Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Trial: Judges And Jury To Visit House On The 17th - What Can We Expect?

Posted by Arnold_Layne

[click for larger image]

Having seen and heard the autopsy evidence, the judges and jury will now see the actual crime scene.  What might we expect from this? 

I think this will have an emotional and lasting impact on them.  Until now, everything has been pictures and talk. Seeing the actual site of the brutal murder right after the autopsy information will cement the enormity of the crime in their minds.

For one thing, they will most likely try to reconstruct the crime in their minds.  When might Meredith have eaten mushrooms?  With whom?  What was the sequence of events in the attack?  What was visible from the park?  Where did the sexual assault take place?  The torturous stabbing?  The final thrust to the neck?

The defense will also have to present images that are more consistent with what the jurors have actually seen.  It will be much more difficult for them to create a fuzzy mental picture of someone breaking in when they have actually seen the window.

A question still for me is where the actual attack took place. 

We know it ended in the bedroom.  But why did Knox and Sollecito seemingly spend the entire night cleaning up the common areas?  And if Guede was voluntarily with Mez, why did he not use the bathroom adjacent to her room?  Why was there so little DNA evidence in Meredith’s room after such an epic struggle?

When the jurors leave this murder scene, they will be very different people.  This crime will be much more real to them, and rendering a verdict will no longer be just a civic duty. 

When they next meet in court, I have to wonder what their impression will be of a smiling, carefree Amanda Knox.

Posted on 04/07/09 at 11:42 AM by Arnold_LayneClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Meredith’s Perugia #7: The Rap-Music Scene…

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 04/05/09 at 06:54 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Newsweek Interviews The Kercher Family Lawyer Francesco Maresca

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for another fine report by Barbie Nadeau.

Ms Nadeau is one of only two Rome-based Amercan reporters (the other is Andrea Vogt, see post below) on the case. In contrast, there are half a dozen British reporters on the case, at least one (Nick Pisa for Sky News) with a cameraman, and there are rarely less than several dozen Italian reporters.

This report nicely positions where we are now in the course of the trail.

Now, 17 months after Kercher’s brutal murder, the theatrics are over. The two judges and six jurors are finally getting to the meat of the trial: the scientific evidence.

Experts say it will make all the difference in this case against 21-year-old Amanda Knox and 25-year-old Raffaele Sollecito, who stand accused of sexual assault and murder.

Francesco Maresca, the attorney representing the Kercher family, equates the prosecution’s case so far to preparing a fine meal. “Up to this point, we have seen the equivalent of the side dishes,” Maresca told NEWSWEEK in his office in Florence. “From this point we will start to see the real substance”...

With the theatrics now out of the way, this scientific evidence will finally bring the circumstances of this murder into better focus. The prosecution has always maintained that Knox, Sollecito and Guede tried to initiate a sex game that went awry.

Maresca says that while he is sure the accused did not go into Kercher’s room with the intent to kill her, there is ample evidence proving that what started as a game ended in her tragic murder.

“Kids this age are all into quick thrills,” he told NEWSWEEK. “What started as a threat or a game to scare Mez escalated to violence and ended in murder.”

We suspect that here, Mr Maresca may be reflecting what the Kerchers also think: that nobody in the world would have knowingly set out to murder someone so precious as Meredith.


Trial: Witness Rudy Guede Appears On The Stand But Choses Not To Talk

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Ruede Guede at a hearing in September 2008]

Rudy Guede chose to remain silent in court today. The Associated Press reports:

Rudy Hermann Guede, from the Ivory Coast, took the stand in Perugia in the trial of US student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

Under Italian law, he had the right not to answer as he has been convicted…

Escorted by prison guards, he appeared tense and did not look at Knox and Sollecito.

Guede has acknowledged being in Kercher’s apartment when she was attacked.

He said he tried to rescue her but got scared and fled.

There had been speculation for months that his lawyers were seeking some sort of a deal for Rudy Guede’s testimony at this trial. The stated grounds for his appeal seem weak and, although Prosecutor Mignini only asked for 25 years last October, in fact he was handed 30.

Guede attempted some poetry in prison and it was thought might be inclining to some repentance or remorse - something that for the sake of the Kercher family we would seriously like to see.

Brian posted on Judge Micheli’s very careful assessment of the evidence against Guede and the improbability of the lone wolf theory.

Judge Micheli started from what was found in Meredith’s room, settled on a minimalist motive, and concluded that this was a cruel and depraved murder that had definitely involved Rudy Guede and two others.

At this trial Guede really needed to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or face the kind of slander charges that Amanda Knox has been attracting and a possible six further years in his cell.

He also needed to come out of it looking in some way better. So he passed.

Posted on 04/04/09 at 06:55 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, April 03, 2009

Trial: Andrea Vogt Reports On Patrick Lumumba’s Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell


Andrea Vogt is still providing her usual fine reports on the trial on the Seattle PI website.

Click above for her report late today on what Patrick Lumumba told the court of his experiences. He was the one fingered by Knox as the perp, and it took two weeks to get that charge refuted.

Knox is being prosecuted by the Republic of Italy, not by Lumumba, on a calunnia charge. 

Explanation of calunnia

The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone‟s reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.

 

 


Trial: The Closed Court Sees Graphic Photos And Video Footage Of The Autopsy

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the first English-language report, by Richard Owen of The Times.

Lawyers at the session, which was held in camera, said that Ms Knox, 21, Ms Kercher’s American flatmate, had refused to look at the footage, keeping her head down and at times burying it in her folded arms on the table in front of her. Mr Sollecito, 25, Ms Knox’s former Italian boyfriend, occasionally glanced at the screen in the courtroom.

The image of Amanda Knox that the Times used here may be a bit misleading. She was talking with Mr Ghirga a week ago in court when it was taken.

here is an additional report just posted by Nick Pisa on Sky News.

Posted on 04/03/09 at 09:10 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Agenda Is Closed Court For The Autopsy Report, And Maybe Testimony From Guede

Posted by Nicki

Part of the Friday court hearing will be closed for the autopsy evidence.

A just decision on the part of the Italian Court, and a due act of respect for Meredith and her grieving family. The murderers didn’t “simply” stab her. She was sadistically tortured before she was left to die in a locked-up room, without her mobile phones and thus robbed of even the slightest chance to call for help.

The medical findings that I have actually been able to get through in Judge Micheli’s report (itself toned down from the autopsy report) are truly shocking. Multiple bruises were found on the face and jaw-line - at least eight - in a clear attempt to muffle her screams. There were more bruises on her elbow and arm, all ranging from 1 to over 4 cm diameter (up to a bit less than two inches).

The genital area was also bruised, as well as her leg and her hip. Multiple bruises and scratches were found on her neck, plus four cuts on her hand. Someone DESPERATELY fighting not to be raped - and then for her life.

I can only pray that the medical examiner evidence on Friday will not reveal additional horrific details that we are not aware of from the Micheli report. All of the above is very far from suggesting a “consensual” intercourse, as the Guede defence tries to claim.

