This request, rare from the open Italian system, has been made a few times before in this case, to try to block corruption and dishonest PR before they can get up to speed.
Meanwhile, it is safe to assume that a great unraveling of the huge body of lies must be freaking the Sollecito and Knox team’s minds. A new development that the Italian media IS reporting suggests this is so.
By way of context, Guede is now out on parole but has some time still to serve, including three years awarded by the Florence court for possession of stolen property, a notebook computer taken by two persons still unknown from a law-firm in Perugia, late in 2007.
(There is zero hard evidence that Guede ever did any break-and-entering, ever, and he has never been charged or convicted of that.)
His Rome team has filed a Supreme Court appeal against the Florence court’s decision not to grant him a retrial for grounds based on the 2015 Supreme Court outcome of the Sollecito and Knox appeal which said in part (1) Guede did not act alone and (2) Knox and Sollecito were both there.
And his interview broadcast nationally by RAI could be followed up by a book damning to RS and AK.
Okay. Now the Italian news service ANSA reports this.
“Once he has finished his full term in prison, Rudy Guede must be expelled from Italy” the lawyer Luca Maori, one of the defenders of Raffaele Sollecito, has asked.
The Ivorian these days is in Perugia, at the home of his former elementary school teacher where he is taking advantage of a possible reversal of the condemned’s sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, which he is serving for the murder of Meredith Kercher.
Sollecito was finally acquitted for the same crime. “I will ask the police headquarters in Perugia - said Maori - to take steps to undertake the removal procedures of Guede, who is not an Italian citizen, who is now finishing serving his sentence (in prison in Viterbo - Ed.)
Many foreigners are expelled from our country for far less serious offenses to murder for which the Ivorian was sentenced” he said.
Any such expulsion order, considered unlikely, would be put on hold while Guede appeals - and presumably does maximum harm.]]>
Important context posts by KrissyG here and by James Raper here with more to follow.]]>
I want to expose some of the claims Gill noisily made only a year ago in an academic paper The Meredith Kercher case for Forensic Science Genetics: Analysis and Implications of the Miscarriages of Justice of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to see whether they stand up to the light of day.
Peter Gill claims the case is a PROVEN miscarriage of justice with regard to their convictions for Meredith’s murder:
“The case discussed here relates to the proven miscarriage of justice of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in relation to the accusation of murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy on the 1st November, 2007” (Peter Gill, FSI Genetics Report).
Anyone who is unfamiliar with the case might assume after reading Gill’s comments that there must be some exculpatory evidence will supports his claim e.g. verified alibis or CCTV footage that proves Amanda Knox and Sollecito were not at the cottage at the time of the murder.
However, Peter Gill never substantiates this claim. The reason why he can’t substantiate this claim? There is in fact NO exculpatory evidence at all.
Those unfamiliar might also assume that the other pieces of evidence against Knox and Sollecito have been completely discredited. However, Peter Gill chooses to completely ignore this evidence and its stark significance.
“This paper is necessarily restricted to the interpretation of the DNA evidence—without it the original convictions probably would not have occurred.”
How does Peter Gill KNOW the original convictions probably wouldn’t have occurred?
He seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that DNA evidence is mandatory in a murder trial order to secure a conviction.
However, DNA evidence isn’t a required element in any common law jurisdiction. All the pieces of evidence in a murder trial have to be considered. They also have to be considered wholly - not separately.
If firm DNA proof is there good. If it isnt, that is not a fail. The Italian Supreme Court criticised Appeal Judge Hellmann for adopting a piecemeal, atomistic approach to the evidence, and assessing each piece of evidence in isolation to the other pieces of evidence.
“The Hellmann Court of Appeal did not assess the pieces of circumstantial evidence in a comprehensive fashion; it did not evaluate them in a global and unified dimension, but managed to fragment them by evaluating each one in isolation, in an erroneous legal‐logical analysis, with the goal of criticizing their individual qualitative significance, whereas if the Hellmann Court of appeal had followed the interpretative rule of this Court of legitimacy, each piece of circumstantial evidence would have been integrated with the others, determining an unequivocal clarification of each of the established facts, so as to reach the logical proof of the responsibility of the accused.” (Judge Chieffi’s Supreme Court report, page 25).
But Gill makes the exact same mistake as Hellmann in adopting a piecemeal approach to the evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Unlike Hellmann, however, he ONLY considers the DNA evidence.
British killers Levi Bellfield and Robin Garbutt were both convicted of murder on far less evidence than Knox and Sollecito and without the prosecution presenting any DNA evidence at their trials.
Nobody batted an eyelid. Presumably because these two killers didn’t hire PR firms and they weren’t young women in their 20s.
By restricting his comments to the DNA evidence, Peter Gill conveniently doesn’t have to address and let alone refute the other pieces of evidence that led mutiple judges - including three separate panels of Supreme Court judges - to believe Knox and Sollecito were involved in Meredith’s murder.
One of the key reasons why Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder is they repeatedly told the police a pack of lies. They gave completely different accounts of where they were, who they were with and what they were doing on the night of the murder. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have verified alibis despite three attempts each.
All the other people who were questioned as part of the police investigation into Meredith’s murder had one credible alibi that could be verified. Innocent people don’t give multiple conflicting alibis and lie repeatedly to the police. It should be noted that Knox and Sollecito lied before and after their questioning on 5 November 2007, so their lies can’t be attributed to police coercion.
Amanda Knox initially claimed she was at Sollecito’s apartment on the evening of the murder and that she was there when she received the text message from Diya Lumumba at 8:18pm. However, Judge Massei and Judge Nencini both pointed out in their reports that her mobile phone records showed that this wasn’t true.
On 5 November 2007, Sollecito admitted in his signed witness statement that he had lied to the police.
“In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.”
Sollecito withdrew his alibi for Knox and claimed she wasn’t at his apartment.
“At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner, but I don’t remember what I ate. At around eleven my father phoned me on the house phone. I remember Amanda wasn’t back yet. I surfed on the Internet for a couple of hours after my father’s phone call, and I stopped only when Amanda came back, about one in the morning, I think.”
Once Knox was informed Sollecito was no longer providing her with an alibi, she repeatedly admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed in two witness statements and in her handwritten note to the police.
Knox was given another opportunity to tell the police the whole truth, but she chose to deliberately and repeatedly lie to the police by again and again accusing Diya Lumumba of murder.
“Amanda Marie Knox accused Patrick Lumumba of the murder at 1:45 am on 6 November 2007.”
“Amanda Marie Knox repeated the allegations before the magistrate, allegations which she never retracted in all the following days.” (The Nencini report, page 114).
Amanda Knox reiterated her false allegation against Diya Lumumba on 6 November 2007 when under no pressure.
