Saturday, June 18, 2011

Today’s Desperate Moves By The Defense Lawyers Seem To Have Backfired On The Two Defendants

Posted by willsavive





Cross-posted here from my own website Savive’s Corner.

Order of business

Just as expected, five inmates testified to in an Italian court that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent, to the best of their knowledge.

According to Barbie Nadeau (author of the Beast Book Angel Face) security was tight in Perugia today, as a string of blue prison vans pulled into the back parking lot of the central courthouse carrying some of Italy’s most notorious convicts.

1. Mario Alessi

First to the stand was Mario Alessi who is serving a life sentence in Italy for kidnapping and killing 17-month old, Tommaso Onofri, in 2006, was called by Sollecito’s defense team. Almost immediately after taking the stand, Alessi turned pale, became ill, and had to step down. After nearly an hour he finally returned to tell his story.

Alessi, who was being held in the same prison as Rudy Guede, testified that the Guede told him that Knox and Sollecito are innocent, speaking in prison conversations in November 2009, a month before the Knox and Sollecito were convicted.

Alessi said Guede approached him during recreation time at the Viterbo prison. “Rudy links arms with me, inviting me to take a walk with him, he has something important to tell me,” Alessi told the court. He quoted Guede as saying he was worried because “I don’t know whether to tell the truth or not,” and that the truth “is altogether different from what you hear on TV.”

Alessi then testified that Guede said he and a friend went over the house with the intent of having three-way sex with Meredith Kercher. When she refused, the scene turned violent. Alessi said Guede told him he had gone to the bathroom and upon coming back he had seen his friend holding Kercher to the ground.

Eventually, “a knife appeared, almost out of nowhere,” Alessi said, quoting Guede as saying that it was pointed at Kercher’s throat. Kercher began fighting, according to Alessi, and her throat slit got slit in the process. Guede tried to rescue her, Alessi said, but his friend stopped him.

Alessi testified (translation by Jools) that…

“Guede asked me what benefits he would get if he told the truth. He then said that he had met Meredith in a bar with some friends of his – one was called The Fat One. He said that one had got drunk and that he had followed Meredith home to see where she lived. A few days later he said he and this drunk friend went back to the house to see Meredith. They asked her if she would like to have a threesome and she had told them to leave.

Rudy said he then went to the bathroom and that when he came back the scene was very different. He said that Meredith was on the floor, back down, and that his friend was holding her down by the arms. He said that they swapped positions. Rudy then told me that he had put a small ivory handled knife to her throat and that it had cut her and his hands were full of blood. He said that his friend had said: ‘We need to finish her off or we will rot in jail.’”

Note: The bold statement above is a huge inconsistency, because, by all accounts (Knox as well as others who lived in the cottage), Guede already knew where Meredith was living—he had been to the cottage twice before that. According to Alessi, Guede did not reveal the identity of his alleged accomplice.

Alessi said he and Guede had developed a friendship in prison but eventually Alessi broke it off as he realized that Guede “said two innocent people were in jail” but did nothing about it. Alessi then contacted the lawyers representing Sollecito. Of course, being the humanitarian that he is, Alessi claims that he tried to convince Guede to “tell the truth.”

Upon cross-examination, Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca held up a photo of the child Alessi murdered (Tommaso Onofri) and asked him, “Do you know who this is?” “No,” Alessi replied, looking away. Italian media report that he also denied he is serving a life sentence.

Three more fellow Viterbo prison inmates were called to back up Alessi’s story, including police informant Marco Castelluccio, who took the stand behind a blue cover, guards around him. Castelluccio said he heard the story about Knox and Sollecito’s innocent mostly from Alessi. He said on one occasion, however, he heard Guede say from a separate cell that Knox and Sollecito were innocent.

2. Luciano Aviello

Another prison inmate Luciano Aviello [42] who has served 17 years in jail after being convicted of being a member of the Naples-based Camorra, testified today that his brother Antonio and his colleague had killed Meredith while attempting to steal a “valuable painting.”

