Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Status Of The Various Computers In The Case #2 New Developments

Posted by Sallyoo

Please first see my previous post and my several updates in the Comments thread.

There has been a new flurry of interest in Raffaele’s computers following the publication, on iip, of a report prepared by Prof. Alfredo Milani. It is available in both in Italian and English, (translation prepared by iip.)

The report isn’t dated, but it was prepared after the Massei report had been published, and it was taken into evidence at the Hellmann appeal. Milani credits another defence computer expert, D’Ambrosio, with a lot of the content.

There have been (to my knowledge) three ‘defence computer expert reports’ prepared. The first, signed by Angelucci in March 2008, is concerned primarily with the damaged hard disks of the Asus of Sollecito, and the computers of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. This report was commissioned by Dalla Vedova and has not (as far as I can determine) ever been taken into evidence, or even mentioned in court.

The salient point in this document is that the data was recovered from the disks of Sollecito’s Asus and Meredith Kercher’s computer.

Then we have D’Ambrosio testifying at Massei (available), accompanied by a report written by D’Ambrosio and Gigli taken into evidence (not available).

At Hellmann we have the Milani report. Raffaele mentions Alfredo Milani in his book as one of his professors.

There isn’t a lot of (strictly computer) information in it which goes beyond D’Ambrosio’s testimony, although the tone is very different. While D’Ambrosio was relatively generous to the police computer analysts, appreciating the procedural retrictions which they worked under, Milani gets close to being offensively insulting to those tehnicians. (Compare with the Conti/Vecchiotti tactics…)

Milani attempts to make us believe that two ‘grave methodological errors’ committed by the postal police have concealed data which would provide an alibi.

Firstly he spends much time outlining the MacOS, in every release, and tells us that because the postal police used an ‘analogous but not identical’ MacBook a tiny difference in the release number of the operating system renders their analysis unreliable. This is impossible to acept for two reasons - firstly that the OS employed resided on the cloned disk from Sollecito’s own MacBook, but more importantly the precise OS release would not affect in any way the reading of the log files.

Secondly, he unwisely reminds us of inodes (log files). These files are regularly archived, in compressed form, and this archive is not overwritten. The archive isn’t very simple for an ordinary user to search, but such a search is certainly within the capabilities of an ‘expert computer consultant’. If Milani had discovered anything - such as a use of the Samba utility via the Asus which would have been recorded - he would have told us about it.

He also includes some gratuitous comments - which are rather fun - so we can move onto those now!

Milani has trawled up a keyboard interaction (on Sollecito’s Mac), at 22.04 on November 5, when he assures us that Sollecito was in the questura. Well, every other piece of evidence has Sollecito not arriving at the questura that evening until at least 22.30 - but Raffaele has always claimed to have been eating with a friend when he received the phone call at 21.30 asking him to attend the questura. Was Sollecito at Riccardo’s? Did he nip home (why) before going to the questura? We shall never know, but Milani has given us reason to speculate.

He also offers us the playlist of the music tracks both listened to and skipped between 05.40 and 06.20 (approx) on the morning of Nov 2 - which for some reason he erroneously asserts that the postal police failed to identify as an interaction. You can form your own opinion on the musical taste of the listeners, Nirvana and Bon Jovi feature.

Additionally we learn that one of the films ‘recently viewed’ was Suicide Club, a Japanese cult movie, which can charitably be described as Extreme Fantasy. We also discover that in the CD drive was music from Blind Guardian - a German heavy metal band who used fiction/fantasy themes in their lyrics. (I am left with the impression that Sollecito and Knox were determined not to live in the real world during this period).

A further couple of snippets, the first from an intercepted conversation in prison between Raffaele, his father and his stepmother, Marisa Papigni:

FS:....have nothing to do with [rude in italian] ... and they understood ... now this morning or Monday there will be also the checking of your computer ... they have already cloned the hard disk .. ”

RS: “… my concern of the computer is basically that if I came ...”

Marisa Papagni: “Hey ... there is a monster on your computer ... there is a monster ... ”

RS: “Forget it ... the fact about the computer is if I have spent much time with Amanda ... there is not all this time I have spent with the computer ...”

FS: “If Amanda was home ... if she was out, wtf were you doing? ... were you at the computer?” .....

And from Honor Bound:

Papà told him about the data from my computer….but still Maori was skeptical. “Why don’t you let me see it?” he asked.

