Amanda Knox Lies Again To Get Herself Into Another European Court “But Really, Judge, Its Only PR”

Posted by Kermit



[Amanda Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga (right): “Amanda wasn’t hit, we made no complaint”]

Introduction

This is the first of two posts on Knox’s claim to have sent an appeal to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Last Monday the main event that followers of the Meredith Kercher murder case were awaiting was the closing argument by Prosecutor Alessandro Crini in Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s appeal trial.

Dr Crini’s structuring of the prosecution’s case in 16 points demolished the defendants’ efforts to present the volume of evidence against them as an incredible, long series of mistakes, coincidences and misunderstandings.

It seems, however, that Amanda Knox and her people didn’t want the public to be too fascinated by Dr Crini’s devastating argument.  They really wanted them to be distracted by what can only be seen as an ill-judged public relations move, breaking yet more laws along the way.

Knox attempted to blow smoke over the prosecution’s arguments by grandly announcing “today, my lawyers filed an appeal of my slander[sic] conviction with the European Court of Human Rights.”  That explanation of her PR ploy calls for a close review of her eligibility (here) and her so-called proof (next post).

Knox’s eligibility or otherwise

The European Court of Human Rights, is a supranational European tribunal dedicated to – as its name suggests - human rights.

It is not dedicated to criminal or civil proceedings on murder, sexual assault, theft, simulation of a crime, or any of the other charges that Knox faces.

In fact, to avoid the many unnecessary or spurious applications which hamper real cases getting attended to, the ECHR provides a number of online resources on who may apply and how and why.

One of the first issues that its advice underlines is that it is not a glorified appeals court:





It is strange then, that Amanda Knox claims that her lawyers have “appealed” her case to the ECHR.

Either Knox’s legal advisors are just ignorant (which ones? The Italian professionals, or the American media hacks?) or this is simply a last-ditch Hail Mary action as an extradition request moves inexorably closer.

If the ECHR makes clear that it isn’t a court of appeal, there shouldn’t be any direct correlation between the Supreme Court confirming her as a convicted criminal and her application to the ECHR.

If that is in fact the basis of their application, it will not go far before rejection. In fact, the vast majority (more than 95%) of applications get rejected:

“For a number of years now, and owing to a variety of factors, the Court has been submerged by individual applications (over 130,000 were pending as at 31 August 2010). The overwhelming majority of these applications (more than 95%) are, however, rejected without being examined on the merits for failure to satisfy one of the admissibility criteria laid down by the Convention.

This situation is frustrating on two counts.

Firstly, as the Court is required to respond to each application, it is prevented from dealing within reasonable time-limits with those cases which warrant examination on the merits, without the public deriving any real benefit.

Secondly, tens of thousands of applicants inevitably have their claims rejected, often after years of waiting.” 

It would be a outrageous if other, real human rights cases were delayed due to a Public Relations ruse as part of an extra-judicial strategy to undermine a request for Knox’s extradition.

Other ECHR on-line resources help potential applicants decide if they be eligible to be heard at the Court.

Below, a work-flow chart presents the main steps, including various “Admissibility Criteria”:



[Click for larger version]

A first admissibility criterion

The first Admissibility criterion is that an applicant has exhausted “domestic remedies” in pursuing the recognition and correction of the human rights he or she feels have been abused.

Knox in her application to the ECHR directly relates the Italian Supreme Court final confirmation of her “calunnia” sentence (three years for obstruction of justice for framing her kindly boss Patrick Lumumba as the murderer of Meredith Kercher, thereby throwing off the course of the investigation) to her application to the ECHR.

But what were the supposed human rights abuses suffered? What did she do to remedy them?

The first requirement of exhausting “domestic remedies” means that the rights abuses that Knox alleges she has suffered have been pursued in Italy, and that all possible instances of reclamation in Italy have been visited.

However, as far as the public knows, Knox has not even placed a formal complaint concerning supposed civil rights abuse. Certainly her own Italian lawyers have said they havent.