Aviello said that the Albanian—who offered his brother “work” in the form of a robbery—had inadvertently jotted down the wrong address, and they instead went to the house where Kercher and Knox were living, and they were surprised by Meredith’s appearance. According to Aviello, his brother and the Albanian man then committed the murder and fled.

Aviello is from Naples, but was living in Perugia at the time of the murder. He claims that his brother, who is currently on the run, was staying with him in late 2007 and on the night of the murder he returned home with an injury to his right arm and his jacket covered in blood.

Flanked by two prison guards, Aviello described how his brother had entered the house Meredith shared with Knox and had been looking for the painting when they were disturbed by a woman “wearing a dressing gown.”

“My brother told me that he had put his hand to her mouth but she had struggled,” Aviello testified. “He said he got the knife and stabbed her before they had run off. He said he had also smashed a window to simulate a break in.” Aviello said his brother had hidden the knife, along with a set of keys his brother had used to enter the house. “Inside me I know that a miscarriage of justice has taken place,” he asserted.

Consequently, Aviello had been in the same jail as Sollecito and had told him: “I believe in your innocence.”

Knox’s lawyers, Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, visited Aviello in Ivrea prison near Turin back in May 2010 and videotaped his statement and included it in their appeal request.

Under cross examination from the prosecution it emerged that Aviello had also been convicted seven times of defamation to which he angrily replied: “That’s because all of you, the judiciary are a clan.”

As Aviello testified, Knox—dressed in an ankle length floral pattern white dress and blue top—listened intently, occasionally making notes or discussing points with her lawyer. 

A comment

So many convicts, which one to believe, if any?

Rudy Guede will now get a chance to rebut all of the above at the next appeal hearing on 27 June. This may be the worst-case scenario that the pussyfooting Knox and Sollecito defenses tried to avoid for three years. Did Knox realize?

Oh yes, it’s true! Judge Hellman has ordered Guede’s testimony to counter that of Mario Alessi. Guede will be heard alongside two fellow-detainees and two Perugia officers. June is shaping up to be a real “scorcher” in this appeals trial.

Guede had refused to speak on the stand in the original trial of Knox and Sollecito, because his appeal was still ongoing. Now, with Guede’s final appeal completed with Italy’s Court of Cassation; a real surprise could be in store.




Comments

Having seemingly failed at these two Hail-Mary passes we may now get to see the ultimate Hail Mary passes of all: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the stand.

And another new downer for Mario Alessi in addition to hearing that he will be charged with false testimony at Viterbo.  His wife Antonella Conserva has just been sentenced to 26 years for her role in Baby Tommy’s kidnapping and murder.

Her original 30-year sentence had been set aside as she was not actually present at the murder.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/11 at 05:07 PM | #

Another defense fiasco in court today.

Over on PMF our poster Jools links to a report from Hada Messia on the CNN website which includes this.

*************

http://www.krcrtv.com/news/28279542/detail.html

Witnesses Tell Differing Tales In Amanda Knox Appeal

...in an additional twist Saturday, another inmate who the defense put on the stand to verify Alessi’s version of events, testified that he, in fact, did not know anything about who carried out the killings.

Even though his cell was adjacent to Alessi’s and Guede’s, this inmate was Romanian and did not understand their conversations, he said.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/18/11 at 05:23 PM | #

Andrea Vogt has written an excellent article about today’s events in court:

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Assorted-criminals-testify-in-Knox-appeal-1430190.php

Posted by The Machine on 06/18/11 at 06:12 PM | #

Hi Will,

It’s been a great day in Perugia. Italian justice for Meredith Kercher and her family will prevail.

Rest In Peace Meredith Kercher.

Posted by True North on 06/18/11 at 06:18 PM | #

“Flanked by two prison guards, Aviello described how his brother had entered the house Meredith shared with Knox and had been looking for the painting when they were disturbed by a woman “wearing a dressing gown”


Hi,its been a very long time since I last posted,busy with work etc.. but I have been keeping up with most of the posts on here. I read more than I post! Well done to all who contributed to this excellent summary of evidence.
I couldn’t help pick out a couple of inconsistencies in Aviello’s testimony above: ‘a valuable painting’? ‘woman wearing a dressing gown’?  Say what?

