Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Judge Nencini Issues Harsh Warning To Tell The Truth - So Amanda Knox Does The Precise Opposite

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Substance Of The Nencini Explanatory Report

The Florence Court of Appeals released the Nencini Motivations Report in Florence one week ago today.

This report explains the rejection of Knox’s and Sollecito’s own first appeal against the Massei trial outcome of 2009. Four years were lost because the Hellmann court, which heard the first iteration of that appeal was bent as Cassation, the competent judge displaced, and now Judge Nencini have all concluded.

The Hellmann outcome of 2011 was mostly annulled, as in “ceased to exist”. The main findings and verdict have zero legal standing, and zero relevance to today’s process though (see below) Knox and Sollecito repeatedly try to ride that dead horse again.

Cassation confirmed Knox’s three-year prison sentence for framing Patrick (for which she has served the time). And Cassation referred the methods and recommendations of the Conti & Vecchiotti consultancy, which Cassation had hammered on legal grounds, to the Florence appeal court for the substance to be reviewed.

Our evidence and law experts here and in Italy have been looking at Judge Nencini’s 347 page report and find it hard-hitting and unequivocally blunt.

It will be extremely hard to appeal against within the very narrow limits Cassation allows. It removes all of Judge Massei’s ambiguities about motives, it reaffirms the witness statements of Curatolo and Quintavalle, and it judicially affirms the validity of the DNA and other forensic evidence against Knox and Sollecito.

There is overwhelming proof of the presence of all three perps, Knox, Sollecito and Guede, in the cottage that night.  Guede is considered to have been brought inside by Knox, who had the only key, and he could not possibly have broken in through Filomena Romanelli’s window in the manner asserted by their defense.

Especially troubling for the defense, the report hints at an illegal suborning of the independent forensic experts appointed by the Hellmann court, and it also hints that the two “supergrass” witnesses, the prisoners Aviello and Alessi, may have been illegally tampered with by Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, as first claimed 30 months ago.

The report warns that criminal slander of justice officials and other contempts of court will be heavily leaned on.

So the report demolishes the last remnants of Judge Claudio Hellmann’s now annulled acquittal, and substitutes for its fatally flawed reasoning a tightly crafted report that confirms the convictions of Knox and Sollecito.

It confirms that they acted in concert with Guede as Cassation itself long ago concluded had to be the case, and it appears to close any possible argument against the verdict that will carry weight at the Supreme Court.

2. Amanda Knox’s Press-Release Statement In Response

Knox issued a seven paragraph statement later the same day. Maybe not the smartest bit of work.

It is riddled with factual inaccuracies and innuendo, is typically arrogant and condescending in tone, includes the trademark racial innuendos about Italians and the black guy in the case, and shows no signs in its compiling of competent legal help.

Here below we show the various ways in which Knox flouts Judge Nencini’s warning and attempts to mislead. None of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Hellmann Court Found Knox “Innocent”

I have stated from the beginning of this long ordeal that I am innocent of the accusations against me. I was found innocent by the only court in Italy that retained independent forensic experts to review my case. I want to state again today what I have said throughout this process: I am innocent of the accusation against me, and the recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the fact of my innocence.

First even if she was provisionally released following the now-annulled appeal, Amanda Knox was never, repeat never, found innocent. Only Cassation can make that final ruling, and they strongly found against the lower court that had jumped the tracks midway-through.

Even Judge Hellman himself said after his verdict that ‘the truth might be otherwise’ and suggested any reasonable doubt as to guilt has not been categorically and legally dismissed. He seemed to divine that he had failed in his task of bending the outcome in a way that would stay bent.

Second the court that Knox thinks found her innocent no longer exists as a legal fact. It seems to endemically escape Knox that the Hellmann outcome was annulled. Annulled. As in: wiped off the books. It is surprising that even Curt Knox and Ted Simon and David Marriott, while admittedly themselves no masters of Italian law, cannot help Knox to grasp that simple fact. It weakens her to keep clinging to a myth.

One reason it was annulled (and the reasons were overwhelming, one of Italy’s most decisive annullments ever) was that both Cassation and Dr Nencini had good reason to suspect the Hellmann court had been corrupted and had deliberately departed from the evidence and the law. Knox needs to ask herself why the highly qualified Judge Chiari was pushed aside (and immediately resigned in anger) in favor of a wrongly-qualified business judge (who is now ignominiously retired).

Third, it needs to be grasped by Knox that the Conti/Vecchiotti consultancy, far from being legally right and acting independently (and scientifically), was suggested as illegal by Perugia’s chief prosecutor Dr Galati, as appeal judges are forbidden from appointing consultants at that stage. While Cassation passed in ruling on that one, the consultancy outcome was criticised as illogical and legally unsound by both Cassation and Judge Nencini, as biased, full of baseless innuendo about contamination, and possibly tampered with by an American academic hired by the defense.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: Only Rudy Guede’s DNA Was Found

The recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the forensic evidence: experts agreed that my DNA was not found anywhere in Meredith’s room, while the DNA of the actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was found throughout that room and on Meredith’s body. This forensic evidence directly refutes the multiple-assailant theory found in the new motivation document. This theory is not supported by any reliable forensic evidence.

The forensic evidence is not just the DNA on the knife or in the room. It also includes the extensive traces deposited by Knox in the rest of the crime scene (bathroom, corridor and Filomena’s bedroom), and it also includes all of the autopsy.

Meredith’s room itself was not comprehensively tested for DNA. The room was dusted only for fingerprints, as the investigators had to make a call on prints or DNA.

Guede’s DNA was not found “throughout that room” or all over Meredith’s body. Guede’s DNA was found only in one instance on Meredith’s body, on a part of Meredith’s bra, mixed with Meredith’s blood on a sweatshirt cuff and the purse, and on toilet paper in a bathroom.

Knox’s DNA was found mixed with the blood of Meredith in multiple places, the only known source for which was the pool of blood in Meredith’s bedroom:  multiple prints of Knox’s bare right foot in the hallway and in Knox’ bedroom, and at least five instances of mixed samples containing the DNA of both Meredith and Knox, including in the north bathroom and Filomena’s room, places where Guede did not go.

The court ruled that the blood and mixed DNA evidence found throughout the crime scene places her and Sollecito there at the time of the murder at the same time as Rudy Guede.

Though not DNA, there was one bloody shoe print in Meredith’s bedroom estimated to be Euro size 36-38, compatible with Knox size 37 and with no one else known of who could have left it there.

No fingerprints of anyone were found in the room, just a palmprint of Rudy Guede. Fingerprints were not found even on Knox’s own lamp, which she only confirmed grudgingly at trial was her own, and not found even in Knox’s own bedroom. Overwhelming sign of a cleanup? The courts all believed so.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Knife As Murder Weapon Was Disproved

The forensic evidence also directly refutes the theory that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon: the court-appointed independent experts confirmed that neither Meredith’s blood nor her DNA was on the alleged murder weapon, which experts also agreed did not match the stab wounds or the bloody imprint of a knife on her pillow.

Judge Nencini’s finding is that two knives HAD to have been involved from both side of Meredith’s throat and the final blow was by a large knife the same size as the one in evidence.

Regarding the large knife, Knox rehashes the same arguments her defense made to no avail before the original trial court that found her guilty. We posted explaining the solid proof here and here.

The only DNA tests that matter with regard to the big knife are (1) the sound finding by Dr Stefanoni that Meredith’s DNA was on the blade - Knox is wrong, the independent experts did not refute that; (2) the sound findings by Dr Stefanoni and the Carabinieri lab that Knox’s DNA was on both the blade and the handle of the knife. None were overturned; contamination was ruled out; and the defense was left without a shot.

The Hellmann-appointed experts confirmed that the genetic profile found on the knife blade was the genetic profile of Meredith Kercher.  The TMB test did not confirm if it was blood, but defense experts were forced to concede that TMB erroneously fails to confirm that blood is present about half the times in assessing minute quantities.

The Hellmann-appointed experts tried to explain away the genetic profile as being the result of contamination, but were never able to identify any scenario by which a knife that had supposedly never left Sollecto’s kitchen contained biological material yielding a clear genetic profile of Meredith Kercher.

Accordingly the Appeals court has ruled the kitchen knife is in fact the one that was wielded by her to strike a final blow, and at the same time there was a second knife in the room used by Sollecito to torture Meredith.

London DNA expert Dr David Balding certified Raf’s DNA as being on the bra clasp. This proves by itself that Sollecito was there. Knox belatedly claimed she stayed at the Via Garibaldi apartment with Sollecito all evening and now and then Sollecito belatedly backs her up. But how could that be if the court has positives of his footprint on the bathroom rug and on the bra, showing he was over at Meredith’s cottage that night? Proof of him present equals proof of her.

The Hellmann-appointed experts were not charged with analyzing the stab wounds, or whether the imprint on a sheet was of a knife or of something else and the result of the fabric being folded - nor was this within their field of expertise.  Defense experts testifying on these issues were in conflict.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Circumstantial Evidence Is “Unreliable”

In fact, in the prior proceeding in which I was found innocent, the court specifically concluded that the forensic evidence did not support my alleged participation in the crime and further found that the circumstantial evidence was both unreliable and contrary to a conclusion of guilt.

The recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ change the fact that the forensic evidence still does not support my participation and the circumstantial evidence still remains unreliable and contrary to the conclusion of guilt.

Knox appeals to Hellmann’s ruling on the circumstantial evidence being unsound. But the Supreme Court, in annulling Hellmann, explained why it found his arguments illogical, and reminded the court of the standards by which circumstantial evidence must form a coherent whole. Judge Nencini in our opinion amply meets those standards in an elegantly argued report which will be hard to defeat at Rome’s Supreme Court.

Knox herself has proved the “unreliable” one, proven over and over again to be a liar who attests to her own bad memory in written statements, who talks of “dreams her mind made up”, who repeatedly goes vague.

We cannot rely on Knox’s recall of phoning mom, the timing of which moves and sometimes disappears. Knox claims she can’t remember where she was that night, she told a whopper of a lie on her boss, she can’t remember if the door to Filomena’s room was open or closed, she can’t remember her own lamp, she claims she rarely looks at a clock. On and on.

The strongest example of circumstantial evidence Knox can’t shake is the five spots of her DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood. Maybe 2 or 3 spots could be put down to unlucky chance, but five really removes reasonable doubt.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: No “Legitimate” Motive Is Identified

And the recent motivation document does not ““ and cannot ““ identify any legitimate motive for my alleged involvement in this terrible crime. No fewer than three motives have been previously advanced by the prosecution and by the courts. Each of these theories was as unsupported as the purported motive found in the new motivation document, and each of these alleged motives was subsequently abandoned by the prosecution or the courts. Like the prior “motives”, the latest “motive” in the new motivation document is not supported by any credible evidence or logic. There is simply no basis in the record or otherwise for this latest theory.

“Proof” of motive is not required in any legal system in the world. The serial misleader Ted Simon should at least admit to that. The motives advanced were not withdrawn or abandoned by successive judges; they were fine-tuned chronologically only within very narrow limits. The sex hazing that went too far was weighted downward and pushed back, and a battle over theft of money was weighted upward and pushed forward.