“[Amanda] herself, furthermore, in the statement of 6 November 2007 (admitted into evidence ex. articles 234 and 237 of the Criminal Procedure Code and which was mentioned above) wrote, among other things, the following:
“I stand by my [accusatory] statements that I made last night about events that could have taken place in my home with Patrick…in these flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer…”
This statement was that specified in the notes of 6 November 2007, at 20:00, by Police Chief Inspector Rita Ficarra, and was drawn up following the notification of the detention measure, by Amanda Knox, who “requested blank papers in order to produce a written statement to hand over” to the same Ficarra. (Massei report, page 389).
The Italian Supreme Court categorically stated that it’s a judicial fact Amanda Knox was present at the cottage when Meredith was killed because she repeatedly admitted she was there and she knew specific details about the crime.
“Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.
About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time  a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.”
We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time – except obviously the other people present inside the house – could have known (quote p. 96). (The Bruno and Marasca, Supreme Court report).
Not only does Peter Gill completely ignore Knox and Sollecito’s numerous lies and multiple false alibis as if they are somehow unimportant and irrelevant, he also completely ignores the fact that Amanda Knox knew specific details about the crime.
Judge Nencini pointed out in his report that Knox made statements to the police that contained specific references to events that the investigation ascertained actually happened on 1 and 2 November 2007 and that nobody other than a participant in those tragic events could have known about. She knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted and had screamed loudly and she placed herself near the basketball ball in Piazza Grimana which was corroborated by another witness.
Umbria Prosecutor General Galati pointed out in his appeal that Amanda Knox told Meredith’s British friends that Meredith “was covered by a quilt, that a foot was sticking out, that they had cut her throat and that there was blood everywhere” (The Galati-Costagliola appeal, page 65).
Galati concluded that Amanda Knox knew these specifc details because she was in Meredith’s room at the time of the murder.
“Amanda has described the spot where Meredith was effectively murdered (in front of the wardrobe) and she has described the state of the body and of the room and the injury to the throat, in speaking with Meredith’s co-nationals, although, at the moment when the door to Meredith’s room was kicked in, neither she nor Sollecito, for certain, were able to look inside.
According to her, neither she nor Sollecito went into that room that morning before the arrival of the police because it was locked. Yet she knew everything. She knew because she was in that room at the time of the murder and when Meredith was left in the conditions in which she was discovered.” (The Galati-Costagliola appeal, pages 66-67).
I anticipate that Peter Gill might try to handwave away the lies by attributing them to police coercion or brutality on 5 November 2007. Amanda Knox claimed she was slapped twice by a police officer. However, the witnesses who were present when Knox was questioned, including her interpreter, all testified under oath at the trial in 2009 that she wasn’t hit.
Furthermore, Amanda Knox’s lies can’t be attributed to police brutality and coercion because she lied repeatedly BEFORE she was questioned on 5 November 2007.
Florence Judge Martuscelli has just ”>comprehensively detailed Raffaele Sollecito’s numerous lies and false alibis in his report - which explained why Sollecito was denied compensation from the State.
“The contradictions and inconsistencies between the various reconstructions which Sollecito offered about the movements of himself and his girlfriend during the late evening of 1 November 2007, and the succeeding night are clear, and we don’t need to underline them.
At first he said he and Knox went to his house shortly after 17:30, after a short walk around the town, and that he remained at home with her for the rest of the evening and night. A few days later he described this story as a “sacco di cazzate”, recounted by him only because the girl had persuaded him to confirm her account, whereas the truth was that he had gone to his home alone at 20:30-21:00, and had remained at home alone until Knox returned, about 01:00, and she remained and slept with him.
Two days later, questioned by the GIP, he said that this story of 5 November 2007 was untrue, and that really Knox had gone to his house with him at 20:00-20:30, they ate together, and then he certainly had remained at his computer until midnight, though it was possible that the girl had gone out, even though he didn’t remember well either if she went out or if she had later returned, excusing his lack of recall either because he had smoked cannabis that evening, or alternatively because every evening at that time was much like all the other evenings.
Such contradictions and inconsistencies render some of his earlier statements obviously incredible, because he himself has declared that they contain lies, besides which, after having purposely retracted his statements of 5 November 2007, which completely overturned his earlier statements, he didn’t return to his original story but came up with something different in which he reaffirmed the fact that he had first introduced on 5 November 2007 that Knox hadn’t spent the whole evening with him, “without however being certain about this, but confusing it in a tale of vague recollections emphasising this vagueness in the course of questioning aimed at clarifying his inconsistent statements.
Additionally his claims [5 ->] to be unable to remember those hours was criticised by various judges regarding the cautionary measures, who highlighted the strangeness of a “wavering” memory, which showed that he recalled very well various details of the evening but claimed to have completely forgotten other details of equal or greater importance. For example, the GIP in the interrogation of 8 November 2007 receiving the vague replies of Sollecito, when asked about his earlier declarations said “Sometimes you seem to remember very clearly, but at other times, when you are challenged, you say you don’t remember. I exhort you to be accurate, because you must understand that with all of these contradictions…your situation is not good.”
At the Court of Review, the order made on 30 November 2007 notes that in the spontaneous declaration given by Sollecito to that court that he had lingered on the fact that he had been at the computer the whole evening “adding new details about what he had done on the computer, details which obviously contrast with the complete mental blank which must have been his mind due to drug taking, at least unless we reach the conclusion hypothesising a particular pathology, the loss of memory secundum eventum.” [after the event]
The poor memory of what he was doing on the evening and night of 1 November 2007 seems barely credible because if it is possible that he spent all of his evenings in the same way, certainly he had never before lived through a day like 2 November 2007. To discover in the morning of 2 November 2007 that in his girlfriend’s house a murder had occurred, and that it was one of her flatmates who had been killed should have, logically, prompted the young man to have a precise memory of where Knox had passed the time during which all of this had presumably happened, at the very least to be thankful for the circumstances which had kept her away from the house, and thus would have been bound to encourage a precise recall of whether she was at home with him all evening or had been absent during that critical period.
“However all of the versions offered by Sollecito are untrue not only because they are contradictory, but also because many of them have been substantially disproved. For example, the witness Popovic disproves that Sollecito returned to his home alone at around 20:00/:30, although this is what he claimed in his last account which he never withdrew. This witness testified that she visited Sollecito’s house twice on the evening of 1 November 2007, at about 18:00 and at about 20:40, and that on both occasions saw Knox there, from which it seems certain that both of the young people were at Sollecito’s house together at least up until the time of the later visit. In addition, examination of his computer showed that it was in use, to watch a film, and showed “signs of human interaction, between the hours of 18:27 and 21:10.
It is also disproved that the young man was working at his computer on the evening of 1 November 2007 until 23:00/24:00. The analysis of his computer shows that between 21:10 and 05:32 there was no human interaction, though the machine remained switched on, downloading films in an automated manner (although Sollecito’s expert witness D’Ambrosio claims that a short animated film was viewed between 21:26 and 21:46).
The claim that the two slept all night, from 24:00 or 01:00 until 10:00 is also disproved; one of them (there was nobody else in the house) at 05:32 had turned on the computer, and listened to music for half an hour, and at about 06:00 someone had turned on Sollecito’s cell phone which was then able to receive a goodnight message from his father sent at 23:14 and which had not been received earlier because the phone was turned off.
Finally, it was disproved that Sollecito had received a phone call from his father at about 23:00 on 1 November 2007: the phone logs show that he received no calls on either the fixed or mobile line after about 20:40, [6 ->] and indeed his father explained that having established from this call that his son was with his girlfriend, getting ready to spend the evening together, he avoided telephoning again in order not to disturb them.”
The significance of Knox’s and Sollecito’s numerous lies to the police and others seems to be completely lost on Peter Gill.
Bear in mind that Robin Garbutt was found guilty of murdering his wife because he lied to the police, changed a key part of evidence and was caught out by technology.
There was no murder weapon, no DNA or forensic evidence, no logical motive, no witnesses and no confession. There has been no big media maelstrom concerning Robin Garbutt’s conviction for murder. It seems middle-aged white knights are only interested in rescuing damsels in distress and trying to profit from Amanda Knox’s infamy.
There is no plausible innocent explanation for Knox and Sollecito’s multiple false alibis and numerous lies. Amanda Knox’s high-profile supporters in the media seem to be completely oblivious to them.
The filmmakers responsible for the Netflix documentary Amanda Knox also completely ignored her lies with the exception of her false and malicious allegation against Diya Lumumba.
They ignored the fact Amanda Knox didn’t retract her accusation the whole time he was in prison even though she knew he was innocent. Time and time again Amanda Knox’s advocates in the media brush inconvenient facts that show her in a bad light under the carpet.
Peter Gill has never publicly mentioned Amanda Knox’s false and malicious accusation of Diya Lumumba or the fact she is a convicted felon for life, presumably because it undermines his narrative that she is an innocent victim. Amanda Knox’s definitive slander conviction for repeatedly accusing an innocent man of murder completely shatters this PR myth - a myth that Gill has unethically tried to peddle in the media.
Judge Micheli, who presided over Rudy Guede’s fast-track trial and sent Knox and Sollecito to trial, said lying repeatedly to the police will always be considered to be a serious indication of guilt. Judge Massei and Judge Nencini both attached considerable significance to Knox and Sollecito’s numerous lies in their respective reports.
Judge Micheli, Judge Massei and Judge Nencini are all experienced trial judges. Even Judges Bruno and Marasca didn’t attempt to understate their significance and stated that Knox and Sollecito were covering for Guede. That makes Knox and Sollecito at the very least accessories after the fact and guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Only a gullible simpleton would unquestioningly believe anything Knox and Sollecito say given the fact they are self-confessed and compulsive liars. It’s completely illogical for anyone to trust them - and yet Peter Gill does.
He may be a highly-qualified DNA expert, but he doesn’t seem to have an ounce of common sense. It should be self-evident even to a half-wit that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito lied repeatedly because they were trying to cover up their involvement in Meredith’s murder.]]>
Well-intentioned Italy is for sure the ONE country in the world where our case could still be playing out after nearly 10 years.
Why? Well, it is the ONE country that mandates two automatic levels of appeal (why?) with the first appeal before a new jury (why?) and the original trial prosecution absent at both levels of appeal (why?).
Outside of the courtrooms, judges and prosecutors are forbidden from even mildly explaining themselves (why?).
And judges are all required to write these enormous reports, the original purpose of which was to ensure justice is SEEN to be done - but which can set 10 million Sherlocks on the loose, intent on making law enforcement look fools.
Not such wonderful aspects of a system with intentions for the best. These negative aspects (among others) eat up time and resources, and they create living hells for the families of victims - the Kerchers have tens of thousands of Italian families of victims for sad company.
Do you know of this dramatic book and film?
It did not look like racial scaremongering at the time though looking back it does now.
What had happened is that a huge leap forward by the Japanese economy in the 80s in large part by adopting industrial systems created in the US made Americans realise Japanese enterprises were eating their lunch while their own legacy systems decayed.
The positive outcome of that big scare was widespread adoption of this mass system upgrade in the US.
Partly because of that the American economy in the 90s really roared - and the huge Silicon Valley systems generator came alive.
If you watched the Best Picture mix-up at the last few minutes of the Oscars the other night you will know HOW LONG it took for corrective action to cut in.
Two and a half thank-you speeches by the wrong team had already come and gone.
You may already have heard that the Academy will never use those two accountants again.
Scapegoats? Maybe not. The main reason was not that one of them (the man) messed up - it was that when the wrong announcement was made both of them froze. They had to be forced out onto the stage!
THATS an odd system mishap for sure.
And why was the presenter (Warren Beatty) puzzled at what he saw on the card? The card itself was a mess. This terrific article on typography gone wrong explains how.
The accountants’ system for creating and handing out the right cards had obviously not been gamed for flaws.
But the Academy also was at fault, for not checking all of their systems out. They know now that their systems need a little love, too.]]>
So many of Amanda Knox’s high-profile supporters such as Frank Sforza, Candace Dempsey, Doug Preston, Bruce Fischer, Nina Burleigh and Steve Moore have something in common - they have cynically tried to make a profit from Meredith’s tragic murder.
Now we turn our big guns on tendentious DNA expert and Johnny-come-lately Dr Peter Gill. When Gill tried to cast doubt on the bra clasp and knife evidence with copious innuendo in the media early in 2014, it was a fairly safe bet that a book would follow suit.
Predictably, Gill’s book Misleading DNA Evidence: Reasons for Miscarriages of Justice was published later that year in June.
This first in a series of posts about Gill draws on some excellent previous posts - please do read in particular Fly By Night and Olleosnep, Machiavelli and KrissyG.
In this article I will explain the weak basis for his claims about the Meredith Kercher case and examine them to see whether he did real research.
Any hopes that Peter Gill did meticulously research the Meredith Kercher case before writing his book are almost immediately dashed. He embarrassingly refers to Meredith as “Meridith”. Is it too much to expect him to be able to spell the victim’s name correctly, especially when he is putting himself forward as an expert on the case and using his DNA credentials to bolster his credibilty?
In three specific places in his book, he refers to the case as a “miscarriage of justice” even though at the time Knox and Sollecito were still appealing their convictions for murder and sexual assault back in 2009. The appeal judge Judge Nencini then also found them guilty of murder and sexual assault in Florence in 2013.
Peter Gill was never in a position where he could conclude there had been a miscarriage of justice. Unlike the judges and lay judges, he hadn’t attended any of the court hearings in Perugia or Florence, he doesnt speak any Italian, and he has never been to the two labs that processed the DNA in Rome.
Upstanding forensic scientists limit their comments solely to their specific area of expertise, and they allow the courts to ultimately decide whether defendants are guilty or not guilty - and not act as partisan advocates. That’s certainly the stance Peter Gill took when replying to an e-mail to TJMK poster Swansea Jack on 28 June 2014.
Thanks for your email.
I cant control how people interpret my comments. I am not getting involved in a debate that specifically addresses the ulitmate issue of innocence/guilt of individuals since that is the purpose of the court. I can only comment on the probative value of the DNA evidence. I dont know definitively how the DNA was transferred - I simply make a list of all of the possibilities. I dont comment on the non-DNA evidence.
It was dishonest of Peter Gill to claim he wasn’t getting involved in a debate that specifically addressed the ultimate issue of innocence or guilt when he had already done that by categorically stating the convictions of Knox and Sollecito were a “miscarriage of justice” in his book.
It wasn’t the first time Peter Gill had blown backwards and forwards on an important topic and made contradictory comments. Here is judicial criticism of some of his comments during his testimony at the Omagh bomb trial.
Dr Peter Gill, an exponent of the Low Copy Number DNA technique, conceded some of the results presented in the bomb trial were “valueless”.
Mr Justice Weir warned Dr Gill about “blowing backwards and forwards” on “an important topic”.
The judge said it was “very unhelpful” to give apparently contradictory evidence. Sean Hoey denies 58 charges, including 29 murders in Omagh in 1998.
Mr Hoey is a 37-year-old electrician from Molly Road, Jonesborough in County Armagh.
Low Copy Number DNA - a technique whereby DNA profiles can be obtained from samples containing only a few cells - is an important part of the prosecution case.
Dr Gill had been asked to comment on claims that control samples tested at the same time as parts of a device in Lisburn had come up positive for Mr Hoey’s DNA type.
That finding, said defence QC Orlando Pownall, should have meant that the tests were run again. The fact that they weren’t meant the results were invalid, he claimed.
“I think it invalidates the result,” Dr Gill agreed.
Dr Gill was also challenged over what appeared to be conflicting evidence on the reliability of Low Copy Number DNA testing.
Mr Pownall was questioning him about the amounts of DNA below which results could be relied on.
Giving evidence, Dr Gill said at a certain DNA level information taken from the results could be “informative”.
But Mr Pownall pointed out that in papers Dr Gill had written on the subject he had said that at that level the results were “uninformative”.
Mr Justice Weir intervened to say it “seems rather an important topic on which to be blowing backwards and forwards on.
In July 2016, Peter Gill wrote an academic paper about the Meredith Kercher case for Forensic Science Genetics: Analysis and implications of the miscarriages of justice of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. He made the following false claims:
“The final judgement exonerated the defendants” and “Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were exonerated in March 2015”.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito weren’t exonerated in March 2015 - they were merely acquitted with the weakest language available under Italian law.
There is a significant difference here. They were acquitted under paragraph 2 of article 530, which is merely an insufficient evidence acquittal. Had they been acquitted under paragraph one of article 530, then that would have been a definitive acquittal or exoneration.
Judge Bruno and Judge Marasca, the Supreme Court judges who acquitted them, said it was likely they would have convicted Knox and Sollecito of Meredith Kercher’s murder if the police hadn’t made claimed errors in their investigation:
“If it were not for the weak investigation and if the investigation had not been affected by guilty omissions, the court would, in all likelihood, be allowed right now to outline a framework, if not on absolute certainty at least of tranquil reliability, in view of the guilt Knox and Sollecito for killing the British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia on Nov. 1, 2007.”
Bruno and Marasca stated Meredith had been killed by Rudy Guede and others. They also said it’s certain that Amanda Knox was at the cottage when Meredith was killed and she washed Meredith’s blood off in the small bathroom. Furthermore, they said Sollecito was probably there. It’s not difficult to work out who the others are. Bruno and Marasca didn’t exonerate Knox and Sollecito - they clearly implicated them in Meredith’s murder.
I don’t know whether Peter Gill knows about Bruno and Marasca’s comments. If he doesn’t know about them, it was remiss of him not to read the whole report and refer to these comments in his academic paper. If he does know about them, he’s guilty of deliberately misleading the forensic community as well as the general public.
Is it just a coincidence that filmmakers responsible for the Netflix documentary Amanda Knox also cherrypicked comments made by Bruno and Marasca which were favourable to Knox and Sollecito, but completely ignored all their comments which were not?
Amanda Knox’s advocates in the media have always brushed inconvenient facts under the carpet. Their intention has always been to persuade the public that she’s innocent - not inform them and let them make up their own minds. Anyone who deliberately hides information that shows Knox and Sollecito in a bad light doesn’t care about Meredith or truth and justice.
More to come.]]>
[Video above: Sollecito slams Knox’s weird behavior; video below: Sollecito exhibits his own weird behavior]
He who comes to court for compensation must come with clean hands.
Dr Maresca’s comment quoted below is relevant and fully justified. It is not to be overlooked that in addition to the lies and suspicious behaviour we have a “definitive” (joke) judgement that also says that Knox and probably Sollecito were present in the cottage at the time of the murder.
Even if Sollecito was not then he had good cause to believe that Knox was, yet before and after his police statement he did everything he could to obfuscate the fact and mislead investigators and prosecutors, all the while trying to dig himself out of a hole.
That adds up to a number of additional criminal offences he has committed but for which he has escaped sanction. In addition who can doubt that at the very least he had a part in, or knowledge of, the burglary staging (not criticized by the 5th Chambers), and the subsequent removal of blood traces (the evidence for which which the 5th Chamber basically ignored).
‘Doubts Remain about Sollecito’s Acquittal by Maresca’
(ANSA) - PERUGIA, Feb. 12 - The lawyer Francesco Maresca, who represents the family of Meredith Kercher, commented on the decision of the Tuscan capital judges to reject the claim for unjust detention by the young man from Puglia.
“The Court of Appeal of Florence confirms the uncertainty related to the acquittal of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox will remain in the history of Italian justice for all the unresolved doubts that it leaves”.
According to the lawyer “It confirms the statements and behavior of the young pair as a justification for custody and reminds us of the fact that the Supreme Court has placed them still in the house of the crime, so it really does seem that this absolution was to be refused at all costs.”
This is a repeat of my post of almost exactly three years ago which reveals an incriminating behavior pattern for sure.
A very strong case for guilt has been made at trial and endorsed at the first-level appeal…
The focus of this post… is upon the described behaviours of Knox and Sollecito, from the very beginning for a full week.
The early pointer of the staged break-in aside this behaviour gave investigators an insight into the pair’s possible involvement back on Day One: Behavioral pointers have continued on a par with corroborated developments in the case.
It has even continued, incredibly, since their release from prison. For me it is the thread that runs through this case having as much to do with the overall picture of culpability as the other elements .
This behaviour - to include what they have to say for themselves - is a catalogue of the inappropriate, of the implausible, of inconsistencies and contradictions, of evasions and obfuscations, to be gleaned from the accounts of Knox and Sollecito themselves and highlighted in the accounts of other witnesses. It is also to be gleaned from phone and computer records.
Taken together it is a formidable body of evidence which goes to character and culpability. It cannot be attributed to a railroading job, the machinations of a corrupt and evil prosecutor or character assassination by the media. It is also implausible if not impossible to explain it as being due to naivety, confusion or some quirkiness of character.
It amounts to the pair of them concocting stories, telling lies and misleading investigators and the general public.
There are numerous items of evidence which are building blocks in the prosecution case and with which we are all familiar.
I don’t want to make this an unduly long post. Accordingly I am going to concentrate on the period up to that famous police interrogation analysed just below. As to that critical period I will be selective but it should be enough.
The Lady With The Mop?
The story (in Knox’s e-mail) that she had visited the cottage to collect a mop, have a shower and get a change of clothing, earlier on the morning of the 2nd November, but did not notice that Filomena’s window had been broken and her room trashed is just that - a made up story. It is entirely implausible and the account unreliable for a number of reasons including-
The Two Stayed At Home?
The story that Knox and Sollecito had spent the previous night (the night of Meredith’s murder) indoors, critically from 9 pm onwards, that both had slept and that Knox had been the first to rise at about 10.30 am the next morning is implausible and uncorroborated, not only because this alibi is directly contradicted by the testimony of Curatolo and Quintavalle, and Sollecito’s statement to the police that Knox had gone out and not returned until about 1 am, but also in view of the following facts.
GCM: Can you say what time this was?
AK: umm, around, umm, we ate around 9.30 or 10, and then after we had eaten, and he was washing the dishes, well, as I said, I don’t look at the clock much, but it was around 10. And…he…umm…well, he was washing the dishes and, umm, the water was coming out and he was very bummed, displeased, he told me he had just had that thing repaired. He was annoyed that it had broken again. So…umm
LG: Yes, so you talked a bit. Then what did you do?
AK: Then we smoked a joint together……we made love…..then we fell asleep.
The Fake Call To Knox’s Mum in Seattle?
Knox falsely claims in her book that having had her shower she called her mother on her way back to Sollecito’s apartment as she was beginning to have concerns as to what she had seen at the cottage. Her mother tells her to raise her concerns with Raffaele and the other flatmates and Knox says that she then immediately called Filomena. Filomena tells her to get hold of Meredith by phone which she tries to do by calling Meredith’s English phone first, then her Italian one.
“….and I returned to Raffaele’s place. After we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen I told Raffaele about what I had seen in the house over breakfast. The strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit in the toilet. He suggested I call one of my roommates, so I called Filomena………..
Filomena seemed really worried so I told her I’d call Meredith and then call her back. I called both of Meredith’s phones the English one first and last and the Italian one in between. The first time I called the English phone it rang and then sounded as if there was disturbance, but no one answered. I then called the Italian phone and it just kept ringing, no answer. I called the English phone again and this time an English voice told me the phone was out of service.”
Ist call of the day @ 12.07.12 (to Meredith’s English phone) - 16 seconds
2nd call @ 12.08.44 (to Filomena) - 68 seconds
3rd call @ 12.11.02 (to Meredith’s Italian phone) - 3 seconds
4th call @ 12.11.54 (to Meredith’s English phone) - 4 seconds
8th call @ 12..47.23 (first call to her mother) - 88 seconds
1. In her e-mail, and repeated in her trial testimony, Knox says that she woke up around 10.30 am, grabbed a few things and walked the 5 minutes back to the cottage. If the first call to her mother was about an hour after she left the cottage (see before), then she left the cottage at about 11.47 am, which means that she spent over an hour there. Either that or she spent more (a lot more) than 20 minutes at Raffaele’s place before calling Filomena. The latter would be more likely as it is difficult to conceive that she spent over an hour at the cottage. She didn’t have the heating on when she was there. Either way there is a period of about an hour and a half between when she might have tried to contact Meredith or raise the alarm and actually doing so.
2. That we are right to be incredulous about this is borne out by the false claim in Knox‘s book. That false claim is significant and can only be because Knox is aware of the problem and feels she needs to add some support to her implausible story of the mop/shower visit and to conceal the real reasons for the inactivity and delay connected with it.
3. That it is incredible is even belatedly acknowledged by Sollecito’s feeble but revealing attempt to distance himself from Knox in a CNN interview on the 28 Feb this year. “Certainly I asked her questions” he said. “Why did you take a shower? Why did you spend so much time there?”
4. That she makes that false claim and has constantly stonewalled and/or misplaced the 16 second call to Meredith’s English phone is indicative of her guilty knowledge. Her guilty knowledge with respect to the 16 second call was that it was made to ascertain whether or not the phones had been located before she called Filomena, and hence for her it was not (incredulous though this is without such explanation) a pertinent fact for her to bring up with Filomena.
The Real Call To Knox’s Mum In Seattle?
As to the 12.47 call to her mother itself (4.47 am Seattle time and prior to the discovery of Meredith‘s body) Knox not only did not mention that in her e-mail but in her trial testimony she steadfastly declined to recall that it had occurred.
She clearly did not want, or could not be trusted, to discuss why the call had occurred and what had transpired in conversation with her mother before the discovery of Meredith’s body.
Not only was the timing of the 12.47 call inconvenient to her mother but I found it interesting to note from Knox’s phone records (covering 2nd Oct - 3rd November) that mother and daughter do not appear to have called or texted each other once up until that 12.47 call.
It would appear then that in so far as they remained in direct communication with each other for that period it must have been by e-mail. One can therefore imagine that her mother was very surprised to receive that call.
It is also very difficult to accept that Knox could not recall a phone call she was not in the habit of making. (On the other hand the same records show that it was not at all unusual for Knox and Meredith to communicate with other on Meredith’s English phone.)
Sollecito’s Call From His Dad?
At the cottage, and prior to the above call, Sollecito received a call from his father at 12.40 am. Do we know what they discussed? It would in any event have been after the discovery of Filomena’s broken window and (allegedly) Sollecito’s (rather feeble) attempt to beak down Meredith’s door.
Did the responsible adult advise his son to do the obvious and call the police? One would think so, but then why was there a 10 minute delay before he called his sister in the Carabinieri at 12.50 am? Indeed, why call his sister at all? Filomena had also urged Knox to call the police when she called at 12.35.The delay might be explained by the unexpected arrival of the postal police and if this was the case then it was before Sollecito called the 112 emergency services.