The US and Italian publics would be interested in seeing her specific claims to the ECHR and whether there is any registration of such claims or complaints with the Italian police or other administrative or NGO offices.

Knox’s needling stepfather, Chris Mellas, stated in April 2008 on a precursor to the PMF discussion forum that a complaint had been filed concerning Amanda being hit during questioning.



[Click for larger version]


However, nothing more has ever been heard of this complaint, which definitely would have been a starting point for pursuing domestic Italian remedies to the claimed rights abuse.

Since it appears zero rights abuses have been pursued in Italy, and the date of Knox’s application to the ECHR is in effect unrelated to her “calunnia” sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court, the six month limit beyond national remedies related to the rights abuse for applying to the ECHR is irrelevant here.

It should be noted that when Prosecutor Crini asked this week for an addition to Knox’s confirmed sentence for “calunnia”, adding another year to the three years already served by the convicted criminal, this is not a reopening of the “calunnia” case or an example of “double jeopardy”, but rather the reassessment on appeal of a separate, pending issue related to the basic calunnia charge: whether it should include an additional year of sentence for being aggravated.

Since this aggravation addition to the charge is awaiting determination, and follows from instructions of the Italian Supreme Court (and could result in an additional year in prison), it is not part of the prior, confirmed sentence.

A second admissibility criterion

Now just in case Knox or her lawyers would like to allege any perceived human rights abuse whatsoever in their ECHR application, the Strasbourg court insists on the reclamation in question being directly related to one of the sections of the European Convention on Human Rights

I’ve gone through it and I see chapters related to illegal detention (detention permitted only following arrest) and torture, but nothing related to getting cuffed on the back of your head.

If such an event ever occurred, it shouldn’t have, but quite likely one of the other authorities or rights bodies listed by the ECHR may be better equipped to deal with it.

This is a second Admissibility Criterion that filters out many applications: one can’t simply run to the ECHR saying “my rights have been abused” – the issue at hand must be directly related to the European Convention on Human Rights.

I seriously doubt the “hitting” event ever occurred because Knox’s own Italian lawyer Luciano Ghirga denied it, stating to the Press on 21 October 2008:

Amanda wasn’t hit. There were pressures fom the police, sure, but we never said she was hit.

As our next post here on this same subject will show, even Knox herself admitted she was treated well. 



[Above: Amanda Knox’s Italian courtroom lawyer stating to the Press in 2008 that she had not been hit.]


If Knox hasn’t even tried to remedy being allegedly hit in Italy by suing or making formal complaints, nevertheless the Italian police certainly have acted upon such suggestions.

A number of legal processes are under way against Knox and her family members for slander and calunnia. Knox might face two more charges of aggravated calunnia. Why do I doubt that Knox has even mentioned those other legal processes in her application to the ECHR?

Those charges would of course have to be taken care of (as part of “exhausting domestic remedies”) before the ECHR would be able to consider her application, assuming it surmounted all of its other shortcomings to get to the ECHR judges’ hands.

A third admissibility criterion

Another Admissibility Criteria is the “Significant Disadvantage” filter. If an alleged rights abuse is minimal – compared to the very serious issues that the ECHR was created to consider – the application will go no further.

The only violent description of Knox’s alleged beating was given by her stepfather, Chris Mellas: “She was interrogated, and hit, and threatened,” he typed. “Tortured.  Physically and mentally”.

However, there was never any medical or forensic notification of such “torture” before or after her incarceration in Capanne Prison.

Rather, Knox spent her time in prison receiving regular visits from a lovelorn Italian politician who befriended her, and participating in prison musical and theatrical activities.



[Click for larger version]


In underlying the “significant disadvantage” requirement, the ECHR states in its examples of rejected claims, that it can’t be distracted by the French driver who lost a point on his driver’s licence, or the Romanian who claims 90 euros from the State, when the Court has real and serious Human Rights cases to deal with such as:

  • El-Masri v. the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Article 3 of European Convention on Human Rights:  Torture and inhuman and degrading treatment during and following applicant’s extraordinary rendition to CIA)

  • Hirsii Jamaa and others v. Italy (Article 4 of Protocol No. 4: Return of migrants intercepted on the high seas to country of departure)

It’s almost certain that Knox has not pursued on an Italian level any remedies to her alleged human rights abuse (whatever it was), nor is there any evidence that the investigation into Meredith Kercher’s murder and the subsequent trials of Knox, Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito were affected in their outcome by the rights abuse.

