Thursday, August 02, 2012

Dissecting The Hellmann Report #3: How Zanetti & Hellmann Bizarrely Try Discredit Witness Curatolo

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Stone steps Meredith and all three accused maybe used on the night; left and at bottom, where witness sat]

Under the first post in this series dissecting The Hellmann Report, one of our percipient commenters suggested this:

The next portion in the series should likely be about the witnesses, I hope, and there we can marvel at Hellmann’s discourses on the functioning of the human memory.

Was our commenter ever right!

On page 32 of the PMF English language version of “Sentence of the Court Of Assizes Of Appeal Of Perugia (Presided Over By Dr. Claudio Pratillo Hellmann)” this is written:

The presence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Piazza Grimana between 9:30 PM and 11:30 PM on November 1 was, in fact, reported solely by the witness Curatolo, whose reliability this Court very much doubts for the following considerations.

In the first place, the deterioration of his mental faculties, from his way of life and his habits. revealed by his answers before this Court in the course of his testimony (hearing of March 26, 2011) resulting from his way of life and his habits

Realisation of what Hellmann/Zanetti were “constructively” doing there stunned me. They are exposing both a lack of logic and prejudice against a witness.

A necessary logical preamble to my realisation goes as follows:

    1. Massei had stated that Antonio Curatolo’s declarations have “been established to be reliable” [MASSEI p.358 of 397 [28th of 42 total Curatolo references]].

    2. Hellmann/Zanetti stated that “..this Court does not recognise the statement made by the witness Curatolo as credible… [Hellmann/Zanetti p35 of 95 [5th of 18 total Curatolo references]]

    3. In American common-law appellate courts do not rehear the facts of the case. Appellate courts focus on questions of law, NOT on questions of facts as their trial-courts do.

    The American appellate judges don’t presume to supersede the people who were there, and who watched the witness’s demeanour and surrounding activity, in 4-D (3-D + Time), with sights, sounds, cadences, pauses, pronunciations, intonations, and yes, …smells, in addition to, and supplementing, the 2-D pieces of paper, containing only the words they apparently spoke, but not containing the way they spoke them, let alone the scene before the court.”

    The American appellate judges want only to know whether the law was applied accurately.

    Those American appellate courts overrule a trial court decision only if a very important legal error was made in the trial court.

    In some cases, the American appellate court judges might believe that the outcome of the trial court should have been different, but if no legal errors were made, they will not overrule the lower court.

    The American appellate judges make their decisions based only on legal arguments of how the law should be applied and interpreted.

    Our learned English & Welsh Common Law (E&W) correspondent has explained to us that E&W law permits Appellate introduction of fresh evidence, which could include new evidence re rain and buses, although Massei had already considered evidence on those subjects.

    E&W Law would not have allowed Appellate re-examination of Curatelo.

    4. As we all know, and have discussed in some detail, Italian law is significantly different but Dr Galati is apparently outraged by the conduct and Motivazione of Hellmann/Zanetti.

    Dr Galati has lodged a strongly-worded Appeal of Hellmann/Zanetti’s verdict, alleging that the scope of Hellmann/Zanetti was illegal and that they tried to run a whole new appeal trial.

    Galati indicated in the appeal to Cassation that the Hellmann/Zanetti reveals “contradictoriness/contrariness and demonstrates manifest illogicality in the grounds for the judgement/reasoning report”…

    See also my previous post on the definition of “unreliable” [in the Hellmann Report] with reference to the witnesses Antonio Curatolo.

Although I can identify no specific reference by Dr Galati to the specific issue re Curatolo I wish to address, this one should have been included:

    i. “the deterioration of his mental faculties”, apparently between Curatelo’s testimony at the Massei hearing of March 28, 2009, and Curatelo’s the Hellmann/Zanetti hearing of March 26, 2011.

    ii.Suppose Curatolo’s faculties really did deteriorate during those 2 years; maybe he was injured in an RTA, had a stroke, or developed a dementia.

    What on earth has that got to do with Curatelo’s testimony back in 2009? It’s possible that Hellmann/Zanetti were implying that Curatolo’s “deterioration” was part of a continuum, and that as bad as he was, in their opinion, in 2007, 2009, and 2011, he had been, and still is steadily getting worse.

    If that is their implication they would be committing 2 cardinal errors of logic – the interpolation error, and the extrapolation error.

    Of course, giving their words their plain-meaning, Hellmann/Zanetti could be implying acceptance of the Massei’s statement that Curatolo’s 2009 testimony was reliable – but they obviously do not intend to imply that.

    iii. Maybe Hellmann/Zanetti can get away with dismissing Curatolo’s testimony to Massei “presuming to supersede the people who were there, and who watched the witness’s demeanour and surrounding activity, in 4-D (3-D + Time), with sights, sounds, cadences, pauses, pronunciations, intonations, and yes, …smells, as well as the 2-D pieces of paper, containing only the words they apparently spoke, but not containing the way they spoke them, let alone the whole scene before the court. ”

    I hope not, but with this “deterioration” allegation, there is no apparent (even an inadmissible one) professional expert opinion in evidence, and with Hellmann/Zanetti’s gratuitous cause-and-effect theory: “resulting from his way of life and his habits ”, Hellmann/Zanetti overstep, and reveal their ignorance, arrogance, and incompetence.

    Finality, in Anglo-American common law, is the concept that certain disputes must achieve a resolution from which no further appeal may be taken, and from which no collateral proceedings may be permitted to disturb that resolution.

    Does Italian law really allow this 2-years-later Appeal-rehash of witness testimony and criticisms, on the grounds that the witness’s memories have faded since he first testified? I hope not.

    Isn’t it normal for memories to fade with the passage of time?

    Does that fading justify dismissal of the original testimony?

    A principle of Anglo-American Common Law deeply embedded in it - Finality - would be out-of-the-window if lawyers could just keep repeating their questions until the witness gives them what they want.

Between their substitution of “certainty” for “reasonable-doubt” and their would-be eternal-postponement of finality Hellmann/Zanetti could shoot their legal system out of the courts.

Hellmann/Zanetti’s treatments of Curatolo’s testimony, alone, is a disaster. They should be thrown-out.

Hellmann/Zanetti’s subtext seems to be that Curatolo is merely an ignorant, illiterate, bad smelling, unkempt, dirty, ugly-old-tramp, daring to testify as to what he observed, to the detriment of two knowledgeable, educated, sweet-smelling, tidy, clean, attractive, young, innocent children.

