Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Many Extraditions Do The US And Italy Refuse? Approximately Zero, When It’s To Each Other

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Ex-fugitive Florian Homm above and below in front of his palatial Mallorca Spain home]


The State Department and FBI collaborate more closely with their Italian counterparts than with almost any others in the world.

Italy is a very loyal political ally to the US and has helped out a lot diplomatically and militarily around the world. The FBI and their Italian counterparts in Rome have officers permanently embedded from one another and there are dozens of transactions going on all the time..

Extraditions both ways take place without fuss at the rate of a few a year, which the State Department and Justice Department are not inclined to fight. A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court in Rome declined the final appeal of fugitive swindler Florian Homm and sent him on his way to the US.

Homm had many millions to pay top lawyers to fight his extradition case. But he still lost.

The only extradition requests from Italy the US doesnt fulfill are the CIA kidnaping in Milan and Air Force Dolomites case.

It is the CIA and Pentagon overtly or clandestinely exercising special military privileges that is the cause of the two standoffs. NOT the Department of State, which has made clear it is not too thrilled.

Contrary to broad confusion in the US (fed by biased stories from Colleen Barry of the Associated Press) the Florence appeal is not a second or third trial of Knox.

It is a FIRST appeal, actually filed by Sollecito and Knox, on the same lines as any American first appeal, after the previous Hellmann appeal was furtively bent, and then scathingly annulled.  Knox has been in provisionally guilty status since late in 2009.

So double jeopardy absolutely does not apply.

The one REAL difference between this appeal and any American appeal, which seems over Colleen Barry’s head, is that this appeal request was automatically allowed. Any American appeal judge (except Heavey, who serially gets the hard facts wrong) would have thrown the flimsy appeal grounds out.

It may take up to a year, if Amanda Knox chooses to waste more big bucks on lawyer fees -  their batting record for that is pretty dismal so far, though, and a confirmed-guilty verdict in Florence next week might be only the start of more legal strife. False claims in her book will soon see her back in court.

But it seems 100% likely that Italy will “get their man”. To a rapidly increasing number of Americans, Italy’s gain would also be the US’s gain.





Comments

Sounds like Ted Simon would have rough going fighting a firm ally of America.

Posted by Hopeful on 01/25/14 at 09:36 AM | #

@Peter,

I believe Berlusconi did not forward the extradition request in the CIA rendition case. There is a political layer at the top stage of the extradition request and the final stage was not completed. The same people (CIA men) cannot visit Europe for obvious reasons.

Please correct me if I am wrong! But I consider that it was brilliant to convict the CIA men in absentia but was also good not to forward the extradition to the state department. Both Rome and Milan are filled with American tourists!

The basic idea was to send a message and that part of the job was done well.

Posted by chami on 01/25/14 at 10:07 AM | #

Hi Chami

Yes, Cassation ordered the extradition requests; and Berlusconi didnt send them along. Not on the merits, though, he just liked poking sticks in judges eyes (and as he risks a prison term they now have the last laugh).

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/21/will-italy-extradite-cia-employees-for-abu-omar-kidnapping.html#url=/articles/2012/09/21/will-italy-extradite-cia-employees-for-abu-omar-kidnapping.html

But there is more to it than that.

The Italian Justice Department nearly got the ringleader, Robert Lady, taken into custody and sent back when he was in Central America, which is why he fled. The State Department is not his friend. I dont feel too bad about that!

And all the operatives now have a felony count on their record for life. Many thought they were pressured not to go back to the Italian court and fight. I feel a bit sorry for them.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/25/14 at 10:33 AM | #

Thanks Peter.

I understand the balance of power bit differently. Judges just pronounce verdict but have no power to force them on the people. If the gears do not mesh well, the verdict, in political crimes, is mostly useless.

Knox-Meredith case came into sharp focus because of the PR campaign and the attempts to influence justice. In most countries, the judges don’t like to trouble the rich and powerful but it is different in Italy. The judges are just ordinary folks like us but they have been tempered tough by the mafia. They don’t care: they just are doing their job well.

About the CIA incident: my personal opinion is that Abu Omar was not exactly a saint. But then Lady too was neither. Just following orders- I call that Nuremberg defense- does not work in most courts today. But then the justice has been done and delivered.

I just want justice to be delivered in this case too. And I am not going after blood.