The court found very compelling evidence that Knox committed the murder and led the pack. It postulates that Meredith and Amanda were incompatible with each other, and that Knox, Sollecito and Guede, high on drugs, first assaulted Meredith, restrained and abused her, and then murdered her with two knives.

Knox was known to be in serious rejection by those she encountered in Perugia for her sharp-elbowed brashness - growing rejection by her flatmates, her employer and the bar customers, and just about everyone she encountered except initially for Sollecito. But soon even he was being given a hard time and has semi-rejected Knox in return ever since. The first words of his 8 November 2007 statement to Judge Matteini were “I wish to not see Amanda ever again.”

And money was a huge looming problem which could have had her back in Seattle in weeks. Knox was known to want to head for China, and was known locally to have an expensive drug habit which had cut her savings in half. She really needed to hang on to that job at Patrick’s bar, especially as she had no work permit.

Sollecito’s bank balance was minimally topped up by his father each month. Francesco seemed to realise cocaine is an expensive habit and didnt want to see his son off down that slippery slope. So with Knox’s own habit, her remaining savings would have run out in weeks. How then to explain to Curt Knox that she really needed a whole lot more? He would have given her a very hard time before any more money flowed.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.

Claim: The Supreme Court Will Allow Another Full Appeal

I will now focus on pursuing an appeal before the Italian supreme court. I remain hopeful that the Italian courts will once again recognise my innocence. I want to thank once again, from the bottom of my heart, all of those””family, friends, and strangers””who have supported me and believe in my innocence.

Cassation wont “once again” recognise innocence. Knox should be encouraged to get real. So should her dummy followers - all her immediate circle know she was involved. There are no obvious grounds for Cassation to second-guess Judge Nencini, a very senior and very respected judge, considering the thoroughness of the Nencini Report. The disjointed series of statements on her blog arguing to the contrary look like the opinions of her friends and fans, not legal minds, and it is time she realizes they have feet of sand and no power to help.

Conclusion: none of what Knox stated was the truth.


Three lawyers and five others supplied the rebuttals for Amanda Knox’s false claims here and elsewhere, such as Knox’s email to Judge Nencini and her interviews on TV. Posts on those follow soon. Below: the careful way in which Italian media explain what Judge Nencini released.


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Did The Bungling Guardian Check Sollecito Enabler Andrew Gumbel’s Myriad False Claims?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Did Gumbel Mislead The Guardian’s Editors?

Gumbel co-wrote Sollecito’s book.

In the Guardian he has a strident piece accusing Judge Nencini of getting a couple of minor facts wrong in the prefinal draft of his excellent report..

So Knox deserves “a new trial”?  This is the same third-rate reporter who has damaged not only himself but Knox and Sollecito with myriad false claims over two years. He fails to mention to the Guardian and its readers that he has a major vested interest here.

Gumbel seems quite incapable of getting even simple plain facts about the case right.  First, note two false claims right there in the Guardian: this was a new trial, and the protracted legal process is Italy’s fault.

Actually no. This was Knox’s and Sollecito’s own first appeal.

And in the UK and US any approval of any appeal after the very decisive trial outcome of 2009 would have been extremely unlikely. The Hellmann court was in effect hijacked, and the courts all know this, and Hellmann is paying a price for it. That added several years to the process.

And in the appallingly inaccurate book Honor Bound which Gumbel co-wrote with Sollecito, he included factual errors and false criminal accusations on every page and often in every paragraph.

The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.

Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong on that show too.

Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Gumbel’s and Sollecito’s false claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.

Charges Expected Against Andrew Gumbel

For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.

In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito and Gumbel team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.

A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and Gumbel went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims.  And still more.

Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. Felony charges will be brought, though the specific focus has at present not been revealed except to the defenses.

As we reported several weeks ago, the defense had 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito or Gumbel be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.

Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly their foolish book promoter, Sharlene Martin, and Simon & Schuster, their sloppy and highly irresponsible publishers in New York.

Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:

Examples: 20 False Claims In Seven Pages

These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages. Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate.

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Nencini Report Complains About Multiple Instances Of Evidence Tampering And Criminal Slander

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Edda Mellas, Curt Knox and Chris Mellas might be among those knee-deep in the soup]


Already investigations were under way into a PR campaign that in Italian juidicial terms seems little difference from a criminal enterprise.

Now Judge Nencini has included strong complaints in his sentencing report about nefarious behavior. This might now set a number of people to wondering if they have painted felony targets on their own backs, though the seriously dopey ones may have to have it spelled out for them.

This summary of the complaints is from Andrea Vogt’s excellent report in The Week/First Post which also highlights the appeal findings.

1. Interference with the courts

...during the course of Knox’s long and drawn out judicial process, Judge Alessandro Nencini claims, serious attempts were made to tamper with evidence in a way that would favour her….

In the scathing report that spells out the evidence, logic and reasoning that led to his guilty verdict in Florence on 30 January, Judge Nencini also says Knox and her defence tried to tamper with evidence and pervert the truth by introducing prisoners as witnesses, whose testimony turned out to be false and induced by “other interests”.

“It is clear how this trial was subject to heavy evidence tampering, both internally (slander) and externally,” Nencini writes.

He calls the media interest in the case “fertile ground” that led a number of witnesses to give misleading testimony in exchange for their moment in the limelight.

He also slams the first appeal court’s independent experts for having been oddly superficial and illogical in their analysis of the DNA evidence, especially regarding the potential for contamination, noting that controls were in place to prevent it….

2. Vilification campaign post 2011

Knox and Sollecito were released from prison in 2011 after an appeals court sensationally acquitted them of nearly all charges (one charge against Knox stuck: the slander of Congolese pub owner Patrick Lumumba, who she initially blamed for the crime).

The acquittal ruling, however, was later annulled by Italy’s Supreme Court and a second appeal trial in a jurisdiction outside Perugia was ordered. By that time Knox was safe and sound back in Seattle and chose not to return to Italy for her Florence appeal, instead emailing a statement to the judge, proclaiming her innocence. Sollecito attended.

On 30 January, Judge Nencini and a lay panel of jurors issued a guilty verdict and handed down an even harsher sentence: 25 years for him and 28.5 years for her.

Knox went on national television back in the US the following day claiming, as she always has, that she continues to be the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice carried forward by inertia by dozens of Italian judges.

But in his report, Nencini suggests the gross miscarriage was by Knox and her defence lawyers: indeed, he gave her a longer jail sentence precisely because of the gravity of the slander against Patrick Lumumba aimed at getting investigators off her back.

A small group of fervent supporters continue to lobby on Knox’s behalf and earlier this month she attended an Innocence Project conference with other exonerees, even though Italy’s courts have upheld her convictions….

With this latest development… there appears little wriggle- room for either Knox or Sollecito. Italy’s Supreme Court is expected to give the final ruling on the case after September.

This post was about Amanda Knox’s seriously surreal appearance at that conference of the Innocence Project. 

We will soon post a helpful roadmap to all the other numerous suggestions of nefarious behavior on which we have posted. We dont mean to isolate out just Edda Mellas, Curt Knox and Chris Mellas.

Amanda Knox with her highly defamatory website and new charges pending for her book is one of the worst offenders.


Why Final RS & AK Appeal Against Guilty Verdict May Fail: Multiple Wounds = Multiple Attackers

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Reports From Italy On Why AK & RS Appeal Failed

The Nencini Report has been released and we are seeing to its translation right now.

Meanwhile journalists in Italy have these reports which convey the very implacable, damning tone. There was nothing accidental about Meredith’s death; Knox premeditated it all along.

First report

From Il Messagero kindly translated by Miriam:.

FLORENCE -  The knife that was seized at Raffaele Sollecito house is the knife that killed Meredith Kercher, and the blow was delivered by Amanda Knox.  So writes the President of the Court of Appeal of Florence, Alessandro Nencini, in the motivation report of the sentence that was passed on Jan. 30th that saw Amanda Knox sentenced to 28 and a half years and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years.

Over 330 pages in which the court covers the appeal and explains the conviction. Starting with the knife considered “not incompatible with the wound that was carried out on Meredith Kercher. “In the present case, writes Nencini what counts is the accessibility of the weapon by the accused, it’s concrete portability from house to house, it’s compatibility with the wound, and the presence of Meredith’s DNA on the blade. All of these elements ascertained by the court lead to the conclusion that the knifed evidenced as no. 36 was one of the knifes used in the attack, and was the knife that Knox used to strike the fatal blow to Meredith’s throat.”

The court retains to have sufficient evidence of “certain reliability” of Rudy Guede (convicted to 16 years) Amanda and Raffaele in the house where Mez was killed, on the night between the 1st and November 2, 2007 in 7 Via della Pergola “in the immediate phases following the murder.” The Court then tells how she was immobilized and Mez “was not able to put up some valid resistance because she was dominated by multiple assailants and cut at the same time with the blades of several knives.”

Rejected therefore is the defense’s strategy of both of the convicted, that have always maintained that the killer was only one.: the Ivorian Rudy Guede.

Second report

Bullet points from various Italian media.

  • The big knife from Sollecito’s house held by Amanda Knox caused the fatal wound to Meredith while the other was held by Raffaele Sollecito.

  • There is strong “multiple and consistent” evidence of all three in the house immediately following the murder.  All three worked to suppress Meredith.

  • There was an escalating quarrel between Knox and Meredith leading to a progressive aggression and murder with sexual components.

  • Between Amanda and Meredith there was no mutual sympathy and Meredith harbored serious reservations about the behavior of AK.

  • The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing the night she was murdered was left by Raffaele Sollecito
Third report

No especially accurate reports in English have appeared yet and the erroneous “new trial” is still surfacing. Andrea Vogt tweets that she will be posting an analysis soon.

The mischievous defense-inspired “sex game gone wrong” and “satanic theory” mantras are still widely showing up in the duped media, but are nailed hopefully finally in this new report.

Judge Nencini has closely followed and endorsed the “from all angles” Massei trial analysis, but with the inclusion of some more credible explanations from Prosecutor Crini which Judge Micheli had also espoused back in 2008.

In particular, Rudy Guede is not now highly improbably seen as the one initiating the attack on Meredith, and sex was not at all the primary driving force for the attack (the prosecution never ever said it was). Knox carried the big knife from Sollecito’s for a purpose.

The bad blood between the girls resulting from Knox’s crude, brash, very lazy, drug-oriented behavior was well known in Meredith’s circle. All of them had backed away from her, as also had her employer and the patrons in his bar.

There was a probable theft of money by Knox who was unable to account for a sum similar to what Meredith would have stashed away for the rent and that is seen as the probable spark for the explosive argument and attack.

Fourth report

Barbie Nadeau in The Daily Beast

Amanda Knox apparently did not kill Meredith Kercher in a “sex game gone wrong,” as had been previously decided by a lower court in Perugia, according to a Florentine appellate judge who released today a 337-page document explaining his decision to convict Knox and her erstwhile Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for Kercher’s murder. Rather, the judge claims, Knox allegedly killed Kercher, her 21-year-old British roommate, because she didn’t like her.