Isn’t it far more certain, Hellmann/Zanetti seem to think, that the testimony of Curatolo is false testimony, and that the false testimony of these charming young children is not really false testimony because the Devil Prosecutors made-them-say-it.

If I analysed that whole section it would be very long.

If you are not yet familiar with them,  you should read in conjunction with this series the posts by one of my lawyer colleagues on TJMK. James Raper, explaining the strength of the prosecution case and how hard it is to challenge legitimately.

See here and here. Also here by another of my lawyer colleagues, SomeAlibi.


[Below: witness said he and perps sat on benches at left; Meredith’s house far left, steps far right]




Comments

Curatolo’s testimony merely provided further confirmation that Knox and Sollecito’s alibis are false and helped establish Meredith’s time of death. Judge Micheli, Judge Massei and Judge Cristiani all regarded Curatolo as a trustworthy and reliable witness. I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary. 

Raffaele Sollecito categorically stated in his witness statement that Amanda Knox wasn’t at his apartment on the night of the murder. Knox stated on at least four separate occasions that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed.

Posted by The Machine on 08/02/12 at 04:30 PM | #

The defence tried to trip up Curatolo on the dates by challenging him to remember whether he saw the pair on “Hallowe’en Night” and produced some disco bus operators and nightclub managers to create uncertainty over the presence of vehicles near the square.

On both counts the defence (and ultimately Hellmann and Zanetti) were content that Curatolo was wrong.

It appeared sometimes that they were running a quiz show instead of a defence and requiring the witness to know the date of the Battle of Mohacs or recite Psalm 119.

(Portions of that might be required reading for the fans of Knox and Sollecito:  My eyes stay open through the watches of the night…)

In his police statements and at the first and second trials, Curatolo was consistent on the key points:  who he saw; where he saw them; what they were doing; when they were there.  He connected the date with the arrival next day of the “spacemen”—an event hardly less probative than the design of the Perugia transit system. 

The placing of the pair together and at the far end of the plaza is also important.  It was not one or the other he saw but both and they were in a part of the square where they could observe the cottage without the expectation of being seen.  They were “hidden in plain sight”.

The defence obviously employed as many distractions as they could but the key points Curatolo made were solid.  None of his claims were refuted by evidence of Knox and Sollecito being elsewhere.

And finally shame on Hellmann and Zanetti for treating a man as shabbily as they did during their questioning prior to dismissing him in their report.

Posted by Stilicho on 08/02/12 at 04:49 PM | #

Curatolo was certain he saw Knox and Sollecito the night before the police were in Piazza Grimana, asking if anyone had seen Meredith.

There were public and sightseeing buses running from Piazza Grimana that night.

The following nightclubs in Perugia were open that evening: Velvet, Tu Candela, S. Andrews, Kristall, Conca del Sole and Full Moon.

Posted by The Machine on 08/02/12 at 05:16 PM | #

It’s better that Hellmann recalled Curatolo, rather than just dismissing the opinion of the lower court as he did for most of the other witnesses.

The pretense for recalling Curatolo, the one that was discussed at length in the defense appeals, was to hear from the bus drivers. What actually happened is that Curatolo was incercerated shortly before his appeals testimony on a drug-dealing charge dating back 2003. This opened the door for Zanetti—not the defense—to ask about his heroin use in 2007. No one asked specifically about the night of 1-NOV.

It seems suspiciously like an ambush to me, with the court as a full participant. Why didn’t the drug use come up before any of the other judges? Why was he jailed suddenly on an 8 year old charge? Why was Zanetti the one to raise the issue, rather than the defense? Why was Curatolo’s lifestyle given so much weight and his actual testimony given so little?

I don’t know whether H-Z abused their discretion in finding Curatolo unreliable. I think they did, but I don’t know Italian law. The Real Truth(tm) is that Curatolo’s story fits Knox’s verbales, dove-tails well with the prosecution’s theory of the crime, and he comes across as credible in interviews with the media.

Posted by brmull on 08/02/12 at 05:22 PM | #

The references to 01-NOV were circuitous at best from H&Z during the appeal.  Curatolo was questioned about the same circumstances as at the first trial and, most importantly, did not change his story. 

Some posters here and elsewhere have argued that Curatolo’s lifestyle has value in damaging his credibility.  Yet this has never made much sense to me.  K&S both admitted to using drugs and she stated as much in her testimony.  Yet a witness that shatters their alibi is—on the contrary—to be declared unreliable for exactly the same reason.

This is contrary to common sense.  If all those who admit to drug use are consequently to be disbelieved then Knox cannot be considered reliable, in her own defence, about anything covering the time she claimed she was high. 

This is certainly one of the quandaries posed by the “got high/can’t remember” BS defence.  You can’t automatically apply it to everyone who has ever gotten high and then claim that you’re still reliable.

Posted by Stilicho on 08/02/12 at 06:37 PM | #

Good point stilicho.

As Curatolo astutely noted, heroin is not a hallucinogen (unlike marijuana) and long-term users like Curatolo are not heavy users. If Curatolo was sober enough to be reading a newsmagazine he was sober enough to be a reliable witness—assuming he was using any drugs at all the night in question, which has not been confirmed.

Posted by brmull on 08/02/12 at 08:20 PM | #

I feel I can’t speak for or against the testimony of Curatolo. But I believe instead the following: first, as a witness Curatolo is anyway irrelevant. He is unnecessary. If he is accurate, he only may confirm already existing evidence. Thus, the first logical mistake (or better tampering with the process) is to charge with a kind of pivotal logical value this piece of evidence, that is what you do when you decide to focus new hearings and court debates on it.

Second, I strongly agree with Cardiol that the Curatolo chapter is one of those exposing Zanetti/Hellmann’s both bias and prejudiced method, as well as their basic lack of logic. In addition, I would say that the logical “mistake” in their reasoning about Curatolo is in fact also a legal mistake.

1) Bias and prejudice is in Zanetti/Hellmann’s assumption of “mental deterioration” without elements (legally speaking, to provide elements to this evidence they should have looked for evidence in Curatolo’s testimony at the first trial, and explain why they think Massei’s assessment about his previous testimony was wrong). For their judgement no explanation is given. Moreover they use unacceptable offensive wording (“barbone” = “bum”) which is also unnecessary and unrelated to the point.