Posted by chami on 01/25/14 at 12:04 PM | #

Hi Chami

Good points. As PM Berlusconi’s own provisional sentence to prison shows, Italian judges dont usually blink in face of power - the President is the head of the justice system - and as we are seeing in Florence, there is more determination in face of PR and dirty tricks, not less.

PM Berlusconi just had that one tiny ounce of power re the extradition of Robert Lady and the other CIA guys in that his Ministers for Justice and Foreign Affairs (both in his party) had to give the nod to it going forward. They used it I think to tweak Italian judges, not benefit the US.

Signs are that State would have had no problem handing him over - State of course refused to give the CIA guys diplomatic immunity retroactively, even when one of the CIA guys unsuccessfully sued them.

And then the Italian justice system issued an Interpol Red Notice for Robert Lady and nearly got him back anyway!

One thing we can bet is that Robert Lady is holed up quietly in the US and not planning any more foreign trips. He says he is just about broke, jobless and depressed, and his biggest asset was that seized mansion in Italy where he dreamed to live out his days.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324576304579071530823140604

Robert Lady sounds pretty sore AT THE CIA there! Try re-running this movie with Knox, not Robert Lady, in the leading role, and we see the fix she could get herself in. Plus in the US,  she can and will still get sued.

Back in an Italian prison, paying her dues, she could be her fairly happy self there again, be away from the leeches back home, and be treated for anything mental if there’s a cure.

http://truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/comments/the_amanda_knox_trainwreck_1_claims_about_prison_traumas_widely_cont/

Two great sadnesses in al of this are (1) that Meredith could have been the very best friend she ever had, and saved her from the spiral down she was already on; and (2) Knox liked Italy so much she said several times she’d like to live there for good.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/25/14 at 01:56 PM | #

Hi Pete

I know what you mean (I think) that there’s some sadness that Knox “liked Italy so much she said several times she’d like to live there for good”.

On the other hand, she clearly doesn’t qualify to live there. She’s rightly not trusted. She arrived with an extremely arrogant mind set and proceeded to wreak havoc whenever certain minimal standards of behaviour were called for.

As has been said here before, she should never have been allowed to leave Seattle.

Anyway, she may yet get her wish to live there for good, albeit in the only way that Italy will tolerate - behind bars!

Posted by Odysseus on 01/25/14 at 03:29 PM | #

P.S. insert “Havoc culminating in horrific murder”, after “minimal standards of behaviour were called for”.

Posted by Odysseus on 01/25/14 at 03:37 PM | #

A very confident Francesco Maresca, lawyer for the Kercher family says Meredith’s sister and brother, Stephanie and Lyle will be present in the Florence court room on Jan. 30th.

Meanwhile, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are a no show!

http://www.lanazione.it/cronaca/2014/01/25/1015584-meredith-sollecito-amanda-omicidio.shtml

Posted by True North on 01/25/14 at 03:44 PM | #

Thank you for the link, True North, what caught my eye in that article was this thing about little Joran:

says Francesco about Raffaele:
«alla fine di marzo discuterà la tesi per la laurea specialistica in ingegneria informatica a Verona; ha cose ben più importanti cui pensare, altro che scappare…»

which I think means that “at the end of March, he will defend the thesis for the degree in Information Technology in Verona; there are more important things to think of, other than running away ...” (if this is not accurate, I am asking an Italian friend to please correct it, grazie)

So, our little boy has some jitters about passing exams in Verona in a couple of months, on the backdrop of playing hooky from the verdict next week, which could send him away for a long, long time, WTH? This is the height of arrogance (from his father, really, why in the heck does he always have to come up with some excuse/explanation for his retarded son), but I really hope little Raff is not going to skip town.

Posted by Bjorn on 01/25/14 at 05:32 PM | #

Just for the record; Italy made no extradition request on the Dolomiti (Cermis) case.

As for the CIA kidnapping affair, Italian law prohibits to request extradition to serve sentences below four years, this is why no extradition was forwarded for 20 of the 22 convicted American citizens.

The President of Italy then pardoned one one of the last two left - Joseph Romano - because he belongs to a military corp operating in Italy.

As last extradition was requested for only one person, the last one, CIA officer Robert Seldon Lady.

It’s an extreme case: obviously it would be politically impossible, for a US administration, to extradite a CIA officer who was obeying to orders from the administration itself.

Posted by Yummi on 01/25/14 at 06:36 PM | #

Thanks Yummi for the clarifications and the details. I believe Italy confiscated the million euro villa of Lady, that he made and furnished with his own money taken from retirement funds, where he planned to happily retire.

