Friday, September 23, 2011

Fourteenth Appeal Session: Italian Media Describing Very Tough Prosecution Opening

Posted by Peter Quennell

First good report on the opening remarks by Mr Costagliola is from RAI News:

Hard, harsh, and direct. The [Deputy] Attorney General Giancarlo Costagliola this morning attacked head-on the findings of the independent DNA experts in the appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the murder of Meredith.

Moreover the homeless man who claims to have seen Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito not far from the murder house on the evening of 1 November 2007, when Meredith Kercher was killed, is ‘“credible and reliable”...

Costagliola described the skill of the original DNA experts of the Court…The Attorney General also spoke of the “absolute certainty” of the analysis of traces of DNA detected by experts of the Court on the knife found to be the murder weapon. “A re-examination of the DNA by the prosecution was refused [by Judge Hellman] although it was the first request put to the Court.”

“Denying the presence of the DNA of Meredith Kercher, and Raffaele Sollecito on the knife and bar hook is a falsification of scientific reality” said the prosecutor, still attacking the expertise of Professors Vecchiotti Carla and Stefano Conti, which questioned the work of the forensic team…. “Professors Vecchiotti Carla and Stefano Conti had refused without any reason to analyze traces highlighted on the knife, which in 2007 were not analyzed because ‘there was no machinery suitable “.

“I want you to decide, you judges, if you feel a little for the parents of Meredith Kercher, a young, discreet and serious woman who these “good” kids from good families are prevented from living.”...

For Costagliola “there was an almost obsessive campaign by the media, the press and television that made the audience feel a bit like everybody is parents of Amanda and Raffaele, two kids from good families kept in prison because of the fury of a prosecutor.”.’

La Nazione reports that Mr Mignini in his opening remarks observed that he will never forget Meredith’s staring eyes. He’ll remember them for the rest of his life. He pointed out that 22 judges had already agreed with his reasoning.

And from a long report by Phoebe Natanson of ABC News:

Italian prosecutors argued today that American student Amanda Knox should be kept in prison and displayed a series of bloody crime scene photos, including gruesome close ups of murder victim Meredith Kercher’s wounds.

The bare knuckle tactics by the prosecutors comes on the final leg of an appeal by Knox, 24, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, who were convicted in 2009 of killing Kercher. There has been growing speculation that Knox and Sollecito could win their appeal and be freed because court appointed experts have raised damaging questions about the prosecution’s DNA evidence.

Knox , serving a 26 year prison sentence, today seemed to reflect that hope that she could be released, as well as the worry that her hopes could be crushed. She appeared tense and anxious as she entered the courtroom in Perugia, Italy, for the start of summations. She barely smiled at her family who have gathered in Perugia for what they hope will be a final time.

As Knox walked in, her mother Edda Mellas was heard to say, “It looks like Amanda isn’t sleeping well.”...

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini presented the court with a slideshow of photos that included pictures of bloodstains in the house as well as photos of Kercher’s slashed body. The blood-filled pictures included close-ups of the wounds…

[Prosecutors] also appealed for the jurors to not be swayed by the press coverage that has been critical of the prosecution’s handling of evidence and what is perceived to be a growing sentiment for Knox and Sollecito. Mignini called it “media clamor,” and added, “This is not a media fiction… This case has to tried and decided here.”...

“Don’t commit grave would be unforgivable,” Mignini warned. “It’s not just about the knife and the bra clasp. There are lots of other things.”


Very, very encouraging.  It seems Italian justice might even see itself as being on trial here.

Posted by James Higham on 09/23/11 at 12:34 PM | #

Why is someone like Nick Pisa paid a lot of money when a wooden spoon would do ? !Why are so called witnesses , prisoners hoping for some sort of reduction in sentence,  even given the time and expensive space ?  Surely there must be some logical and non self serving influences in this case ...... . The prosecution and Meredith’s family have nothing to prove in the ongoing circus other than the desperate and harrowing longing for recognition of justice and truth ...
I can understand the Knox/Mellas brigade , with children of my own , but surely logically they have no grounds at all ... one feels very sorry that they too are victims of stupid youth ( my own experience is simply a an extreme driving offence, not a murder, thankfully ) One hopes that Italy , the home of judiciary , will se things right.

Posted by DianeO on 09/23/11 at 02:11 PM | #

Mignini is a talented orator, and I think he did well. I think the prosecution went a little too hard at the C-V report. The report’s not false; it’s just overly critical of the scientific police. Hindsight is 20/20.

The key in this case is to build up the evidence brick by brick. There is no 100% proof, but beyond a reasonable doubt the bricks only fit together one way.

Certainly Bongiorno is going to be formidable next week. But expectations are so high that she is going to have to outdo even herself to change anyone’s mind.

Posted by brmull on 09/23/11 at 06:52 PM | #

For the first time Amanda Knox looked completely exhausted.

Posted by Nell on 09/24/11 at 09:59 AM | #

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