What painting?? What dressing gown?? We all know that Meredith was fully dressed on that particular night. That’s a fact.

I think he forgot to include the butler somewhere! Only in his dreams eh? He’s a tw*t!

pf

Posted by perfumeflower on 06/18/11 at 06:22 PM | #

Hi perfumeflower!  I am certain that one of the other convicts testimony will contain the following information:  Professor Plum killed her with a candlestick in the library.

Posted by jodyodyo on 06/18/11 at 06:59 PM | #

Hi jodyodyo!
lol,yes,it is getting rather a bit of a joke now isn’t it? with these far fetched claims from convicts,unlikely so called witnesses coming out of the woodwork. Isn’t there anything the defense won’t resort to?? waste of time and waste of money.
It makes you wonder what Amanda herself is thinking in her head, about how she really feels about how a convicted baby killer is testifying for her. Not exactly credible is he? How can a convicted murderer be a witness?? Do you think she or the FOA ever wonders about how much that poor little baby suffered in the hands of that monster?? poor little mite was only 17 months old.

However,I doubt very much she will be thinking about that little boy, same as she didn’t give a monkey’s about how much poor Meredith suffered too. She will be thinking more about her freedom, and how to get it at any cost. Knox and her fellow convicts have one thing in common…stone cold as ice.

Posted by perfumeflower on 06/18/11 at 07:34 PM | #

I have tried several times to write a response to this news (reported also in today’s Guardian.)

1. Alessi’s testimony has the value of hearsay from a quoted Source.
2. Guede, his Source, denies that he said what Alessi claims that he said.
3. Alessi’s motive in testifying at all is that Guede had put two innocent people in jail & did nothing about it.
4. Even if innocent, Amanda Knox falsely accused Diya Lumumba of Meredith’s murder.  And did nothing about it.
5. When the truth came to light & she had to admit to her dangerous falsehood, she tried to blame the police for suggesting his name at a time when she was intimidated or even terrified.
6. Her own logic would have us believe that the police put a suggestion in her mind which she accepted. And that as soon as she did so, they went forth to arrest Lumumba.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 06/18/11 at 08:08 PM | #

6/18/11
Thanks to Peter Quennell and willsavive for fascinating reports of Alessi and Aviello’s and other jailbird testimony, all of which seeks to favor Raf and Foxy, and as PMF’er pointed out, to place SOMEBODY along with Guede at the murder scene, since courts have ruled that Rudy didn’t act alone and the defense surely don’t want us to think Foxy and Raf were his cohorts, so get somebody else in here fast. Whoosh! there it is: imaginary friends are born.


I don’t know what to make of any of today’s testimony by two known villains and police informers hiding behind blue curtains, and Romanians who say they know nothing. It’s probably outright lies, maybe a smidgen of truth somewhere but generally conflicting and confusing.

Minor impressions: Amanda looks nice in skirt and blue blouse, pearl earrings. Raf looks nice in brown shirt and khaki pants with pockets (if only he would grow his buzz cut out a bit longer and smooth it down, his hair would look nice. His color is good, skin clear, smile cheery. Amanda looks a bit strained and tired, at pains to put on the prim and proper act for court, understandably a drain when she faces so many people to nod and smile to or behave carefully towards, knowing cameras are watching every move).

Alessi is not bad looking, the weight loss becomes him. He lost 15 pounds in the previous 10 days racked with worry about this testimony. His illness on the stand must mean he is very worried about the fallout to himself from today’s testimony. His one hour break for illness seems like he was trying to back out in the middle of testifying.

I thought Alessi’s weak spell might be a flashback if he remembered his having been found guilty of the Onofri child’s murder. His body memory would know that after his courtroom testimony at that previous time he was ferried away for a lifetime in prison.

On second thought his fainting spell has probably more to do with his current legal status or inmate payback known only to prison circles. Third option: he was buying time to confer with lawyer or think up response to question. Fourth option: real sickness. Fifth option: sheer grandstanding and drama.


