Subject area: Police bungled hoax

Monday, April 10, 2017

Open Letter To The American Psychology Law Society Re False Claims By Kassin & Knox

Posted by Ergon



Knox and Kassin at the American Psychology Law Society Conference 2017


Dear APLS

Serial misrepresenter of the Knox “interrogation” Saul Kassin has made yet another false claim, once again to a large audience - yours.

This time it was to your American Psychology Law Society Conference in Seattle, Washington, March 16th-18th, and it suggests he simply cannot count.

First, some prior context to this rebuttal: SIX prior posts correcting numerous other Kassin “mistakes” and EIGHTEEN prior posts on the Knox interrogation hoax.

It is very important to understand that as the defenses conceded in court under the strict Italian legal definition of “interrogation” Knox was really only ever interrogated twice.

Both times this was by Dr Mignini (Dec 2007 and June 2009) and both times it was at Knox’s own request.

All of her other discussions with investigators early in November 2007 were merely “verbale di sommarie informazioni” or written-up discussion with a person with possible useful information. Notes exist in the record of all these discussions - none remotely coercive - and they were summarised by prosecution witnesses at trial.

See my quote below of the defense lawyers in Italian, where they use the correct Italian legal term. These written-up discussions with Knox carry precisely the same status as the “verbale di sommarie informazioni” with Sophie Purton and numerous others in the records of the case.

Accordingly I use “interrogation” a couple of times in quotes below in rebutting Kassin’s wrong claims.

Amanda Knox and Saul Kassin at the American Psychology Law Society Conference March 2017

Kassin: “Knox was questioned for over 50 hours but none was recorded”.

Kassin: “I’ve never seen a case more steeped in misinformation than Amanda Knox’s”.

So, where did the magical 50 hrs interrogation in 5 days that ‘inevitably lead to false confessions’ first appear?

Professor Kassin will not say, or provide background information to the crowded rooms of trainee law psychologists to which he and Amanda Knox have been repeating this claim.

So, here’s some vital background Kassin seems to have missed which spirals in to the truth.

Injustice in Perugia

Steve Moore: “In the five days after the murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox was interrogated by detectives for 43 hours.

CBS News-48 Hrs

Amanda’s focus was the appeal - and she soon had a world-renown ally.

“This case horrifies me. I’d like to say it shocks me. But I’ve seen others like it,” said psychologist and professor Saul Kassin, an expert on police interrogations.

On his own initiative, Kassin filed a report with the Italian (appeals) court on Amanda’s behalf. It outlines some of the psychological reasons why Amanda could have confessed to a murder she did not commit.

“Amanda Knox, like everybody, has a breaking point. She reached her breaking point,” he explained. “Eight or 10 or 12 police officials in a tag team-manner come in and interrogate her… Their goal is a confession and they’re not leaving that room without it.”

Er no, there’s no record of Kassin’s report in the Hellmann court files, and Amanda Knox never released it either. But Judge Hellmann ruled she should have known Patrick Lumumba was innocent and upheld her 3 year conviction for criminal defamation (calunnia) anyway.

American Psychologist/Innocence Project

From “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” by Saul M. Kassin, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, April 2012

Armed with a prejudgment of Knox’s guilt, several police officials interrogated the girl on and off for four days. Her final interrogation started on November 5 at 10 p.m. and lasted until November 6 at 6 a.m., during which time she was alone, without an attorney, tag-teamed by a dozen police, and did not break for food or sleep.

CNN Transcripts

CNN May 8, 2011

CURT KNOX, FATHER: Between the time that they actually found Meredith and when Amanda was arrested, there was roughly a 90-hour timeframe. And I’m ball parking the numbers there. During that time, Amanda was in the police station for questioning for—I believe it was 52 hours.

Now we’re getting a little closer to the truth. Knox was at the station for maybe 52 hours, but actually wasn’t ‘interrogated’ for that long. Then going back to when those figures first came out:

King 5 News

Amanda Knox’s family says confession coerced

By LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Posted on November 13, 2009 at 12:16 PM

She was just flat scared to be alone,” Curt said. “So she went down to the police station with him and they were split into two rooms and then they started going at them.

With physical and mental abuse for 14 hours. No food, water, no official interpreter.”

Prosecutors say Amanda’s accounts swung wildly: She wasn’t at the cottage the night of the murder. She was there, but drunk in another room.

But her parents say she was coerced by police.

“(They said) you know, you’re never going to see your family again,” Curt said. “You’re going to jail for 30 years. You need to come up with something for us, you’re a liar. Come up with something for us. Envision something; throw something out there.”

Della Vedova/Ghirga appeal to Hellmann

There’s a summary of a defense analysis of the discussions here - note the “verbale di sommarie informazioni” which is NOT the Italian for “interrogation”.

(p.12) Amanda Knox è stata sottoposta ad esame ed attività investigative e tra il 2 e il 6 novembre 2007, fino al momento del fermo, ha fornito sommarie informazioni e risposto a domande della A.G. come segue:
l 2 novembre 2007, ore 15.30 VENERDI’: totale ore …………..
12,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, senza indicazione della chiusura.
Testimoni fino alle 3.00 am del 3 novembre 2007
l 3 novembre 2007, ore 14.45 SABATO totale ore ………………
8,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, senza indicazione della chiusura.
Testimoni indicano fino alle 22,00.
l 4 novembre 2007, ore 14.45 DOMENICA: totale ore ………….
12,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox, ed accesso alla villetta di Via
della Pergola dalle ore 14.45 alle ore 21. Telefonata di Amanda alla zia dice 5 ore
di interrogatorio in questura
l 5/6 novembre 2007, ore 01.45 LUNEDI’/MARTEDI’: totale ore ……..
5,00
Verbale di sommarie informazioni della Knox inizio alle ore 22.00 del 5
novembre 2009.
l 6 novembre 2007, ore 05.45 MARTEDI’: totale ore ……………….
3,45
Verbale di “spontanee dichiarazioni” della Knox con successivo breve
memoriale. Dalle ore 1,45 alle 5,45 e memoriale alle ore 14,00.

In 5 giorni la Knox è stata sentita per un totale di circa 53,45 h.

Except, here above I count a total of 40.45 hrs, hmm, not all of which was spent being “interrogated”.

She was in the waiting room with the others, as confirmed by her own phone records, e-mails home, texts, etc. Not to forget headstands, cartwheels, yoga poses and general faffing around with Sollecito.

The defense realized their math was off so they included an additional 13.0 hrs. to the time of her memoriale though they counted their own figures twice, Lol. (see attachment below).

Keep in mind her attorneys never argued the time was unreasonable, only that the accusation should not be considered for the calunnia charge.

Their summary was only to show how long she had been ‘present for examination’ in that time she was at the Questura till her arrest. And even then, their figures were wrong..

From Rita Ficarra’s Testimony

Knox was let go by the evening of the first day so the 12 hours interrogation figure is incorrect. She also had an official interpreter by 12:30, was fed and allowed to rest in between, wasn’t slapped, and there were only two detectives present.

Twitter user Soletrader4U analyzed her phone records and case files and came up with a more realistic figure of 17.45 hrs of actual “interrogation”.

Given that to be the case, I invite Professor Kassin to correct his figures and explain how, according to his research, Amanda Knox could have produced a “False Confession” over the span of 17.45 hours of “interrogation” over 5 days?

[Everything in this post applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]



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, October 05, 2016

Netflixhoax 8: Omitted - Accurate Decription Of Production Team, Numerous Awkward Hard Facts

Posted by Ergon


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.



I saw the film at the Toronto International Film Festival. As a passionate lover of movies and documentaries, I respect the right of ANYONE to create a documentary or film through the prism of their own POV.

On the other hand, they owe us, the audience, a modicum of honesty in their reporting. Otherwise, as some one once complained about deceptive editing and reporting in one of Katie Couric’s documentaries, it prevents “democratic discourse” and this is what we ask.

By all means, engage with us, but do so honestly.

