Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Council Of Magistrates In Effect Shrugs At Judge Nencini Answering Loaded Question Of A Reporter

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Cassation judge Antonio Esposito who just faced down a similar complaint to the CSM]

The only ones pushing for the CSM committee hearing today and maybe another one at Cassation were Giulia Bongiorno and a few political friends.

Everybody knows she has once again lost very big and once again is snakily trying to demonize the court rather than gracefully moving on.

The final vote of the full CSM will be announced next week, but it seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will shrug and move on.

Judge Nencini explained himself well for one hour (with his wife, also a judge, present) and probably no magistrate on the Council would have acted so differently, given that the michievous reporter had been asking if the killing of Meredith happened simply because the three had nothing better to do.

Maybe some of the magistrates were thinking “So Bongiorno didnt put Sollecito on the stand? Hmmm, she KNOWS of his guilt only too well”. There is no mood among them to to see the defiant Sollecito who has slimed the system and slimed a much admired judge use a loophole to get himself off.

Jools explained the context of today’s hearing several weeks ago and translated one of the media reports for us today.

Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM

Inquiry over post-conviction press statements

Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.

In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down. But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.

As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased. One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.

The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse. He also denied saying the murder was the result of ‘‘kid’s play’’ gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito’s defense strategy.

The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official. The consensus seems to be that Nencini’s statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said.  Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.


Pity He’s so trusting.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 03/12/14 at 07:37 AM | #

Was there also something to the effect that it was unfortunate that he was caught in the corridor, but there were no plans to ‘alter the environment or layout’?

And that the same unintended encounter had also occurred with at least one other judge/case, and so the reaction had to be consistent?  Perhaps my Italian isn’t good enough!

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 03/12/14 at 09:26 AM | #

Hi SeekingUnderstanding.

Yes there has just been a similar process on Judge Esposito of the Supreme Court and it was also in part politically inspired, also by the Berlusconi faction.

It ultimately resulted in no action against Judge Esposito by the CSM with the blessing of the ECHR in Strasbourg which the Berlusconi faction appealed to.

(For anyone interested in Amanda Knox’s prospects if the ECHR doesnt simply reject her appeal that document is worth reading; it confirms what our lawyer-posters have been saying about the EHCR being about 100% unlikely to take her side against Cassation.)

Judge Hellmann spoke out too of course, twice in late 2011, right after the verdict.

What he said about his appeal finding on the two was disturbing and widely reported. He showed his ignorance of the required narrow cope of appeals and his illegally wide scope was in part what Cassation shot him down for

That also was far more serious than Judge Nencini’s vanilla correction of the reporter.

But no complaint from Bongiorno then, perhaps because she thought she had a not-guilty verdict in the bag and doesnt understand Cassation - she has never won at that level; did Francesco Sollecito know that?.

None of this could have affected the Florence appeal outcome or legitimacy. So why do it, apart from political points? Especially in light of those two prior incidences?

My guess is because RS faces MORE trouble soon for the calunnias in his book which Bongiorno should have prevented. So some pre-emptive grandstanding for the clients.

Maybe Francesco Sollecito having seen her flame out once again now replaces her with someone who is not a hothead and can win something for RS on a level playing field.

For the sake of Meredith’s family and all those others he has hurt, though, we hope he gets the max on all counts. Gee thanks Bongiorno…

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/12/14 at 11:22 AM | #

I hope the above meets with Yummi’s and Popper’s approval! They are amazing on this stuff.

Kermit and James Raper gave us excellent explanations of the prospects for Knox at the ECHR in Strasbourg:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/12/14 at 12:30 PM | #

I wish for the best outcome for excellent Judge Nencini, an honest man who spoke no wrong even in the middle of an ambush. “The sky is blue” can be misconstrued by one’s enemies.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/12/14 at 10:08 PM | #

Funny thing. Having nothing better to do I went on Ground Report and tried politeness. Also I pointed out where the Knox supporters could find the real evidence not the lies put forward by Moore and accompanying sleaze. Guess what it was deleted, since any countervailing point of view is shot down with ridicule and insults. Sad really since that’s all they have.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/13/14 at 07:20 PM | #

Judge Nencini hadn’t learned today the famous statement used so often in the USA “no comment”.  It’s too bad.  The article you posted makes it sound more serious than how you portrayed things. 