Speculations about his “lifestyle” as the cause are also off topic, because obviously they are judgemental speculation. The whole assessment of the witness is illegitimate and unacceptable. In fact Curatolo’s testimony was logical and consistent, and he showed no sign of mental confusion: instead he showed a social gap, in his style of speaking and education, and Zanetti/Hellmann mainly express a classist prejudice. 

2) The logical mistake is even more serious and exposes Zanetti/Hellmann severely. In fact, even if - hypothetical case - Curatolo actually *had* some kind of mental deterioration, well in this case their conclusion that Curtatolo is unreliable would be: a) illogical; b) without legal basis. Let aside for a moment the fact that this “deterioration” is itself a new term, vague and generic, kind of logical category apparently invented at hoc by Zanetti/Hellmann for the purpose. But the point is that the simple fact that a witness may suffer from any “mental deterioration” itself does not cause the witness to be unreliable.

Legally this is an aberration (witnesses with just mental deficiencies are in fact often reliable). And it does not determine the testimony to be false, especially in Curatolo’s case where the testimony is consistent. In the case of Curatolo, the only possible subtext in Zanetti/Hellmann conclusion could be that Curatolo lied. No “mental deterioration” could produce that testimony by mistake: Curatolo’s organized will and determination would be necessary. The Zanetti/Hellmann’s explanation, “mental deterioration”, is an obviosuly flawed logical presumption in their reasoning since it cannot sustain the conclusion that follows. Instead, only a hypothesis of Curatolo lying could be a logical basis for their conclusion. The needed logical step - possibility of Curatolo lying - is missing.

Posted by Yummi on 08/02/12 at 09:59 PM | #

As far as I am aware Curatolo admitted to being a drug user, and using drugs in 2007, but surprisingly was never asked whether he was under the influence of drugs on the specific evening in question. Why not? It was left as an assumption that he was.

Posted by James Raper on 08/03/12 at 05:59 AM | #

All the three parties are admitted drug users: AK, RS and Curatolo. They are all at the same level!

In spite of lame attempts to explain it away by FOA, AK has shown the greatest amount of “mental deterioration” in all her testimonies.

Curatolo admitted reading a newspaper: this fact has not been challenged or disputed. I consider him therefore an intellectual, unlike AK and RS (who never ever shown any evidence of studying, both being active students) and I value his observations.

He has no incentive to lying.

Stilicho above at 05:37 PM has put it perfectly!

With listening comes wisdom, with speaking repentance.

Posted by chami on 08/03/12 at 11:46 AM | #

This might disrupt the present discussion focussing on the analysis of the error-ridden Hellman/Zanetti report bit I recently came across the following article:

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/897662-meredith-kerchers-father-appeals-to-killer-rudy-guede-for-the-truth

It deals with Mr Kercher´s decision to appeal to Guede to tell the truth about what really happened the night his daughter died since he is already serving a firm prison sentence and no longer has anything to lose.

And this set me wondering if Guede could actually be persuaded to stop lying and come clear. He is in prison for good so this could in theory be possible.

Posted by aethelred23 on 08/03/12 at 11:48 PM | #

@aethelred23,

“He is in prison for good so this could in theory be possible.”

He is apparently the perfect candidate to talk: he was there- by his own admission- and evidence.

He has nothing to lose by telling the truth at this time. Why is he keeping quiet?

The least he can gain by talking is the goodwill from the victim’s family. And respect in his own eyes: I told the truth - better late than never.

I can make only one conclusion: that he has been…

Yes, you guessed it right. He will never talk.

I suspected this in the beginning itself: somebody has to go to jail. Justice must appear to be done! Who it will be?

Poor people are cheap. What is there in a few years!

Money cannot buy love; you can only rent it

Posted by chami on 08/04/12 at 12:46 PM | #

Hi aethelred23,

Its a very common and very important question. Guede has been playing his cards close to his chest from the beginning. One can only presume that he still thinks he has a tremendous amount to gain or lose. He could have testified against his co-accused and been a hero in the eyes of most Italians.

Since we know that Knox and Sollecito were involved, for me the only plausible explanation is that he’s being bribed and/or blackmailed by the defense. If you look at his testimony, his contempt for the defense is obvious, and he will vigorously defend himself against their attempts to discredit him, yet he will not say anything that significantly undermines the power he holds over them.

However this dance can only go on for so long because the benefit to both parties will decrease. It’s hard to say when the turning point will come, but a good bet is when Guede gets out of prison.

Posted by brmull on 08/04/12 at 03:52 PM | #

I see chami has made the same point.

Posted by brmull on 08/04/12 at 03:56 PM | #

I’m not convinced he was bribed nor that he will remain silent.  Moreover I don’ think a bribery could last for long. My feeling is that he was psychologically weak and young. He is a young man with a profound lack in self-confidence.

He did not have any closely related person, nor mother nor father, whom he could trust, this means no strong character encouraged him nor conveyed the sense of responsibility for pulling out painful truths. He wanted to retain at least an innocent “face” to his friends.

He didn’t really have the strength to accept the moral burden of “truth”. He has basically the same attitude of Mario Alessi, who killed a baby with a shovel, but denies it in front of the evidence and with nothing to lose: he is afraid he could lose the only thing he still has – an obvious lie – to shield his non-confident ego from shame and pain.
 
However, there is also another point. A legal one. Let’s not forget he still has a kind of game to play. I try to explain: you must understand that his legal position might be in fact more sophisticated – given Italian law – than you think, and based on this I think that if he decides to talk, this will happen only after the Supreme Court reopens the trial against Knox and Sollecito. Not earler. He will wait the Supreme Court on Knox/Sollecito, he will never talk before then.

This because of the legal effects on his own sentencing: bear in mind he is convicted for “concurring to crime”. He will never be sentenced to any longer prison term for the Meredith case, that won’t be possible never again.  What is possible instead, is that he is released (! –yes I know it’s big) because of Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal, since this would mean his own conviction for “concurring” is canceled by an opposite Supreme Court ruling and this creates a legal basis for him to ask a new trial.

He could re-open the games then by requiring a new trial, but this time – by the law - he would be released meanwhile and thus gain an few years of freedom while he awaits a new definitive ruling.

Posted by Yummi on 08/04/12 at 05:38 PM | #

I disagree with you somewhat, Yummi. Guede could have testified against Knox and Sollecito while maintaining a limited role for himself—in fact I believe he actually did have a limited role.