The Man from Naples:
Aviello and his brother, I wonder if his brother is on the run or my guess, actually dead already. Therefore he can’t hurt him with this testimony. But as Aviello was a Camorra turncoat once, maybe he’s a turncoat again, this time against his brother for old insults, that’s merely a guess. The keys hidden in an old wall and sealed up with mortar should clarify his tale if they’re ever found.

The painting that Aviello claims his brother went to steal in company with an Albanian sounds like a detail from a heist that either Aviello or his brother really did. The miscommunication about the address to find the painting could have referred to Lana Elisabetta’s wealthy house nearby (wild guess). Her home had been robbed several times in the years prior to Meredith’s murder.

Aviello recounts a jacket with torn sleeve worn by his brother on the night he came to Aviello’s tiny apartment in Perugia and sat on the couch discussing the crime with him. The torn sleeve revealed blood gotten by stabbing a woman in her dressing gown. This seems like bits of details from former true crimes done either by Aviello or his brother or both, or from prison tales they’ve overheard. Aviello may be using true events now soldered together in untrue stories.

Barbie Nadeau said that one witness on today’s stand gave a speech about Truth and that the prosecution and judge could hardly contain their laughter. Maresca said this is a clown act only Italy could come up with. So another day, another circus in Perugia. The big tent, I hope elephants always remember. Mellas did, to be there with more optimistic platitudes.

Rudy will lie again in late June but this time he has more and more people to punish with his lies, oughta be quite a show when he testifies. This must have been one long hot summer for Capanne and Viterbo companions and Ghirgha and Dalla Vedova. Biongiorno got into a scrap with another lawyer today, seems the courtroom was disquiet and restive.

jodyodyo said it best: Professor Plum, the candlestick, the library. Makes as much sense.

Posted by Hopeful on 06/18/11 at 08:44 PM | #

Thank you Will. It seems that it has become desperation time with these two defenses. Dragging out these low lifes is despicable. Really? A convicted child rapist and murderer says you didn’t do it..oh..OK Amanda you can go…really?..... Who promised them what? Who paid for this “testimony”? That is much more important than the words that come out of any of their mouths.

Posted by friar fudd on 06/19/11 at 07:03 AM | #

I read in Barbie Nadeau’s tweets, there was a yelling between Maresca and Bongiorno . . . . .

Maybe o.t., but why is Bongiorno kissing RS? Is this Total Advocacy Strategy?

No, no, I don’t want to be kissed by Bongiorno. I was just wondering. How will she tell her child in the future: “yes, this is mum kissing a convicted murderer.”

Posted by Helder Licht on 06/19/11 at 08:52 AM | #

One bizarre detail was that Guede, the man from the Ivory Coast, had an “ivory-handled knife”.

Sounds like Aviello relied on news reports and got mixed up with the details. He substituted ivory for the knife when the reports were talking about a man from the Ivory Coast.

Where did Alessi’s brother get keys to the cottage?

The defense are no longer allowed to use the lone wolf theory,(due to Rudy Guede’s Supreme Court conviction which can be read at one of the links at the top of the home page). So now they offer contradictory stories involving multiple assailants. And from prison convicts no less! What a strange defense. They are sunk…

Posted by bedelia on 06/19/11 at 12:56 PM | #

A multiple train wreck. The whole thing seems quite surreal.

The defence have put up witnesses whose stories contradict each other, contradict previous defence scenarios and fail to tie in with established evidence.

It’s the wildcard approach. Throw as many stories out there as possible and just hope that all the noise creates some doubts in the minds of judges and jury.

Lets see. The new defence witnesses say there were multiple attackers, no break-in and miraculously none of the new candidates for murderer left any trace of themselves at the scene. So the defence no longer claims that the scarcity of dna samples points to innocence?

The whole testimony appears to have taken on the character of a circus. The main witness is a child murderer whose memory we are asked to rely on. On being questioned he doesn’t recognize the face of the child he killed and denies that he is serving a life prison sentence.