And by the same logic, the medical findings unequivocally indicate that the murder was committed by multiple aggressors. So, unless Rudy Guede is a four-armed God Vhisnu, and therefore able to silence Meredith’s screams with one hand, wave a knife to stab her neck with the other, and at the same time try to rape her, the logical conclusion is that the attack was carried out by more than one aggressor.

Perhaps the other attackers were not Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox and if they are able to prove that in Court, good for them. But so far, there are two unassailable truths: Meredith had been savagely raped and killed, and Guede sure didn’t do it alone.

The smiling portion of the trial will probably be behind us now, after this demonstration of just how depraved Meredith’s death really was.

The court will be re-opened to the public when Carlo Maria Scotto di Rinaldi, who owns an underwear store where Knox was seen buying lingerie with Sollecito shortly after Meredith was killed, takes the stand. Point is to describe even more of what was apparently a cold and uncaring demeanor on the part of the defendants.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Criminal Charges Almost Certain For Serious Disrespecting Of Meredith

Posted by Jools



[above: the Telenorba reporter who may soon be among those facing charges]

Raffaele Sollecito comes from Bari. Precisely one year ago, the local Bari TV station Telenorba did the almost unthinkable.

It broadcast some crime-scene video of Meredith. They showed her lying half-naked on her back on the floor, with the wounds to her throat clearly visible.

The footage was then picked up by the Italian state broadcaster, RAI, and it was rebroadcast a number of times.  Still shots ended up in a number of newspapers. And a video of the broadcast ended up on YouTube where (as of this morning) it still remains.

All of which now appears almost certain to attract a number of criminal charges.

Here is Richard Owen of the London Times describing the broadcast one year ago.

Relatives of Meredith Kercher, the British student murdered in Perugia in November, were said to be shocked and distressed last night after images of her bloodied corpse were broadcast on Italian television…

Telenorba, which showed the footage late at night, warned viewers that it was disturbing and suitable only for adults. It showed police scientists in white protective clothing pulling back the duvet to reveal Ms Kercher’s body and slashed throat, and turning the corpse over to examine her bloodied back.

Her eyes were covered by a mask. RAI did not include this part of the footage in its news broadcasts.

And here is the report in the Daily Mail also one year ago.

The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said: “This is an example of gross journalistic misconduct, which evidently violates all the rules of how to report a story….

Anna Maria Ferretti, the director of the leading Italian TV programme Antenna Sud, said: “For five minutes of television, the ultimate taboo has been broken without any shame.”

Italy’s Order of Journalists has asked for the video to be confiscated so that it is not shown again and a repeat of the programme that had been due to air on Tuesday night was cancelled…

Enzo Magistra, the editor of the programme, defended the show and insisted it had not meant to cause offence.

He said: “When I decided to transmit the images of Meredith’s corpse, I did not have the least intention of violating anyone’s dignity, but merely to do my job with respect to an important event.”

Sparked by a complaint from Mr Maresca for the Kerchers, the Perugia prosecutor initiated a one-year investigation.

And yesterday the outcome was announced. This is a translation of the report in La Nazione.

The prosecutor of Perugia has served notice of the completion of four investigations into Raffaele Sollecito’s family members and two journalists of the TV station Telenorba on the transmission of a forensic video in which the body of Meredith Kercher wa shown…

The report on the investigations (usually a prelude to a request for trial) indicates crimes were committed of defamation, invasion of privacy, publication of arbitrary acts of investigation and publication of gruesome acts.

According to the reconstruction by the Perugia prosecutor, the father and sister of Raphael Sollecito had legitimately obtained the scientific survey of the police, and had then illegally provided it to Telemundo.

The report also cites a journalist and the editor of Panorama for the publication of an article in which they reported that blood samples from Meredith had revealed an alcohol concentration above the legal norm - implying she was drunk when she was killed. This claim was proved a lie in the course of the forensic tests.

And this is a translation from the AGI news-service website.

Eight “notices of termination of the investigations” have been reported by the public prosecutor of Perugia…  Four Sollecito family members, the TV journalist on Telenorba and the director of the station, are accused of the crimes of defamation, invasion of privacy, publication of documents during the investigation, and publication of gruesome acts….

According to the reconstruction, the Sollecito family members delivered to Telenorba the video and photos of the crime scene survey carried out by the forensic team on November 2 of 2007 in Meredith’s house. Telenorba then put the material on the air.

Other investigations are on-going.

The YouTube video of the Telenoirba broadcast as of this morning had had over 9,000 looks. It is in an area for adults only, and it requires registration to get in.

Notwithstanding, these are typical of the angry comments in Italian that appear right under the video.

This video is a disgrace to every individual. There’s a girl who is no more, a family suffering for this, and now has to suffer public humiliation ... Let us never forget that the right to dignity and decency of the victims, especially if already dead.

*********

The video should be removed. The right to record is in conflict with the respect and devotion of the deceased. The publication of such images add nothing to the journalistic chronicle

Mr Maresca, who is in legal practice in Florence, appears to us to have fought hard for the rights of Meredith and the Kerchers.

He put the case for a closed trial (which the Knox and Sollecito forces bitterly fought) and he won the court’s agreement that the most disturbing segments at least would be closed to the journalists and the public. 

Here is the Times report on his battle then with the defendants’ families.

Mr Maresca said Italian law provided for trials in cases of sexual violence to be closed to the public, at the discretion of the judge. He said that showing graphic photographs and video footage of Ms Kercher’s body and the murder scene in open court could do injury to her memory.

Mr Maresca said that 280 journalists had been accredited for the pre-trial hearings, which were held in camera. This led to reporters and photographers trying to snatch pictures of the accused as they arrived and left the court, with defence lawyers and prosecutors besieged by the media outside the courtroom.

And to counteract the massive and pervasive spin being put on every development in the trial, Mr Maresca has been sharp and outspoken on what the growing body of evidence implies.

Other apparent attempts by the Sollecito family to interfere with the course of justice, as suggested in telephone intercepts, are still being investigated by the Perugia prosecutor. Mr Mignini is famous in Italy for fighting for victims’ rights to the maximum.

Mr Maresca is clearly doing a fine job in protecting Meredith’s dignity and the peace of mind of her poor family.

And this throws a MAJOR shot across the bows of the families of the defendants, if they incline to further disparaging of Meredith.

[below: the Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca; his office is in Florence]




Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Steel Stairs That Suspiciously Clanged On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click above for the series]

Neighbor and witness Nara Capezzali has testified that she heard feet running across the top deck of the parking facility and up some steel stairs.

Despite some truly absurd claims to the contrary we believe every word of this testimony.

Click here for a series of images of the route Ak and RS appear to have followed.

The top of the parking facility at night is well, deathly quiet. You can hear anything that moves. And those steel stairs are so noisy, you would think they had been designed as a giant musical instrument.

Because of something the witness in the park said, we think it was TWO sets of feet: Knox’s and Sollecito’s. What the witness in the park said was that Knox and Sollecito approached the park from the street ABOVE the park.

And also, two witnesses have confirmed that it was Rudy Guede who ran up the stone steps alone, and bumped into one of them.

Across the deck, up the steel stairs, through the arch, up the street, past the gelateria, and down a few of the stone steps to the park.

About a half of a kilometer or a quarter of a mile in total.

By the way, from the point by the arch up the street and down the stone steps, this is the route that MEREDITH also followed that evening, not long before, on her final way home from the English girls’ place.

Posted on 04/01/09 at 01:57 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What Might Have Happened On The Night: One Scenario

Posted by Brian S

[click for larger image]


[above: the main piazza in the old city, about the time in question]

Five months to the day today since Judge Micheli handed Guede his 30 years and Knox and Sollecito their go-straight-to-trial cards.

And about two months since Judge Micheli released his 106-page report with a scenario of what most probably happened on the night.

He seemed in no doubt whatever that Meredith had been attacked by three people, and that there had been a major attempt to rearrange the crime scene soon after.

Now we have the benefit of the testimony of a number of witnesses which Judge Micheli did not get to hear, because of the short-form trial, but which he would have got to read, because their statements are in the 10,000-plus pages of evidence prepared by the prosecution.

Here is one possible scenario which takes into account what has been reported from court in the period of the past few weeks.

Meredith’s aborted phone calls, possibly for help, were reported to have happened just after 10pm.

Sometime just after 10:30pm a car containing four visitors from Rome broke down outside the driveway and gate to Meredith’s house on Via della Pergola. A dark colored car was noticed in the driveway.

The driver of the car called the breakdown truck at about 10:40pm, and the mechanic arrived 15 or 20 minutes later. He said he was not there long, and the five people involved were perhaps on their way by around 11:15pm.

This seems to prove that Meredith was not murdered in the period between sometime just after 10:30 and 11:15pm

Someone running up the stone steps above the intersection bumped into witness Ms Formica’s boyfriend around 10:30pm. Ms Formica didn’t hear any scream. Shortly after that she saw the car that had broken down.

The car occupants did not hear any scream, or see anyone run away (it is known they were traced and questioned). Rudy Guede himself has claimed “he ran from the house around 10:30pm, not many minutes after the killers had fled”.

It seems witness Nara Capezzali, the neighbor up above, was not too confident of the time she heard the scream and the running feet. Perhaps her diuretic had its effect sometime just before 10:30pm.

She and other witnesses heard a very long, loud, terrified scream. Less than a minute later 2 or 3 people were heard running away in different directions.

The scenario this suggests is that Meredith was struggling with her attackers from around the time of her aborted call at 10:13pm until sometime just before 10:30pm.

And that someone had a hand over her mouth, people were holding her arms, and she was struggling as the assault took place.

She was being verbally threatened and she was being stabbed with a knife.

Suddenly, Meredith got her mouth free, and she let out that “blood curdling” scream that Ms Capezzali described.

It seems unlikely that the final stab had been made to her throat before that moment, else she wouldn’t have obtained the volume to be heard by those in the surrounding houses.

However, it may have been this scream which caused the killer to silence her with the final thrust of the knife.

Her attackers would expect that that cry would have been heard by anyone up on the street or in the parking facility or the houses above who was still up and about at that time of night.

They stabbed Meredith, and then they ran.

Shortly after they disappear from the cottage, a car breaks down just outside. The driver calls for help just around the time that Meredith breathes her last.

Any of the killers who may want to return to the cottage will have to wait until that broken down car has gone. The dark car remains trapped in the driveway.

Meanwhile, up in Piazza Grimana, Antonio Curatolo sits reading his paper. He sees Sollecito and Knox come into the square, apparently from the direction of Via Pinturicchio above the park.

It’s not the first time he has seen them that night. He first saw them at around 9:30.

It’s now after 10:30pm. He observes them go over to the railings several time and look down towards the cottage at Via Della Pergola.

What do they see?

A broken down car right is sitting outside the cottage gates which was soon to be attended by a breakdown truck. The mechanic stated that the car was located just before the parking lot entrance, so he had a clear view of the entrance to the house as he worked practically across the street from the gate.

No-one could get back to the cottage or retrieve their car from the driveway until after 11:15pm, by which time the broken down car had been fixed and the people involved had gone from the scene.

Sollecito and Knox may have left the park around 11:00 to 11:30 pm. Mr Curatolo then went to the railings himself to see what they’d been looking at.

Next, he said he saw Sollecito and Knox return, and he put the time of this at just before midnight for sure. After midnight, he left the piazza to go to the park and sleep.

A comment here.

Antonio Curatolo is a very dangerous witness for Sollecito and Knox. He seems to be as sharp as they come. Mr Curatolo knew both Knox and Sollecito by sight from watching them come and go through the piazza over the preceding weeks, though this was “the first time he had seen them together… like a couple’”.

He fixes his exact memory of the night for his evidence to the police presence and news of the murder the following day. Unlike Knox and Sollecito, he can remember exactly what happened on the night of 1st November.

He knows where he was. And he knows who and what he saw from his front-row park bench.

The suggestion here for the moment, then, is that Meredith was struggling with her attackers from around the time of her aborted call at 10:13pm until sometime just before 10:30pm.

Posted on 03/31/09 at 12:41 PM by Brian SClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Locations That Various Witnesses Have Been Talking About

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the full series, all shot within 300 meters of Meredith’s house.

Four witnesses on Friday, three on Saturday, and several previously have testified that they saw things in these areas.

This shot above is where Sollecito and Knox may have been seen sitting on a low wall on the night. Near the railing there is a good view down to the gate of the house.

As with all our shots on TJMK, these will expand when you click on them.

Posted on 03/30/09 at 01:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Four More Eeyewitnesses

Posted by stewarthome2000

[click for larger image]

On Saturday the court heard from Antonio Curatolo, Fabrizio Giofreddi, Antonio Aiello, and Hekuran Kokomani, and Sollecito made another statement.

1) Antonio Curatolo (above)

He is a fixture in Perugia. He is a vagrant that spends most of his time hanging around Corso Garibaldi (the street where Sollecito lived) and Piazza Grimana (the piazza in front of the School for Foreigners within eyeshot of the gate of Meredith’s house on Via della Pergola).

The crowd murmured as he was helped in by court assistants, uncleaned and dressed in an old jacket and winter knit hat. His skin was dark against his long un-groomed white hair, beard and mustache. But once he opened his mouth, you knew that this guy was no slouch. He spoke clearly, concisely and directly, and was very certain of what he saw.

His testimony never swayed and was consistent even under cross examination. In short, his appearance was one thing, his articulate convincing testimony was another.

He stated that he has been a regular hobo (for lack of a better term) around that part of Perugia for about 8-9 years. He testified that he was in Piazza Grimani around 9:30-10:00pm when he saw across the piazza two people, a man and a woman. He described them as a couple from the way they were sitting next to one another.

He was asked to describe them and he turned and looked at Amanda, just a few feet away, and said calmly, “it was her”, and then looked at Sollecito and said “and him.” He stated that having been in that area he had seen them before separately, but this was the first time he saw them together. But he was certain it was them.

He said also that, although he did not watch them all the time, he did see them again “poco prima di mezzanotte” or “just before midnight” at the same place. He originally said that they were there from 9:30 through midnight, but clarified that they were there at 9:30-10:00pm and may have left around 11-11:30 and then returned to be there just before midnight.

After midnight, he left the piazza to go to the park and sleep.

The next day, he arrived at his faithful piazza around 12:00pm, and eventually, around 1:30 or so, he saw the carabinieri pass by, and the police and crime scene staff, and stated that he watched them at the scene, including the CSI people dressed in the full-white suits.

Under cross-examination, Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno may have thought she had an easy target. But in fact he held up extremely well. She asked, “how could you possibly know it was 9:30?” and he responded “Because the sign next to the piazza has a digital clock. I look at it often to check the time”.

He stated that “when I sat on the bench to read I looked at my watch and it was just before 9:30pm….and I saw them shortly afterwards.” He said he knows what he saw, and he saw those two! No more questions.

2) Fabrizio Giofreddi

He was also a pretty good witness, confident and unwavering in his testimony. He stated that on October 30th he parked his car right at the junction where Via Della Pergola begins and the street leads up to the piazza Grimana, which he described as being across from the pub “contropunto”.

He was sure of the date because when he was leaving he scratched the car next to him and left a note for the driver of the other car and wrote down the information (license plate etc.) and the date and time. He said that he arrived and parked around 5:00pm and saw four people coming from the driveway of the house walking on to the road.

He said that he saw Amanda, Raffaele, Meredith, and a black man which he believes was Rudy as he had seen him before, but could not be 100% sure. He did say he was 99% sure, but could not say “cento per cento” or “without any doubt”. He stated that he noted them so well he could even state what they were wearing.

He said that Meredith had jeans and a dark coat and high heels, Amanda had a red coat with large buttons (which he described as 60’s style) and jeans, and Raf had on a long dark jacket and dark pants. He stated that because the black person was behind the rest, he saw his face but did not see well what he was wearing. He then locked his car and went on his way. He pointed to both Knox and Sollecito in the courtroom and stated it was “him and her”.

(Note: oddly, he said he had seen Rudy before, giving out flyers in front of the University, but few have seen Rudy do that while many have seen Patrick do that many times)

Under cross-examination, he was also asked as with other witnesses “why did it take so long for you to come and tell police this information?” He stated that he was not following the homicide, and had no idea his testimony had any bearing on the case.

He told his Spanish professor, who was following the case religiously, what he had seen. and she told him to go and talk to the police immediately, which he did, albeit nearly a year later.

3) Raffaele Sollecito

There was a break and upon everyones’ return, Sollecito made a spontaneous statement. He addressed the court and stated that it was impossible that Giofreddi had seen him with Rudy Guede that evening.

He had never met Rudy Guede, let alone spent any time with him. He also stated that he has never seen Amanda wear a red jacket ever. Grazie. His statement was short and to the point.

4) Antonio Aiello

He is a lawyer and close friend of Hekuran Kokomani and was testifying as a character witness for Mr Kokomani. He explained the he has known Mr Kokomani for many years and although he is in jail right now for beating his girlfriend, he is really a “decent person”. Mr Aiello came to testify on his behalf about the circumstances which led to Mr Kokomani’s desire to talk to the police and his original testimony.

He said that shortly after the murder, around the middle of November, Mr Kokomani contacted him and said the he wanted to talk before he left for Albania. Mr Aiello was very busy at the time and said that if it was urgent, he would address the issue now, else he asked Mr Kokomani if it could wait till his return from Albania in January. Mr Kokomani agreed it could wait.

Upon his return, in January, Mr Kokomani told Mr Aiello everything that he observed that night, which as it turns out was most likely October 31st as we will later see based on Mr Kokomani’s testimony. Mr Kokomani went to Mr Aiello first because he is an attorney and close friend, and Mr Kokomani did not want to have any problems and asked Mr Aiello’s advice and if he would go with him to the “questura” (police station) to make his statement. Mr Aiello naturally agreed.

In trying to explain what Mr Kokomani recounted, Mr Aiello stated that even he had difficulty understanding Mr Kokomani as to what actually happened that night.

5) Hekuran Kokomani

Note: This is the one witness where I must add some personal commentary to his testimony. It has to be placed in the context in which it was given. Mr Kokomani stated he was born in Albania in 1969 and has been in Italy for 15-16 years. Even having lived in Italy for so long, he needed an interpreter, especially during the difficult questions of cross examination.

I will say right from the start that I really don’t know what to think of Mr Kokomani’s testimony. It was all over the place, contradictory, and if I use the word jumbled, I am being kind. It seems it was a combination of his inability to understand the question and his eagerness to make rushed statements that later diverged from things he said just minutes before. It was painful to get through his testimony, but also entertaining. Something tells me he tried his best.

In the end, after quite a few laughs and a lot of frustration, the court seemed to manage to distill what he wanted to say overall. If I have got this wrong, I could barely understand his Italian myself.

Basically he said that he was on the road heading out to a bar, and it was around 9:30pm or so. He was driving along Via della Pergola and at a speed of about 40-50 km/hr (about 25-30 mph) he approached what looked to be a black sack in the middle of the road. He stopped suddenly to discover that the dark object was in fact Raffaele and Amanda lying down.

First Sollecito came to the driver’s side of the door, and winding his window down, Mr Kokomani hit Sollecito, complaining that he himself was almost hit. Amanda Knox then appeared on the passenger’s side of the car and pulled out a large knife, which he described as the same as the one he saw in the paper sequestered from RS’s apartment.

She raised it above her head with both hands, holding both the handle and blade, and began to curse at him in Italian, uttering various threats. He then proceeded to throw olives at Amanda’s face, and then he threw his old Nokia phone and managed to hit her in the forehead. He took a snapshot of Amanda and Raf with his other phone (an Ericsson) and then moved along a bit.

He next saw Rudy Guede at the top of the driveway, and at the same time he could hear yelling, one person. yelling by herself or himself, perhaps moaning about something. He asked Guede what that was, and he responded it was just music at the house and that Knox had the knife because they had used it to cut a cake at a party at the house.

Mr Kokomani looked at the house and saw that a light was on. He then proceeded on his way, shaken by what just happened. He showed the picture to people at the bar, and they said “oh it’s just the Pugliese kid…. no worries” and since the picture was dark he deleted it.

He also apparently testified about seeing Amanda and Raffaele together in a bar or café in August or later, most probably late September, with her uncle who was described as robust and 50-60 years old. I could not make heads or tails if that was what was actually said or not. Mr Kokomani’s testimony took forever to extract, and had to be interrupted by a break.

Ms Buongiorno seemed to see a fish in a barrel here and she began to shoot. To give you an idea of how all over the place the questions and answers were, when asked “what color is your car” his response literally “black blue”. When asked again he said “I paid only two hundred Euro for it”. When asked at what time do you usually eat dinner, he said “when I get hungry”.

When asked what color Amanda’s eyes were, forgetting the fact that she was sitting 5 feet away, he says “occhi bianchi” (white eyes). When asked how he knew the time when he was on the street, he stated, “I have a clock on my dashboard”, but when asked what time it said, he responded, “it does not work”. When asked if he spoke to reporters, he said “NO”, then “maybe”, then “I dont think so”. The defense then showed him being interviewed by a Canale 5 reporter, and his final answer was “yes”.

Who knows quite what he saw that night, which he described as raining. In the end we deduced that since he worked that day and the next day was a holiday (November 1st was the “Fest dei Morti”) this incident must have occurred in one form or another on the 31st of October (Halloween) and not on the 1st of November. Exit this witness in handcuffs.

Note: His testimony cannot be completely dismissed though, I just dont know quite what to make of it. I am surprised the defense did not request his testimony be completely eliminated, given what occurred in court, and given the fact that even Judge Paolo Micheli blocked him out of the equation when deciding if there was enough evidence against Knox and Sollecitto to proceed to trial.

6) Coming up next week

It appears that next Friday, April 3rd, the court will hear the medical examiner Dr Lalli testifying, and on Saturday the 4th supposedly Rudy Guede himself. Then on the 18th the court may arrange for the jury to visit Meredith’s house, without the presence of Sollecito and Knox. This may not yet be firmly decided.

Posted on 03/29/09 at 12:00 PM by stewarthome2000Click here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Testimony Of Witnesses On The Night

Posted by stewarthome2000



[Meredith’s house down at right; Ms Capezzali’s apartment above the cars at center, one floor above ground level]

On Friday the court heard from Nara Capezzali, Maria Luisa Dramis, Antonella Monacchia, Giampaolo Lombardi, Francesco Tavernese, Leonardo Fazio, and Antonio Galizzi.

1) Nara Capezzali

She is a 69 year old widow who lives with her daughter in an apartment just above the San Antonio parking facility which is located across the street from the house in Via della Pergola. She cannot see the entire house, but she is able to see the roof.

Note: There was no doubt that Mrs. Capezzali does not have the best memory in her aging years, but she was sure of what she had seen and heard those days, even though the times that she testified may have been a bit off here and there. She seemed to testified with heart and sincerity.

She stated that on the evening of November 1st she had gone to bed, as usual, around 9:30pm or so. About two hours later, she woke up to go to the bathroom and testified it was about 11-11:30 or so as she usually gets up at this time because she takes a diuretic before bed that kicks in about 2 hours afterwards. She also sometimes wakes up from the late night noise outside her window and stated that it was not unusual for her to be woken up at night because of noise.

But she said that what she heard on November 1st was not the usual noise. She stated that on her way to the bathroom she passed by her living room window, and heard a loud and horrible scream. It was not a short scream, it lasted rather longer and it was quite shocking to her.

She went to the bathroom and looked out the window, but saw no-one. A minute or two later, she heard footsteps running, not just one set of footsteps, but two or more. One set came from the metal stairs next to the parking facility on the right, the other in the opposite direction on the pavement through the foliage.

She was so shaken by this ghastly scream that she could not sleep. She stayed up a while until in the early morning hours she made herself a chamomile tea and finally managed to get to sleep.

She then testified that she woke up the next morning around 7:30-8:00am, maybe later, and then she went to get some bread at the store and it was at that time around 11:00am that she was told by people who she met at the magazine kiosk in Piazza Grimana that there was a murder at the house in Via della Pergola.

She said she returned to her house and watched the police, the carabinieri, CSI, and so on at the house. She said she saw Sollecito and Knox standing by the house and also on the parking-facility deck while the police where at the house. (Note: We are not sure that RS and AK were ever on the parking-facility deck roof, that is unconfirmed.)

Under cross-examination, Sollecito’s lawyer Ms Buongiorno tripped her up on the times and the fact that she never mentioned the chamomile tea in her written testimony, and also grilled her on why she waited 20 days to come to talk to police. Ms Capezzali insisted that her testimony of what she heard on the night was the truth and began to cry when Ms Buongiorno read her original testimony of the incident.

Note: She clearly cried because she had grasped fully that the horrible scream coincided with the last moments of Meredith’s life. She may have been confused about the exact times and calendar date, but overall her testimony was very believable, and she struck a chord with all those present.

2) Maria Luisa Dramis

She is a young woman who also lives above the parking facility and though her bedroom window faces the via del Melo at back where her front door is, the “back” of her apartment faces north over Via della Pergola, and she can see the roof of the house and the top part of the doorway.

Her testimony was relatively short. She stated that on November 1st she went to the movies with a friend, and she returned home around 11:00-11:30pm. She had gone to bed shortly after arriving at home and was woken shortly afterwards by someone running up or down her street. She did say that it is not unusual to hear people on the street below, but this time someone was running.

3) Antonella Morlacchia

She is a young woman who lives with her parents in Via Pinturicchio, the street behind the parking facility and houses that overlook it. The apartment is large and a portion of it looks down over Via della Pergola. She can see clearly from her window the house with its roof, terrace, window, doors, driveway, and so on.

She testified that around 10:00pm she heard people arguing. It seemed to be a man and a woman; she looked outside her window and did not see anyone. But the arguing was definitely coming from Via della Pergola. She could not say for certain it was coming from the house, though she did look at it and notice that the house was dark.

She said that after the loud arguing she went back to bed. She did not come forward to submit her testimony for nearly a year after the crime, as she did not think it was relevant, but a journalist friend following the case then convinced her to come forward.

4) Giampaolo Lambrotti

He is the tow truck driver who went to Via della Pergola on the evening of November 1st to assist a car in distress parked on the opposite side of the road only a few meters from the entrance to the house. He said he received the service call around 10:30-10:40pm and it took him about 15-20 minutes to arrive at the location.

The car was located just before the parking facility entrance/exit so he had a clear view of the entrance to the house as he was working practically across the street from the gate. There were two couples waiting for him (two guys, two girls) who told him that that they were from Rome and on vacation.

As he prepared the car for the tow, he noted that in the driveway across the street – the entrance to Via della Pergola – there was a small dark-colored car parked in front of the driveway gate. The gate was slightly opened. He finished his work and went on his way. He could not identify the type or color of car for sure, only that it was there and it was a dark color.

5) Francesco Tavernese

He is the director of the men’s ONAOSI student center for university students in Perugia where Sollecito was housed from 2003 to 2005.

Note: ONAOSI is basically a non-profit entity created by medical professionals which has support facilities for their children when they are students at several universities. The facilities are located in a few towns in Italy, including Perugia, and include dorms, cafeteria, sports facilities, library, computer lab, theater, medical doctor, and etc. all on site. They are designed to give these students an advantage and make up for the extra-curricular shortfalls of Italian universities. Sollecito’s father is a urologist, so of course he was eligible for participation.

The director described Sollecito as introverted, “taciturno” (basically none-talkative), shy and often blushing. He said it took a while for Sollecito to settle into life away from his home in Bari. He seemed homesick at first, but he matured quite a bit and began to find his place. He was into films and sports, especially kick boxing. The staff did periodic drug checks of his room but never found anything. They found a number of movies, some of which were porno, some perhaps extreme, some perhaps reflecting the normal curiosities of post adolescents.

6) Leonardo Fazio

He is a young man of Sollecito’s age who became friends with him during his time at ONAOSI. He described Raf as introverted and “tranquilla” but sportive and liking to go to the gym. His testimony had to do with him seeing Sollecito and Knox two or three days after the murder, carrying on normally and seemingly completely undisturbed by the incident. He contradicted himself a number of times and just lifted his shoulders in ignorance when his testimony discrepancies were pointed out.

7) Antonio Galizzi

He is the captain of the carabinieri station in Giovinazzo, a town just up the coast from Bari, where Sollecito grew up. He did not have much to report except the arrest in 2003 of Sollecito and some friends for possession of 2.657 grams of hashish. He had nothing negative to say about Sollecito, and he recalled him in grammar school as a normal student, never in trouble and “tranquilla”. He knew the Sollecito family fairly well, and he personally investigated the death of Sollecito’s mother, which was untimely and the result of heart problems.

8) Observation on Knox and Sollecito

During the break, when no one was obstructing their view of one another, Sollecito and Knox had a long conversation from afar (3 meters or about 10 feet away from each other). They communicated with hand signals, silent mouth gestures and smiles galore.

I watched as she seem to congratulate him and say happy birthday, and they asked how each other was doing. Knox indicated she was sleepy but okay. It was the longest conversation I think they have had since their incarceration. It seemed as if nothing had changed between them.

Posted on 03/28/09 at 06:59 PM by stewarthome2000Click here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Sky News’s Report On Today’s Eyewitnesses

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 03/28/09 at 06:12 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: The Man In The Square And The Man In The Car

Posted by Peter Quennell


1) Mr Curatolo: the eyewitness in the square

Antonion Curatolo, 53, who testified that he spends most of his time in a Perugia, Italy square near the cottage where Knox and Kercher lived, placed the young couple near the murder scene on Nov. 1, 2007… Curatolo’s testimony contradicted Knox and Sollecito’s contention that they were at Sollecito’s home that night…

On the night before Kercher’s body was discovered, he said, he was sitting on a bench in Piazza Grimana, reading a news magazine and smoking cigarettes. The plaza was busy with young people, he said, but he noticed one couple, whom he identified in court as Knox and Sollecito, talking animatedly. At one point Sollecito went to a railing at the edge of the square and looked down in the direction of the house where Kercher was killed, Curatolo said.

2) Mr Kokomani: the eyewitness in the car

Driving past Knox’s cottage on either the night of the murder or the night before, Kokomani said, he noticed what looked like a large garbage bag in the middle of the road. He tried to brake, he said, but skidded on the wet road and bumped into the bag. At that point he realized that it was not a bag, but two people, whom he identified in court as Knox and Sollecito.

Sollecito approached his car in a threatening manner, he said, and he punched Sollecito. Knox then pulled a large knife out of her green handbag and brandished it at him, holding it with two hands, he said. “I grabbed some olives that were in my car, and threw them at her,” said Kokomani. “And I also threw a Nokia cell phone at her.”

At that point he saw Rudy Guede, Kokomani said, whom he had met before. When he asked Guede what the two young people were doing with the knives, “He told me they were having a party, and the knife was for the cake,” Kokomani testified.

According to Kokomani, Guede offered him $400 to borrow his car the next day. Then he said he saw Sollecito in his rear-view mirror approaching the car with a knife. Kokomani said that at that point he drove away….Ghirga, Knox lawyers, called Kokomani’s testimony was “an example of catastrophic testimony.”

 

Posted on 03/28/09 at 05:17 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Italian Media Reporting Events In The Park On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Basketball court: house is down straight ahead, steps are far right, benches are far left]

The Italian media are reporting Antonio Curatolo’s testimony.

Quick translation: Mr Curatolo, who is homeless, has slept for eight or nine years on a park bench. Around 9:30 on the night, while he was reading a newspaper, he looked up and saw the two defendants sitting on a low wall near a streetlight.

At times the boy got up and headed toward the outside railing in the direction of the cottage in via della Pergola. He saw the two together up to 11:30 pm or so. “I was sitting on the bench,” Mr Curatolo said, “I was reading the Express. I looked up four to five times and each time I saw the two together. I do not like to take advantage of others. I state that what I say do not say this to hurt anybody.”

He also reported that the next day around 12:30, he saw the in the street by the house an ambulance and police, and the arrival of a team in white overalls.

[Below: the view of the gate of the house from the park]

Posted on 03/28/09 at 06:28 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: ABC’s Ann Wise Has More Reporting On Sollecito’s Early History

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report. The police chief from Bari provided testimony:

Antonio Galizia, a police chief from Sollecito’s hometown in southern Italy, said in court today that in 2003 Sollecito and some friends were caught in possession of one ounce of hashish at a nearby beach. That was, however, the only time Sollecito had been in trouble with the law.

When asked by Sollecito’s lawyer Luca Maori, Galizia also testified that Sollecito’s mother, who died when he was a teenager, had not committed suicide.

Maori later told reporters that Sollecito had agreed to have his mother’s death discussed in court, so, as he said, “we can clarify once and for all that she died from natural causes.” There had been repeated reports in the press that it was a suicide and that this had traumatized Sollecito.

Posted on 03/28/09 at 06:03 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009News media & moviesGreat reportingRaff Sollecito
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Trial: Witness Emulates A Loud Scream She Heard On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]


Nick Pisa has the first report. Excerpts:

Nara Capezzali, 68, told the trial of the Brit student’s alleged killers, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the bloodcurdling scream “made my flesh crawl, it was not a normal scream”,,.

Mrs Capezzali said: ”I went to bed around 9-9.30pm as there was nothing on the TV and I woke up around two hours later to go to the bathroom.

”On my way I passed by the window and heard a scream, not a normal scream but a prolonged scream, it made my skin crawl. I didn’t know what was happening.

”I looked out the window but didn’t see anything. Then a few minutes later I heard running on the metal staircase and then running through the leaves going in the other direction, it was at least two people.

”The scream left me really disturbed, even now it troubles me, it was a woman’s scream, there was no call for help it was just a scream, then nothing.”

Mrs Capezzali imitated the scream she heard by making a prolonged screeching noise.

Knox, dressed in a blue jumper and jeans, stared at Mrs Capezzali as she gave her evidence occasionally making notes or talking with her legal team.

A link to Kermit’s Powerpoints again on this very credible witness, and the CBS network’s hair-brained attempt to discredit her.

Nice move, CBS, intimidating foreign witnesses. Even nicer that you’ve been very quiet lately - and that you’ve disappeared Paul Ciolino.


Posted on 03/27/09 at 08:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sollecito Gets A Birthday Card From His Co-Defendant

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for a larger image]

Nick Pisa of the UK’s Sky News has the report. Conjecture, as usual, abounds among case-watchers…

Posted on 03/26/09 at 09:02 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Trial: The Court Agenda For Friday And Saturday Includes Witnesses On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell

The judges and jury will be hearing testimony from the various eyewitnesses on the night of the crime.

Some of these names below, obtained for us by TJMK main poster Stewart Home in Perugia, have never before been released by the police or the prosecutors.

So we are still figuring out who some of them are. This post may have to remain a work in progress for the next two trial days. Tips via the comments or email would be welcome.