My father didn’t have the data with him, but he said his brother, Giuseppe, could fax it over.

Below: Professor Milani; Perugia University School of Mathematics & Computers


Thank you sallyoo…really interesting, as ever.
the ‘taste’ in music and films says a lot, and confirms unreality.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 11/15/14 at 07:09 AM | #

Just a quick correction (my own ‘computer consultant’has picked me up on this one!)

Inodes are not logs.They are “index nodes” used by the disk operating system to locate data blocks on the disk drive. When files are deleted the inodes actually remain on the disk and can be useful in finding any files that have been deleted.

It is the System.log files which are not overwritten. Each day the System.log is archived. If there was anything useful to be found, it would have been found.

(By the way, this Milani report is the same report which I referred to as a “report from D’Ambrosio” in para 7 of the earlier article. The latter is acknowledged by Milani, but he doesn’t appear to have co-authored).

Posted by Sallyoo on 11/15/14 at 09:46 AM | #

@Sallyoo, good details. If in his book Raf mentioned Alfredo Milani as one of his professors it must be a nod to Milani and a form of thanks to his teacher as in: Thank you Professor Milani that you tried to slant the computer issues my way even though the computer files prove no good alibi. You did blow smoke and fogged up the issue. I hereby thank you in my book about honor. Sincerely, Raffaele Sollecito

Posted by Hopeful on 11/15/14 at 01:13 PM | #

Great report, sallyoo, esp. since it’s been inserted as an annex to his ricorso to Cassazione. Would this be his computer studies professor he dropped in on during his visit to Perugia with his girl friend? smile

Posted by Ergon on 11/15/14 at 05:26 PM | #


Out of curiosity I was looking at the log files on my computer today. I am using Ubuntu (linux OS) but I do have a mac (that I have not used for a long time) and I am pretty familiar with the system. I can dual boot to Windows 7 but that is a different matter. I have looked at the log files only during debugging sessions and I can generally make out things. My question is:

Did Prof Milani explain how did he arrive at his conclusions?

Did Prof Milani quote the relevant log files?

Do YOU have any information on the relevant services on Mac that logs keyboard interactions?

The more carefully you look, the hazier they appear.

Posted by chami on 11/16/14 at 08:31 AM | #

“Papà told him about the data from my computer….but still Maori was skeptical. “Why don’t you let me see it?” he asked.
My father didn’t have the data with him, but he said his brother, Giuseppe, could fax it over.”

LOL The cheque’s in the post.

Posted by bucketoftea on 11/16/14 at 12:22 PM | #

Thanks very much for the update Sally, informative as always. Like many I’m sure, I’m very interested in the data in their computers, particularly Sollecito’s.

Posted by Corpusvile on 11/17/14 at 01:02 AM | #

I open Google Earth several times daily to see where places are, and what they look like in Street View. The location of the math & computer school surprised me. Heres the school in the valley below where RS lived (click for larger).

Its an ugly mundane building, and I had thought the school was in the new part of the campus by the business school, which is on the plain where the questura is. In this location it would not make much sense for RS to use his car.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/18/14 at 10:17 AM | #

For chami. Here is a link which tells you quite a lot about system.log files on a Mac. (The archived compressed system.log files (on Mac OS 10.4) will have a file extension of .gz (or gz2), whereas the files illustrated in the article from a Mac OS 10.6 and have the extension .bz2.)
It is significant that Milani doesn’t mention system.log - one can only assume he has looked at it (them) and found nothing!
He does mention “keyboard.log” (as if it is a file), but it isn’t useful to his argument at all, showing zero logged entries in the ‘alibi period’.

Posted by Sallyoo on 11/18/14 at 12:45 PM | #

I have just noticed an anomalous statement in the Milani report. He says that the 22.04 Nov 5 interaction shows up “..on the isp logs…”(Fastweb). According to all other testimony the only Fastweb logs requisitioned were for the period Nov 1/2.

Posted by Sallyoo on 11/18/14 at 12:49 PM | #

Selene has written a brilliant article for Elite Daily:

The Knox And Dewani Trials: Why PR Has No Place In Legal Proceedings

Please tweet and retweet. Thanks.

Posted by The Machine on 11/18/14 at 02:02 PM | #

Please retweet Elite Daily’s tweet about Selene’s article:


Posted by The Machine on 11/18/14 at 05:04 PM | #

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