Next up is a mafioso who enjoys shouting at the judges and claims his brother did it when looking for a valuable painting. What kind of thief goes into student rooms looking for valuable artworks?  The keys that he claims were taken and hidden have unsurprisingly not been revealed after all. He is supposedly disturbed by Meredith wearing a dressing gown which of course is not what she was wearing.

Another of this menagerie of upstanding citizens now says that he did not after all sign the letter saying that he and his roomates had heard Guede and Alessi. The signature is a forgery! Moreover he has no idea what the conversation was because he doesn’t understand Italian.

The only bright point for the defence is that they have managed to find witnesses who make Knox’s memory and performance look good in contrast.

On newspaper comments the line is already being spun that the whole thing was a successful ruse to get Guede on the stand. These people would stand on the Titanic and claim that it’s just a leaking showertray on deck 4 and the ship naturally leans with the wind.

Posted by Dr_Faustus on 06/19/11 at 04:20 PM | #

The Knox camp undoubtedly fails to realize that this so-called “evidence” would be inadmissible in the States.

I am struggling to find a hearsay exception here, under the Rules of Evidence; and some of the proffered “testimony” is hearsay in hearsay.

Looks like the “terrible” Italian justice system that Saint Amanda and her worshipers complain about so loudly is far easier on hearsay than the courts of Washington State.

Posted by Ballard Guy on 06/19/11 at 05:48 PM | #

The Fans Of Amanda, having sharpened their knives (sorry) for Judges Micheli and Massei, then Prosecutor Mignini, the country of Italy, and, despicably, the Kercher family, now threaten the same if Judge Hellman doesn’t rule their way.

Can’t they just immolate themselves in St. Peter’s Square in protest already, so we don’t have to put up with their incessant caterwauling?

Posted by Ergon on 06/19/11 at 08:10 PM | #

Hey All,

It is going to be very interesting to see what Guede has to say, if he says anything. Now that his final appeal is complete he may feel like he has nothing to lose and be compelled to let-it-fly, per say. Still, we really don’t know what kind of witness he will be. I am also interested in hearing from the other inmates and officers, who I think may be scheduled to dispute Alessi’s version as well.

Posted by willsavive on 06/20/11 at 02:01 AM | #

The defense seem as desperate as those in the Casey Anthony trial.

Posted by Jumpy on 06/20/11 at 04:13 AM | #

If this wasn’t a murder trial, it would be hilarious. Saturday was bonkers and Barbie’s tweets were quite funny sometimes.  In what reality did the Knox defense team think that this would work in her favour?  The bloke who says his brother did it fails to explain Rudy’s “present” in the small bathroom…did said brother carry random turds/vials of blood around to shift the blame for his life of crime?

What about this magic wall, why didn’t he unmortar the keys and knife and take that to the police when all this first happened if his morale compass is so strong? No wonder Knox “displayed a range of emotions” (Andrea Vogt) and “looked dismayed thorugh most of the proceedings” (Barbie Nadeau); I would have sacked Ghirga on the spot for this piece of idiocy. Unless it was a ploy to get Guede on the stand, if so it worked but that could still backfire.  I can see Rudy sitting there refusing to speak as it’s his perception that Knox & Sollecito have thrown him to the dogs.  Guede would be right on that front. 

As an aside, I see Ground Report have removed all trace of Bruce Fisher from it’s website.  Some might say its a sad day for free speech; I say it’s a bad day for libellous loons (and Chris Mellas or LOL-Mellas as he is know in our house) and a great day for truth and common sense.

Posted by daisysteiner on 06/20/11 at 08:27 AM | #

@daisy

Yes, others already noticed it as well and I wonder that Bruce hasn’t published another rant on his blog yet. His lips are sealed. Not a beep so far. Neither did any of his followers comment on it.

He’s probably too busy, surfing the web in an attempt to find another site that allows him to upload his hate speeches and provides him with a few more hits and publicity. He knows that if he publishes his articles on his own blog, nobody reads it. Worse even, nobody would ever know he wrote them.

Poor creature.