If Knox’s and Sollecito’s acquittal is upheld, by definition Cassation are rubber-stamping this travesty—sweeping it under the rug—and they will not open a new can of worms by letting Guede challenge his detention.

If they were to do that, they might as well allow hundreds of other appeals, on the basis that the Scientific Police are incompetent. The process would never end.

Posted by brmull on 08/04/12 at 06:23 PM | #

If you want you can take away the psychological explanation and you can put it like this: Guede kept a certain strategy for a while, he maintained he was there but not guilty, as long as it was apparently obvious that Knox and Sollecito would be found guilty, or at least their guilt would appear as likely as his. This strategy is not different from that followed by other murderers who were guilty together with others, like for example Alessi. It was found that Alessi was the one who killed a toddler with a shovel, but there are two accomplishes also guilty of voluntary murder as he is. Alessi (and Guede) knew they would be convicted, but they maintained a “I-was-there-but-almost-not-guilty” version.

Many other murderers did the same, or variants of the same. This happens when there are accomplishes, more than one perpetrator (other egregous example is the serial killer Ludwig).

Even if the murderer knows he will be convicted, knows the “almost innocent” version won’t work in courtroom, yet he choses the adjusted version instead of truth. Even if it doesn’t work in courtroom and for the majority of people, still it may work in some contexts. Like friends or other prisoners who don’t know and don’t want to know the trial details. The slight doubt that may arise from their denial is still useful to the criminal. One of the two pepetrators of “Ludwig” (killer couple) maintains a fictional version even decades after imprisonment and after his release.

This is frequent but happens at the highest rate when it comes to sexual crimes. It happens more frequently among the perpetrators which had a dominant role, but happens in general. Someone guilty of a depravaed crime may decide to never reveal the truth or details of his role. I believe the sexual nature of his involvement in the crime is a powerful deterrent to Guede. This protection of his own self might be rather important in relational contexts different from the courtroom.

Posted by Yummi on 08/04/12 at 07:48 PM | #

I also have to say:

I agree with you brmull that theoretically hundreds of other criminals could ask for their convictions to be overturned on the same basis if the Supreme Court allows this kind of foolish arguments.

Therefore, I don’t think the Supreme Court will accept this later verdict.

But I disagree on the point that they will not open a new can of worms in the (hypothetical) case that the Supreme Court rubber-stamps.

I probably have been exposed to the Italian system for longer. I tell you, they will not have a real chance but to open again new can of worms, if the Supreme Court rubber stamps. There will be no legal option. And, most important, the decision won’t be taken by the same office. There will be another section of Supreme Court for ruling on the revision of a whole trial. And jurisprudence may not allow many other options other than to open a new court debate. In any case, Guede’s lawyer will do anything to ask and push for this option, and untill this option is over he won’t talk.

Posted by Yummi on 08/04/12 at 07:59 PM | #

Some things we now know about Guede.

1) Darkness Descending captured the essence a lot more accurately than the lurid description of a “drifter” and aggressive serial burglar that the gullible and inexperienced Nina Burleigh swallowed wholesale..

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/from_the_book_darkness_descending_the_insights_on_rudy_guede/

2) Guede offered to do a deal with Mignini & Comodi at first trial, in exchange for time off (he was at that point sentenced to 30 years), but the prosecution felt they had a very strong case (as they did, and as Massei accepted, except for making Guede the prime mover) and they would have none of it.

3) Guede has become extremely nervous, in the way Yummi describes, and he was positively shaking and almost speechless during his stint on the stand at the appeal trial. He was put in the sex offenders wing in Viterbo (he’s a sex crime offender, as Yummi points out - actually all three were) which should have assured him some peace of mind but instead (a) he was beaten up there and (b) Alessi set out to frame him. (Alessi was even more nervous on the stand pursuing that - he was physically ill and had to go lie down.)

4) Aviello specifically accused Bongoiorno and/or the Sollecitos of offering payoffs for himself and any co-operative cellmates. The outraged Sollecito defense lawyer said she was going to sue Aviello to show that it was a lie but… where is your suit, Hon Bongiorno?! (Prosecution have had the squeeze on Aviello to tell them more about the claimed bribes - Giulia might be fearful the other shoe could drop.)

5) Someone who had a face-to-face meeting with Biscotti to ask that Guede do the decent thing by the Kerchers and tell all found Biscotti angrly adamant that Guede would go no further than he had already. (Remember his final position was pretty ugly toward Meredith and hurtful to her circle - he claimed that she invited him in for sex and Meredith was attacked while he meditated to music on the toilet.)  Biscotti seemed to have in mind some end-strategy that could have Guede come out ahead - annulment is not impossible, brmull is inclined to doubt it, Yummi less-so.

6) Biscotti might still hope that the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights picks up the appeal he lodged there, though they get tens of thousands of appeals a year and can only take up a very few. He was extremely ticked that Cassation shot down every term of his appeal to them for Guede in very hard language.  And/or Biscotti might hope that Guede morally comes to look not guilty or less guilty or an accidental bystander in the eyes of the world who didnt wield a knife, even if he serves out his time.

[Posted before I saw Yummi’s new comment just above, but yes, as Cardiol is showing, the can of worms (whoever thought that term up?!) does seem set for an official opening.]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/04/12 at 08:00 PM | #

Another thing: you say Guede could have testified against Knox and Sollecito while maintaining a limited role for himself.

Yes I take it as a possibile strategy, but not that obvious. Are you sure it would have been the best? See it from the point of view of Guede.

He could have testified against Knox and Sollecito, but this means, then, Knox and Sollecito could have testified against him. In fact they would have been compelled to do so. Rudy Guede is black, and has no big protector. The two whites are the iron pots. The strategy threatens to backfire. Guede was in a fast track trial this means he chose a position “protected” from their testimonies. 

In the said intimidating condition, given the weaker position of Guede, it was somewhat even possible that a deal could have taken place, but if that happened if happened at that time: lawyers paid in exchange for silence. But not now. A bribery can’t be effective now.

Posted by Yummi on 08/04/12 at 08:20 PM | #

Agreed. They always inclined to push him between them and the fire, and his nervousness has always hinted at threats or supposed threats, not a nice nest-egg waiting for him in Switzerland.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/how_each_of_the_three_subtly_but_surely_pushed_the_other_two_1/

Cesare Beccaria who wrote that series is a Rome lawyer.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/04/12 at 08:30 PM | #

Yummi wrote: “He could have testified against Knox and Sollecito, but this means, then, Knox and Sollecito could have testified against him. In fact they would have been compelled to do so. Rudy Guede is black, and has no big protector. The two whites are the iron pots. The strategy threatens to backfire. Guede was in a fast track trial this means he chose a position “protected” from their testimonies.”

