saw evidence that pointed to a leak from inside the Questura, for which the prosecutors began an investigation against him in January 2009) his big dream was a) to own property and b) write a book/movie about the case.

It was this that drove him into the arms of the Friends Of Amanda (see forthcoming Part III about their support for him and his blog Perugia Shock coming shortly) and to literally ‘turn on a dime’ in 2008 from being convinced of Amanda Knox’s guilt (he has always maintained Raffaele Sollecito’s relative innocence) to becoming, not just a pro-Amanda Knox blogger, but allying himself with the anti-Mignini forces in Perugia who wanted to impede his Monster Of Florence murder investigation.


The war upon Dr Mignini

The MOF series of ritualistic sex based murders took place in the Florence area in the 70’s, and it fell to the prosecutor Dr Giuliano Mignini, with ace criminal investigator Michele Giuttari, to carry on the work of earlier prosecutors. Much of the misreporting on the MOF case was sourced to Mario Spezi, who, allied with American writer Doug Preston, started a campaign of slander against Mignini from 2006 on that continues to this day.

My sources tell me that Frank knows Spezi quite well, and as well he is allied with the Berlusconi forces who wanted to carry out their attack on the Italian judiciary. But, seeing how Doug Preston supposedly got a movie deal with Tom Cruise’s company, then after that with George Clooney, to film The Monster Of Florence, he hoped to have a similar movie made about the Amanda Knox case, with him working on it of course.

Neither movie looks to be made now, which adds to much bitterness in some quarters.



[Knox in Seattle with Frank; she came to mistrust him]


The Perugia domestic dispute

Then, as tends to happen, the wheels came off the PR bus. Frank’s sisters, concerned about how he was taking advantage of his mother, tried to intervene, he became abusive, the police were called for the domestic dispute September 10, 2010; he went ballistic, and attacked them.

It was this incident, with the resulting assault charge he has managed to avoid so far, that he has spun into a web of lies about ‘Mignini’s persecution’ with the assistance of his muse, Candace Dempsey, author of Murder In Italy, the Friends Of Amanda Knox and Bruce Fischer, the co-owner with Sarah Snyder of the for profit Innocence-Anywhere (formerly Injustice In Perugia) website.



[The initial accomodation the Mellases hoped Frank would accept]


His begging for money

His sisters having whisked his mother off to their own home, he was without funds and about to lose his apartment. From a begging e-mail of Frank’s, Feb. 23, 2012: “They knew my sister was against me, the women in my family are unfortunately bad, you guys are saving me, I will always be grateful, I will be filing the complaint to have ‘Piggy’ and his gang tried, I will write the movie about this case, we will do great things together”.

He also claimed it was his sisters who were stealing the family funds, and that Mignini’s actions in the Meredith Kercher case were ‘criminal’ (which is the reason for the criminal defamation lawsuit he must now appear for in Florence).

Pleas for financial assistance ensued, along with hints he might be closing down his rejigged website and moving to the United States for “other journalistic projects”. He actually asked for 10,000 Euros through Bruce Fischer’s website!


His attempt to move to US

The reality was, Italy beginning to pall, and with the outstanding assault charge, he hoped to make a permanent move to the US, with the help (he thought) of his prominent American supporters.

Funds began to flow, and by my estimation he has received ‘donations’ in the tens of thousands of dollars. Which never, sadly, was enough. Just one Canadian supporter, who was abused by Frank after arrival, sent him 7000 dollars (confirmation posted by him on dot NET) in the form of 500 Euro monthly payments, plus his return air ticket.



[The Vashon Sportsmens Club where Frank & the FOA met]


Frank arrives in Seattle

The supporter gave the date of his arrival at Seattle Air Port July 20, 2012, along with fellow Knox supporter Dr. David Anderson, with whom he’d been staying in Perugia.

Frank managed to invite himself to the Mellas household, promising to reveal all about the investigation that would blow it wide open. He also claimed to have copies of the Amanda Knox ‘interrogation’ by the police and PM Mignini, which also, turned out to be a lie.



[The FOA publicity planning meeting inside the bar]

His first accomodation

Offered a bunk in Chris Mellas’s boat parked in his driveway, he threw a fit, and demanded to be housed in their home.

Where he ended up, staying with them for two months beginning July and including the Canadian interlude. Judge Michael Heavey who also had been sending regular monthly contributions (I am told around 300 Euros) escorted him around Washington State, then took him and Dr. Anderson to another of his pro-Knox anti-Mignini Rotary Club Club meetings on July 25, 2012.

The problem was that the Mellas clan and Bruce Fischer had already planned the big Vashon Island get together at the Vashon Sportsman’s Inn, Saturday July 28, 2012, to plan and coordinate the PR push for the shortly to be released books, and thank her supporters.

Therefore, not wanting to risk a blowup, they tried to placate him, while complaining to themselves about his behavior.

Knox stepdad Chris Mellas even told the Canadian supporter that Frank was a ‘difficult house guest’, this a week after he’d arrived (!) while Candace Dempsey, sitting next to them, nodded agreement.



[The FOA publicity group photo inside the bar. Some in hiding, we have other photos]


Frank Sforza and Amanda

Frank sat all day next to Amanda, who seems in her pictures to have a horrified fascination with Frank, who posed front and center for many group photos, and grandiosely boasted how he was going to ‘reveal all about the gang of criminals’.

The supporters, who numbered over 60, including Judge Heavey, Steve Moore, Tom Rochelle, Joe Bishop, and Bruce Fischer, all lapped it up. Later, when the infamous finger salute Group Photo was taken, it was with the instruction to “send a message to Mignini”. Shouts of “Pignini” rang out.

Frank was working very hard after that to find a way to stay in the US. He looked into obtaining a Green Card, but most of the female supporters were already married/not interested. Photos taken of him with them at the time show an adoring, rapturous group, though that changed after the stories came out.



[Frank points to Screech Rum bottle from “Bill Williams” in kind host’s house. He looks very angry]


Frank’s Canadian interludes:

His first visit over the border for a week, went well. His Canadian supporters, one of whom, “Bill Williams” (a Canadian reverend) posts thousands of Groupie posts, met him with a bottle of “Screech Rum”.

The second visit, though, was when it all began to unravel.

A Canadian border service agent intercepted Frank, and, not believing his story why he was visiting Canada, seized his passport, and ordered him to report back to the agency the next day, August 25, with his Canadian sureties, “Bill”, and “Peter”. He was allowed to stay over, but things began to unravel after that. (I saw the passport seizure document)

Frank became increasingly erratic. Not satisfied with the money already received from his host, “Peter”, he requested a ‘business loan’ of $25,000 to set up a beach bar. “Peter”, a successful retired businessman, was struck by Frank’s lack of business acumen, said the plan was unfeasible, and declined.

Frank Sfarzo, who had never held a long term job or owned property in his life, began to insult him, calling his $750,000 home a ‘barn’ and other personal insults. Yet all he did in the nearly a month he was there was watch soap operas all day long, plus work on his blog, which his supporters helped him edit.

In the end, when one of Frank’s tirades became too unbearable, his host, concerned for his safety, called the RCMP at 4:00 AM in the morning, who then escorted Frank, uttering threats of “suing” everybody,  to the border, and expelled him from Canada. He is now barred from entering the country. In turn, Frank accused his 71 yr. old host of sexually molesting him! The police didn’t believe him, of course.


Frank is back in Seattle

Frank returned to Seattle, where he was asked to leave the Mellas home after making a pass at Amanda Knox. Chris Mellas famously called him a “mooch” and an “exploiter”, and asked the Hawaiian supporter to delete Amanda’s personal information from Frank’s telephone, but everyone was too scared of him to do much else.

Frank then stayed a few days Edda Mellas’s sister, Janet Huff’s home (he calls her and her daughter a ‘bitch’) then various homes until he ended up in a rooming house owned by another supporter, at 2283 Viewmont Way W. Seattle, on a three month lease beginning October 01, 2012 at $525 a month (paid for by the FOA, Frank’s funds were running low)



[The hotel where Franks kind host paid his bill]


Frank’s Hawaiian adventure

Frank’s visitor’s permit running out, he accepted an invitation from another American supporter, then a long standing member of Bruce Fischer’s forum. He thought she was rich, she thought he was a misunderstood soul who corresponded with her regularly (she paid for a month’s rent, sent a ticket as well to Kona airport).

Frank arrived November 08, 2012, on a seven day ticket. He was due to return November 14, but his plans were to get married, and obtain a Green card.

Surprise. She wasn’t rich, wasn’t interested in marriage, and lived off the land in a little mountain community. He started the usual pattern of verbal abuse. They were peasants, she was a ‘loser’, etc. The people there were going to beat him up, she saved him from that. Even the dogs hated him.

Trying to salvage the trip, she took him to a hotel room (which she paid for) for the last day on the island. Frank started with the abuse again, struck her, she fled to the desk and called the police. She just wanted him removed and to catch his flight, he threatened to sue the police, they arrested him for assault. He claimed she threw luggage at him, but it was she who had the bruises to show to the police. She fled the room right after.

He was held overnight, released the next day and told to appear in court the next week on assault charges. Which he did, and she, just wanting to have him leave the island, declined to press charges, which can still be reinstated, should she chose to do so. Copies of all his arrest warrants and charges have already been published on PMF dot NET and PMF dot ORG.



[Seattle Municipal courthouse where Frank was supposed to attend trial December 31, 2012]


Denouement:

When the news of his arrest broke, there was shock all around at PR central and Bruce Fischer’s ORG. Bruce tried to cover it up, deleted his forum member’s allegations (I found and saved it in the hour it was up)

I expressed sympathy on PMF dot Net, she read it, contacted me, and the rest, as they say is history. Bruce tried to intimidate her by revealing her past sexual history, which Frank passed to him (so she posted it herself, she’s a victim of sexual assault, and decided she didn’t ever want to be a victim again)

Then when Peter, the Canadian host spoke up on her behalf, Bruce tried to pass it off as ‘just too much to drink on both sides’ and this caused an uproar in his own forum, as members, appalled, quit in droves. And some of them, contacted me.

Of course, Bruce, who likes to intimidate and abuse, (as former friend Steve Shay found out) allowed Knox ‘family friend’ Karen Pruett to reveal the accuser’s identity, even though we had obscured her name in our reporting.

Frank got into an argument with two men at the rooming house who called him out on his behavior, he sucker punched one from behind and bit another, a disabled person. He was arrested and charged with assault, held overnight, arraigned the next day, probable cause found, and he was told to appear in court December 31, 2012. Which he didn’t, having fled back to Italy.

Just like in Hawaii, he provided false ID and was charged as “Francesco Sforca” though we were able to locate the court records anyway. His supporters say he was stopped at the border from returning, but that is a lie. He was in Italy throughout that time, my sources tell me. Someone is out $2,500 bail money.



[Seattle airport where Frank took off from after arrest, never to return]


Postscript

Francesco Sforza, also known as Frank Sfarzo, who travelled with and left behind files, photos and videos of a murdered girl in three different cities, should know that all his ‘property’ has been forwarded to the authorities to return to their rightful owner, whoever that might be. I do not know whether that forms or is part of an investigation into his activities, nor do I care.

(To be continued in Part III, Frank Sfarzo and the FOA, due sometime this weekend)


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

With Sollecito’s First Plea For Mitigation Seen As A Flop, His Behavior Seems Extremely Suspect

Posted by Peter Quennell



Sollecito headed for Dominican Republic, but stopped pending court okay

1. Post Overview

A week ago Prosecutor Crini had begun a two-day summary of the state’s case so stark and implacable that it had two effects on Sollecito.

He stayed in his hotel on the second day; and he then took off like a rabbit for some destination initially unknown and repeatedly lied-about by his father (see Part 3 below).

One of his lawyers (accidentally?) broke the secret. Sollecito had flown to the Dominican Republic. Where he just happens to have some really unsavory relatives. 

2. High Drama In The Nencini Court

Sollecito has not ever taken the witness stand.

And given the minefield his foolish book and media claims amount to, don’t hold your breath expecting otherwise soon. However, last month Sollecito did use the Italian accuseds’ privilege of making an impromptu plea to the judges.

He was not under oath and not subject to cross-examination by the prosecutors. He did not address the copious evidence, and was seen as attempting to humanize himself to perhaps get some years knocked off a final sentence.

As always, Knox forces were left confused, thinking he had somehow helped both of them. But Sollecito repeatedly drew attention to his being an Italian and in effect to Knox and Guede not being Italians, thus once again separating himself from Knox on lines Barbie Nadeau also described here..

Our main poster Yummi was in the court and reported in part as follows:

One of the woman judges kept staring elsewhere and almost never watched Sollecito all the time he was talking. Sollecito’s speech itself was actually not that exciting. It was so overt that he was focused on portraying himself as a person who is so good and cannot hurt anyone, not the bad guy described in the media.  The real and only topic of Sollecito’s statement was himself, who he is, his “true” personality, he begged them to look at what a good and suffering a boy he is…

And believe me, Sollecito was just whiny. For a big part of his speech he was just putting distance between who he is today and the person he was when he was 20 years old. He talked about the impossibility of finding a job (the job he would like to have in a corporation, obviously, not just any job) and wanted the judge to project to his condition from that of young Italians who can’t hope to see a future.

Then 10 days ago the skilled senior prosecutor Dr Alessandro Crini fired back, and effectively demolished Sollecito’s premature statement. As we reported, Dr Crini took nearly two days to do that.

Sollecito was again in court on the first day, but was seemingly unable to face Dr Crini’s onslaught on the second day. He remained holed up at his hotel.

Although Dr Crini settled on a lowest-common-denominator motive - a Lord of the Flies flare-up which had escalated into mob violence and the fatal stab to Meredith - his recounting of the evidence and associated behavior of the pack was comprehensive and very hard. Translated from Cronaca:

Meredith was treated “as if she was an animal.” In this way Dr Crini defined the dynamics of the murder of Meredith Kercher during his indictment.