Having followed the case for many years as well as attending the earlier Supreme Court hearing in 2013 I can add the following:

  • Rudy Guede’s lawyer Valter Biscotti had a lot more to say about his client being convicted ‘in conjunction with others’. This was edited out, as well as the caption Knox put alongside her blog when she posed with a machine gun, “The Nazi Within”.  Something the media reported correctly at the time, McGinn and Blackhurst not.

  • The Producer Stephen Robert Morse hid his involvement in the project with Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst since 2011. They had ALL made inflammatory comments in favour of Amanda Knox over the years, with Morse hastily deleting some (but not all) as the Netflix sale came up.

  • He even called Nick Pisa “a piece of shit” in Perugia in 2011. It was the reputable Danish production company head Mette Heide that approached Mignini and Pisa, who didn’t know of Morse’s involvement, but that gives the background to this biased ‘documentary’ and why some may feel it is less than fair or balanced in its portrayal of the protagonists.

  • Mignini was referring to the Monster of Florence case when he talked of people coming up to shake his hand, the film makes it look like they were congratulating him for putting away Amanda Knox.

  • He was referring to it being an inside job when he said an “unknown” man (edited out to make him seem misogynistic) would not have covered Meredith with a blanket.

  • The film emphasized his Catholic beliefs to make it seem he was making a moralistic judgement about her. As he pointed out, the evidence was somewhat overwhelming. It also made it seem like his love of Sherlock Holmes was proof of him following a hunch. Um, that’s what investigators sometimes do, especially when faced with the numerous prevarications and failed alibis of Amanda Knox. Obscuring the evidence to match your narrative is dishonest to the extreme.

  • The ‘independent’ DNA experts Conti and Vecchiotti were given lots of room to claim contamination though that was never proved in court, only inferred. Also left out: Vecchiotti’s sentence for not maintaining sterile conditions in HER laboratory. Her switching a suspect’s DNA with another in one of Italy’s worst murder cases in order to falsely exonerate someone with ‘connections’. The tests had to be redone to obtain a conviction. As they make fun of Nick Pisa for ‘not fact-checking’, should they not have fact-checked before they placed her on camera?

  • The biggest laugh the Toronto audience gave was WITH Nick Pisa when he said “I mean, she’s (Knox) a complete and utter loon”.

  • This follows the Netflix template of creating reasonable doubt as it did with “The Making Of A Murder”. By over emphasizing the defense case, and ignoring the prosecution’s, it reads like propaganda.

  • This is neither fair nor balanced, nor is it original. It adds nothing to our knowledge, being a rehash of her book and numerous TV interviews, and already covered in Michael Winterbottom’s “The Face Of An Angel” in his fictionalized ‘the making of a movie within a movie’ adaptation of reporter Barbie Nadeau’s book. Oh, and producer Morse insulted HER too.

  • There were several prosecutors and numerous judges helped convict her, not just prosecutor Mignini. Nor was it an exercise in misogyny, the case was largely driven by five women: Judge Claudia Matteini, co-prosecutor Manuela Comodi, Scientific Police DNA lab technician Patrizia Stefanoni, homicide Inspector Monica Napoleoni, and Inspector Rita Ficarra.

  • This exercise in PR looks like an Amanda Knox Production, with her playing the lead role, director, producer and writer. Yet she fails to see how she comes across with her melodramatic styling and emotive pauses and outbursts. She is neither believable nor sympathetic, no matter how hard they all try.

  • Two stars out of ten for production values and slick cinematography, none for the film itself.

In the end, the picture belongs to Meredith Kercher, remembered by her family with a grieving Arline Kercher, her mother saying how she just could not understand how there could be two convictions and two acquittals; justice denied.

And a haunting video of Meredith, taken in the full bloom of her youthful promise by Amanda Knox. She didn’t want to be filmed, but as Knox admits in her book, she took the video anyway. (And included in her film).

Meredith Kercher, RIP.


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


Friday, December 18, 2015

Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Judge Receives Arguments Of Prosecution And Knox; Verdict In New Year

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Court in session 7 September in Florence with Knox a no-show

1. Latest Development

We are informed that the final arguments to the judge by both sides have been submitted in writing.

We will summarise and/or fully translate them, hopefully next week. Next step is the verdict from Judge Boninsegna, which may come early in the New Year.

Below is a reposting of the background to this unusual case, and Machiavelli’s reports from the court on 7 September.

Such trials are very rare. Usually it is only organized crime figures that in the course of a trial impugn police and prosecutors who in Italy are much respected. Defendants rarely even get on the stand, and if they do so, they invariably follow the advice of defence counsel to not dig themselves in any deeper. 

In contrast, Knox pretty well went haywire. NOBODY in Italy has ever believed her. Not her own lawyers, nor multiple hearings & trial judges, or the skeptical media, or the watching population, or Hellmann & Zanetti, or even Marasca & Bruno…  Not even Curt Knox! He failed to turn up to give scheduled defense testimony that could have helped Amanda Knox last September.

Gee, thanks, Curt….

And she has left her own lawyers handicapped, as they had publicly counseled Knox to stop escalating her claims about illegal coercion at her “interrogation” on 5-6 November 2007.

Their filing probably needs to be especially careful to avoid their own liability. 

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”

3. Machiavelli Reports From Trial 7 September

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.

 


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.


The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #1

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo. Quick route to Comments here.

1. Arrangements For Knox Trial In Florence

Knox’s second trial for aggravated calunnia will take place later this week and early next week in Florence.

For the record the sentence for a repeat calunnia offense can be six years and the statute of limitations cuts in at 11 year and three months which in this case will be late in AD 2020.

The real drama if any will be next week, when witnesses are to be called starting on Monday. We should have some court reporting from Main Poster Machiavelli. There is the possibility of a closed court and a verdict on Tuesday.

We believe the judge will be Dr Giampaolo Boninsegna. We presume that Knox will not attend (perhaps a weak move, perhaps not).

Two prosecutors have developed the case which was sparked by complaints from investigators in the Perugia central police station. They are Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo (image above) and Dr Angela Pietroiusti. We could see either or both of them in action.

It appears now that knox’s lawyers will again be Ghirga and Dalla Vedova, who some lawyers criticise for dropping her in it at trial with an ill-judged stint on the stand after 20 months of trying to stop Knox dropping herself in it.

2. Why Knox Was On The Stand in 2009

Knox’s team primarily primarily intended that Knox’s two days on the stand should serve to explain why she framed Patrick and then allowed him to languish in prison.

Both publicly to the media and at the Micheli hearings in late 2008 Knox’s lawyers had denied she was ill-treated or forced into a “confession”. So why was Knox put on the stand?

Probably in part because Knox absolutely insisted on it, given her considerable track record of written and spoken explanations and her interrogation in December 2007 by Dr Mignini. Each time a fail, but perhaps she had in mind the movie Groundhog Day.

And probably in part because the prosecution portion of the trial had been pretty damning. There had been stacks of evidence and numerous witnesses whose testimony fitted together pretty seamlessly.

Contrast this with the defense portion of the trial, from late summer onward, which was often awkward and hesitant, often did not fill complete court days, and really gained no ground back.

3. The Knox Defense Team’s Uphill Task Here

Bizarrely, Knox AND her lawyers AND her family had already sat through days and days of testimony earlier in the trial from various investigators who were present on 5-6 November when Knox explosively fingered Patrick.

Knox’s testimony was like night and day compared to that, as if none of that previous testimony had even happened. This was probably unique in Italian legal history and quite possibly in US legal history also.

Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, still far from complete, which has included a lot of new translation, showed what a very consistent picture of events on 5-6 Nov all these witnesses testified to.

Testimony led by Knox’s team (see below) was quite extensive but it tellingly wandered far from the main point and was very pussyfooting about 5-6 Nov even though Knox was not under oath and prosecutor cross-examination was circumscribed. It really won no points for Knox at all and didnt avoid her serving three years.

To consider the target testimony below against the picture the court had already developed, please read at least Part One of the series.

Look below as you read for all the numerous claims by Knox of illegal pressure and illegal abuse and illegal insistence of scenarios and names given to her by the cops.

According to the prior testimony of all those officers Knox is impugning, none of these claims of illegality seemingly designed to hurt careers had any truth at all to them.

4. Day One of Knox’s Testimony

Day two’s testimony will follow in our next post. 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.

Relevant Questions By Lumumba Lawyer Pacelli

Here AK is Knox, CP is Pacelli, and GCM is Judge Massei.

CP:  Listen, let’s get to the evening of November 1. On the evening of November 1, 2007, did you have an appointment with Patrick near the basketball court?
GCM:  [Interrupting the interpreter who is putting this question into English for Amanda] Excuse me, excuse me. Also for the interpreter, also the English translation, everything is for everyone, this is not a dialogue between two people.
CP:  I’ll ask a simpler question, Presidente.
GCM:  No no, we heard it. Please, go ahead. [The interpreter translates the question]
AK:  No, I didn’t.
CP:  So, on the evening of November 1, you didn’t meet Patrick?
AK:  No.
CP:  You didn’t meet him at the basketball court?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then why did you say you met him at the basketball court during your interrogation of November 6, 2007, at 1:45 in the morning in front of the judicial police?
AK:  It was a complicated situation. I can explain it if you want me to go into it.
CP:  Yes, yes, later.
AK:  Okay.
CP:  You had the keys of the apartment in via della Pergola?
GCM:  Excuse me, avvocato, she was saying something.
CP:  Sorry. Please, go ahead.
GCM:  She was adding something. Please go ahead. You can answer…
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  ...with all the time and the precision that you need.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  [addressing the interpreter] Tell her that if she wants to add something, as it seemed she did, she can do it, and we will listen. [Interpreter puts this into English]
AK:  Yes. Um, the interrogation process was very long and difficult. Arriving in the police office, I didn’t expect to be interrogated at all. When I got there, I was sitting on my own doing my homework, when a couple of police officers came to sit with me. They began to ask me the same questions that they had been asking me days…all these days ever since it happened. For instance, who could I imagine could be the person who killed Meredith, and I said I still didn’t know, and so what they did is, they brought me into another interrogation room. Once I was in there, they asked me to repeat everything that I had said before, for instance what I did that night. They asked me to see my phone, which I gave to them, and they were looking through my phone, which is when they found the message. When they found the message, they asked me if I had sent a message back, which I didn’t remember doing. That’s when they started being very hard with me. They called me a stupid liar, and they said that I was trying to protect someone. [Sigh] So I was there, and they told me that I was trying to protect someone, but I wasn’t trying to protect anyone, and so I didn’t know how to respond to them. They said that I had left Raffaele’s house, which wasn’t true, which I denied, but they continued to call me a stupid liar. They were putting this telephone in front of my face going “Look, look, your message, you were going to meet someone”. And when I denied that, they continued to call me a stupid liar. And then, from that point on, I was very very scared, because they were treating me so badly and I didn’t understand why. [Sigh] While I was there, there was an interpreter who explained to me an experience of hers, where she had gone through a traumatic experience that she could not remember at all, and she suggested that I was traumatized, and that I couldn’t remember the truth. This at first seemed ridiculous to me, because I remembered being at Raffaele’s house. For sure. I remembered doing things at Raffaele’s house. I checked my e-mails before, then we watched a movie. We had eaten dinner together, we had talked together, and during that time I hadn’t left his apartment. But they were insisting upon putting everything into hourly segments, and since I never look at the clock, I wasn’t able to tell them what time exactly I did everything. They insisted that I had left the apartment for a certain period of time to meet somebody, which for me I didn’t remember, but the interpreter said I probably had forgotten. [Sigh]...
AK:  So what ended up happening was, that they told me to try to remember what I apparently, according to them, had forgotten. Under the amount of pressure of everyone yelling at me, and having them tell me that they were going to put me in prison for protecting somebody, that I wasn’t protecting, that I couldn’t remember, I tried to imagine that in some way they must have had…it was very difficult, because when I was there, at a certain point, I just…I couldn’t understand [Start of 15:19 minute video segment] why they were so sure that I was the one who knew everything. And so, in my confusion, I started to imagine that maybe I was traumatized, like what they said. They continued to say that I had met somebody, and they continued to put so much emphasis on this message that I had received from Patrick, and so I almost was convinced that I had met him. But I was confused.
CP:  But—did you really meet him at the basketball court?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then how could you be convinced that you had met him?
AK:  I was confused.
CP:  When you said this, how many police inspectors were present?
AK:  I don’t know how many were police officers or inspectors, but there were lots.
CP:  Listen, but you were accompanied to the bar, they offered you a cappuccino over the night? They assisted you through the night?
AK:  I was offered tea after I had made declarations.
CP:  So they treated you well.
AK:  No!

On November 6, 2007, at 1:45, you said that you went to the house in via della Pergola with Patrick. Did you go?
AK:  The declarations were taken against my will. And so, everything that I said, was said in confusion and under pressure, and, because they were suggested by the public minister.
CP:  Excuse me, but at 1:45, the pubblico ministero was not there, there was only the judicial police.
AK:  Ha. They also were pressuring me.
CP:  I understand, but were they telling you to say that, too, or did you say it of your own free will.
AK:  They were suggesting paths of thought. They were suggesting the path of thought. They suggested the journey. So the first thing I said, “Okay, Patrick”. And then they said “Okay, where did you meet him? Did you meet him at your house? Did you meet him near your house?” “Euh, near my house, I don’t know.” Then my memories got mixed up. From other days, I remembered having met Patrick, at Piazza Grimana, so I said “Okay, Piazza Grimana.” It wasn’t as if I said “Oh, this is how it went.”

GCM:  Please go ahead, avvocato.
CP: —which is the object of both declarations, the one at 1:45 and the one at 5:45. [Crossing voices.]
GCM:  It was about facts, though?
CP:  All right, I’ll reformulate the question. Meredith, before she was killed, did she have sex?
AK:  I don’t know.
CP:  Then why, in the interrogation of Nov 6 at 1:45, did you say that Meredith had sex before she died?
AK:  Under pressure, I imagined lots of different things, also because during the days that I was being questioned by the police, they suggested to me that she had been raped.
CP:  And the police suggested to you to say this?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  And to make you say this, did they hit you?
AK:  Yes.

CP:  When you wrote the memorandum, were you hit by police?
AK:  When?
CP:  When you wrote the memorandum. Were you hit by police?
AK:  No.
CP:  Mistreated?
AK:  No.
CP:  Did the police suggest the contents?
AK:  No.
CP:  You gave it to them freely?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  Voluntarily?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  Listen, in this memorandum, you say that you confirm the declarations you made the night before about what might have happened at your house with Patrick. Why did you freely and spontaneously confirm these declarations?
AK:  Because I was no longer sure what was my imagination and what was real. So I wanted to say that I was confused, and that I couldn’t know. But at the same time, I knew I had signed those declarations. So I wanted to say that I knew I had made those declarations, but I was confused and not sure.
CP:  But in fact, you were sure that Patrick was innocent?
AK:  No, I wasn’t sure.
CP:  Why?
AK:  Because I was confused! I imagined that it might have happened. I was confused.

CP:  Did you see Patrick on November 1, yes or no?
AK:  No.
CP:  Did you meet him?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then why did you say that you saw him, met him, and walked home with him?
AK:  Because the police and the interpreter told me that maybe I just wasn’t remembering these things, but I had to try to remember. It didn’t matter if I thought I was imagining it. I would remember it with time. So, the fact that I actually remembered something else was confusing to me. Because I remembered one thing, but under the pressure of the police, I forced myself to imagine another. I was confused. I was trying to explain this confusion, because they were making me accuse someone I didn’t want to accuse.