I think his statement has been so completely misconstrued though.  He said, as far as I know, given the evidence it was clear that RS was there at the time of the murder, but that RS did not get on the stand to clarify what really happened that night, and to explain in which way and to what extent he was involved, and was not saying that RS would have been found innocent of everything by being available for cross-questioning. 

But perhaps he would have received a lighter sentence if RS could have provided more evidence that he only came for the clean-up?

Posted by believing on 03/13/14 at 10:05 PM | #

Hi Believing

Worry not. We portrayed things based on some emails and other reporting which appeared later than that reporting and especially on the context, the precedents, that are linked.

Nencini didnt say as much on RS as you suggest, and he had made a similar remark when RS spoke in court, that he would like to hear more.

He was a bit like Massei in looking for special circumstance to mitigate the sentence but was handed none by Bongiorno who was off on her anti-court hobbyhorse instead.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/13/14 at 11:12 PM | #

Hi Grahame Rhodes

Intriguing post about Ground Report in deep paranoia mode. I took a look at new posts here:

1) Most recently there are 2 nasty posts by a deluded William Benjamin of Seattle which rattle on about Italy in the grip of a supposed fascism. He needs to read up on the real American and Italian justice systems.

Also explain why proportionally the US has six times more prisoners behind bars.

2) Nigel Scott is raging again about Italy and the justice system and the ECHR. He also should read the above posts.

He is claiming that Italy has a far worse records of ECHR “judgments” against it than any other European state. He posts that claim all over the web, but in fact it is untrue.

The ECHR statistics show various other countries facing many more appeals.  See here

The left column shows that appeals from France, Russia, Turkey the UK, and Germany all exceed Italy - and in the recent period almost all appeals against all countries were found invalid anyway.

3) Colleen Conroy says that Alan Dershowitz got it wrong and there is NO evidence. Actually she is wrong and Dershowitz is right. She should get to grips with all of these:

4) Bruce Fischer yet again attacks the supporters of the victim. His wife’s family which supports the untalented layabout must be very proud.

5) Karen Pruett tries her hand at misinterpreting Italian law and offers a bizarro version of the Knox witness interrogation. Those claims are dead in the water for sure.

Again, the real interrogation is described here: 

And all the posts in this group explain where Karen Pruett’s nonsense on the interrogation came from:

Ground Report really needs to move on. Owner Rachel Sterne should take no pride in running the most defamatory, hate-filled site about Italy and its fine officials on the web.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/14/14 at 01:13 AM | #

Hello Peter

Yes it’s very strange and sad really. But there you are. They have about as much common sense as the Jody Arias web site ‘Jody is innocent” in fact some of the comments from the Arias site are identical so perhaps they are one and the same. As soon as anyone shows up with a countervailing view, or tries to make some sense out of their comments (A losing proposition to be sure) they are screamed at and called Guilters, because of course the only thing they have is invective and hate.

Their sad little lives must be terrible since they have to face the fact that Knox and Sollecito have been found guilty once more, hence the invective against the Italian justice system. So much for common sense.
Someone asked me if I knew who Harry Rag was, and of course we all know, but they are too stupid to do any reading of their own or, as I pointed out, any research.

They are still Mignini bashing too and it would seem that they believe he is like Wily Coyote living in a cave and laughing with maniacal glee at his latest invention to trap Knox in the disguise of the ‘Amanda Road Runner’ Perhaps she’ll try that one, who knows?

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 03/14/14 at 02:21 AM | #

This criticism of Judge Nencini by the RS, (and no doubt, AK) camp is no more than a desperate PR campaign that tries to clutch at any straw that might get their (thoroughly justified), guilty verdicts overturned.

It should be raised before the Cassation Court during defence submissions and knowing that Court’s proven clarity of thinking, will probably be given very short shrift.

The RS/AK camp has always chosen to target the Italian Court system through a “trial by media” approach - this has singularly failed in over six years, yet there is no sign that it will relent in this ill-advised strategy.

The attack on Judge Nencini is part of that strategy and should be robustly dismissed.

Posted by Mealer on 03/15/14 at 12:47 PM | #
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