This is especially the case if the limit of Knox’s human rights suffering is that described by a talky ex-FBI helicopter pilot turned ex-college security guy turned Amanda Knox groupie, Steve Moore.

Moore describes the “frightful” circumstances of Knox’s witness questioning on the night of 5 November 2007 for the couple of hours (perhaps even somewhat less) that it lasted:

No food, no coffee, no bathroom breaks – nothing.





Above is ex-college security man Steve Moore, right, together with PR flunkie Bruce Fischer, left, both flanking “Frank Sfarzo”, a Knox-Mellas family friend.

Francesco Sforza is currently a fugitive from the Seattle courts on two counts of Assault-Domestic Violence, who continues to support Amanda in ongoing Internet blog posts, from wherever he may be.

See below. Click for larger. In purple, my corrections to Knox’s “what-I-want-the-World-to-believe” post about applying to the ECHR.



[Click for larger version]

In conclusion

Between the manifest doubtfulness of the acceptability of Knox’s application to the European Court of Human Rights, on one hand, and the falsehoods and half-truths in her announcement, on the other, why do I get the feeling that the only reason and hope she and her team have in announcing the application (whether really filed or not) is to distract the attention of the followers of her appeal trial from the prosecution’s weighty arguments?

This will have little if any effect on the wheels of Italian Justice, and probably even less on a State Department more concerned with maintaining good relations with European allies while diplomatic challenges occur in the Middle East and Asia, than with a lobby plan to prevent Knox’s extradition.


[Below: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg France]




Comments

“real human rights cases were delayed due to a Public Relations ruse as part of an extra-judicial strategy”

In computer jargon, this is called a DoS (denial of service) attack. If the attack comes from several sources, it becomes DDS (distributed denial of service) attack.

Many people are in US prisons for being unknowingly a part of DDS attack.

Posted by chami on 11/28/13 at 11:52 AM | #

SURELY even the foolish female friends at ABC will see this cynical PR stunt for what it is?

Posted by thundering on 11/28/13 at 02:02 PM | #

Signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights agree to incorporate as law within their respective jurisdictions the rights and freedoms defined by the Convention.

None of the signatories, to my knowledge, actually have separate Human Rights courts. This is not necessary as their existing set up of courts are obligated to take into account the relevant law.

Chris Mellas claims that a complaint was filed the day after the interrogation was “deemed illegal by the Supreme Court”, a complaint which Knox’s lawyers have never once alluded to, or made themselves, either before her trial, during her trial, or as an element in either of her two appeals so far. So I think we can view this claim with a pinch of salt, if not outright disbelief.

So when are they going to raise the issue for a final domestic judicial decision? Or has it implicitly already occurred as a result of the Supreme Court’s definitive ruling on the calunnia conviction in which case Knox’s claimed recent “appeal” to the ECHR is already out of time.

It’s all really just a load of crap; a publicity stunt.

Will it affect and delay extradition? No, because it will be rejected by the ECHR and furthermore I would fully expect that if it was delaying extradition then the Italian government could ask (kindly) for the application to be expedited and the ECHR would oblige.

Posted by James Raper on 11/28/13 at 02:38 PM | #

I see that USA Today has reproduced as a news article, more or less all of Knox’s blog post, simply changing the 1st person usage to 3rd person.

(The state of lazy American media (and others) is deplorable.)

However, in general, there currently hasn’t been too much media echo of Knox’s ECHR ploy. This has angered some of the Knox Entourage Tweeters, who complain the ploy hasn’t got the coverage it deserves.

Posted by Kermit on 11/28/13 at 02:39 PM | #

I wonder who her said lawyers are? Ghirga, Vedova or Ted Simon? We can be expecting confirmation soon?