Relevant Questions By Knox Lawyer Ghirga

CP:  I’ll repeat my question. On the 10th, you said to your mother: “It’s my fault that he’s here. I feel terrible.” Why didn’t you say this to the pubblico ministero?
LG?:  I object! He’s already asked this question. And it was answered.
GCM:  Yes. It was already asked.
CP:  Yes, but she hasn’t answered!
LG?:  Yes, she HAS answered!
CP:  Can she answer? I didn’t understand.
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me. Please.
CP:  I didn’t understand her answer, President. Can you explain?
GCM:  So, the question was asked and has been asked again because—
CP:  [speaking over him] Because I didn’t understand the answer!
GCM: —the defense lawyer has not understood why—in what regards the police, the accused has said that when they came to bring her paper, they said “Oh, another truth,” so her relations with them were such that she did not feel that she could tell them this circumstance. It remains to ask why she did not tell the pubblico ministero. This is what the lawyer is asking. For what concerns the police, we have heard her position and her answer. We’re talking about the period after the 10th of November, when this conversation with the mother was recorded. In what concerns the pubblico ministero, the lawyer is asking you why you didn’t feel the necessity, like with your mother, of telling him that Patrick Lumumba, as far as you were concerned, had nothing to do with all this.
AK:  We are talking about when I was in front of the judge?
GCM:  After the 10th of November.
AK:  Frankly, I didn’t have good relations with the police after that period, nor with the pubblico ministero, because he also had suggested declarations that got written down in the declarations. I didn’t know where to turn. I felt better talking to my defense than to the police.

LG:  All right, I’ve exhausted this topic. Now, I said we were just coming to the evening when you were called in, or rather when Raffaele was called in to the Questura on Nov 5. Where did you come from? Were you having dinner somewhere? Do you remember?
AK:  We were at the apartment of a friend of his, who lived near his house, and we were having dinner with them, trying, I don’t know, to feel a bit of normality, when Raffaele was called by the police.
LG:  Okay. So you went with him in the car, and you came in and they settled you somewhere, and later you were heard.
AK:  Yes. What happened is that they weren’t expecting me to come. I went somewhere a bit outside near the elevator, and I had taken my homework with me, so I started to do my homework, and then I needed to do some “stretching”, so I did some “stretching”, and that’s when one policeman said something about my flexibility. A comment.
LG:  Okay. Then you were interrogated, let’s say interrogated, it was just for information. So you were interrogated.
AK:  Mm.
LG:  During the interrogation, there were several people in the room, did someone come who was involved in Raffaele Sollecito’s interrogation? He was being interrogated in one place, you in another.
AK:  So, there were lots and lots of people who came in and went out, and after one had come in and gone out, another policewoman told me that Raffaele said that I went out of the apartment—at least, Raffaele apparently said that I [stammering] had gone out of his house.
LG:  Okay. And the episode of the text message came later? After this person came in and said that? You don’t remember?
AK:  Yes, yes. I think it happened after they told me that.
LG:  Now what interests me is that you should be precise about the term “hit”, because being hit is something…was it a cuff on the head, two cuffs on the head? How precise can you be about this “hitting”?
AK:  So, during the interrogation, people were standing all around me, in front of me, behind me, one person was screaming at me from here, another person was shouting “No no no, maybe you just don’t remember” from over there, other people were yelling other things, and a policewoman behind me did this to me [you hear the sound of her giving two very little whacks].
LG:  Once, twice?
AK:  Twice. The first time I did this, I turned around to her, and she did it again.
LG:  I wanted to know this precise detail.
AK:  Yes.
LG:  After all that, that whole conversation, that you told us about, and you had a crying crisis, did they bring you some tea, coffee, some cakes, something? When was that exactly?
AK:  They brought me things only after I had made some declarations. So, I was there, they were all screaming at me, I only wanted to leave because I was thinking that my mother was arriving, and I said look, can I have my telephone, because I want to call my mom. They said no, and there was this big mess with them shouting at me, threatening me, and it was only after I made declarations that they started saying “No, no, don’t worry, we’ll protect you,” and that’s how it happened.
LG:  Then you stayed in the Questura?
AK:  Yes.
LG:  Then, at midday, or one o’clock, we don’t know exactly, they brought you a paper called an arrest warrant. When they served you this warrant, it must have been around twelve, one o’clock. Do you remember?
AK:  So, all papers they brought me to sign, at that point, they were all the same to me, so I can’t even say what I had to sign, arrest warrant, declarations, whatever, because at a certain point, I just wanted to sign and go home.
LG:  Right. But instead?
AK:  Instead, no. After a while they told me I had to stay in the Questura, so I had to stay, and I rolled up in a fetal position to try to sleep, on a chair, and I fell asleep, then I woke up, and I was there thinking and some people were going in and out, and during this period of time, I was telling them: “Look, I am really confused, these things don’t seem like what I remember, I remember something else.” And they said “No no no no no, you just stay quiet, you will remember it all later. So just stay quiet and wait, wait, wait, because we have to check some things.” And at that point I just didn’t understand anything. I even lost my sense of time.
LG:  And I wanted to ask you after how long they took you to prison. At some point there was a car, a police wagon that took you to prison. After how much time was that? You don’t know?
AK:  Well, I can’t say, but what I can say is that I stayed a while in the Questura, and during that time I kept trying to explain to the police that what I had said was not certain, and they took my shoes during that time and they took some pictures, they undressed me to take the pictures, and so it seemed like a long time.
LG:  So it was between this time and the time you went to prison that you wrote the memorial?
AK:  Yes. I wrote it there because, I asked to do it because I was telling them “Listen, you’re not hearing me, give me a piece of paper, and I’ll write this down in English to be sure you understand what I’m saying.” But I couldn’t really say that. I just said “Look, I’ll give you a present.” [Laughs.] It was because I wasn’t really able to speak or understand then. So I wrote that, but after I wrote the first pages, I was in the middle of writing this memorandum, they suddenly said “Hurry up, hurry up, finish because we have to take you to prison.” I stayed there like…I didn’t expect to go to prison, I thought maybe I hadn’t understood. I asked the policemen, the people who were around me, there, “But Why? I haven’t done anything.” And they said “No, it’s just bureaucracy. At least that’s what I understood.
LG:  All right Amanda, okay. Thank you. So you went to prison and spent the night. When did you write the second memorial?
AK:  So in prison I again asked for paper, because that’s how I’m used to expressing myself, the way I succeed best, also to organize my thoughts, I needed to write them down. I needed to reorganize all my thoughts, because at that point I was still confused, I still had these images in my memory that finally I understood were a mixture of real images in my memory from other days mixed with imagination. So I needed those pieces of paper, so I could take everything and put it in order.
LG:  All right, I’ve finished the subject of the night in the Questura. When you made your first declaration, it was without the pubblico ministero. Then he came. Can you tell us if there was some discussion about a lawyer? If you remember, and whatever you remember.
AK:  So, before they asked me to make further declarations—I really can’t tell you what time it was, I was lost after hours and hours of the same thing—but at one point I asked if I shouldn’t have a lawyer? I thought that, well, I didn’t know, but I’ve seen things like this on television. When people do things like this they have lawyer. They told me, at least one of them told me that it would be worse for me because it would prove that I didn’t want to collaborate with the police. So they told me no.

Amanda Knox’s first letter of Nov 9, 2007

This letter was entered in testimony by Knox’s lawyers on the first day. It was written by Knox to her lawyers around noon on Friday, Nov., 9, three days after her arrest and one day after the Matteini Hearing. Words that are missing from the scan are shown in square brackets.

Presumably intended to help Knox, it has now become part of her problem.

Per I Miei Avvocati

- Amanda Knox (Friday, Nov. 9, 2007)

Buon giorno Signore Ghirga e Signore Vedova. I’m sorry, but I must write in english to make sure I express myself [cl]early. Please excuse my handicap. I trust you are well, though probably very busy with my case and for this I thank you. What [I] want to provide for you now is help, because I know my position [is] a little confusing. I want to write for you everything I know as best I can and I especially want to tell you about this so-called “confession” that the police received from me. I want to begin with this “confession” because I know it is the most confusing, and so I will begin with that night.

The night of Monday, November 5th, 2007, and the following early morning of Tuesday, November 6th, 2007, was one of the worst experiences of my life, perhaps the worst. Around 10:30pm or 11pm Raffaele and I arrived at the police station after eating dinner at the apartment of one of Raffaele’s friends. It was Raffaele who the police called, not me, but I came with him to the Questura anyway while he was to be questioned for support, as he had done for me many times. When we arrived he was taken inside and I waited by the elevator and looked through my books while I waited. Not long aftwerward one of the police came and sat by me, wanting to talk with me, supposedly to pass the time. He didn’t tell me he was a police officer. In fact, he said I could tell him whatever I wanted because it wouldn’t matter. At the time I was frustrated and told him so. I thought it was ridiculaous that the police called us in at ridiculous hours of the night and kept us at the police station for hours on end with only vending maschine [sic] food to sustain us, especially since we [wer]e all doing our best to help the police. I had been asked twice to reenter the home of my neighbors and mine, first to witness the blood in the neighbors’ apartment and then to look through [k]nives in mine. I really feared the place. Inside my own home I broke down crying because I couldn’t stand to be inside. These were the reasons for my frustration and I told him so.

He then wanted to discuss who I thought the murderer could be, but as I had already told them before, since I wasn’t there at my home, I couldn’t have any idea, but [deleted words] he wasn’t satisfied with my answer. Who did I think it was? How would I know? I didn’t know anyone dangerous. Soon I was joined by other police people who only wanted to “talk” but who interrogated me again with the same questions. What males had ever been in my house? Who knew Meredith? Did I have any phone numbers? I gave them all the information I could. Names, phone numbers, descriptions. But it was all giving me a headache. I had already answered these questions before and I was confused as to why the police wanted so much to talk to me. Why me? Why did they keep asking me who I thought the murderer was when I already told them I had no idea?

And then they brought me inside, because it was “warmer”. I [asked] where Raffaele was and they told me he would be done soon [but] in the meantime they wanted to talk to me. The interrogation process started rather quickley [sic]. One minute I was just [tal?]king and the next they were asking me where I was between [?]:30pm and 1:30am between November [1st] and 2nd. I told them I was with my boyfriend, like I had already said. They asked me what I had done during this time period and I found that I couldn’t remember a lot. I told them [we] watched the movie Amelie together, that we ate dinner [tog]ether, that after dinner Raffaele washed the dishes and spilled water on the floor when the pipes came loose. I told them that [we] smoked hash somewhere in that time but I couldn’t remember [mo]re. They told me I was lying. They told me they knew I had [not] been with Raffaele. They told me they knew I met someone that night. They told me they had proof I was at my house that night. This really confused me. I told them I wasn’t lying and [the]y began to get angry. Stop telling lies, they told me. We know [you] were there! But this didn’t make sense. I was frightened, because I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I did during the time [the]y were asking me. What were you doing?! Where did you go?! We [kno]w you were at your house!! Who did you meet?! But this all [did]n’t make any sense. How could they have proof that I was at my [hou]se when I wasn’t? Why did they think these things? Why me? They told me Raffaele had finally told the truth and that he had no [rea]son to lie. They told me that they knew I had told Raffaele to [lie?] and I told them this wasn’t true. I had never told him any [suc]h thing. We talked about the message I received from Patrik [and] I told them yes, I received a message from Patrik, he told me [not] to go into work that night because there was no one there. I [did]n’t remember if I had sent a message back, so I said no, but they [had] taken my phone and showed me the message I forgot I sent: [ending?] with the words, “Ci vediamo. Buona serata.” They called me a [stu]pid lier. They said I was protecting someone, who was it?! [The]y stuck pieces of paper in front of me, to write down the name [of] the murder, but I didn’t know. And I still couldn’t remember [wha]t me and Raffaele had been doing at his house. I had nothing to [say?] to answer their questions and it was terrifying me. Why couldn’t [I r]emember. The interpretor told me that one time she experienced [a ho]rrible car accident and couldn’t remember what had happened [unt]il a year later. She told me perhaps I had seen something [horr]ible and I couldn’t remember. Since I couldn’t remember [wha]t I had been doing at Raffaele’s house I started to think what [...?] was true? What if I had seen something and I didn’t [rem]ember? But it didn’t make sense. I remembered being [at] Raffaele’s the whole night. But in the meantime the police were [...?] or they were going to put me in jail for [...?] [p]rotecting the killer. They told me they had already caught the killer [a]nd they just wanted me to say his name, but I knew nothing. My [m]ind was a blank slate. Now, now, now!!! They were yelling at me. One [p]olice officer hit me on the back of my head twice. My head was [s]earching for any answer. I was really confused. I thought I was at my boyfriend’s house, but what if it wasn’t true? What if I couldn’t remember? I tried and tried and tried, but I couldn’t remember anything until all of the police officers left the room except one. He [to]ld me he was the only one who could save me from spending the [n]ext 30 years in jail and I told him I couldn’t remember. I asked to see the message on my phone to see if I remembered sending that [an]d when I saw the message my mind thought of Patrik. It was all I could think of, Patrik. I imagined meeting him by the basketball [cou]rts, I imagined him in front of my house, I imagined covering my ears to stop the sound of Meredith’s screaming, and so I said [Pa]trik. I said Patrik and I regret every second of it because now I [k]now that what I have said has done someone harm that I have no idea whether he was involved or not.

After I said his name I was hysterical. I was weeping, [s]cared of what could have happened to me. I honestly thought [t]his could have been the answer. I was so confused. They told me that they had to write all of this down but I told them I wasn’t [s]ure. So they told me just to say what I had said, that I had seen [Pat]rik. That I had heard Meredith screaming. I told them I was [c]onfused, unsure, but they weren’t interested. While they were writing my so-called “confession”, which the didn’t call it [t]o me, they asked me to say if it was okay to write certain things. I [d]dn’t explain, but just said yes or no according to what these [im]ages of Patrik were showing me, but I always told them I wasn’t [su]re, these things didn’t seem real. They asked me why he had done [thi]s and I didn’t know why. Why would anyone kill another person? [I] told them he must be crazy. They asked me if I feared him and I [sa]id yes. I was so confused and the idea that he would kill someone [fr]ightened me. But I had never been frightened of him before, he has [al]ways been kind to me. After all of this I was allowed to sleep, [fi]nally. The whole thing was going through my head and I felt [aw]ful, to even think I could have been involved. But the more [confu]sed I became, the more sure I was that these ideas about Patrik [w]eren’t true, but I still couldn’t remember what I had been [do]ing at my boyfriend’s house after dinner.

I seriously started to doubt when the police told me what my boyfriend had said. (1) First, that when I received the message from [Pat]rik, that I had told him I had to leave to go to work. This I [k]new, even then, wasn’t true. I remembered and still do specifically [th]at I had told him I _didn’t_ have to work and I kissed him and [...]

[...] said, “Yay!” (2) I also never told him to lie for me. Why would he lie? Could he have lied about me not being there too? I was especially troubled by this because even though I had thought of Patrik, I still remembered being at Raffaele’s house. I told the police of my doubts but they said not to worry, little by little, I would remember. So I waited.

I tried writing what I could remember for the police, because I’ve always been better at thinking when I was writing. They gave me time to do this. In this message I wrote about my doubts, my questions, and what I knew to be true.

[Deleted words] During this time I was checked out by medics [and?] had my picture taken as well as more copies of my fingerprints. They took my shoes and my phone. I wanted to go home but they told me to wait and then eventually that I was to be arrested. Then I was taken here, to the prison, in the last car of three who carried Patrik, then Raffaele, and then me to prison.

I hope this clears up some confusion for you and I’m sorry again that it is in English. I hope you are in contact with my mother and if you are, could you please tell her I love her, that I miss her, that I’m okay, and that I hope to see her soon.

I also just received the order of arrest and it says I must remain here in prison for one year. I’m assuming this means only if they can prove I did it or not. So I’m not sad, I just have to wait until they prove I’m not guilty, and that I wasn’t there.

I want to write another message for you which describes my version of events that at this time I remember very well. This I will do on a different piece of paper and a little later because I’m very tired.

Good luck and thanks,
Amanda Knox
quasi mezzogiorno
Venerdi, Novembre 9, 2007


Part 2 (Day Two) in our next post.


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.


Friday, March 06, 2015

The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #8: Passages For Which Gumbel & Sollecito Are Charged

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Outcome Of Thursday Session In Court

That image above is of Sollecito arriving from his cell in Capanne Prison back in 2008.

The next session of the trial of Sollecito and Gumbel will be in open court for the first time. All Italy will finally KNOW some of what the pair claimed. Finally they will be able to judge the heated claims - seemingly intended to illegally inflame American public opinion to lean on the Italian court.

And as the next court session will fall after Cassation rules finally on his appeal against his lost Florence appeal for the murder of Meredith, we could see Sollecito once again arrive in court from behind bars.

This slight delay in the book trial beyond the Supreme Court ruling due late March (25th or thereafter) was the only real outcome from the final closed session yesterday of the Florence court.

Sollecito’s lawyer Alfredo Brizioli and Gumbel’s lawyer Francesca Bacecci, in creating a pretty meaningless fuss over the translation of passages where the malicious intent to inflame American public opinion is almost impossible to miss, even with Google Translate, simply bought Sollecito time beyond Cassation’s cold gaze on 25th March. The new translation is due on 10 April, and 30 April will be the pair’s next day in court. 

2. Selection Of Passages The State Disputes

Picking passages in the book against which to lodge diffamazione and villipendio charges is like shooting fish in a barrel, as we showed in this post in April last year. That was twenty inflammatory charges in a mere half a dozen pages.

Targeted for the moment are the seven passages quoted in Part 3 below. They might be the first of several waves of passages against which diffamazione and villipendio charges are brought, as only one complainant (Dr Mignini) has so far asked the court to act, as he was required to do.

Many other people are talked about highly disparagingly in the Sollecito and Gumbel book too. See these examples, out of dozens, which are not yet the subject of a charge:

Our interrogators resorted to time-honored pressure techniques practiced by less-than-scrupulous law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. They brought us in at night, presented us with threats and promises, scared us half senseless, then offered us a way out with a few quick strokes of a pen.

Napoleoni was in the room for this part of the conversation. Without warning, she turned on me with venom in her voice. “What did you do?” she demanded. “You need to tell us. You don’t know what that cow, that whore, got up to!”

“Don’t I have the right to a lawyer?” I asked.  They said no. “Can’t I at least call my father?” “You can’t call anyone.” They ordered me to put my cell phone on the desk.

At one point, I found myself alone with just one of the policemen. He leaned into me and hissed, “If you try to get up and leave, I’ll beat you into a pulp and kill you. I’ll leave you in a pool of blood.”

The rounds of questioning began all over again: “Tell us what happened! Did Amanda go out on the night of the murder? Why are you holding out on us? You’ve lost your head per una vacca—for a cow!”

As Amanda’s questioning continued, Prosecutor Mignini himself decided to take charge. He arrived at the Questura in the dead of night, apparently after being informed that Amanda had “broken,” and pressed her for a full confession. Again, Amanda was in floods of tears. Again, she was gesticulating with her hands and bringing them to her head—a detail that seemed particularly fascinating to Mignini, perhaps because hitting oneself in the head is sometimes associated with Masonic initiation rites.

Regarding that last claim Dr Mignini was not even there.

3 The Current Targets Of The Florence Court

Phrases of Sollecito and Gumbel (probably all or mostly of Gumbel) that look especially inflammatory and dishonest and very unlikely to be true are highlighted here.

Passage 1: Page 75

The main evidence Mignini had to take into the preliminary hearing was my Nikes, and he did everything he could to make them as incriminating as possible. Hours after my interrogators ordered me to take the shoes off, they were examined by a forensic team from Foligno. But the Foligno police were relatively cautious: in the official report they produced that same day, they said they could make no more than a partial comparison with the clearest of the prints left in blood in Meredith’s room and could comment only on the rough size and shape of the shoe, nothing more. Still, they concluded that my shoes “could have” created the footprints found at the crime scene.

Mignini was not satisfied, no doubt because the finding was couched in all sorts of caveats; the Foligno police stressed that the match was a theoretical possibility only. So the next day Mignini went to the Polizia Scientifica in Rome for a second opinion. They had even less information to go on than the Foligno team because they had only photographs of my shoes, not the shoes themselves. Somehow, though, they came to the much more definitive conclusion that my Nikes were the same make, model, and shoe size as the print on Meredith’s floor. No question about it.

Dr Mignini had no vested interest in the outcome of the shoe. There was a ton of other evidence which was accepted by the Matteini and Ricciarelli courts and Cassation to keep Sollecito locked up.

Passage 2: Pages 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.

It was in fact Knox’s idea to write the list of partners, and her own team’s idea to do the malicious leak. Police and prosecution had zero role.

Passage 3. Page 146-147

When my defense team examined the official paperwork, they noticed that the analysis of the footprints - including extensive inquiry into the length and shape of the foot likely to have produced them - had been conducted by two members of the Polizia Scientifica in Rome, working not in their official capacity but as private consultants charging thousands of euros to Mignini’s office. One of the analysts, Lorenzo Rinaldi, was a physicist, not a specialist in anatomy, and the other, Pietro Boemia, was a fingerprint technician with no further scientific credentials. That begged the question: if Mignini’s office felt it needed to contract the job out to private consultants, why wouldn’t it go to people with more pertinent qualifications? The whole thing stank.

We were stunned, too, to discover that some of the most important parts of the evidence were not handed over at all. We were given a document detailing the Polizia Scientifica’s conclusions about the DNA evidence on the knife and the bra clasp, but we had none of the raw data, nothing that would enable us to make our own independent evaluation. We put in a request for the data and, when it was rejected, filed another. The DNA evidence was now the bedrock of the case against me. What possible motivation could there be to withhold it?

The defenses had witnesses present at every single test. They made no complaints. And the Hellmann court record showed that all DNA data was in fact handed over, as the consultants C&V had to conceed.

Passage 4: 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.

Dr Mignini was facing mild charges for what in fact judges had okayed and for which prison or a career fall were never in the cards. Over a year before the book was written, Dr Mignini’s total rebound and promotion after Cassation sharply repudiated a rogue prosecutor and judge in Florence had been widely reported upon. It is also widely known now that Spetzi and Preston were mounting a malicious self-serving hoax.

Passage 5: Page 185

One other strange thing: Amanda and I were on trial for sexual assault, yet Stefanoni confirmed that a stain on Meredith’s pillowcase that looked a lot like semen was never tested in her lab. She made all sorts of excuses about how testing it might compromise the lab’s ability to use the pillowcase for other things. The semen might well be old, she added, the result of Meredith’s consensual sexual relations with Giacomo Silenzi.

This seemed extraordinary to my defense team, so much so that we asked for - and obtained - permission to inspect the pillowcase ourselves and soon discovered signs of semen on one of Guede’s shoe prints. How could the prosecution have missed this? If the semen was fresh when Guede stepped on it, that meant it must have been produced on the night of the murder. We thought long and hard about demanding a full analysis, but we did not trust the Polizia Scientifica as far as we could spit and were deathly afraid they might choose to construe that the semen was mine. So we held back.

The is hardly what the Scientific Police - a much-trusted collaborator of the FBI - are known for. All tests are done with defense witnesses there.

Passage 6: Page 216-217

As it turned out, Massei may not have been entirely correct to say there was no evidence that DNA results were used to fit a predetermined story line. Giuliano Mignini, of all people, had given a television interview a couple of months earlier in which he stated quite openly that he was looking for a certain result from the kitchen-knife analysis.

Mignini was asked by a special correspondent for the show L’altra metà  del crimine (The Other Half of the Crime) how he could be so sure my knife was the murder weapon when the DNA readings had come back “too low” and did not appear to conform to international standards. Mignini stuttered and danced around the question before replying in gloriously convoluted Italian, “Ho ottenuto di farlo risultare.” I managed to get it to come out right.

Never happened. As Cassation noted these so-called “international standards” which the consultants C&V misled the court about are simply a myth. The C&V laboratory and methods were disparaged by the Carabinieri lab in 2013.

Passage 7: 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.

Sollecito himself had for years kept Knox at extreme arms length, mirroring his family, implying Knox was more guilty than he, though irrevocable evidence ties him to the scene of the crime too.  He was never ever seen to stand up for her like this. Mignini and Comodi had NOT ONE CONVERSATION on these lines.  Apart from the case against Sollecto being strong, no prosecutor in Italy has any power to “do a deal” or allow a perp to “cop a plea”. To prosecutors’ own great relief, for protection these powers reside ONLY in the hands of a judge.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sollecito v Italy & Guede: My Subtitled YouTubes Of Rudy Guede’s Interview with Leosini

Posted by Eric Paroissien













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 Simply 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.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How Saul Kassin Framed Many Fine Italian Justice Officials - And Then Played Victim When Corrected

Posted by Cardiol MD



Do Williams College President Dr Falk and head of psychology Dr Fein know that Kassin is a hot potato?

A Common Phenomenon

We take note of a common “they can’t take what they dish out” phenomenon among the Sollecito & Knox supporters.

If you show unequivocally that their FACTS are wrong and that they have illegally framed (in English) good Italian officials, they melt down with numerous shrill claims that the meanies ridiculed them - because their mission and the two perps they champion are so moral and so divine.

Doug Preston, Nina Burleigh, Greg Hampikian, Steve Moore, Doug Bremner and others have all exhibited this victimhood phenomenon. Doug Preston even wrote an entire book-long wail about his victimhood.

Foolishly perverse behavior. No police or prosecutors anywhere ever appreciate being framed. In the US it is rare indeed. In Italy a single official complaint can spark a prosecutor’s investigation, and probable felony charges against any or all of them for obstruction of justice. 

The Saul Kassin case surely has to be the worst of all cases, because his huge slam at Italy, with dozens of wrong facts and false accusations, was delivered as a keynote address at a John Jay College of Justice conference, to dozens of top justice officials from around the world - and to this day he perpetuates this massive academic fraud.

Presumably roughly 100% of that global audience, ignorant of the real story (a probable serious new felony by Knox), believe Knox was tortured by Italians into some kind of forced confession. 

A Historical Synopsis Of Kassin’s Role

Saul Kassin, an academic psychologist, established himself as an acknowledged authority-figure on the subject of prosecutor-induced false confession, describing a profile of such confessors.

Prosecutor-induced false confession is, of course, a real phenomenon, which has existed throughout recorded history, notoriously exemplified in modern history at the Moscow Show-Trials of the 1930’s.

Years ago supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (FOA), claiming that the pair were wrongly convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, alleged that their “wrongful” conviction was based on a prosecutor-induced false confession, among some other things.

FOA concocted a false description of the events surrounding the interrogation, using as many as 50 barefaced falsehoods to create a match to the characteristics of false-confessors described by Kassin.

This creation in turn resulted in the exposure of the numerous falsehoods and deceptions, in the course of which Kassin’s work was also criticised. Offended by such criticism, Kassin wrote a paper defending his work, but sustaining the multiple falsehoods and deceptions created by the FOA.

On April 30th 2012 The American Psychologist [AP] published an Advanced Online Paper titled “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” authored by Saul Kassin (final version here) see in which he “described” the case of Amanda Knox, an American college student who had been convicted of murder in Italy, arguing that Knox was not guilty, and had been induced by prosecutorial-oppression into making a False-Confession.

In June 2012 Kassin presented his misleading keynote address to the John Jay College global conference (see page 31 of the program). Soon after he made TV and radio appearances.

In September 2012 the American Psychologist journal published Kassin’s paper in print-form (AP Vol.67 (6) Sept. 2012, 431-445). When it did so, the paper was newly accompanied by Corrections and Updates, in which Kassin states that minor (sic) corrections “should be made in the description of the Amanda Knox case.” They are not minor in their effect on the meaning of his text.

The first change substitutes for one misleading false statement, a more clearly worded false statement; changes 4. and 5. modify the allegation that Guede had raped Meredith, and that Guede’s DNA had been found in sperm at the crime scene.  Not only are Kassin’s changes by no means “minor”, they are only a few of the many changes needed to acknowledge the true facts. They amply confirm the depth of Kassin’s fall into self-deception.

And in a ludicrously surreal development, Amanda Knox’s 2013 book Waiting to be Heard at great length parotted Kassin’s wrong claims about her wrong claims, the same ones for which she may face new charges.

The Pro-justice Community Takes Exception

TJMK and the two PMF forums and other pro-justice, pro-victim and pro-Italy websites have long explained in Posts and Comments that the Kassin paper containing the 50 or more false or deceptive statements is so contrary to the actual facts as to be sheer obfuscation.

The first TJMK reference to False Confession was a comment by Faustus on Jan. 13th 2009. The first TJMK post questioning Saul Kassin was written by the Machine and published on 10 July 2012.

Since then TJMK has published more than a dozen articles focusing on the false facts and false accusations in Kassin’s presentations, with scores of comments expanding the corrections further. This rebuttal and this one were particularly key.

Aspects of Saul Kassin’s Background

Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Recently, he was listed as in a “phased retirement” as Massachusetts Professor of Psychology from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.

Kassin’s Resume’ also reveals that he was once very aware of the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy, and very scornful of people to whom he attributed-it.

In 2004, C.U.P. published a book entitled “The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts”, defining ‘forensic context’ as any context in which legal questions are raised. Kassin was the author of chapter 8, entitled “True or False: ‘I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.”, in which Kassin repeats the well-known fact that Oppression-Induced False Confession is a real phenomenon, ridiculing other professionals with the quote ’ I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.

Then he describes his own recipe for ‘knowing one’, providing a profile ideal for use by Knox, and FOA, after Meredith’s murder in 2007.

Kassin’s ridicule relies upon what he, himself, describes variously as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy, interpersonal expectancy effect, and behavioral confirmation’. He provides the reader with 6 references to the phenomenon, the first 2 focusing on Pygmalion, as the classic exemplar of seeing what you want to see.

[Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. His statue was so realistic that he fell in love with it. Making offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, he quietly wished for a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. He kissed it again, touched its breasts with his hand and found that the ivory had lost its hardness. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s wish.  Shaw used this story as the subtext for his play ‘Pygmalion’, the musical version of which is ‘My Fair Lady’.]

Kassin’ s Resume’ also records that he served as a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow, working at the Federal Judicial Center .... Dr. Kassin is past president of Division 41 of APA (aka the American Psychology-Law Society).
.
Given these items from Dr.Kassin’s impressive resume’ a reader would expect Dr. Kassin to be professionally knowledgeable in the law relevant to his specialty; Kassin definitely OUGHT to be that knowledgeable.

In “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” readers are directed by Kassin to Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011, noting “personal communications with Amanda Knox, Madison Paxton, and Nina Burleigh”. Consistent with Kassin seeing what he wants to see, his paper contains phrases such as “the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted”. Kassin’s own self-deception seemingly promotes receptivity to deception by others.
 
In January the Nencini Appeal Court in Florence declared Knox and Sollecito to be Guilty-Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt. All that remains is the Supreme Court’s expected firm endorsement.

As we await the Nencini Motivazione report, the senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei has recently announced his findings that many claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito.

Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published a self-incriminatory rant in The Guardian, has also been named, so now seems a great time to refresh TJMK’s reader’s awareness of Kassin’s arguments. Kassin’s arguments were apparently communicated to Hellmann/Zanetti by Knox’s lawyers, and Kassin himself may be liable under Italian Law.

How Saul Kassin Now Plays The Victim

Here are some quotes from an article by the duped Scott Sleek excusing Kassin’s serial framings and obfuscations in “Why Confessions Trump Innocence”:

“…He noted [now begin Kassin’s obfuscations:] that Knox had been immediately identified as a suspect and presumed guilty, confessed after three days of denials and interrogations, and did not have any attorney present when undergoing questioning.”

TJMK readers know very well that the above précis is an outright falsehood. That is not what took place.

In his defence Kassin also claimed: “I used it as an example, not realizing the depth of a couple of Amanda Knox hate groups that track professionals who support Amanda Knox.”

WHAT mere example? Actually Kassin placed his framing and wrong facts front and center, again and again and again. WHAT professionals support Knox? And the real professionals posting and reading here handily exceed Kassin’s pay-grade.

Kassin also claimed that the hate emails he received, and the blog posts criticizing him, didn’t focus on the science itself, but on his motives for analyzing Knox’s case. In essence, the attacks were personal, he stated.

Kassin also claimed that some of the messages he received felt threatening, and included statements such as: “We know where you work” and that a few bloggers wrote posts lambasting Kassin’s integrity, in one case even calling him a “shill”.

Really? TJMK is as opposed as Kassin to hate-mail. We can correct wrong facts and serial defaming right here. But we also believe that Kassin’s adoption of Knox’s, Sollecito’s, Paxton’s, Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, and other FOA&S’s falsehoods, deceptions, and serial framings of Italian officials was far more improper, biased, and compromising of his own integrity.

The attempt to do real damage begins and ends with Kassin.  And far from not focusing on Kassin’s “science” his TJMK critics have focused sharply on the falsehoods Kassin has used to support his self-fulfilling prophecies. Click on links to past posts above.

The historical trap Kassin has fallen into is that of “Experimenter Expectancy”, or seeing what you want to see [c.f. Chapter 6, pp107-108 Betrayers Of The Truth, OUP, 1982, By Broad & Wade]:

“Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others.”

Having fallen into the very trap Kassin himself had described in great detail in 2004, and recited in his Resume’, a legal background that ought to inform him that he was entering a potential legal minefield, Kassin proceeded, in writing, to satisfy the common-law definition of Defamation-Malice [making false statements, knowing them to be false, or made so recklessly as to amount to willful disregard for the truth].

Under Italian law, if any of those he framed complains, Kassin may be chargeable with a felony.  Kassin’s MO does entail defaming the conduct of Italian Police, and Prosecutors. He has adopted many falsehoods. There is good reason to bring his integrity into question.

His best course now would be to publicly withdraw all the many versions of his false claims. And, finally, apologize to all those he framed and the real victim’s circle,

[Everything in this post applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]


Friday, March 14, 2014

On Saul Kassin: Our Letter To Dr Douglas Starr Who Wrote An Effusive Profile In The “New Yorker”

Posted by Peter Quennell





Dr Douglas Starr
Co-director of Science Journalism Program
Co-director, Center for Science & Medical Journalism
Professor of Journalism
College of Communication
Boston University


Dear Dr Starr

We would like to take issue with your article “The Interview: Do police interrogation techniques produce false confessions?” in the Dec 2013 New Yorker.

Specifically the effusive passages on the New York psychologist Saul Kassin. Dr Kassin was a hired gun in the annulled 2011 appeal of the Amanda Knox case in Italy. In our assessment he has widely conflated the defense’s (spurious) position he was paid for with an objective academic analysis.

Our posting community consists of professionals in legal and criminal-science fields, and we have quite detachedly uncovered over 50 false claims in Kassin’s widely-promoted papers and TV and conference appearances.  The presumed intent of those was to spark more paid court business and more academic advancement.

Amanda Knox was confirmed guilty for lying about her so-called confession a year ago by the Italian Supreme Court, and her sentence of three years was confirmed. This is the same “confession” Kassin builds huge castles upon, the false accusation which had placed an innocent man in jail for three weeks, during which time Knox never recanted.

So exactly what is left standing of Kassin’s position today is hard to discern. However, instead of exposing him and chastizing him, your New Yorker piece seems to have set out without due caution - no buyer-beware - to make your readers respect and associate with him.

This matter isnt over in Italy, because those many framed by Kassin are unhappy about baseless claims of illegal acts presented at a global John Jay College conference and many other forums and tv shows. Any one of those who feel impugned can trigger a felony investigation for poisoning American opinion in an attempted obstruction of Italian justice. Out of which, Kassin might find himself fighting charges incurring possible prison time.

If credible crime experts here in the United States such as yourself now come down in support of those falsely impugned in Italy, and in rejection of Kassin’s categoric false claims, it might assist to defuse a tense and ugly situation, and might keep Kassin’s legal troubles to a minimum. We dont speak on behalf of the officers framed in Italy but we might have some sway as we accept no payment from anyone and are widely trusted there. 

We would like to ask you to read these various posts explaining where Kassin went wrong, particularly the fourth one, and then decide what you might like to do. It would be good if this could include inserting an addendum into the New Yorker explaining that due caution should be observed toward Kassin’s claims.

If it would help I will need to be soon in Boston and could sit with you. I can also suggest several experts that you might like to consult with.

Kind regards

Peter Quennell
Editor True Justice
Biography

[Everything in this letter applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above and below: several of over 100 car bombings Italian police and prosecutors were killed in]

1. On The Pro-Justice Side…

This puts the faux Nencini “end-of-civilization-as-we-know” crisis into some sensible context.

The Italian system doesn’t exactly come out badly compared to say that of the US. Surprise, surprise: See here who agrees.

Comparatively speaking, Italy has a much lower crime rate than the US, a much lower murder rate, a highly professional un-elected police hierarchy, a much smaller court system, and a miniscule number of prison cells.

The mafias are now mostly backed into small pockets..

For reasons to do with Italian history pre-WW II the system keeps politicians very much at arms length.

Almost every other justice system in the world comes under the Prime Minister’s or equivalent’s control, and it his or her party that appoints the judges. The Italian system comes under the separately-elected and non-partisan President of the Republic.

All judges and all prosecutors follow a career path laden with checks and balances, learning exercises and tests. (At this the highly-competent and impartial Dr Mignini excels and he will soon be the attorney-general of a region.)

The system is extremely pro-defendant - probably the most pro-defendant in the whole world. See this article and this article for proof.

The number of Italians who are in prison at any one time is proportionally only about 1/5 that of the United States. Take a look.

It is not like everyone in Italy is impatiently waiting for the fatuous posse of Preston, Heavey, Fischer & Moore to turn up and save them from themselves. There is no problem there.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi) who reported for us on the Cassation and Nencini appeals has assembled these facts on what the Italian population actually thinks. 

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.

(My source is “Rapporto Italia 2012” by EURISPES). 

More evidence of this popularity.  And even more.

2. On the Anti-Justice Side

In the past decade both corrupt politicians and the mafias have been remorselessly rolled back.

The Perugia Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2010 rebuilding following a huge earthquake.

The Florence Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the contracts for the high-speed rail links that pass through Florence and on.

But attempts of corrupt politicians and others to meddle in this case go on and on and on.

Knox and Sollecito may think it is for pure love of them. Think again. There are unsavory parties on the anti-justice bandwagon who if it suited them would disappear Knox and Sollecito in the blink of an eye.

Politics played a part in ex-MP Rocco Girlanda, a Berlusconi poodle, accessing Capanne Prison multiple times to slobber over Knox. As a member of the Justice Committee under former Berlusconi-party MP Giulia Borngiorno’s sway (hows THAT for a conflict of interest?) Girlanda (1) petitioned the President for Knox, (2) tried to cut the national police wiretap budget, (3) tried to get Perugia prosecutors investigated, (4) repeatedly appeared on TV and in other media to make false allegations, and (5) chaired several US/Italy “liberation” meetings.

Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has been wearing her member-of-parliament hat to stir up the (essentially toothless) Ministry of Justice against Judge Nencini. And to try to get the Council of Magistrates to give her client a break (Good luck with that - they wont move.)

The mafia backseat drivers (known about in Italy but not reported in the US) are there in a minor but pervasive way. Their roles were summarised in several places including this post here.

It is odd, to say the least, to see such self promoting reformers of the Italian system as Preston, Heavey, Fischer and Moore happily carrying water for the mafias.

So What We May Expect

Judge Nencini is a seasoned mafia fighter, and he is also a seasoned fighter of politicians who are corrupt and try to bend the system their way. But his record is very clear. Attack him for murky end - and he does not exactly back down.

From the point of view of Sollecito’s prospects, this faux storm looks like another huge wrong move.


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