As per American philosophy of justice, money can compensate any crime, howsoever severe, which I find a bit funny.

The thing I find particularly offensive in this present case (murder of Meredith) under discussion, that both the accused who escaped justice made money from the crime. It did not find a single mention in the court in Florence.

Posted by chami on 01/26/14 at 12:02 AM | #

The FOA and other assorted web sites that promote their version of events, and push the ‘Poor Amanda Lie” seem to have gone very quiet. This is a good thing of course.

The only comment I have been able to find today is some twit saying that if it goes against “Poor Amanda” then it will just prove that the American justice system is broken. I find solace in this statement.

Also the groundswell of negative comments has risen exponentially as people have become more aware of the true nature of this and the lies and distortions that have been promoted by such mental giants as Steve and his mental twit wife Michelle-Sings-Celestial-Eastern-Moore. A name that must strike fear into psychologists everywhere.

After Knox disappears they will have nothing left of course, then Steve can get another job working his 10 hour shifts. Perhaps he’ll write a book “Waiting to be paid” I shall miss good old Steve’s threats against me I must admit, always good for a laugh.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 01/26/14 at 12:20 AM | #

@Grahame Rhodes

...just prove that the American justice system is broken

How does it reflect on the American Justice System?  Or, more likely I think, you meant Italian?

That FoA has suddenly become deaf and dumb is rather worrisome because they have not really been convinced of her crime but they are planning some new and likely violent strategy. They are of course reading the comments online and planning some new escape route. The ECHR appeal is apparently one such.

But finally the more they try to escape justice, the more people will be convinced of their guilt.

After all, justice must also appear to be done.

Posted by chami on 01/26/14 at 01:36 AM | #

@Chami

I think they were referring to the extradition process, which would involve American courts. 

I guess any system which convicts Amanda Knox, upholds her conviction, or agrees with her conviction and extradites her is broken, in their view.  If you didn’t know, Mignini is really Darth Judger and he’s pulling the strings of his worldwide puppets from aboard his Railroad Star.

Posted by Vivianna on 01/26/14 at 08:53 AM | #

Hi Chami

No, That’s what they wrote. I should have used inverted commas. Their view is that any American system which turns Knox over and goes through with the extradition process is obviously (again in their view) against the American constitution.

The trouble, (and the Brits are the same) is that anyone who is seen as preferring a ‘foreign government’ over their own is against everything they hold sacrosanct. This is why any criticism by anyone of a foreign, and therefore suspect to begin with, is called “American Bashing” or “Bloody Foreigners”

So much for home grown propaganda which when I was young was rammed down our throats every military parade.

Ah to serve for Queen and Country…..“We had the [WWII] war won before the Americans came in” sort of thing. That’s was my British propaganda every day which is just the same as the US variety.

So anyway, anything against Knox is seen as anti American. However I try to be optimistic with regard to Knox and Sollecito’s future hopefully in some Italian Jail or in the case of Knox an American jail, where they might let her off for time served. If that were to be so, then the American system is indeed broken.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 01/26/14 at 10:58 AM | #

I’ve sent tweets to the main reporters at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Please retweet. Thanks. My name on Twitter is @harryrag

Posted by The Machine on 01/26/14 at 11:03 AM | #

@chami:

Philosophies of Justice:

American - All conduct not-expressly-Forbidden is Permitted.

English Boy’s Boarding School - All conduct not-expressly-Permitted is Forbidden - and punishable instantly.

@Grahame:

“Waiting to be Paid” - Hilarious, ROTGLOL!

Posted by Cardiol MD on 01/26/14 at 12:18 PM | #

Excellent Cardiol! Spot-on…

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 01/26/14 at 12:28 PM | #

Hi Graham

Are you seeing any sign that a central instruction to the FOA to pipe down has gone out? If so from who? Curt Knox & Ted Simon would be the obvious.

Chris Mellas and Edda Mellas are reputed to remain rabid and still devote every evening to smearing people anonymously and putting up phony websites.

You: “...in the case of Knox an American jail where they might let her off for time served”

In such cases the foreign court usually only agree to the local jail if there is no messing with the length of the sentence without their permission.

This Nencini court is a very, very ticked, hardline court (way “worse” than Massei; and exceding even Micheli in “hardline-ness).