Posted by Nell on 06/20/11 at 09:57 AM | #

Hi Nell,

In cyberspace nobody can hear Bruce Fisher rant. His blog articles have been removed from Technorati, Gather and now GroundReport.

Posted by The Machine on 06/20/11 at 11:57 AM | #

Why do these convicts testify on behalf of Ms Knox ? Are they really only about the fame, or are they being paid by the Knox-Mellas ?

I highly doubt that the Italian mafia has any interest in the Knox case per se. These people are not romantic white knights, they are all about business. What use for them could be an already convicted psycho killer ? Logic would have them recruit unknowns, not minor celebrities.

Posted by Sylviane on 06/21/11 at 05:45 AM | #

Hi Silviane

No we seriously doubt anyone offered them money. Unfortunately this is not an exceptional case, perps in Italian and US prisons positively line up to present “new evidence” in the hope they might hit a home run. Usually they are screened out in hearings.

Judge Hellman was very generous in acceding to various prosecution requests for rebuttal witnesses on the 27th. It wont just be Guede. Aviello seems to have shot his credibility already so the question is what happens over Alessi.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/21/11 at 08:29 AM | #

Hi Machine,

Bruce Fisher is obviously negotiating with Ground Report to get his articles re-admitted or so it seems. He published a new article regarding the witness testimony and under the article it reads the following:

“Please note that previous articles written by me for Ground Report will be back online shortly. In the meantime you can read all of my articles here.”

In recent hours the number of articles in his Ground Report profile has increased from 1 to 3. I doubt that these are going to be “new” articles, but the old ones. The question is, are they going to be edited versions or the original ones?

Posted by Nell on 06/22/11 at 02:11 AM | #

Re: Bruce Fisher.  Ground Report are going to reinstate the articles, I’ve had an email to say as such following my complaints to them for printing BF’s lies (and not just the stuff relating to Pete and the ballerina but the huge porkies he tells about Amanda and the “lack of evidence”  Free speech is fine when it’s truthful).  Perhaps it’s time to start fighting fire with fire when it comes to the reports that are out there?  I would be happy to write something but I would have to plagiarise this whole site to death in order to do so grin  If you’re all happy with that then I’ll have a go, otherwise, I think people who know this case better (i.e. The Machine/Kermit/Skep or Pete) would be much better at it than I. Just a thought grin

Posted by daisysteiner on 06/22/11 at 07:25 AM | #

Hi Daisy. Sure a post would be very welcome. I am trying to protect the ballerina who got in over her head and rejects the duplicitous Fisher as much as I do. He clearly tricked her and she never ever expected him to be posting her emails with some pretty surreal interpretations. I cant tell the full story now and maybe not ever but many people who read the emails and compared them to Fisher’s interpretation got the point of what I was really trying to do and saw his comments as a hatchet job.

Ground Report is already fragile - it has less readers than TJMK has achieved several times - and has actually faded sharply since the wildly inaccurate shoot-the-messenger posts of Fisher started going up. Ground Report stands little chance of surviving if it cannot fight off a takeover by the conspiracy theory nuts. That may be the cause of the delay in all Fisher’s defamatory rants going back up. Yesterday they were posting asking for free legal advice about defamation law and the First Amendment. That hardly bodes well for them in withstanding any big-bucks lawsuit.

It is possible to put across a conspiracy theory with a smiling face in a relatively compelling way, but Fisher fails to achieve that. He comes across as a guy with really REALLY high blood pressure and a very unlikeable read who is unable to run a widely compelling website of his own. He was already kicked off two of the really big news blogs - Technorati and Gather - which have pretty impressive readerships and they entered into no second thoughts. In sharp contrast, the Ground Report editors were nervous yesterday about handing over to me even their real names and phone numbers for my lawyer.  I hope today they are back to square one and resolve to keep conspiracy theory nuts well away from their website.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/22/11 at 09:04 AM | #


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 Current Court Reporting: Seattle Post Intelligencer Still Posts The Best, Least Bias, Most Detail

Or to previous entry Today’s Star Witness For The Defense Mario Alessi Looks To Be Up To His Neck In Trouble