The Knox Interrogation Hoax #14: Dr Mignini’s Knowledge Of Knox “Interrogation” Explained To Media
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. Overview Of This Post
Post #1 includes an overview of the entire series and links to all posts up to this one.
Knox has repeatedly claimed that Dr Mignini was present at the informal summary/recap session led by Inspector Rita Ficarra, the actual purpose of which was merely for Knox to suggest a few possible leads the police might interview.
He wasn’t there, though. And he has repeatedly explained that at the second session ending with a second insisted-upon statement by Knox at 5:45 AM, his entire role was to read Knox her rights, and to advise her to say no more until she had appointed lawyers. (Regardless, she then insisted on dictating that second statement.)
Dr Mignini more than anyone else at the central police station that night developed a complete overview of how the two sessions had proceeded.
THREE TIMES Knox willingly put herself under his questioning (December 2007, January 2008, July 2009) to attempt to shake this. While his questioning was formal, polite and quite mild, Knox’s recollection of 5-6 November was scrambled or devious (some think she and RS were both high on hard drugs).
So by the end of those sessions Knox seems to have made a complete disbeliever of Dr Mignini, swayed few if any in Italy, and certainly did not sway the judges of the trial court or any appeal court.
But few English-language reporters other than Andrea Vogt, John Follain and Barbie Nadeau have interviewed and reported Dr Mignini in depth fairly, and there are a number of English-language reporters to whom he kindly gave time who mangled what he lucidly and fairly explained to them.
In July 2009 Dr Mignini wrote an acerbic email to Linda Byron of Seattle TV to attempt to straighten out her own understanding, and although she seemingly tried to hide it, we captured it and translated and posted in full his explanation.
Highly worth reading.
In mid 2011 a similar thing happened. Drew Griffen of CNN was given a three-hour on-camera interview - and sarcastically broadcast cherrypicked and mangled responses from Dr Mignini. Again we obtained Dr Mignini’s full statement, and Skeptical Bystander posted the whole thing in three long parts, with translation by Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.
Again, highly worth reading.
In the first 20 minutes of the second hour of the interview, Drew Griffen tried to give Dr Mignini a hard time over the so-called Knox interrogation. Drew Griffen was abysmally informed of the testimony at trial we have been posting and had no idea of the substance of Knox’s one interview on 5-6 November or the fact that this was merely a recap/summary session not ever requiring recording.
Dr Mignini had not himself testified at trial, and he led the testimony of others present on 5-6 November very fairly and without defense protests about any bias. And Dr Mignini is not under oath here. However this 20-minute segment is important, for it reinforces that Knox was treated extremely fairly and she had no genuine reason for complaint about it.
2. From Mid-2011 Interview By CNN With Dr Mignini
0’40’’ English question [Translator’s note: These words are in English in the Italian transcript of which this document is a translation.]
0’48’’ CNN: You didn’t interrogate Amanda?
0’50’’ Mignini: Oh, the police interrogated her. I was told about it. I wanted to explain this. I remember that I had gone to sleep and the director of the flying squad, Dr. Profazio, called me, because he tells me: “There are developments; Raffaele in fact has denied what he had said before”. So I went down and the head of the flying squad told me what had happened. At some point they tell us that Amanda has made this statement.
And thus her interrogation as a person informed of the facts was suspended by the police in compliance with Article 63 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure [c.p.p. - Codice di Procedura Penale], because if evidence appears that incriminates the person, the person being questioned as a person informed of the facts can no longer be heard, and we must stop. “Everyone stop! There must be a defense attorney [present]”. And thus the police stopped and informed Amanda, who had placed herself on the scene of the crime and who said that she had accompanied Lumumba and let him in and that then Lumumba, in the other room, allegedly committed a sexual act and killed Meredith. This is what she said.