Unless Knox gets a grip on her tongue and her typing finger and her crazed cohorts ASAP, she can expect zero breaks.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/14 at 12:40 PM | #

For anyone interested in the ongoing Robert Seldon Lady story, I linked above to a report that Mr Lady (who was not born American - he was Honduran) is ticked off at the CIA and he may spill the beans as to why (since when he has mysteriously gone quiet) (in mid-air) (gulp!).

But here’s a recent report in the ocasionally suspect Washington Times which suggests that the real problem is that PM Berlusconi would have known about or winked at or even approved the kidnapping of Abu Omar, and that the way forward is for President Napolitano to pardon him.

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/intelligence-and-world-affairs/2013/sep/2/robert-seldon-lady-fugitive-cia-hostage-italy/

It claims that US powers in the situation absent a specific extradition request which we know Italy never sent are quite limited, whether CIA or State or even the President.

Its really for Italy to make the next move to nab Lady or request extradition or let Lady off the hook. I hope Yummi comes by again and sees this, he’s so good at explaining the murky stuff!

These are the key final paragraphs (none of which are solace to Knox).

Italian politics

U.S. officials believe Mr. Lady, the only defendant for whom Italy formally issued an arrest warrant, is caught in internal Italian politics.

“Unfortunately, this is really about the scandal involving Berlusconi and his political rivals. It’s not so much about Lady,” said a State Department employee in the European division who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Added a former U.S. intelligence officer familiar with CIA policy: “Berlusconi and his government had to approve the rendition. It might have been a wink and a nod approval, but there definitely was an approval. They’re mad at Berlusconi, but who takes the fall? Bob Lady.”

Mr. Spencer said the U.S. government “has been as helpful as it can be.” He said President Obama and Mr. Napolitano have a close relationship, as did Mr. Napolitano and President George W. Bush, but the U.S. has limited power in this case.

“The U.S. just doesn’t carry the same clout it used to,” the State Department officer said. “We can’t force the Italians to make this go away.”

Mr. Spencer said the best case scenario is for Mr. Napolitano to pardon Mr. Lady. The U.S. has approached Italy saying it made a mistake, and Mr. Obama has implemented measures to make sure such a situation never happens again. With the recent evacuation of the U.S. Consulate in Milan because of a bomb threat and increasing counterterrorism coordination between the countries, a pardon would show good faith and the importance of the Italian-U.S. relationship.

“Maybe the stars are aligned now to get this done,” Mr. Spencer said.

Some advise Mr. Lady to wait. Diplomats say Mr. Napolitano likely wants to help, but he has to tread carefully and is probably waiting for the appeals process in the case of former CIA Rome station chief Jeffrey Castelli to conclude before making any decisions.

Mr. Castelli was granted diplomatic immunity in the case and acquitted in 2009, but an appeals court vacated the acquittal and convicted him.

Authorities estimate that the appeals process could take two years.

For now, Mr. Lady is working, relying on a strong group of supporters and friends and hoping for a change in the situation. He is separated from his wife, but has three grown children and three grandchildren.

Throughout his ordeal, he continues to uphold his promise of keeping classified information secret, but he does not want to wait another two years for resolution.

“Two years would be devastating for Bob, both personally and in terms of his business. He can’t sit around for two years waiting to see what might happen in Italy. What if Napolitano is no longer in power and an anti-U.S. administration comes in? We just can’t keep waiting,” Mr. Spencer said.

In light of the above this article below and some others are wrong in slamming Washington; they don’t realise that there was never a full request for Lady’s extradition.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/edward-snowden-robert-seldon-lady

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/14 at 12:57 PM | #

I’ve started sending tweets to the presenters on CNN. Please retweet. Thanks. My name on Twitter is @harryrag

Posted by The Machine on 01/26/14 at 01:23 PM | #

Great work Machine. We have re-tweeted.

However although units of CNN are misleading (Nancy Grace thinks Knox did it) and they do post and air “false facts” by far the most biased, influential and misleading is Colleen Barry of the Associated Press, who is mentioned in the post at top here.

Colleen Barry is reporting to ONE THOUSAND MEDIA SITES straight out of the FOA handbook.

Again and again and again attempts have been made to explain to her that this is NOT a new trial (which makes Italy look vindictive) but a first appeal by Knox and Sollecito.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/14 at 01:38 PM | #

@Cardiol MD

The other day I mentioned to one of my students that public schools like Dotheboys Hall, as explained by Dickens, are actually private schools. She promptly replied: is it something like the parkway, where you are permitted to drive vs the driveway, where you are supposed to park (your car)?