Friday witnesses

1) Nara Capezzali

2) Maria Ilaria Dramis

3) Antonella Monacchia

    A young woman who lives with her parents in an apartment above Meredith’s house, who heard some heated arguing from the house on the night in question, and then a loud woman’s scream.

4) Giampaolo Lombardi

    Mr Lombardi was the operator of the tow-truck that came to remove a passenger van that would not start at the intersection above the house on the night of the murder.

    Mr Kokomani has indicated that he saw Mr Loambardi’s truck at the intersection, which is one reason why he is still a witness (see below).

5) Francesco Tavernese

    Head of the hall of residence Sollecito stayed at in his early days in Perugia, which is run by the Fondazione Opera Nazionale Assistenza Orfani Sanitari for special cases

6) Leonardo Fazio

    Mr Fazio is a young guy who was friends with Sollecito at one point, and can describe what his personality was like.

Saturday witnesses

1) Hekuran Kokomani

2) Antonio Aiello

    Mr Aiello is Mr Kokomani’s lawyer, called as a character witness for Kokomani. He will testify to give Mr Kokomani (who first told him what he saw) due credibility.

3) Fabrizio Gioffredi

    Mr Gioffredi is a professor who claims he saw Knox, Sollecito and Guede together with Meredith in Via della Pergola on 1 November.

4) Antonio Curatolo

    Mr Curatolo hangs out in the neighborhood park, and he claims he saw Knox and Sollecito casing the gate of the house from the park on the night.

    Despite defense-campaign claims to the contrary, as you can see below the gate of Meredith’s house is very easy to see from the park; this shot was taken right by where Knox and Sollecito are said to have been anxiously seated. Click on it for a larger image.The gate area is extremely brightly lit at night.


Posted on 03/26/09 at 09:03 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Destructive Partying Of American Kids Leaving Italians Seriously Baffled

Posted by Fiori


George Lesser reports on a wild student scene. Click above to read his report

1) One incident: a callous and unexplainable death

In a bizarre incident, criminal charges have been filed against an American student in Florence. According to the police, she and a friend tried to trespass onto the grounds of a large, private villa.

A guard tried to stop them. There was a scuffle, and the friend received a knife wound in the leg. There was no firm indication whose knife it was.

The student and her friend walked a short distance to a public bench. He laid down, and she sat beside him. He slowly bled to death, with her sitting beside him with an unused cell phone.

Apparently she made no effort to help him, and she now claims she was so drunk she cannot remember anything.

The Italian authorities don’t know how to deal with her. Her inability to aid in her own defense is something they have not experienced.

2) And one insight into what might be going on:

A lawyer in Florence for one American college is asked about the problem.

The answer: “You think alcohol is the problem? I’ll tell you what the real problem is. They’re all on [prescription medications].

They’re all on Ritalin, or lithium, or anti-depressants, and they stop taking them, or they take them erratically.”

[And] they neglect to follow up on their referrals to local psychiatrists, raising liability concerns.

Smartening up over liability concerns? Yes, that might save some American parents some very big bucks.

And have them riding herd on behavior….

Posted on 03/24/09 at 11:02 AM by FioriClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesThe psychologyPondering motiveHoaxes Knox & team13 Demonized hoax18 Use of drugs hoaxThe wider contextsItalian contextN America context
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Impressive Public Push In Italy, Anti Crime, Pro Stronger Justice System

Posted by Peter Quennell


Four months ago now, Nicki presented us with this very enlightening picture of Italian justice.

Two of the important conclusions of Nicki’s piece relevant to the case in Perugia:

  • The Italian system of justice is not only fair and cautious, it is painstakingly so, almost to the n’th degree.
  • Prosecutors do not have an easy time of it, and they have to clear hurdle after hurdle to make their case.

The system may not be ripe for any great changes, but the Italian public certainly seems to be favoring law and order.

Now there’s been a huge anti-Mafia turnout in Naples. Click above for the BBC’s report.

Posted on 03/23/09 at 09:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedPolice and CSIThe prosecutorsThe judiciaryKnox-Mellas teamItalian system
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Testimony Of Numerous Witnesses

Posted by stewarthome2000



[Above: left room of Conad; manager serves in deli; arch by door connects with right room]



[above: right room of Conad store; cashier is against wall to right; arch is to left of door]


Overview

Today at the trial we heard from a number of witnesses, and quite frankly I was looking forward some significant new testimony.

On the witness stand were Jovana Popovic, Alessandra Formica, Fabrizio Angeluce, Marco Quintavalle, and Rosa Natalia Guaman Fernandez De Calle.

Jovana Popovic

First up was Jovana Popovic, who is studying medicine in Perugia and who became a friend of Raffale’s after meeting him at a mutual friend’s house some months before. They were not really close, but they did go out with mutual friends together a number of times over a couple of months.

She stated that on November 1st, she passed by Raffaele’s around 5:30-5:45pm to ask if he could drive her in his car to the bus station, to pick up a suitcase that was due to arrive from Milan on a bus at midnight that evening. Since others were busy, and Raffaele had a car and it was late at night she asked him to do her this favor.

When she buzzed his door she was invited up, and Raffaele was there with Amanda. She requested the favor of him, he thought for a minute, and then he agreed to take her to the bus station at midnight.

She testified that he was a bit cold, then clarified that by saying that relative to the fun–loving smile he always had, he seem a bit different, nothing to make a too big a deal over.

She stayed only a few minutes and left and planned to call, and she guessed they would meet in front of his place just before midnight to go get the suitcase. She recalled it was 5:30-5:45 because she had an appointment at 6:00pm about a 15-20 minute walk away and she was on time.

Not long afterwards, she was informed that the suitcase was NOT coming that night. So after her meeting which ended around 8:00pm she headed home, and decided to pass by Raffaele’s house, because it was on the way, to tell him she will not need any ride that evening. She said she rang the bell about 8:40pm, and Amanda answered and came to the door on the street.

She said that Raf was upstairs and invited Giovana up, but Giovana declined and said she just wanted to tell Raf that there was no need to go to the station but grazie anyway.

She spoke to Amanda for just a minute or so and then went on her way. That was the entire testimony. It helped both sides because on the one hand it proved AK and RS were together, and on the other hand it proves that they were in fact together at his apartment like they said.

Alessandra Formica

The next witness was Alessandra Formica. She is the person who had informed the police that she and her boyfriend, while walking back to their car after dinner, bumped into a “person of color” on her way.

Essentially she testified that she and her boyfriend had parked their car in the famous parking building across from Meredith’s house around 8:00pm. They walked out of the garage, past the house, up across the square, and through the Etruscan arch to have dinner. The place was full so they waited about 40-50 minutes and finally finished dinner around 9:30pm.

They then took a short walk in the center of the old city and then headed down to their car. As they passed the basketball courts and started down the stairs and onto the road that leads down to Via della Pergola, she noticed a man in a dark puffy jacket, walking in a hurry with his head down, and he bumped into her. She focused on his face and could state the he was a “person of color” which essentially meant a black man.