All Italian courts require judges to explain the reasoning behind their rulings, and it likely represents the penultimate step in a seven-year case that has seen Knox and Sollecito first convicted in 2009 then acquitted in 2011 then convicted again in January 2014. Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native who was also convicted for his role in the murder back in 2008, is serving a 16-year jail sentence. He is currently eligible to apply for work furloughs from prison.

Judge Alessandro Nencini, along with a second judge and six lay jurors, were tasked with hearing a second appeal that began in September 2013 after Italy’s high court threw out the acquittal that set Knox and Sollecito free in 2011. Italy’s high court cited “inconsistencies” and “legal mistakes” and tasked Nencini’s court with hearing the appeal again. It was not a retrial per se, but rather a fresh look at the appeal process that freed Knox.

Nencini decided that the appellate court that set Knox free erred in evidentiary and legal matters. That court will now have to rule definitively on the case, using Nencini’s reasoning and whatever appeal Knox and Sollecito file for their final judgment. If the high court accepts Nencini’s verdicts, the two will be required to serve their prison sentences in Italy. Knox has vowed she will not return to Europe, but Sollecito, unless he escapes, won’t be as lucky.

The court’s explanation of its decision comes down hard on the first appellate court that overturned Knox’s guilty verdict, at times seemingly scolding them for misapplication of penal codes and for throwing out witness testimony without explanation. “It was an operation of evaluating evidence with using logic,” Nencini wrote, accusing the first appellate court of essentially throwing out testimony that allegedly proved Knox’s involvement, but keeping testimony that supposedly supported her innocence.

He used Knox’s prison diary as a prime example. “Look at the contradictions in the evaluation of the diary written in English by Amanda Knox,” he wrote, referring to a handwritten prison diary taken fromKnox’s cell as part of the investigation to determine why she accused her pub boss Patrick Lumumba of Kercher’s murder during early interrogations. “On one hand, the appellate court of Perugia completely devalued the writings when she admitted wrongdoing by accusing Patrick Lumumba. On the other side, they valued it when she defended herself.”

Nencini also ruled that there was plenty of forensic evidence tying Knox and Sollecito to the crime scene, writing “they left their tracks in the victim’s blood” more than once in the document. He accepted testimony that supported the theory that a knife found in Sollecito’s apartment was one of the primary murder weapons, and he reasoned that a second knife was also used that matched a blood stain left on Kercher’s mattress.

The first knife in question was the only hard evidence reexamined in the second appeal, and forensic experts ruled that a previously untested spot on the knife’s handle consisted of 100 percent Knox’s DNA. An earlier court heard testimony that a tiny smidgeon of DNA on the groove of the blade was Kercher’s, but the first appellate court agreed with witnesses who testified that the sample was too small to be considered a perfect match. The second appellate court not only considered the knife to be the murder weapon, it also ruled that Knox “plunged the knife into the left side of Kercher’s neck, causing the fatal wound.”

The second appellate court also reasoned that Kercher’s bra clasp, which had been cut from her body after she was killed, had Sollecito’s DNA on the tiny metal clasp. “The biological trace found on the bra clasp that Meredith Kercher was wearing when she was assassinated belonged to RaffaeleSollecito,” Nencini wrote, agreeing with the judge in the original murder conviction. “The clasp was manipulated by the accused on the night of the murder.”

The court also scoffed at certain rulings laid out by the first appellate court, saying that the court’s reasoning that it would have been easy for “a young athlete” like Rudy Guede to scale the wall and enter the apartment, was borderline racist.

Nencini also ruled that with regard to motive in the murder, it was subjective and personal. “It is not necessary for all the assailants to share the same motive.”

The court picked out small details of Knox’s presumably errant testimony, including how she told police the morning Kercher’s body was found that Kercher always locked her door “even when she takes a shower,” which was later contested by the girls’ other roommates.

Nencini also clearly believed ample forensic testimony, presented by experts examining the original autopsy, that Kercher was killed by more than one person. “”She was completely immobilized when she was murdered,” he said, reasoning that Guede could not have acted alone, and instead likely held her back as Sollecito and Knox knifed her.

The judge also pointed out incongruences in Knox’s testimony about the night of the murder, but noted problems with the other witnesses, which included a homeless man, an elderly woman who said she heard screams. Still, he ruled that Knox’s accusation of Lumumba is vital evidence against her. “It is impossible to separate the two acts,” he wrote.

Using Nencini’s reasoning, Knox’s lawyers now have the roadmap for planning their final appeal to Italy’s high court, likely later this year or in early 2015. However, this same high court threw out the acquittal in the first place, so Knox may need more than luck to walk free. If she is definitively convicted, she will likely face an extradition order to come back to Italy to serve out her sentence. There are very few legal loopholes that would allow an American citizen to escape a court decision by a country, like Italy, that shares extradition treaties with the U.S.



[Judge Massei at crime scene; report says why Knox & Sollecito appeal against his 2009 verdict has failed]




[The Supreme Court in Rome is expected later this year to confirm this outcome]


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Knox & Sollecito Actions In The Week Prior To Arrest: An Incriminating Behavior Pattern For Sure

Posted by James Raper

[Video above: Sollecito slams Knox’s weird behavior, while not explaining numerous examples of his own ]

1. Today’s Context To This Post

A very strong case for guilt has been made at trial and endorsed at the first-level appeal.

This series hammers home the growing hundreds of incriminating stark differences between the official evidence record, Sollecito’s and Knox’s two books, and Sollecito’s and Knox’s multiple conflicting claims since.

The focus of this post as with the one immediately below is upon the described behaviours of Knox and Sollecito, from the very beginning to this very day. This pattern has more than contributed to the certainty of their involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

2. How The Behavior Speaks To Guilt

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.

3. Physical Evidence Array Is Already Substantial

There are numerous items of evidence which are building blocks in the prosecution case and with which we are all familiar.

    1. The staged break-in via Filomena’s window with pointers to this outside, on the windows and shutters, and throughout the bedroom.

    2. The evident partial clean up proved by footprint trails with footprints missing and what was behind the locked door.

    3. Amanda Knox’s lamp on the floor behind Meredith’s locked door which she only conceded was her own at trial, under pressure.

    4. Knox’s dried and congealed blood on the tap in the small bathroom that Amanda Knox and Meredith shared.

    5. The bloody footprint on the mat in that bathroom definitively attributed to Sollecito rather than Guede

    6.  The mixed DNA of Knox and Meredith Kercher found in blood in the basin, the bidet and on the box of Q tips in that bathroom

    7. Two luminol enhanced mixed traces containing DNA belonging to Knox and Meredith Kercher, one in the corridor and the other in Filomena’s room

    8. Two luminol enhanced footprints of Knox in the corridor and one of Sollecito immediately outside Meredith’s room.

    9. The knife taken from Sollecito’s apartment with Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle and on the blade

    10. Meredith Kercher’s bra clasp with Sollecito’s DNA on a hook and contamination possibilities definitively ruled out.


4. Behaviors In The First Week Of November 2007

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-

    (a) it is hard to believe that she did not notice the hard to miss fact that the shutters to Filomena’s window were (as they were found) open - this would have alerted her to the likelihood that Filomena was back home which she would, of course, have checked out of curiosity if nothing else given that she found no one home.

    (b) her claim that Filomena’s door was shut is contradicted by Sollecito who wrote (prison diary) that when he later entered the cottage with Knox   Filomena’s door was wide open.

    (c) it is hard to believe that she took a shower without noticing until after her shower (as she claimed) that there was blood on the bathroom mat, including a bloody footprint. In fact she didn’t even claim to notice that it was a footprint despite the fact that it was obviously so.

    (d) it is hard to believe that having found the front door wide open and having found blood, and having opted for a shower and to blow dry her hair, she never got round to checking for any sign of Meredith’s presence. Any one else would have tried her door to check whether or not she was home.

    (e) from her appearance at the cottage that morning it is hard to believe that she took a shower at all (let alone blow dried her hair) and the cops remarked that she reeked of body odour.

    (f)  less problematic but nevertheless still somewhat surprising is that as she is drying her hair she makes a fuss over shit (left by Guede) in the toilet,  describes herself as being “uncomfortable” about it but does not flush it away before grabbing the mop and leaving.
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.

    (a) Curatolo claimed to have first seen the Knox and Sollecito in Piazza Grimana shortly after 9.30 pm but Knox claimed in her trial testimony that she and Raffaele had cooked and eaten a meal between 9.30 and 10 pm.
    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.

    Unfortunately Sollecito’s father himself torpedoed this dodge by telling the court that when he phoned his son at 8.42 pm Sollecito had told him that there had been a water leak while he was washing the dishes. Taking into account Knox’s testimony that they had eaten before the dish washing, this places the meal and dish washing before that call.

    (b) Sollecito told the police that at about 11 pm he had received a call from his father on his land line. Not only is that not confirmed by his father but there is no log of such a call.

    (c) There is no log of a call to his mobile at that time either though his father had sent a text message at that time but which Sollecito did not receive until 6. 03 am the following morning. We know that he had received it at that time because that is the time at which it is logged in the phone records.  Sollecito had just turned his phone on and clearly the phone had been off when the text message was sent.

    (d) There is no record of any phone activity for either of them from after the 8.42 pm call to, in Sollecito’s case, receipt of that text message at 6.03 am,  and in Knox’s case her call to Meredith’s English phone at 12.07 pm the next day.

    A further word about this Point (d) here as Knox has released her phone records on her web site. In her case it has to be said that this is not so unusual. Up until the 30th October there is no regular pattern of late or early morning phone activity.

    It is interesting to note, however, that as of the 30th October there is a spate of texts and calls between her and a young Greek known to us as Spiros.  Communication between them had in fact been going on since the beginning of October but there are 5 texts in the afternoon of the 30th, two telephone calls in the afternoon and a call at 11.38 pm on Halloween.

    In the early hours of the following morning there are a couple of calls between the two. In fact we know that the two met up together for Halloween as Knox was at a loose end.  Meredith had shrugged her off and Raffaele was attending a friend’s graduation dinner out of town.

    Sollecito is different as his father was in the habit of calling at all hours just to find out what his son was doing and, as we know, he had called late only to find that his son’s phone was switched off.

    In the case of Knox she admitted in any event that her phone had been switched off, “to save the battery”.

    (e) There is no record of any activity on Sollecito’s computer after 9.15 pm and until 5.32 am the following morning when music was played for half an hour.  This contradicts the claim that Sollecito had smoked pot and interacted with his computer until midnight and that they had both slept until late the following morning.

    (f) The fact that the next morning, outside the cottage, both Knox and Sollecito looked utterly exhausted. This belies the alibi that they had spent a quiet night indoors and had only risen late that morning.
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.

    (a) How does this correlate to the contents of her e-mail of the 11/04/07?

    (b) How does this correlate to Knox’s phone records?

    (c) There is no mention of a call to her mother at all in the e-mail. This from her e-mail -
    “”¦.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.”

    (d) the phone records are as follows for 2 November 2007:

    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

    (e) The discrepancies are numerous, see these examples:

    1. The first call to her mother was not just after leaving the cottage but 40 minutes after the call to Filomena, and the call to Filomena had been placed after she had returned to Raffaele’s place and after they had used the mop and had breakfast. In fact, say about an hour after she left the cottage.