In case of armed conflicts, the UN says that the local flavour of justice trumps the imported version. I was wondering whether murdering your flatmate with a kitchen knife can be considered an armed conflict.

We too have another concept: instant justice.

Posted by chami on 01/26/14 at 02:16 PM | #

Hi, Peter, speaking of phony websites, here’s a satanic one, in content, style, and authorship (Bruce Fischer, possibly others):

http://murderofmeredithkercher.com/

masquerading as the known: http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com/

The use of Meredith’s pictures by Bruce Fischer & The Other Rats is absolutely stomach-turning, as well as the rest of the lamebrain stuff they post there.

(Chami, just saw your post, I thought you were against instant justice - ‘justice must wait until passions die down’ ...)

Posted by Bjorn on 01/26/14 at 03:56 PM | #

Hello Peter

Can’t find anything of a concrete nature. They are obviously keeping below the radar. But I don’t think there is any concerted effort at muzzling the support bunch.

However here is a joke for you from no lesser a person than Denver of Ground Report fame. He/She/It says that

“Michelle Moore will not discuss her husbands work because as a security guard for the university his job is top secret.”

I have to admit that I got a good laugh out of that. Talk about out of date, but then what do you expect from some fat person living in the parents basement.

Ah well, I will keep on digging and as you say “There is no privacy on the web”. Eventually they will surface, or to quote an old Navy term “The scum always rises to the surface first.”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 01/26/14 at 04:25 PM | #

Hi Bjorn

All such sites are put up by Chris Mellas and the long-winded and childish prose is by Bruce Fischer.

They deliberately mistate hard evidence and make false accusations of crimes and you can bet they are on the Italian radar. (And doing Knox no good at all.)

The notion that all of Italy is being fooled and anyone standing for justice and against dishonest PR and world-beating blood money is a hater is pretty lame.

The myriad sites have increasingly less traction and will make not the slightest difference to justice being carried out. There were better things they could have been doing.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/14 at 05:06 PM | #

The phony site below is registered on the launchpad server, might not get much traction but I’m sending them an email nonetheless…. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

http://murderofmeredithkercher.com/

Report Abuse, Fraud, Hacking, Phishing or Spamming

To report an abusive site or abusive activity, please either submit this form, call us at 713-574-5287 ext. 1003, or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) so that we can investigate the site or activity accordingly.

Posted by Urbanist on 01/26/14 at 06:00 PM | #

Below is the latest January, 26th update article by journalist Andrea Vogt.

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

Posted by True North on 01/26/14 at 06:06 PM | #

Hi Urbanist

On the defamatory site hosted by Launchpad. Much appreciated.

We have an email for such occasions that proves highly effective. I dont want to post it but would share it if you or anyone registered wants to do more of the good work in atking down sites that are not constructive.

Specifically with regard to Launchpad. It is or was owned by Matthew Revell. Can you see a direct email address for him anywhere?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/14 at 08:23 PM | #

Hi Urbanist,

I also suggest that you mention that the deliberate similarity of the url or http address of the two sites is intentionally designed to confuse unsuspecting visitors whose first and foremost interest is to access basic and unbiased information in its native format or in translation.

One site contains information and the other one is crude propaganda.

Posted by chami on 01/27/14 at 09:36 AM | #

Hi Urbanist and Chami

Launchpad (Hostgator) simply sent back a notice saying defamation is none of their concern.

So I emailed them this.

***********

Hi guys

This below is totally irrelevant and off the point. I am not talking about defamation and other civil crimes.

I am pointing out to help you that you are being made a party to serious felony crimes involving mafia for which jail time and huge fines are the normal reward.

Plus there will be no heads-up from Italy or the FBI: you will simply be charged. I told you already three trials are under way.

If you need a lawyer to walk you through this let me know.

Pete Quennell

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/27/14 at 12:54 PM | #

@Peter

I am impressed.

The host, even after being informed of the implications, continues to host offensive contents. He simply lost the best defense: I was not aware!

I am sure he would have thought twice if American people were involved in the defamation.

But frankly speaking, it is not going to have much impact in the next three days.

Good marketing means that the customer will not even be aware that he has been sold a good that he does not need or want. A marketing firm certainly could have shown some more professionality.

Even I could have done better!

Posted by chami on 01/27/14 at 03:20 PM | #


Make a comment

If you are reading this please log in to post a comment.

Smileys



Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry An Investigation Into The Large Knife Provides Further Proof That This Was THE Knife

Or to previous entry Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy