Friday, May 28, 2010

How Tough Are Perugia’s Prosecutors? Well, They Sure Are Shaking Italy’s Ruling Party

Posted by Peter Quennell



In 2006 Italy hosted the Winter Olympics at Torino, and in 2009 it suffered a severe earthquake at L’Aquila.

In each case, some politicians of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s ruling party seem to have figured out ways of siphoning off some of the construction funds.

The Italian justice system is nothing if not tough, neutral, painstaking, and relentless.

We have shown repeatedly that not only is it prepared to take an extra step to achieve a fair process and outcome - it is often prepared to take a dozen or more extra steps, as of course it did in Meredith’s case, with an extraordinary 20-plus judges involved..

Politicians have tried hard over the years to bend the justice system or reign it in through legislation, and they have had some effect in reducing average sentences and making prison life easy for the perps - measures, ironically, that the three perps in Meredith’s case have all received benefit from.

But the system is essentially intact and unbent, and in various different ways it has been tying Berlusconi in knots for years.

To remove any possibility of the Olympics and earthquakes judicial investigations being bent, they were taken away from Rome, Torino and L’Aquila - and handed to Giuliano Mignini’s colleagues, in Perugia.

Arrests and government resignations have begun and the Perugia-driven process is unsettling even Rome’s prospects of next hosting an Olympics in 2020.

Italy’s favours-for-tenders corruption inquiry – which has already led to the resignation of a key minister – is overshadowing a decision on whether the national Olympic committee should back Rome or Venice in their bids to host the 2020 Games.

An announcement by the committee is expected as early as Wednesday. According to media reports, the capital is seen as the frontrunner because it offers better accommodation and logistics possibilities than its lagoon city rival and has more experience in organising large sporting events.

But an investigation by magistrates into suspected high-level corruption in Rome in awarding contracts to a Rome construction entrepreneur, who was among four people arrested in February, has sparked controversy over how the Olympics would be handled.

The national Civil Protection agency, which organises “grand events” as well as dealing with national disasters, is at the centre of the probe led by prosecutors in Perugia, including contracts related to last year’s swimming world championships in Rome and the G8 summit in L’Aquila. Guido Bertolaso, who is under investigation as head of the agency, has denied accepting money and sexual favours in return for awarding contracts.

All of which makes quite a mockery of the continuing sliming of Prosecutor Mignini, the last desperate mainstay of the increasingly shrill FOA apologists claiming that somehow - somehow - Knox and Solleciito were railroaded.

It is doubtful that anyone - anyone - in Italy believes Giuliano Mignini did the railroading.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/28/10 at 08:37 AM in The officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe wider contexts


Comments

All of this is not lost on the US Department of State or the American Embassy in Rome.

Not only do they know full well that the investigations and trial in Knox’s (and Sollecito’s) instance were perfectly competent and fair.

They also know that no-one from outside can sway or bend the outcome, up to the Italian Prime Minister - and even up to the American President, Barack Obama.

Those prosecutors and judges have minds of their own.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/28/10 at 09:50 AM | #

The third example of the extraordinary power of the “Meredith Effect” by the way.  Fair but unblinking Perugia investigations that are respected nation-wide.

The first example of the Meredith Effect was this and the second example this. A very, very sad death. But one far from in vain.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/28/10 at 01:13 PM | #

5/28/10

“The Meredith Effect”. I love the sound of that.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/28/10 at 04:54 PM | #

Hi Bailes. Looks interesting. My take for now is about where yours is. I’ll have to consult with the guys on this one.

I could be in Perugia soon with an HD video camera and some friends, and this could be something we get people there to talk about. With the translated report coming up and all the posts on that, and maybe several dozen hours of video, and then the appeal, it looks like we might have a busy few months ahead.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/28/10 at 11:25 PM | #

The whole “Amanda was persecuted” argument makes no logical sense, for all manner of reasons. It strains all credulity to think that a bunch of police officers and lawyers said “well, this Amanda Knox is American, and she seems a bit flighty, let’s frame her for a horrific murder and risk our careers, reputations, livelihoods and liberty, just because we don’t happen to like her very much”.

And that’s before getting started on the actual evidence that points to Knox and could not possibly have been “planted” - her lies, her lack of alibi, her boyfriend with the knife-fixation, and so on, and so forth.

Posted by Janus on 05/29/10 at 12:46 AM | #

Hi QA. I agree! But we’re saying the same thing. The link under my “railroading” carries you to Kermit’s very sardoniic take on railroading, the railroader in chief being David Marriot.

By the way, my work experience is all with governments and I’ve never ever encountered even one conspiracy.The idea that governments can (or would want to) pull these things off is ludicrous. They simply never ever happen, except maybe in North Korea.

We encountered people like the delusional Bruce Fisher occasionally, on the extreme fringes of the UN, but that is what they are: simply delusional. Fisher should check himself in while there’s still hope he’s not a complete nut.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/29/10 at 01:14 AM | #


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