Collection: Italian justice hoax

Friday, January 06, 2017

Netflixhoax 18: Omitted - Any Mention Of The Toxic Public Relations Assaults On Italian Justice

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Paul Ciolino and David Marriott in Kermit’s extensive debunking of the PR, link below

1. Nature Of The Excess

The huge public relations effort on behalf of Sollecito and especially Knox is entirely omitted from the film.

Perhaps because Netflix’s “Amanda Knox” was itself a toxic assault on Italian justice? Perhaps because the producers had themselves for five years acted as a nasty sharp end of that same PR?

Amazing omission, any way you look at it, as complete movies and books could dwell on this brutal attempt by non-legal means to set Knox and Sollecito free. The pro-Knox PR in particular, mostly in English in the US making it hard for Italians to know about, let alone respond, was taken to unique extremes.

Look at the giant scope of the PR as presented in Kermit’s masterful Powerpoint. That was created even before the 2009 trial was done, before the worst of the PR was set loose. 

Note the number of strongarming threats and false talking point and outright lies. The dishonest TV appearances and misleading books. The threats and personal abuse of officials and reporters who had no easy way to hit back. The myriad hapless professionals roped in as glovepuppets, many of which we will quote in the next two posts.

And the staggering moneygrubbing, surely a world record in itself.

2. Initiation of the Sollecito PR

It is pretty well impossible to affect court outcomes in Italy with PR. Contempt of court and defamation laws are too strong. Papa Doc Sollecito and his family tried a few things, but they ended up in court in Bari, and Vanessa Sollecito was fired from her job.

Giulia Bongiorno was then the head of the powerful justice committee in the parliament. She was hired as lead counsel and acted as the spokesman for Sollecito’s cause, often (like Sollecito) dropping Amanda Knox in the drink. Other actions moved underground.

3. Initiation Of The Knox PR

The Knox PR beamed at Americans was initiated by Curt Knox before he and Edda Mellas ever left West Seattle for Perugia. Before any lawyers had even been consulted, let alone employed.

Why so fast? Well one good hunch is that Curt Knox already KNEW with his family history of dangerous volatility that Knox really could have exploded and led a pack attack that left Meredith dead.

Here is a great book on how aggressive American PR too often helps clients with financial means to win while trampling on the law. 

Here is a good roadmap for what is known in the PR world as astroturfing, the techniques of which the ever-expanding Knox/Marriott public relations effort followed almost to a tee.

Prior to the start of the trial, the PR was becoming extremely shrill. Deathfish posted this. The Machine posted this.   After a crazed PR event in West Seattle was reported upon, even Knox’s lawyers wanted it toned down.

In April 2010 we were hearing things similar to this description of the PR from everyone who had tried to file honest reports.

Coverage of the crime began to diverge on the two sides of the Atlantic. From the vantage point of Perugia, it seemed as though the Knox family’s American supporters were simply choosing to ignore the facts that were coming to light in Italy….

The American press hung back, at first, objective and somewhat disbelieving that such a wholesome-seeming girl could have any connection to such a sordid foreign crime, and then, as the family stepped up its defense, increasingly divided between two camps that would become simply the innocentisti—those who believed she was blameless—and the colpevolisti, those who did not. In Perugia, these labels governed access…

Of the handful of American journalists in Perugia in late 2007 and early 2008, none got access to the Knox family without certain guarantees about positive coverage. Within months, the family decided to speak on the record primarily to the American TV networks, often in exchange for airfare and hotel bills. Most of the print press was shut out. And the TV producers learned to be very cautious about being seen with people like me, lest the Knox family should cut them off.

But as interest in the case grew, an odd assortment of American talking heads attached their reputations to Amanda’s innocence. An aggressive support group called Friends of Amanda formed in Seattle, headed by Anne Bremner, a media-savvy criminal lawyer who had cut her teeth as a tough prosecutor in Seattle’s King County Court…

Very quickly, [PR manager David] Marriott lost control of the situation. As he spoon-fed the Knox-approved message to American outlets that couldn’t afford to send correspondents to Italy, those of us on the ground in Perugia began passing his contradictory e-mails around as entertainment during the long days in the court.

[We reporters in Rome] began what would be a two-year battle against the Seattle message machine, incurring personal attacks and outright threats.

Newsweek said that the PR campaign was winning over nobody in Italy and doing some real harm.

More negative reports began to appear. See this on one PR shill. See another example here.

A media expert rated the PR counter-functional and likely to fail at least in part. There was soon the first hard proof of this when the PR landed Oggi in court.

The talking points became so extreme that you’d think they would be impossible to spoof. However Chimera did the impossible here.

4. Overview Of Where Next

This brings us to a halfway point with the Hellmann appeal court, first chambers of the Supreme Court, the Nencini appeal court and the fifth chambers of the Supreme Court still ahead. The first and fourth of those courts were bent and in each case the PR played some role.

But the outcome is not cast in stone.  Guede could spark a retrial for himself (we will know in a few days) in which the Knox and Sollecito teams will not even be present. A lot could be said that will set them back.

A dozen main media outlets and several hundred professional writers and TV commentators and so on came to swallow the PR bait without any checking of the truth. We will quote them at length. Netflix itself has clearly done this - it swallowed the assurances of thee cranks with axes to grind and did no due diligence in Italy before guying and airing a very unsafe product. 

Both Curt Knox and David Marriott have declared the PR to have been a success. We will asses that. The PR departed so wildly from the truth and did so much harm to those it lied about that it is easy to shoot down. Look at the comments on the media threads about the Netflix movie and you will generally see a majority denying that Knox did no harm or was framed. One of various signs of a huge fail?


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Netflixhoax 17: Omitted - Too Many Pesky Truths, To Inflame False Notion Italian Justice Failed Here

Posted by Corpusvile



Inside Netflix’s Silicon Valley headquarters


Amanda Knox the Netflix documentary was directed and exec produced by two ardent Knox supporters, Rod Blackhurst and Stephen Robert Morse

They have been campaigning for Knox since 2011, which has included harassing real journalists who actually covered the case far more thoroughly than they did.

The movie opens with lingering almost gleeful close ups of the bloody crime scene and goes downhill from there. It begins by trying to shape a false narrative of handy villains who all seemingly came together like the stars aligning to make innocent Amanda look so screamingly, beyond a reasonable doubtingly guilty.

In the beginning, there were the cops. It was them who railroaded and coerced poor Amanda.

Then it was the nasty prosecutor, who the documentary falsely intimates took part in Knox’s trial and appeal, whereas he only took part in her trial and was one of several prosecutors. The documentary attempts to make out he’s some Sherlock Holmes fanboy nut job.

They also mistranslate him, by having him proclaim that only a female killer would cover a female victim, when he actually said that an “unknown” male killer - within the context of a supposed burglary gone wrong - would be unlikely to cover up a victim.

Then it was the ENFSI certified forensic specialist who Knox’s fan club labeled a “lab technician”. (Oddly, though, the same forensic specialist and prosecutor seemed to do a great job testifying against and prosecuting the black guy, and sogood work guys).

Then it was Meredith Kercher’s friends who conspired against The Railroaded One, then it was the innocent victim’s innocent family themselves who were “persecuting” sweet Amanda.

Now, courtesy of Netflix, the REAL villains were the tabloid media, specifically one tabloid hack, Cockney wideboy Nick Pisa, who comes across like I’d imagine Danny Dyer’s dad would come across as and is quite hilarious, albeit totally devoid of any scruples as any tabloid hack worth his/her salt would.

The media, the prosecutor, the witnesses, THEY were the ones who were responsible for poor Amanda’s woes (and not the 10,000 pages of behavioral, circumstantial and hard physical evidence against her which the documentary brushes over in a cursory manner.)

It makes out that Knox and Sollecito were in love after an alleged five day romance. I say “alleged” as Sollecito is rather inconsistent in this regard, variously claiming a fortnight, 10 days, to a week to now apparently five days. This is hammered home by shots of what I presume to be lovebirds, complete with feel-good treacle music.

Sollecito comes across as a smirking stoned weirdo, and Knox comes across as her usual creepy quasi psychopathic self, complete with crocodile tears and loud theatrical sighs.

Knox is also her usual inconsistent self and can’t seem to stop changing her story, whether it’s droning on that she and Meredith weren’t the best of friends (after droning on in other interviews that they were “dear friends”).

Or claiming that she only knew Guede to look at and had only seen him two or three times. This despite claiming that she only saw Guede for the first time ever in court (Dianne Sawyer interview) and claiming she never had contact with Guede, in her rambling eight page email to the Nencini appellate court before claiming - in a consecutive sentence no less - that she actually did have contact with him.

She proclaims it’s “impossible” for her DNA to be on the murder weapon, disregarding that it was a matter of established fact that her DNA is on the murder weapon with Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

The film makes out that Rudy Guede, the sole person convicted for Meredith Kercher’s murder, left his DNA all over the crime scene, with funky arrows pointing here, there, and everywhere. The problem is this simply isn’t true. Rudy Guede was convicted on less DNA evidence (five samples) than Amanda Knox (six samples).

The documentary also displays quasi racism, where trial and appellate courts can be rejected for innocent Amanda, but innuendo is sufficient for black guys, as Knox lies in the documentary that Guede is a known burglar.

The documentary happily facilitate this lie by obligingly showing a mugshot of Guede with the intimation that it’s a mugshot for burglary. The problem again is, this is simply untrue. Guede has no burglary convictions, and indeed was the only one out of the trio with no prior criminal record before Ms Kercher’s murder.

Knox and Sollecito both had minor run-ins with the law resulting in fines. Guede was never even charged with the burglary, and even the acquitting court decreed that the burglary was staged, as in staged in another flatmate’s room where Amanda Knox left her presumed blood DNA mixed with the murder victim’s and where no trace of Rudy Guede exists.

Knox also claims that no biological traces of her exist in one localized area of the crime scene, specifically Meredith’s bedroom, yet ignores that by such a rationale Guede couldn’t have committed the burglary.

Knox also claims that Guede acted alone, but no court decreed this, and she claims that he broke into her home when Meredith was present, neglecting to explain how Meredith never heard the 4 kilo rock hurling through Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom and why she obligingly did nothing while Guede shimmied 13 feet up a sheer wall TWICE.

The documentary, apparently not content with trying to match the record of most lies ever told in a single documentary before, then breezily attempts to surpass such a record, by introducing the film’s saviors, Stefano Conti and Carla Vechiotti, as “independent forensic DNA experts”.

Conti hypothesizes, like he did in court, that anything is possible. It’s like totally possible that contamination could have occurred, therefore it…  DID occur. Basically a hypothesis on the basis that “anything’s possible” supersedes actual submitted evidence.

Vechiotti not to be outdone promptly contradicts Conti by attacking Low Copy Number (LCN) DNA as a science. Basically he claims Meredith Kercher’s DNA profile on the murder weapon (found in Sollecito’s flat, causing him to lie in his diary as to how the DNA got there by claiming that Meredith had cut herself cooking while at his apartment; but Meredith had never visited Sollecito’s apartment) is so tiny that it should be discarded and ignored.

LCN DNA is however now accepted by courts of law worldwide, including in the State of New York USA. Vechiotti also admitted in court that it was Meredith’s profile, and that contamination couldn’t have occurred due to the six day delay between testing.

She does a u-turn on the documentary though, claiming that contamination was likely due to Meredith’s profile being LCN and so small, despite testifying the exact opposite where it mattered the most, in court.

Problem is, Conti makes the contamination hypothesis for the bra clasp, only Sollecito’s DNA found there isn’t LCN, it’s a 17 loci match, with a US court considering between 10-15 loci sufficient enough to be used as evidence.

The doc also fails to explain how his DNA ended up only on the tiny bra clasp in such abundance and nowhere else apart from a cigarette, but mixed with Knox’s. So, too small for the knife, and hey, anything’s possible for the bra clasp.

They also make a big thing about the bra clasp lying in a sealed crime scene for 46 days, yet don’t mention that two samples of DNA evidence used to convict Guede (Meredith’s sweatshirt and purse) also lay there for 46 days. I guess there’s different burdens of proof bars for black guys.

However again the problem is that all of this (yep, again) is simply untrue. Conti and Vechiotti are not experts in forensic DNA or ENFSI certified.

Carla Vechiotti is a pathologist. Her lab at Sapienza University was shut down due to atrocious hygiene practices including honest to God corpses being strewn about the halls, I kid you not.

Conti’s expertise is “computer medical science”...whatever that’s supposed to be. Nor are they independent. Conti and Vechiotti were found “Objectively biased” and “Objectively deceptive” in court by the Nencini appellate. Specifically because Vechiotti falsely claimed that the technology did not exist to re-test the murder weapon. It did indeed exist in 2011.

Vechiotti was also filmed by the BBC shaking hands with Sollecito’s father in court, no less, hardly appropriate behavior for so-called independents. Vechiotti has also been found guilty of criminal misconduct in a separate case, and was fined €150,000 for screwing up in yet another separate case, known as the Olgiatta murder.

You’ll notice in this review how I’ve rarely mentioned the victim Meredith Kercher. That’s because she barely gets a mention in this sad excuse for a documentary. Not even an RIP.

Meredith, the victim is relegated to a mere footnote and indeed a foot under a duvet.

The doc does use archive footage of her mother, Arline, and intimates that she herself is having doubts, whereas the Kerchers have made very clear on several occasions that they know who murdered their daughter.

Reprehensibly, the doc also displays close up autopsy photos of Meredith, yet the autopsy photos were never made public.

Considering only the Kerchers (who didn’t take part in Netflix’s PR makeover) and the defence - and by extension the two former defendants - had access to such material, this begs the very pertinent question: who provided two ardent Knox supporters with autopsy photos of the murder victim?

The filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves for this alone, utterly contemptible behavior which comes across as needlessly and despicably taunting the victim’s family, and at the very least exploiting their daughter and sister purely for lurid effect to make their documentary more “gritty”.

So what’s the verdict on Amanda Knox the documentary?

Well, it’s a terrible, false and ultimately immoral exercise in innocence fraud, and here are some more of the facts that Knox’s PR infomercial left out:

1 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Amanda Knox was present during Meredith’s murder and may even have possibly washed the victim’s blood from her hands afterwards but it STILL can’t be proved that she did it, which begs more questions, namely why didn’t innocent Amanda call the cops for her friend and why wasn’t she charged as an accessory at least? (The same Supreme Court did not make the same allowance for the black guy though, had he washed the victim’s blood from his shoes for example.) The court also states that there’s “strong suspicion” that Sollecito was there.

2 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that the burglary was staged.

3 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith was murdered by three attackers and that Guede had two accomplices. (And you really don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to figure out who these two accomplices were, when you view the evidence in its totality)

4 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Meredith’s murder was NOT due to a burglary gone wrong.

5 The Supreme Court’s acquitting nonetheless finalizes Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, which she was handed for falsely accusing her innocent employer of rape and murder, leaving him in prison for two weeks, and never retracting her statement, despite false reports that she did, meaning that Knox’s status is still that of a convicted criminal felon.

6 In finalizing Amanda Knox’s calumny/criminal slander conviction, the Supreme Court’s acquitting report states that Knox blamed her boss to protect Rudy Guede as she was afraid that Guede could “retaliate by incriminating” her, which of course begs some more very interesting and pertinent questions, such as how could Guede incriminate innocent Amanda to begin with?

7 The Supreme Court’s acquitting report does NOT exonerate Knox, it acquits her due to “insufficient evidence”,like Casey Anthony, OJ Simpson and that nice man Robert Durst now back on trial.

The Truth is Out There, as a fictional 90s FBI agent who investigated strange stuff once mused. The truth in Meredith Kercher’s case is out there too, specifically in the Massei and Nencini court reports.

Never have I seen a case where such overwhelming evidence existed and where all the primary sources and court reports are fully available, only for such false reporting and fawning (and equally false accounts abound). It’s like the mainstream media have collectively turned into the robotic town of Stepford.

Yet the truth often has the strangest habit of coming to light, often when we least expect it to shine. I have hopes it’ll shine in Meredith’s case, in time. The supporter fanboy filmmakers are fooling nobody who is familiar with Meredith’s case, and neither are Amanda Knox or Raffaele Sollecito.

RIP Meredith Kercher, who along with her stoic dignified family (who have been subjected to absolutely abhorrent abuse and attacks by Knox’s supporters online) and Knox’s employer Patrick Lumumba are the only victims here.

May the truth shine in your case one day and the facts and truth come to light.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Netflixhoax 11: Omitted - How Italian Justice Is Misrepresented By Multiple Cherrypickings Of Facts

Posted by Swansea Jack


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



Quote: “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”  Malcolm X

We live in a society where I believe I’m justified in saying a majority of people are easily swayed by the material they see on TV or read in the newspapers.

Recently I have witnessed a mass of new posters on Twitter and other social media forums who after watching the Amanda Knox Netflix documentary have formed a cast iron, unshakable opinion on the case.

It is clear after engaging with them very briefly that they frankly have very limited knowledge and understanding of the facts relating to the murder of Meredith Kercher.

I will credit the producers of the documentary Blackhurst and McGinn on what I consider to be a quite clever (but ever so sneaky) disguising of their absolute bias towards Amanda Knox which will not be evident to those who are not acquainted with the case.

They have obviously correctly banked on the ignorance of the majority of their audience.

I get the impression that Nick Pisa is used as a “filler” and a distraction. I come to this conclusion as I feel the producers would be hard pushed to make a 90 minute documentary, favourable to Knox, while addressing the real facts of the case without getting themselves into serious legal trouble.

I also know from first-hand experience that it is a long-term strategy of Knox and her little band of PR hate-mongers to vilify others, in order to distract attention away from the real villains.

It is my impression that the intended main target for vilification was Perugian Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini.

But try as they might, even with their selective editing, they could not produce enough material to achieve their goal due to Mignini’s humility and integrity.

For me personally the documentary raised a few questions which I will share with you.

We have Knox herself stating words to the effect of “either i am a psychopath, a Wolf in sheep’s clothing or I am you” Well she certainly isn’t me or anyone else, she is her, so is this an involuntary but frank admission?

The documentary shows a clip of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Knox in which Amanda is asked “Were you there that night?” She replies “No” but nods yes.

It is my opinion that Knox gets a real power kick out of the notoriety afforded to her and revels in the “Did I or didn’t I” mystery.

She then goes from being the wolf in sheep’s clothing to being a “Warrior Princess like Xena”. An ultimate and powerful fantasy figure.

Knox maintains that she was at Sollecito’s address at 110 Corso Garibaldi watching Amelie at the time of Meredith’s murder.

Not even Raffaele supports this version of events.

It begs the question why Blackhurst and McGinn have omitted the fact that Marasca and Bruno who acquitted the pair state in their motivation report “her (Knox) presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial.”

The acquitting Judges go on to explain their reasoning that Knox was the first person to offer a sexual motive before there was any cadaver or autopsy reports available.

They also make mention of Amanda’s description of “the victim’s terrible scream” which was confirmed some time later by witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others.

How could a person who wasn’t present know these details of the crime?

Knox goes on to describe an idyllic evening, smoking pot and making love, yet makes no mention of who was listening to music on Sollecito’s computer at 05:32 in the morning, a time when both Knox and Sollecito claim to be blissfully sleeping.

Knox can’t comprehend why there is a knife with her DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

There is no mention in the documentary of Amanda’s recorded prison conversation with her parents in which she says “I am very worried about this thing with the knife, because there is a knife of Raffaele’s” (*Reference Massei report page 292.)

Neither do they address Sollecito’s claim that the reason Meredith’s DNA is on the blade is because he “accidentally pricked her while cooking.”

He later admitted this was a total fabrication, Meredith had never attended his home.

Knox claims that she accused Diya Lumumba after long hours of questioning. Yet we know that due to the time recorded on her signed voluntary statement that she had fabricated a story swapping Guede for Lumumba in under 2 hours.

She only did so upon learning Sollecito was no longer supporting her alibi.

There is no mention in the documentary that Amanda had provided Diya Lumumba’s name to Rita Ficarra in a list of persons of interest prior to learning Raffaele was not corroborating her version of events.

There is no mention of the sample of Knox’s blood recovered from the faucet of the bathroom she shared with Meredith which Amanda herself dated in her court testimony to the night of Meredith’s murder.

There is no mention of the mixed DNA sample of Knox and Meredith, recovered from a luminol revealed bloodstain in Filomena Romanelli’s room. This is where the alleged point of entry for the burglary occurred. It is worth noting there is no biological trace of Rudy Guede in this room.

Addressing the bra clasp, the Netflix documentary fails to address the fact that the only other sample of Sollecito’s DNA identified in Via Della Pergola 7 was on a cigarette butt in an ashtray in the kitchen. This was a mixed sample containing Raffaele and Amanda’s DNA.

The documentary emphasises the farcical views of the so called “independent experts” Stefano Conti and Carla Vecchiotti. It fails to mention that Vecchiotti confirmed that contamination at Dr Patrizia Stefanoni’s laboratory was not possible if there was a six day gap in the testing of materials during cross questioning at the Hellmann appeal hearing.

    PROSECUTOR COMODI: “Is six days a sufficient interval to rule out contamination?”

    CARLA VECCHIOTTI: “Yes absolutely”

Neither do they address Conti’s explanation (or lack of) as to how and why Sollecito’s DNA was located on the hook of Meredith’s bra clasp

    PROSECUTOR COMODI: “How would Sollecito’s DNA accidentally arrive on the hook of Meredith’s bra?”

    STEFANO CONTI: “Anything is possible”

During his input in the documentary Conti implies that DNA is easily transferable, he gives an example of running his fingers along his arm and magically shedding DNA.

If this is the case I would like to pose a few of questions to him.

1, Why is the only other sample of Sollecito’s DNA located on a cigarette butt in the kitchen?

2, Why is there no genetic trace of Guede in the small bathroom or in Filomena Romanelli’s room?

3, Can you provide a figure for the statistical probability of Sollecito’s solitary sample of DNA (other than the mixed trace on the cigarette butt) innocently finding it’s way on to Meredith’s bra clasp?

Blackhurst and McGinn predictably make use of Rudy Guede’s Skype conversation with Giacomo Bendetti in which he states Knox wasn’t there, yet do not address the letter Guede wrote to his lawyers in which he refers to “a horrible murder of a splendid, beautiful girl that was Meredith by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox”

Why have the documentary makers chosen to ignore so very many facts?


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Netflixhoax 7: Omitted - The Almost Unique Carefulness Of Italy’s Justice System

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Bigotry for fame and profit: Stephen Robert Morse, Rod Blackhurst, and Brian McGinn

Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.


1. Wrong “facts” and numerous omissions

As first explained previously in this series the very loaded Netflix report Amanda Knox included some seriously wrong “facts”.

Here is another of them.  The HIV Hoax. Italian doctors did NOT fool Knox about a possible HIV positive; they told her in confidence not to worry, they would retest (a common practice in HIV testing) and that test soon came back negative.

NOBODY in the justice system leaked about this. The leak to the media complete with Knox’s list of recent sex partners was blatantly and well-recordedly made by the Knox-Mellas defense team. Even several of us were leaked-to - this was months before we got a grip on the case.

We shall be deconstructing the various wrong “facts”.

But mainly though the film operated at the level of cut-and-paste innuendo. And it banked on the extreme ignorance of its audience.  Hundreds of inconvenient facts were omitted, any few of which would have disrupted its propaganda purpose.

We shall be adding in the numerous omissions.

2. The report’s macro-level takeaways

About 50 movie reviewers so far have mostly declared these to be their main takeways.

    (1) A muddled or desperate or evil Dr Mignini framed Knox and fooled his co-prosecutor, numerous experts, 30-plus judges, and most of Italy.

    (2) The justice system of Italy is a dangerous error-prone joke, but thankfully some much smarter Americans are here, to save silly Italy from itself.

    (3) Somehow a few BRITISH tabloids influenced an ITALIAN jury to vote “guilty” and the damning prosecution case the hapless defenses did not once dent in 2009 was immaterial.

All three of them are untrue. We’ll take a first stab at correcting for them below, with much more to come.   

(1) The REAL Dr Mignini

He framed Knox? On this there is vast evidence to the contrary. Dr Mignini has already explained some and we have much more to come. Dr Mignini had no motive, early on he was pretty good to Knox, and the checks and balances against any such hoax are simply enormous.

Ask yourself, why would a prosecutor intent on framing Knox do this recorded interrogation?

In fact he did it as a favor to Knox, because she asked him for it. She asked also for the interrogation at trial. Those were the ONLY two interrogations of Knox. Both damning. There were no others, ever.

In both of them, Knox by her own tongue dropped herself in it, far more than any police or prosecutor ever did. The second had a major effect on the jury (and on Italy).

In that same post we pointed to two of the Netflix team’s numerous self-serving omissions.

(1) [The movie]  appears to accept that innocence was proved and that Knox and Sollecito had zero role. That was not what the Supreme Court said. [See Dr Mignini’s final paras.]

(2) Italian lawyers think the Fifth Chambers ruling may have been illegal as well as bent. The reasoning can be read here. That is headed to court soon.


(2) Italy’s REAL justice system

Pretty well the exact opposite of what you’d suppose if you read only Michael Heavey and Frank Sforza and Paul Ciolino and Bruce Fischer and John Douglas and Saul Kassin and Steve Moore and of course Doug Preston and the late Mario Spezi. Read only them, and one might be excused for thinking Italy’s is a huge, horrible system which the Italian population desperately needs THEM to save it from! Bigotry for fame and profit.

A total illusion, which Morse, Blackhurst, and McGinn now want you to swallow. Bigotry for fame and profit.

The main characteristics of the Italian system are (1) a large and visible national and local police presence with excellent forensics labs, (2) a low crime rate even by European standards, and even more-so by American standards, and (3) a very low rate of incarceration that is only 1/6 the rate of the US.

The system is immensely careful and with two AUTOMATIC rights of appeal for convictions for serious crimes the chances of a false conviction standing are zero. Compare this with thousands uncovered in the US. The vast wave of appeals has clogged the courts and right now Parliament is trying to reverse this. 

Appellants have a huge advantage which makes it easy for them to game this system: the prosecution presents their case ONLY at trial. Then seasoned defences can game bewildered prosecutors at higher levels.

Officially the US knows all of this. It has much to gain politically from Italian co-operation and works very hard on their functional relationships. The FBI and the Italian equivalent embed one another’s officers in Rome and Washington, aid one another’s labs, share huge amounts of information, mutually take down mafia, and organize dozens of extraditions annually.

Almost all prosecutors are highly-trained by career-path; the only three who were not in this case (Judges Hellmann, Marasca and Bruno) and sprung Knox and Sollecito are all believed to have been corrupted.

Finally, the mafias and fellow-travelers work hard to smear police and prosecutors (as well as assassinating them, over 100 now). In this respect the Knox PR has wittingly or unwittingly been functioning as an arm of the mafias. Bongiorno, substituted for the hapless Sollecito PR which cost Vanessa her Carabinieri post, became famous for mafia defenses.

The 20 posts we link to below go deeper. You might read at least the headlines and the quotes below. That Italy’s is a pretty good system should be compelling.


1. Click here for post: How Italian Justice REALLY Works

Comparing the US and UK common law system - a model founded on non-written laws and developed through judicial proceedings - with this system which arose from the Roman Law model - based on a written civil code - is really like comparing apples to oranges.

They were both conceived to protect individual’s rights at a maximum level, while seeking justice for the victims. But with entirely different processes.

One is not necessarily better or worse. But there are legal experts who think the Italian system is distinctly fairer - much more weighted toward the defendants. In the US and the UK the prosecutor usually has to make it through only one pre-trial hoop. In Italy the prosecutor has to make it through a whole row of pre-trial hoops…

2. Click here for post:  Why The Prosecutors In Italy Are Relatively Popular

Italy’s a tough country with, albeit dwindling now, a legacy of violent crime, and many brave prosecutors over the years have been assassinated.

And the Italian legal system is not particularly weighted in their direction, with a large number of hurdles they have to climb over before a case ever gets to trial.

And the Italian prison system is relatively lenient, heavily pro-prisoner-remediation and early release, and proportionally only 1/10 the size of the US’s.

So the endemic attempts to undermine Prosecutor Mignini have invariably won only MORE popular support for him and his case in Perugia and Italy in general.

3. Click here for post:  Why The Italian Judiciary’s Probably Less Prone to Pressure Than Any Other In The World

Italian magistrates enjoy an extraordinary level of autonomy from the other powers of government (executive and legislative) and the point of this post is to explain why. This autonomy is above all due to the Italian constitutional framework.

That framework is intended to guarantee such an exceptional level of independence so as to avoid the abuses that occurred during Mussolini’s fascist regime, when Italian magistrates were forced by the executive to prosecute (and persecute) political opponents to the fascist dictator…

4. Click here for post:  Explaining How The Italian Appeals Process Works And Why It Consumes So Much Time 

The extraordinary broad appeal rights awarded by the Italian system are all part of the 1989 reform, which intended to add even more guarantees to the right of the accused. This has resulted in an incredible increase in pending cases in the overburdened Italian justice system….

This situation is exacerbated by the broad appeal rights guaranteed also on the 2nd level of appeal, at the Supreme Court of Cassation. Like other supreme courts around the world, such court does not re-examine the entire body of evidence, but only ‘errores in iudicando’ and ‘errores in procedendo’ (errors in procedure or application of the law).

However, unlike its American or English counterparts, the Italian Supreme Court cannot refuse to review a case, and defendants have unlimited appeal rights to the Supreme Court of Cassation. They don’t even have to wait for the Appeal Court. You can in fact appeal to the Supreme Court directly after the first trial. ...

5. Click here for post:  Barbara Benedettelli: Campaigner For Victims And Families Says Italian System Denies Them Justice

There are proportionally very few perpetrators in Italians prison by global standards, and when there in prison they are given quite a nice time, trained to perform usefully when released, and very often get out of prison early.

Seemingly very humane. But this does carry very high costs. There are often almost unbearable pressures on victims’ families, as Meredith’s father John Kercher has several times described. On top of all this, there is the growing western fascination with perps, and in many cases their elevating to popular cult-worship status.

Barbara Benedettelli is a writer and columnist and the editor of the popular “Top Secret” program on Rete4 TV…  Her latest book (only in Italian) is called “Victims Forever”. She talks of various prominent perps and the enormous and unrequiting pressures on victims’ families. In polls a large majority of Italians detest this. They want much less stress on “fairness” and MUCH more compassion for victims families and, if still alive, for the victims.

6. Click here for post:  Harvard Political Review Writer Alex Koenig Reproaches The Sliming of Italy’s Justice System 

The fact of the matter is, those that immediately claim that Knox was wrongly accused and jailed by a corrupt justice system make two extremely arrogant assumptions that reveal perverse American exceptionalism.

1) It is assumed that, as an American – an American woman no less – Knox is incapable of murder. This case differs, of course, from the 1,176 domestic murders committed by women because, well, who knows?

2) It is assumed that not only is the Italian justice system incapable of fulfilling its legal duties, but that the intentions of the court were swayed by anti-Americanism.

This is not merely an abstract sentiment, but was actually articulated by Senator Maria Cantwell (D) of my home state of Washington.

7. Click here for post:  Interesting Tilts Of Marcia Clark And Alan Dershowitz Toward Educated, Informed Italian-type Juries 

“[American] jury instructions are so numerous and complex, it’s a wonder jurors ever wade through them. And so it should come as no surprise that they can sometimes get stuck along the way. The instruction on circumstantial evidence is confusing even to lawyers. And reasonable doubt? That’s the hardest, most elusive one of all. And I think it’s where even the most fair-minded jurors can get derailed.”

“Well, if you want justice, don’t look to the criminal law system. That’s not its job. Its job is not to produce a just result. Its job is to produce a legally correct result…”

“We’ve opted for a much more democratic system, and it means that in the end you’re going to be dissatisfied with a lot of verdicts. Just don’t expect too much from our legal system. Don’t expect truth. Don’t expect justice, because that’s not what it’s supposed to give you.”

8. Click here for post:  The Chief Enforcer Of The Constitution And The Rule Of Law is Wildly Popular Throughout Italy 

He is said to receive dozens of petitions a day and in certain cases he does act to get things done. Significantly, two that he chose to ignore recently concerned the ongoing Sollecito-Knox appeal process.

Of two pretty blatant attempts to bias the Perugia process, one came from Joel Simon of the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, and one came from the junior Berlusconi-party MP Rocco Girlanda.

President Giorgio Napolitano simply ignored both of them.

9. Click here for post:  Compared To Italy, Say, Precisely How Wicked Is The United States? 

We have often remarked that Italy’s crime rate is low, the three mafia families (Sicily, Calabria and Naples) are on the rocks, and the justice system is one of the most cautious - conviction rates are infuriatingly low for the suffering families of victims, but in a forgiving Catholic nation rates of incarceration are unlikely to jump any time soon.

The American incarceration rate in sharp contrast has for a decade led the rest of the world, and it increased every year for nearly 30 straight years from the arrival of President Reagan to the departure of President GW Bush. Its prison rate is ahead of Russia’s, with its mafias and corruption and poverty, and ahead of China’s, with its large population of political prisoners.

10. Click here for post:  Involvement Of The Formidable Carabinieri Shows How Italian Justice Will Not Be Leaned Upon 

Judge Nencini may have invoked the help of the Carabinieri for reasons going beyond simply very good science.

Italy has among the world’s lowest crime-rates, murder-rates and incarceration-rates. Unusually low criminal and anti-social tendencies among native-born Italians, and strong family pride, explains a large part of this.

But another main reason is the high-profile and exceptionally smart police presence. Deliberately a cool presence rather than a hot and intimidating presence, and in fact a very popular one

11. Click here for post:  Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System 

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

12. Click here for post:  Italy’s Advanced, Effective, Humane Law & Order System Also Adopted By City Of New York

New York is now the safest big city in America. It is following a route that is not only almost identical to Italy’s - it is being watched and emulated elsewhere across the US….

Now that the United States has the world’s highest reported rate of incarceration, many criminologists are contemplating another strategy. What if America reverted to the penal policies of the 1980s? What if the prison population shrank drastically? What if money now spent guarding cellblocks was instead used for policing the streets?

13. Click here for post:  Italian Prime Minister Renzi Will Push Measures To Speed Up Justice 

In a move popular not least among those who are part of it Mr Renzi announces moves to speed up Italian justice.

Italian justice and those who work in it are widely trusted and respected in Italy. But a very humane system designed post WWII to give those accused a level of rights unique in the world has been even further tilted over the years by politicians passing laws to aid political and business colleagues in legal trouble.

14. Click here for post:  Why Numerous American JUDGES Favor The Supremely Neutral Italian Kind Of System 

See that above at the bottom of the YouTube screen? Some $280 million has been spent since the year 2000. Can you guess what the $280 million was for?

In fact the $280 million is funds raised and spent for judges’ election campaigns in the roughly 3/4 of all American states where such judges’ elections are held - the original intention of which was good: to get judicial choices out of smoke-filled rooms.

15. Click here for post:  Meredith May Not See Justice (Yet) But She Will Leave At Least Three Legacies 

Knox behaved grossly irresponsibly in heading to Perugia under-funded, intent on drug-doing, and with zero intention of seriously studying.

The University of Washington and many others realised they could have huge liabilities if they did not distance themselves a lot from such loose cannons in future.

In October 2009 we reposted this report by Andrea Vogt which described the initiation of measures many American universities have now come to implement….

16. Click here for post:  Counterterrorism: Another Way Italian Law Enforcement Is An Effective Model For Everywhere Else 

A leading military analyst is citing Italy as a model of counterterrorism done right, pointing out that despite many factors going against it, Islamic terrorists have failed to kill a single person on Italian soil.

17. Click here for post:  Italian Justice & The Telling Status Of Extraditions To And From Italy 

If countries agree to extradite to other countries, that suggests a high degree of trust in justice at both ends. They are in effect voting confidence in each other’s justice systems.

Italy achieves an exceptionally high rate of extraditions in both directions and continues to sign more bilateral treaties.

It is clearly trusted almost worldwide as a destination where those charged will receive a fair shake. And it is very no-nonsense about sending back fleeing felons who try to go to ground there.

18. Click here for post:  Knox’s Nasty-Prisons Hoax: NY Times Describes How Italy Leads The World In Rehabilitation 

Around five years ago, largely because of immigrant crimes, the prison population (previously below 100,000 - in the US, California prisons alone hold almost twice that) began to balloon.

New prisons were built, with no expenses spared, and in these images you can see the result.

Stories of extreme over-crowding have gone away, and the New York Times profiles the new prisons and their programs of today.

19. Click here for post:  How The Italian “Justice Tortoise” Is The Likely Winner Compared To For Example the US System 

Italy is working to try to update its justice system right now and we will report on that shortly. At least in theory, it has one of the easiest tasks in the world, because post WWII its legal system was redesigned from the ground up. It had already junked bad aspects, some going back centuries.

Italy already has some of the world’s smartest juries - jury service is compulsory, so smart people cannot dodge them. And the system already has some other very positive things going for it.

Mainly what is needed is some weeding. And such reforms are made easier in Italy because (1) judges and prosecutors all follow career paths and so they are not politically competing with one another;  and (2) there is the Council of Magistrates (CSM) which can be very progressive in the reforms it pushes at its level.

20. Click here for post:  So Where Would YOU Want To Go On Trial? In Italy Or In The U.S.?

We have still not seen even ONE American lawyer claim that after the first trial in 2009 which found RS and AK guilty that there were strong grounds for an appeal.

In the US, back in 2009, full prison terms would have been begun.

And in fact virtually nothing at the 2009 trial was challenged in the appeal. But the defenses subversively organized to get Civil Judge Hellmann instead of Criminal Judge Chiari to preside, and in 2011 a farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.

Then there was a THIRD jury trial, in 2013-14, which (as so often in Italy) threw out the not guilty outcome of the previous appeal trial.

And finally, in 2015, due to more subversive defense machinations with a little mafia help, the final Supreme Court appeal was assigned to the FIFTH Chambers, for the first murder appeal that Chambers has ever heard.

A second farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.

Say what you like about the American system, there is not remotely any parallel in its judicial history to all of that.  Quite the opposite in fact. We have had various posts pointing to an increasingly hard line in the US.


(3) British tabloids corrupted a jury in THIS system?

Subject of future posts. Check back shortly.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Netflixhoax 6: Omitted - Numerous Objective Facts In The TRUTHFUL BBC Report

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



This fine BBC production has been aired in many other countries. It is mainly Americans who have been prevented from seeing it.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Netflixhoax 4: Omitted - Producer Stephen Robert Morse Has Been Originating Defamations For Years

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.

Pretty funny, that last tweet above. Almost nobody has painted a larger legal target on his own back over many years than the blustering Netflix producer Stephen Robert Morse himself.

The first two tweets are of course both defamatory lies. See the two posts below for an honest take on Dr Mignini, not the mafia’s one which Morse parrots. .

As he was lying about an officer of the Italian court in the first two tweets, he could in theory be charged with contempt of court on the same basis as Frank Sforza and Andrew Gumbel have already been charged.

He could certainly be made to sweat pounds off in a British or Italian civil court. Hot potato in waiting for Netflix there.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Netflixhoax 2: Omitted - Any Accurate Representation Of Dr Mignini’s Fine Track Record

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.


1. The Wider Context

Longtime Italy-berater Judy Bachrach is one of the first to view the Netflix movie Amanda Knox. Predictably, she raves about it.

At bottom here Dr Mignini explains the actual final judgment on Knox and Sollecito, and shoots huge holes in Bachrach’s claims.

Judy Bachrach resembles one of those wind-up parrots. She repeats about a dozen of the Knox-PR talking points like mantras again and again.

There are literally hundreds of evidence points on this and other sites that overwhelmingly point to Knox and Sollecito guilt. There is no other way to account for them all. That is why the 2009 trial was so decisive.

Try running those past Bahrach and she is quite certain to come up short of any other explanation. Even simply our two posts directly below this, providing a flavor of that, would leave her seriously stumped. 

She published her first very simplistic take on the case in 2008, months before trial when much evidence was not public and the myth-making Knox and Sollecito PR was ramping up. Then another simplistic take every several years since. She has also repeatedly found her way onto TV and perhaps a dozen simplistic YouTubes are one result.

At Guede, she really rants. Clearly in her eyes the nasty black guy did it, and did it all alone even though not one court, ever, ruled that.

She makes it routine to mischaracterize Dr Mignini, who she seems to think really had it in for the girl (she always forgets Sollecito) because of something to do with sex. And in her mind all of Italy has been fooled.

Our main poster Machine posted an analysis of nine of Bachrach’ wild claims way back in April 2010. They are highly worth reading, here. Machine’s overall conclusion on Bachrach was this.

We have been analyzing Judy Bachrach’s many, many articles and TV commentaries about the case, and they all seem to point to the following conclusions. 

  • That she hasn’t ever read the Micheli report and doesn’t seem to have actually ever mentioned it.

  • That she hasn’t had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000-plus pages file of evidence, and maybe she has had no access at all.

  • That she didn’t attend the key court sessions in which highly incriminating forensic and circumstantial evidence was presented.

  • That she hasn’t absorbed the numerous factual newspaper and magazine reports about the key forensic and circumstantial evidence.

  • That she seems to rely either a lot or totally on sources with vested interests who feed her wrong theories and false information.

  • And that she comes across to us as the reporter most often showing on US media outlets the most complete ignorance of the case.

Quite a track record. We wonder if she is really very proud of it. She seems to sound so.


2. Judy Bachrach’s Latest Crackpot Claims

Judy Bachrach was fast to start beating the drum about the Netflix flick. Almost the first reporter there. You can read her article here. She clearly loves the Netflix report.

That it leaves out about 95% of the key facts seems to be over her head.

In the article, she quotes her recollection of an interview Dr Mignini gave her years ago.  This was clearly a gotcha moment for her - suddenly it was crystal clear why Amanda Knox is being tried for the crimes. Sex! It seems over her head that officially there really were sex crimes; all three were charged with them.

It pays to understand four things.

(1) Not only did the Netflix flick get things wrong and leave myriad things out (how many, we shall soon know) but it appears to accept that innocence was proved and that Knox and Sollecito had zero role. That was not what the Supreme Court said. See Dr Mignini’s final damning paras below.

(2) Italian lawyers think the Fifth Chambers ruling may have been illegal as well as bent. The reasoning can be read here. That is headed to court soon.

(3) Judy Bachrach’s crackpot inventions are not backed up by even one document, transcript or report. She really does parrot the Knox PR and uses inventions to fill in any gaps.

(4) There is a mafia angle, of which Bachrach could be part. Humiliating the forces of justice is what they like to do. We cannot go public until this officially starts to come out. Sollecito first drew attention to it, and law enforcement are on top of it.

3. Dr Mignini Corrects The Record At Length

We offered Dr Mignini this opportunity. He kindly came through. It is made pretty obvious that Bachrach was maliciously putting words in his mouth.  Dr Mignini spoke in Italian, and we translated, and he approved.

Dr Mignini speaks

I will share just some of my thoughts after reading the article in that magazine, which I would really prefer not to speak about. I mainly want to say that those statements which are put between quotation marks as attributed to me contained in that article? I never pronounced them.

I have never said – and anyone who knows me would understand (though this journalist Judy Bachrach doesn’t know me, doesn’t know me at all and I myself didn’t have the misfortune to know her) that I would never say, I’d never talk about, and I’d never mention, the morality or the immorality of a person as an argument within the explanation for a crime. Absolutely no way.

A crime is a violation of a law, an action that may be reprehensible or whatever you like, but it is an action regulated as provided by the penal code, subjected to penalty by the code, that needs to be ascertained, period. And that’s all. It needs to be ascertained following totally objective criteria. A crime is an objective action, a codified action. It has nothing to do with moral qualities, or allegations of moral qualities, or lack thereof, of an individuals.

The discussion in the article of Bachrach about those allegedly quoted statements about “morality” attributed to me, they are FALSE, I have simply never said them. And one cannot even say that they were a little changed, because I’ve never said anything even remotely like them. Those are statements of a kind that I would NEVER make.

Such is one statement reported in the article where I allegedly said “Amanda killed because motivated by a wish to be liked at any cost” – by the way, statements like those do not make any sense: the person who makes up such statements doesn’t realize she is saying things void of any meaning. 

The Italian Penal Procedure code (art. 220) prohibits that any research into the personality of a suspect could be used in court as evidence, such as the finding of a propensity of a suspect to commit crimes or similar argumentations. A proper research into the personality of a suspect is permitted only when there is a need to establish mental capabilities. On the other hand, some features of a suspect personality might be considered during investigations but only to understand the context of a crime.

When I happened to point at some features apparent in the personality of the suspects, I actually cited observations made by criminal psychiatrist Dr. Mastronardi who had given his opinion on the case. Aspects of personalities traits, showing features such as manipulative behaviours or a passive and dependent attitude – to mention some findings involving the suspects – were rather noted, highlighted or detailed not by the prosecution, but by the judges on various instances of the investigation and pre-trial hearings (Investigation Judge C. Matteini, Re-Examination Judge M. Ricciarelli, and Preliminary Judge P. Micheli).

[Editors note. These are the judges who really guided the case. Go to this post and scroll down and click through to posts #13 to #16. That includes the findings of the Supreme Court, which backed up the findings of Dr Matteini and Dr Ricciarelli’s panel. It also includes Dr Mignini’s interrogation of Knox, in which she in effect froze up; this was done at her own request though her lawyers were none too thrilled - they feared she would bomb out, and she did.]

As for the “motive” on this case. It should be pointed out that in a case like the murder of Meredith Kercher – the murder of a young student girl who was uninvolved in dangerous circles and had no enemies – independently from the identity of the perpetrators, we are talking about a crime that cannot have have a “motive” with a rational or consistent logical structure, nor could it be ascribed to a particular conscious and organized intention.

We may talk about causes that could have contributed to leading to a situation that ended in committing the crime. Among the factors we know that unbalanced personalities, life or emotional disorganization of perpetrators, behavioral excesses, inabilities to handle relations, psychological fragilities, are elements that always contribute to this kind of crimes, and we had reasons to believe that drugs also played a role.

The task of the judiciaries is not really to set out the motives of the individuals from a subjective point of view. We know that unfortunately a record of cases exists, in which apparent “ordinary” looking young people – including students – have committed very violent murders, in contexts where no “motive” could be explained in a way that appears rational or serious from an objective point of view, since futile crimes - including group murders - may emerge from the building up of situations involving individuals not able to handle issues of adult life.

Thus, all statements within quotation marks as reported in the article by Bachrach are false, I’d say absolutely false: they are the product of a making-up or a spin (I reserve for myself any necessary action in the event there is also a defamatory report) or reported without their context or with their context changed (like falsely reporting the dates, such as when I mentioned the time when some Perugian citizens used to compliment me).

I was stunned by one statement by the end of the article, that says – in which I am reported to have said – that “if they were innocent, they should forget”. That is a statement which I said on request of one of the two interviewers, who asked “what would you say to those young persons in the event that they were actually innocent?”. So what could I say, what should I answer to a question framed and spun in such a way? I might say: “it’s an experience that unfortunately happened to you, something that may happen, try to forget, seek all legal ways” – but I was saying that in the abstract, purely in the abstract – “that you think you can follow if you deem that you suffered an injustice” – albeit the Cassazione ruling is in the dubitative formula (Art. 530 § 2. cpp).

But then the Vanityfair journalist does not report my *second* statement, that is, the other one I said just following: “And what about if they are guilty? If they were guilty I’d suggest them to remind that our human life ends as trial that has an irreversible sentence, that will last forever”. My answer was made of two statements, not of one. Both were rhetorical and hypothetical. The last statement was the one I thought would have unleashed criticism, but curiously it’s the one missing in the article, there is no comment about it.

Another thing: it is true that people in Perugia happened to come to shake my hand and compliment me, but that happened much later, around 2013 and later, and those people basically complimented me about the Narducci case. It was somehow satisfying because it came after many years of difficulties and attacks. The Perugian people expressed their support to me because of the Narducci case, and secondarily they also expressed their support because of my independency in facing the international media campaign that was mounted against me after the Kercher case.

I don’t know if Vanityfair was the one which made up or spun my answers, falsely reporting them from the Netflix documentary, or if it was Netflix itself who made them up by editing the interview and disseminating content from a video prior to the premiere. I had a positive experience working with the documentary directors at the time. Not knowing what the journalist watched or made up, I will anyway reserve my decision as a consequence. I have to say, I am quite disconcerted about the way a certain American environment appears to think and keeps going on in a raving manner about this case.

One stunning aspect of this, is that the narrative they put forward, such as in the article we talk about, seems to be based on a focus on me, as if I were to become a kind of key character functional to their fictional story. I found this particularly strange since in reality the Kercher case investigation was actually based on the work of a number of judiciaries, all of them making decisions with a power that was equal, or greater than mine. So is how the Italian system works on these type of serious crimes.

The fact that even a second Public Minister was appointed almost from the beginning may suggest that we didn’t have personal investment: I asked Manuela Comodi – who has my equal rank, is not my deputy – to share the investigation and deal with the technical parts, such as the expert witnesses, since she is very good in this area. The other, multiple judiciaries involved beside us, all had greater powers, each of them could have stopped the investigation or changed its orientation and settings.

Therefore, a personalization of the case – as if I had some kind of special power – or a “polarization” of it – like a narrative that is woven between me and one of the suspects as main characters – that appears unrealistic to any person with a minimum of understanding of the system. Indeed if there are reporters who like to make up a story where a person with my name plays the role of a picturesque fictional character, motivated by “moral” or religious obsessions or else, all of this only shows an agenda pursued by those journalists that tells much more about them and about the type of campaign they are part of, than about the case. 

There is anyway one important element which, unfortunately, I know was left out from the documentary – partly because it was produced earlier than the publication of the Cassazione ruling – I know that something the documentary omits to mention, is the actual content of the latest ruling by the Fifth Panel of Cassazion. If we leave aside, for a moment, the several issues of consistency and law inherent in the ruling itself (those that may be spotted by those who read it with some knowledge of the topics), there is anyway the fact that the ruling confirms certain findings.

Some facts recognized as certain by the Cassazione, not reported in the documentary, are that it is anyway a “proven fact” that Amanda Knox was present at the scene of crime when crime was committed. The same ruling also points out how it is proven beyond doubt that Meredith Kercher was murdered by more than one person, and Rudy Guede certainly acted together with others. The fact that Amanda Knox was certainly there is emphasized by the Court to the point of noting their agreement with the lower Court on the fact that Ms. Knox heard Meredith’s harrowing scream, and even noted that she had the victim’s blood on her hands, that she washed them in order to clean them from Meredith’s blood.   

The High Court only raises a reasonable doubt about the active participation of Amanda Knox in the action of killing. The Court – in agreement with other definitive findings – also reminds that Ms. Knox voluntarily lied as she falsely accused an innocent, and notes that no way could this finding ever be overturned. All these things are missing in the documentary. I’d like all American friends to bear in mind these last bits of information as well, whenever they decide to seek information about the Kercher case.


Friday, September 09, 2016

Netflixhoax 1: Omitted - Netfix’s Own Difficulties In The Business World Makes For Suspect Messenger

Posted by Peter Quennell



Top curve: S&P 500 stockmarket index 2016. Bottom curve: Netflix’s stock plunge this year.

Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



Netflix stock has lost more than 1/5 of its value this year. That’s around $10 billion. Stockbrokers are issuing sell-the-stock recommendations.

Axiom Capital’s Victor Anthony this morning initiated coverage of the stock with a Sell rating, and an $80 price target, based on concerns about its “super-rich multiple” against “rising competition, diminishing pricing power, and rising content costs.” “Netflix has enjoyed premium valuations for rapid subscriber growth,” he writes, “but subscriber growth is slowing.”

Owww. How timely if the documentary “Amanda Knox” burnishes Netflix’s reputation!

Obviously it would help Netflix a lot if everyone who really knows the case declares the report to be even-handed and objective - and especially if it doesnt leave key facts on the cutting-room floor.

The movie premiers tonight in Toronto.

From the reporting in the next few days, we will gain an increasing sense of the value and slants of its content. Ergon hopes to offer us a review in about a week’s time, and of course at the end of this month we can all shell out to watch it.

If the Netflix report has indeed left anything out we will start building an online list of these omissions.

Maybe the report wont, of course.

But all non-Italian media, virtually without exception, has left things out - hundreds and hundreds of points, points that have almost 100% of Italians seeing Knox and Sollecito as guilty.

This was one example. This is another.

Non-Italian media incessantly repeats the notion that Knox’s interrogation on 5-6 November scared her into fingering Patrick.

Those stories leave out that really there wasnt even an interrogation as defined under Italian law. Knox was in fact amiably building a list of vistors with names and phone numbers.

It leaves out that Sollecito tossed her under the bus that night and many, many times later.

It leaves out that Knox herself demanded to make both the written statements she signed that night. It leaves out that in both statements she said she went out from Sollecito’s house on the night. So much for several of her numerous alibis claiming she didnt.

Already we count two dead canaries in the Netflix coalmine. 

1) Ergon has just posted this statement in the thread under the previous post - itself a pretty awkward post for Knox apologists.

Press release from the Meredith Kercher Wiki re the Netflix documentary:

“For The Press. September 09, 2016: The Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox” opens at the Toronto International Film Festival today Amanda Knox. While claiming to be a balanced perspective its producer Stephen Robert Morse had made inflammatory reports about the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini (who was interviewed by the film makers) of “having been convicted of crimes” (he was acquitted) and being “a power-hungry prosecutor running the show”. Requests to producer Mette Heide on August 13, 2016 for comment about his bias were not replied to by this time.”

Well, Dr Mignini was never “running the show”. In fact a whole row of judges, up to and including five Supreme Court judges, was always calling the shots though to trial, and more subsequently.

On 17 December 2007 Dr Mignini kindly gave Knox a UNIQUE opportunity to clear herself (she dismally failed it). There was a very compelling trial, and a unanimous trial jury, and a 400 page verdict report - which barely mentions Dr Mignini.

And in a fiery repudiation Cassation agreed with the appeal court in reversing his conviction (for cops planting a bug a judge had in fact approved), and roasted both the Florence trial judge and prosecutor who since have fared badly. Meanwhile Dr Mignini is expected to be the next Prosecutor-General of Umbria.

2) This is from a film review today by Seattle’s Moira Macdonald

Mostly without editorializing [the filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn] just let the witnesses speak — among them the DNA experts whose eventual testimony led to Knox and Sollecito’s eventual exoneration —  and I suspect some members of the lingering Amanda-is-guilty camp might revise their opinions by the end of the running time.

The “independent” Hellmann DNA consultants Conti and Vecchiotti? Who were roasted by the Carabinieri labs, the Florence Appeal Court, and the First Chambers of the Supreme Court for bias and extremely sloppy methods? See the image at botttom.

Dear Netflix: You really chained your future to Amanda Knox, and to that very discredited pair? You hired the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse to guide you? You didnt do any due diligence? You piled on more anti-Italy bigotry?

Poor Netflix. At first glance, it seems the stockbrokers’ advice could be smart advice.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Italian Justice: Describing A Fine System And How To Improve It

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)

[Revered prosecutor Paolo Borsellino was assassinated 1992 with probable political connivance]

Trashing Of Justice System Gets Worse

Does this Reuters report capture Italian justice correctly?

We linked to it on 30 June and it seemed to have some key points missing. For example it omits, as English-language reports tend to, that the system as originally designed strove above all to be fair, and that crime rates in Italy are low and murder rates lower and levels of incarceration and recidivism tiny by European standards.

Also that the police and justice system remain more popular and trusted than other institutions in Italy.