    2.  The first call to Meredith’s English phone was placed before the call to Filomena, and not after as Knox would have it in her e-mail. A minute before,  but Knox did not mention this to Filomena, as confirmed by the e-mail and Filomena’s testimony.

    3. The first call to Meredith’s English phone disappears entirely in Knox’s book.

    4.  The call to the Italian phone did not just keep ringing. The connection was for 3 seconds and this was followed by a connection to the English phone for 4 seconds.

    5.  The English phone was not switched off or out of service. Mrs Lana’s daughter had found it. She said that she would not have done so but for it ringing (the 12.07 call for 16 seconds?). She picked it up and took it into the house where it rang again (the 12.11 call - 4 seconds?). A name appeared on the screen as it rang : “Amanda”.

    6.  The 3 and 4 second calls are highly suspicious. The Italian phone was undoubtedly in the possession of the postal police. According to Massei it’s answering service was activated, accounting for the log. Clearly Knox did not even bother to leave a message for Meredith as it would take longer than 3 seconds just to listen to the answering service. This is not the behaviour of someone genuinely concerned about another.

      Observations:

      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.

    (a)  Luca Altieri”˜s testimony makes it clear that Knox and Sollecito had heard about Meredith”˜s cut throat directly from him during the car ride to the police station.

    However her bizarre and grotesque allusion in the early moments of the investigation to the body being found stuffed into the closet (wardrobe) is not just factually incorrect (it was lying to the side of the closet) but bears correlation to the later forensic findings based on blood splatter in front of and on the closet door, that Meredith had been thrust up against the closet after having been stabbed in the throat.

    (b)  The behaviour of Knox and Sollecito at the police station is documented in the testimony of Meredith’s English girlfriends and of the police. Whilst it is true that people react to grief in different ways it is difficult to ascribe grief to Knox’s behaviour. Emotionally she was cold towards Meredith’s friends and occasionally went out of her way to upset them with barbed and callous remarks.

    The fact that Knox was not observed to cry and wanted to talk about what had happened is not of itself indicative of anything but remarks like “What the fuck do you think, she bled to death” and her kissing and canoodling with Raffaele (including them making smacking noises with their lips when they blew kisses to each other) in front of the others was not normal.

    Rather chilling in retrospect was a scene between the pair of them when Knox found the word “minaccia” ( in english - threat) amusing and made a play of it with Sollecito in front of witnesses.

    (c) Grief is in any event reserved for friends and relations, or people one much admires. The evidence is that the initial short friendship between the two had cooled to the extent that Meredith was studiously, if politely, avoiding being around Knox. For the narcissistic and attention seeking american girl this would have been difficult to ignore and may well have offended her.

    (d)  The next day Sollecito was willingly collared by a reporter from the Sunday Mirror and told her about the horror of finding the body.
    “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?’”

    Sollecito went on to tell the reporter that “It was a normal night. Meredith had gone out with one of her English friends and Amanda and I went to party with one of my friends. The next day, around lunchtime, Amanda went back to their apartment to have a shower.”

    About the only thing that is true here is that he knew Meredith.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Knox’s Multiple Accounts Of Her Witness “Interrogations”: An Incriminating Behavior Pattern For Sure

Posted by James Raper




1. Today’s Context To This Post

In a day or two Judge Nencini’s sentencing report will be released. Are we all clear on precisely why the Nencini appeal court in Florence had to meet?

It did not meet at the request of the prosecution. They had nothing to appeal, subsequent to the convictions they won at the 2009 trial. This was certainly not a new trial.

In fact, the Nencini appeal court met only at the requests of Sollecito and Knox.  It met exclusively to hear their appeal.

Did you notice who the court did not hear from? Knox herself.  She did send from Seattle a misleading and somewhat insulting note to the judge, attempting to explain why she was choosing to stay away.

Judge Nencini might have issued an immediate arrest warrant for Knox. But instead he merely confined himself to some sardonic remarks, while dropping Knox’s note disdainfully on his bench.

Judge Nencini would know that Knox’s note may be a first in legal annals: a convicted perp chooses not to show up in court for their own appeal.

2. Knox’s Book: A Minefield For Her

Knox’s note in effect claimed she was full of fear. Fear of what? Purportedly fear that the prosecution would make too strong a case.

The prosecution would make too strong a case? But they had done that already, in 2009. At appeals it is the defense teams calling the shots. Those convicted show up and advise their teams how to overturn the prosecution’s case.

Most likely the real source of Knox’s fear was her feckless paper-trail over some 30 months.

Knox has a trail of multiple contradictory outpourings since her late-2011 release. To this day, Knox still continues to throw things at the wall, in the hope that maybe one day a few of them will stick.

Knox’s book Waiting To Be Heard of one year ago more than anything is Exhibit A here. It was surely her easy-to-fault book that sparked extreme reluctance to look the judges and prosecution and those many in Perugia she had reviled in the eyes.

This is the first of two posts on the formidable evidence that Knox’s behavior in the days prior to her arrest constitutes, and Knox’s erratic attempts in the past 30 months to convince us, hey folks, don’t believe your lying eyes: there’s really nothing here.   

My post here is about what actually happened on the 5th November 2007 when Amanda Knox was sort-of helping the police at the central police station.

3. Realities 1 And 2: Knox Book v Knox On Stand

The police had called her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in to the station for questioning and Knox had accompanied him because she did not want to be alone. They had already eaten at the house of a friend of Sollecito’s.  Knox’s interrogation was not tape recorded and in that sense we have no truly independent account of what transpired.

The several police involved, including the interpreter, gave evidence at her trial, see the transcripts here (Anna Donnino) and here (Rita Ficcara) and here (Monica Napoleoni).

Anna Donino’s testimony, which is like night and day when compared with Knox’s claims, is summarised below. Rita Ficcara was exclusively or almost exclusively the questioner. At most only four officials (Rita Ficcara, Lorena Zugarini, Ivano Raffo, and Anna Doninno the interpreter) were there.  Monica Napoleoni did not enter the room. Refreshments were brought in several times.

There are accounts in books that have been written about the case but these tend to differ in the detail. The police and the interpreter maintain that she was treated well. Conflicting with their evidence, which meshes neatly, is what Knox says happened, and our sources for this are transcripts of her trial evidence and what she wrote in her book.

I shall deal with the evidence of the interpreter representative of the four officials in “Reality 3” below.

I am going to compare what she said at trial with what she wrote in her book but also there was a letter she wrote on the 9th and a recording of a meeting with her mother on the 10th November which are also relevant.

What she wrote in her book is fairly extensive and contains much dialogue. She has a prodigious memory for detail now which was almost entirely lacking before.  I am going to tell you to treat what she says in her book with extreme caution because she has already been found out for, well let us say, her creative writing if not outright distortion of facts. I shall paraphrase rather than quote most of it but a few direct quotes are necessary.

Knox arrived with Sollecito at the police station at about 10.30 pm (according to John Follain). The police started to question Sollecito at 10.40 pm (Follain).

In her book Knox describes being taken from the waiting area to a formal interview room in which she had already spent some time earlier. It is unclear when that formal questioning began. Probably getting on for about 11.30pm because she also refers to some questions being asked of her in the waiting room following which she did some stretches and splits.

She then describes how she was questioned about the events over a period from about the time she and Sollecito left the cottage to about 9 pm on the 1st November.

Possibly there was a short break. She describes being exhausted and confused. The interpreter, Knox says, arrived at about 12.30 am. Until then Knox claims she had been conversing with the police in Italian.

Almost immediately, the questioning resuming -

“Monica Napoleoni, who had been so abrupt with me about the poop and the mop at the villa, opened the door. “Raffaele says you left his apartment on Thursday night,” she said almost gleefully. “He says that you asked him to lie for you. He’s taken away your alibi.””

Knox describes how she was dumfounded and devastated by this news. She cannot believe that he would say that when they had been together all night. She feels all her reserves of energy draining away. Then -

“Where did you go? Who did you text?” Ficarra asked, sneering at me.

“I don’t remember texting anyone.”

They grabbed my cell phone up off the desk and scrolled quickly through its history.

“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

“My boss at Le Chic.”

Stop right there.

First, the interpreter, Rita Ficcara and Monica Napoleoni herself testified she never even entered the room.

Second, how were the police able to name the recipient of the text? The text Patrick had sent her had already been deleted from Knox’s mobile phone by Knox herself and Knox hasn’t yet named Patrick. In fact she couldn’t remember texting anyone.

It is of course probable that the police already had a log of her calls and possibly had already traced and identified the owner of the receiving number for her text, though the last step would have been fast work.

In her trial testimony Knox did a lot of “the police suggested this and suggested that” though it is never crystal clear whether she is accusing the police of having suggested his name. But she is doing it here in her book and of course the Knox groupies have always maintained that it was the police who suggested his name to her.

The following extract from her trial testimony should clear things up. GCM is Judge Giancarlo Massei.

GCM: In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?

AK: No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”

GCM: But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?

AK: Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦..

GCM : But they didn’t literally say it was him!

AK : No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”

GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?”

AK : Well, first I started to cry…....

And having implied that it was the police who suggested Patrick’s name to her, she adds”¦.. that quote again -

“You need to stop lying. You texted Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

“My boss at Le Chic.”

Here she is telling the Perugian cops straight out exactly to whom the text was sent. “My boss at Le Chic”.

But that does not quite gel with her trial testimony -

And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!”

At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember…..

Doesn’t the above quote make it clear that the police were having considerable trouble getting Knox to tell them to whom her text message was sent? It would also explain their growing frustration with her.

But perhaps the above quote relates not to whom the text was sent but, that having been ascertained, whether Knox met up with that person later? Knox has a habit of conflating the two issues. However there is also the following quote from her trial testimony -

Well there were lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?”

Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman and she gave me another blow to the head.

The woman with the long hair, chestnut brown hair, Knox identifies in her book as Ficarra. Ficarra is the policewoman who started the questioning particularly, as Knox has confirmed, about the texted message. “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Again, surely this is to get Knox to identify the recipient of the text, not about whether she met up with him?






In the book though, it is all different.

In the book, the police having told her that the text is to someone called Patrick, Knox is a model of co-operation as, having already told them that he is her boss at Le Chic, she then gives a description of him and answers their questions as to whether he knew Meredith, whether he liked her etc. No reluctance to co-operate, no memory difficulties here.

Notwithstanding this, her book says the questions and insinuations keep raining down on her. The police insist that she had left Sollecito’s to meet up with - and again the police name him - Patrick.

“Who did you meet up with? Who are you protecting? Why are you lying? Who’s this person? Who’s Patrick?”

Remember again, according to her trial testimony the police did not mention Patrick’s name and Knox still hasn’t mentioned his name. But wait, she does in the next line -

“I said “Patrick is my boss.””

So now, at any rate, the police have a positive ID from Knox regarding the text message and something to work with. Patrick - boss - Le Chic.

Knox then refers to the differing interpretations as to what “See you later” meant and denies that she had ever met up with Patrick that evening. She recalls the interpreter suggesting that she was traumatized and suffering from amnesia.

The police continue to try to draw an admission from Knox that she had met up with Patrick that evening - which again she repeatedly denies. And why shouldn’t she? After all, she denies that she’s suffering from amnesia, or that there is a problem with her memory. The only problem is that Sollecito had said she had gone out but that does not mean she had met with Patrick.

Knox then writes, oddly, as it is completely out of sequence considering the above -

“They pushed my cell phone, with the message to Patrick, in my face and screamed,

“You’re lying. You sent a message to Patrick. Who’s Patrick?”

That’s when Ficarra slapped me on my head.”

A couple of blows (more like cuffs) to the head (denied by the police) is mentioned in her trial testimony but more likely, if this incident ever happened, it would have been earlier when she was struggling to remember the text and to whom it had been sent. Indeed that’s clear from the context of the above quotes.

And this, from her trial testimony -

Remember, remember, remember, and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me.”

In the CNN TV interview with Chris Cuomo, Knox was asked if there was anything she regretted.

Knox replied that she regretted the way this interrogation had gone, that she wished she had been aware of her rights and had stood up to the police questioning better.

Well actually, according to the account in her book, she appears to have stood up to the police questioning with a marked degree of resilience and self- certainty, and with no amnesia. There is little of her trademark “being confused”. 

So why the sudden collapse? And it was a sudden collapse.

Given the trial and book accounts Knox would have us think that she was frightened, that it was due to exhaustion and the persistent and bullying tone of the questioning, mixed with threats that she would spend time in prison for failing to co-operate. She also states that -

(a) she was having a bad period and was not being allowed to attend to this, and

(b) the police told her that they had “hard evidence” that she was involved in the murder.

Knox has given us a number of accounts as to what was actually happening when this occurred.

In a letter she wrote on the 9th November she says that suddenly all the police officers left the room but one, who told her she was in serious trouble and that she should name the murderer. At this point Knox says that she asked to see the texted message again and then an image of Patrick came to mind. All she could think about was Patrick and so she named him (as the murderer).

During a recorded meeting with her mother in Capanne Prison on the 10th November she relates essentially the same story.

In her book there is sort of the same story but significantly without mention of the other officers having left the room nor mention of her having asked to see the texted message again.

If the first two accounts are correct then at least the sense of oppression from the room being crowded and questions being fired at her had lifted.

Then this is from her book -

In that instant, I snapped. I truly thought I remembered having met somebody. I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I didn’t understand that I was about to implicate the wrong person. I didn’t understand what was at stake. I didn’t think I was making it up. My mind put together incoherent images. The image that came to me was Patrick’s face.  I gasped. I said his name. “Patrick””it’s Patrick.

It’s her account, of course, but this “Patrick - It’s Patrick” makes no sense at this stage of it unless it’s an admission not just that she had met up with Patrick but that he was at the cottage and involved in Meredith’s death.

And this is from her trial testimony -

GCM : Now what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?

AK : Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of Patrick I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation.

There is a clear difference between these two quotes.

The one from her book suggests that she was trying hard but that the police had virtually brought her to the verge of a mental breakdown.

Her trial testimony says something else; that a scene and an idea was forming in her mind brought on by her naming of Patrick.

In her book she states that a statement, typed up in Italian, was shoved under her nose and she was told to sign it. The statement was timed at 1.45 am. The statement was not long but would probably have taken about twenty minutes to prepare and type.

The statement according to Knox -

... I met Patrick immediately at the basketball court in Piazza Grimana and we went to the house together. I do not remember if Meredith was there or came shortly afterward. I have a hard time remembering those moments but Patrick had sex with Meredith, with whom he was infatuated, but I cannot remember clearly whether he threatened Meredith first. I remember confusedly that he killed her.

The fact that the statement was in Italian is not important. Knox could read Italian perfectly well. However she does insinuate in the book that the details in the statement were suggested to her and that she didn’t bother to read the statement before signing.

Apart from what has been mentioned above, there are some other points and inferences to be drawn from the above analysis.

    1.  Knox’s account destroys one of Sollecito’s main tenets in his book Honour Bound. Sollecito maintains that he did nothing to damage Knox’s alibi until he signed a statement, forced on him at 3:30 am and containing the damaging admission that Knox had gone out. But Knox makes it clear that she had heard from the Head of the Murder Squad that he had made that damaging admission, at or shortly after 12.30 am. Or is Knox is accusing Napoleoni of a bare-faced lie?

    2.  It is valid to ask why Knox would not want to remember to whom the text had been sent. Who can see into her mind? Perhaps Knox realized that discussion of it would confirm that if she had indeed gone out then it was not to Le Chic, where she was not required. However even if she thought that could put her in the frame it’s not what an innocent person would be too worried about. Perhaps she did just have difficulty remembering?

    3.  If there was no fuss and she did remember and tell the police that the text was to Patrick, and the questioning then moved on to whether she met up with Patrick later that evening, what was the problem with that? She knew the fact that she hadn’t met up with him could be verified by Patrick. She could have said that and stuck to it. The next move for the police would have been to question Patrick. They would not have had grounds to arrest him.

    4.  Knox stated in her memorial, and re-iterates it in her book, that during her interrogation the police told her that they had hard evidence that she was involved in Meredith’s murder. She does not expand on what this evidence is, perhaps because the police did not actually tell her. However, wasn’t she the least bit curious, particularly if she was innocent? What was she thinking it might be?

    5.  I can sympathise with any interviewee suffering a bad period, if that’s true. However the really testy period of the interview/interrogation starts with the arrival of the interpreter, notification of Sollecito’s withdrawal of her alibi and the questioning with regard to the text to Patrick, all occurring at around 12.30 am.  There has to be some critical point when she concedes, whether to the police or in her own mind,  that she’d met “Patrick”, after which there was the questioning as to what had happened next. Say that additional questioning took 20 minutes. Then there would be a break whilst the statement is prepared and typed up. So the difficult period for Knox, from about 12.30 am to that critical point, looks more like about 35 to, at the outside, 50 minutes.

    6.  Even if, for that period, it is true that she was subjected to repeated and bullying questions, and threats, then she held up remarkably well as I have noted from her own account. It does not explain any form of mental breakdown, let alone implicating Patrick in murder. In particular, if Knox’s letter of the 9th and the recording of her meeting with her mother on the 10th are to believed, that alleged barrage of questions had stopped when she implicated Patrick.  An explanation, for what it’s worth, might be that she had simply ceased to care any longer despite the consequences. But why?

    7.  A better and more credible explanation is that an idea had indeed formed suddenly in her mind. She would use the revelation about the text to Patrick and the consequent police line of questioning to bring the questioning to an end and divert suspicion from her true involvement in the murder of Meredith Kercher. She envisaged that she would be seen by the police as a helpless witness/victim, not a suspect in a murder investigation. As indeed was the case initially.  She expected, I am sure, to be released, so that she could get Sollecito’s story straight once again. If that had happened there would of course remain the problem of her having involved Patrick, but I dare say she thought that she could simply smooth that over - that it would not be a big deal once he had confirmed that there had been no meeting and that he had not been at the cottage, as the evidence was bound to confirm.


Reality 3: The Interpreter Anna Donnino Speaks

Here is a link to the translation of the evidence of the interpreter, Anna Donnino. I will simply summarise the main points from her evidence but it will be apparent immediately that she contradicts much of what Knox and her supporters claim to have happened.

Donnino told the court that she had 22 years experience working as a translator for the police in Perugia. She was at home when she received a call from the police that her services were required and she arrived at the police station at just before 12.30 am, just as Knox said. She found Knox with Inspector Ficarra. There was also another police officer there whose first name was Ivano. At some stage Ficarra left the room and then returned and there was also another officer by the name of Zugarina who came in. Donnino remained with Knox at all times

The following points emerge from her testimony :-

    1. Three police officers do not amount to the “lots of people” referred to in Knox’s trial testimony, let alone the dozens and the “tag teams” of which her supporters speak.

    2. She makes no mention of Napoleoni and denied that anyone had entered the room to state that Sollecito had broken Knox’s alibi. (This is not to exclude that this may have happened before Donnino arrived)

    3. She states that Knox was perfectly calm but there came a point when Knox was being asked how come she had not gone to work that she was shown her own text message (to Patrick). Knox had an emotional   shock, put her hands to her ears and started rolling her head and saying “It’s him! It’s him! It’s him!”

    4. She denied that Knox had been maltreated or that she had been hit at all or called a liar. She stated that the officer called Ivano had been particularly comforting to Knox, holding her hand occasionally.

    5. The sole purpose of the “interrogation” was for Knox to list possible perps which she did in writing with maps; the meetin was not to say anything more about Knox herself;

    6. She stated that prior to the 1.45 am statement being drafted by Knox (her own idea) she was asked if she wanted a lawyer but Knox said no.

    7. She stated that she had read the statement over to Knox in english and Knox herself had checked the italian original having asked for clarification of specific wording.

    7. She confirmed that that she had told Knox about an accident which she’d had (a leg fracture) and that she had suffered amnesia about the accident itself. She had thought Knox was suffering something similar. She had also spoken to Knox about her own daughters because she thought it was necessary to establish a rapport and trust between the two of them.

The account in Knox’s book is in some ways quite compelling but only if it is not compared against her trial testimony, let alone the Interpreter’s testimony:  that is, up to the point when she implicates Patrick in murder. At that point no amount of whitewash works. The Italian Supreme Court also thought so, upholding Knox’s calunnia conviction, with the addition of aggravating circumstances.




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How Saul Kassin Framed Many Fine Italian Justice Officials - And Then Played Victim When Corrected

Posted by Cardiol MD



Do Williams College President Dr Falk and head of psychology Dr Fein know that Kassin is a hot potato?

A Common Phenomenon

We take note of a common “they can’t take what they dish out” phenomenon among the Sollecito & Knox supporters.

If you show unequivocally that their FACTS are wrong and that they have illegally framed (in English) good Italian officials, they melt down with numerous shrill claims that the meanies ridiculed them - because their mission and the two perps they champion are so moral and so divine.

Doug Preston, Nina Burleigh, Greg Hampikian, Steve Moore, Doug Bremner and others have all exhibited this victimhood phenomenon. Doug Preston even wrote an entire book-long wail about his victimhood.

Foolishly perverse behavior. No police or prosecutors anywhere ever appreciate being framed. In the US it is rare indeed. In Italy a single official complaint can spark a prosecutor’s investigation, and probable felony charges against any or all of them for obstruction of justice. 

The Saul Kassin case surely has to be the worst of all cases, because his huge slam at Italy, with dozens of wrong facts and false accusations, was delivered as a keynote address at a John Jay College of Justice conference, to dozens of top justice officials from around the world - and to this day he perpetuates this massive academic fraud.

Presumably roughly 100% of that global audience, ignorant of the real story (a probable serious new felony by Knox), believe Knox was tortured by Italians into some kind of forced confession. 

A Historical Synopsis Of Kassin’s Role

Saul Kassin, an academic psychologist, established himself as an acknowledged authority-figure on the subject of prosecutor-induced false confession, describing a profile of such confessors.

Prosecutor-induced false confession is, of course, a real phenomenon, which has existed throughout recorded history, notoriously exemplified in modern history at the Moscow Show-Trials of the 1930’s.

Years ago supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (FOA), claiming that the pair were wrongly convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, alleged that their “wrongful” conviction was based on a prosecutor-induced false confession, among some other things.

FOA concocted a false description of the events surrounding the interrogation, using as many as 50 barefaced falsehoods to create a match to the characteristics of false-confessors described by Kassin.

This creation in turn resulted in the exposure of the numerous falsehoods and deceptions, in the course of which Kassin’s work was also criticised. Offended by such criticism, Kassin wrote a paper defending his work, but sustaining the multiple falsehoods and deceptions created by the FOA.

On April 30th 2012 The American Psychologist [AP] published an Advanced Online Paper titled “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” authored by Saul Kassin (final version here) see in which he “described” the case of Amanda Knox, an American college student who had been convicted of murder in Italy, arguing that Knox was not guilty, and had been induced by prosecutorial-oppression into making a False-Confession.

In June 2012 Kassin presented his misleading keynote address to the John Jay College global conference (see page 31 of the program). Soon after he made TV and radio appearances.

In September 2012 the American Psychologist journal published Kassin’s paper in print-form (AP Vol.67 (6) Sept. 2012, 431-445). When it did so, the paper was newly accompanied by Corrections and Updates, in which Kassin states that minor (sic) corrections “should be made in the description of the Amanda Knox case.” They are not minor in their effect on the meaning of his text.

The first change substitutes for one misleading false statement, a more clearly worded false statement; changes 4. and 5. modify the allegation that Guede had raped Meredith, and that Guede’s DNA had been found in sperm at the crime scene.  Not only are Kassin’s changes by no means “minor”, they are only a few of the many changes needed to acknowledge the true facts. They amply confirm the depth of Kassin’s fall into self-deception.

And in a ludicrously surreal development, Amanda Knox’s 2013 book Waiting to be Heard at great length parotted Kassin’s wrong claims about her wrong claims, the same ones for which she may face new charges.

The Pro-justice Community Takes Exception

TJMK and the two PMF forums and other pro-justice, pro-victim and pro-Italy websites have long explained in Posts and Comments that the Kassin paper containing the 50 or more false or deceptive statements is so contrary to the actual facts as to be sheer obfuscation.

The first TJMK reference to False Confession was a comment by Faustus on Jan. 13th 2009. The first TJMK post questioning Saul Kassin was written by the Machine and published on 10 July 2012.

Since then TJMK has published more than a dozen articles focusing on the false facts and false accusations in Kassin’s presentations, with scores of comments expanding the corrections further. This rebuttal and this one were particularly key.

Aspects of Saul Kassin’s Background

Saul Kassin is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Recently, he was listed as in a “phased retirement” as Massachusetts Professor of Psychology from Williams College, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut.

Kassin’s Resume’ also reveals that he was once very aware of the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy, and very scornful of people to whom he attributed-it.

In 2004, C.U.P. published a book entitled “The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts”, defining “˜forensic context’ as any context in which legal questions are raised. Kassin was the author of chapter 8, entitled “True or False: “˜I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.”, in which Kassin repeats the well-known fact that Oppression-Induced False Confession is a real phenomenon, ridiculing other professionals with the quote ’ I’d know a false confession if I saw one’.

Then he describes his own recipe for “˜knowing one’, providing a profile ideal for use by Knox, and FOA, after Meredith’s murder in 2007.

Kassin’s ridicule relies upon what he, himself, describes variously as “˜self-fulfilling prophecy, interpersonal expectancy effect, and behavioral confirmation’. He provides the reader with 6 references to the phenomenon, the first 2 focusing on Pygmalion, as the classic exemplar of seeing what you want to see.

[Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. His statue was so realistic that he fell in love with it. Making offerings at the altar of Aphrodite, he quietly wished for a bride who would be “the living likeness of my ivory girl”. When he returned home, he kissed his ivory statue and found that its lips felt warm. He kissed it again, touched its breasts with his hand and found that the ivory had lost its hardness. Aphrodite had granted Pygmalion’s wish.  Shaw used this story as the subtext for his play “˜Pygmalion’, the musical version of which is “˜My Fair Lady’.]

Kassin’ s Resume’ also records that he served as a U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellow, working at the Federal Judicial Center .... Dr. Kassin is past president of Division 41 of APA (aka the American Psychology-Law Society).
.
Given these items from Dr.Kassin’s impressive resume’ a reader would expect Dr. Kassin to be professionally knowledgeable in the law relevant to his specialty; Kassin definitely OUGHT to be that knowledgeable.

In “Why Confessions Trump Innocence” readers are directed by Kassin to Dempsey, 2010, and Burleigh, 2011, noting “personal communications with Amanda Knox, Madison Paxton, and Nina Burleigh”. Consistent with Kassin seeing what he wants to see, his paper contains phrases such as “the case of Amanda Knox and others who are wrongfully convicted”. Kassin’s own self-deception seemingly promotes receptivity to deception by others.
 
In January the Nencini Appeal Court in Florence declared Knox and Sollecito to be Guilty-Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt. All that remains is the Supreme Court’s expected firm endorsement.

As we await the Nencini Motivazione report, the senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei has recently announced his findings that many claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito.

Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published a self-incriminatory rant in The Guardian, has also been named, so now seems a great time to refresh TJMK’s reader’s awareness of Kassin’s arguments. Kassin’s arguments were apparently communicated to Hellmann/Zanetti by Knox’s lawyers, and Kassin himself may be liable under Italian Law.

How Saul Kassin Now Plays The Victim

Here are some quotes from an article by the duped Scott Sleek excusing Kassin’s serial framings and obfuscations in “Why Confessions Trump Innocence”:

“...He noted [now begin Kassin’s obfuscations:] that Knox had been immediately identified as a suspect and presumed guilty, confessed after three days of denials and interrogations, and did not have any attorney present when undergoing questioning.”

TJMK readers know very well that the above précis is an outright falsehood. That is not what took place.

In his defence Kassin also claimed: “I used it as an example, not realizing the depth of a couple of Amanda Knox hate groups that track professionals who support Amanda Knox.”

WHAT mere example? Actually Kassin placed his framing and wrong facts front and center, again and again and again. WHAT professionals support Knox? And the real professionals posting and reading here handily exceed Kassin’s pay-grade.

Kassin also claimed that the hate emails he received, and the blog posts criticizing him, didn’t focus on the science itself, but on his motives for analyzing Knox’s case. In essence, the attacks were personal, he stated.

Kassin also claimed that some of the messages he received felt threatening, and included statements such as: “We know where you work” and that a few bloggers wrote posts lambasting Kassin’s integrity, in one case even calling him a “shill”.

Really? TJMK is as opposed as Kassin to hate-mail. We can correct wrong facts and serial defaming right here. But we also believe that Kassin’s adoption of Knox’s, Sollecito’s, Paxton’s, Dempsey’s, Burleigh’s, and other FOA&S’s falsehoods, deceptions, and serial framings of Italian officials was far more improper, biased, and compromising of his own integrity.

The attempt to do real damage begins and ends with Kassin.  And far from not focusing on Kassin’s “science” his TJMK critics have focused sharply on the falsehoods Kassin has used to support his self-fulfilling prophecies. Click on links to past posts above.

The historical trap Kassin has fallen into is that of “Experimenter Expectancy”, or seeing what you want to see [c.f. Chapter 6, pp107-108 Betrayers Of The Truth, OUP, 1982, By Broad & Wade]:

“Expectancy leads to self-deception, and self-deception leads to the propensity to be deceived by others.”

Having fallen into the very trap Kassin himself had described in great detail in 2004, and recited in his Resume’, a legal background that ought to inform him that he was entering a potential legal minefield, Kassin proceeded, in writing, to satisfy the common-law definition of Defamation-Malice [making false statements, knowing them to be false, or made so recklessly as to amount to willful disregard for the truth].

Under Italian law, if any of those he framed complains, Kassin may be chargeable with a felony.  Kassin’s MO does entail defaming the conduct of Italian Police, and Prosecutors. He has adopted many falsehoods. There is good reason to bring his integrity into question.

His best course now would be to publicly withdraw all the many versions of his false claims. And, finally, apologize to all those he framed and the real victim’s circle,

[Everything in this post applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Incriminating Bathroom Evidence: Visual Analysis shows the Footprint IS Sollecito’s

Posted by Machiavelli



[Please click on each image for a larger and more high-resolution version]

The sheer depth and width of the hard evidence

The defenses really don’t want you to know this: in both width and depth, the full panoply of the evidence against Knox and Sollecito is absolutely overwhelming.

As we remarked in our post below there are far more and far stronger evidence points than UK and US courts normally require for conviction. But only the trial panel of judges observed anything like their full array.

The 2010 Massei Trial Report (which the Nencini Appeal court validated this past January) is a SUMMARY of what was presented to the judges in the courtroom.  Those presentations in court were in turn something of a SUMMARY of the hard evidence buried in all the evidence files and the minds of witnesses.

Italian media SUMMARISED for Italians what was to be seen in the courtroom and to be read in the Massei Report. They were barely able to do even summaries for the 1/4 of all the trial hearings that were not open to the media or the public. 

UK and US media for the most part didn’t even bother to provide comprehensive summaries (the very fine on-the-spot reportings of Andrea Vogt, Barbie Nadeau and Ann Wise were the main exceptions).

So in effect people in the UK and US attempting to follow the story didnt for the most part receive even a summary of a summary of a summary!

Not one US or UK newspaper or TV network translated the Micheli Report, or the vital Massei Report, or the Supreme Court appeal, or the Supreme Court outcome - only the (mostly professional) translators on PMF dot Org did all that translation.

This post is another example of how far down - beyond even Massei - it’s possible to drill into the evidence, and see it still hold up.

Some past posts on TJMK drilled down to similar depths, on the knives, on the DNA, on the mixed-blood traces, on the phone-events, on the motives and psychologies, and so on. All that evidence too all held up.




Visual analysis of the bathroom-mat footprint

This post mainly consists of high-resolution pictures and measurements. Presented like this, the pictures and measurements largely speak for themselves, and show the real strength of the bathroom-mat footprint evidence.

You will see that as SomeAlibi previously concluded using other methods, this footprint was quite undeniably Sollecito’s.  It bears no similarity at all to Rudy Guede’s.

Please click on all images for larger versions in scalable PDF format


1 .  [Below] the bathmat and the print, with measurement reference




2 . The bathmat print and the surrounding area




3 . The bathmat print (photo from Polizia Scientifica).




4 . The bathmat print, with vertical and horizontal sizes, from Rinaldi’s report





5. The bathmat print, photo with enhanced contrast.





The photo above was modified by highly enhancing contrast.



6 . Enhanced contrast helps to spot some features





Contrast may help to highlight especially some parts of the print outline.

For example the area on the left labeled as “important area” in the picture (which was “forgotten” in the notorious photo elaborations disseminated by the ‘Friends of Amanda’ group), shows the actual left outline of the “˜big toe’ of the bathmat print.

The toe includes the area indicated in this picture (here the picture is shown again in its original colours).

7. The bathmat, with enhanced contrast





The contrasted image is showing the presence of other stains

There are other stains on the carpet (about another 10, factually situated in one half of the mat area), and also there shows a second diluted footprint (apparently from a foot of smaller size).


8. The selection of a set of red colour shades, outlined by an automatic outline generator





Shows the shape and the possible “˜outline’ of the stain

Reference measurements indicate the width of the “˜big toe’ in millimetres.

 

9 . A hand drawing of the outline (detail).





The photography above was modified

The modifications are: +28% contrast, -8% luminosity, + 20% colour saturation, from the original.

An outline has been drawn manually on the photoshop image, trying to be as faithful as possible to the actual stain.

You can notice that, apart from some minor “˜disputable’ very faint areas (such as the area between the toe and the metatarsus) there are only minimal differences between an automatically generated outline and a manually drawn one.

The shapes of the “˜big toe’ are extremely similar in both contours (images 8 and 9), in fact all meaningful features are basically identical.

We consider this manually drawn outline as good for comparison.     


10 . The complete hand-drawn outline





11 . Minor detail: small dots separated from the main stain





Observe the small red ‘dots’ in the picture above

Although we can’t draw any conclusion about their possible significance, we note the existence of these very small “˜spots’ of a faint red colour shade, separated from the big stain.

They are detected by the computer generated outline above, and that we also see as distinguishable with the naked eye thus we considered them in drawing manually the outline.

We don’t draw any conclusion about them; but because of their sensitive position (they may suggest a “˜small toe’ mark) we take note of them.

The green arrows in the picture point out their position (green circles).

12 . An image in electronically modified colours





Distribution and intensity of the colouration

As a part of the preliminary study of the stain, we also produced this image above where the computer assigned an artificial colour to an array of shades of ‘red’, thus allowing to further isolate the stain from the background for further assessments about its shape.

This picture shows the distribution and intensity of the colouration. (note: the existence of some above mentioned tiny marks is recorded by this technique too)



13 . The bathmat has a spiral-shaped relief decoration





The footprint’s toe obviously balancing on top of the relief decoration. 

We think the outline of the “˜toe’ mark of the bloody footprint is affected by the shape of the decoration, in particular the missing part of the toe on the right side, which is remarkably coincident with the margin of the decoration. 

So that on that side there is a striking correspondence between the outline of the “˜negative area’ ““ the fabric surface around the spiral, which is lower ““ and the big toe’s outline

This indicates that the outline of that mark on that side was affected by the decoration margin, thus the print there has a “˜missing part’. So the “˜crooked’ bloody area in fact follows the margin of a larger toe.

Because of such coincidence, we can logically assume that the actual shape of the big toe mark appears to be part of a big toe, with larger surface which left its print only partly because part of its surface did not have contact with the fabric, in correspondence of the “˜negative area’. 

14. The “negative area”





15. Mat decoration in relief and the toe mark







Observe above one single, unitary stain

The remarkable coincidence between the outlines of the decoration in relief and of the toe mark is shown in the picture above.

The rough contour of the print obtained through a smooth curve highlights the shape of the big toe.

Part of the relief decoration outline coincides with the toe mark outline, which shows, highlights and explains how all parts of the red toe mark, that you can see left of the relief decoration, they all belong to one single, unitary stain. 

Thus we can deduce that the “missing” area on the right of the toe is determined by the decoration, and coincides with the negative area.

16. Picture (by Kermit) showing a rough shape of the stain





Observe shape, curvature and size

This drawing by Kermit above highlights the rough shape, curvature of left margin and overall size of the big toe.


17. Rudy Guede’s sample print





Take note of this image

A copy of this picture together with one of Sollecito’s print at the same scale will be used for comparisons. 

18 . Raffaele Sollecito’s sample print





Take note of this image

A copy of this picture together with one of Guede’s print at the same scale will be used for comparisons.

19. Part of Rudy Guede’s sample print with Rinaldi’s reference measurements








20. Part of Sollecito’s sample print, with Rinaldi’s reference measurements:






21. Bringing all photographs down to the same scale





An accurate exercise of scaling was done

This was based on Rinaldi’s referenced pictures. Each one of the Rinaldi’s sample pictures has multiple measurements on several points of reference which allow a high precision determination of their scale and sizes, and thus comparison at the same scale.

In order to further increase scaling precision, the scale was calculated previously and separately for each comparative measurement in the three photos; this was done multiple times for each measurement and the average was picked in order to reduce error as for statistical measurement method.

The resulting final error in the scale is extremely small, far below a threshold of significance that could affect comparison (which was set arbitrarily at 1%, but it’s probably significantly higher, while the actual error is much lower).

In other words, the scale error that may affect your screen pictures will be definitely smaller than any possible perceivable (either significant or tolerated) difference that would be noticed or that may affect the attribution of the stain, when this is compared to the sample.     

22. The hand drawn outline is shown again here





23 . The outline (matched scale) overlapped on Sollecito’s sample footprint





The array of compatibilities with Sollecito

The bathmat stain does not seem to have major incompatibilities with Sollecito’s print; it shows rather an array of compatibilities that can be perceived visually.

One interesting feature is the shape, size and position of a ‘big toe’, that appears as a remarkable coincidence; the toe also has a kind of cleft (see 28 below) on the curvature of its left margin. Another outstanding coincidence is the curvature of the plantar arch on the left.   

24 . The same outline overlapped on Guede’s footprint





Compare with Guede’s - matched scale.

If you look at the overlapping of the stain outline (see pic 22.) with the sample of Guede’s print (see pics 17. 19.), you may notice 7 major differences, showing a failure of compatibility. Those differences are indicated by numbers (1-7) in the picture .

Each one indicates an area of major difference between the outline of the bathmat stain and the outline of Guede’s sample print. Those measurement differences are remarkably larger than those that can be detected on the overlapping with Sollecito’s sample print.

On the other hand, the compatibility between Sollecito’s print and some very peculiar aspects of the bathmat print (such as a 30mm wide and short toe) were absolutely remarkable.   

The differences between the bathmat stain and Guede’s print are :

1) Toe mark of stain is significantly SHORTER than the big toe in Guede’s sample print (a difference of about 7 millimetres). Some people may want to attempt an objection, by suggesting that such a difference may be just a consequence of the position chosen for the overlapping, that maybe the bathmat print was just positioned too low in the picture, the problem may be solved by shifting it up about 7 millimeters so as to make the tip of the bathmat toe ‘coincide’ with the tip of Guede’s print toe.

However, such objection wouldn’t work; it’s a wrong argument. In fact the only possibly correct position for overlapping the bathmat stain outline is determined by the left curvature of the ball of feet and plantar arch (the area of the picture near number 6), which is by the way the most clearly outlined part of the bathmat stain. If you shift the bathmat stain upwards, the outline will miss the match with the curvature of the left margin of the ball of the feet. You will notice that the plantar arch in this area is already very incompatible with Guede’s plantar arch. It tends to become even more incompatible the more you shift the bathmat stain outline towards the toe.

The problem has no solution, since the more you shift the stain outline upwards (in the direction of the toe) in an attempt to make it look more ‘compatible’ with the length of Guede’s toe (or with an upper margin) the more it will become incompatible with the plantar arch. In order to limit the incompatibility of the plantar arch, and in order to keep an overlapping of at least the left margin of the ball of the feet, you need to place it as shown in the picture, this is the position of ‘maximum’ compatibility between the bathmat stain and Guede’s print. Conclusion: the bathmat toe is too short.     

2) Toe mark of stain is TOO WIDE (30 mm). It is much wider (30 mm) than Guede’s toe.  The number 2. indicates the protruding mark at the upper right, the mark which Giulia Bongiorno desperately insisted on calling a “second toe” mark. In fact, not only would the mark miss completely any hypothetical Guede’s ‘second toe’ in any possible position of the print; also you may notice (highlighted by pics 8. and 9.) how it is not a “mark” itself, but actually it just part of the same area which is entirely continuous in shape and coloration with the rest of the toe mark, and - the most remarkable feature - its right outline is coincident with the outline of the spiral-shaped relief decoration, so that you can reasonably conclude that it is determined by that (the missing area at the lower right of the ‘big toe’ is determined by the existence of the “negative area” of the bathmat decoration).

Conclusion: the bathmat stain has a wider toe mark, however one likes to call it (“big toe”, or “big toe + second toe”) that fails to match any possible part of Guede’s print. The bathmat print is clearly different and incompatible with Guede’s print. It simply cannot be overlapped to any part of Guede’s sample print. Such area is a very significant difference that points outright to incompatibility between the stain and Guede’s print.

3) The toe mark is larger also in the area located at the lower portion of the toe. The toe of the bathmat print in fact has a ‘right margin’ which actually has some additional small marks, small drops protruding towards the right, like droplets maybe produced by the wet cotton fibres of the part in relief which protrude towards the right. This tends to suggest the toe area of the stain may in fact be considered wider: the object that produced it was definitely wider than 22mm, in this area of the toe as well. So also a look at this area confirms that the bathmat stain is wider than 22-23 mm (more towards 30 mm) not just when measured at the upper corner (number 2.) but also at its “lower” parts; here, the small marks caused by the liquid suggest that a larger surface has squeezed liquid from some fabric threads leaving some trace also on the lower area.

4) Bigger incompatibility of Guede on the metatarsus front outline. This area is the front outline of metatarsus: the stain is almost 1cm shorter than Guede’s metatarsus. This happens when you chose the overlapping so as to make the left outline and plantar arch (6.) of metatarsus coincide, as in the picture. Sollecito’s sample print also shows some difference from the stain in this area (pic. 23.) but the difference between the stain and Sollecito’s print is significantly smaller than what you can see in Guede’s print.   

5) There are NO SMALL TOES in the bathmat stain. Small toes are completely absent from the bathmat stain (while the tiny blood marks around the stain don’t coincide with their expected position if it was Guede’s print). Such lack of small toes is a peculiarity of the bathmat print. This is a remarkable difference from Guede’s print, and at the same time, a considerable analogy with Sollecito’s print. In fact one outstanding feature of Guede’s print is the evidence that Guede places a big load of weight on his small toes while instead Sollecito has a posture with a weight distribution with the contrary tendency, and obviously he almost does not touch the ground with his small toes.

Thus, Guede’s small toes are all very well pressed on the ground and thus, we can reasonably infer they are somehow naturally likely to get wet if he steps on any wet surface, and anyway they should get wet for sure if the foot is immersed in water or washed (the foot that left the bathmat print must have been immersed in bloody water). The murderer supposedly washed his foot then stepped on the bathmat. In order to attribute the print to Guede we should assume that Guede “forgot” to touch the carpet with his small toes (while instead he puts a lot of weight on them) or that he managed to not rinse them.

6) The outline of the stain has a PLANTAR ARCH that COINCIDES, by curvature and angle, with the plantar arch in Sollecito’s print, while instead it is very different from the plantar arch of Guede’s print. 