According to Dr Crini, the attack escalated to the point where the attackers felt they “needed to get rid of a girl they had abused”. While Rudy Guede sexually abused Meredith Kercher, supine on the floor of her room, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, according to the reconstruction, were at each side of the body of the victim.

“The mouth and neck of the victim were contained in a fierce way to avoid Meredith going berserk and screaming, and when Meredith did in fact manage to scream, she received the final fierce stab to the throat.” Two knives were used in the crime at the house in Via della Pergola on the night between 1 and 2 November 2007”...

Dr Crini referring to the bra clasp of the victim, said that “the presence of the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito is quite certain” and explained at length why there was no “possibility of contamination”.

Amanda Knox was at the scene of the crime, according to the identification made ​​by the scientific police in Meredith’s room of an imprint of a shoe (female size 36-38 according to the results of the analysis)... On the pillowcase, the center of gravity of this bloody history, were found a palmprint of Rudy Guede and this print of the shoe.”




3. High Drama Right After End Of Court

Dr Francesco Sollecito was reported as being shocked by the unrelenting tone of the indictment. However, Sollecito’s plight is not nearly as bad as the ever-stubborn Amanda Knox’s.

Knox has already served three years and was fined heavily for obstruction of justice. She could face another year for that if it is found to have been aggravating. And as the post below mentions, she could face as many as three more charges for aggravating obstruction of justice. 

Sollecito in contrast has respected the court by actually showing up, and, unlike Knox, has lately shown restraint in accusing his accusers.

However, the day after Dr Crini ‘s startlingly powerful summary of the case against him, it looked like Sollecito was hastily taking off out of Italy for somewhere. 

La Nazione reported that police at Florence Airport had held back a fully loaded Air France flight to Paris while they checked with the prosecution that he was indeed allowed to leave the country.  La Nazione said the prosecutors have some concern that he might skip and not come back, but he did voluntarily come back previously from the Dominican Republic, and his family has always ensured some presence in court.

But next TGCom24 reported that Sollecito’s father had claimed that Sollecito had already gone home to Bisceglie, although he is a free citizen still in possession of a passport and can travel anywhere if he wishes.

But then TGCom24 reported that he had indeed flown to Paris, but had turned around and come straight back again, to stay with family friends.  And that on 8 December he will sit his final exams in computer science at the University of Verona.

However, soon after that La Nazione reported that Sollecito’s father had been contradicted by his lawyers, and his erratic son had slipped through his fingers and flown “for his work” back to the Dominican Republic. Translation by Jools:

1 December 2013 – SCOOP. Denials, lies, game by the defenders. But in the end it’s up to the lawyer Luca Maori to admit: “Raffaele Sollecito returned to Santo Domingo, as anticipated on Friday by La Nazione”

He embarked from Florence’s Peretola Airport and made a stop-over in Paris, from where he then flew to the Caribbean island where he spent the last few months that preceded the start of the new appeals process. “But there is nothing strange - minimizes the lawyer - Raffaele went back to pick up the things he left there, will be back in ten days for the final exams and to await the judgment. With anxiety, but self-assured.”

No escape, just a normal “work” trip. Permissible, since there is no measure that prevents the accused to leave Italy. But the departure of Sollecito, accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox (already sheltered in the U.S.) caused some sneering. And even the agents of the Border Police, when they saw him in front of the [departure] gate, made a phone call to the Procura to be sure whether the journey in the midst of the appeal process was really “normal.”

IN FACT. Sollecito ‘s father, in an understandable effort to defend his already too overexposed son, slipped on the so-called banana peel, placing the young man within a few hours in various locations, but never in the true destination across the ocean: in Verona, preparing for the final exam in computer science in regard to the thesis, or in Paris, but just for a flash-stay from which he was back the day after. At Christmas, maintained the father, Raffaele will return from abroad. Maybe for the last break before the final rush of the Mark II process, which, according to calculations by the Assize Court of Appeal, could be concluded on January 15.

Meanwhile, the hearing on 16 December is for the remaining civil parties, then double date for the defence, (December 17 and January 9) and hearing on the 10 dedicated to counter-argument. With Sollecito in the courtroom, assures the lawyer.

Nothing strange?! Doctor Sollecito lying repeatedly, instead of explaining to the media where Raffaele went, and why he went there, and why it was a huge secret, was VERY strange.

It should have official minds very seriously wondering why. WHAT did Raffaele have to do so secretly in the Dominican Republic - where his notorious mafia relatives from Montreal occupy a town there?



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