Posted by James Raper on 11/28/13 at 03:22 PM | #

Hi Kermit

Fine work, very fast, interesting to read and know about, and good pointed comments including from James.

The PR ploy was presumably some weeks in the making. I’d bet it did not involve Ghirga or Dalla Vedova because it repeats a major lie - the forced “confession” - for which they too could have been charged with calunnia/obstruction of justice as they know full well it never happened.

According to Google hits the aggravated calunnia and “30 years” appears to be the big story with legs (3X the hits) which drowned out this story.

My guess is that the new charge + sentence proposal from the prosecution really shocked the immediate Knox circle, who had clearly hoped to be the ones doing the drowning-out. Presumably no happy Thanksgiving (a US vacation day today) for them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/28/13 at 03:40 PM | #

I really do not blame her Italian lawyers. They have done the best they could.

I blame it on her masters behind the scene. They do not have the best interests of Amanda as their first priority.

She should have settled the dues with Patrick and focused on the main trial.

The boy is doing much better.

Posted by chami on 11/28/13 at 04:30 PM | #

Hi Kermit, and congratulations on your well written article.  I can tell you that the Amandii were crowing in their forums about ‘a big announcement’ to come out Monday.

They are so transparent in their ploys, and you can even tell from the language it was written by her PR agency.  I will bet the filing was NOT made by her Italian lawyers, or they would have announced/confirmed it.

I don’t know how long it will take the ECHR to reject an application that never was filed smile but let’s say it was, then my opinion is it will be toute suite, since it doesn’t meet the requirements, as you pointed out.

Posted by Ergon on 11/28/13 at 05:36 PM | #

“My guess is that the new charge + sentence proposal from the prosecution really shocked the immediate Knox circle, who had clearly hoped to be the ones doing the drowning-out. Presumably no happy Thanksgiving (a US vacation day today) for them.”

Although I am sure that most of them know, deep down, that she is guilty, I do wonder whether they have ever actually heard the full sequence of events in this ‘stitched-up’ form as Crini presented it before?

Posted by thundering on 11/28/13 at 05:46 PM | #

Breaking News from Michele Giuttari.
Twitter:
“Today the judge for preliminary investigations of Padua indicted writer Mario Spezi for defamation.
against the writer and former Gides Michele Giuttari inside the book “Reviewed in jail.” The process shall be 15 May 2014.”

Posted by Ergon on 11/28/13 at 06:26 PM | #

@ Ergon,
Thanks. That’s excellent, just news.

It may take much time, but the reality of which side of the Truth each person stood will be known.

Posted by Kermit on 11/28/13 at 07:37 PM | #

From Andrea Vogt Twitter,

” Bloomberg Law on role of alleged trade secrets in #amandaknox defense: “

https://twitter.com/andreavogt

Posted by True North on 11/28/13 at 07:40 PM | #

The PR effort definitely has Curt Knox written all over it. He likely recruited the PR consultancy and, as a company man, his slavish reflex in times of crisis would be to defend “the company’s image”, right or wrong, that would be his role and this is what corporate PR is all about. (Let’s not forget that the term “Public Relations” is itself a triumph of its founders, originally the field was subsumed under the far less honourable term “propaganda”, defined in my dictionary as “ballyhoo, brainwashing, disinformation, hype, etc.)

Mr. Knox seems to bring the same business mindset to his responsibilities as a father i.e, defend the image at all costs never mind if a crisis is pointing up deep shortcomings in parental competence - that idea must never be allowed to gain traction (in Curt’s mind as much as anywhere else) - and deal with any problem as if it was totally “out there”, independent of oneself. This makes it all much easier to handle. The snag is that in this case it merely re-confirms failure as a parent, a failure to put the role as a caring father on at least equal footing to the role as hard-headed breadwinner (is this actually at the root of his divorce from Edda?). In case this seems like Curt-bashing I sympathise with him to an extent. No doubt he in turn was raised without sufficient real care, so that sheer survival became a primary and primal obsession, out-weighing all other concerns. Not unusual, unfortunately, but it’s very sad how early conditioning can stunt lives in this way, passing on down family lines.

