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?
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.
Also 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 had her interrupt prosecution witness Anna Donnino, the interpreter, during her testimony in March 2009 to claim Knox was hit, having repeatedly said previously that that was untrue.
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.
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.”
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.
GM: So that would be what you meant by being hit?
GM: Or something else? Tell me if there was something else. You can tell us.
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.
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.
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—
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.
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.
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—
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—
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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, 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.
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