I’m a bit confused about the “Knox and Sollecito could have testified against him. In fact they would have been compelled to do so” part of this. How could K & S testify against Guede unless they admitted they were present at the scene of the murder? Wouldn’t that have backfired on THEM, more than on Guede? It’s the same type of situation as blaming Lumumba, only this time, they really ARE placing themselves at the scene of the murder because they are accusing a person who definitely WAS there.

Also, what’s an “iron pot”?

Posted by Earthling on 08/05/12 at 11:49 AM | #

Hi Earthling

How about “Guede admits to having a minor role but says he had no knife and didnt initiate it and then tried to help Meredith at the end before panicking and disappearing to places north; then apologizes to Merediths parents at the AK & RS trial.” ?

To which: “Knox admits to being in the house but only hearing and not seeing Guede attack Meredith, and being far too scared to intervene, and then doing a cleanup but no more. Sollecito admits only to being at home and hopes C&V will discount the DNA on the bra clasp and that someone Photoshops his footprint” ?

Yeah we know the devil is in the details (or in Filomena’s room) but this is quite close to what they said. And if Micheli and Masssei were Hellman, and if they blamed the drugs, this might have seen all three get off light back at trial. And there might have been no appeals.

Their convictions do owe a lot to Mignini being absolutely masterful at two trials. When the playing field is level, victims and their families could wish for no better than him. I guess an iron pot is what calls the kettle black?!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/12 at 12:52 PM | #

Both AK and RS had top lawyers- they would go to any extent.

Their strategy was always dynamic: decided on the spot based on the current testimony and mood.

It is like a game of chess: your move depends on the move made by the opponent. If you are smart, you will also think about the next-to-next move.

Michael Heavey, the Judge from Seattle, clearly indicated that politicians were also involved. He gave no details. Politicians are known to exchange favours for their services. But when it comes down to the foot-soldiers, they have to be paid, preferably in cash. Certainly foot soldiers were needed and were involved, right?

I think RG told the truth when he mentioned the money. If you are in drugs, you need money- lots of money. Looking in retrospect, it could have been an unplanned murder over petty a sum.

I agree that the scope of any bribery is now over. But if RG talks now, this will also come out. Who wants that? Certainly not the legal fraternity!

I am of the opinion that both lawyers of AK could not control her. They must have surely suggested to keep her mouth shut (that she is doing now) but she certainly did not oblige. Also the publicity was counterproductive in my opinion. The proverbial “can of worms”.

You cannot win the game, and you are not allowed to stop playing.- the third law of thermodynamics

Posted by chami on 08/05/12 at 01:07 PM | #

Hi Chami. Two points about the lawyers back in 2009.

1) Their performance was lackluster at best and at times we thought it really sucked. We were told two of them (Ghirga and Bongiorno) nearly walked. Ghirga was photographed asleep in court, and Bongiorno would disappear for weeks at a time. Only Biscotti and Gentile, RG’s lawyers, seemed to come out ahead.

2) While in theory the defense lawyers were getting all their instructions from their clients (AK & RS) it was the parents and their PR running the show. Doc Sollecito made a beeline for Bongiorno because of her political weight (that was captured on tape). Curt Knox & co wanted to demonize Mignini, inspired strongly by Doug Preston, who Mignini had proved wildly incompetent at the solving of REAL crime. Tension between the Knox-Mellases and the Perugia lawyers was at times intense.

We believe pretty firmly that Bongiorno had a role in edging Judge Chiari for Judge Hellman and getting Judge Zanetti his plum job in Terni. And the American ambassador may have had a murky role.  I agree re Meredith’s missing money >>> payment for drugs, but don’t see huge sums sloshing around in real time to obtain the required outcome. All the “winners” though can at the moment command way bigger fees, and payments for books.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/12 at 01:42 PM | #

Of course they would have to admit their presence, but they could have agreed to tell a story about Guede being the main perpetrator, the black guy who got violent, the one who assaulted the white girl while they were passive or having a minor role, they would advocate in their defence their being scared, passive and partly incapacitated due to the too many joints. In other words they could have changed their strategy from silence to an infamous false testimony against Guede. 

They would have paid a price, that is admitting to some role, as you say, of course, but at that point that would be the lesser price to them – compared to maintain silence in front of Guede’s accusation - and their lawyers might think they would have no choice but to accuse Guede as counter move. Recall that a “confession to minor role” was the very early strategy of Costa, the first AK’s leading lawyer. There was an intrinsic convenience to them in this strategy too, from the beginning, and it was obvious that lawyers took the option into consideration at least in some moment. As Chami says, defensive strategy is dynamic, the convenience of choices changes depending on conditions that is the array of options that the other player’s move makes available. 
   
To testify against Knox and Sollecito it would have meant the risk of making a retaliatory accusation against Rudy become convenient to them. Costly and somehow still risky, but convenient in the new array of options at that point.

The “iron pot” is my clumsy English translation of the biblical proverb from Qooelet (maybe the English is “the iron jar”): the metaphor of attempting to brake an iron vase by hitting on it with a clay vase. If you are a clay pot, don’t get on iron pots, this is it. Guede, a black male and unemployed foreigner with a criminal record and a terribly low self-esteem and credibility, will be a clay jar defending himself from an accusation by the lawyers of two white, wealthy upper-class students one of which is a charming girl and the other the heir of a masonic pillar with political connection.

Posted by Yummi on 08/05/12 at 02:04 PM | #

At one point I felt sorry for Rudy Guede, with his troubled and lonely childhood.  Surely he was damaged by his mother disappearing when he was a baby, and his father neglecting him too, then living with a rich foster family where he never really belonged, and finally drifting about attempting to find jobs without any real education or skills.  No wonder he was into drugs and drinking.  Not too unusual for his age either, to hang around smoking pot and going to discos to pick up women.