There is a tragic inevitability in the way this case has developed but due to the horrific crime the final outcome surely has to be sufficiently robust to cause a heavy dose of remorse/humility and deep introspection on the part of all the defendants and their families.

Posted by Odysseus on 11/28/13 at 08:34 PM | #

I don’t believe that any lawyers have been involved in preparing any such application, which could not succeed on any conceivable legal grounds. If the application has been made at all - which personally I am inclined to doubt - it will fail before it reaches the first hurdle, exactly as Kermit suggests.

It is interesting that Knox does not repeat the allegation here that she was hit, by the way. Her allegations, as listed above on her blog, are that (1) the interview was conducted in Italian, (2) she had no lawyer present and (3) the police did not inform her that she was a suspect. None of these claims is worth anything - the first is true but banal and standard practice; the other two claims are demonstrably false - but notable by its absence is the false claim that she was struck by the police during the interview.

Posted by FinnMacCool on 11/28/13 at 09:20 PM | #

Hi Kermit

Forgot to mention, thanks for your thought-provoking piece - which led to my post.

Posted by Odysseus on 11/28/13 at 09:38 PM | #

Cheers, Odysseus.
Finn - indeed, the non-inclusion of the cuffing/beating is quite a flag. It seems they don’t dare refer to the alleged physical abuse (denied by her lawyer) lest it get her into even deeper water.

However, this makes it harder for the public to think in terms of undefined non-tangible rights “abuses” floating around in the aether, such as being interviewed in Italy about a crime in Italy in Italian and signing a formal statement in Italian because police and courts may need this document. (did they expect the regional Perugia police station to go through a crash bilingualism program to be able to cater to Amanda Knox? Good thing she didn’t ask for her statement to be written in traditional Turkish Ottoman script).

Oh, of course, she complains about this series of slights, even though she had an Italian interpreter who testified she was interested in all aspects of the written version of her testimony, clarifying specific words and phrases.

(rolls eyes)

Posted by Kermit on 11/28/13 at 09:56 PM | #

Hey look, it’s another major PR fail for Marriott & Friends!  Pretty much par for the course; things like being unable to gain any traction whatsoever with that US Congress publicity stunt and now this obvious ECHR hype.

What a major embarrassment for a guy who maintains an office in Washington DC presumably in hopes of attracting serious clients.  The Amanda Knox debacle can only serve to drive the honest clients away in droves.

Can’t wait for Part 2, Kermit!

Posted by Fly By Night on 11/28/13 at 10:02 PM | #

Although it’s well known it bears repeating that Knox told the court during her own testimony that the police did not provide her with Patrick’s name:

————-

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.”

————-

Case closed.

Posted by Stilicho on 11/28/13 at 11:06 PM | #

@Stilicho

Normally yes. Unfortunately Knox and company keep on as if every moment is an opportunity for a new “best truth”, so whatever went before is of no concern except for stupid pedants who insists on only one truth. God help us.

Posted by Odysseus on 11/28/13 at 11:25 PM | #

Beautiful post Kermit! You were very quick and very clear.

Personally I don’t believe any complained to the ECHR was lodged on Nov 25, because that would be beyond the terms if the proceeding of reference was the calunnia conviction.

The conviction for simple calunnia has become final more than 6 month ago, and there is no further legal step beyond the publication of the Supreme Court report from which you could count time. So there is no way: a submission to the ECHR would on Nov. 25. 2013 about that proceedings would be inadmissible.

Moreover, Knox’s lawyers were in Florence on Nov. 25.
The claim about an ECHR submision is a lie.

Which is telling about the current strategic status and options of the pro-Knox side.
It is also telling about ethics of alleged Anglophone news sources reporting about it or pasting it without any verification.

By the way, no news about a complaint to the ECHR has been reported by any media source in Italy as far as I know.

Posted by Yummi on 11/29/13 at 01:16 AM | #

I see that Erin Burnett on her CNN program ‘Outfront’is going to interview Anne Bremner who is appearing for the defense while someone else is supposedly appearing for the prosecution.

In light of these latest developments this should be interesting. Hopefully anyway. I just wonder what she will come up with in order to bolster her argument, but I suspect more of the same drivel.

Interestingly though as more people gain insight into Knox twisting in the wind her ground base of support seems to be dwindling. There are however some idiots around who somehow believe that Mignini is the only judge in Italy and place all the blame for Knox upon him.

I even read that some people believe that there were breadcrumbs upon the knife thereby proving it was not the murder weapon since it had not been washed. The stupidity of her supporters is mind boggling.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/29/13 at 01:20 AM | #

For those of you who ask whether Amanda Knox’s lawyers really have submitted an application to the ECHR, I ask the same question.

It would seem there has been only one news report on the matter - from AP - which is almost verbatim from AK’s blog.

Where was Amanda Knox on Monday and Tuesday when Crini was ‘stitching together’ the full sordid story in such a clear and ‘seamless’ manner?

Was she busy in class?  All day?

Or was she maudlin at home alone and actually following Yummi’s excellent and informative tweets - or receiving feedback from Vedova and Ghirga?

The announcement made on her blog does come across as a rather petulant reaction to an inexorable denouement and a desire to divert attention from it.

Posted by thundering on 11/29/13 at 05:35 AM | #

Excellent post as usual, Kermit.

I think that from a legal point of view, whether she submitted the ECHR complaint or not is largely irrelevant, since it doesn’t seem it has any potential to pass the first selection stage.  So submitting it would be basically equivalent to not submitting it, as far as actual results go.

From a PR point of view, it has the potential to be an extremely harmful move. 

If she did submit it, the inevitable rejection will not help her case (although it will be amusing to see the ensuing Groupie rage against the corrupt and medieval ECHR, which is quite obviously under Mignini’s control). 

If she didn’t submit it, it will eventually become known and she will be once again exposed as a liar. 

It seems to me that this little publicity stunt,  meant to divert attention from court proceedings, was not worth the risk, and I wonder if she was poorly advised or decided to take matters into her own hands. 

Somewhat unrelated, I also wonder if she’s been paying attention to Dr. Sollecito’s recent remarks.  I may be wrong about this, but I sense that he’s been coming to terms with the fact that, at this point, there is not much he can do to help Raffaele avoid jail time.  It could indicate that his defense may attempt to lessen his sentence even without a confession, which I don’t think can be accomplished without inducing the Court to view Knox and Guede as the main agents.  They must have realized by now that placing the guilt on Guede alone has little chance of success.

I am not at all optimistic about Raffaele producing a confession.  That boat has sailed a long time ago, before his book and publicity tour.  He’s placed himself in a situation where confessing would attract considerable wrath from those who have been supporting him (financially and otherwise), although, in all fairness, it’s not Raffaele’s fault that they were unwilling to think rationally about the situation.  It would make him look like a consummate liar and remorseless murderer who attempted to profit from his crime.

Had he kept a low profile, he could have maintained that he had a lesser involvement in the crime and that his denials were meant to protect Amanda.  But given how public his innocence campaign has been, it’s obvious that he was attempting to protect more than Amanda.  Due to these circumstances, I don’t think that a confession minimizing his involvement would make the Court particularly sympathetic to him.  He might get a slightly reduced sentence, but probably not by much.  Knox, on the other hand, could be facing a life sentence. 

I’m quite interested in Bongiorno’s upcoming remarks for this reason.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/29/13 at 08:22 AM | #

I seem to have completely missed out on Dr. Sollecito’s recent remarks.

What has he been saying exactly?

Posted by thundering on 11/29/13 at 11:11 AM | #

I find the ECHR publicity repellent.
It is further indication that Knox regards the evasion of justice as a mighty game.
Respect for Meredith’s human rights - the right not to be abused in her own home, and her right to live - would be in order, and are far more important.

Thank you Kermit, and others - Yummi - for the clarity, as ever.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/29/13 at 11:31 AM | #

BREAKING NEWS: As expected , Raffaele Sollecito has left Italy to fly to Paris, probably en route to the Dominican Republic.

Andrea Vogt report: http://thefreelancedesk.com/front_featured/amanda-knox-appeal-2/

Posted by Ergon on 11/29/13 at 04:17 PM | #

@Thundering

After Crini presented his arguments, Dr. Sollecito was asked for a reaction. He gave a pretty absurd answer, saying he expected something different.  While no one can tell what on earth he could have been expecting, I think he was shocked by the clarity and logic of the arguments presented and probably realized that it will be extremely difficult for the defense to present a more compelling narrative.  Maybe it’s not as important as I think, but my impression was that Crini’s presentation had a significant impact on him.

Then, when asked if he was expecting an acquittal, he said something which is a bit difficult to translate, but which (in spirit) I’d say amounts to “I wouldn’t presume/I don’t want to be presumptuous about it.” It could be mock humility or simple diplomacy, but unlike Raffaele, I don’t think he’s unintelligent or deluded.  I have absolutely no doubt that he knows that Raffaele was involved, even if Raffaele never told him the whole truth.  He also knows that what he’s been doing so far can’t be described as defending Raffaele’s innocence, but clouding matters and perverting the course of justice in order to help his son get away with murder.  I think he realizes that there is only so much one can do when facing a system in which every decision is subject to review and approval.  His influence obviously doesn’t extend to the Supreme Court, which found Hellmann’s reasoning and interpretation of the law fundamentally flawed.

Unless he has another Hellmann ace up his sleeve (which he might, for all we know), he would have to be borderline irrational to believe that this court will issue another acquittal.  In light of this, the defense he’s paying for will have to choose between arguing for complete innocence as before (which I see as a hopeless approach) and focusing its efforts on muddying the waters enough to cast some doubt over the extent of Raffaele’s involvement.  I think the latter would be a more sane approach; even though they will probably lose the war (i.e. fail to secure an appeal), they might be able to win a small battle (i.e. secure a small reduction in sentence).  When you’re desperate and facing 26 years, I think even 24 years looks pretty good.

In any case, this is how I see things, and others are obviously free to disagree.  I saw Stilicho’s comment on PMF when you asked the question there (I was at work, so I couldn’t reply sooner) and it kind of struck me as unnecessarily dismissive. 

Dr. Sollecito is in a pretty difficult position, because in addition to contending with a pretty solid trail of evidence and some astute prosecutors, his efforts to help Raffaele have been hampered by Raffaele himself.  Especially since his release, Raffaele has acted in a manner which I consider self-destructive, between his insufferable arrogance and the dangerous lies he’s been publishing.  So while Dr. Sollecito’s comments are pretty vague, I don’t sense much confidence in them.

I’m very curious about Raffaele’s excursion to Paris.  I have some doubts that he’ll return for the verdict, but he surprised me once by showing up for some of the proceedings.  However, that might have been a calculated ruse to inspire some confidence that despite his recent wanderlust, he’s in fact responsible and reliable (i.e. his father made him show up somehow).  If he’s not in court for the verdict, it means the defense has concluded there is no chance of an acquittal or of a reduced sentence and he’s going fugitive.  That’s the only way Dr. Sollecito could help him, although I’m not sure how Raffaele will fare once his father is gone.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/29/13 at 06:02 PM | #

Hi, Vivianna, Italian news reports say his dad has indicated he will return for Christmas. I have no reason to believe he will not, or fail to be in court January 15. His presence there will be held as a point in his favour, and might well sway the jurors to give a lesser sentence.

But, Amanda’s absence, harms her (and by extension, him) I don’t think he’ll be admitting anything either.

Posted by Ergon on 11/29/13 at 06:41 PM | #

@Vivianna

Sollecito Jr is his own enemy.

I do not know much about the ground reality, but people’s perception is also an important component in real life. He is going to fully lose people’s trust at this rate.

Sollecito Sr is much more mature and measured.