The Claims Of Finding Meredith’s Body?
Neither Knox nor Sollecito saw into Meredith’s room when the door was broken down and her body discovered on the floor under a quilt. Yet in the immediate aftermath it is as if they have wanted others to believe that it was they who discovered her body and in the bragging about this there have been disclosures, not only as to what they should not have been aware but also suggestive of disturbed personalities. This behaviour was remarkable for all the wrong reasons.
“Yes I knew her. I found her body.”
“It is something I never hope to see again,” he said. “There was blood everywhere and I couldn’t take it all in.”
“My girlfriend was her flatmate and she was crying and screaming, ‘How could anyone do this?’”
About the only thing that is true here is that he knew Meredith.]]>
Sollecito, represented by his attorneys throughout the process, Avvocato Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori, is currently claiming compensation for ‘wrongful imprisonment’.
This claim now before a Florence court is in respect of the four years he served of a sentence of 25 years handed down for the Aggravated Murder of Meredith Kercher, 1 Nov 2007.
The conviction was controversially overturned by the final Italian Supreme Court in March 2015, and its Motivational Report published – some three months late – in September 2015.
It was only then Sollecito was able to commence compensation proceedings, as the Italian Penal Code provides for this, given its long-winded legal process whereby defendants accused of serious crimes (i.e., one with a sentence of over three years custody) can be held on remand whilst awaiting trial. In theory, this should only be for up to one year.
The Florence panel of three women judges indicated over a week ago that their decision could be expected by last Friday. Why the further delay? Well, a major reason could be that, far from finding Sollecito “innocent”, the Marasca-Bruno Supreme Court ruling in fact did him few favors and the judges may be having a hard time grappling with that.
They will also know of Dr Mignini’s explosive contention that two articles of the judicial code were flouted and the case should have been referred back down to the appeal court (the same Florence court!) if there were evidence problems.
The Marasca/Bruno verdict is considered controversial because Sollecito and his co-defendant, Amanda Knox had been found guilty at the first instance trial court (merits), which was upheld on appeal.
It is unusual for the Supreme Court to have not remitted the case back to the Appeal (second instance) court as the Penal Code – as is standard in the UK and the USA – does not allow the Supreme Court to assess facts found at trial.
The correct procedure is to send the disputed evidence back to the court which in the opinion of the Supreme court erred. Marasca did not rule a Section 530,1 ‘Not Guilty’ acquittal, but a Section 530, 2 ‘Not Guilty’ ‘insufficient evidence’, which some say is similar to Scottish Law, ‘Not Proven’. However, the wording used, proscioglimento indicates a pre-trial ‘charges dropped’, rather than ‘acquittal’ (assoluzione).
Sollecito and Knox made several applications against being held in custody whilst awaiting trial and were turned down at every stage, including appeals and an application for ‘house arrest’ in lieu.
The prosecution opposed the application on the grounds of the seriousness of the crime, and in Knox’ case, the standard ground that she might flee the country, as a foreigner to Italy. In addition, the prosecution had used special preventative powers to isolate the defendants (Knox, Sollecito and Guede) to prevent tampering with witnesses, a power which had been added to the Penal Code to assist in the fight against mafia gangs who did intimidate witnesses, often through their lawyers.
Therefore the law allowed the prosecutors to deny the defendants an attorney until just before their remand hearings.
However, the award of compensation for having (a) been held in remand, and (b) serving a sentence until such time the conviction was overturned, is not automatic. The applicant has to show that they are factually ‘not guilty’, i.e., cannot possibly have committed the crime, perhaps because the ‘real perpetrator’ has come to light, or ‘new evidence’ presented.
Neither of these scenarios apply in Sollecito’s case. Whilst a defendant is allowed to ‘lie’ and indeed, does not need to swear an oath in testifying, this only holds true if they are guilty. Marasca did not find Sollecito or Knox, ‘Not Gulty’ as per Article 530,1, the common or garden ‘Not Guilty’ verdict.
Further, Sollecito refused to testify at his own trial, and made various misrepresentations and lies to the police. He argues in current tv and radio show rounds – for example, in the recent Victoria Derbyshire BBC morning show – that as he was a ‘collector of knives’ and had always carried a knife around since age thirteen, ‘To carve on tables and trees’, he explains, and thus argues, the police should not have viewed this with suspicion when he attended the questura carrying one in the days after the murder.
Sollecito’s other difficulty is that Marasca, whilst criticising the investigation as ‘flawed’, and this being the main reason for acquittal, it nonetheless cuts Sollecito little slack.
From the Marasca Supreme Court Motivational Report, Sept 2015 (boldface added):
It remains anyway strong the suspicion that he [Sollecito] was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine. On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her.
And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file.
Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house.
Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action.
The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.
An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder, a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2.
An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi.
Sollecito in his police interview of the 5 Nov 2007, shortly after which he was arrested, withdrew his alibi from Amanda Knox. During the Nencini appeal phase, he and his advocate, Bongiorno, called a press conference to underline that Sollecito ‘could not vouch for Knox’ whereabouts between 8:45 pm and 1:00 am on the night of the murder. Sollecito has never once retracted this withdrawal of an alibi for Amanda.
Further, Judges Marasca and Bruno state:
The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions.
In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.
Sollecito had claimed he was surfing the internet until 3:00 am in one statement and claimed to have watched Naruto cartoon until 9:45 pm on the murder night. It winds up:
The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).
Leading to the verdict:
Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.
*[Translator’s note: The Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, in the Italian Procedure Code, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgments during investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. Note: as for investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a non-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgment nor a court’s decision.] http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com/The_Marasca-Bruno_Report_(English)
Sollecito has clearly passed the first hurdle of being eligible to have a hearing for compensation. His legal team have asked for the maximum €516,000. A claimant who can successfully plead ‘wrongful imprisonment’ can claim €500, per diem imprisonment, up to a cap of €516,000.
Sollecito’s legal team have referred to Marasca’s criticism of the investigation as grounds for the full compensation, claiming Sollecito’s “innocence and loss of youthful endeavours” because of the ‘flaws’. Problem is, the issue of investigative flaws was never pleaded at trial, or at least, not upheld, by either the trial or appeal court judge. Marasca never really explains in which way this was a proven fact.
The Prosecutor’s Office based at Florence is opposing the application. I would expect they will be relying on Matteini’s remand hearing and Gemmelli’s written reasons rejecting Sollecito’s appeal against being kept in custody until the hearing.
The three judges who on 27 January 2017 in a hearing listed for five days announced they would issue their verdict ‘within five days’, as of 7 Feb 2017, some seven working days later, have yet to make a decision. Alternatively, the decision has been made, but the public and press have not yet accessed it. It could be Sollecito’s legal team have yet to call a press conference, whilst they study the findings.