I’m not so convinced that the story about Meredith inviting him in was untrue.  She knew him after all.  He didn’t say he went to see MK specifically for ‘sex’  but just to meet up as young people often do after flirting a bit.  I believe he was actually fairly well-known to Knox as a drug provider. She lied when she said they had never been in a room together, because he had been in the downstairs boys’ flat on a couple of occasions, at least, when Meredith and Amanda were there too.  Meredith was a ‘good girl’ but she also smoked the occasional joint and had some drinks at clubs, and slept with the guy downstairs after a short time.  It’s not like she was a saint - she was a normal young woman.  So I don’t think it’s impossible for Rudy’s story to be fairly close to the truth.

BUT I do think he deserves to be in jail even if he didn’t do any violence to Meredith.  I think he did try to take some of her money in order to flee, possibly even called her bank account.  But as he’d been in England before, it’s unlikely he wouldn’t know to call the country code first.  The worst thing of all, the most horrible, is that he left her there to die without calling a hospital or the police, even anonymously before fleeing, so that she might have had a chance to survive.  I guess his own phone had been confiscated, but he could have done something, asked someone else to call in.  I guess he was too terrified about being blamed due to the blood on his clothes.  For this cowardice and lack of humanity then he deserves to be in prison. 

To think that he pretended some real affection for her, but was able to leave her there alone, terribly wounded, is just too awful to imagine.  He may have imagined that Meredith wanted to meet him and went there of his own accord and then managed to sweet talk his way into the house, and then AK and RS came in later when he was out of the living room.  Or they all three came in together.  I’m not sure about that part.  I actually think that his version of the story is pretty close to what really happened but leaving that young girl there to die is just the worst, and then actually going out to a disco to give himself an alibi and possibly to take drugs to forget what he just saw? 

I think he panicked, ran from the house, and then tried to get as far away as possible the next day by hopping the trains, and tried to save himself, but realized he couldn’t go far without money or connections, and then he called his good friend to ask him what to do and to see what was being said in the newspapers.  I don’t think he knew RS because AK had only been with him for two weeks and perhaps they had not partied together yet.  So it’s understandable if he said he saw “an Italian guy, shorter then him, with light hair” and then “AK through the window” as maybe AK was indeed hidden somewhere else in the house, maybe in her own room? at the time RG came out of the bathroom.  I fear we will never know the real truth.  It must be so awful for Meredith’s parents to deal with these unanswered questions on top of the pain of her death.

Posted by believing on 08/05/12 at 07:31 PM | #

To believing:
Albeit theoretically possible in the abstract, an invitation by Meredith, and a seeking of Meredith by Rudy Guede, simply do not fit the array of pieces of evidence when it comes to testimonies.

All Guede’s friends testified that he was attracted to Amanda, and he paid no attention to Meredith. Rudy’s lack of interest towards Meredith was emphasized in his definitive sentencing report.

Testimonies also highlighted how, on the contrary, a striking behavior was Amanda’s flirting attitude, her tendency for the seeking attention of men in an histrionic fashion also in public contexts, and it was a habit typical of hers the one of inviting new barely known men into the apartment. 

Moreover Amanda’s own diaries indicate her own attraction to a black “beautiful” young man in Perugia. 

Witnesses have also testified that in fact it was Amanda the girl Rudy “hang” to in conversation as they met at the downstairs boys. 

We can also consider in addition that Meredith told her friends she intended to go home and stay alone, to relax and go to bed early because she was tired: she did not appear feeling like inviting again more company that day. 

So,  theoretically possible but it is not what the elements are pointing to.

Posted by Yummi on 08/05/12 at 09:11 PM | #

True. We have no report of Guede ever flirting with Meredith (or of dropping in at her flat, announced or unannounced) and we have a pretty clear idea of who Meredith liked. Guede wasnt on that list.

In addition to this and the points Yummi made, I’d add that it was not Meredith’s idea to go home at that precise time, it was Sophie Purton’s (she lived just above), and so Meredith came along with her then.

Sophie didnt know Meredith before Perugia but they had become exceptional friends and almost read one another’s minds. It was overwhelmingly clear to Sophie that Meredith was going to do a little work, and then go early to bed.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/12 at 10:12 PM | #

To believing:

Guede obviously did know RS, at least somewhat; there’s a key clue in his (RS)diary after Guede’s capture. 

Instead of being overjoyed that the ‘one and only killer’ has been caught, RS instead is seen to be panicking that RG would attempt to pin the blame on him and make up things.  Obviously Guede would be unable to do that if he and Sollecito had never met.

Posted by Rocket Queen on 08/06/12 at 07:36 AM | #

Pete has just shown me a draft English translation of Galati’s Appeal to Cassation by the great PMF team.

It more or less pre-empts our 1st three “Dissection…” Posts, and sets-up what may be a Final “Dissection…” Post.

Reports of Galati’s outrage are not exaggerated.

Galati’s Appeal is a Bombshell, transforming our previous perceptions of the Hellmann/Zanetti proceedings; they’re much worse than even we thought.

Our previous perceptions were based on incomplete information. Galati had information we did not have. That information was deliberately excluded from the Hellmann/Zanetti proceedings.

Galati’s information describes selective exclusions from Aviello’s testimony. 

What was excluded by Hellmann/Zanetti is highly indicative of AK/RS’s guilt.

The selective exclusion of this damning evidence is so improper that if it was done by U.S. Judges they might well be Impeached & Convicted for crimes committed as Public Officials.

Galati’s Appeal discusses, in a document better-informed than ours, all the issues we have discussed, including complex legal issues of Circumstantial Evidence.

My favourite last-word on Circumstantial Evidence goes:

Subject: Defendant is pleading Not Guilty of biting-off Plaintiff’s ear.

Q. to plaintiff’ witness:

Where do you get the gall to come into this court to testify against my innocent client, in front of these good-people of the Jury, when by your own admission you never saw my client commit this heinous alleged ear-biting crime?

A: I saw your client spit it out.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/06/12 at 09:04 AM | #

Galati’s appeal is the best case-related legal document bar none. He has a comprehensive and encyclopedic knowledge and understanding of Italian law and explains in a very clear and matter-of-fact way why Hellmann has violated the Italian Criminal Procedure Code on a number of occasions.

The biggest bombshell in the report is the details concerning the sample of human DNA that Conti and Vecchiotti extracted from the blade of the knife. Professor Novelli testified that it’s possible to analyse LCN DNA traces with totally reliable results. There is enough DNA for more than one test.

Using cutting-edge technology, forensic scientists can extract, amplify and attribute DNA with 10-15 picograms of DNA. Conti and Vecchiotti extracted approximately 100 picograms. Judge Hellmann and Judge Zanetti made a basic error in regarding cutting-edge technology as being experimental.

Galalti’s appeal will give Meredith’s family and friends real hope that Knox and Sollecito won’t get away with her murder.

Posted by The Machine on 08/06/12 at 10:42 AM | #

Conti and Vecchiotti now have no credibility.

If Conti and Vecchiotti were ever to appear as expert-opinion witnesses in the U.S., they would be crucified.

Such witnesses, in the U.S., are first submitted to a Hearing to determine their competency.

Hellmann/Zanetti shielded them from such competency questions in Italy.

At that U.S. Hearing, using their performances with Hellmann/Zanetti in Italy, opposing counsel would impeach them as witnesses, destroying their credibility in front of that Court and Jury.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/06/12 at 03:12 PM | #

@Peter on 08/05/12 at 12:42 PM

I am highly irregular in following the details, but I also noticed what you have now confirmed. Yes, they just appeared to be going through the motions as they already know the outcome.

Something changed suddenly. It was also noticeable and I am sure you have not missed it either.

One day Ghirga (or was it Vedova?) compared AK with his own daughter. I sat up and took notice. Something must be happening, eh? What is going on?

Near the end, we were expecting a different verdict but the defence lawyers appeared confident. Of course, I consoled myself, they know more than us. Whatever the verdict may be, people cannot be fooled.

What more can be there when one of the Judges admitted that “the real truth may be different?”

The case stinks!

You can fool some people all the time or all people some of the time but you can never fool mom

Posted by chami on 08/08/12 at 01:36 PM | #

The recent translation of Galati’s Appeal to Cassation, indicating that Hellmann/Zanetti seem to have criminally excluded crucial parts of Aviello’s testimony, is so shocking that an appropriate editorial comment has been added to “Dissecting The Hellmann Report #2…”.

References to the possibility that, if what Hellmann/Zanetti seem to have done in Italy was done by Judges in the U.S., they might well be Impeached, are not idle.

Even the Founding Fathers foresaw such behaviours when they included in their COTUS, Art II, sec 4: “…all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, … high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The individual States have adopted the same rule for their State Judges.

U.S. history, right up to the present day, is replete with examples of Judge Impeachment and Conviction for conduct comparable to that of Hellmann/Zanetti.  Hellmann/Zanetti would certainly be at risk in the U.S.

Hellmann/Zanetti’s misconduct in Italy is so extreme that it is hard to believe that Cassation will not overturn their actions.

It is also hard to believe that Hellmann/Zanetti did not know that when they acted as they did.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/08/12 at 02:26 PM | #

For the exclusion of Aviello’s testimony there could be a procedural violation.  I knew about the exclusion since I was in the courtroom when it was discussed.

The foul play - in my opinion, just based on my understanding of the law - is not so much the exclusion of the written testimony. The pocedural violation is Hellmann’s refusal of Aviello’s and prosecution’s request of having Aviello questioned again in court. There is no procedural for this refusal.

Aviello had been called by defences and was questioned before Hellmann. But after a while, Aviello demanded a second meeting with the prosecution. He said he had been bribed by Bongiorno for his exculpaory testimony in exchange with a promise of a sum of money that he would need to carry a sex-change operation. But Bongiorno apparently cheated him, and just after his testimony he was understandably annoyed.

He decided to tell the whole story to the prosecution in order to be heard again by Hellmann and change his previous statements. Hellmann refused the testimony. The motivation for refusing a second hearing are procedurally very dubious, in my opinion, and this is because Aviello had been summoned as a witness by the defence.

It is quite obvious under the procedure that the court cannot “refuse” him as a witness if the prosecution calls him again to put more questions to him.

Posted by Yummi on 08/08/12 at 05:24 PM | #

Hi Cardiol and Yummi

Great comments. The top three posts here on Aviello represent our reports on what happened at the time.  http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C466/

Remember (as the Knox supporters never do) that neither defense ever, ever argued for the lone wolf idea. They NEVER tried to pin the entire crime on Rudy Guede, and they kept well away from the evidence that impacted the lone wolf theory in Filomena’s room and elsewhere.

In fact Giulia Bongiorno went for overkill precisely the other way. She introduced both Alessi and Aviello as witnesses AGAINST the lone wolf theory as the Supreme Court had accepted there were almost certainly three.

Alessi (to the extent that he could talk at all - he was almost paralysed with fright) testified that Guede had said to him in Viterbo prison that he did it with two others. This Guede hotly denied.

Aviello initially said that his missing brother did it together with one other. Months before, he had said he could reveal the hiding place of the “real” knife, but in court he “forgot” that claim.

Then the prosecution made both of them look like perjuring fools. Aviello, presumably now concerned that he could be hit for perjury, now claimed that bribes had been offered.

As Yummi describes, Judge Hellman chopped that line of questioning off, which was of immense help to the desperate Giulia Bongiorno and her whole defense. Who needs to offer bribes if they are not guilty?

US judges might have ruled a mistrial right there. They might have added this to the charges already pending against the Sollecitos for it could be presumed it was their money.

As I mentioned in another comment above, prosecutors have been pressing down on Alessi and Aviello. We could maybe see them as prosecution witnesses if Cassation orders a whole new appeal trial.

My bet is Bongiorno by then would be long gone. If the defenses played by the rules, it was uphill for them all the way and at trial they showed themselves despondent.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/08/12 at 07:03 PM | #

The section in Galati’s appeal regarding the Appeal Court’s refusal to permit a re-examination of the witness Avielo, following his written statement retracting his testimony, is well worth the read.

In the Hellmann/Zanetti report the Appeal Court says that Aviello’s verbal testimony was uncorroborated and that his evidence was unreliable. The retraction of that testimony is of course corroboration of that. The Appeal court might also have added what we all know about Aviello, as to his background and reliability, but it did not.

The retraction was by way of a statement given to the prosecution which the Appeal Court had before it. Thus the Appeal Court knew what was in the statement, which not only included the reasons why Aviello claimed that he had testified falsely (namely that he was being bribed by the Sollecitos through Bongiorno) but also the content of a conversation he had with Raffaele in prison in which Raffaele tells him that he was present during the murder but that he didn’t physically commit the murder and implicating Amanda.

Whatever one makes of Aviello - and personally I wouldn’t believe a word he said - and clearly the Appeal Court did not either (nor anyone else) - nevertheless, having been heard already at the defense request, it was clearly necessary for him to be recalled to be heard and questioned and for the contents of his retraction statement to be evaluated on it’s own merits. In the event the retraction only part of the statement was allowed to be entered on the record. As Galati explains it was a procedural violation that he was not recalled, whatever ultimately the court made of such further testimony.

The question might arise as to whether the retraction evidence and what went with it might in any event have been excluded on the grounds of it being more prejudicial than probative in the extent to which it implicated the accused further but Hellmann/Zanetti do not, in the report, discuss, mention or use this as a reason for the refusal to recall Aviello.

Posted by James Raper on 08/09/12 at 08:39 AM | #

@ Peter

When will the translated version of Galati’s appeal document be available please? Thanks in advance.

Posted by jhansigirl on 08/09/12 at 08:49 AM | #

Following on from the above here is the closing argument of Hellmann/Zanetti (my capitals to highlight) -

“That these witnesses decided to report such circumstances, hypothetically in favour of the accused, either spontaneously or SOLICITED BY OTHERS, is OF NO IMPORTANCE; it is CERTAIN that there is NO EVIDENCE to maintain that it was the present accused , arrested a very few days after the offence and, therefore, held in prison for years, to plot such a plan, so that the unreliability of these witnesses cannot be considered as confirmation that the defendants provided a false alibi.”

I am so exasperated by this that for once words fail me to adequately describe what is going on here.

First of all, the fact that the accused were arrested and spent time in prison is what is of NO IMPORTANCE to the argument, other than that it may have induced the accused to do precisely the opposite of what the authors contend i.e SOLICIT that evidence in their favour.

Secondly, the reason why, in the case of Aviello,  it is certain there is no evidence, is precisely because the Appeal Court refused a re-examinatioin of him.

Thirdly, the unreliability of the witnesses tends to the conclusion that they were not telling the truth and hence had a reason for not doing this, which Hellmann/Zanetti do not even bother to consider, or receive an explanation for, even when one of them, Aviello, offers his.

Personally I am of the opinion that a re-exmination of Aviello would not have credibly added to the evidence against the accused, but this episode of the jailbirds and the tortuous logic used by Hellmann and Zanetti to wangle, they think, their way out of what is error compounded by deception, and at the same time leave the lovebirds untainted, is more than embarrassing and symptomatic of how they pre-judge everything, without reasoned argument, in the accused’s’ favour.

Posted by James Raper on 08/09/12 at 12:25 PM | #

Hi James,

Re: “The Appeal court might also have added what we all know about Aviello, as to his background and reliability, but it did not.”

The Appeal court did add, however what they want us to believe about Curatolo, as to his background and reliability.

Any comment?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 08/09/12 at 01:03 PM | #

Hi jhansigirl. It’s in the hands of the PMF team and they always go the extra mile. Even they are reluctant to commit themselves to deadlines. One day it will just be here! I for one am incredibly grateful they do this tough unpaid work.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/09/12 at 01:04 PM | #

James Raper said:

“Whatever one makes of Aviello - and personally I wouldn’t believe a word he said - and clearly the Appeal Court did not either (nor anyone else) - nevertheless, having been heard already at the defense request, it was clearly necessary for him to be recalled to be heard and questioned and for the contents of his retraction statement to be evaluated on its own merits. In the event the retraction only part of the statement was allowed to be entered on the record. As Galati explains it was a procedural violation that he was not recalled, whatever ultimately the court made of such further testimony.”

This is exactly how the procedural mistake works.

“The question might arise as to whether the retraction evidence and what went with it might in any event have been excluded on the grounds of it being more prejudicial than probative in the extent to which it implicated the accused further but Hellmann/Zanetti do not, in the report, discuss, mention or use this as a reason for the refusal to recall Aviello.”

But here it doesn’t work.

This kind of objection could not be rose in the Italian system. Recall that the judge and the jury in Italy is in fact the same people. And the jury is not called to issue a preventive opinion on what could be prejudicial to their own opinion! That would make no sense. Therefore a testimony or piece of evidence cannot be filtered nor considered preemptively prejudicial – that would be done by the same person who would judge it or express a prejudice on it.

Not only that: reliability of witness must be assessed once before or on the whole testimony. A testimony can be considered unreliable indeed. But witness Aviello had been summoned by the defence and the judge had accepted him as a witness.

Whether he was useful or just “prejudicial and unreliable”, this is anyway an assessment that has to be done before allowing testimony and witness status.

After he is called and accepted, his testimony has to be heard, and procedurally his testimony is not over just because he walks out of the room: once the testimony is open, if one party happens to have further questions to put, the witness just has to be recalled in a hearing. Because the witness is still a witness. Either he was accepted, or he wasn’t. He cannot be accepted today and refused next week depending on who is the one who must ask new questions.

You cannot preemptively dismiss “parts” of a questioning, absolutely not on grounds of prejudice, and not on grounds of unreliability: that must be done before or anyway on a whole procedurally complete testimony.

Posted by Yummi on 08/09/12 at 08:00 PM | #

Thanks Yummi. The Appeal Court actually says, in the report, that it was “exonerated” from having to recall Aviello on the grounds of his unreliability. That sounds like special pleading (self-mitigation), after the fact, for it’s own error.

Posted by James Raper on 08/10/12 at 05:44 AM | #

To play devil’s advocate I don’t think the refusal to recall Aviello would constitute reversible error in the U.S. The fact that Hellmann disregarded his testimony would be considered adequate. Any sanctions against the defense for having been part of a witness tampering scheme would come after a separate trial. This is just my lay-person’s conclusion after having read about similar situations.

Posted by brmull on 08/10/12 at 07:54 AM | #

The reasons for the provision of the law is obvious, especially in an inquisitor system like the Italian one. That you have to allow an entire testimony into the act if you allow a witness, and you cannot chose to cut and dismiss parts of a testimony, there is an obvious reason for this: because to allow and disallow parts of a witness’ testimony, that is if you let him speak and then make him shut his mouth depending on you likes and dislikes about topics, it means to manipulate the testimony and change his testimony. Arbitrary allowing and disallowing of their communication and expression of people is the main way of manipulating them, and it is equivalent to producing false acts. If Aviello was unreliable, Hellmann should have not allow him as a witness, or assess the reliability of his testimony after allowing him to complete it. This is why this of Hellmann’s is a severe procedure violation.

Posted by Yummi on 08/10/12 at 08:09 AM | #


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