2’11’’ Then I was called, I was informed about this, I went to Amanda who, I remember how she was, what she looked like, I remember her very well, she remained imprinted in my memory, I still remember then two things about Amanda that struck me at the time: first, she looked like she was relieved of a burden and second, she was like, and this is another detail that was impressive, it seemed as if she was terrified of Lumumba.
20’48’’ Then I, as I had in some way to, let’s say… this police interrogation had been suspended. At that point I remember that… they made me notice that Amanda, because she wanted to go on talking, I remember she had, like a need to. So I told her: “you can make statements to me; I will not ask questions, since if you make a spontaneous statement and I collect it, I will collect your statement as if I were in fact a notary”. She then repeated [her story] to the interpreter, who was Mrs. Donnino, I remember there was a police woman officer who wrote the statement down [verbalizzava], I did not ask questions. She basically repeated what she had told the police and she signed the statement. Basically I didn’t ask Amanda questions. Not before, since the police asked them and I was not there, and not after, since she made spontaneous statements. Had I been asking her questions, a defense attorney should have been there. This is the procedure.
05’24 CNN: She had an interpreter during the whole time?
05’26’’ Mignini: Yes.
05’29’’ CNN: She says no.
05’32’’ Mignini: Look the interpreter was there, when I heard her there was the interpreter. The interpreter Anna Donnino, who is an interpreter for the police; she was hired by the police.
Just like I believe that there was [before], I do not have the minutes now, but yet now this is a fact, it is undisputed that there was an interpreter.
06’02’’ CNN: Amanda Knox says she was interrogated for 14 hours…
06’11’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. At 1 a.m., the minutes of Nov 6th has started at 1 a.m. and I arrived, 14 hours that cannot be, we are really… that’s absolutely impossible. So the minutes were done at one o’clock, then the minutes of the spontaneous declaration was taken at 5.45, it maybe lasted half an hour because no questions were asked. She made her statements; they were translated; then at around 8 a.m., I think, at approximately 8, I drew up the detention order. Thus it is… well, she had been heard earlier, so she had been questioned as a person informed of the facts at around one forty-five a.m. She had previously been heard by a female police officer, but [that’s] because she had gone voluntarily to the police and she reported that, she said things quite relevant to the investigation of Raffaele and was heard by the inspector [Rita] Ficarra. However this [event] ... I was not there, I do not know [about it]. But remember, there are the minutes. Then the minutes in which she was questioned as a person informed of the facts starts at 1:45 of November 6, and cannot have lasted 14 hours ... in no way whatsoever. Then she was arrested at around 8 a.m. or at about 9 a.m. or so.
08’16’’ Mignini: Look, I remember what I saw when I saw her personally, because she said, I told her: “you can make, if you deem it [necessary], a spontaneous statement, because Italian law provides for this. If a person is aware that he/she is suspected [under investigation], may request to speak before a magistrate, it happened many times, they came also to me, and they say “I want to make a statement”. Very well, I listen. If I listen, I wanted this to be highlighted…. to be clear, I listen and that’s all, and I ask no questions, the defense attorney may be not present. But if I ask questions and I object to the facts [of your answers], it is like an interrogation and thus we would need a defense attorney.
09’10’’ CNN: was [Amanda Knox] scared?
09’11’’ Mignini: Well, I recall this feeling that I had in that moment which, [as] I am explaining to you, in the spirit in which I am doing this interview, to explain to you the acceptance [adozione] of our requests [provvedimenti], what was, why the trial went in a certain way. [Translator’s note: The Italian in the CNN transcript is nearly incomprehensible. We have provided the foregoing on a best effort basis.]
09’36’’ She was, she seemed to me like she was uplifted, freed of a weight, and terrified of Lumumba. That’s an impression that has stayed with me, yet I don’t understand. I remember that there was a policeman who was called, from the SCO [Servizio Centrale Operativo] in Rome, who made an impression on me because he was very fatherly. She was crying as though freed of a great weight, and he was trying to console her. I remember there was also a policewoman who, well, she…[missing word?] and I’m sure that.. [missing word?] .. well, all that picture how it was described later… at that moment it wasn’t like that. Right then, there was a situation in which I was trying to console her, to encourage her, because actually we believed that she had told the truth.
