Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Token Balance In The Italian System: The Voice In The Court For The Victim

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above: Francesco Maresca with the Lead Appeal Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliol and Ms Comodi]


We have often posted before on the pronounced tilt toward defendants’ rights in the Italian court system.

The Italian criminal justice system is just about the only one in Europe that has not yet adapted to the 2001 directive of the European Court that was asking for equality in criminal trials.

As we can see in this case, the system is extremely pro-defendant.

Police and prosecutors have to jump through a large number of hoops. Judge after judge combs through the evidence. Defendants can get up and talk in court at the nod of a judge without being cross-examined.

Defendants never have to take an oath to tell the truth. Judges in effect have to be part of the jury and to stake their reputation on the outcome of every case, the reasoning of which they must describe in writing.

No-one is conclusively declared guilty until two appeals have been concluded. The second appeal is to the Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome, which seems to be sitting on more appeals now than the rest of the western world put together. Just about all prison sentences of under three years are waived. 

And that is just for starters.  One outcome is a prison population proportionally less than 1/4 that of the United States.

Many Italians feel that this fairness or leniency - call it what you will - has gone way too far, and Prime Minister Berlusconi’s attempts to press the fairness or leniency even further are wildly unpopular.

We posted recently on the tireless Italian campaigner for a stronger assertion of victim’s rights Barbara Benedettelli and she has a new book out on various cases. She has also sent us some background material on the generic issue which we intend to build into a post.

Against this tsunami of systemic pro-defendant bias in Meredith’s case, we really only have the fortitude of the police and the prosecutors involved, and the systemic presence of the lawyer representing the interests of the victim and her family: Mr Francesco Maresca, who practices law in Florence.

Although his English is said to be hesitant - which means the English media don’t usually track him down for any soundbites - he seems to us to be tirelessly aggressive in the court in standing up to the many impromptu interventions of the three perps and the fireworks of their six-plus lawyers.

Here is an interview with Mr Maresca in yesterday’s Umbria Left which was kindly translated by our poster Tiziano.

The lawyer for the Kercher family: Alessi and Avielli contradicted.

“Guede confirms the presence of the accused in the house of the crime. We have heard witnesses who contradicted Mario Alessi and Luciano Aviello.” Thus said lawyer Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the family of Meredith Kercher, at the end of the hearing of the appeal trial of Raffaele Sollecitoand Amanda Knox.

“Witnesses which,” he added “we could have however done without, heard only because it was necessary from a procedural point of view.” Lawyer Maresca claimed, “Regarding Rudy Guede, this person confirmed what he wrote in the letter to his defence lawyers. And to the specific question whether it was an opinion of his, he replied ‘no, it’s what I experienced that night’.

“In my opinion Guede once again confirmed the presence of all three accused at the site of the murder that night. It seems to me the truth of a co-accused already found guilty. To me it appeared absolutely clear,” Maresca concluded.

Another one landed for Meredith by her lone ranger in the court.





Comments

If there’s a heaven, there’s a place reserved for Mr Maresca.

Posted by Janus on 06/28/11 at 10:56 AM | #

6/28/11
Maresca is so tough, he’s Optimus Prime!

from Wiki: Optimus Prime is a character from “Transformers”. Prime is the leader of the Autobots, a faction of heroic Transformers from planet Cybertron who wage battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

Maresca like Optimus Prime is brave, powerful, wise, and compassionate. He puts all his talent to improve the universe around him. Optimus Prime Frank Maresca has a strong sense of justice and righteousness and has dedicated himself to the protection of all life, particularly the inhabitants of Earth; he will battle his foes with unyielding resolve.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/28/11 at 02:11 PM | #

“Lawyer Maresca claimed, “Regarding Rudy Guede, this person confirmed what he wrote in the letter to his defence lawyers. And to the specific question whether it was an opinion of his, he replied ‘no, it’s what I experienced that night’.”

I’m glad to hear that Rudy actually confirmed their presence. I would love to see an English translation of the interrogation of Guede.

In that vein, thank you Tiziano, for translating the above article!!! We are so blessed to have such dedicated translators as yourself here and on PMF!!!

And thank you, Pete, for providing this forum for the real facts about this case to be put out there. Otherwise, with the language barrier, I don’t know how anyone would be able to pierce the PR smoke and mirrors, and get to the real truth about what happened that horrible night in Perugia.

Posted by Earthling on 06/28/11 at 03:22 PM | #

According to the Corriere Dell’Umbria, the verdict is expected around the end of September.

Posted by The Machine on 06/28/11 at 03:43 PM | #

Dear Peter
I read somewhere (and I can’t find it) that Knox confirmed that both she and Sollecito knew Rudy Guede sometime in June and I believe it was 2007. Is that correct please? because if it is then in my book it’s huge!
Thanks and as always congratulations on wonderful work.
cheers Grahame

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 06/28/11 at 08:03 PM | #

I just waded through ‘Lies Our Mother Told Us’  from April 30th 2009 by Miss Represented.  ‘Dancing in the dark: reflections on the lone Wolf theory.’

It’s very long but well worth the effort. Also it proves beyond a shadow of any doubt whatever that all three, Knox, Sollecito and Guede are all guilty. It removes all and any confusion as to motive and how the murder took place including the time line. It explains and takes apart Knox’s statements including her emails and her explanation to the judges under ‘Eyes for lies’

It is no wonder that this has been ignored by the so called ‘Friends of Amanda’ who would hope that because of it’s length it will be dropped from discussion. A great tool to quote however.

Thanks and cheers everyone

sincerely Grahame Rhodes

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 06/28/11 at 09:18 PM | #

Grahame re:

“I read somewhere (and I can’t find it) that Knox confirmed that both she and Sollecito knew Rudy Guede sometime in June and I believe it was 2007.”

Surely Knox didn’t even know Sollecito before late October 2007?

Sollecito may well have known Guede sometime in June 2007, but not Knox, who didn’t arrive in Perugia until September 2007.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 06/28/11 at 11:48 PM | #

Knox and Guede have a lot in common.  Both have admitted being in the apartment during Meredith’s murder, and both deny participating in the murder. Evidence ties both of them to the crime: For example, Meredith’s blood mixed with Knox’s DNA was found in several places in the small bathroom of the apartment, and Guede’s palm print stained with Meredith’s blood was found on a pillow in Meredith’s bedroom. Both Knox and Guede used drugs.  Both were found guilty of murder in their first trials. Guede’s conviction was upheld during two appeals. If Knox’s conviction is upheld on appeal, that will be one more thing she has in common with Guede!

Posted by Sailor on 06/29/11 at 01:03 AM | #

This post (Token Balance) shows that after all Rudy’s appearance did, in fact, advance the case importantly—notwithstanding a certain logical inconsistency in his half-honest, half-dishonest testimony.

Thanks, then, to Peter & Tiziano, our translator of the Kercher’s lawyer’s statement (Francesco Maresca.)

“Guede confirms the presence of the accused in the house of the crime…” Maresca said. “This person [namely Rudy] confirmed what he wrote in the letter to his defence lawyers. And to the specific question whether it was an opinion of his, he replied ‘no, it’s what I experienced that night’... In my opinion Guede once again confirmed the presence of all three accused at the site of the murder that night. It seems to me the truth of a co-accused already found guilty. To me it appeared absolutely clear.”

Psychologically, this is telling & it will have registered with the jury.  Rudy, in a word, told as much of the truth as he could afford to, short of self-incrimination.  And Rudy’s own testimony will have carried that moral value for the jury.

Whatever other lies any of the three may tell, whatever evasions attempt, the truth is out.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 06/29/11 at 07:06 AM | #

At 14.14 today the DNA test report was released:

http://www.tgcom.mediaset.it/documento/23.$plit/C_2_documento_11_file.pdf

Posted by ncountryside on 06/29/11 at 09:25 AM | #

AP - Experts contest DNA evidence at Knox trial

Posted by mojo on 06/29/11 at 09:27 AM | #

Hi Mojo, that is not a very accurate report by AP. Read it and you will see. Only 2 items are in question and this is a small minority of the DNA testing, though the AP implies otherwise. The Italian reports are much more accurate. 

There is no sign of malarky, it was merely hard to say that the proof was conclusive for the knife and bra clasp. Defense experts were invited to ALL of the original tests but found good reasons to be elsewhere.

Post later today after all facts are in. The defenses asked for 33 reviews and got only two. Thirty one conclusions still stand.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/29/11 at 09:54 AM | #

FYI, here’s what the FOA on Huffington Post are saying. Thought the people on TJMK and PMF who’re working on the analysis might want to know.
“The evidence is gone. The experts have been very specific in saying that at no point were correct procedures followed in the collection ­, testing, or retention of the evidence.

In addition, they say that Stefanoni did not interpret the DNA on the bra clasp correctly, i.e. it is not even Raffaele’s DNA”

Posted by Ergon on 06/29/11 at 11:10 AM | #

Steve Shay wrote an article for the West Seattle Herald UPDATE: DNA on knife that jailed Amanda Knox retested, found unreliable

It says the following:

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

Huff emailed the West Seattle Herald, “Great news this morning!! Just spoke with Edda and Chris. DNA report shows NO evidence of Amanda or Raffaele on any of the items (knife, bra). Strong probability of “contamination” which is Italian speak for police planted it . No proper collection procedures were followed(...) Italian press is going berserk over there. Stay tuned.”

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

It is stomach turning.

Posted by Nell on 06/30/11 at 05:05 AM | #


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