Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Umbria Attorney-General Galati Files 111-Page Supreme Court Appeal Against Hellmann

Posted by Peter Quennell

[We are told that this is AG Giovanni Galati at the recent justice info system announcement]

In submitting his 111-page appeal to Cassation Attorney General Giovanni Galati was extremely scathing in his remarks.

What Mr Galati has stated is that the appeal court of Judge Hellman exceeded its appeal mandate by far and tried to run a repeat trial at the first level, without the benefit of all the witnesses or a repeat presentation of evidence and cross-examination.

That overreach claim may resonate very strongly with the Supreme Court of Cassation which has historically repeatedly showed its distaste for first-appeal judges and juries who they seem to think too often overreach and must be restrained.

Cassation would already seem predisposed to any arguments coming from Attorney General Galati, as he was an assistant prosecutor general there, and predisposed against Judge Hellman, who has handled very few criminal cases (apparently none at all involving DNA) and produced previous quirky criminal-trial outcomes.

Book publishers might like to note that this could take two to five years to play out if it bounces back and forward several times between Rome and Perugia. Also that Italy’s law of calunnia may be applied to any wrong claims made in Knox’s and Sollecito’s prospective books.

Knox stated at trial that she was treated well on her interrogation night.  Even so she still faces her own charges of calunnia. Her parents likewise. And Sollecito’s parents face a trial for evidence tampering and political manipulation.

Any books would seem to need to be moving targets at best. Maybe no paper version.


Peter, you have acted wisely & well in anticipating this news & now in presenting it.

So the prosecution case goes to Cassation claiming
(a) that not all the witnesses were presented
(b) nor all the available evidence
(c) & that there was no cross-examination of the defendants.
More abstractly (d) that the Hellman court overreached its mandate.

Also overreaching: the two Rome university experts who wished to dismiss ALL forensic evidence on the basis of the handling of the knife.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/14/12 at 04:57 PM | #

There is a snippet on the BBC.


Very interesting, and telling, remarks on the appeal review and outcome. Thank you Peter.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 02/14/12 at 05:10 PM | #

Talk about viral.

The Amanda Knox book-publishing story took three days to hit 300 sites on Google News.

The prosecution appeal story has already exceeded that in less than three hours.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/14/12 at 05:51 PM | #

I suggested on pmf.org that in the event Hellman’s court did the unspeakable (which it duly did) then there was every chance Hellman would be sharing a bench with Curatolo. The only thing wrong with that prediction is that his future bench mate is now in prison.

Posted by Smacker on 02/14/12 at 05:51 PM | #

Peter - superb article by ~Andrea Vogt.


Posted by Melanie on 02/14/12 at 05:59 PM | #

I hate to comment on our own fraternity, but the “experts” did a lot of talking on topics that are clearly not their specialisation (e.g., sample collection; contamination; hypothesis testing; probabilities).  My knowledge is based on their publication records and snippets of the court testimony. I have reasons to suspect that they have deliberately exceeded their briefs to support a cause.

Sometime back Chris Halkides pointed out that 9 US scientists have written a letter supporting the cause of Amanda. It is interesting to note that some of them have their names on a scientific paper (hopefully peer reviewed) that claims otherwise.

Some of these experts are to be interviewed and examined by other experts, not journalists and lawyers.

Finster’s Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Posted by chami on 02/14/12 at 07:05 PM | #

Hi Chami,

Conti and Vecchiotti never proved there had been any contamination. Alberto Intini, the head of the Italian police forensic science unit, pointed out that unless contamination has been proved, it doesn’t exist.

They didn’t visit the laboratories of the scientific police or ask about their cleaning procedures. They didn’t know that the negative tests had been filed with another judge. They didn’t know that Dr Stefanoni analysed the traces on the knife six days after last handling Meredith’s DNA or that she last handled Sollecito’s DNA 12 days before she analysed the bra clasp. This means that contamination couldn’t have occurred in the laboratory. 

Conti and Vecchiotti regarded the downstairs flat as part of the crime scene even though no crime was committed there.

Worst of all, they didn’t carry out a new test on the knife despite the fact they were specifically instructed to do so and there are a number of laboratories that have the technology to carry out a test on the remaining the DNA.

Incidentally, Vecchiotti was appointed by a judge at the Cosenza court and the judge didn’t accept her findings. Other experts were appointed and they found incriminating DNA evidence that she had missed. The suspect admitted his guilt.

Posted by The Machine on 02/14/12 at 07:31 PM | #

I suggested on pmf.org that in the event Hellman’s court did the unspeakable (which it duly did) then there was every chance Hellman would be sharing a bench with Curatolo. The only thing wrong with that prediction is that his future bench mate is now in prison.

Posted by Smacker on 02/15/12 at 06:15 PM | #
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