The Florence panel of judges will have to decide:
Watch this space for the decision! Also Sollecito has made noises that he plans further legal action against the prosecutor, based on Marasca’s criticisms in the Motivational Report. Watch for that too.
Sources: The Murder of Meredith Kercher com True Justice for Meredith Kercher]]>
The ill-prepared Victoria Derbyshire was snowed.
Sollecito was convicted ONCE and not ever found “innocent”. The verdict was that he was probably at the scene of the crime, and Knox definitely so. And that fail was despite a mighty effort to corrupt two Italian courts.
Who knows what new tricks behind the scenes are being played now? But if the Florence judge really studies the record of the early days, there is no way in which Sollecito gets paid.
He ADMITTED on 5-6 November 2007 that he had lied to the cops, because Knox made him do so. That same night he signed a confession to that effect. Lying to the cops is itself a crime.
And Sollecito was treated extremely fairly throughout. He and Knox had half a dozen judicial hearings even before the 2009 trial began.
He and Knox failed to win release at every one - all the judges ending with Judge Micheli who wrote up the case against them at length turned his pleas down, moving him from prison to mere house arrest being one.
One of Sollecito’s and Knox’s failed attempts at being sprung before trial was an appeal directly to the Supreme Court (amazing - try that in the UK or US!).
Our translation by Catnip of the Gemelli judgment is highly worth a read (there is a similar judgement for Knox) as the Florence court has to decide: did the Gemmeli court act unfairly in light of the list of evidence here?
Gemelli Court Decision on Raffaele Sollecito’s 2008 Appeal (English)
Held: the decision to continue pre-trial prison detention for the suspect was reasonable.
THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY
IN THE NAME OF THE ITALIAN PEOPLE
THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION
SECTION 1 CRIMINAL DIVISION
Comprised of the most Honourable Justices:
Dr Torquato GEMELLI - President -
Dr Emilio Giovanni GIRONI - Member -
Dr Maria Cristina SIOTTO - Member -
Dr Umberto ZAMPETTI - Member -
Dr Margherita CASSANO - Member -
have pronounced the following JUDGMENT on the appeal lodged by:
(1) RS, born on X, against Order of 30/11/2007 Liberty Court of Perugia;
having heard the relation made by Member Emilio Giovanni Gironi;
having heard the conclusions of the Prosecutor-General Dr Consolo for its rejection;
having heard the defence advocates G and T (substituting for advocate M).
REASONS FOR THE DECISION
The order referred to in opening confirmed, at the Re-examination stage, the one by which the GIP [the Preliminary Investigation Magistrate] had applied pre-trial prison detention of RS for participation in the murder of MSCK, the which occurring in Perugia on the evening of the 1st of November 2007 by means of a cutting weapon, in an alleged context of sexual assault by a group, in which there would have taken part, in addition to S, his girlfriend AK and a RHG, who had left behind a palm print on the bloodied pillow on which the victim’s body was resting and whose DNA was found on the vaginal swab taken from the body of the same and on faecal traces found in a bathroom of the house that the victim was sharing with Ms AK and two Italian students.
The picture of circumstantial evidence specifically concerning S consists of the identification of a print left in haematic material present at the scene of the crime of a sports shoe held to be compatible, because its dimensions and configuration of the sole, with the type of footwear, “N” brand size 42.5, used by the suspect; of the recovery – in the kitchen of his house – of a kitchen knife bearing traces of Ms AK’s DNA on the handle and on the blade traces of Ms MK’s DNA; and of the collapse of the alibi put up by the young man (having been disproven by technical investigations carried out), in which, as asserted by him, he had interacted with his computer during the hours in which, according to the forensic pathologist’s reconstruction, the criminal fact would have occurred, that is between 22:00 and 23:00 of the 1st November 2007; from the investigations carried out up until now it would appear, in fact, that the last interaction with the machine on 1 November occurred at 21:10 and that the subsequent one took place at 5:32 the day after, when S also reactivated his mobile phone, acts witnessing thereby an agitated and sleepless night. Equally disproven was that the young man had received a phone call from his father at 23:00 on the night of the murder, it resulting, instead, that said call had happened at 20:40.
Against S, caught at the time of arrest with a switchblade initially considered compatible with the wounds found on the neck of the victim, would line up, in addition, the mutability of the stories given to the investigators by the same and by his girlfriend, having initially maintained they had remained the whole evening and night in the young man’s house, later to state, instead, that at a certain point Ms AK would have left to meet the Ivorian [sic] citizen PDL, manager of a pub in which Ms AK was undertaking casual employment, she making a returning to her boyfriend’s house only around one in the morning.
It must, finally, be added that the same Ms AK had, amongst other things, initially referred (not confirming, in any case, the thesis in confused and contradictory subsequent versions) to having taken herself to her own house with L, where this latter (he also was struck with a custody order, later revoked after the previously mentioned identification of G’s DNA) had had sexual relations with Ms MK, and to having, while she herself was in the kitchen, heard her friend scream, without, further, remembering anything else of the subsequent events, up until the occurrences of the day after, marked by the discovery of traces of blood in the small bathroom next to Ms MK’s room and culminating in the discovery of the body, after the intervention of the forces of law and order (the police appear, in particular, to have intervened prior to the call to 112 effected by S); in particular, the young woman was specifically pointing out not being able to remember whether S were also present in the victim’s house on the occasion of the events just described.
The Re-examination Court concluded recognizing, for the purposes of maintaining pre-trial detention, the persistence of all the types of pre-trial exigencies mentioned by Article 274 Criminal Procedure Code.
The S defence has indicated an appeal, on the grounds of, with new reasons as well:
- reference to Ms AK alone of the circumstantial evidence constituted by the presence of biological traces from her and from the victim on the knife found at S’s house;
- absence, at the scene of the crime, of biological traces attributable to the suspect [ndr: note, this was before the bra-clasp tests had been done];
- arbitrary transference onto S of the weighty circumstantial evidence against Ms AK, on the unfounded assumption that the pair could not have been anything but together at the moment of the homicidal fact;
- inexistent evidential value of the phases relative to the discovery of the body;
- absence of blood traces from the soles of the “N” shoes worn by the suspect even at the moment of his arrest;
- absence of any evidential value of merit, alleged failure of the alibi, constituting the use of his computer, of which the falsity has not in any case been ascertained, of the lack of interaction by the subject with the machine after the last operation at 21:10 not permitting the inference that the computer was not, however, engaged in downloading files (being, to be specific, films);
- irrelevancy of the mistake revealed between the indicated time of the phone call to the father furnished by S and the actual time of the call, given the uncertainty of the time of death of the victim, depending on the time, otherwise uncertain, of the consumption of the dinner (according to various witness statements coinciding with 18:00), it being well able, therefore, for the time indicated by the forensic pathologist (23:00) to be revised backwards to 21:00, a little before which time the witness P had referred to having made a visit to S, finding him at home and not on the verge of going out;
- interpretability of the so-called unlikelihood of the versions supplied by the suspect as attempts to cover for (aid and abet) another subject;
- attribution of the victim’s biological traces found on the knife seized at S’s house to chance contamination not related to the homicidal fact;
- insufficiency of the pre-trial exigencies, having diminished in a probative sense after the return to Italy of G; those relating to risk of flight lacking in specificity and concreteness; and with reference to the conventional content of blogs posted on the internet by the suspect, those relating to danger to society illogically reasoned;
- missing appearance of the young man’s walk, via security cameras installed along the route that the aforesaid would have had to traverse to go from his house to that of the victim’s.