11’03’’ CNN: No one hit her?
11’06’’ Mignini: No, look, absolutely not. I can state this in the most positive way, and then, let’s say… I wasn’t there when she was being questioned by police, the rooms are quite far away… you don’t know but I was… it’s quite far, there’s a corridor, and I was with the director, Dr. Porfazio, and she was being questioned in a different place. I also remember that passing through, I also saw Sollecito who was alone in a different room; he was also being questioned, as I recall. I don’t exclude…well…it’s clear that I wasn’t there, but I don’t believe that anything whatsoever happened, and in my presence absolutely not.
11’55’’ On the contrary, there was an attitude of… I mean they gave her [some] ... [missing word?] then she was like, you know, like someone crying from a sense of liberation, as though she had been freed. That was the attitude.
12’51’’ CNN: Why wasn’t there any video or transcript of those hours?
13’00’’ Mignini: Look, that’s, I was at the police station, and all the…let’s say…when I made investigations in my own office, I taped them. I taped them, we have an apparatus for that, and I transcribed them. For example, there’s the interrogation of the English girls, Meredith’s friends, it was all taped. The interrogations of Amanda in prison were taped, and then transcribed, and we have the transcripts of… But in a police station, at the very moment of the investigation it isn’t done, not with respect to Amanda or anyone else. Also because, I can tell you, today, even then, but today in particular, we have budget problems, budget problems that are not insignificant, which do not allow us to transcribe. Video is very important…I completely agree with you that videotaping is extremely important, we should be able to have a video recording of every statement [verbale di assunzione di informazioni] made Because what is said is very important, but it’s maybe even more important how it is said, the non-verbal language. Because from the non-verbal language you can [missing words].
15’14’’ Mignini: It isn’t only Amanda, it’s always like that. But I wanted to say that I agree with him that it’s fundamental, only there’s a problem, especially when the witnesses are so numerous, and in fact just recording, I mean recording the sound, isn’t enough according to me.
15’38’’ CNN: It doesn’t cost much, he says.
15’40’’ Mignini: Well we have significant budget problems, that’s what it is.
15’38’’ CNN: So in the end, you did get a confession. But then, everything that was written in the confession became a lie?
16’16’’ Mignini: But then, there was the fact that she placed herself at the scene of the crime, and Lumumba wasn’t there, together with the three of them, the two of them, but Rudy was there, according to the facts that emerged later. But the fact of having accused…and she’s even accused of calumny in regard to Lumumba, was an element that was very important from the point of view of her legal position at the trial. Why accuse someone of participating in a crime, placing yourself at the scene of a crime? Because with those declarations, she placed herself at the scene, at the place of the crime. And she placed someone there who was a complete stranger to it. Why did she do that? There is one detail that’s particularly significant. Above all when Lumumba was arrested and no one – if it hadn’t been for the Public Prosecutor’s Office that conducted the investigation, and that is mandated to seek elements in favor of the accused, Lumumba would have stayed in prison. But we investigated, and we saw that Lumumba wasn’t involved, that he was the object of calumny and so he was freed and the case against him was archived.
18’15’’ CNN: Was she asked to imagine what might have happened?
18’24’’ Mignini: No, absolutely not. Either you saw a person or you didn’t. I can’t ask someone what they imagine because it would be a question that doesn’t mean anything, that I even don’t understand.
This really does finish our posting of the case for the prosecution on this “interrogation” issue, though at least half a dozen other investigators provided supportive testimony which we have not yet quoted.
Next, how all of the Italian courts up to Cassation concluded that Knox’s claims were unsupported, contradictory, and damaging, and how her three-year prison sentence served was well justified.
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