The Knox Interrogation Hoax #10: The Guiding Magistrate’s Reasoning Three Days After 5-6 November

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Judge Claudia Matteini, the key decision maker in the emerging case for 12+ months 2007-08

1. Previously In This Series

Post #1 sets out the two versions of Knox’s sessions at the central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

The first version has in total about two dozen eye witnesses, and it is the one that prevailed at the Massei trail and throughout all of the appeals -  Hellmann in 2011 (this part was not annulled), Casssation in 2013, and Nencini in 2014. Cassation in 2013 made Knox’s verdict and sentence of three years for the false accusation against Patrick final.

The second version lacks any independent witness, although Sollecito makes some claims in his book that could be assumed to help Knox. There seems no sign that Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia have ever bought into any part of it, they have never lodged a complaint, they did not pursue it in cross-examination, and they have even cautioned against it.

Knox’s lawyers seemed jumpy when Knox pursued elements of it (unconvincingly to the court) in her two days of testimony in July 2009.  Despite this, it is still sustained by Knox herself (in several contradictory versions) and by a number of PR campaigners.

Posts #2 to #9 quote the relevant trial testimony of the six investigators (scroll down) who had the major roles in the 6-7 November sessions. 

2. Judge Matteini’s Report 9 November

The image at top is of Judge Claudia Matteini.

This key post by Nicki describes how every one of the numerous hoops Italian police and prosecutors must jump through is presided over by a guiding magistrate.

Finally, in this ultra-cautious process, if the investigation has not been dropped and the guiding magistrate is confident that the police and prosecutors have made a case, they can then order it submitted directly for short-form trial (as with Guede) or for a trial judge (like Judge Micheli) to decide if there is a case for a long-form trial.

At this point, 9 November 2007, the police investigations were far from done, and the existence of Guede was not yet known (though Knox hinted at him on 6 November) let alone the role he is serving 16 years for.

The investigations continued through the summer of 2008 with Judge Matteini re-entering the process repeatedly. Even after the summer of 2008 additional witnesses were being sought and several including Kokomani and Quintavalle only came forward later.

On 9 November 2007 Judge Matteini had before her the police summaries of evidence and witness and suspect statements. Knox and Sollecito were placed under arrest on 6 November and she had held separate hearings with Knox, Sollecito and Patrick with their lawyers present on the day before (8 November)

Sollecito had seen his lawyers on 7 November in Capanne Prison. Sollecito submitted a new statement for his own 8 November hearing which famously starts off “I wish to not see Amanda ever again.”

On 8 November Knox’s lawyers had just been appointed. Knox and her lawyers were perhaps at a disadvantage in the hearing, having just met. But Judge Matteini was not fact-finding and her only decision was to remand the three (including Patrick) in prison. Knox’s opportunity to talk came on 17 December 2007 in Capanne before Dr Mignini (see Post #11 onward).

On 6 November Amanda Knox had submitted three statements all linked to in Part 1 here and all written at her own insistence. Judge Matteini disallows these for use against Knox but allows them for use against others, later confirmed in a Cassation ruling which oddly was claimed as a new victory by Knox forces. The statements were never ruled illegally obtained.

3. What Is Perhaps Most Important Below

This report is not widely posted in English, so here it all is. The paragraphs in boldface (scroll down) relate most strongly to Knox’s 5-6 November sessions and statements. You may wish to skip the rest.

MATTEINI REPORT

R.G. 6671/07 GIP AND R.G. 9066/07 N.R.