THE APPEAL IS UNFOUNDED
As regards what this Court is permitted to appreciate, not being able here to proceed with a re-reading of the investigative results nor with an alternative interpretation of the factual data referred to in the custody order, the appellant defence substantially contests the recognition, as against S, of the necessary requisite of grave indicia of culpability. The question thus posed and submitted for scrutiny by this bench of the well-known limits of the competence of the court of merit, it must be held that the finding expressed by the Re-examination judges concerning the gravity of the frame of circumstantial evidence is not susceptible to censure.
Not upheld, in the first place, is the defence submission according to which the knife bearing the genetic prints of Ms AK and of Ms MK found in S’s house would constitute a piece of evidence relevant solely as against the young woman, even if privy of traces attributable to the suspect, the utensil has as always been found in the young man’s house, and the testimony acquired up until now has led to the exclusion that it formed part of the inventory of the house inhabited by the victim, and which, at the time, and until proved to the contrary, must be held to be the same available for use by the suspect and which had been used in MK’s house, there being contested no access by her to S’s house.
Given the multitude of group contributive possibilities, the fact is not significative, then, in itself being a neutral element, that on the scene of the crime there are no biological traces attributable to S, to which, in any case, is attributable the “N” brand shoe print considered compatible, by dimensions and sole configuration, with the footwear worn by the suspect at the time of arrest. Although having the same impugned order excluded, at the time, the certainty of the identification constitutes as, in any case, a certain datum that the print in question had been made in haematic material found in Ms MK’s room by a shoe of the kind and of the dimensions of those possessed by the appellant, while it remains to be excluded that this could have originated from G’s shoe, who wore a size 45 and, therefore, dimensions notably larger. The revealed coincidence, notwithstanding the residual uncertainty on the identification, assumes particular valency in relation to the restricted circle of subjects gravitating to the scene of the homicide, with not even Ms AK, who made admissions about her presence on site at the same time as the execution of the offence, excluding the presence of her boyfriend in the victim’s house in the same circumstance; nor can it be held that the print could have been left by S the following morning, he never having claimed to have entered into the room wherein the body was lying.
It does not answer, therefore, to verity that, as against the young man, there had been recognized, by a phenomenon of transference, items of circumstantial evidence in reality pointing solely to Ms AK.
The last finding held unfavourable to S is constituted by the failed proof of the alibi constituted by the argument of the suspect as having remained at home on the computer until late at night; it being a matter of, properly speaking, an alibi failing up till now and not of a false alibi and the defence, correctly, does not refute the technico-judicial valency of the circumstantial evidence, but it remains, in any case, acquired into the case file that the accused had not been able to prove his absence from the locus of the crime at the same time. An item up until now assumed as certain is, instead, the fact that S had interacted with his computer at 5:32 the morning following the murder, at around the same time reactivating his own mobile phone, a contradiction of the assumption of a waking up only at 10:00 and a symptomatic tell-tale of a more or less sleepless night; likewise as symptomatic was held to be the nearly simultaneous cessation of telephonic traffic as much by Ms AK, in his company the evening of 1 November 2007.
The proof of a permanent stay in his house by the suspect can, all told, be considered as acquired up until 20:40 – coincident with P’s visit – who confirmed his presence, or up until 21:10, the last interaction time on the computer, but this does not cover the time of the homicide, located between 22:00 and 23:00.
As for the proposed argument that S’s conduct were interpreted as aiding and abetting, this does not result, in the event, as being supported by anything emerging from the investigations and its plausibility cannot be verified by the judges of merit.
In conclusion, the Re-examination Court’s evaluation as to the gravity of the circumstantial evidence picture are removed from the audit of this court.
There remains, finally, the finding that for what concerns the pre-trial exigencies, those of a probative nature are not able to be considered as ceasing from the sole fact of G’s re-entry into Italy (amongst other things significantly never invoked in the statements by the suspect and by his girlfriend, who instead co-involved L in the proceedings), given the existence of an investigative picture in continual evolution, in which the positions of the various protagonists so far remain unclear, the changing versions of which are marked by reticence and mendaciousness (the same suspect had, in truth, admitted to having, at least initially, told ‘a load of balls’); but the permanence of pre-trial exigencies had been held reasonablely even under the aspect of flight risk, in relation to the gravity of the charges and of the potential sanctions, not to mention danger to society, given the revealed fragility of character and the specific personal traits of the subject, – which would narrowly evaluate as innocuous youthful stereotypes –, in a context the more connoted by the noted habitual use of drugs.
FOR THESE REASONS
Rejects the appeal and sentences the appellant to payment of costs of the proceedings. Article 94 para 1 ter, and activating provisions, Criminal Procedure Code, applies.
DEPOSITED IN THE REGISTRY ON 21 APRIL 2008
Mid-2015 report; El Chapo was soon captured, but escaped and was recaptured in November 2016
Who’d a known it? We are being told that the highrise prison adjacent to the courts in downtown Manhattan is maybe the US’s most escape-proof.
Well that is a relief…
The career of Sinaloa cartel leader and escape artist “El Chapo” (three escapes so far) in northern Mexico (see the great 2015 movie El Sicarrio for a fictional version) has been littered with bodies - he himself claims to have bumped off thousands.
Having escaped those three times very ingeniously from Mexican prisons, the authorities there were not unhappy to send Guzman northward. He faces his first American trial soon, in the Federal courts in Brooklyn. The Chicago courts will be his next destination.
Much of northern Mexico is a desert - actually a quite beautiful one - and the drug-transporting cartels had traditionally divided it up into corridors to run the drugs that are produced further south, especially in Colombia. The Sinaloa cartel initially settled for only the western several.
But as the video explains, a fired-up and mistrustful El Chapo set about taking over all of the corridors.
The Sinaloans are assiduous builders of long tunnels, and there are said for example to be many dozens between the Tijuana and San Diego areas.
No border wall like that being mooted is likely to have any effect on them. This is though experts say hard drugs do way more harm to society than the dwindling trickle of illegal immigrants.
See this case for example.]]>