Click here for more

Posted on 07/10/16 at 12:56 PM by Machiavelli (Yummi). Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
Archived in Must read first postsJustice systemsItalian systemOther systemsHoaxes against ItalyItalian justice hoaxEvil Mignini hoaxEvil police hoax
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Monday, May 02, 2016

Revenge “On” The Knox: Bruno And Marasca Strike Back

Posted by Chimera



Judge Bruno the drafter of the seriously bizarre Fifth Chambers report “Who, me?!!!”

1. Overview Of The Post

We have posted both multi-part analyses of the Amanda Knox book (extended 2015 edition) and also multi-part analyses of the 2015 Supreme Court verdict attempting to apply closure to the case.

Primarily because they both make so much up and leave so much out, both efforts appear to Italian lawyers and observers and our own team to have fallen far short.

Worse, as I demonstrate here, Knox and the Supreme Court were not even on the same page. They used different arguments which tend to cancel one another out.

In effect the report of Judges Bruno and Marasca late in 2015 pulled the rug out from under Knox’s book published a few months before.   

2. Arguments Of The Supreme Court

The final report from the 5th Chambers of Cassation was released in September 2015, several months late, with rumors swirling in Rome that it was proving a tough task. 

Our five critique series were put together by (1) the Perugia prosecution, (2) Machiavelli, (3) Catnip, (4) James Raper (the longest of those four), and (5) in draft by Olleosnep.

From James Raper critique Part 1

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

7.  No selective cleaning.

8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

From James Raper Critique Part 5

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

While this seems (in a very tortuous way), to assert an “insufficient evidence” finding rather than an “innocence” finding, the findings of the 5th Chambers are now considered final, unless they are overturned.

That being said, these findings directly refute the bulk of Knox’s book “Waiting to be Heard”

3. Arguments of Amanda Knox

Our 12-part series taking apart the claims in Knox’s book can be found here.

(1) Chapter 5, 6: The Evening and Morning After Meredith Died

Knox Version (A): AK/RS were at his apartment, watching Amelie, smoking pot, reading Harry Potter and f***ing.  AK returned to her home late the next morning.

Knox Version (B): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith

Knox Version (C): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith, and RS was probably there

Knox Version (D): AK has no clue what was going on, and doesn’t remember anything.

Version (A) is the story AK told in her book and on television—though the details are flexible.  Versions (B), (C), and (D) are the 3 statements she made November 5th/6th.

However, the truth Bruno and Marasca think is closest to the truth (pun intended), is version (C), with Guede as the killer instead of PL.

Other courts: Pre-Trial Judge Micheli (October 2008), Trial Judge Massei (2009), Appeal Judge Nencini (2014) all found that Knox was not only involved, but that she personally killed Meredith.  Even if you accept the Cassation ruling that AK wasn’t actually involved, the final ruling did place her at the crime scene, and RS probably so.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(2) Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Ensuing Investigation

AK goes on and on in WTBH about how she was trying to help the police.  She complains about how she was subjected to repeated and very lengthy interviews.  However, she never shared any of the insider information she had about that night.  The police officers involved noted that she and RS seemed particularly unhelpful.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(3) Chapters 10, 11: The Knox Interrogation Hoax

AK goes on in great detail especially in Chapter 10 about how she was lured to the police station, and brutally interrogated.  In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she refers to it as “torture”.

Interesting how she remembers it with such lurid detail.

  As AK points out, there is no recording or video
  All of the officers involved give “very” different accounts
  AK claims to be traumatized and have her memory go blank

AK’s performance was convincing enough to make Judge Claudia Matteini (November 2007) believe PL was the killer.  But since then ....

(a) the 3 judge panel headed by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli (November 2007);

(b) the 5 judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli (April 2008);

(c) pre-trial Judge Paolo Micheli (October 2008);

(d) trial jury headed by Judge Giancarlo Massei (December 2009);

(e) appellate jury headed by Hellmann/Zanetti (October 2011);

(f) Cassation panel headed by Judge Chieffi (March 2013);

(g) appellate jury headed by Judge Alessandro Nencini (January 2014);

(h) Cassation panel headed by Bruno/Marasca (March 2015)

.... have ALL ruled that AK framed PL, and that she did it willingly, and wasn’t tricked or coerced.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(4) The Afterword: Everything After Hellmann’s Ruling

AK triumphantly declares that Cassation (2015) found her and RS innocent.  But once again, AK releases her book prior to the Cassation report.  Idiot.

Se especially here.

AK does misrepresent far more than just the 2015 Cassation findings in the Afterword.  More on that later.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(5) Understanding the Bruno/Marasca Ruling

At a minimum, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Afterword of “Waiting to be Heard” are complete bullshit.

Considering that these bogus claims are repeated throughout the book, it can reasonably be inferred that much of the rest is made up as well. 

This is not me talking.  This is referencing the Bruno/Marasca ruling, which as it stands, is final.

(6) Author’s Note

This is a lot of speculation on my part, (as Andrew Gumbel would say “hearsay and speculation abound”), but feel free to comment

The B/M report can be understood in one word: finality.  They don’t want any one else looking at it.

(A) B/M rule “insufficient evidence” rather than “innocent” hoping to placate the Italian public.

(B) B/M sabotage AK’s ECHR appeal chances, as they don’t want another court looking to carefully at it

(C) B/M ruling essentially says “just short of guilty” to stop AK/RS from crowing about their innocence.

(D) B/M ruling claims AK/RS lied and obstructed to ward off any potential wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

(E) B/M do strongly imply AK/RS are guilty to try to give a “moral win” to the Kerchers.

(F) B/M appear to bend over backwards to acquit, trying to look “incompetent, at worst”, rather than corrupt.

(6) The problem is: Bruno and Marasca haven’t taken into account the personalities of everyone involved

(a) The Hellmann/Zanetti ruling (October 2011) stunk of corruption, so Italy would be immediately suspicious of anything remotely similar.

(b) AK’s ECHR appeal seems to warded off for now, but AK seems hell bent on going ahead anyway.

(c) AK/RS did start parading around again, and AK re-released her book

(d) RS and Papa Sollecito sued anyway.

(e) Far from giving a “moral win”, this ruling and the accompanying report just leave a bad taste.

(7) Bullshit in WTBH (Beyond Bruno/Marasca)

Chapter 1: Before Leaving Italy

Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?

Chapter 2: Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano)

US And UK Media Wrongly Attribute Italian Report Of Knox/Cocaine-Dealer Link To Trial Prosecutors

Multiple: Capanne Chapters

The Amanda Knox Book: Good Reporters Start To Surface Amanda Knox’s False Claims In Droves

Chapter 31-35: The Hellmann Appeal

A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal

4. Final Thoughts

I stand by my claim that WTBH is 90-95% bullshit.

Fair to say, Bruno and Marasca would likely agree.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Traitor? How Sollecito Extensively Smeared Italy In English To Save His Own Skin #1

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Overview Of “Sollecito As Traitor” Series

By way for example of his new Italian book, Sollecito is trying hard to make himself liked in Italy.

An uphill task at best. Most Italians, who could follow the case a lot closer than most people outside Italy, know about all of this.

    (1) At his central-police-station interview 5-6 November 2007 and his first Matteini hearing two days later he dumped very heavily on Knox.

    (2) Throughout trial he gave Knox no help with her current alibi (that she was at his place all night) and again and again pulled out the rug from under her.

    (3) After the Hellmann outcome late 2011 Sollecito took off like a rabbit for the US (with his family soon in hot pursuit) and after Knox stiffed him tried very hard to get someone - anyone - to marry him so he could stay.

    (4) Before the Nencini verdict came out in early 2014, a panicked Sollecito took off to the north in a car and got cold feet (or was warned to stop) at the Austrian border and ignominiously came back.

    (5) Before the Fifth Chambers verdict came out in early 2015 a panicked Sollecito took off for Bari rather than remaining at the Supreme Court to find out what the verdict would be.

    What Italians mostly dont know is this. In late 2013 Sollecito’s first book - only in English - came out, and he was soon all over American TV once again sticking it to Knox.

    In the book his self-serving strategy was threefold: (1) Despite the title, point hard to Knox; (2) Point harder to Dr Mignini and the supposedly bungling, mean police; and (3) Point hardest to the official mechanisms, by lying on a grand scale, to make them out to be brutal and highly archaic at best.

    This series will lay out how Sollecito, lying and lying from what he thought would be a safe distance across the Atlantic, tried hard to make Italy look bad in the eyes of the world.

    A lot of posters contributed to the analysis of Sollecito’s 2012 English-language book on which much of the series will be based. Thanks especially to Sara, Kermit, Cardiol MD, and James Raper, who did the most work. 

    1. Sollecito’s First 20 False Claims

    We first posted a version of this analysis in May 2014. These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages.

    Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate and they will be examined in future posts. 

    1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

    This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

    No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

    They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

    A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

    2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

    On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

    Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

    All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

    Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

    3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

    In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

    In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

    The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

    4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

    By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

    “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

    On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

    5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

    Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

    An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

    Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

    6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

    We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

    Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

    Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her drugs and one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

    Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

    Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

    7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

    Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

    There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

    And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

    And how many burglars break into an occupied home between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at night? Approximately none. So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

    8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

    But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

    There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

    How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

    9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

    This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

    This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

    Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

    There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

    The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

    10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

    Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

    Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

    The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

    Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

    Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

    Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

    11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

    Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

    Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

    Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

    But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

    12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

    It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

    Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

    Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

    13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

    It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

    This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

    Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

    14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

    The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

    WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

    15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

    The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

    Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

    The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

    And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

    The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

    This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

    16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

    For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

    So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

    There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

    1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

    2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

    Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

    What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

    Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

    17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

    Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

    Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

    The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

    All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

    18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

    Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.


    As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

    And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

    Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

    For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

    In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

    Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

    However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

    The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

    Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

    19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

    Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

    Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

    There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

    Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

    And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

    Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

    Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

    There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

    And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

    Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

    20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

    Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

    Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

    Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

    You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

    Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

    Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

     


    Monday, December 07, 2015

    Counterterrorism: Another Way Italian Law Enforcement Is An Effective Model For Everywhere Else

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    We have often mentioned these major justice-system pluses:

    (1) That Italy has one of the industrialized world’s lowest crime rates and that US cities have been observing its model.

    (2) That it has a very prominent and much admired police presence, and a small and much admired court and penal system.

    Now Thomas Williams is reporting this third big plus from Rome in Breitbart Business News

    A leading military analyst is citing Italy as a model of counterterrorism done right, pointing out that despite many factors going against it, Islamic terrorists have failed to kill a single person on Italian soil.

    In the most recent issue of Nikkei Asian Review, Romanian born political scientist and military analyst Edward N. Luttwak lays out a persuasive theory explaining how Italy has been so successful in thwarting Islamic terror attempts. In a word: Italy is not afraid to deport those it considers to be a threat to national security.

    In his essay titled “Doing Counterterrorism Right,” Luttwak contrasts Italy with France and Belgium, noting that although Italy is much more vulnerable than they are, it has been far more effective at stopping would-be terrorists before they strike.

    So where France has been “caught by surprise again and again by terrorist attacks with many lives lost” and in Belgium “terrorists have been coming and going for years, buying military weapons with remarkable ease,” Italy has remained unscathed.

    It would seem that Italy doesn’t have much going for it. It has porous borders and a Muslim population that exceeds 2 million and has played an active role in military expeditions in Islamic territories. Moreover, the Vatican is the “most iconic target in Europe,” and tops the list of objectives of the Islamic State, Luttwak observes. And yet, “nobody has been killed by Muslim terrorists in Italy.”

    Italian counterterrorism has been on full alert since 9/11, Luttwak says, and its combined forces “have detected and interrupted hundreds of terrorist plots large and small, at every stage from mere verbal scheming to fully ready actions.”

    So where terrorists have successfully attacked in Madrid, London, Paris, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Brussels and elsewhere, in Italy they have been foiled time after time.

    Luttwak suggests that Italy’s success is all a question of method, based on the insight that the only thing that can be done to stop potential terrorists is to follow those who are suspected to be truly dangerous around the clock so that they can be arrested or killed at a moment’s notice. Since the numbers of probable suspects can be astronomical, Luttwak says, their numbers must be effectively reduced if this strategy is to bear fruit. And this is exactly what Italy has done.

    State intelligence agencies throughout Europe monitor suspects, filling out reports and keeping files, but they often fail to take the action needed. The Italians, however, immediately conduct an interrogation on credible suspects, and many are sent home or arrested, if their situation merits it. Italy currently has more than 180 radical imams in prison, Luttwak notes.

    Employing this method, Italian authorities are able to keep numbers of suspected potential terrorists within a reasonable range and thus are able to monitor them effectively.

    Earlier this month, Franco Roberti, the head of Italy’s anti-mafia and counterterrorism task force, said he intended to protect citizens from the danger of terrorism “by adopting all the preventive measures necessary,” and noted that “we must be prepared to give up some of our personal freedoms, in particular in the area of communication.”

    The fact that the Italians lump together anti-mafia operations with counterterrorism is also telling. Unlike other European states, with the exception perhaps of the UK, Italy has a long history fighting serious organized crime within its borders, coming from the different branches of the Italian mafia working in various parts of the peninsula.

    The Italian interior ministry has reportedly also increased its “targeted expulsions” of persons considered to be a risk to national security. So far this year, 55 individuals have been deported and the ministry has said the numbers will only grow.

    According to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, intelligence and counterterrorism units are reevaluating information gathered in recent months on some 56,000 people, scouring case files to see whether anything could have been overlooked.

    Given Italy’s impressive counterterrorism track record, it may be about time for other European nations to sit up and take note.

    Posted on 12/07/15 at 04:51 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Justice systemsItalian systemOther systemsHoaxes against ItalyItalian justice hoaxThe wider contextsItalian contextEurope contextN America context
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    Monday, September 07, 2015

    Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Testimony In Florence Court Today By Some Accused By Amanda Knox Of Crimes

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Overview Of This Post

    The post is in 3 parts and was added to on the fly as new information flowed in.

    Part 2 below summarizes what this trial is all about. It is not about Knox’s book, it is about her claims on the stand in mid 2009 of crimes committed by numerous investigators and the lead prosecutor.

    Part 3 below is live reports from the court. Part 4 is about the Supreme Court sentencing report released today in Rome.

    2. Background To Calunnia Trial

    This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

    There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

    Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

    They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

    The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

    The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

    Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

    Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

    2. Machiavelli Reports From Calunnia Trial

    1. Tweets from the Florence court:

    16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

    15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

    14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

    13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

    12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

    11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

    10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

    9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

    8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

    7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

    6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

    5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

    4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

    3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

    2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

    1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

    [Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

    2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

    No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

    Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

    Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

    The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

    4. Machiavelli On Cassazione Sentencing Report

    4. The Cassazione sentence on the #meredithkercher case about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito is an offence to intelligence.

    3. Cassazione repeats several times “strong suspicion” remains about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito

    2. Cassazione says #amandaknox was in the apartment when murder was convicted, and it is “incontrovertible” that she committed calunnia.

    1. INCREDIBLE: SC says *proven* fact that #amandaknox was in house when murder was committed. Agrees with court on this


    Monday, August 31, 2015

    The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #2

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Angela Pietroiusti. Quick route to Comments here.

    1. Most Bungling Team In Legal History?

    There is NO WAY Knox and Sollecito would be out on the streets if the playing field had been level.

    Knox’s lawyers and family and PR effort and publishers all bungled enormously and suffered an overwhelming loss at both Knox’s trials (murder and calunnia) when pre-trial concessions could have served them well.

    To make up for this, they tilted the playing field.

    Manipulation of the media and thus American (but not Italian) opinion and manipulation of the evidence and manipulation of judges and manipulation of court-appointed DNA experts and manipulation to prevent Italy from finding out what was in Knox’s and Sollecito’s horrific books.

    You want to see manipulation in spades?

    See here and here and the whole huge area of the DNA and of course the RS and AK books.

    You want to see bungling in spades?

    No better example than this one which could possibly cost Sollecito lawyer Luca Maori his career and has stopped the Fifth Chambers of Cassation dead in their tracks.

    Also Knox’s and Sollecito’s foolish books involving dozens of others are coming back to haunt them in court. Also look here at how Chris Mellas dropped Knox in it.

    Helping Sollecito cost his sister Vanessa her Carbinieri job. Sollecito’s father admitted to Panorama he tried political manipulation and was charged. Knox’s parents parroted Amanda Knox and were charged. “Helpful” investigator Paul Ciolino framed an innocent man in another case and was charged. Doug Preston ally Mario Spezi smeared investigators after the two tried framing an innocent man and blocking an investigation getting too near the truth and Spezi was charged.

    Judge Heavey lied to national presidents everywhere and was reprimanded and soon retired. The defense arranged for Judge Hellmann to preside over the 2011 appeal; he was overturned and pushed out. Pepperdine University pushed out the besotted security guard Steve Moore. Frank Sforza, facing felony charges, took off like a rabbit out of America. Defense witness Aviello was charged. 

    The defenses’ attempt to climb in Filomena’s window came up short. This bungled frame-up went nowhere. The pathetic Bruce Fischer team has gone nowhere.

    2. Bungling In Knox’s Calunnia Case

    Keeping Knox quiet for her own good was always a mighty struggle and the defense lawyers openly complained. It was an open secret in Perugia from 2007 to 2009 that Knox’s defense lawyers were struggling with Knox herself and with her family and her PR.

    At least one defense lawyer was fired or walked off the job (as with the Sollecito team). This struggle broke out into the open at various times, for example see here.

    Still. Knox’s defense team also did at least five things to help make matters worse for her in her calunnia trial now.

      1) They allowed Knox to interrupt prosecution witness Anna Donnino, the interpreter, during her testimony in March 2009 to claim she was hit, having repeatedly said previously that that was untrue. That set the legal reaction in motion.

      2) They put Knox on the stand seemingly unbriefed and allowed her to contradict both days and days of prosecution testimony and also prior declarations by herself.

      3) They put a presumably privileged letter from Knox to themselves in evidence (see previous post) knowing that it contained false claims.

      4) They applied to a Perugia judge for the transfer of the calunnia case from Perugia to Florence, thinking the Florence court was gunning for Dr Mignini when the truth is opposite.

      5) They applied to the same Perugia judge for the attachment of Dr Mignini’s name to the complaint though they knew he was not at the “interrogation” as even Knox said on the stand.

    Due to failed defense efforts Knox has already served three years and is a felon for life, and she now could face another six plus more penalties for her book. She is still not off the hook for murder as Fifth Chambers judges broke two laws and had fishy friends in their pasts.

    So, good luck, Amanda Knox. GREAT TEAM!

    3. Day Two Of Knox’s Testimony

    These are excerpts related to the “interrogation” of 5-6 Nov. Important: we dont yet know what else the prosecutors will include in their charges as much of Knox’s testimony was on other things about which she also lied.

    Excerpts in both posts are from the full transcript on the Case Wiki, and all transcription and translation into English (a massive task) was by the PMF Team.

    Cross Examination By Prosecutor Mignini

    GM:  In your preceding declarations, on Nov 2 at 15:30, on Nov 3 at 14:45, then, there was another one, Nov 4, 14:45, and then there’s Nov 6, 1:45. Only in these declarations, and then in the following spontaneous declarations, did you mention the name of Patrick. Why hadn’t you ever mentioned him before?
    AK:  Because that was the one where they suggested Patrick’s name to me.
    GM:  All right, now is the time for you to make this precise and specific. At this point I will take…no, I’ll come back to it later. You need to explain this. You have stated: “The name of Patrick was suggested to me. I was hit, pressured.”
    AK:  Yes.
    GM:  Now you have to tell me in a completely detailed way, you have to remember for real, you have to explain step by step, who, how, when, was the name of Patrick suggested to you, and what had been done before that point. The name of Patrick didn’t just come up like a mushroom; there was a preceding situation. Who put pressure on you, what do you mean by the word “pressure”, who hit you? You said: “They hit me”, and at the request of the lawyer Ghirga, yesterday, you described two little blows, two cuffs.
    AK:  Yes.
    GM:  So that would be what you meant by being hit?
    AK:  Yes.
    GM:  Or something else? Tell me if there was something else. You can tell us.
    AK:  Okay.
    GCM:  So, you are—[Interruptions] The question is—[Interruptions] Escuse me. Excuse me. The question is quite clear. He is repeating this in order to give the accused a chance to add something to these events that were explained by the accused yesterday. The pubblico ministero is asking to return to these events mentioned yesterday in order to obtain more detail about exactly what happened and who did it. Please be as precise as possible.
    GM:  So you were in front of—
    GCM:  The question is clear.
    GM:  All right, so tell us.
    GCM:  Yes, it’s clear.
    AK:  All right. Okay.
    GCM:  If you could give more detail, be more precise, exactly what was suggested to you, about the cuffs, all that.
    AK:  Okay.
    GCM:  And who did all this, if you can.
    AK:  Okay. Fine. So, when I got to the Questura, they placed me to the side, near the elevator, where I was waiting for Raffaele. I had taken my homework, and was starting to do my homework, but a policeman came in, in fact there were I don’t know, three of them or something, and they wanted to go on talking to me. They asked me again—
    GM:  Excuse me, excuse me—
    AK:  [coldly] Can I tell the story?
    GM:  Excuse me for interrupting you otherwise we’ll forget—
    CDV:  Presidente, I object to this way of doing things. The question was asked—[Yelling, interruptions]—we should wait for the answer.
    GM:  It’s impossible to go on like this, no, no.
    CDV:  If a question is asked, she has to be able to answer.
    GCM:  Please, please. That’s correct. There is a rule that was introduced, which says that we should absolutely avoid interruptions from anyone.
    CDV:  I want to ask that she be allowed to finish her answer. She has the right, no?
    GCM:  Please, please, pubblico ministero. It’s impossible to go on this way.
    GM:  I would like to, I can—
    GCM:  No no no, no one can. We have to make sure that while someone is speaking, there are never any superimposed voices. And since the accused is undergoing examination, she has the right to be allowed to answer in the calmest possible way. Interruptions and talking at the same time don’t help her, and they can’t be written down in the minutes, which obliges the courts to suspend the audience and start it again at a calmer and more tranquil moment.
    GM:  Presidente—
    GCM:  No, no, no! Interruptions are absolutely not allowed! Not between the parties, nor when the Court, the President is speaking. So, interruptions are not allowed. Now, the accused is speaking, and when she is finished, we can return to her answers—
    GM:  Presidente.
    GCM:  Excuse me, please! But at the moment she is speaking, we have to avoid interrupting her. But—I don’t know if this is what was wanted—but while you are speaking, if you could tell us when. For instance, you say you were doing homework, but you didn’t tell us when. We need to know when, on what day, the 2nd of November, the 3rd, what time it was. While you are talking, you need to be more detailed, as detailed as you can with respect to the date and the time.
    AK:  Okay.
    GCM:  And we must avoid interruptions, but when you have finished, we can discuss your answer.
    AK:  Thank you. So, here is…how I understood the question, I’m answering about what happened to me on the night of the 5th and the morning of the 6th of November 2007, and when we got to the Questura, I think it was around 10:30 or nearer 11, but I’m sorry, I don’t know the times very precisely, above all during that interrogation. The more the confusion grew, the more I lost the sense of time. But I didn’t do my homework for a very long time. I was probably just reading the first paragraph of what I had to read, when these policemen came to sit near me, to ask me to help them by telling them who had ever entered in our house. So I told them, okay, well there was this girlfriend of mine and they said no no no, they only wanted to know about men. So I said okay, here are the names of the people I know, but really I don’t know, and they said, names of anyone you saw nearby, so I said, there are some people that are friends of the boys, or of the girls, whom I don’t know very well, and it went on like this, I kept on answering these questions, and finally at one point, while I was talking to them, they said “Okay, we’ll take you into this other room.” So I said okay and went with them, and they started asking me to talk about what I had been doing that evening. At least, they kept asking about the last time I saw Meredith, and then about everything that happened the next morning, and we had to repeat again and again everything about what I did. Okay, so I told them, but they always kept wanting times and schedules, and time segments: “What did you do between 7 and 8?” “And from 8 to 9? And from 9 to 10?” I said look, I can’t be this precise, I can tell you the flow of events, I played the guitar, I went to the house, I looked at my e-mails, I read a book, and I was going on like this. There were a lot people coming in and going out all the time, and there was one policeman always in front of me, who kept going on about this. Then at one point an interpreter arrived, and the interpreter kept on telling me, try to remember the times, try to remember the times, times, times, times, and I kept saying “I don’t know. I remember the movie, I remember the dinner, I remember what I ate,” and she kept saying “How can you you remember this thing but not that thing?” or “How can you not remember how you were dressed?” because I was thinking, I had jeans, but were they dark or light, I just can’t remember. And then she said “Well, someone is telling us that you were not at Raffaele’s house. Raffaele is saying that at these times you were not home.” And I said, but what is he saying, that I wasn’t there? I was there! Maybe I can’t say exactly what I was doing every second, every minute, because I didn’t look at the time. I know that I saw the movie, I ate dinner. And she would say “No no no, you saw the film at this time, and then after that time you went out of the house. You ate dinner with Raffaele, and then there is this time where you did nothing, and this time where you were out of the house.” And I said, no, that’s not how it was. I was always in Raffaele’s apartment.
    GCM:  [taking advantage of a tiny pause to slip in without exactly interrupting] Excuse me, excuse me, the pubblico ministero wants to hear precise details about the suggestions about what to say, and also about the cuffs, who gave them to you.
    AK:  All right. What it was, was a continuous crescendo of these discussions and arguments, because while I was discussing with them, in the end they started to little by little and then more and more these remarks about “We’re not convinced by you, because you seem to be able to remember one thing but not remember another thing. We don’t understand how you could take a shower without seeing…” And then, they kept on asking me “Are you sure of what you’re saying? Are you sure? Are you sure? If you’re not sure, we’ll take you in front of a judge, and you’ll go to prison, if you’re not telling the truth.” Then they told me this thing about how Raffaele was saying that I had gone out of the house. I said look, it’s impossible. I don’t know if he’s really saying that or not, but look, I didn’t go out of the house. And they said “No, you’re telling a lie. You’d better remember what you did for real, because otherwise you’re going to prison for 30 years because you’re a liar.” I said no, I’m not a liar. And they said “Are you sure you’re not protecting someone?” I said no, I’m not protecting anyone. And they said “We’re sure you’re protecting someone.” Who, who, who, who did you meet when you went out of Raffaele’s house?” I didn’t go out. “Yes, you did go out. Who were you with?” I don’t know. I didn’t do anything. “Why didn’t you go to work?” Because my boss told me I didn’t have to go to work. “Let’s see your telephone to see if you have that message.” Sure, take it. “All right.” So one policeman took it, and started looking in it, while the others kept on yelling “We know you met someone, somehow, but why did you meet someone?” But I kept saying no, no, I didn’t go out, I’m not pro-pro-pro—-
    GCM:  [taking advantage of her stammer] Excuse me, okay, we understand that there was a continuous crescendo.
    AK:  Yes.
    GCM:  As you said earlier. But if we could now get to the questions of the pubblico ministero, otherwise it will really be impossible to avoid some interruptions. If you want to be able to continue as tranquilly, as continuously as possible…
    AK:  Okay, I’m sorry.
    GCM:  So, if you could get to the questions about exactly when, exactly who… these suggestions, exactly what did they consist in? It seems to me…
    AK:  Okay. Fine. So, they had my telephone, and at one point they said “Okay, we have this message that you sent to Patrick”, and I said I don’t think I did, and they yelled “Liar! Look! This is your telephone, and here’s your message saying you wanted to meet him!” And I didn’t even remember that I had written him a message. But okay, I must have done it. And they were saying that the message said I wanted to meet him. That was one thing. Then there was the fact that there was this interpreter next to me, and she was telling me “Okay, either you are an incredibly stupid liar, or you’re not able to remember anything you’ve done.” So I said, how could that be? And she said, “Maybe you saw something so tragic, so terrible that you can’t remember it. Because I had a terrible accident once where I broke my leg…”
    GCM:  The interpreter said this to you?
    AK:  The interpreter, yes.
    GCM:  I also wanted to ask you because it isn’t clear to me: only the interpreter spoke to you, or the others also?
    AK:  All the others also.
    GCM:  Everyone was talking to you, all the others, but were they speaking in English?
    AK:  No, in Italian.
    GCM:  In Italian. And you answered in Italian?
    AK:  In Italian, in English…
    GCM:  And what was said to you in Italian, did it get translated to you in English?
    AK:  A bit yes, a bit no, there was so much confusion, there were so many people all talking at the same time, one saying “Maybe it was like this, maybe you don’t remember,” another saying “No, she’s a stupid liar,” like that…
    GCM:  But everything was eventually translated, or you understood some of it and answered right away?
    AK:  It wasn’t like an interrogation, like what we’re doing now, where one person asks me a question and I answer. No. There were so many people talking, asking, waiting, and I answered a bit here and there.
    GCM:  All right. You were telling us that the interpreter was telling you about something that had happened to her. [Interruption by Mignini.] But you need to get back to the questions asked by the pubblico ministero. This isn’t a spontaneous declaration now. This is an examination. That means the pubblico ministero has asked you a question, always the same question, and we still haven’t really heard the answer to it.
    AK:  Yes, sorry.
    GCM:  Right, so you were saying that there was this continuous crescendo.
    AK:  It’s difficult for me to say that one specific person said one specific thing. It was the fact that there were all these little suggestions, and someone was saying that there was the telephone, then there was the fact that… then more than anything what made me try to imagine something was someone saying to me “Maybe you’re confused, maybe you’re confused and you should try to remember something different. Try to find these memories that obviously you have somehow lost. You have to try to remember them. So I was there thinking, but what could I have forgotten? And I was thinking, what have I forgotten? what have I forgotten? and they were shouting “Come on, come on, come on, remember, remember, remember,” and boom! on my head. [Amanda slaps herself on the back of the head: End of video segment] “Remember!” And I was like—Mamma Mia! and then boom! [slaps head again] “Remember!”
    GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please, excuse me…
    AK:  Those were the cuffs.
    GCM:  So, the pubblico ministero asked you, and is still asking you, who is the person that gave you these two blows that you just showed us on yourself?
    AK:  It was a policewoman, but I didn’t know their names.
    GM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
    GM:  So, now, I asked you a question, and I did not get an answer. You ... [interruptions]!
    LG or CDV:  I object to that remark! That is a personal evaluation! Presidente! That is very suggestive. He is making an unacceptable conclusion. He can ask a question, but this is a personal opinion. It seems to me that she did answer. She answered for a good five minutes.
    GCM:  Sorry, but I said that we were supposed to avoid interruptions, that we weren’t supposed to interrupt when someone was speaking—
    LG or CDV:  But—
    GCM:  Wait—avvocato, excuse me, please, let’s try to avoid these moments which don’t help anybody and probably harm the person undergoing the examination because they create tension in the court—
    GM:  When I am doing the cross-examination I would like—
    GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero. This is another recommendation: let’s avoid analyses. Let’s take the answers as they come, later the right moment will come to say that from this examination, you did not obtain the answer that you expected, that the accused did not answer the questions. That is a later phase. At this moment, let’s stay with the answers that we have, even if they are not exhaustive, and return to the question, but avoiding personal evaluations of their value. Go ahead, publicco ministero, go ahead.
    GM:  I would like to—
    GCM:  Yes, yes, go ahead, return to your question. And then you can come back to it with more details.
    GM:  The central point of that interrogation was the moment when the name of Patrick emerged. You spoke of suggestions, you spoke of pressure, you spoke of being hit, I asked you to give me a precise description of who gave you the blows, you need to describe this person. Was it a woman or a man? Who asked you the questions? Who was asking you the questions? There was the interpreter, who was the person who was translating. But the exam, the interrogation, who was doing it? Apart from the people who were going in and out. You must have understood that there was a murder, and this was a police station, and the investigation was hot, and what I am asking you is, who was actually conducting the interrogation?
    GCM:  The pubblico ministero is asking you, you said that the two blows were given to me by someone whose name I don’t know. The pubblico ministero is asking you firstly if you can give a description of the person who hit you, if you saw her, and if you can give us a description. The second question—
    AK:  So, when I—the person who was conducting the interrogation—
    GCM:  That was the second question! You’re starting with the second question, that’s fine, go ahead, go ahead.
    AK:  Oh, sorry…
    GCM:  Go on, go on. The person who was conducting the interrogation…
    AK:  Well, there were lots and lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man who was holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman, and she gave me another blow to the head.
    GCM:  This was the same woman with the long hair?
    AK:  Yes, the same one.
    GCM:  All right. Are you finished? Tell me if you have something to add.
    AK:  Well, I already answered.
    GCM:  Fine, fine, all right. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
    GM:  I’ll go on with the questions. In the minutes it mentions three people, plus the interpreter. Now, you first said that they suggested things to you. What exactly do you mean by the word “suggestion”, because from your description, I don’t see any suggestion. I mean, what is meant by the Italian word “suggerimento”, I don’t find it.
    GCM:  [quelling them] Excuse me, excuse me, please, please, excuse me, excuse me! Listen, the pubblico ministero is asking you: “suggestions”, you also mentioned words that were “put in your mouth”, versions, things to say, circumstances to describe.
    The pubblico ministero is asking two things: who made the suggestions, and what exactly were you told to say? }}
    AK:  All right. It seems to me that the thoughts of the people standing around me, there were so many people, and they suggested things to me in the sense that they would ask questions like: “Okay, you met someone!” No, I didn’t. They would say “Yes you did, because we have this telephone here, that says that you wanted to meet someone. You wanted to meet him.” No, I don’t remember that. “Well, you’d better remember, because if not we’ll put you in prison for 30 years.” But I don’t remember! “Maybe it was him that you met? Or him? You can’t remember?” It was this kind of suggestion.
    GCM:  When you say they said “Maybe you met him?”, did they specify names?
    AK:  Well, the important fact was this message to Patrick, they were very excited about it. So they wanted to know if I had received a message from him—
    [Interruptions]
    GCM:  Please, please!
    [Interruptions, multiple voices]
    CDV:  It’s not possible to go on this way! [Mignini yells something at dalla Vedova]
    GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me!
    ??:  I’m going to ask to suspend the audience! I demand a suspension of five minutes!
    GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me! Please!
    CDV:  Viva Dio, Presidente!
    GM:  Presidente, I’m trying to do a cross-examination, and I must have the conditions that allow me to do it! The defense keeps interrupting.
    ??:  That’s true!
    GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please—
    GM:  We’re asking for a suspension!
    GCM:  Just a moment, excuse me. I’ve heard all the demands and suggestions, now the Court will decide. So.
    [Several moments of silence, during which Amanda murmurs in a very tiny voice: “Scusa.”]
    GCM:  I want to point out that the accused offers answers to every question. She could always refuse to respond. She is answering, and that doesn’t mean she has to be asked about the same circumstances again and again. She is not a witness. The accused goes under different rules. We have to accept the answers—
    ??:  But—
    GCM:  Please, please! We have to accept the answers given by the accused. She can stop answering at any time. At some point we simply have to move on to different questions. One circumstance is being asked again, the accused answered. The regularly, the tranquillity, the rituality of the court, of the process, has to be respected. The pubblico ministero was asking about suggestions. [To Amanda] If you want a suspension we can do it right away.
    AK:  No, I’m fine.
    GCM:  So the pubblico ministero was asking about the suggestions. All right?
    AK:  Sure.
    GCM:  So, you were the one who gave the first indication, introducing this generic pronoun “him”? This “him”, did they say who it could be?
    AK:  It was because of the fact that they were saying that I apparently had met someone and they said this because of the message, and they were saying “Are you sure you don’t remember meeting THIS person, because you wrote this message.”
    GCM:  In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?
    AK:  No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”
    GCM:  But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?
    AK:  Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone. But I told them that I had received a message from Patrick, and they looked for it in the telephone, but they couldn’t find it, but they found the one I sent to him.
    GCM:  I also wanted to ask you for the pubblico ministero, you wrote this message in Italian. I wanted to ask you, since you are an English speaker, what do you do when you wrote in Italian? Do you first think in English, and then translate into Italian, or do you manage to think directly in Italian?
    AK:  No, at that time, I first thought in English, then I would translate, and then write.
    GCM:  So that clarifies that phrase. Go ahead, pubblico ministero, but I think we’ve exhausted the question.
    GM:  Yes, yes. I just wanted one concept to be clear: that in the Italian language, “suggerire” means “indicate”, someone who “suggests” a name actually says the name and the other person adopts it. That is what “suggerimento” is, and I…so my question is, did the police first pronounce the name of Patrick, or was it you? And was it pronounced after having seen the message in the phone, or just like that, before that message was seen?
    ??:  Objection! Objection!
    GM:  On page 95, I read—
    CDV:  Before the objection, what was the question?
    GM:  The question was: the question that was objected was about the term “suggerimento”. Because I interpret that word this way: the police say “Was it Patrick?” and she confirms that it was Patrick. This is suggestion in the Italian language.
    GCM:  Excuse me, please, excuse me. Let’s return to the accused. What was the suggestion, because I thought I had understood that the suggestion consisted in the fact that Patrick Lumumba, to whom the message was addressed, had been identified, they talked about “him, him, him”. In what terms exactly did they talk about this “him”? What did they say to you?
    AK:  So, there was this thing that they wanted a name. And the message—
    GCM:  You mean, they wanted a name relative to what?
    AK:  To the person I had written to, precisely. And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!” At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember,” and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me…
    GCM:  “Remember!” is not a suggestion. It is a strong solicitation of your memory. Suggestion is rather…
    AK:  But it was always “Remember” following this same idea, that…
    GCM:  But they didn’t literally say that it was him!
    AK:  No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”
    GCM:  So, these were the suggestions.
    AK:  Yes.
    GCM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
    GM:  I object here on the dynamics, because here there’s a contrast…well… per carita—[Brief interruption from GCM]—From Amanda’s answer, it emerges that there was this cell phone and this message and this “Answer, answer,” whereas in the minutes of the Dec 17 interrogation, page 95, we find: The police could not have suggested—[Arguing, everyone speaking, Maresca, Pacelli etc., some saying that they need to know the exact page, it’s different in their version. ]
    GCM:  While the pubblico ministero is talking, let’s avoid interrupting him. It’s true that the pages are different, but still, if you can’t find the page, ask for a moment’s pause, don’t interrupt the reading.
    GM:  So, on line number one, two, three, four…
    GCM:  Pubblico ministero, don’t worry about the lines, please read.
    GM:  [reading] She said: “I accused Patrick and no one else because they were continually talking about Patrick.” Suggesting, to use Amanda’s words. I asked: “The police, the police could not suggest? And the interpreter, was she shouting the name of Patrick? Sorry, but what was the police saying?” Knox: “The police were saying, ‘We know that you were in the house. We know you were in the house.’ And one moment before I said Patrick’s name, someone was showing me the message I had sent him.” This is the objection. There is a precise moment. The police were showing her the message, they didn’t know who it was—
    GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me pubblico ministero [talking at the same time] excuse me, excuse me, the objection consists in the following: [to Amanda], when there are contrasts or a lack of coincidence with previous statements, be careful to explain them.
    AK:  Okay.
    GCM:  Do you confirm the declarations that the pubblico ministero read out?
    AK:  I explained it better now.
    GCM:  You explained it better now. All right pubblico ministero. Go ahead.
    GM:  So, let’s move forward.
    AK:  Okay.
    GM:  Now, what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?
    AK:  Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of “Patrick”, I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation. I saw Patrick’s face, then Piazza Grimana, then my house, then something green that they told me might be the sofa. Then, following this, they wanted details, they wanted to know everything I had done. But I didn’t know how to say. So they started talking to me, saying, “Okay, so you went out of the house, okay, fine, so you met Patrick, where did you meet Patrick?” I don’t know, maybe in Piazza Grimana, maybe near it. Because I had this image of Piazza Grimana. “Okay, fine, so you went with him to your house. Okay, fine. How did you open the door?” Well, with my key. “So you opened the house”. Okay, yes. “And what did you do then?” I don’t know. “But was she already there?” I don’t know. “Did she arrive or was she already there?” Okay. “Who was there with you?” I don’t know. “Was it just Patrick, or was Raffaele there too?” I don’t know. It was the same when the pubblico ministero came, because he asked me: “Excuse me, I don’t understand. Did you hear the sound of a scream?” No. “But how could you not have heard the scream?”. I don’t know, maybe my ears were covered. I kept on and on saying I don’t know, maybe, imagining…
    GCM:  [Stopping her gently] Okay, okay. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
    CDV?:  I’d like to ask a question, I’d like to make an objection about—
    GCM?:  All right, so—
    GM:  Is it a question or an objection? [crossing, arguing voices]
    GCM:  Please, no interruptions.
    CDV?:  [stronger] I said, I am asking a question and making an objection—
    GCM:  But, excuse me, let’s stay with essentials. Let’s hear what the pubblico ministero has to say, and then we’ll see. That’s a premise.
    GM:  I appeal to the court that this is making the examination impossible.
    GCM:  Please, please, sorry. Go ahead.
    GM:  I am trying to understand. In the interro—[he breaks off in mid-word, I think dalla Vedova must have stood up again.]
    GCM:  But it’s not possible to hinder things this way, avvocato. Excuse me. Why?
    CDV?:  [hard to hear because he’s speaking at the same time as GCM] The defense would like to formally ask for a break [?]
    GCM:  We haven’t even heard what he is trying to say yet. You can’t make preventive objections! I’m sorry, avvocato.
    CDV?:  I’m not making an objection—
    GCM:  [really trying to stop him but not succeeding, CDV goes on talking at the same time] Please, please avvocato, no no no no, the pubblico ministero is speaking. [GM also says some words] Excuse me, excuse me.
    CDV?:  The suggestions of the PM before asking the question are inopportune, because he is suggesting and making suggestive…
    GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me! [He really, really needs a gavel to bang!]
    GM:  [some words]
    GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero! We are creating useless moments—
    GM:  [some words]
    GCM:  [much louder] Please, pubblico ministero! Please! Now, excuse me.
    GM or CDV:  Please explain this concept to me.
    GCM:  Please, please! [He finally obtains silence] I understand that when these interruption happens, the tone gets a bit louder, but that is not helpful. [Interruption] Please, please—but we are getting the impression that the objections are preventive. So while the pubblico ministero is speaking, which he has every right to do in this phase, and the defense already had their chance to do it, and they weren’t interrupted yesterday, so we ask for equal treatment today, at the present moment of the examination of the accused. And the tone should always remain cordial without giving the impression of a—
    CDV:  Yes, yes, no, no. But it’s just that, I am asking that—
    GCM:  Please, avvocato. There’s no reason. We are trying to reconcile the interests of all parties, we are gathering circumstances on which the different parties are called to make analyses and the Court to decide. This will be helpful for everyone. Go ahead.
    GM:  The question is this: You say, you just told me a little while ago, that… the police—I’m trying to—well, I have to give a little introduction so she understands my question. You said “they found this message and they asked me whom it was to, if it was true or not true.” And you answered. Then the police obviously goes forward with their questions. “So, tell us”. And you…you just told me, I can’t read it, obviously I don’t have the transcription right here, but, I might be making a mistake, I don’t know, but you were saying that you remembered Piazza Grimana. Did you really say that?
    AK:  Yes.
    GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, there, now what the accused is saying is: “On the basis of these elements, I tried to reconstruct a scene that could be verified.” In these terms, not because she… She mentally elaborated, with her imagination: this is what I understood, how the scene could be realized, containing those elements that had come up.
    AK:  Certainly.
    GCM:  But she wasn’t speaking of an effective memory of circumstances that had effectively occurred in her perception. That is the meaning of the response of the accused.
    AK:  Certo.
    GM:  But you said that you remembered Piazza Grimana.
    AK:  I had an image of Piazza Grimana.
    GM:  An image of Piazza Grimana, that’s right. Now listen, in the interrogation, page 95, the same interrogation, but the same expression turns up in other places, I can give references if necessary…

    [Start of 6:54 minute video segment] ...I asked this question: Why did you throw out an accusation of this type? In the confrontations with Mr. Lumumba (I was continuing and you answered right away): “I was trying, I had the possibility of explaining the message in my phone. He had told me not to come to work.” Perfectly normal things. So, faced with a perfectly normal circumstance, “My boss texted me to tell me not to come to work and I answered him,” you could have just stated that. End of response. Instead, faced with the message, and the questions of the police, you threw out this accusation. So I am asking you, why start accusing him when you could calmly explain the exchange of messages? Why did you think those things could be true? }}
    AK:  I was confused.
    GM:  You have repeated that many times. But what does it mean? Either something is true, or it isn’t true. Right now, for instance, you’re here at the audience, you couldn’t be somewhere else. You couldn’t say “I am at the station.” You are right here, right now.
    AK:  Certainly. [Some noise]
    GCM:  The question is clear.
    AK:  Can I answer?
    GCM:  [quelling noise] Excuse me, excuse me! Please, go ahead.
    AK:  My confusion was because firstly, I couldn’t understand why the police was treating me this way, and then because when I explained that I had spent the whole time with Raffaele, they said “No, you’re a liar”. It was always this thing that either I didn’t remember or I was lying. The fact that I kept on and on repeating my story and they kept saying “No, you’re going to prison right now if you don’t tell the truth,” and I said “But I’ve told the truth,” “No, you’re a liar, now you’re going to prison for 30 years because either you’re a stupid liar or you forgot. And if it’s because you forgot, then you’d better remember what happened for real, right now.” This is why I was confused. Because I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand anything any more. I was so scared and impressed by all this that at some point I thought What the heck, maybe they’re right, maybe I forgot.
    GM:  So, and then, you accused Lumumba of murder. This is the conclusion.

    GM:  I wanted to spend a moment on one last question, maybe the last but I don’t know, about the morning of the 6th.
    AK:  Okay.
    GM:  There’s another thing I didn’t understand. You said pressure was put on you, and there were suggestions, you explained today exactly what those consisted in, to say the name of Patrick and to accuse Patrick. Then you wrote a memorandum in which you confirm everything. And you weren’t under pressure right then. Why didn’t you just say: “I falsely accused someone.” Someone who was in prison, who was put in prison, maybe for a long time. Can you explain this to me?
    AK:  Certo.
    CDV?:  Can I make an objection? Very, very calmly and without animosity?
    GCM:  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you [for the calm, no doubt]. Thank you.
    CDV?:  It seems to me that the pubblico ministero, in presenting his questions, always makes references which go as far as actually suggesting the answers, and also—
    GM:  Well it is a cross-examination.
    GCM:  Please, please let’s avoid interruptions and let each person express what he has to say. Go ahead, avvocato.
    CDV?:  In the question he just asked, he mentions the memorandum and says it confirms. Now, this might be a specific question, but it should not be an assertion on the part of the pubblico ministero, followed by another question. If we look in the minutes, we find a series of unilateral declarations which all go to show what interests the pubblico ministero. To my mind, this mentality goes against our way of examining the accused. I just want to make this clear.
    GCM:  All right, taking into account these remarks, the pubblico ministero’s question remains. It could be rephrased like this: during the 5th and the 6th, you said there were pressures, and the name of Patrick Lumumba emerged as also being involved in these events. But as the pubblico ministero notes, you then you wrote the memorandum spontaneously. We heard that you yourself asked for paper to be able to write it.
    AK:  Certainly.
    GCM:  And writing with this liberty, you even referred to it as a gift, these elements which had already emerged, you reasserted them, and this involvement of Patrick Lumumba. What the pubblico ministero is asking is: how did you—this question was already asked yesterday—in these different circumstances, you weren’t in the room any more, there wasn’t any pressure, why didn’t the truth somehow get stabilized?
    AK:  Yes, yes. In fact, what happened is that I had literally been led to believe that somehow, I had forgotten something real, and so with this idea that I must have forgotten, I was practically convinced myself that I really had forgotten. And these images, that I was actually forcing myself to imagine, were really lost memories. So, I wasn’t sure if those images were reality or not, but explaining this to the police, they didn’t want to listen to the fact that I wasn’t sure. They treated me as though I had now remembered everything and everything was fine and I could now make a declaration in the tribunal against someone, to accuse someone. I didn’t feel sure about that. I didn’t feel—
    GCM:  Excuse me, but in the memorandum, do you remember what you wrote about Patrick? Because maybe it wasn’t precise…
    GM:  [Interrupting] I want—I want—I want to contest this point. Two points in the memorandum. If I’m not mistaken, you weren’t a witness right then. You had been the object of an arrest warrant. You had been arrested. You know the difference between a suspect and a witness. You weren’t a witness. Not any longer. So in the memorandum—
    CDV?:  One moment—[hard to hear] Does she know the difference?
    GM:  Can I continue? Sorry, avvocato, but I’m asking questions! Can I continue? He’s continually—
    GCM:  Sorry, sorry, go ahead.
    GM:  This is impossible!
    GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero, go ahead, go ahead.
    GM:  I am interrogating. I am interrogating. Now I’m distracted. Now, the difference between a suspect and a witness—a person informed of the facts. You said: “I made these declarations so that I could leave, so I could be—” but instead, you were arrested. And you wrote the memorandum after you had been arrested. And you wrote two sentences: I’ll read them. “I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that events that could have taken place in my home with Patrick.” [In Italian: “I confirm…”] Do you know what the word “confirm” means in Italian? “In the flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer.” There wasn’t any policeman with you when you wrote that. No one. You wrote that in complete liberty. Do you know how to explain to me why? And this is even more decisive than what you said some hours earlier. Can you explain this?
    AK:  I couldn’t even explain to myself why I had these images in my head, because I didn’t know if they were memories or not. And I want to say that if I made these declarations, that they asked me to sign and everything, I did it, but I wanted in the memorandum to explain my doubt, this fact that I wasn’t sure about it, because no one ever wanted to listen when I said listen, I don’t know.
    GCM?:  Effectively the memorandum was correcting what had been said, and these doubts arose.
    GM:  Do you have lapses of memory? At that time did you ever have lapses of memory?
    AK:  Did I have what?
    GM:  Lapses of memory.
    AK:  Oh, lapses of memory.
    GM:  Lapses of memory. Moments where you couldn’t remember things that you had done. “What did I do yesterday? I don’t know.”
    AK:  [Laughing] I’ve had that problem all my life.
    GM:  What?
    AK:  I’ve had that problem all my life. I can’t remember where I put my keys.
    GM:  So it happened to you at other times? Explain it to me. You previously mixed up things, didn’t know whether you had dreamed things or they were real?
    AK:  No, not that part about the imagination! I would forget for example what I ate yesterday for dinner, yes, that happened to me, but not to actually imagine things.
    GM:  To imagine something that hadn’t really happened, that never happened to you.
    AK:  No. I never had that problem, but then, I had never been interrogated like that before.
    GM:  Okay, so when you had this flashback, you saw Patrick as the murderer. What was this flashback?
    AK:  The flashback consisted in this image of Patrick’s actual face, not that I imagined an actual act, I imagined his face. Then I had this image of Piazza Grimana, then an image of Patrick’s face, then I always had this idea that they wanted to say: these images explain the fact that you met him, and you brought him home, and maybe you heard something and covered your ears, and it was always like this, not that I actually imagined having seen Meredith’s death. It was these images that came by themselves, to explain…
    GM:  I see. All right. I take note of what you’re saying. Now, let’s talk about your memorandum from the 7th, still written in total autonomy, without anyone around you. You wrote: “I didn’t lie when I said that I thought the murderer was Patrick. At that moment I was very stressed and I really did think that it was Patrick.” Then you add “But now I know that I can’t know who the murderer is, because I remember that I didn’t go home.” Can you explain these concept to me?
    AK:  Yes, because I was convinced that I somehow could have forgotten. So in that moment, I—
    GM:  So what you had said might have actually been true?
    AK:  Yes.
    AK:  Yes, it could have been true, but at that moment. But then, when I was able to rethink the facts, it became clearer and clearer that it didn’t make sense, that it was absolutely ridiculous that I could have thought that or imagined it.
    GM:  But didn’t you feel the need to intervene to get an innocent person out of prison? You didn’t feel the need?
    AK:  But the police had already called me a liar, and I didn’t feel they were listening to me. Also because in the Questura—
    GM:  But you were in prison!
    AK:  But in the Questura, I had already told them: Look, I’m not sure about this, and they didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to listen, because they said to me “No, you’ll remember it later. You just need a little time to really remember these facts.” I told them no, I don’t think it’s like that, but they didn’t want to listen.
    GM:  They didn’t believe you. But you, once you said that you remembered, [snaps fingers?] you could have just made a declaration or sent me another memorandum saying “No, I didn’t say the truth. Patrick is innocent.”
    GCM:  Excuse me, we already had explanations about this.


    Tuesday, May 05, 2015

    A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy #2

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    RS and AK in New York a while back, the last time that they actually met


    Gloom and doom have been dissipating for over a month now in Italy among those most invested in a just outcome, for the reasons given in this immediate-post-verdict post.

    Note that the defense camps really want and need that legitimacy. They know the perverse judgment is not the end of the road. They have clamped down hard on what RS and AK can say.

    In the Italian legal community the Fifth Chambers are getting some scathing commentary for their strange law and dismissiveness of the facts of the case which Cardiol in the post below this one once again underlined.

    The Fifth Chambers’ sentencing report should be red meat, very tough for the hapless judges to write and a target from Day One and, under a new law in Italy which already overturned several Cassation verdicts, a very likely candidate for a legal suit.

    The two book trials should slowly strip the emperors bare (remember those books are still very unread, even by many who read this site, and neither are in Italian yet), and could cost Knox more time inside and both of them fines and civil suits.

    The psychologist SeekingUnderstanding has posted several times on how untreated troubled psychology rarely simply gets better with time. RS’s startling new crack at AK shows he has no inner calm, Knox’s delay in wedding plans and her incessant anger and vagueness maybe too.

    Neither seem to have the big bucks they will need for their legal teams going forward, or the promise of successful careers. Sollecito still hasnt worked a day in his life and his preferred software area never sees successful entrants at his age. Knox’s only known area of interest - paid writing - is a fast-shrinking field.

    Several tough books are already in the works. And the media loves conspiracy theories and hoaxes, and as all the real conspiracies and hoaxes have been on the defenses’ side, trends will also be against RS and AK there.

    The only safe bets are that there will be various surprise happenings in the next six months - and that we’d rather be in our camp than in theirs.


    Sunday, March 22, 2015

    Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini, Translated: She Misled, Oggi Misled More, UK Media Misled Even More

    Posted by Peter Quennell




    1. Interpretations Of The Interview

    In reading the translation by Miriram these points may be worth bearing in mind. They are largely based on advice from Yummi in Italy.

    Genny Ballerini comes across to Italians as someone not especially educated who is more than a bit lost on the law and the case. She herself admits she may be naive and had not followed Meredith’s case. She was surprised to end up on the jury for Knox’s and Sollecito’s “trial”. She voices no concern for Meredith or her family.

    A former factory worker, she had been unemployed for some months, and she appreciated the small fee the court paid her for jury duty and apparently also a fee that Oggi paid her for the interview. She had to be persuaded by Oggi to do the interview, and she seems unaware that it may have been illegal.

    The lead judge and side judge, the professionals, remained neutral and impartial and promoted no particular outcome. There were no arguments among the jury. She seems to be drawn toward Sollecito without any very logical reason. (Hmmm. Sollecito had addressed her and the others directly and he was standing right in front of her looking at her.)

    She repeatedly refers to a “trial” and to previous “trials” for example “when the trial started” and “I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing”. She never once uses the word for “appeal” or wonders why there were no prosecution exhibits and witnesses.

    The Oggi headline is misleading. Almost of her doubts are described in the past tense and she admits she voiced them to the other jurors early in the “trial” because things were not clear to her. She had folders of evidence to poke though; these may have related only to the appeal points the defenses had filed.

    At one point she says “we discussed to reach an agreement” and at another point she says she voted against the verdict. It is not clear in what order, and she may finally have joined in a total consensus. She seems to connect the punishment to the supposed amount of evidence rather than the barbaric nature of the attack.

    Please see Part 3 below for how the UK media has managed to report this even more confusingly.

    2. The New Translation By Miriam

    Miriam has carefully translated the original interview in Oggi for us.

    “Not Enough Evidence For Such A Heavy Sentence”

    On January 30th of last year, the appeal Court of Florence sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 years and 6 months of imprisonment and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher. 12 hours of deliberation were needed for the eight judges - two professional judges (the President Alessandro Nencini and Doctor Liliana Cicerchia)  and six Lay Judges - to wrap up that decision.  Among the lay judges was Genny Ballarini, a 48 year old,  worker from Prato. After long negotiations and courteous refusals, on the eve of the decision by Corte di Cassazione, she accepted to speak to Oggi.

    Twelve hours, half a day: a lifetime for who judges and for who is judged. Without entering into detail, as not to violate the secrets of the “camera del consiglio”, what can you tell us?

    We went through all the documents, drew the conclusions, in order to arrive at an agreement.

    And then?

    I certainly had many doubts about the guilt of the two young people. I wasn’t an upholder the defendant’s innocence, but I thought and said to the others: “The evidence we have is not enough to inflict all these years of prison. Where is the evidence to send them to prison? Maybe I was naïve, but before pronouncing such a heavy sentence I wanted to see clearly. There was not enough, according to me, to justify a such a heavy sentence: questionable proof, odd testimony and uncertain evidence”. 

    And of the motive, what ideas did you arrive at?

    “That of the inadequate cleaning of the house? Nonsense. You do not massacre a girl because she complained about a bit of a smell in the bathroom. Anyway, at the end of every hearing we would sit down and discuss, we would reconstruct the facts on the basis of the timing, the cell phones, the statements of the accused that indicated how Amanda and Raffaele could be at the scene of the crime. I would ask “ But is it enough to convict them?” Against Raffaele, beyond the hypothesis, remained the discussed trace on Meredith’s bra clasp. How could you not have doubts? “What was the motive that could have pushed Raffaele to participate in the massacre of that poor girl”?  I asked.

    The prosecutor in the first trial described Sollecito as “depraved”, putting him inside of the erotic game ending in a tragedy and he was depraved, argued the prosecutor, because he was a fanatic of Manga, the Japanese comics that mix eroticism and violence. 

    “But if he is a murderer you need to prove it!” I noted. “It is not enough to read comics or watch cartoons. And then it was the same prosecutors that reminded that Amanda was not a tranquil young lady because she once received a fine for nocturnal racket. It seemed to be, excuse me, more nonsense”.

    One of the controversial points is that in that small room in which Meredith was murdered, there was not even one trace of Knox. How do you explain that?

    “They claimed that Knox had removed her traces by cleaning. Who knows! Today when I think about it again I have even more doubts”, she said. When the trial started the atmosphere in the “camera del consiglio” was accusatory. Maybe I am naïve, but I had doubts. I thought: what we have in our hands it’s not enough to send them to prison for all those years.  May be Amanda was there, but she didn’t participate. I listened to Raffaele and he seem to me a fine young man, he seemed to me sincere… At the beginning I had no opinion: I have never liked crime news and I had read just a bit on the case. I formed my beliefs studying the three files of the previous trials. Not only. During the trial I kept a diary for every hearing. I wrote down everything that was happening and at the end I would add my impressions.

    How did you interact with the Court’s President?

    He and the side Judge did not express an opinion till the end. During all those months I never managed to understand what they thought about the case.

    So they did not influenced the Lay Judges?

    Absolutely not. They would explain only the things that we could not understand. I understood what they thought only when the verdict was decided, but my doubts remained. At a certain point, I stressed that Rudy Guede left on the crime scene more traces than Raffaele and Amanda and yet he was given 16 years instead of 25. They explained to me that he was judged through a fast track trial, that provides a reduction of the sentence. 

    And what do you think of Guede?

    I think that he gave three different versions of the facts and he never said that Amanda and Raffaele were with him. How can you take into consideration Rudy to establish the guilt of the other two?

    What did you think when the verdict was decided?

    Right away I said that I did not agree and it was noted. On the increasing on the sentence even other Lay Judges did not agree, but it was explained to us that it could not be any different.

    Did you ever fight among yourselves?

    No, never.

    You said that you do not like crime news and the speculations on blood related crimes? Why than did you accept to became part of the Lay Judges of a trial so complicated and a such media driven event?

    I was drawn. I could only refuse only for health reasons. I accepted even for economic reasons since at that time I was on unemployment check. On the other hand they had told me that in that session, from July to September, usually the “Corte d’Assise” has scheduled trials of less importance. I would have never imagined that we were going to end up with Meredith’s murder.

    You implied to economic reasons. You worked seven months from July to January with burdensome hearings. How much did you received?   

    In all 1.500 Euro: 200 Euro a month! I received them from the Department of Justice seven months after the conclusion of the trial. Not much, but needed: I spent them for a sensitive surgery.

    3. How The UK Press Reported This

    The Mirror and Daily Mail cherrypick the most sensational claims, make them sound current rather than nearly 18 months old,  and dont publish the whole interview.

    In effect they leave out almost all of the context in Par 1 above, dont explain why Italians are unmoved, and omit the essential point that this was NOT a new trial and the jury did NOT hear the case presented in depth with exhibits and witnesses as the trial jury did.

    Posted on 03/22/15 at 04:38 PM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Appeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Reporting, media, moviesBiased reportingItalian justice hoaxNo-evidence hoax
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (9)

    Friday, March 20, 2015

    Rogue Juror Genny Ballerini: A Sign Oggi Sees Its Conviction For Parroting Knox As Inevitable?

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Umberto Brindani, the editor of the weekly Italian magazine Oggi

    1. Explaining The Broad Context

    A rogue juror has mischaracterized the outcome of the Nencini appeal in Oggi.

    Very odd, as the consequence of this very unusual action is that she could be charged with vilipendio, with an illegal action to poison public opinion to lean upon a court process to affect its outcome. To help explain what may be going on here, think of Italy as two factions.

    • A very large faction which is comparatively very law-abiding and very forgiving and which greatly admires Italian law enforcement and judges and prosecutors.

    • A relatively tiny faction consisting of such unsavory elements as corrupt politicians and businessmen, the mafias, rogue masons, satanists (yes there are some) and others who, by any means fair or foul, seek unfair breaks for themselves and their associates.

    The Perugia courts, being close to Rome, and the Florence courts, being very large and very competently staffed, have particular roles in matters of national-level justice. Anyone who manages to throw sand in the wheels of those court systems may have won one for some in the small and unsavory faction at the cost of the very large pro-justice faction.

    MP Rocco Girlanda is a great example of how this works. The member from Gubbio once of Berlusconi’s party used his parliamentary privilege to “check Knox’s conditions” in Capanne dozens of times. Apparently even the Knox-Mellases found Girlanda’s advances pretty creepy, and someone from the family is said to have headed for Italy in a hurry.

    Girlanda not only wrote a creepy book about Knox and took a creepy position on panels of the Italian-American Society in Rome which he once headed. He also tried to monkey with Meredith’s case by petitioning the President, and by attempting to reduce the national Department Of Justice budget. But some of his closest political colleagues from Gubbio are on trial now and may entangle him, and see Andrea Vogt’s tweet the other day that Florence prosecutors are investigating Girlanda, for corruption at a national level.

    The Sollecitos also incline toward murky incitement outside the courtroom. Think of the bag of cash the witness Aviello said was offered. Think of conversations caught on tape discussing the capturing of politicians who might lean on the Perugia justice officials. For this Vanessa lost her job and the Sollecitos may still face charges.

    The Sollecitos seem to have made a beeline in 2008 for Giulia Bongiorno, a longtime defender of some of those in the smaller faction, for her political clout, although some of her actions in handling the case, such as shrieking at Judge Nencini with a knife in her hand (the same judge who will execute Cassations decisions) seem daft in the extreme.

    The Sollecitos may - may - now be a party to some strange media developments in Italy, such as the fawning Porta a Porta show of a few days ago. 

    2. The Court Pressure Oggi Faces

    The editor of Oggi Umberto Brindani seems to take malicious glee in Oggi’s reports to its weekly readership that put Italian justice in a bad light, perhaps to bring Italian justice down a peg and win one for some in the small faction.

    Now although no other Italian media would risk repeating in Italian the lurid conspiracy theories of the Knox PR in English in the United States, Oggi did choose to go there - and was slapped with charges as a result.

    Our posts here and here explain how Brindani’s taunting has bitten him in the tail. Oggi quoted defamatory and inaccurate claims from Knox’s book which are a magnet for diffamazione and vilipendio charges, as Brindani found out.

    If Brindani goes down against the Bergamo prosecutor for this, as seem inevitable, both the Oggi house of cards and the Knox-Mellas-Sollecito house of cards are put at risk. Oggi may face fines and civil damages for a lot of Euros. More especially, Oggi’s credibility and future would take a knock.

    3. Enter The Rogue Juror

    This Daily Mail report is in fact 100% quoting the latest edition of Oggi. (Gee, thanks, Daily Mail; for obvious reasons Oggi try hard never to put their own scurrilous stories online.)

    Essentially Genny Ballerini is complaining that it was an unfair “trial” and she didnt see a case being made or a motive explained.

    On the face of it, this makes absolutely zero sense.

    What happened in Florence just over a year ago was an APPEAL by RS and AK, not a new trial, and it was tightly focused on a couple of points the defenses wanted to quibble about (unsuccessfully, as it happened).

    The prosecution presented next to nothing of its own case as already presented in great detail in 2009. There were no similar summations, no recreations of the attack on Meredith, no witnesses of its own examined in court, and almost no exhibits.

    And guess what? Genny Ballerini didnt even set eyes on Amanda Knox or Rudy Guede!!

    Working under strict instructions from Cassation, Judge Nencini guided his lay judges to examine and vote on ONLY the points the defense had tried to prove to their advantage.  They all knew, or should have known, even this rogue juror Genny Ballerini, that any attempt to act as a second trial jury on the lines of the Hellmann appeal jury would be illegal, and was not why they were sitting there.

    Unless she is seriously daffy the surprise surfacing of Genny Ballerini in Oggi of all places only makes sense in the light of what Part 1 above explained. Genny Ballerini seems to be being used to muddy the waters to the hoped-for advantage of some in the smaller faction. 

    4. The Guts Of Ballerini’s Claims  

    Our main poster Chimera checked out Genny Ballerini’s individual claims, and at that level also shows that Genny Ballerini is either out to lunch or working as a tool for Oggi and by extension some in the small faction.

    (1) The juror did not ‘‘help convict’’ Knox/Sollecito at the 2013/2014 Florence appeal.  The court merely confirmed the trial verdict of Giancarlo Massei (2009).

    (2) ‘‘She slams the prosecution’s case, citing questionable proof, flimsy evidence, and bizarre testimony’‘.  This was only a defence appeal, which is a HUGE detail to omit.

    When the defense files an appeal, essentially they are saying there is something wrong with the prosecution’s case as presented back at trial.  The prosecution PROVED their case, they don’t have to again.  So yes, the burden is on the defense.

    If she does not know this (and these comments may be deliberately misquoted), then Ms. Ballerini doesn’t understand the purpose of an appeal or her role in it.

    (3) Knox was 20 at the time of the murder, not 19.

    (4) The article says they served 4 years before being freed on appeal, but it leaves out the fact that they had been convicted at trial.  While technically correct, it implies something that is not the case.

    (5) The article says that Knox rebuilt her life finding love with Colin Sutherland, and working as a journalist.  While true, they were only recent developments (late 2014).  Knox had been released 3 years prior to that.

    (6) The appeal court reinstated the guilty verdict?  Wrong.  Again, the March 2013 Cassation ruling annulled Hellmann’s ruling, but it left Massei’s trial conviction intact. The appeal court actually confirmed it.

    In other words, AK and RS weren’t forced back to Florence for a new trial.  They themselves chose to redo their own appeal, rather than accept the 26 and 25 year sentences.  Big difference.

    (7) ‘‘The evidence is not there to inflict all these years in prison’‘?  Frightening, if she actually made these statements.  The appeals court is ONLY to look at errors, not to retry the case.  Did she not read her job description?

    (8) Ms. Ballerini says of Sollecito: What possible motive could he have for participating in that murder? 

    A better question would be: why he did refuse Judge Nencini’s invitation to testify?  Come on, he just did a freaking book tour.  And Ms. Ballerini was there in court ... did she not have an urge to ask him questions?

    (9) ‘‘She insisted that the 2 professional judges had not tried to sway the jury.’’  Can you think of why that may have done so? Perhaps back in late 2011?

    Part of me thinks this story is a plant, her words and conclusions sound almost verbatim from the FOAK crap that has been coming out for years.

    If it is true (a big if) it is frightening that someone so limited could be on a appeal jury.  Either she does not understand the purpose of an appeal, or she is being used as a sockpuppet.


    5. Present Conclusions

    This aint over. Investigators will already be checking out Genny Ballerini to see what makes her tick and decide if she should face charges. We will keep you posted.


    Genny Ballerini is the lay-judge on the left

    Posted on 03/20/15 at 11:14 AM by Peter Quennell. Click screenname for a list of all main posts, at top left.
    Archived in Appeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Reporting, media, moviesBiased reportingItalian justice hoaxNo-evidence hoax
    Permalink for this postTell-a-FriendCase WikiPMF Org ForumPMF Net ForumComments here (36)

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Probable Final Cassation Ruling In 10 Days: Likely Scenario For The Immediate Future

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi


    We reported previously that Prime Minister Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, has great trust in the court system there.

    Cassation is expected to rule on Knox’s and Sollecito’s separate appeals against the Florence outcome (in which they yet again not-too-subtly edge one another between themselves and the flames) on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

    We have something of a consensus here upon what happens then and thereafter, with main inputs here from Italian watchers Popper and Yummi.

    1. Cassazione will probably merely announce that the affirmation of conviction by the Nencini appeal court is legitimate from the point of view of Italian law and there will be nothing significant said on the merits of the case.

    2. In final appeals Supreme Court justices simply confirm a sentence or not based exclusively on law points. The Cassazione motivation reports due within three months are not too important as they cannot be appealed anyway. A report may not be needed for extradition, the Massei + Nencini sentencing reports could be explanatory and legally correct enough in this case.

    3. The execution of this decision would then be over to the Florence courts. If the Nencini confirmation of verdict and sentence is affirmed it will probably then be over to Prosecutor Crini and Judge Nencini, and an arrest warrant for Sollecito would be immediate.

    4. There is a slight chance, perhaps 5% to 10%, that Sollecito might try to escape, as he seemed set on doing when he made it to the border on the same day as Judge Nencini’s 2014 ruling. On Italian TV he has been sounding very aggrieved with Amanda while not really winding back the strong case against himself. He lacks his passport and probably the secret stash of money to stay on the run indefinitely.

    5. An arrest warrant for Knox, the other defendant, would normally be issued as soon as possible. If she is still located in the US she could be rapidly arrested and put in a holding cell. Based on other examples it is possible that her physical return to Italy could take as long as nine months, though the treaty promotes a fast-track meaning not upward of three months.

    6. There is normally 45 days for the extradition papers/request from Dr Andrea Orlando, the Italian Minister of Justice, to be handed over by the Italian Embassy in Washington DC to the State Department, though there is allowance for that request time to be extended.

    7. The evidence of course really is overwhelming and no single proof of foul play has ever been proven. Italian justice officials have relevant information they could share privately, such as the corruption of the Hellmann appeal alleged by Judge Chiari, Prosecutor Comodi and others, and such as Knox’s unsavory drug record which is normally a big no-no for the State Department. 

    8. Comments made by the host and a magistrate on Italy’s Porta a Porta show last week suggests vagueness on the part of the Italian media and public about the Italy/United States extradition treaty. This treaty, which has always been faithfully observed previously by both countries, with no exceptions, is stark and minimalist and focuses on the paperwork and whether the national law was followed, as explained by lawyers James Raper and TomM. 

    9. Assuming their final conviction, Sollecito’s arrest and return to prison will drive Italian public opinion, dormant for years but stirring as the Porta a Porta show suggested, to demand a quick extradition of Knox, who was the flatmate of Meredith the victim and without whom no murder would have taken place.

    10. Probably very unlikely, but if there is sustained political resistance despite American media finally getting the facts right, the powers demanding extradition will build up immense pressure, and it will be world-wide pressure from the point of view of the US, not just Italy. All countries will be watching to see how the US behaves, and if their treaties are reliable or not.

    The US relies heavily on the Italian government, which is currently a very strong one, on many other matters, and it has other extradition cases worldwide in motion or anticipated (think Snowden in Moscow) so it will be almost certainly be faithful to legality and precedent.

    Knox smeared prison authorities in her book and directly caused the imprisonment of a drug-dealer which might be reasons she fears going back. Conceivably a negotiated outcome could result in Knox serving the rest of her time in an American prison to get round this. American prison? This would be nice for her family, but probably a lot less nice for Knox herself.

    Knox has long been the pawn of an ugly family and bunch of parasites. Dont totally rule out her simply hopping on a plane to pay her dues and get away from them.


    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Journalist Andrea Vogt Encounters Two Case-Related Oddities Of Interest In Official Washington

    Posted by Peter Quennell



    Ambassador to Italy David Thorne with Secretary of State John Kerry

    1. US Freedom Of Official Information And Politics

    Since 1967 the US Federal Government has had to provide certain official information to requesting citizens and organizations.

    Most of those are watchdog groups and reporters. The relevant rules are quite elaborate, and can be read here and here.

    About half of all information requested is handed over fully, about 3/8 is handed over with excisions and withholdings, and about 1/8 is not handed over at all, with summary reasons for the refusal. This can then be appealed or alternately brought to the attention of someone in Congress.

    If a powerful congressman or committee staffer picks up the ball then the information can flow quite magically.

    If the information can embarrass the presidential administration the other party can gleefully extract the information, if necessary with the issuing of a subpoena. The news media will usually pick this up and run with it, especially if a Congressional committee decides to ask questions or hold hearings.

    We reckon that our readership and the case-watchers in general extend right across the political spectrum from left to right. No easy trick and we have always been quite pleased with this. It is usually impossible to tell what the political position of any poster or emailer is.

    Same with the US media. Fox News cable news is generally thought to be right-wing and MSNBC left-wing and CNN tries to make it in the middle. But all three have had left-wingers and right-wingers on their shows supporting either Italy and justice or the anti-justice anti-Italy misinformation Knox campaign.

    In other words support by Americans for Italian justice or for giving Knox a pass has had nothing to do with party lines. But that could change some.

    Right now the presidential administration is on its back foot, as the other party controls both the houses of Congress. The Secretary of State and the Ambassador in Rome both work for the administration, and can be called to account by that Congress.

    Knox happens to live in a city and state which largely goes along with the presidential party and administration. Senator Patty Murray and Senator Maria Cantwell are in the presidential party as is Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle.

    Senator Cantwell is STILL the only influential politician who has taken a public stance anti-Italy; nobody from the opposite party ever has.

    In 2009 Cantwell was sharply rebuffed and her facts corrected by the State Department and CNN’s legal analyst and even by some pro-justice Seattle voters..

    In October 2013 Cantwell flashed in and out of a bizarre misinformation panel perhaps embarrassed to be associated with it.

    Bottom line? The presidential administration and party does not seem in a strong position to refuse to hand over any documents, or without very strong reason to take a pro-Knox anti-Italy position.

    We are not guaranteeing that this case will become a political football. But it could. If it does, the Knox gang will have only weak political allies (if any) and what the Rome Embassy reported to the State Department 2007-2015 is really going to matter.

    How does all this relate to what Andrea Vogt has recently encountered?

    2. Andrea Vogt And The Cables From The Rome Embassy

    Andrea Vogt in effect holds a giant lever. She has long pursued her right as an American journalist to surface what the consular officers in the Rome Embassy who watchdogged the 2009 trial and 2011 and 2013 appeals and Knox’s stint in prison had been reporting back to the State Department in Washington.

    Releases of copies of cables in 2010 showed “no cause for concern” over Knox’s treatment and copies of cables in 2011 showed likewise.

    There was zero official paper trail helpful to a Knox fight against extradition. That was despite a very nasty effort by Knox forces to lean on the Embassy and the State Department by complaining directly to President Obama.

    Now Andrea Vogt is reporting on the Freelance Desk in “Update Feb 13 2015” on her experience with a new batch of cables.

    Oddities to our eyes are that (1) in this batch, some requested cables were not released; and (2) a cable in October 2011 at the end of the Hellmann appeal wrongly declared “case closed”.

    Passages of special interest have been highlighted here by us.

    Many may view the cables as just routine bureaucracy, which in large part they are, but I believe they are important documents to add to the public record for two reasons.

    First, they show insight into how American citizens in trouble abroad are supported (or not, depending on your viewpoint) by their government.

    Second, they contribute transparently to the established written government record, clarifying diplomatic aspects of the case that until now have remained hidden while the saga played out solely in Italian courtrooms and the media.

    The results of this second batch of FOIA requests were of particular importance due to the grave accusations being launched against the Italian police and members of its judiciary by members of Knox’s family, supporters and public relations team during the period of her incarceration.

    The question at hand: was Amanda Knox abused, mistreated or robbed of a fair trail in Italy? How closely was the state department monitoring the case and what did embassy officials do, or not do, as it evolved?

    The answer, first revealed in this first batch of embassy cables released to me in 2012 and dating back from 2007-2009, is that embassy and state department personnel actively monitored the case and provided aid from the very first days after her arrest. Other state and federal documents that I published back in 2010 ... show how Washington State’s congressional delegation, namely Sen. Maria Cantwell, was also involved.

    This second batch of FOIA-requested embassy cables was released to me in late 2014 in response to another more extensive FOIA request made in 2012 (a two-year lag time is not unusual for broad requests)...

    In brief, these new cables shows that the trend of close state department monitoring of the case was constant, with consular involvement up until the day (Oct 11, 2011) that the U.S. Ambassador Thorne in Rome sent a cable to the secretary of state in Washington D.C., officially declaring the matter “case closed.”

    The communications are noteworthy because they bust a number of media myths about Amanda Knox’s release and immediate departure from Italy after her release in 2011, namely that the U.S. embassy did not receive her in the hours immediately post release for consular services, as she was traveling on a valid U.S. passport.

    The other interesting point is that though the case was far from over in Italy,  once Amanda Knox was off Italian soil, it no longer considered the case to be of interest. “With the verdict of Oct. 3 overturning Amanda Knox’s prior conviction, her immediate release from prison and her subsequent departure from Italy today, Post considers this case closed. THORNE.”

    For American citizens abroad, it is a welcome reminder that the embassy works on citizens’ behalf, as are the four documents released with excisions that show Knox was regularly visited by consular officials every six weeks and brought reading materials.

    It is worth noting that the only persons to publicly report to have regularly visited Knox in prison to bring her reading materials were those associated with the Fondazione Italia USA, namely Italian parliamentarian Rocco Girlanda and Corrado Maria Daclon, the two men also present with her in the car that drove Knox out of prison the night she was acquitted.

    Coincidence or are these the consular visits the cables refer to?

    As soon as Knox was out of the country, the embassy declared “case closed,” perhaps not expecting that her trials would continue. Those who have followed the case know that the acquittal that prompted her release was later annulled in its entirety by Italy’s Supreme Court, which called for a second appeal trial to be held in a separate venue: Florence….

    For the British and Italian authorities, and family members of Meredith Kercher who have patiently waited out the Italian legal system, perhaps the “case closed” cable jumped the gun. Once an American citizen is out of the country where he or she is in trouble, what duty does the embassy have to keep following legal developments that involve an American not physically in the country?

    Did the embassy re-open the case later once the Supreme Court quashed the acquittal or is it “out of sight, out of mind,” and once an American in trouble abroad is no longer abroad, the embassy in that country can effectively wash its hands of the matter? Is it still considered “Case Closed”?

    As the possibility of an extradition process hangs in the balance with the upcoming March 25 supreme court decision, the documents may provide some additional material for legal scholars to consider.

    As the State Department letter points out, there are still 11 documents that fall under the umbrella of my initial FOIA request that have not been released that require further coordination.

    Based on the content of my 2012 request, I believe these may be documents relating to then Sen. John Kerry and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations, of which he was chairman from 2009-2013 [ed note: and Senator Cantwell was a committee member] and to which specific FOIA requests were made, and for which I have not yet received response.

    I have scanned and uploaded the 2-page FOIA response and 5 released cables (Oct 2011, June 2011, March 2011, November 2010, September 2010) below…

    Andrea Vogt included images of those six seemingly mundane documents she received below the report, praises the Embassy and State, and voices no suspicions.

    Amazingly, not one other American reporter has pursued this obvious angle. Still, in a political fuss, all those many others described in Part 1 above could also choose to do so.


    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #6: Examining Gumbel’s Role In Biasing The Book

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Andrew Gumbel seen in a shrill 2014 CNN report, perhaps the least balanced so far 

    1. Bringing The News Up To Date

    On 5 March the Florence court will replace the prosecution’s translation of the target claims in the book with its own translation.

    And Sollecito and Gumbel will probably be ordered to stand public trial then.

    Both the prosecution and the guiding magistrate have as usual in Italy played immensely fair in this case. Each gave Sollecito and Gumbel numerous opportunities over more than a year to try to explain and justify certain target passages in a way that gets them off the hook. In further fairness the hearings have all been closed.

    What leaked out after the last hearing in Florence a couple of weeks ago suggested that Sollecito has yet to come up with any justification at all. He was said to look dazed and depressed.

    Gumbel was not in court. But his lawyer apparently claimed that Gumbel was merely a sort of well-meaning sheep: Sollecito’s ghost writer, nothing more, who faithfully took down only what he heard from his client.

    This has apparently not gone down at all well in the Sollecito camp.

    The Sollecito family and legal team has long hinted rather publicly that Gumbel did a number on them, an end-run. Francesco Sollecito and the family and Sollecito’s lawyers Giula Bongiorno and Luca Maori had all claimed within several weeks of the book coming out that numerous passages in the book were malicious and untrue. Sollecito himself denied that he put them in.

    The Sollecito family and legal team have also hinted ever since that Gumbel and some American Knox cronies with self-serving agendas (suggested on pro-Knox websites to have been Steve and Michele Moore, Frank Sforza, Bruce Fischer, maybe some more) had recklessly put dangerous unfounded claims in the final draft of the book.

    Those claims (now the main subjects of the Florence trial) were seemingly never put into Italian and run carefully by them. No proper due diligence was done, and as a result they have been left holding the can. And all this under the cold eyes of the Supreme Court, which must rule in six weeks whether Sollecito makes things up. 

    2. Smart Rules For Ghost Writers To Avoid Trouble

    This is hardly the first time a ghost writer and their client have fallen out. It is a touchy trouble-prone profession not governed by formalised training or an established code of ethics, where getting sued or not getting paid is quite a frequent thing.

    Some of those who do it full-time and have had their share of trouble and want no more of it and want to alert others have posted their own suggested groundrules online.

    For example, both client and ghost writer are well served by spending a few days checking out each other. Then they make a contract where literally everything needs to be spelled out.

    Ghost writers need to take extreme care with clients in legal trouble who might drag them in or who they might drag in further. They need to be clear whether they are to research on their own, and to whom they are permitted to talk.

    They need to know whether their name will be on the cover or anywhere inside the book. They need to know whether they have a licence from the client to do related TV and print articles, especially if those pay a separate fee, and what they are allowed to say.

    They need to try to capture honestly the client’s voice and not turn them into someone they are not. They need to know what facts to put in and to be clear what facts are consciously left out. They need to do due diligence on the drafts with the agent and publisher and lawyers, and if allowed check out dynamite claims with “the other side”.

    And if any accusations of crimes are to be made they REALLY need to check those legal hot potatoes with the client and the lawyers and the publishers, line by line. 

    Gumbel seems to have ignored pretty well all of these groundrules, and dug Sollecito in much deeper.

    Knox’s ghost writer Linda Kulman (more experienced than Gumbel at this and with no axe to grind) seems to have followed some but not all of these guidelines. Her name is only in the Knox book once, in a short thankyou note by Knox at the back, and she remained low-key and made no separate statements.

    Nevertheless, Linda Kulman had the Sollecito book as a (then) largely unchallenged model. She included in the book a number of false accusation of crimes and malicious ridicules of others, none of them properly checked out, which will have Knox in court for sure before too long. (Oggi is already in court for repeating some of her claims.)

    Linda Kulman also included an entire chapter about Knox’s “interrogation” where every detail is made up. She included a lengthy claim that Mignini did an illegal interrogation of Knox, when in fact he wasn’t even there. And she left out numerous key facts, such as that Knox was having sex with a major drug dealer almost to the day of her arrest, and most of the evidence.

    Linda Kulman certainly dd not capture Knox’s real voice or mode of behavior, which are notoriously brash and possibly the root cause of Meredith’s murder.

    3. Flashing Warning Lights In Italy In 2012

    If the Sollecito family and team did not know all of the above, it would seem to be Sharlene Martin’s fiduciary duty as book agent for Sollecito to make sure both they and any ghost writer they hired did know.

    For their part, the Sollecito team should have done their own due diligence in Italy, and perhaps looked around for an experienced ghost writer in Italy who could converse with all of them and show them in Italian what would be in the book. And in particular known about and been respectful of this which was in our first post.

    On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

    Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

    A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published


    4. Warning Lights About A Hasty Gumbel Contract

    Many of the problems in the book are associated with a strident anti-Italy tone.  Well over half the false claims taken apart in this May 2014 post are FACTUALLY wrong in areas where Sollecito has no known knowledge or point of view.

    For example, it was claimed that the Italian justice institutions are both very unpopular and corrupt. Neither is true, and almost no Italians believe that.

    Sharlene Martin was first mentioned as Sollecito’s agent in the NY Times on 5 December 2011 when Sollecito had been swanning around the US west coast in an apparent attempt to, well, get her back in the sack. He was in a weak mode.

    On 10 January 2012 Francesco Sollecito was reported in the Journal of Umbria as saying this about the purpose of the book 

    “I have not done the math [the lawyers etc costs]. For good luck. I will do it after the ruling of the Supreme Court. It will be painful because the figure of one million euro of which one speaks is not far from reality.” This was stated to the weekly Today, on newsstands tomorrow, by Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele.
    According to [Francesco] Sollecito, in case of confirmation of absolution, then there will be 250-300,000 euro compensation provided for the unjust detention of his son, this money will be enough only to pay the fees of the 12 consultants “that we had to appoint to succeed to refute the allegations.”

    In the interview with the weekly, Francesco Sollecito denies that Raffaele has a girlfriend, as reported after the publishing of photos while kissing a girl: “Annie, the girl who appears with him in photos on Facebook is just a friend, in fact a sorta of cousin… “The priorities of my son right now are otherise.” What? “Raffaele has signed a contract with the American literary manager Sharlene Martin for a book, it is a definite undertaking “.

    Apparently at this point Sharlene Martin had not been to Italy or spoken face-to-face with Francesco or the legal team. Whether she had briefed herself on the warning lights described above so that she could properly warn the US team of writer, editors, publishers and publicists is not known. 

    5. Gumbel’s Shrill Record Of Sliming Italy

    On 12 February 2012 Andrew Gumbel is reported in the NY Times as having got the co-writer job. During that period due diligence (if any) on his background would have been done, seemingly mainly by Sharlene Martin (if any) as a complaint of Sollecito’s team is that they could not look him over before he came on board.

    Andrew Gumbel is not a lawyer, and in fact our own lawyers have repeatedly found silly his pretentious and inaccurate legal claims. Nor as far as we know does he have a track record as a ghost writer. His main claim to the job seems to have been based on his having been based in Italy with the UK Independent for nearly five years in the 1990s.

    The 1990s were a pretty good time in Italy.

    There was okay growth and jobs availability, record tourism, relative political calm before Berlusconi grabbed political and media power, many successful farms and firms, and a really push against the mafias - for which many brave judges and prosecutors had died.  The Italian food and wine were great, the cars and luxury goods were great, and Italy was home to about half of the finest medieval art in the world.

    We checked it out: foreign reporters in Italy at the time did a fair and balanced job reflecting all of this. With seemingly only one notorious exception: the British reporter Andrew Gumbel for the UK Independent.

    Apparently Gumbel could find almost nothing to like about Italy. In 5 years almost nothing to write a positive report on.

    Brits relying only on his shrill reporting in the Independent may have thought Italy to be a very corrupt, lawless, politically and economically dysfunctional place, with nothing about it to like and no reason to visit. If they were bigoted, this could have made them more-so. Nasty stuff, and for foreign reporters in any country anywhere very unusual.

    Below are the headers for most or all of Andrew Gumbel’s shrill reports from Italy.

    Fair and balanced? The right guy for a delicate project with his client in a delicate legal bind? You decide.  We have highlighted in yellow all the reports with a negative bias, maybe true, maybe not. Of the total of 62 reports only 4 seem to us neutral or nice. Were the Sollecitos or their Italian lawyers or HarperCollins made aware by Gumbel or Sharlene Martin of Gumbel’s emotional negative bias?

      1. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Government + History (25)
    • A sick economy shakes out the fake invalids. (growing economic problems in Italy make corruption less acceptable)
    • Bickering while Venice sinks.
    • Can Italy survive Dini’s fall? (prime minister Lamberto Dini)
    • Chirac consigns Italy to Europe’s second division. (French president Jacques Chirac)
    • Corruption on an Olympian scale.(Rome, Italy, seeks to host Olympic Games)
    • Facing up to Italy’s crisis. (Italy’s economic problems)
    • Glitz takes a back seat on road to Rome. (Romano Prodi begins electoral campaign in Italy) (Interview)
    • How the kidnap and rape of Dario Fo’s wife was ordered by Italy’s right-wing rulers.
    • Illegal migrants reach EU havens via Italy.
    • Italy waits for the gravy train to be derailed. (problems facing Italian railway system)
    • Italy ready for mission impossible: intervention in Albania could bring instability to Rome.
    • Italy heads back into a political void.
    • Italy struggles to shake off the legacy of Mussolini.
    • Italy’s Olive Tree fails to bear fruit.
    • Italy’s rich city prays for fall of nation state. (citizens of Bologna, Italy, strongly in favour of European Union)
    • New wave of state corruption stuns the Italians.
    • Past demons threaten Italy’s bid for change. (Italy fails to move towards a SEcond Republic)
    • Prodi’s dilemma: let the left win or surrender Italy’s drive towards Emu. (Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi)
    • Rome’s magic circle. (deterioration of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy)
    • Scholars in a spin over Churchill link to the death of Mussolini. (claims that Mussolini was shot by British secret services)
    • Shouting could drown out Italian democracy. (serious political clashes damage reputation of Italian parliament)
    • So, were there offers he should have refused? (trial of Giulio Andreotti)
    • The Nazi and the protection racket. (controversy over trial of former Nazi Erich Priebke in Italy)
    • Venice’s grand opera descends to farce. (dispute hampers rebuilding of La Fenice opera house)
    • Why Italy cannot bring war criminals to justice.
    • 2. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Scenery, Art, Music, Fashion, Culture (2)
    • Il Papa brings on Dylan for a taste of the devil’s rhythms. (Bob Dylan to perform for Pope)
    • Inside the Assisi basilica, a sight to make saints weep. (challenges involved in restoration of art treasures from Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy)
    • 3. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Economy + Business (8)
    • A nation that brings its style to the track. (many changes to Italian rail network)
    • All is not bene among the united colours. (problems facing Benetton)
    • Berlusconi consolidates his rule over the Italian air waves. (former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi)
    • Ciao Gianni, but now what? (Gianni Agnelli resigns as chairman of Fiat)
    • Climax of Italy’s TV war. (referendum on whether Silvio Berlusconi should sell his television channels)
    • Italy’s new crop stifled in the shadow of a paradise lost.(problems affecting the Italian motion picture industry)
    • Murdoch pursues Italian television. (News Corp seeks stake in Silvio Berlusconi’s media empire).
    • The dark world behind Versace’s life of glamour. (murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace)
    • 4. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Justice, Crime, Corruption,  Mafias (24)
    • Accidental death of an anarchist comes back to scandalise Italy. (three men convicted of murder of police commissioner Luigi Calabresi in 1972)
    • A fashion label that really is to die for .... (murder of fashion designer Maurizio Gucci may have been instigated by his former wife)(Column)
    • After the suicide, a wall of silence. (new type of Mafia activity in Sicily)
    • Amnesty offers Italy chance to forget its years of terror. (Italian government pardons six people involved in Red Brigades terrorist group in 1970s)
    • Andreotti to face trial on Mob links. (former Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti to stand trial for consorting with the Mafia)
    • Another black mark against Italy’s judges. (Italy’s anti-corruption magistrates lose their credibility)
    • Arrest us, but we’ll be back next week. (three Italians with Aids use legal loophole to rob banks)
    • Backlash threatens to silence informers. (controversy in Italy over Mafia informers)
    • Bloody end of a fashionable affair. (murder of Maurizio Gucci)
    • Fake invalids at heart of Italy’s postal scandal. (postal service employs many invalids, but some are fakes)
    • Fear and loathing in the Alto Adige. (serial killer murders six people in Merano, Italy)
    • Godfather’ village baffled by murders. (Sicilian town of Corleone)
    • God’s Banker: ‘He was given Mafia money and he made poor use of it.’ (investigation into death of Italian banker Roberto Calvi in 1982 may soon be concluded)
    • Gucci: hell for leather. (Patrizia Gucci convicted for contract killing of former husband Maurizio Gucci)
    • How Cosa Nostra’s cunning outfoxed the Italian state. (Mafia’s criminal network still operating in Italy)
    • How Italy failed to trap its Monster. (failure to bring serial killer in Florence, Italy, to justice)
    • Italy’s men of violence throw off the state’s chains. (revival of the Mafia in Italy)(includes details of murder of magistrate Giovanni Falcone)
    • Mafia trawls Venice’s dark lagoon. (organised crime in Venice, Italy)
    • Mysteries unravel as mafiosi spill secrets. (Italian gangsters make confessions)
    • One woman’s dangerous and lonely battle to break the Cosa Nostra. (challenges facing Maria Maniscalco, mayor of San Giuseppe Jato, Italy)
    • Rome turns a blind eye to Mafia’s killing spree.
    • Secret of why the Mafia has never shot a soul. (code of silence about Mafia in Sicily)
    • Street wars in Italy’s wild south. (high crime levels in Naples, Italy)
    • Who killed Pasolini? (new film about the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini)
    • 5. Gumbel Articles On Italy’s Physical Disasters (3)
    • After the deluge (eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy will create chaos)
    • Assisi in mourning as quake shatters Basilica of St Francis.
    • Umbria shows the civilised way to cope with calamity. (effects of series of earthquakes in Italy)


    6. Conclusion And Next Posts

    This list was checked out with half a dozen posters resident in Italy at the time. All of their reactions were to the effect that, in lying by omission, Gumbel did not play fair with Italy back then. A trivial mind. One which should have been fought off with a stick.

    The next posts seek to identify what Gumbel and the Knox misrepresenters (said to be primarily the Moores, Sforza and Fischer) were responsible for putting in the Sollecito book, and to describe Andrew Gumbel’s vigorous public media campaign. Whether authorized or not authorized, he made around 20 shrill damaging interventions.


    Thursday, January 22, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #5: Gumbel Really A Cowardly Defamatory Shill?

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Above: “Neutral ghostwriter” Andrew Gumbel tweets…

    1, Today In The Florence Court

    Lately many of the chest-thumping PR shills have whined a lot more about themselves as victims than done anything to boost Sollecito and Knox.

    Think of Preston, Burleigh, Dempsey, Sforza, Fisher, Moore, and a whole lot of other serial complainers. Now chest-thumper Andrew Gumbel seems to want to join their ranks. That is if the claim that he was ONLY a ghostwriter was made by his lawyer with his consent to the Florence judge.

    2. Signs Gumbel Really Is A Shill

    Note that Sollecito gave many signs during his US book promotion tour late in 2012 that he really didn’t know much about what was in his own book.

    So did Gumbel really only hang on Sollecito’s every word? Or did he talk to a lot more people than that, and get very invested in nasty, dishonest propaganda to deny justice for Meredith via the courts?

    Here’s Andrew Gumbel on 1 May 2014, providing the first media opinion in the UK on Judge Nencini’s appeal report. The nasty false claims highlighted suggest Gumbel has a very strong investment in Sollecito and Knox and not a little contempt for the Italian courts.

    One truth in Gumbel’s article which he must really regret? That sentence in the thitrd paragraph: “Disclosure: I am the co-author with Sollecito on his memoir about the case.”

    The longer the Italian courts consider the Meredith Kercher case – and we have now had three trials, six presiding judges, two hearings before the Italian high court and a third on the way – the more the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.

    Judge after judge has twisted the available evidence into extraordinary contortions of logic to assert, at different times, that Kercher – a British exchange student stabbed to death in her room in Perugia in 2007 – was the victim of a premeditated attack; that her murder happened spontaneously; that the motive was sexual; that the motive was a dispute over housework with Amanda Knox, the star defendant; that the trigger for the murder was the unseemly appetite Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had for sex and drugs; that the trigger for the murder was Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter everyone agrees was involved, knocking on the door to use the toilet.

    By now, Knox and Sollecito have been convicted, acquitted and convicted again, and the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated. (Disclosure: I am the co-author, with Sollecito, on his memoir about the case.)

    Still, the latest judicial document in the ongoing battle, a 337-page justification of the most recent convictions made public on Tuesday, marks a new low. Not only has Alessandro Nencini, the presiding judge of the Florence appeals court, apparently resorted to the same tortured logic as his predecessors; he has also stated things as fact that are manifestly and provably wrong.

    That may be more than even the Italian justice system can stomach; judges, after all, aren’t supposed to do things like that. And it may provide Knox and Sollecito with unexpected – if still slim – grounds for hope at the very moment when Kercher’s death had seemed settled, at last, according to the law.

    To read the new conviction report in detail is to enter a kind of alternate reality, where concrete facts appear ignored and alternate facts are seemingly plucked from the air. Kercher’s murder is reduced to a parlor game and all roads lead to the inevitable, if not also foregone, conclusion that Knox and Sollecito are guilty. For instance:

    • On page 63, Judge Nencini claims that a partial shoeprint found at the murder scene comes from a size 37 women’s shoe and must therefore belong to Amanda Knox. But this is not based on the available evidence. In the early days of the case, the prosecution sought to show that the shoeprint was from Sollecito’s Nikes; the pattern of concentric circles on the sole was later proven to come from a different pair of Nikes belonging to Guede.

    • On page 81, Nencini grapples with the question of how Knox and Sollecito could have participated in the murder but left no more than a single, hotly disputed trace of themselves at the scene. Extraordinarily, Nencini argues that Knox and Sollecito must have wiped the place clean of their DNA (but left an abundance of Guede’s) because no traces of Knox’s DNA were found anywhere in the apartment that she shared with the victim. But multiple samples of Knox’s DNA were found and presented at trial; they just weren’t found in the room where the murder took place.

    • Then, on page 321, Nencini writes that the blade of the purported murder weapon – a large kitchen knife found in Sollecito’s apartment – bore traces of both Kercher’s and Sollecito’s DNA. Again, this is at variance with the evidence. The most the prosecution ever asserted was that Kercher’s DNA was on the tip of the blade. Sollecito’s DNA has never been found.

    The defense teams have reacted with consternation: Knox issued a formal statement decrying the lack of “credible evidence or logic” in this latest document, which arrived just ahead of the three-month deadline following her latest conviction; Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, denounced what she said were “at least ten clamorous mistakes per page”. (A Kercher family lawyer called the document “a version that we have always in some ways sustained”.)

    This being Italy, however, the judicial errors are not necessarily a bad thing for Knox and Sollecito, because they give the Italian high court an opening – should the justices choose to take it – to overturn the latest conviction, and either dismiss the case, send it back to get the mistakes fixed, or order yet another trial in another court.

    The high court justices will be aware, of course, that the longer the case drags on, the more suspect the process will look in the eyes of world opinion. Another trial would test the patience of even the most ardent believers in Knox and Sollecito’s guilt, and certainly of the Kercher family. But the process is starting to curdle – even without the spectacle of lawyers arguing, yet again, over the same controversies before a barrage of international TV cameras. That leaves the high court, which always has one eye on the integrity of the system, with a genuine dilemma.

    Much has been written about Italian justice’s desire to save face in this much written-about case. To admit a miscarriage of justice, the argument runs, has become too difficult, because it would expose the mistakes of too many people, from the primary investigators to the Rome forensic lab to the prosecutors and judges.

    However, as the case trudges toward the seven-year mark, one has to wonder how much appetite the institutions of justice still have to stand by what they have done. Will the high court really want to endorse Nencini’s report with all these evident flaws? Or will this finally be the moment when the justice system calls a halt to a travesty committed in its name and exonerates Knox and Sollecito, as it should have done years ago?


    3. How Gumbel Got It Wrong

    We responded by rebutting 20 of Gumbel’s malicious claims in just the first 7 pages of Honor Bound. And Pataz1, a TJMK main poster who also runs his own blog posted this rebuttal of Gumbel below

    This letter was sent to the Guardian’s Reader Editor on 4 May 2014, and again on 3 June, 2014. The Reader’s Editor did not respond to either of the email submissions.

    Gumbel’s May 1st, 2014 article in the Guardian is a thinly veiled advocacy piece for Sollecito and Knox. He left out a significant phrase from a Nencini passage he cites; this phrase he omitted undermines one of his main claims.

    To the Guardian:

    I’m writing to you about Andrew Gumbel’s “comment” on developments in the murder of Meredith Kercher case. Gumbel writes about the recently released Nencini court motivations document, which outlines the court’s reasoning for affirming Knox and Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    Gumbel waits until the end of the third paragraph in his article to provide his disclaimer: that he is a co-author of the book by one of the defendants. Its hard to understand why Gumbel waited so long to disclose his vested financial interest in the innocence of one of the defendants on trial. By this time, Gumbel has already levied allegations of impropriety upon the Italian courts and judges. For example, he alleges “the country’s institutions of justice have covered themselves in shame.” He continues specific allegations that “judge after judge has twisted the available evidence […]”.  If Gumbel had provided his disclaimer appropriately at the beginning of his letter, readers would have had a more appropriate understanding of Gumbel’s perspective and motivations for writing his letter.

    Despite being a co-author of a book by one of the two still on trial for Meredith’s murder, Gumbel’s statements on the court process are wrong. Gumbel pushes the perspective that Knox’s reps have pushed in the US; that Knox and Sollecito have been “convicted again” after an acquittal. Gumbel leaves out any mention of the Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal and sent the case back to the appellate level. After the acquittal was annulled, the original 2009 conviction remained in place. Gumbel is no doubt aware that the Florence court is an appellate court.  (Curiously, Sollecito’s co-defendant Knox also wrongly claims on her website that the Italian Supreme Court “annulled all previous verdicts”; ref: http://www.amandaknox.com/about-contact/?).

    Gumbel’s omission of the Italian Supreme Court ruling is odd, because the entire point of his article is the integrity of the judicial decisions. Gumbel left out that the Italian Supreme Court has already made one ruling regarding the integrity of a judicial decision in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t in favor of Gumbel’s co-author and defendant Raffaele Sollecito;  perhaps this is the reason that Gumbel failed to mention the actual outcome of the acquittal.

    Or perhaps Gumbel left out this information so he could present the evidence the way it is framed by supporters of Knox and Sollecito. Later in the the same paragraph, Gumbel expresses confusion about why evidence remains in the case. He states “the underlying forensic evidence has been both exposed as a sham and, mystifyingly, reinstated.” As the co-author of the book with Sollecito, Gumbel is again no doubt aware that after the appellate-level acquittal was thrown out, the original conviction (with all of the evidence) remained as a part of the case. Any decision made by Hellmann on the evidence was also thrown out of the case, including Hellmann’s conclusions on the knife DNA evidence and the Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp. Further, if Gumbel had indeed read the Nencini decision, he would have read the passage where Nencini takes to task the “independent experts” in the Hellmann trial (detailed here:http://thefreelancedesk.com/amanda-knox-trials-meredith-kercher-case/). Gumbel should be well aware after his reading of Nencini why the evidence still contributed to the Florence court upholding his co-author’s conviction.

    In his second point on the Nencini decision, Gumbel leaves out a key phrase that completely undermines his claim. By this time in his article, one is forced to wonder if this omission is deliberate. Gumbel’s claim is that Nencini contradicted himself by writing that Knox and Sollecito only left a “single, hotly disputed trace of themselves” despite the other evidence that Nencini also talks about. But the start of the passage Gumbel cites is:

    “Una peculiarità è, ad esempio, il rilievo che all’interno della villetta di via della Pergola quasi non sono state rinvenute tracce di Amanda Marie Knox – se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio – né di Raffaele Sollecito.”

    The phrase Gumbel deliberately left out is this: “se non quelle di cui si dirà e riferibili all’omicidio”, which, roughly translated, is “except those which will be discussed and related to the murder.”  The Nencini Motivations document explicitly contains a clause that accommodates the other traces related to the murder. Gumbel’s point is provably false. As someone who arguably puts himself forth as an expert on the case, this omission is highly concerning.

    In Gumbel’s third point he highlights what is a minor error in the Nencini report. Calling out one word in a longer passage, Gumbel points out the report states that Sollecito’s DNA was found on the knife that is alleged as a murder weapon. If Gumbel truly read the report, as he claimed in a twitter exchange with me, he would be aware that the rest of the section that is contained in makes it clear that the finding is Knox’s DNA on the knife, not Sollecito’s. This minor error is hardly cause to overturn the full conviction.

    I could continue, but the rest of Gumbel’s article is largely a diatribe against the length of the trial and the Italian justice system. Gumbel cites an article written by Douglas Preston, another author who has financially benefited by being openly critical of the prosecutor in Knox’s case. Knox and Sollecito’s case has gone through three levels of the Italian court system, and back to appeals. Cases in the US that follow a similar path have not happened any faster than the one in Italy. For example, in the Scott Peterson case in the US his defense still filed appeals eight years after his first-level conviction.

    That the Guardian has allowed itself to be used as a platform to push the defense’s perspective is not only a disservice to the family of the murder victim who lives in the UK, but is also a disservice to the victim of a violent, brutal murder.


    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #4: Chimera Examines The Most Inflammatory Angles

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    [A far from joyful dad once again tries to knock sense into his loose-cannon offspring]

    1. Overview Of This Series And Post

    Tomorrow is the day when the wraps come off the prosecutions’ targets in the book.

    This is also when Sollecito & Gumbel might try to justify themselves though they have a tough task ahead of them. For Sollecito and Gumbel (and also Knox and Kulman) their books actually constitute four kinds of problems;

    (1) their defamations of the Italian courts and justice system;
    (2) their defamations of many police, investigators and prosecutors who work within it,
    (3) their numerous lies by omission, the pesky facts they never mention; and
    (4) the unwitting truths and half-truths pointing to guilt, which the court may especially zero in on.

    As mentioned in the previous post, a separate new TJMK pasge will soon take the book apart definitively. To this many posters have contributed.

    Also we will have a new TJMK page on all of the lies of omission and who tends to avoid what area of evidence. .

    2. Examination By Chimera Of Sollecito Book

    In Part 1 Chimera addrresses problem (4) the truths and half-truths.

    In Part 2 Chimera comes up with an alternative synopsis of the book.

    In Part 3 Chimera Suggests why there could have been pre-meditation.

    1. Examination Of RS’s Truthfulness

    [page xv] ‘’....Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting….’‘

    A main criticism by the Supreme Court of Judge Hellmann was that he looked at the evidence piece by piece, rather than trying to make a story of all the evidence as a whole.

    [page xvi] ‘’....She was Amanda the heartless when she didn’t cry over Meredith’s death and Amanda the hysterical manipulator when she did. Whatever she did—practice yoga, play Beatles songs, buy underwear—it was held against her.

    Well, when someone does not seem upset that their ‘friend’ is murdered, and then behaves in this fashion, would police not at least have their curiosity piqued?

    [page 20] ‘’... First, Guede could reasonably assume that the occupants of the house were either out for the night or away for the long weekend. Second, he had previously stayed over in the boys’ apartment downstairs—he fell asleep on the toilet one night in early October and ended up sprawled on the couch—so he knew the lay of the land. He had even met Meredith and Amanda briefly. And, third, since it was the first of the month, chances were good that the accumulated rent money for November was sitting in a pile somewhere in the house.

    In the upstairs apartment, Filomena took responsibility for gathering everyone’s cash and handing it over to the landlady. And it was Filomena’s bedroom window that would soon be smashed with a large rock…’‘

    This only makes sense if and only if:

    (a) Rudy knew the schedules of all 8 people in the house
    (b) Rudy may have slept downstairs, but implies he must have been upstairs at some point
    (c) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
    (d) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl. Which suggests…

    A failure on those parameters points to an inside job.

    [page 22] ‘’... My father took her advice, but because my cell phone was turned off, I didn’t receive the message until six the next morning.

    It was a desperately unlucky combination of circumstances. If my father had tried my cell and then called me on the home line—which he would have done, because he’s persistent that way—I would have had incontrovertible proof from the phone records that I was home that night. And the nightmare that was about to engulf me might never have begun.’‘

    First, it is an admission that the cell phone was turned off

    Second, it is an admission that had Francesco called him, he would have an alibi, suggesting he did not…

    [page 24] ‘’ ... Many Italians, including most of my family, could not fathom how she could go ahead with her shower after finding blood on the tap, much less put her wet feet on the bath mat, which was also stained, and drag it across the floor.’‘

    So, Amanda showered, even with blood on the tap and on the bathmat, and no one, not even Raffaele, can make sense of it. Perhaps it is just an odd way of being quirky.

    [page 26] ‘’... Then I pushed open Filomena’s door, which had been left slightly ajar, and saw that the place was trashed. Clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere. The window had a large, roundish hole, and broken glass was spread all over the floor.

    Okay, we thought, so there’s been a break-in. What we couldn’t understand was why Filomena’s laptop was still propped upright in its case on the floor, or why her digital camera was still sitting out in the kitchen. As far as we could tell, nothing of value was missing anywhere….’‘

    And this would be found to be suspicious by the police. An apparent break in, but nothing seems to be missing. And we haven’t even gotten to the spiderman climb yet.

    [page 27] ‘’... Amanda went into the Italian women’s bathroom alone, only to run back out and grab on to me as though she had seen a ghost. “The shit’s not in the toilet anymore!” she said. “What if the intruder’s still here and he’s locked himself in Meredith’s room?”

    Interesting. Perhaps Raffaele instinctively leaves poop in the toilet as well. Why would he not flush to make sure?

    [page 27 contains the following lines:]

    ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘
    ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘
    ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

    These were supposedly in reference to the frantic attempts to see in Meredith’s room. Does anyone think there is some innuendo/hidden meaning?

    [page 29] ‘’... “No, nothing’s been taken.” I didn’t know that for sure, of course, and I should have been more careful about my choice of words. At the time, though, I thought I was just performing my civic duty by passing the information along. The only reason I was on the line was because Amanda’s Italian was not good enough for her to make the call herself.’‘

    This sounds innocuous enough, with the qualifiers, but without them:  ‘‘No, nothing’s been taken… I should have been more careful about my choice of words.”

    [page 33] ‘’.... As things spiraled out of control over the next several days, a senior investigator with the carabinieri in Perugia took it upon himself to call my sister and apologize, colleague to colleague. “If we had arrived ten minutes earlier,” he told Vanessa, “the case would have been ours. And things would have gone very differently.”

    This sounds eerily like an admission that things could have been tampered with, or ‘saved’, if only the ‘right’ people had been there in time.

    [page 35] ‘’... Amanda didn’t understand the question, so I answered for her, explaining that she’d taken a shower and then come back to my house. “Really, you took a shower?” Paola said. She was incredulous…’‘

    However, the book does not clarify why Paola was incredulous. Take your pick.

    (a) Amanda didn’t look or smell like she had a shower
    (b) Amanda showered in a blood soaked bathroom
    (c) Both ‘a’ and ‘b’

    [page 39] ‘’... In the moment, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make Amanda feel worse. The whole purpose of my being there was to comfort her. So I defended her, even beyond the point where I felt comfortable or could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’‘

    This is arguably the most true part of the book. He does have to comfort her, so she doesn’t talk. And it probably was uncomfortable.

    And ‘‘beyond the point where ... I could be said to be looking out for my own interests.’’ Notice that Raffaele does not say ‘‘beyond that point where I WAS looking out for my own interests. It only ‘looks’ like it, because it is very much in his interest - at that time - to pacify Amanda.

    [page 40] ‘’.... Italian newspapers reporting ‘Amanda could kill for a pizza’.’‘

    To most people, Raffaele could mean this signifies that killing and death did not affect her greatly, or that she is simply immature.

    It could also be an admission: Meredith’s death was over something extremely trivial, and Raffaele knew it.

    [page 40] ‘’...Why focus on her, and not on Meredith’s other friends? I wondered. She and Amanda were new acquaintances…’‘

    Exactly. Compared to what has been portrayed, they were not close friends, or even friends

    [page 41] ‘’... Amanda noticed the police’s sex obsession right away; they couldn’t stop asking her about the Vaseline pot and a vibrator they had found in the bathroom. The vibrator was a joke item, a little rubber bunny rabbit shaped to look like a vibrator and fashioned into a pendant, but the police seemed to find this difficult to accept. What about Meredith’s sex life? Amanda knew only that Meredith had left a boyfriend in England and was now involved with one of the men who lived downstairs, a twenty-two-year-old telecommunications student with a carefully sculpted beard and outsize earrings named Giacomo Silenzi. Amanda had helped Meredith out a couple times by giving her a condom from her supply. But Amanda had no idea how, or how often, Meredith had sex and didn’t feel comfortable fielding questions about it.’‘

    This is creepily ‘Knoxian’ in that Raffaele is deliberately leaking extremely personal details about Meredith. Is this a desire they share: to humiliate her deeper, in the public domain, far beyond what they already have done.

    [page 42] ‘’... A few days later, this episode would be distorted in the newspapers to make it seem as if the first thing we did after the murder was to buy sexy lingerie—specifically, a G-string—and tell each other how we couldn’t wait to try it out. The store owner, who did not speak English, corroborated the story in pursuit of his own brief moment in the spotlight. True, the surveillance video in the store showed us touching and kissing, but that was hardly a crime. I wasn’t making out with her in some vulgar or inappropriate way, just comforting her and letting her know I was there for her. Besides, there was nothing remotely sexy about Bubble. A much sexier underwear store was next door, and we didn’t set foot in…’‘

    Interesting. Raffaele says that this was blown out of proportion, yet his defense is that we didn’t do anything sexual, but if we did, it is not a crime, and besides, there was a better place next door.

    [page 43] ‘’... I realized I had not properly acknowledged my own discomfort with Amanda. I was not scandalized by her, in the way that so many others later said they were, but I shouldn’t have allowed her to climb all over me in the Questura, and I should have counseled her quietly not to complain so much. I understood the gallant side of being her boyfriend, but I could have given her better advice and protected myself in the process.’‘

    Translation: Amanda, quit whining so much. And while boning you in the police station may be fun, it is seriously jeopardizing my interests.

    [page 44] ‘’... She told them, quite openly, about a guy from Rome she went to bed with a few days before meeting me. She had no problem being open about her sex life, and that made her interrogators suspicious. How many men, they wondered, did she plan on getting through during her year in Perugia?

    Probably true, except for the conclusion. More likely they wondered: Why does she have to bring this up now?

    [page 46]’‘... My sister, Vanessa, made her own separate inquiries and felt much less reassured. The first time she called the Questura, they left her waiting on the line, even though she announced herself as a lieutenant in the carabinieri, and never took her call.
    The second time, she had herself put through from the carabinieri’s regional switchboard, to make it more official. This time she got through, but only to a junior policeman clearly her inferior. (In Italian law enforcement, protocol on such matters is followed scrupulously.) “Listen,” the man told her impatiently, “everything is fine.”

    “Is there someone I can talk to who is in charge of this case?” Vanessa insisted.

    This sounds like a very detailed (if true) attempt at subverting justice. Way to drop Vanessa in it, Raffy.

    [page 47] ‘’... The truth, though, was that the authorities were still clueless.’‘

    Don’t worry, they will get a clue soon enough.

    [page 48] ‘’... What did they have on us? Nothing of substance. But they did find our behavior odd, and we had no real alibi for the night of November 1 except each other, and we did not have lawyers to protect us, and we seemed to have a propensity for saying things without thinking them through. In other words, we were the lowest-hanging fruit, and the police simply reached out and grabbed us.’‘

    So, what does Sollecito list in just this paragraph?

    (a) Odd behaviour
    (b) No real alibi except each other
    (c) Saying things without thinking them through

    Can’t see why this would attract police attention…

    [page 49] ‘’... Not only did they have no physical evidence, they saw no need for any.’‘

    Well, odd behaviour, no real alibi,conflicting stories, and saying things through without thinking them through… oh, right, and that very detailed account of Patrik murdering Meredith, Sollecito ‘might’ be there, and Raffaele telling a pack of lies.

    I guess physical evidence would be overkill (pardon the pun). Sounds very Knoxian in the ‘there is no evidence’ denials.

    [page 50] ‘’... Carrying a small knife had been a habit of mine since I was a teenager—not for self-defense, mind you, just as an ornamental thing. I’d use one occasionally to peel apples or carve my name on tree trunks, but mostly I carried them around for the sake of it. Having a knife on me had become automatic, like carrying my wallet or my keys.’‘

    So the rumours of having a knife fetish are true? Thanks for confirming it.

    [page 50] ‘’... Besides, what kind of idiot killer would bring the murder weapon to the police station?’‘

    Wow - how to begin with this one…  Although, on a more manipulative level, was it not the other knife that actually delivered the fatal blow?

    [page 51] ‘’... My words in Italian—stai tranquillo—were the last my father would hear from me as a free man.’‘

    It could mean physically free. Could also mean not free as in forced to confront his actions.

    [page 51]  “You need to tell us what happened that night,” they began.

    “Which night?” I asked wearily. I was getting tired of the endless questioning. I don’t think they appreciated my attitude.

    “The night of November first.”

    I don’t think this is a drug haze. More just being arrogant and callous.

    [page 56] ‘’... I had been brought up to think the police were honest defenders of public safety. My sister was a member of the carabinieri, no less! Now it seemed to me they were behaving more like gangsters.’‘

    Another sign of entitlement showing. Surely, the little brother of a carabinieri officer should not have to be subjected to this nonsense.

    [page 56] ‘’... Something was exciting the police more than my pocketknife, and that was the pattern they had detected on the bottom of my shoes. By sheer bad luck, I was wearing Nikes that night, and the pattern of concentric circles on the soles instantly reminded my interrogators of the bloody shoe prints at the scene of the crime, which were made by Nikes too.

    I had no idea of any of this. All I knew was, the rest of the interrogation team piled back into the room and told me to take off my shoes.’‘

    Shoeprints placing a person at a crime scene? Why would that possibly be considered evidence?

    [page 59] ‘’... Then, at some point after midnight, an interpreter arrived. Amanda’s mood only worsened. She hadn’t remembered texting Patrick at all, so she was in no position to parse over the contents of her message. When it was suggested to her she had not only written to him but arranged a meeting, her composure crumbled; she burst into uncontrollable tears, and held her hands up to her ears as if to say, I don’t want to hear any more of this.’‘

    Depending on whether or not you believe Amanda’s ‘version’ of events, this could either be corroboration of her events, or corroboration she faked her fit.

    Minor detail: Sollecito was in a totally different part of the Questera, but hey, it’s just semantics.

    [page 61] ‘’...When I first found out what Amanda had signed her name to, I was furious. Okay, she was under a lot of pressure, as I had been, but how could she just invent stuff out of nowhere? Why would she drag me into something I had no part of? It soon transpired, of course, that she felt similarly about me. “What I don’t understand,” she wrote, as soon as she began to retract her statements, “is why Raffaele, who has always been so caring and gentle with me, would lie. . . . What does he have to hide?”

    It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn’t blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense…’‘

    -If Amanda got me locked up, I would be mad too
    -Yes, she did make stuff (about Patrik) out of nowhere
    -I was angry when Amanda asked ‘what I have to hide’
    -Yes, police tend to play suspects off each other
    -Yes, suspects try to avoid implicating each other
    -Yes, Amanda only spouted dangerous nonsense after you took her alibi

    This section is almost 100% true

    [page 62] ‘’... Even before dawn broke on November 6, the authorities had us where they wanted us. True, neither of us had confessed to murder. But what they had—a web of contradictions, witnesses pitted against each other, and a third suspect on whom to pin the crime—was an acceptable second best.’‘

    Also true, and great police work.

    [page 63] ‘’... I asked to talk to my family again. I said I needed at least to inform my thesis director where I was. “Where you’re going, a degree’s not going to do you any good,” came the answer.’‘

    Curious, he has just been arrested for murder and sexual assault, and among his first thoughts is his thesis. And didn’t he end up doing his Master’s thesis ... on himself?

    [page 64] ‘’... As soon as we walked into my apartment, a policeman named Armando Finzi said loudly that the place stank of bleach. That wasn’t correct. My cleaning lady had been through the day before and cleaned the tile floor with Lysoform, not bleach. Still, he insisted on mentioning the bleach a couple more times—the clear implication being that I’d needed something powerful to clean up a compromising mess.’‘

    Perhaps overanalysing this, but could Raffaele be flippantly thinking to himself: Nope, the cleaning lady used lysoform to clean up the mess. Wasn’t bleach, dudes.

    [page 77] ‘’... Even before Judge Matteini had finished reading the complaint against me, I blurted out that I didn’t know Patrick Lumumba and that any prints from my shoes found at Via della Pergola could only have been made before November 1. Immediately I ran into trouble because I had in fact met Patrick at his bar, on the night Amanda and I first got together. And I had no idea that the shoe prints in question were made in blood. In no time, I was flailing and suggesting, in response to the judge’s pointed questions, that maybe I picked up some of the blood on the floor when I walked around the house on November 2, the day the body was discovered. Even more unwisely, I speculated that someone might have stolen my shoes and committed the murder in them. It just did not occur to me that the shoe print evidence was wrong.

    At Raffaele’s first hearing:

    -He claims not to have met Patrick, (his co-accused), but admits later, that he has
    -He suggests that he may have picked up blood on the floor
    -He claims the shoes were stolen

    Why would Judge Matteini have reason to doubt his story?

    [page 78] ‘’... I felt like a fool describing my extensive knife collection and even described myself as a testa di cazzo, a dickhead, for having so many. My judgment and my self-confidence were sinking fast.

    “Perhaps the worst moment came when I was asked, for the umpteenth time, if Amanda had gone out on the night of the murder. I still had no clarity on this and could not answer the judge’s repeated questions without sounding evasive.”

    [page 80] ‘’... Matteini swallowed the prosecution’s story whole. The break-in was staged after the fact, she asserted—just as Mignini had. The murderer or murderers must therefore have got into the house with a set of keys, and Amanda was the only keyholder without a solid alibi for the night in question. Patrick Lumumba had the hots for.

    Meredith, Matteini theorized, and Amanda and I tagged along to experience something new and different. From my testimony at the hearing, Matteini concluded I was “bored by the same old evenings” and wanted to experience some “strong emotions.” (She moved my blog entry from October 2006, the date marked on the document, to October 2007, just weeks before the murder, which bolstered the argument.) She didn’t ascribe a specific motive to Amanda, assuming only that she must have felt the same way I did. The bloody footprints “proved” I was present at the scene of the murder, and my three-inch flick knife was “compatible with the possible murder weapon.” The house, she wrote, was “smeared with blood everywhere.”

    Substitute in Rudy Guede for Patrick, and this sounds somewhat plausible.

    [page 83] ‘’... Amanda recovered her lucidity faster than I did. The day we were arrested, she wrote a statement in English that all but retracted what she had signed the night before. “In regards to this ‘confession,’ ” she wrote, “I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.” She was still conjuring up images of Patrick as the murderer, but she added, “These things seem unreal to me, like a dream, and I am unsure if they are real things that happened or just dreams in my head.”

    The next day, she wrote a second, more confident statement: “I DID NOT KILL MY FRIEND . . . But I’m very confused, because the police tell me that they know I was at my house when she was murdered, which I don’t remember. They tell me a lot of things I don’t remember.” Then she gave a substantially more accurate account of the night of November 1 than I was coming up with at the time.’‘

    All this does is confirm that much of the confusing, manipulative statements from Amanda exist. Gee thanks Raffaele.

    [page 86] ‘’... short story about date rape that Amanda had submitted to a University of Washington creative-writing class was held up as evidence of her warped criminal mind. A Myspace video of her boasting about the number of shots she had downed at a party became an excuse to depict her as an alcohol-fueled harpy. I was described as “crazy,” based on a line I’d written in a blog entry, and held up to ridicule for a photograph, taken during a high-spirited moment of fun in my first year in Perugia, in which I was wrapped from head to foot in toilet paper, brandishing a machete in one hand and a bottle of pink alcohol in the other.’‘

    “Amanda does lots of alcohol, write rape stories, and I dress in toilet paper, wielding a machete. Nothing to see here, people.”

    [page 87] ‘’... I knew a lot of the coverage of the case itself was flawed. It was reported, for example, that the police had found bleach receipts at my house, strongly suggesting I had purchased materials to clean up the crime scene. But my cleaning lady didn’t use bleach, and the only receipts the police found from November 1 onward were for pizza. I wouldn’t have needed to buy bleach, anyway, because I had some left over from my previous cleaning lady. It had sat untouched for months.’‘

    “Nope, I didn’t need to buy bleach for the cleanup, I already had it.”

    [page 88] ‘’... Then came Maori. He told me that he too carried pocketknives from time to time. But he didn’t seem too interested in connecting with me beyond such superficial niceties. I felt he didn’t entirely trust me. His game plan, which became clear over a series of meetings, was to dissociate me as much as possible from Amanda. And that was it. He did not have a clear strategy to undermine the prosecution’s evidence on the knife and the shoe print, because—as he indicated to me—he believed there might be something to it. ‘’

    Which means: “I don’t really believe you are innocent, the evidence seems too strong. But for your sake, separate yourself from this mentally unstable woman.”

    Sounds very likely.

    [page 90] ‘’... I even allowed myself a little optimism: my computer, I decided, would show if I was connected to the Internet that night and, if so, when, and how often. Unless Amanda and I had somehow made love all night long, pausing only to make ourselves dinner and nod off to sleep, the full proof of our innocence would soon be out in the open.

    According to the police, it showed no activity from the time we finished watching Amélie at 9:10 p.m. until 5:30 the next morning.

    That sounded all wrong to me, and my defense team’s technical experts would later find reasons to doubt the reliability of this finding. But there would be no easy way out of the mess Amanda and I were now in.’‘

    Wishful thinking to form a coherent alibi or defense. Indeed, if only it was that simple.

    [page 91] ‘’...Still, there was something I could not fathom. How did Meredith’s DNA end up on my knife when she’d never visited my house? I was feeling so panicky I imagined for a moment that I had used the knife to cook lunch at Via della Pergola and accidentally jabbed Meredith in the hand. Something like that had in fact happened in the week before the murder. My hand slipped and the knife I was using made contact with her skin for the briefest of moments. Meredith was not hurt, I apologized, and that was that. But of course I wasn’t using my own knife at the time. There was no possible connection.’

    I imagined this happened? Is amnesia or hallucinating contagious? I’m surprised he did not have a vision that he saw Patrik attacking Meredith.

    On another note: giving a blatantly false account of how a victim’s DNA ended up on your knife seems a bit suspicious.

    [page 93] ‘’... The nuts and bolts of the investigation, the hard evidence, kept yielding good things for us. We were told that my Nikes had tested negative for blood and for Meredith’s DNA. So had my car, and everything else I had touched around the time of the murder. Even the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth on the morning of November 2, an object of particular suspicion, was reported to be clean.

    Well, I have no doubt that the AMERICAN media reported this to be the case….

    And ‘the mop Amanda and I carried back and forth…?’

    [page 94] ‘’... During a conversation with her mother in prison, they reported, Amanda had blurted out, “I was there, I cannot lie about that.” She seemed not to realize the conversation was being recorded, and the police picked up on it right away.’‘

    Amanda again places herself at the scene, but again, there is a simple explanation. Amanda being Amanda?

    [page 94] ‘’... his time the papers quoted what they said was an extract fromher diary. “I don’t remember anything,” the passage read, “but maybe Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped and killed her, and then put my fingerprints on the knife back at his house while I was asleep.”

    Of course, Amanda writes that someone planted her fingerprints. Odd, as I think that no one ever claimed her prints were on the knife. Why would she think they were?

    This needs to be said: What the hell is U of W teaching in their ‘creative writing’ program?

    [page 97] ‘’... I remember watching the news of Guede’s arrest on the small-screen TV in my cell and seeing the Perugia police all puffed up with pride about catching him. If anything, I felt happier than they did, because Guede was a complete stranger to me. The relief was palpable. All along I had worried the murderer would turn out to be someone I knew and that I’d be dragged into the plot by association. Now I had one less thing to worry about. Not that I wasn’t still wary: so much invented nonsense had been laid at my door I was still half-expecting the authorities to produce more.’

    The ‘real’ killer is caught, and you are worried more things may be invented? Interesting.

    [page 98] ‘’...Lumumba had every right to be angry; he had spent two weeks in lockup for no reason. He had been able to prove that Le Chic stayed open throughout the evening of November 1, producing an eyewitness, a Swiss university professor, who vouched for his presence that night. One would expect his anger to be directed as much toward Mignini, who threw him in prison without checking the facts, as it was toward Amanda. But Lumumba and his strikingly aggressive lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, could find only vicious things to say about Amanda from the moment he got out of jail—even though he had not, in fact, fired her and remained friendly with her for several days after the murder.’‘

    True, except why be mad at Mignini? It is Amanda who falsely accused him, not Mignini. But again, minor details.

    [page 107] ‘’... Papà was spinning like a dervish to clear my name, but not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped. One consultant whom he asked to monitor the Polizia Scientifica demanded eight thousand euros up front, only to prove reluctant to make overt criticisms of the police’s work, the very thing for which he’d been hired. A forensic expert who also seemed a little too close to the police charged four thousand euros for his retainer with the boast, “I’m expensive, but I’m good.” He wasn’t. A computer expert recommended by Luca Maori didn’t know anything about Macs, only PC’s.’‘

    That first line is a bit disturbing. ‘Not everyone he hired was as helpful as he hoped.’ This can be easily interpretted as shopping around for an expert of ‘hired gun’.

    [page 110] ‘’... Amanda and I came in for what was by now a familiar drubbing. The judges said my account of events was “unpardonably implausible.” Indeed, I had a “rather complex and worrying personality” prone to all sorts of impulses. Amanda, for her part, was not shy about having “multiple sex partners” and had a “multifaceted personality, detached from reality.” Over and above the flight risk if we were released from prison, the judges foresaw a significant danger that we would make up new fantastical scenarios to throw off the investigation. In Amanda’s case, they said she might take advantage of her liberty to kill again.’‘

    Most rational people would come to the same conclusions.

    [page 112] ‘’... Since I had no such testimony to offer, I did the Italian equivalent of taking the Fifth: I availed myself, as we say, of the right not to respond.

    I found some satisfaction in that, but also frustration, because I had at last worked out why Amanda did not leave—could not have left—my house on the night of the murder. She didn’t have her own key, so if she’d gone out alone, she would have had to ring the doorbell and ask me to buzz her back in. Even if I’d been stoned or asleep when she rang, I would have remembered that. And it didn’t happen.’‘

    Hmm… I swear I am innocent, but plead the fifth ammendment. And I am not positive Amanda did not leave, but ad hoc have worked out that she must not have.

    [page 112] ‘’...Obviously, I wanted to shout the news to the world. But I also understood that telling Mignini now would have been a gift to him; it would only have bought him time to figure out a way around it.’‘

    “I could tell a certain version of events to the prosecutor, but if I did that now, he would only have time to discover the holes in that story.”

    [page 113] ‘’... I knew the Kerchers had hired an Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, whom they picked off a short list provided by the British embassy. I addressed my letter to him, saying how sorry I was for everything that had happened and expressing a wish that the full truth would soon come out.

    I was naive enough to believe that Maresca would be sympathetic.’‘

    Knox was criticised for fake attempts to reach out to the victim’s family, and had been told to act more like a defendant. Interesting that it started so much earlier.

    [page 115] ‘’... Regrettably, Guede’s shoes were not available, presumably because he ditched them; they were not at his apartment and they were not among his possessions when he was arrested in Germany.’‘

    Very interesting. Raffaele believes that the ‘murderer’s shoes’ were not available, and may have been ditched. This seems to be more than just speculation on his part.

    [page 117] ‘’... Mignini questioned Amanda again on December 17, and she, unlike me, agreed to answer his questions in the presence of her lawyers. She was more composed now and gave him nothing new to work with. She couldn’t have been present at the murder, she insisted, because she’d spent all night with me.’‘

    How does this not sound incredibly incriminating? I refused to talk, though Amanda agreed to, but only with lawyers. And does this not sound like Amanda was better able to stonewall the investigation?

    [page 121] ‘’... Instead, he tried to control the damage and talked to every reporter who called him. “The most plausible explanation,” he said to most of them, “is that the bra had been worn by Amanda as well, and Raffaele touched it when she was wearing it.”

    There were two problems with this statement. First, it was so speculative and far-fetched it did nothing to diminish the perception that I was guilty. And, second, it showed that my father—my dear, straight-arrow, ever-optimistic, overtrusting father—still couldn’t stop assuming that if the police or the prosecutor’s office was saying something, it must be so.

    There are 3 possibilities here, all bad.

    (a) This entire scenario was made up, and like the ‘my shoes were stolen’, only leaves everyone shaking their heads in disbelief.

    (b) Amanda actually had worn the bra BEFORE and returned it without washing it. Remember what this woman tends to think when she sees blood. Ew.

    (c) Amanda wore the bra AFTER Meredith was murdered, and that she and Raffaele fooled around after. Not too farfetched when you remember that Raffaele kept the murder weapon as a souvenir.

    [page 122] ‘’... Along with the Albanian, we had to contend with a seventy-six-year-old woman by the name of Nara Capezzali, who claimed she had heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from Meredith’s house at about 11:00 p.m. on the night of the murder, followed by sounds of people running through the streets.’‘

    Yes, this confirms at least part of Amanda’s account that night. Yes, she seemed to vaguely remember Patrik killing Meredith, and wasn’t sure if Raffaele was there, but the scream detail is corroborated.

    [page 125] ‘’... As my time alone stretched out into weeks and then months, I had to let go of everything that was happening and hold on to other, more permanent, more consoling thoughts: my family and friends, the memory of my mother, the simple pleasures I’d enjoyed with Amanda, the peace that came from knowing that neither of us had done anything wrong.

    If they want to kill me this way, I remember thinking, let them go ahead. I’m happy to have lived life as I did, and to have made the choices I made.’‘

    Hmm… so he finds peace being locked away for things he did not do?

    More likely, Raffaele is coming to terms with the inevitable consequences of life in prison.

    [page 129] ‘’... The one victory we eked out was a finding that we should have been told we were under criminal investigation before our long night of interrogations in the Questura. The statements we produced would not be admissible at trial.’‘

    Do I really need to explain this one?

    [page 150] ‘’... I talked about Amanda with Filippo, my cellmate, and he listened, just as I had listened to his problems. One day, though, he told me he was bisexual, and his eyes started to brighten visibly when he looked at me. Then he burst into tears and tried to caress my face.’‘

    Given the overlap between Waiting to be Heard and Honor Bound, did the ‘authors’ collaborate?

    [page 151] ‘’... My father hired a telecommunications expert to help resolve a few other mysteries from the night of the murder. The prosecution had given no adequate explanation for a series of calls registered on Meredith’s English cell phone after she’d returned from her friends’ house around 9:00 p.m., and many of them seemed baffling, assuming they were made—as the prosecution argued—by Meredith herself. We believed Meredith was dead by the time of the last two calls, and our expert Bruno Pellero intended to help us prove that.’‘

    This sounds disturbingly like another attempt to subvert justice.

    [page 154] ‘’... She also acknowledged that a contaminated or improperly analyzed DNA sample could, in theory, lead to an incorrect identification.’‘

    Wait, weren’t those same people involved in the finding the evidence against Guede? Right, that evidence is clean.

    [page 156] ‘’... Judge Micheli issued his ruling at the end of October. On the plus side, he found Guede guilty of murder and sentenced him to thirty years behind bars in an accelerated trial requested by Guede himself. Judge Micheli also accepted our evidence that it wouldn’t have been that difficult to throw a rock through Filomena’s window and climb the wall.

    But, Spider-Man or no Spider-Man, he still didn’t believe Guede got into the house that way. He argued that Filomena’s window was too exposed and that any intruder would have run too great a risk of discovery by climbing through it. Therefore, he concluded, Amanda and I must have let him in. There seemed to be no shaking the authorities out of their conviction that the break-in was staged.’‘

    So, Judge Micheli is a fine judge who saw Rudy Guede for who he is and convicted him, yet he is so poor a judge he ruled that Amanda and I had to be involved?

    Didn’t Knox say very similar things in her December 2013 email to Appeal Court Judge Nencini?

    [page 160] ‘’... Still, the prosecution jumped all over [Quintavalle] and later put him on the stand to bolster the argument that Amanda and I had spent that morning wiping the murder scene clean of our traces—but not, curiously, Guede’s. It was one of their more dishonest, not to mention absurd, arguments, because any forensics expert could have told them such a thing was physically impossible. Still, it was all they had, and they single-mindedly stuck to it.’‘

    Depending on how you view this, it could be an ad hoc admission that yes, selectively cleaning up wasn’t really possible, as the evidence was all intermingled.

    [page 167] ‘’... I was pushing for another sort of change, a single trial team to defend Amanda and me together. I was told right away that this was out of the question, but I don’t think my logic was wrong. The only way either of us would get out of this situation, I reasoned, was if we stuck together. If the prosecution drove a wedge between us, we would more than likely both be doomed.’‘

    This seems to justify Guede’s suspicions that his co-defendants would team up on him.

    [page 169] ‘’... Stefanoni and Mignini were holding out on that information, and we needed to pry it from them quickly before more damage was done. The shots would ultimately be called by the judge, and we hadn’t had a lot of luck with judges so far.’‘

    Why would you need ‘luck’ from a judge?

    [page 173] ‘’... No matter how much we demanded to be heard, no matter how much we sought to refute the grotesque cartoon images of ourselves and give calm, reasoned presentations of the truth, we never escaped the feeling that our words were tolerated rather than listened to; that the court was fundamentally uninterested in what we had to say.’‘

    That is probably true. No one cares why Amanda’s vibrator is on full display.

    And yes, you did demand to be heard. Perhaps, if you had agreed to full cross examination, you would know what the judges and prosecutors would be interested in hearing.

    [page 173] ‘’... A week later, Meredith’s English friends took the stand and testified with such uniform consistency it was hard to think of them as distinct individuals. Robyn Butterworth, Amy Frost, and Sophie Purton all said that Meredith had been unhappy with Amanda’s standards of hygiene, particularly her forgetfulness about flushing the toilet. It sounded almost as if they were reading from a prepared script. Meredith, they agreed, had found Amanda a little too forward for keeping her condoms and what looked like a vibrator in their shared bathroom. And, they said, Amanda had acted weirdly in the Questura.

    That was it. They mentioned nothing positive about the relationship. No word on Meredith and Amanda’s socializing together, or attending Perugia’s annual chocolate festival, or going to the concert on the night Amanda and I met.’‘

    Yes, the prosecution case does seem stronger when their witnesses are consistent. Absolutely right.

    Strangely, Meredith’s English friends also did not talk about how compassionate Amanda was at the memorial. Wait a minute….

    [page 174] ‘’... Amanda arrived in court wearing a T-shirt with the words ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE emblazoned in huge pink letters, to mark Valentine’s Day. It seemed she wanted to find a way to defuse the English girls’ ill will toward her, but it didn’t work.’‘

    No kidding.

    [page 186] ‘’... Meanwhile, we had to worry about Amanda taking the stand. Her lawyers decided that the best way to refute the stories about her wayward personality was to have the court take a good, hard look at her up close. But my lawyers were deeply concerned she would put her foot in her mouth, in ways that might prove enduringly harmful to both of us. If she deviated even one iota from the version of events we now broadly agreed on, it could mean a life sentence for both of us.’‘

    Amanda puts her foot in her mouth? Yup.

    “The truth we agreed on”?? Come on, you actually put this in the book?

    [page 193] ‘’... My father was all over the place. He knew exactly how bad the news was, but he wanted to shield me as best he could. “Whatever happens, don’t worry,” he told me. “There’s always the appeal. The work we’ve done won’t go to waste.”

    And indeed, the first (now annulled) appeal did ‘save’ them.

    [page 195] ‘’... Mignini had to scrabble around to explain how Amanda, Guede, and I could have formulated a murder plan together without any obvious indication that we knew each other. Guede, he postulated, could have offered himself as our drug pusher.’‘

    “I can explain that. Amanda and I are admitted drug users. We smeared Guede as a drug dealer. Reasonable people might believe that there is some connection to drugs.”

    [page 204] ‘’... The next piece of bad news came down within three weeks of our being found guilty. Rudy Guede’s sentence, we learned, had been cut down on appeal from thirty years to sixteen. The thinking of the appeals court was that if Amanda and I were guilty, then Guede couldn’t serve a sentence greater than ours. If I had supplied the knife and Amanda had wielded it, as Mignini and Comodi postulated and Judge Massei and his colleagues apparently accepted, we needed to receive the stiffer punishment.’‘

    Yes, the thinking of the courts, and those pesky short-form trial sentence deductions that are mandatory.

    ‘’[page 204] ...I didn’t think I could feel any worse, but this was an extra slap in the face and it knocked me flat. Not only were Amanda and I the victims of a grotesque miscarriage of justice, but Meredith’s real killer, the person everybody should have been afraid of, was inching closer to freedom. It wasn’t just outrageous; it was a menace to public safety.’‘

    Yes, it was a miscarriage in that Amanda and I didn’t get the life sentences Mignini called for, and that Meredith’s real killer, Amanda, would soon get her freedom via Hellmann.

    [page 219] ‘’... My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous:’‘

    Although the deal itself is illegal, I have no doubt that the Sollecito family at least explored the option.

    [page 258] ‘’... Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue.’‘

    That is true, with one huge omission: the defense only cherry picked a few small pieces of evidence. Yes, it ‘knocked down every piece of evidence we chose to contest.’

    2. Synopsis Of “Honor Bound”

    (20) The robbery that night was perfect, assuming the perp had the inside info.

    (22) My cellphone was turned off.

    (22) If my father called the land line I would have an alibi.

    (24) I cannot make sense of showering in a bloody bathroom.

    (26) Despite the break in, nothing had been taken.

    (27) Someone did not flush the toilet, and I won’t either.

    (27) The following dialogue:

    ‘’ ....Don’t do anything stupid.’‘

    ‘’ ....Now what do we do?’‘

    ‘’ ....My sister is in the Carabinieri.’‘

    (29) I should have been more careful about my choice of words when I said

    ‘’ .... Nothing has been taken.’‘

    (35) The police were shocked/disbelieving Amanda just took a shower.

    (39) Things would be okay if my Carabinieri sister had helped.

    (40) I defended Amanda, beyond the point of looking after my own interests.

    (40) Amanda could kill for something minimal, even a pizza.

    (40) Amanda and Meredith were not friends, despite living together.

    (41) Amanda and I share embarrassing sexual information about the victim.

    (42) We weren’t misbehaving in the lingerie shop, but if we were, it was taken out of context.

    (43) Amanda whined, and we fooled around in the police station. Maybe not a good idea.

    (44) Amanda does not shut up about her sex life.

    (46) Vanessa made inquiries on my behalf.

    (47) Prior to our arrest, the authorities were clueless.

    (48) We behaved oddly, had no real alibi, and said things without thinking.

    (49) We are not guilty only because there is no physical evidence.

    (50) I like to carry knives.

    (51) I had trouble remembering the date Meredith was killed.

    (56) My sister works for the carabinieri. Why am I even here?

    (56) My shoes are similar to ones found at the crime scene

    (59/60) Amanda gave the false statement regarding Patrik.

    (61) The police got Amanda and I to say things against each other.

    (62) Amanda and I spun a web of contradictions.

    (63) This is going to mess up my graduation.

    (64) The smell wasn’t bleach, it was lysoform

    (77) I never met Patrik, my co-accused (or did I)? 

    The shoes might have dragged blood, or might have been stolen.

    (78) I collect a lot of knives, and don’t remember if Amanda left.

    (83) Amanda made admissions she tried to retract.

    (86) Amanda and I engage in alarming behaviour, such as writing rape stories, and taking photos with weapons

    (87) I had access to bleach, receipts or not.

    (88) My lawyer thinks the evidence is strong, and wants me away from Amanda.

    (90) I hope there is evidence on my computer that clears me.

    (91) I imagined that the DNA on the knife came from a cooking accident.

    (93) Amanda and I carried a mop back and forth for some reason.

    (94) Amanda, in a jail recorded call, places herself at the scene.

    (94) Amanda writes that I may have planted her fingerprints on the knife.

    (97) Rudy Guede is caught, but I fear I may get named in other things.

    (98) Lumumba is released, angry at Amanda for false accusation.

    (107) Dad tried to cherrypick experts who would get me out.

    (110) The courts saw us as unstable and potential flight risks.

    (112) I decline to answer.

    (112) I don’t want the prosecutor checking my story

    (113) I creepily tried to reach out to the Kerchers, despite being accused, just like Amanda.

    (115) Rudy should have kept his shoes in order to exonerate Amanda and I.

    (117) I still refused to talk.  Amanda did, with lawyers.

    (121) Amanda has been wearing Meredith’s underwear and without washing it.

    (122) A witness heard Meredith scream, just as Amanda described.

    (125) I am at peace with everything.

    (129) The courts threw out our statements at the police station.

    (150) I had a memorable encounter with a bisexual inmate (same as Amanda)

    (151) My dad tried to find an alternate explanation for the phone evidence.

    (154) The evidence against Rudy Guede is rock solid. The evidence against me is contaminated.

    (156) Micheli is a great judge. He convicted Guede.

    (156) Micheli is an idiot judge.  He believes Amanda and I were involved.

    (160) It was foolish to think we could selectively clean the crime scene.

    (167) In order to save ourselves, Amanda and I teamed up against Rudy.

    (169) We weren’t getting the judges we wanted.

    (173) We did not shut up, but had nothing helpful to say.

    (173) Meredith’s English friends gave consistent testimony that did not help us.

    (174) the ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE t-shirt was a bad idea.

    (186) I worried about Amanda testifying, saying dumb things, and deviating from our ‘version’

    (193) We knew the trial was doomed, but there was the appeal. (Hellmann)?

    (195) For all the ‘drug dealer’ and ‘drug user’ name calling, prosecutors seemed to think this might be about drugs.

    (204) Guede’s sentence was cut from 30 years to 16.  What an injustice for us… I mean Meredith.

    (219) Legally speaking, it would be better to split from Amanda.

    (258) Hellmann’s report knocked down the evidence we chose to present.

    3. Premeditation And Why RS Goes No Further

    The real reason Sollecito goes no further could be in as in the title ‘‘Honor Bound’‘.  Many altruistic people may interpret this as behaving, or conducting themselves honourably. 

    But take a more shallow and selfish view.  It could just refer to being SEEN as honourable.  I think everyone here would agree that RS and AK are quite narcissistic and arrogrant.  And how manly to be protecting the women in your life.

    The truth does set you free - except only when the truth is much worse than what the assumptions are. I repeat, the truth sets you free, except when it is actually worse.

    What could be worse? Premeditation. Far beyond what has been suggested.

    1) Raffaele himself suggests that doing a robbery at the house at that time would be ideal.

    This makes sense if:

    (a) Rudy knew that Filomena had all the money (that she took charge of it)
    (b) That rent would be paid in cash, not a cheque or bank automatic withdrawl.

    So, by this reasoning, there would be over 1000 Euros in cash at that time. Of course, the average household does not carry that much, and normally, there would be no reason to think so. The date had to be planned. It also lends credence to the theory that this really was about money, and he had help.

    2) The fact that Laura and Filomena were gone, as were the men downstairs. Really, how often does it happen, and how would an outsider know?

    3) The trip to Gubbio. Does anyone know if either AK or RS were heavily into travel, or was this a one time thing? My point being that it could have been to establish an alibi, they just didn’t expect to still be there when the police showed up.

    4) The fact that Rudy Guede was brought in, when he had no legitimate reason to be upstairs. RS could explain away DNA or prints, but not RG. Even if it really was just about stealing money, would there not be some trace of him left when the theft was reported.

    And if murder was the plan all along, there would still be some trace of him.

    5) Purchasing bleach. Everyone had assumed that it was done after the fact to clean up, but there is another thought. What if there already was bleach available in the home, and this purchase was merely a replacement as an afterthought?

    6) The knife in Raffaele’s home. What if Amanda chose to bring a knife that Raffaele would not be able to ditch, simply so that should suspicion fall on them, there would be a knife to implicate Raffy? Remember, Amanda already made statements that point to him. Maybe those weren’t her first attempts.

    Of course, I did make the suggestion that they were keeping the knives for trophies.

    7) The ‘alibi’ email home. Sure, it could have been written on the spot. However, it seems too long and detailed for that. Yes, some details would need to be added (like the poop), but who is to say she didn’t start working on it BEFORE the murder?

    8) Keeping the text to Patrik to say ‘see you later’. Amanda says she doesn’t keep messages on her phone, but she had this one, and several days after the murder. Could this have been saved as a ‘backup plan’ in case naming Rudy does not work for some reason. Besides, don’t all black guys look the same? (sarcasm).

    9) Yes, there was a bloody shoeprint (believed to be AK), but I don’t recall anyone saying her shoes were missing, or any other clothes she had. And she supposedly did not have many clothes. So, did she have ‘extras’ for that night?

    10) Wiping down the home (even if it was botched), would take time, and ‘supplies’. A chronic slob just happens to have all these cleaning supplies on hand, or were they acquired before?

    So, I suspect the real refusal to talk is that the full truth is a lot worse than any game or drugged up prank. The time and location is chosen, no clothes are ‘noticed’ missing, and Amanda has at least 3 potential patzies: Rudy, Raffaele, and Patrik. Remember, Guede and Lumumba are on ‘the list’ Knox ended up writing for Rita Ficarra. And AK and RS are scheduled to go on a trip that would take them away with a plausible alibi. Cleaning supplies may already be there.

    Call me cynical: but I see all the signs of staging, and premeditation. Yes, the act itself was messy, but there are very obvious marks of forethought.

    So. What will the judges of Cassation be seeing?


    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #3: Targeted Claims On Which Sollecito & Gumbel May Fold

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Dr Giuliano Bartolomei of the chief prosecutor’s office of the Florence court brings the case

    1. The Court Contenders

    Judge Dolores Limongi will preside over Sollecito’s new trial in Florence this thursday and Dr Giuliano Bartolomei will prosecute.

    No word about whether the hapless bungler Andrew Gumbel will attend, but Sollecito has said he will be there.  Sollecito’s defense team seems rather weak. After Sollecito’s own lawyers for his murder trial publicly renounced the most damaging claims in his book (see below) his family turned to Alfredo Brizioli for help.

    Brizioli is a Perugia lawyer who was accused of being one of those trying to disguise the murdered Narducci’s involvement in the Monster of Florence killings. That shadowy group has just taken another hit in Italian eyes - a Milan court has ruled that Narducci, the probable murderer in the Monster of Florence crimes, was indeed himself murdered and there exists powerful evidence for this.

    2. The Specific Charges

    Charges against Sollecito are of two kinds: criminal defamation of both the justice system itself and of some of those who work within it. In US and UK terms criminal contempt of court comes close.

    Criminal contempt charges become separate charges from the underlying case. Unlike civil contempt sanctions, criminal contempt charges may live on after resolution of the underlying case.

    One charged with criminal contempt generally gets the constitutional rights guaranteed to criminal defendants, including the right to counsel, right to put on a defense, and the right to a jury trial in certain cases. Charges of criminal contempt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

    However, incarceration for contempt may begin immediately, before the contempt charge is adjudicated and the sentence decided. Depending on the jurisdiction and the case, the same judge who decided to charge a person with contempt may end up presiding over the contempt proceedings.

    Criminal contempt can bring punishment including jail time and/or a fine.

     

    In this case a guilty verdict can open the tidal gates to criminal prosecutions and civil suits against Sharlene Martin and the Simon & Schuster team and all those many who repeated ANY of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims as gospel in their own books and online in the US and UK.

    3. Nature Of The Claims

    Typically the modus operandi of Knox and Sollecito and their factions in their US campaign (this falls flat in Italy) is to make some very damaging core claims, while leaving hundreds of pesky truths ignored.

    Pesky truths helpfully ignored by most of the US and UK media too who apart from freelance Andrea Vogt have still done almost zero translation of their own. The previous post below shows a good example of this. Sollecito makes 20 false claims in a few pages. Dozens of facts that would belie those claims are simply left out.

    The false claims continue (with considerable duplication for emphasis) throughout the 250-plus pages of the book.

    Sollecito’s claims were published only in English. That was in the apparent hope that things would be reversed by political pressure from the US. Perhaps the US would let Sollecito come and live and stiff the Italian courts.

    The Italian flagship crime show Porta a Porta wrecked that unusual and in-itself damaging strategy only 10 days out - with Francesco Sollecito’s and Luca Maori’s help.

    The three worst-case examples quoted here and some others became public when Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters pointed to them after an October hearing. Page numbers are for the hard-cover book. 



    Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book

    4. Example Claim One

    Our brief response to this for now is that this felony attempt to frame the prosecutor for a serious crime was entirely made up. His own father and both his trial lawyers publicly said so. There was never a police or prosecution bias against Knox or toward Sollecito. As was very obvious at trial in 2009 the case against both was equally strong (an example of a key fact left out). Knox herself would seem to have a reason to get mad with Sollecito for this shafting - and in fact she did.

    [ Page 219-222] My family was not beating up on Amanda entirely without cause. What I did not know at the time, because they preferred not to fill me in, was that they were exploring what it would take for the prosecution to soften or drop the case against me. The advice they received was almost unanimous: the more I distanced myself from Amanda, the better. The legal community in Perugia was full of holes and leaks, and my family learned all sorts of things about the opinions being bandied about behind the scenes, including discussions within the prosecutor’s office. The bottom line: Mignini, they were told, was not all that interested in me except as a gateway to Amanda. He might indeed be willing to acknowledge I was innocent, but only if I gave him something in exchange, either by incriminating Amanda directly or by no longer vouching for her.

    I’m glad my family did not include me in these discussions because I would have lost it completely. First, my uncle Giuseppe approached a lawyer in private practice in Perugia - with half an idea in his head that this new attorney could replace Maori - and asked what I could do to mitigate my dauntingly long sentence. The lawyer said I should accept a plea deal and confess to some of the lesser charges. I could, for instance, agree that I had helped clean up the murder scene but otherwise played no part in it. “He’d get a sentence of six to twelve years,” the lawyer said, “but because he has no priors the sentence would be suspended and he’d serve no more jail time.”

    To their credit, my family knew I would never go for this. It made even them uncomfortable to contemplate me pleading guilty to something I had not done. It was, as my sister, Vanessa, put it, “not morally possible.”

    The next line of inquiry was through a different lawyer, who was on close terms with Mignini and was even invited to the baptism of Mignini’s youngest child that summer. (Among the other guests at the baptism was Francesco Maresca, the Kerchers’ lawyer, who had long since aligned himself with Mignini in court.) This lawyer said he believed I was innocent, but he was also convinced that Amanda was guilty. He gave my family the strong impression that Mignini felt the same way. If true - and there was no way to confirm that - it was a clamorous revelation. How could a prosecutor believe in the innocence of a defendant and at the same time ask the courts to sentence him to life imprisonment? The lawyer offered to intercede with Mignini, but made no firm promises. He wasn’t willing to plead my cause, he said, but he would listen to anything the prosecutor had to offer.

    Over the late spring and summer of 2010, my father used this lawyer as a back channel and maneuvered negotiations to a point where they believed Mignini and Comodi would be willing to meet with Giulia Bongiorno and hear what she had to say. When Papà  presented this to Bongiorno, however, she was horrified and said she might have to drop the case altogether because the back channel was a serious violation of the rules of procedure. A private lawyer has no business talking to a prosecutor about a case, she explained, unless he is acting with the express permission of the defendant. It would be bad enough if the lawyer doing this was on my defense team; for an outside party to undertake such discussions not only risked landing me in deeper legal trouble, it also warranted disciplinary action from the Ordine degli Avvocati, the Italian equivalent of the Bar Association.

    My father was mortified. He had no idea how dangerous a game he had been playing and wrote a letter to Bongiorno begging her to forgive him and stay on the case. He was at fault, he said, and it would be wrong to punish her client by withdrawing her services when I didn’t even know about the back channel, much less approve it. To his relief, Bongiorno relented.

    My family, though, did not. Whenever they came to visit they would suggest some form of compromise with the truth. Mostly they asked why I couldn’t say I was asleep on the night of the murder and had no idea what Amanda got up to.


    5. Example Claim 2

    Our brief response to this for now is that the case against Sollecito was being driven by Judge Matteini and Judge Ricciarelli and Judge Micheli, not Dr Mignini (an example of a key fact left out) and they got their information directly from the police. More than a year prior to Sollecito’s book coming out, a Florence appeal court had totally annulled a vengeance conviction against Dr Mignini [“there is no evidence”] and the Supreme Court had endorsed the result (an example of a key fact left out).

    [2. Page 176-177] One of the reasons our hearings were so spread out was that Mignini was fighting his own, separate legal battle to fend off criminal charges of prosecutorial misconduct. He and a police inspector working on the Monster of Florence case stood accused of intimidating public officials and journalists by opening legal proceedings against them and tapping their phones without proper justification.

    To Mignini, the case smacked of professional jealousy because the prosecutors in Florence resented his intrusion on a murder mystery they had struggled for so long to resolve. But Mignini’s behavior had already attracted international condemnation, never more so than when he threw the journalist most indefatigably devoted to following the Monster case, Mario Spezi, into jail for three weeks.

    Spezi had ridiculed Mignini’s theories about Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whom Mignini suspected of being part of a satanic cult connected to the killings. In response, Mignini accused Spezi himself of involvement in Narducci’s murder - even though the death had been ruled a suicide. It was a staggering power play, and the international Committee to Protect Journalists was soon on the case. Spezi was not initially told why he was being arrested and, like me, was denied access to a lawyer for days. Even Mignini, though, could not press murder charges without proving first that a murder had taken place, and Spezi was eventually let out.

    I firmly believe that our trial was, among other things, a grand diversion intended to keep media attention away from Mignini’s legal battle in Florence and to provide him with the high-profile court victory he desperately needed to restore his reputation. Already in the pretrial hearing, Mignini had shown signs of hypersensitivity about his critics, in particular the handful of English-speaking investigators and reporters who had questioned his case against us early on. He issued an explicit warning that anyone hoping he would back off the Meredith Kercher case or resign should think again. “Nobody has left their post, and nobody will,” he said. “Let that be clear, in Perugia and beyond.”

    Just as he had in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every tool at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. He spied on my family and tapped their phones. He went after Amanda not just for murder, but also for defaming Patrick Lumumba - whom she had implicated under duress and at the police’s suggestion. He opened or threatened about a dozen other legal cases against his critics in Italy and beyond. He charged Amanda’s parents with criminal defamation for repeating the accusation that she had been hit in the head while in custody. And he sued or threatened to sue an assortment of reporters, writers, and newspapers, either because they said negative things about him or the police directly or because they quoted others saying such things.

    Mignini’s volley of lawsuits had an unmistakable chilling effect, especially on the Italian press, and played a clear role in tipping public opinion against us. We weren’t the only ones mounting the fight of our lives in court, and it was difficult not to interpret this legal onslaught as part of Mignini’s campaign to beat back the abuse-of-office charges. His approach seemed singularly vindictive. Not only did we have to sit in prison while the murder trial dragged on; it seemed he wanted to throw our friends and supporters - anyone who voiced a sympathetic opinion in public - into prison right alongside us.


    6. Example Claim 3

    Our brief response to this for now is that this was long ago revealed to be a hoax (an example of a key fact left out). Neither the police nor the prosecution were in any way involved. A fake positive for HIV turned up, Knox was warned not to be concerned, and she was soon told that a new test showed her fine. Her list of recent sex partners was her idea, and its leaking to the media was demonstrably a family and defense-team thing (an example of a key fact left out).

    [Page 101-102] The prosecution’s tactics grew nastier, never more so than when Amanda was taken to the prison infirmary the day after Patrick’s release and told she had tested positive for HIV.

    She was devastated. She wrote in her diary, “I don’t want to die. I want to get married and have children. I want to create something good. I want to get old. I want my time. I want my life. Why why why? I can’t believe this.”

    For a week she was tormented with the idea that she would contract AIDS in prison, serving time for a crime she did not commit. But the whole thing was a ruse, designed to frighten her into admitting how many men she had slept with. When asked, she provided a list of her sexual partners, and the contraceptive method she had used with each. Only then was she told the test was a false positive

    To the prosecution, the information must have been a disappointment: seven partners in all, of whom four were boyfriends she had never made a secret of, and three she qualified as one-night stands. Rudy Guede was not on the list, and neither was anyone else who might prove useful in the case. She hadn’t been handing herself around like candy at Le Chic, as Patrick now alleged. She’d fooled around with two guys soon after arriving in Italy, neither of them at Patrick’s bar, and then she had been with me. Okay, so she was no Mother Teresa. But neither was she the whore of Babylon.

    To compound the nastiness, the list was eventually leaked to the media, with the erroneous twist that the seven partners on the list were just the men she’d had since arriving in Perugia. Whatever one thought of Amanda and her free-spirited American attitude toward sex, this callous disregard for her privacy and her feelings was the behavior of savages.


    7. Looking Forward

    More posts to come.  We are going to open the floodgates on our own analysis of the book if the court on thursday takes a significant step forward.

    Note that Sollecito has to contend with negative Italian public opinion as his claims bitterly disparaging to Italy itself (see the post below) are finally repeated in translation by the media and so become better known - at a disastrous time for him and Knox, two months before Cassation decides on their failed appeal.

    In late 2012 after the book came out the TV crime show Porta a Porta gave Dr Sollecito quite a roasting on the first claim here and anger continued for some days more. He and Sollecito’s sister may be in court but no surprises if they are not. Knox could also react - the second and third claims above also appear in her book. 


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #2: False Accusations From The First Few Pages

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Suggested cover for a followup book due to multiple attempted malicious framings in first books

    Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

    We count several hundred malicious claims throughout that can easily be proved wrong. These twenty examples all appear in the book’s preface, which is only seven pages long.

    Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate. Many sharp eyes here set about identifying them and are credited in the TJMK Liewatch page for Sollecito which will be switched on again when the secrecy requirement described in Part #12 below is relaxed by the court next week. 

    1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

    This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

    No advantage was taken of them. The two stood themselves out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

    They were questioned quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

    A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

    2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

    On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

    Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

    All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

    Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

    3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

    In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

    In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

    The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

    4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

    By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

    “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the bent and annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed.

    The list of lies by omission is extremely long. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from, both in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

    On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

    5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

    Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

    An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets.

    What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she slept with a drug wholesaler up to the day of her arrest and cost him a stint in prison? That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

    Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

    6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

    We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do—and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed—was murder Meredith Kercher.

    Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

    Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle of Knox pretty straight.

    Remember, Meredith had enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks, nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

    Seemingly unable to reverse herself, Knox was headed to being among the least popular of students (or part-time students) in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

    7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

    Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

    There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

    And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night around 8:00 pm. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first and entered hours later.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

    So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

    8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

    But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she—not Meredith—might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us—Amanda especially—as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

    There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

    How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

    9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

    This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

    This is laughable. The room itself could not be checked for DNA as the choice was to fingerprint-check it instead. Sollecito’s footprint on the bathroom mat is a smoking gun all by itself. Crack national investigators demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was endorsed by the Supreme Court.

    Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had extremely credibly again and again on 5-6 Nov fingered Patrick.

    There is no proof Guede intruded anywhere. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

    The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

    10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

    Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

    Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

    The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

    Four more untrue claims. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element, and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

    Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was proven falsified, no item at all.

    Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was in reality taking a year off.

    11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

    Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

    Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.  Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

    But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

    12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

    It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution—“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”—it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

    Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury seeks to zero in on a viable scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. Hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

    Gumbel and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes of those. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does, less than 1/6 of the US rate.

    13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

    It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm—the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita—could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

    This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

    Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system has become seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

    14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

    The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

    WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and perhaps some in the media, and none have the slightest gain to make from convictions arrived at through a hoax.

    15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

    The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

    Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is citizens not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison system size is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

    The legal process would have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

    And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

    The Constitution and the judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports, and for all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

    This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even one Italian lawyer. They would all know it is wrong.

    16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

    For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

    So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

    There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

    Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

    What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

    Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

    17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

    Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

    Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

    The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

    All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

    18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

    Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts—tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays—are the most reviled institution in the country.


    As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

    And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

    Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

    For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

    In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

    Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

    However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

    The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

    Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

    19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

    Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

    Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

    There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

    Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

    And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

    Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

    Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

    There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

    And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

    Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

    20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

    Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

    Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

    Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

    You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

    Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

    Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    The “supertanker” the PR forces worked hard to turn has become a Titanic for them now

    1. The Latest Legal Developments

    A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.

    Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.

    See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.

    This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk. 

    For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.

    The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.

    2. Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal

    In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.

    This illegal retrial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.

    3. Various Flashing Warning Lights

    On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.

    Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on. 

    A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published

    4. Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track

    Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.

    After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.

    Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin,  who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and she lined up a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA and had been based in Italy in the 1990s.

    Both Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel soon revealed that their “knowledge” of the case was paper-thin and dangerously biased.

    Sollecito’s Italian lawyers seemingly did not have a clue what was going on on this book front - lately an angry Giulia Bongiorno made that plain enough.

    Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.

    Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.

    Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.

    On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)

    Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.

    The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here.  The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..

    Late April 2013 Knox’s book came out. Strong differences with Sollecito emerged both in the books and publicly in the media as described here and here.

    Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.

    Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.

    You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.

    5. Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track

    The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).

    In Italy, from our post of 27 September 2012, this media explosion is what happened next.

    In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble

    The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

    Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.

    Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.

    Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.

    Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.

    But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.

    Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges

    Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book -  one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.

    5. Italy Officially Reacts

    Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.

    That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.

    Next post: selected examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.


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