She said “excuse me” and he said nothing and just kept going quickly in a rush. She noted how rude that was (rude as in “ill mannered” not ruede-y!) That incident occurred, by her estimates and the garage ticket, around 10:00-10:30pm.

She also remarked that just near the parking building entrance there was a station wagon with a guy outside it on his mobile phone, calling for help as the car did not start. She also saw a women in the back seat with a baby seat next to her…baby in it or not, she could not say.

Comment. It does seem that she most likely saw Guede leaving the crime scene, at between 10:00 and 10:30pm. This also fits with one of Meredith’s stolen mobile phone picking up another cell tower at 10:13pm. If Guede took the phones, it seems to me that this helped the Knox and Sollecito defenses more than the prosecution.

Rosa Natalia Guman Fernendez de Calle

Next Rosa Natalia Guman Fernendez de Calle, an Ecuadorian woman, took the stand. She had been Sollecito’s cleaning lady. She had worked for him about 2 months and would come every Monday around 2:00 to 4:00 pm to clean his apartment. She stated that she used only Lysoform, which is a general household cleaner like Mr. Clean. She would vacuum, mop the floor, clean the bathroom and kitchen, and so on. The cleaning products were kept under the kitchen sink as in most homes, and there were usually about 5-6 different cleaning products there and other cleaning supplies.She had been told to only ever use Lysoform to clean.

The last time she cleaned the apartment went was on November 5th, and Sollecito and Knox were there then. She went under the sink to get the cleaning products, and noticed a bucket with water in it and wet mop rags. She asked why the wet rags and the bucket, and he said they had had a leak. She did say the bucket had water in it and it was clear.

When asked if she ever used bleach in his home she said absolutely not. When asked if there was bleach among the cleaning products, she said she could not say either way. The 5th of November was the last day she worked for Sollecito as he was subsequently arrested.

Marc Quintavalle

The next witness was the highlight of the day. This was Marc Quintavalle, the owner of the small grocery store located on Via Garibaldi, the street that Solliceto lived on. Comment: his testimony was very precise, almost too precise for someone who recalls a long-ago incident from memory, but here goes…

On November 2nd he was heading back to his grocery store after lunch. He parked his car, and noticed there were carabinieri, police, etc. on Via della Pergola. He walked past them all, stopped to get a coffee at the bar on the corner, and then headed back to work. He was told at this time there was a murder.

It was not until many days later that he was told that Sollecito, a frequent customer in his grocery store, had been arrested with his girlfriend for the murder. After some time, he had remembered the day of the murder because he encountered the police and carabinieri cars several days after.Then it hit him what had happened that morning.

He said he arrived at his shop at 7:45am to open the security doors to be open for business. His two cashiers and helpers (two women) get there at 7:30am and begin to get ready for customers before opening time.

He said as he was opening the security gate on the store, a girl was standing at the door with him waiting for the store to open. He remembers that she had a hat on, jeans, a scarf and a grey-white jacket. But most of all he remembers that she had blue, really blue eyes. He noticed because her skin was very pale.

He opened the store door and said “buon giorno” but she did not say anything in response, and she headed to the part of the store [second image at top here] where they stock cleaning products, soap, towels, and also cups, coffee, and miscellaneous household items. The cashier is also located there.

He paid her no attention, but he did see her eventually leave and head down the street in the direction of the piazza that connects to Via della Pergola. Since he was not at the cash register he did not serve her and he could not say what she bought, and he did not think to ask the cashier at that time .

Many days afterwards, he saw a picture of Amanda Knox in the paper and said to himself, “OMG that is her, that is the girl that was at my store that morning”. Having seen her various times previously in the store, he was sure that it was Knox. He confirmed that it was some months later that he went to the police to tell them what he had witnessed the morning after the murder.

The courtroom was on edge when the prosecutor asked Quintavalle to identify the person he saw that morning by looking at a picture.

He finally looked directly at Amanda in the courtroom, staring at her in the eye only a few feet away and stated, “era lei, era Knox…” - ”It was her, it was Knox, she was the person I saw that morning”.

Comments: this was quite a climax of a scene. A direct eye witness testifying, without any doubt in his mind, that in effect Knox was lying about not getting up until around 10am on that morning.

Quintavalle had asked his cashiers if they remembered her or what she had bought that morning, but they did not remember anything. Quintavalle stated that detergent bleach is sold in his store for 1.09 euro per bottle and he carries only one kind (ACE), and they are all 1.09 per bottle.

Comment: if the prosecution introduces a till receipt for a 1.09 euro item sold at approximately 8:00am on November 2nd this would be very telling. So far such a receipt has not been introduced. The Police sequestered the till receipts, but have not officially released the findings. A possible problem is that many places don’t even ring up the items on the register to save the taxes and half probably go missing anyway. But overall, this was quite damning testimony.

The defense attempted to discredit Quintavalle, noting that it was all so long ago and how could anyone say in such detail who was there with any certainty? They also drilled him for supposedly violating a gag order, giving interviews for money, appearing on “Porta a porta” and so on.

Comment: that essentially washed away. I must admit he was so certain, and gave so much detail of what happened that morning after so much time had passed, it seemed like a feat of superhuman memory. But Quintavalle prides himself on his excellent memory, and now his statement is in the record.

Fabrizio Angeluce

Finally we heard from Fabrizio Angeluce, the owner of the laundromat and dry cleaners also located on Via Garibaldi.

His testimony was simple. He basically said that Raffaele came into his store on either Friday the 2nd or Monday the 5th of Nov – he could not remember the exact date but it was one of the two – and dropped off one shirt that was not exactly new, and seemed to have been washed. (Comment: For me it must have been the 5th as he was said to have dropped it off midday and we know where he was at midday on the 2nd.)

Sollecito had asked if he could dry clean the shirt as soon as possible, and get a rush service done because he needed it urgently. The witness said the shirt was brown and not exactly new. and and it seemed to have already been washed. He washed and ironed the shirt and that was it.

He decided to come to the police after he heard that Sollecito was arrested. Sollecito has claimed that he needed his shirt soon as it was the one he would wear to his graduation exam and ceremony.

Bottom line

Other days at trial I am thinking this is all looking bad for the defendants, but then after a day like today, I am thinking the defense can use these witnesses when it’s their turn at bat. Except for the testimony of Quintavalle, the other witnesses also supported some defense points.

Posted on 03/22/09 at 09:46 AM by stewarthome2000Click here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesDNA and luminolOther witnessesTrials 2008 & 2009
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Trial: Did Someone Prevent Meredith Calling Home On The Night?

Posted by Peter Quennell


“The British student Meredith Kercher may have tried to telephone her mother in a last cry for help before she was overpowered and stabbed to death in Perugia in central Italy.”

This story on one of Meredith;s last actions out of the courtroom yesterday is being very widely picked up around the world. Click above for John Follain’s report.

Posted on 03/21/09 at 07:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesCellphone activityTrials 2008 & 2009News media & moviesGreat reporting
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Trial: Evidence Casts Doubt On Knox’s “I Slept In At Sollecito’s” Alibi

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 03/21/09 at 05:23 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda Knox
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