It is no more a case in the court of justice. I believe that many people have already made up their mind.

Is the Sollecito Jr is still living off the papa’s account?

Posted by chami on 11/29/13 at 08:21 PM | #

Raffele’s page from the http://www.gofundme.com website disappeared. Last time I checked the donation was about $20,000 for him, that amount won’t last long anywhere in the world.

Posted by Hungarian. on 11/29/13 at 10:11 PM | #

Extradition treaties with Italy and the USA cover every country in South America. Only Cuba does not have an official treaty. However, Cuba has extradited individuals before thereby creating a precedent.

Of course Sollecito could conceivably go on the lam to North Korea or Russia or China. Perhaps Knox will join him somewhere then they can spend their time blaming each other. Sorry the world is not big enough. Point is, it’s getting smaller all the time and being on the lam is a very very expensive proposition.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/29/13 at 10:29 PM | #

Hmmm If Sollecito is so tied to his family then why spend Christmas away from them? Excuse my paranoia but I smell a rat.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/29/13 at 10:55 PM | #

Hi, Grahame, I couldn’t find an extradition treaty between Italy and the DR, just that it only has a formal treaty with Spain and the US.
http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/business-guide/2005/8/6/3449/FOREIGNERS-UNDER-DOMINICAN-CRIMINAL-LAW

Treaties with France and Italy are ‘undergoing study’, but the Dominicans will informally consider every request independently, as opposed to bundling people out the country, as is doe with treaties smile

Posted by Ergon on 11/29/13 at 11:04 PM | #

Last I looked, himself’s GoFundMe stood at $26,000. Glad it’s down.

Posted by Ergon on 11/29/13 at 11:15 PM | #

Interesting to see, the many ways people can profit from murder.

Book deal not pay enough?

Posted by Ergon on 11/29/13 at 11:17 PM | #

Hi Ergon OK….. Perhaps you’re right. Obviously your research is better than mine. However Sollicitos departure for places as yet unknown, could be viewed as an admission of guilt in particular by the Italian Judiciary. 
That outcome would be indeed very interesting. Even so a limited agreement between the DR and Italy is better than nothing, however we shall see.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/30/13 at 12:13 AM | #

@Ergon - I did read the Italian story about this supposed “vacation” (seriously, how much vacation does he need a year), but I’m a bit skeptical that he’ll return. I’m guessing that the prospect of any jail time is daunting for him, especially considering his evolution from quiet nerdy guy to wanna be international man of mystery.

Posted by Vivianna on 11/30/13 at 01:10 AM | #

AFAIK, RS can legally travel until the final ruling from Cassazione, which won’t be until 2015, my guesstimate, sorry. Also by leaving and returning, he’s saying he’s not a flight risk.

Posted by Ergon on 11/30/13 at 04:51 AM | #

It is very strange to me that people accused of murder and close to a conviction in the European Union can just hop on a plane and disappear to any location they choose. 

What sort of visa do you need to live in the DR?  Surely you can’t just immigrate there with no paperwork.

Or can he be going to the USA to get a green card, to try to link to AK’s team?

Posted by believing on 11/30/13 at 04:54 AM | #

I have checked and found out that in fact some Italian news sources did report about the ECHR submission.
However, they seem to just take the information face value from her blog.

Posted by Yummi on 11/30/13 at 04:56 AM | #

Even if Sollicito became a citizen of the Dominican Republic it’s too late for him since his crime was committed before hand and therefore takes precedence. You can’t duck from prosecution after the fact unless you try Afghanistan or North Korea.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 11/30/13 at 06:51 AM | #

For some comic relief: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/8695780/Mafia-leader-found-hiding-in-air-conditioned-underground-bunker.html

Posted by Ergon on 11/30/13 at 07:27 AM | #

Thank you Kermit. My online time is severely limited, but you know I read everything you write.

Posted by Bettina on 12/11/13 at 01:27 AM | #

@Bettina

FYI

I sent you a message through the site.

Hope you see it.

Posted by Jeff Friend on 12/11/13 at 05:22 AM | #


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