CIVIL AND CRIMINAL COURT OF PERUGIA OFFICE OF THE MAGISTRATE FOR PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATIONS

Magistrate Ms Claudio Matteini

Having considered the documents from the proceedings indicated above, against:

  • Diya LUMUMBA, known as Patrick, born in Kindu (Zaire) on 5/5/2963 – resident in Perugia
  • Amanda Marie KNOX, born in Washington (U.S.A) on 9/7/1987, domiciled in Perugia
  • Raffaele SOLLECITO, born in Bari on 26/3/1984, resident in Giovinazzo, domiciled in Perugia

suspects in relation to the crimes referred to in articles 110-81, paragraph 609 bis 575-576, no. 5, c.p., for having, in complicity amongst themselves, and committing several acts in furtherance of a single criminal scheme, forced the British citizen Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, whose details are in the records, to undergo sexual acts, and for having killed her, using a sharp cutting instrument to the neck region, in the act of committing the crime of sexual assault – acts committed in Perugia during the night between 1st and 2nd November 2007; having considered the request made in Court by the Public Prosecutor, Mr. Giuliano Mignini, regarding confirmation of the detention of the aforementioned people by the Perugia Police Station – Flying Squad – on 6th November 2007, implementing the detention order issued on 6th November 2007 by the Public Prosecutor, Mr. Giuliano Mignini, [2]

  • found that the detention was carried out for crimes which permit it;
  • that all the conditions were met;
  • that in fact there were specific elements which could make the risk of flight well-founded;
  • that the elements referred to in article 384 c.p.p. need not be such that they provide direct evidence of plans to flee, this last being in any case a future and uncertain event (Cass. criminal section I, 26 April 1994, no. 1396);
  • that such danger in this case was real, current and not imaginary, it not on the other hand being necessary that the danger is also particularly strong or that there is a degree of likelihood that flight will occur (Cass. criminal section I, 29th April 1991, Matina);
  • that this case involves an American woman and a man from Zaire, who would have been able to leave State territory without difficulty in order to absent themselves from the investigation;
  • that the Italian man would have had the opportunity to leave Italy aided by Knox, with whom he was romantically linked, making establishing the facts more difficult;
  • that serious indications of guilt exist, as will be subsequently said;
  • and that the limits of the law have been respected,

For Which Reasons

The detention on 6th November 2007 by the Perugia Police Station – Flying Squad – of Diya LUMUMBA known as Patrick, Amanda Marie KNOX and Raffaele SOLLECITO, whose details are given above, is confirmed.

Having considered the request made by the Public Prosecutor to hold Diya LUMUMBA, Amanda Marie KNOX and Raffaele SOLLECITO in pre-trial detention, it must first be borne in mind that the required conditions for applying a precautionary measure are that there are serious indications of guilt [i.e. probable cause] and that there is a need for such a precautionary measure; [3] in order to make the adoption of such a measure legitimate, these two conditions must be fulfilled based on the evidence acquired during the investigations.

With regard to serious indications of guilt, it is appropriate to draw attention to the provisions of article 273 paragraph 1, c.p.p., which expressly provide that “no one can be subject to precautionary measures against whom there do not exist serious indications of guilt”. These are understood to be indications which, although not reaching the necessary degree of certainty which would be required for a conviction, lead in their totality to the judgment that it is highly probable the crime took place and that it can be attributed to the suspect, and which, in as much as they are serious, are resistant to being interpreted in any other way (Cass. criminal section III, 3/12/2003, no. 306; Cass. criminal, 6/11/2002, no. 37159).

This general principal is extremely important in that it signals a clear dividing line between, on the one hand, those indications which enable the investigations to progress so that an investigative theory can be established and confirmed, which might be said to be characterized by sufficiency; and those serious indications which permit such a heavy intervention as the deprivation or limitation of a particular individual’s personal freedom, which can be distinguished from the first both qualitatively and quantitatively, such that when the objective accuracy of the individual circumstantial elements is assumed, it is possible to reach a judgment that it is highly probable a crime took place and that it can be attributed to that specific individual based on these elements. These indications [of guilt] can further be distinguished from those which represent circumstantial proof, and which, since they make it possible to reach a judgment of certainty [i.e. a verdict], are required to be accurate and consistent as well as serious.

From this it follows that to have a framework of serious circumstantial evidence, necessary and sufficient to apply a precautionary measure to a particular individual, there must be an element or multiple elements on which a judgment of qualified probability about the suspect’s guilt can be based (Cass. criminal section IV, 4th July 2003 no. 36610: Cassation criminal section IV, 21st June 2005, no. 30328).

[4] It should be further noted that in order to concretely verify whether this judgment is in fact based on a framework of serious circumstantial evidence, it needs to be determined that the judgment is resistant to being interpreted in any other way, according to the rules of common experience (Cass. criminal section III, 3/12/2003, no. 306).

Bearing these general principles in mind, their existence in this specific case has to be verified with reference to the elements acquired thus far from the investigations. To do so requires reconstructing the developments in the investigation from the beginning.

At 12:35 p.m. on 2nd November 2007, officers from the Perugia Postal Police went to no. 7, Via della Pergola, in order to trace Filomena Romanelli. That same morning Mrs. Elisabetta Lana had discovered two mobile phones on the lawn of the garden in front of her home, situated at no. 5 via Sperandio, one of which contained a Vodafone Sim card with the number 348 [redacted], registered to Romanelli. On arriving at the location, the officers found two young people outside the building at no. 7 Via della Pergola, who were identified as Amanda Knox, domiciled at that address, and Raffaele Sollecito. [The couple] reported that they were waiting for the Carabinieri, who they had called because on returning home that morning, they had noticed a broken window and had suspected a theft. In the meantime, at 1 p.m., the above-mentioned Romanelli appeared, Knox’s housemate, and determined that nothing had been taken from the apartment.

During the inspection it was ascertained that the door of the room used by Meredith Kercher, another girl living in the apartment, was locked. Therefore it was decided that the door should be broken down, because Romanelli considered it strange both that her friend Kercher could have been separated from both her phones, since Kercher also used the phone with the Sim Card registered to Romanelli, and that the door of the room was locked. Opening the door revealed a horrific sight: the room was in disarray with bloodstains everywhere, on the floor and on the wall, and from beneath the bed quilt a foot could be seen.

[5] In order to avoid contaminating the evidence, the police officers prevented anyone from entering the room.

The girl, who was found dead with a knife wound to her neck, was identified as Meredith Kercher, an English student who had been in Italy since September; she was taking part in the Erasmus project and was enrolled at the University of Perugia.

The first medical tests performed on the body by the Public Prosecutor’s Technical Consultant, Dr. Luca Lalli, showed the time of death to be 23:00 with an upper and lower limit of about one hour, meaning that the relevant time frame should be identified as between 22:00-24:00 on 1st November 2007. This conclusion was based on the assumption that a meal had been consumed at 21:00, while in fact the case documents show that the time [of the meal] can definitely be placed earlier, given that Sophie Purton stated on 2/11/2007 that the meal had already finished at 21:00, and that [at this time] she and Meredith were already in the street together on their way to their respective homes.

This fact is of no little importance since it means the time of death can be moved back to at least 22:00, therefore suggesting a time frame of between 21:00-23:00 inclusive.

With regard to the cause of death, [Lalli] explained that it was caused by haemorrhagic trauma from a vascular injury to the neck, made by a sharp cutting weapon.

A reading of Dr. Lalli’s first summary report concerning the post-mortem findings on Meredith Kercher’s body, filed with the Prosecutor on 8/11/2007, reveals that the injury did not affect the carotid artery, meaning death was quite prolonged. This fact allows the time frame in which the criminal events occurred to be moved earlier, placing them between 21:30-23:30 on 1st November 2007, a time frame which can be moved back to 20:30-22:30 when taking into account that the meal was consumed before 21:00.

During the investigation, many young people were interviewed who had had the opportunity to get to know and spend time with Meredith during her period of residence in Perugia, and nothing in particular was revealed about [6] her private life except that for about three weeks she had had a romantic relationship with Giacomo Silenzi, one of the four boys who lived in the apartment on the ground floor of the building at Via della Pergola 7, the others being Marco Marzan, Stefanoi Bonassi Stefano and Riccardo Luciani.

When interviewed, these boys said they had all left Perugia between Saturday and Monday to return to their respective places of residence: Marco Marzan, Stefano Bonassi and Giacomo Silenzi to Porto San Giorgio, and Riccardo Luciani to Bologna. Filomena Romanelli, when first interviewed on November 2 2007, said she was living in the apartment on the second floor of the building in 7 Via della Pergola with Laura Mezzetti, Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher.

Romanelli had the strongest ties with Laura Mezzetti, not least because of their shared interests, while the two foreign girls were close and had similar daily habits in that both were students who usually went together to the university and had the same circle of friends.

She pointed out in subsequent interviews, on November 7 2007, that Meredith had never let any man into her bedroom except for Giacomo Silenzi, her boyfriend.

The attention of the investigators centred, however, on Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.

Firstly, with regard to the pair, it has been shown that despite their statements to the Postal Police, it is not true that they had called 112 for the intervention of the Carabinieri military police, thinking that they had suffered a theft.

In fact, from the investigation it emerged that the Postal Police arrived at 12.35 while the calls to 112 came at 12.51 and 12.54, circumstances that suggest a conduct that they wished it to be thought they had been surprised outside the building where the homicide was carried out.

They wanted to justify their presence outside, considering the [7] condition in which the apartment was found, especially in relation to the discovery of bloodstains on the floor and wall.

Amanda Knox made a statement for the first time on 2nd November 2007. At that time, she stated that she saw Meredith at about 13:00 on 1st November in the apartment in which they both lived, where she [Amanda] was with her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito; that she and Sollecito remained [in the apartment] until 17:00 before going to his apartment, where they spent the whole night; that she returned to the apartment on Via della Pergola at about 11:00 the following morning and found the front door open; that she called out to her housemates but got no reply; that she went into one of the two bathrooms and found spots of blood, which she did not worry about cleaning; that she noticed that the toilet in the other bathroom was dirty with faeces, and that she was surprised but did not clean it up; that she returned to Sollecito’s apartment and told him what she had noticed; that she tried to contact Meredith but got no reply; that she went back to the Via della Pergola apartment with Sollecito, where she noticed that the glass of a window was broken; that she found that the door of the room occupied by Meredith was locked; and that she decided to call the police after Sollecito had phoned his sister to get advice on what to do.

Raffaele Sollecito made a statement on the same date and confirmed Knox’s statement in full, the only exception being the toilet of the second bathroom which he stated he had found to be clean, in contrast to what the girl had reported.

This was however contradicted by the investigations carried out, which showed that the toilet was still dirty with faeces when the Carabinieri arrived.

On 5th November 2007, at 22:40, Raffaele Sollecito was heard again and changed his version of events. He stated that on the evening of 1st November, after [8] Meredith had left the house, he and Amanda Knox had lingered on there until 18:00 when both of them had left the apartment to go into the centre. Knox had left him at about 20:30-21:00, telling him that she was going to the Le Chic pub to meet friends, while he had returned to his own apartment. At 23:00 he had received a phone call from his father on his landline, then rolling a joint and spending some time on his computer for another two hours; it had probably been about 1 a.m. when the girl had returned. They had woken together at 10:00 when Amanda had left the house to return to Via della Pergola, thus repeating what he had already stated previously, and justifying his behaviour with the claim that Knox was the one who had convinced him to report something which wasn’t true.

For her part, Amanda Knox stated the following to the Public Prosecutor at 1:45 a.m. and then at 5:45 a.m. on 6th November: on Thursday 1st November at 20:30, while she was at Raffaele Sollecito’s home, she received a message on her cell phone from one Patrick, the owner of the Le Chic pub where she worked. He informed her that the pub would be closed that evening and that therefore she did not have to go to work; she replied that they would see each other later and then left the house, telling Sollecito she was going to work. Instead she went to the basketball court at Piazza Grimana where she met Patrick, with whom she went to the apartment on via della Pergola; she did not remember whether Meredith was already present or whether she had arrived a little later. She added that, although her memories were confused as a result of using cannabis that afternoon, Patrick in any event withdrew with Meredith – with whom he was infatuated – to her bedroom where they had sex; she did not remember whether Meredith had been threatened beforehand but it was Patrick who had killed her. She explained that she was not able to say whether she had heard Meredith scream in those moments as she was so scared she had blocked her ears, imagining what might have happened.

She said that she was still not sure whether Raffaele Sollecito was also present, but the morning afterwards she found herself sleeping at her boyfriend’s home in his bed: she then confirmed the statements she had already given [9] with regard to the development of events from 10:00 in the morning, the time at which she woke, until the arrival of the Postal Police.

It is at this time that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito lost their status as people informed of the facts and became suspects.

It should be noted in this regard that it was on 6th November that a pair of Nike brand gym shoes, size 42 and a half, and a black clasp knife with a blade of 8.5 c.m. long and 2 c.m. wide were seized from Raffaele Sollecito, as is shown from the relevant report in the documents, as well as the results of a first examination of the shoe prints found at the crime scene, which showed a clear compatibility between these prints and those from Sollecito’s shoes.

In fact during the investigation by the Forensic Police, three shoe prints were found under the duvet which covered Meredith’s body. One of these – identified in the technical report of 6/11/2007 by the letter A, and the only one which it was possible to analyze as the others lacked any defining characteristics – was shown to be compatible in terms of shape and size with the soles of the shoes confiscated from Raffaele Sollecito, it therefore being stated in the report that “the shoes seized from Raffaele Sollecito may have produced the shoe print (letter A) found during the inspection”.

In this new situation it is clear that the statements given by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox cannot be used against them, pursuant to article 63 paragraph 2 c.p.p., but that they can still be used with regard to what each said about the other and about third parties. This is because these are statements made at a time in which they were only persons informed of the facts and not people subject to investigation, whereby the altered status of the person making the statement cannot invalidate acts completed previously, as established by the principle of retention of the procedural documents and by the general rule of tempus regit actum [the rule that “any deed should be regulated in accordance with the law in force at the time it occurred”] (Cass. criminal section III, 1st April 2004, no. 15476; Cass. criminal section VI, 4th June 2003, no. 24180).

[10] From this it follows that the statements given in that period by Amanda Knox, as a person informed of the facts, can be used against both Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba, and in turn the statements made by Raffaele Sollecito can be used against Amanda Knox.

Having clarified this point, it can be seen that Raffaele Sollecito stated during the review hearing that he spent the whole night between 1st and 2nd November with Amanda Knox, having returned to his home at about 20:00-20:30; that he had dinner with the girl; that he was aware of incoming messages on the girl’s phone; that he learned from her that she did not have to go to work at the Le Chic pub that evening, as had been communicated to her by an SMS sent to her cell phone; and that they had then gone to sleep together, waking in the morning after about 10:00 a.m., when Amanda left the house to return to Via della Pergola to take a shower. During the same statements, he added that he did not remember whether Knox had left or not, but repeated that in any event he had not moved from the house, but had remained in front of the computer, and had received a phone call from his father at 23:00. Shortly afterwards he clarified that he did not remember whether he had actually received this phone call, or whether he had reported having received it to confirm his continued presence in the house.

As can be seen, Sollecito gave still a different account to those he had given previously with regard to Knox’s conduct on the night between 1st and 2nd November, blaming this behaviour on the influence exerted upon him by the girl following the statements given in the immediacy of the crime to the Postal Police, statements which, conversely, she never gave to the Postal Police officers attending the scene, not least because of her difficulty in speaking and understanding Italian, as Sollecito went on to explain.

For her part, while in her previous statements Amanda Knox had reported that Sollecito had spent the whole night with her, on 6th November she stated that she did not remember whether Sollecito [11] was present along with Patrick at the apartment on Via della Pergola on the night between 1st and 2nd November. She had used cannabis during the afternoon and her memories were therefore confused as she was not accustomed to using such substances, but she confirmed that Sollecito was definitely there with her the next morning at 10:00, having awakened in his bed.

Sollecito’s presence in Meredith’s room is shown by the objective element of the shoe prints found underneath the duvet with which Meredith’s body had been covered. This element issues from the first observations made in the technical report of 6th November 2007, and from the more detailed investigations referred to in the report by the Rome Forensic Police Service of 7th November, which attests to the full compatibility between the prints and Sollecito’s shoes.

This objective element cannot but represent serious indications of guilt against Raffaele Sollecito with regard to the crimes which are the subject of the current proceedings, especially when this element is combined with the fact that he was discovered to be wearing a clasp knife with an 8.5 c.m. blade on his person, determined by the Public Prosecutor’s Technical Consultant to be compatible with the possible murder weapon.

It should be pointed out in this regard that, as the suspect stated during the review hearing, carrying a knife was something he had habitually done since the age of 13, indeed the knife had become so much a part of his attire that he changed it according to what he was wearing.

To confirm this point it should be noted that another knife was found during the search of his home, again a clasp knife.

As regards Amanda Knox, her presence at the crime scene is reflected in Sollecito’s statements, which finally stated he was always with her, and in the objective fact that she was the only one to have the keys of the apartment in via della Pergola available to her, and was therefore able to open the front door without leaving signs of a break-in.

[12] By contrast, there is nothing to suggest that Sollecito had ever had the keys in question, or that perhaps the girl had entrusted them to him; furthermore, the two young people have never denied that they were together the next morning at Sollecito’s house, a fact which supports the reconstruction of events which has them together throughout the night.

Finally, in reference to Diya Lumumba’s position, Amanda’s Knox’s statements of 6th November are extremely important, since they attest to his presence inside Meredith’s bedroom at the time of the murder when she screamed.

These statements can be confirmed, albeit indirectly, by some objective facts concerning the time at which the Le Chic pub opened. In fact while Lumumba stated during the review hearing that he opened the pub at about 17:00-18:00 on the afternoon of 1st November, it appears that the first till receipts began to be issued at 22:29. The suspect was not able to give any logical explanation for this, and could not give specific details about possible customers who could attest to his presence at the pub before 22:29; his identification of a person who entered his pub at 20:00 solely by the name Usi, without providing either a telephone number or any other means of identifying him – notwithstanding the fact he described him as a friend – certainly does not qualify as a precise indication able to provide the appropriate confirmation.

It should further be noted that when the Court addressed this objection to the suspect, he remained silent for some minutes, trying to justify this “void” with the supposition that the till receipts are not issued at the time the order is made but when the customer leaves the pub.

This explanation does not hold up either in that it does not explain why there are no till receipts from 18:00 to 22:29, and why these start to be issued with increasing regularity from 22:29 up until closing.

Further confirmation that the pub was closed before the above-mentioned time can be found in the statements from one of the regular customers, Vulcano Gerardo Pasquale, who was heard [13] on 7/11/2007. He stated he had noted that the pub was closed at about 19:00 on the 1st November, and that he had also noticed the same thing later on when he returned from the pizzeria.

In addition, there are discrepancies between the information reported by Lumumba and the girl with regard to the text of the message sent to Amanda by the suspect at about 20:30. While the girl spoke of a message informing her that the pub would remain closed and therefore that she did not need to go into work, Patrick recounted having written to her that there was no need for her help that evening as there were few customers.

This may seem a fact of little importance, when in truth it is not, there being a substantial difference between the two messages. It is likely that Patrick had actually intended not to open the pub, thinking that he would be able to spend the night with Meredith; then, given the way events unfolded, he considered it advantageous to open the pub specifically to create an alibi.

Why Amanda should have lied about why she did not have to go to work – the pub being closed or there being few customers – is not known, nor are there any logical explanations for it, while a more substantial motive can be found for the suspect to do so, since for him opening the pub in itself created an alibi for the evening.

These disparities raise doubts about the actual text of the message, especially when set alongside the reply which Amanda sent to Patrick to the effect of “we’ll see each other later”, a logical response to the pub being closed in order to leave the evening free and to a later appointment.

This assertion is supported by the way events subsequently developed, as Amanda met Patrick in Piazza Grimana, a place which the suspect himself reported he habitually used to arrange meetings with people. As regards the timing, this can be identified as about 21:00-21:30, a time which is perfectly compatible with the events which took place within a time frame between 21:30 and 23:30 inclusive, as indicated above. Furthermore it is compatible with Meredith’s return home that evening, based on what [14] Sophie Purton reported on 2/1/2007, when she stated that after having eaten pizza at the house of some friends in Via Bontempi, Perugia, she and Meredith left the house at about 21:00, and Meredith headed to her house in Via della Pergola.

From this it follows that Meredith was at home at a time compatible with Amanda’s arrival in the apartment, the latter not being able to remember whether Meredith was already at home or whether she had arrived a little later.

The reason Patrick wanted to see Meredith alone is explained by Amanda, when she stated that he was infatuated with her and wanted to made advances to her. These advances however were not easy, a credible scenario in that Meredith was described as a girl not inclined towards “easy” relations with the opposite sex and who did not bring friends home except for her boyfriend, in contrast to what might occur with Amanda, as was reported by [redacted].

The fact that Diya Lumumba wanted to prevent the message he sent to Amanda on the evening of 1st November being traced back to him by investigators is apparent from the strange behaviour he displayed in changing his telephone in the days immediately following the crime. This is an incontrovertible fact, since the phone records show that up until 2nd November he used a phone with the IMEI no. 354548014227980, while on the day of his detention he was using a phone with the IMEI no. 354548014227987.

Had he admitted it, this circumstance would have remained neutral, given that he continued to use the same phone number and so there would have been no difficulty tracing it back to him. What tends instead to give it importance is his obstinate denial of it, a factor which leads to the conclusion that he did it in the erroneous belief that this would make identifying him more difficult.

Rebuilding the facts in this way, and recalling the principles outlined above, the elements already recounted appear sufficient to issue a precautionary measure in terms of [the precondition of] serious indications of guilt. It should be remembered that [15] from an investigative point of view the situation is very fluid, the Forensic Police being in the process of testing the myriad of traces and prints in blood and other organic material found at the scene of the murder, and more detailed investigations are still in progress with regard to the taking of statements from people informed of the facts.

Within this framework there are however some firm points of reference, which if they do not reach the status of full evidence which would be necessary in the context of a trial, without doubt indicate a high degree of probability that the crimes were committed as theorized by the Public Prosecutor and that they can be subjectively attributed to today’s suspects, even if the precise contours have yet to be delineated, particularly with regard to the respective roles taken on by each. This is a circumstance, however, which does not currently prevent a decision being made on the application of a precautionary measure to the personal freedom of the suspects, since at this stage there is still no criminal charge but only the proposal of criminal behaviour.

Therefore based on the facts currently known, it is possible to reconstruct what happened on the evening of 1st November: Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox spent the whole afternoon together smoking hashish; at about 20:30 in the evening, while Knox was at Sollecito’s house, she received the message from Diya Lumumba which, rather than simply letting her know not to go to work, confirmed their meeting for that evening, it obviously having been agreed earlier that the girl would help him to have an encounter with her friend Meredith; Raffaele Sollecito left with Amanda, bored as he was of evenings which were all the same and eager to experience “strong sensations”, as he wrote in his blog dated 13th October 2007 and as was confirmed in the review hearing (sensations which may also be provoked by an intense sexual relationship which breaks up the tedium of everyday life); the two young people met with Diya Lumumba in Piazza Grimana at around 21:00 and together they went to the apartment at no. 7 via della Pergola, for which only Amanda had the keys.

[16] It is roughly at this time that both Sollecito and Knox turned off their cell phones, which they turned on again the next morning. A little later Meredith returned, or she may already have been there; she retired to her room with Patrick, after which something went wrong, in the sense that Sollecito probably joined them, and the two started to demand some benefit which the girl refused to give them. She was thus threatened with a knife, a knife which Sollecito habitually carried with him, and with which Meredith was stabbed in the neck.

Realizing what had happened, the three hurriedly left the house creating a mess with the intention of staging a theft, leaving blood everywhere, not least in the effort to clean themselves, so that spots of blood were found in the bathroom both on the floor and in the sink.

The fact that Meredith suffered violence can be deduced from the state in which her body was found, there being obvious bruising… [block redacted]

There were also bruises and injuries found on her neck, bruises which lead to the conclusion that Meredith was immobilized by being gripped by the neck, as the bruises were dot-like and [17] compatible with finger pressure; she was subsequently threatened with a knife pointed at her neck, as there were three other small injuries in this area as well as the one which caused her death.

Corroborating the need to immobilize the girl in a supine position are the bruises found by Dr. Lalli… [block redacted]

These elements make it possible to establish that a sexual assault took place, Meredith’s lack of consent to these relations clear from the objective information reported above.

The fatal injury to the girl’s neck may have been a threat which materialized into something a great deal more serious, so that today’s suspects did not have the clarity of mind to fix up the apartment but instead left, taking with them Meredith’s phones which they subsequently disposed of.

It is credible that Amanda initially returned alone the next morning, needing not so much to take a shower as Sollecito stated as to get some clean clothes; then at the sight of drops of blood everywhere and a situation which at any rate was not reassuring, she returned to Sollecito’s house rather than immediately looking for her housemates. Together they went back to the apartment, informing the other girls only at this point, and were surprised by the chance arrival of the Postal Police of which they tried to take advantage, reporting an alleged theft and telling them they had already called the 112 emergency number, something which was not true given that, as pointed out above, the 112 call followed the Postal Police’s arrival.

[18] With regard to the clothing Amanda was wearing, it should be stressed that Filomena Romanelli explained that Amanda was wearing a sweatshirt on 1st November which she had not seen her wear again, and which does not seem to be among the clothing which was seized. Diya Lumumba and Amanda Knox spoke on the phone the day afterwards, but this time the former used a different phone, a precaution which served no purpose as the number remained unchanged.

With regard to the legal configuration of the crime, there is no doubt that at this stage it can be considered correct: this is a case involving three young people who initially wanted to try some new sensation, particularly true in the case of the couple, while for Diya it was the desire to have sexual intercourse with a girl he liked and who refused him. Faced with a denial from the victim, they did not have the strength to desist but instead tried to force her to submit using the knife which Sollecito always carried with him, managing to have some sexual contact with her but, given Meredith’s reaction, this was hurried and incomplete. [block redacted]

All three suspects were present at the scene, meaning that – as things currently stand and awaiting more specific corroboration from the investigations still underway, especially the analysis of the prints found at the scene – the offence must be attributed to them from a material and at any rate a psychological point of view, in reference to the definite and undeniable actions of aiding and abetting. As concerns the motive, it does not seem necessary to add anything to the explanations given above, the absolute futility of the desire for sexual relations with an unwilling victim being clear.

In this case the need for precautionary measures lies in the risk [that the suspects will] interfere with the evidence and in the risk of repeated criminal activity.

[19] With regard to the first, it should be stressed that investigations are still ongoing, and in this context the interests of the suspects in diverting them, perhaps by contacting people who might provide them with an alibi, is obvious. In this respect it should be remembered that Patrick changed his mobile phone on the day after the murder, possibly in the erroneous intention of hiding something which might implicate him, as well as the behaviour of the couple in the immediate aftermath of the crime.

With regard to the risk of repeated criminal activity, this cannot be excluded by the suspects’ lack of a criminal record, taking into account the specific way in which this crime took place and the circumstances surrounding it, and the particular personalities of the suspects (Cass. criminal section 9/7/2004, no. 38738;criminal section II, 9/7/2004, no. 38738; Cass. criminal section I 8/1/2003, no. 171).

In terms of the precautionary measure to impose, at present there is no doubt that precautionary custody in prison is the one most able to address the risks indicated above.

For Which Reasons APPLIES to Raffaele SOLLECITO, Amanda KNOX and Diya LUMUMBA, whose personal details are given above the precautionary measure of custody in prison for the duration of 1 year.

Perugia, 9th November 2007.

The Magistrate Ms Claudia Matteini


Comments



No comments yet. No comments yet. No comments yet.

Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page