7) The stain is larger than Guede’s print metatarsus as visible in the right area of the stain. The difference is rather significant, almost half a centimetre, that is bigger than the difference with Sollecito’s print which instead coincides for a trait. This difference cannot be “solved” in any way since, even if one wanted to claim that the scale is wrong and that the stain should be sized down, this would make the toe, already too short (as in 1.) become even shorter.

If instead the toe length is adjusted the metatarsus becomes even less compatible with Guede. We recall that Massei found that Guede’s feet had a print overall more slender than Sollecito’s. 

25 . Other features:





Curvatures of plantar arch are very different

The plantar arch curvature, highlighted in two different drawings (the second highlights also the upper outline “hunches”);  the plantar arches in the two sample prints of Sollecito and Guede are shown below. The curvatures of plantar arch are very different.

26. The outline curvature generates different angles





Sollecito’s and Guede’s plantar arch curvatures have very different angles. Also the left outline of metatarsus maintains a different curvature. Sollecito’s outline has an angle (see outline tangent) intersecting the toe (the metatarsus has a “bunion”); in Guede’s print there is basically no intersection, the outline and the toe form almost a straight line.

27 . Plantar arch curvature angle differs between Sollecito and Guede




If you consider the vertical axis of the sample footprint, and its orthogonal line, you may notice how the plantar arch curvatures of the two prints accomplish different angles: the two angles are VERY different, not just three or four degrees.

The (too) narrow angle of Sollecito’s plantar arch probably has a relation with the protruding outline and angle seen in pic 26., and seems related to a hallux valgus (which Guede does not have). 

28 . The “cleft” on the left side of the stain





The “cleft” on the left side

This has a correspondence with one sample print, not so with the other.

29 . Table of metric comparison (by SomeAlibi)





SomeAlibi’s post of a year ago

Comparison of measurements and analysis of correspondence degree of bathmat print, with both Guede’s and Sollecito’s sample prints.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Why “Buyer Beware” Re Amanda Knox Could Be A Very Good Idea For The Innocence Project

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Innocence Project Conference

The annual national conference of Barry Sheck’s Innocence Project is to take place on Friday and Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

Dozens of American who claim they were unfairly treated by the American justice system will share their stories and give pointers for measures that paid off for them.

We tend to believe them. We have long highlighted that in terms of fairness and carefulness the American system and Italian system are poles apart.

At this conference Amanda Knox will try to get the Project’s support.

However. Knox may be the least useful convicted perp on the planet for the Innocence Project to get behind or learn anything from.

  • First, the Italian system is not remotely as she and her colleague Sollecito describe it. It is in fact a system the United States is starting to emulate. If widely adopted the Innocence Project would have a very light load and most of those at the conference would not even have had cause to be there.

  • Second, the case against Knox and Sollecito is an overwhelming one with far more and far stronger evidence points than UK and US courts normally require for conviction. The 2011 appeal was automatic; in the US and UK grounds for allowing an appeal would have been considered lacking. (The Supreme Court ordered the 2013 appeal.)

  • Third, the Knox-Mellases have run a despicable multi-million-dollar PR campaign. That has proved not only ineffectual but massively damaging to many good people, and a source of tension between two countries. The blood money Knox and Sollecito have achieved from their dishonest books and endless money-grubbing create a new world record for illegally profiting from a crime.

  • Fourth, a drooling and irresponsible academic who represents the Innocence Project in Idaho, who may be beholden to the mafias, and who criminally inserted himself into the appeal process in Italy, claims to be beating the drum for Knox at the conference.

Barry Scheck and REAL victims everywhere would really be best served by taking these wise precautions

(1) kicking the foolish grandstanding mafia tool Greg Hampikian out of the Innocence Project,

(2) learning things from the very impressive Italian system, which could help many REAL victims,

(3) deny Knox yet another forum to frame Italians, mislead Americans, and make even more illegal blood-money .

For Barry Scheck and genuine justice and REAL victims everywhere, distancing themselves from Knox would be the smart outcome.  Let her stick to autographing this in the lobby.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sollecito Takes On A New Lawyer To Help Him Work His Way Past The Minefield That Is His Book

Posted by Peter Quennell



Raffaele Sollecito retained Alfredo Brizioli after he burned his trial lawyers in his book


Both Sollecito’s book and Knox’s book seem to have the primary purpose of poisoning public opinion against the courts.

The serious charges Sollecito and Knox will probably face for those books are of three kinds: (1) the contempt-of-court misrepresentation of the Italian justice system itself; (2) the obstruction-of-justice twisting of the evidence in the case; and (3) the claims of crimes committed by numerous career police and prosecution officials.

If false, in effect a gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

At the eighth session of the Florence appeal court back in January, Giulia Bongiorno engaged in a day-long summation which was peculiar, to say the least.

Like Sollecito and Knox in their books, Giulia Bongiorno seemed to be attempting to put the justice system and investigation and prosecution in the dock.

If false, another gigantic frame-up that leaves Knox’s framing of Patrick in the dust.

Bongiorno’s rant didnt seem to help Sollecito in undermining any of the hard evidence in the case, and it left the judges visibly unmoved. But it was notable how closely it resembled the rants on the justice system and its officials by Sollecito himself in his book. See the examples in the post below.

There are some complex later passages in Sollecito’s book and some recurring themes that we will analyse which would seem impossible for Sollecito to write about in such detail without the extensive help of a lawyer who was in the court.

Who precisely was that?

Reports from Italy now state that Alfredo Brizioli, not Giulia Bongiorno, will be the lawyer the Sollecitos choose to respond to the investigating prosecutor’s report on the book. Perhaps Mr Brizioli (who right now is himself on trial for obstruction of justice in another case) can try to negotiate a way for his client to spread the blame before the charges are set in stone.

The Sollecitos seem weak. Alfredo Brizioli seems weak. Giulia Bongiorno seems weak. And Knox also seems weak - if Sollecito is ever going to back away from Knox (perhaps to try to claim the final murderous stab of Meredith was solely Knox’s crazed idea) there is just this one last chance.

We in no way favor Sollecito getting off lightly without recanting. We do want to point to the potential fireworks a smart prosecution has engineered that might help achieve this.

Although there was a sort of bidding war for both books, not every publisher, having seen what was to be in them, was eager to join in. Some did sit on the sidelines. 

Withdrawing the two books ASAP might be the smart move. The mood in the book industry in New York, where both publishers have their HQ’s, seems to be that that move could be the wisest.




Monday, April 07, 2014

Italy Pushes Back On Dirty Tricks And Frame-Ups: Examples Of What Sollecito Must Defend In Court

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Florence prosecutor Gianbartolomei will announce charges later this month]

Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna, Yummi and Kermit.


Sollecito’s blood-money book gets published

Sollecito’s hapless book Honor Bound was released in English on 18 September 2012.

Within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.

Bruno Vespa, the persistent host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show (for the equivalent of which American TV cries out) forced Sollecito’s father in national prime-time to admit that at the core of the book was a huge lie.

Other claims about the case and the officials were shown to be wrong too.

Smarter people than Sollecito’s help in the US (Andrew Gumbel and Sharlene Martin, later John Q Kelly, and Simon & Schuster) might have put the brakes on until they got the truth straight and a revised version out.

But no, a media blitz was all ready to roar. The blood-money couldn’t wait.

Huge numbers of professional book reviews and Amazon reader reviews swallowed Sollecito’s claims in the book whole. The nastiness toward Italy and its justice system and officials was ratcheted onto a whole new plane.

Needless to say, official Italy did take note

For the legal reasons explained in this key post an investigation by the Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office was mandated to begin.

In that same post it was warned that for the period the investigation would require, it would be taken below the radar, so that the Sollecito defense team would have no way to respond through dishonest PR or legal dirty tricks.

A not-unsurprising result of that stealth move was that in the meantime, in the last year, very full of themselves and feeling no constraint, Sollecito and his team went hog-wild in adding more crazy claims.  And still more.

Now the investigation is complete

Now Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued his announcement of the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is at present confidential except to the defenses.

As Yummi reports, from this point on, the defense has 20 days to say something, such as to request that Sollecito be interrogated or allowed to declare or explain something.

Then the prosecution will file charges against Sollecito and Gumbel, and possibly Sharlene Martin and Simon & Schuster, their careless publishers in New York.

Which precise false claims Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has made the target of his report we do not know. But this is a target-rich environment, that is for sure:

Consider for starters these 20 false claims which, believe it or not, all appear in the first seven pages of the book.

1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously and refused his release.

3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

“We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperience and pliable judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially bright or funny or pretty?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

On our further postings

Akk of this above analyzes only the first seven pages, out of a book which has several hundred pages. We will post one or two times more during April. Later in the book, there is a lot of venomous sneering addressed at Dr Mignini, although his performance at trial was excellent - and he is now for Perugia’s region (Umbria) the Deputy Prosecutor General.

In Italy Dr Mignini is now and then on national TV along with Michele Giuttari, who pursued the main Monster of Florence theory - not the crackpot theory Preston and Spezi attempted to use to frame someone. At impugning him,  Sollecito and Gumbel have failed miserably, and for that are now in the crosshairs of the system.

*******

Many posters contributed to this analysis and to what is to come. Special thanks to James Raper and Sara, and also to Vivianna and Kermit.


[Kermit’s take on Katie Couric, one of several smart TV hosts who suspected a giant con]


Friday, April 04, 2014

The Florence Chief Prosecutor’s Office Announces That Sollecito Will Face More Court Action

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Breaking news from Main Poster Yummi

Prosecutor Gianbartolomei has issued a notice about the conclusion of his investigation. The content of the notice is confidential for the defenses.

From this point the defense has 20 days to say something, like to request that the defendant (Sollecito) is interrogated or has anything to declare, or to submit any documents if they want to.

Then, once the 20 days are expired, the prosecution will file charges.

Since the charges will include almost certainly, beyond aggravated defamation, also contempt of the Judicial organs, the prosecution may send a notice to the Ministry of Justice too.

Since they are victims of contempt they may appoint a plaintiff.

The senior Florence prosecutor Dr Giuliano Giambartolomei was assigned to investigate the claims in Sollecito’s “Honor Bound”.

Today he announces that his findings indicate that many claims are spurious and justify new charges being brought against Sollecito. Shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel, who recently published this self-incriminatory rant has also been named.

When the charges are filed several or some others who have been assiduously “helping” Sollecito (mostly for big bucks) such as book-agent Sharlene Martin might find themselves named also  

So Sollecito for sure and Knox most probably will be confronting the often-contradictory claims in their books, and saying whether they accept or reject each of them, which should put other book-writers who made false claims on the spot and maybe wind the whole FOA effort down.

We will be making our separate page on Sollecito’s various false claims live again. Main posters have posted a large number of corrections to Sollcito’s claims in the book. We have been putting them in correct page-order.

Miriam has kindly contributed this translation of today’s report in Il Messagero. Dr Giambartolomei only hints to the reporter what will be in his report which will quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito will have to account. 

Raffaele Sollecito Insults The PM And A New Trial Starts

As always everything [possible] is presumed and as always, in the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher, everything [possible] can be overturned at every verdict.

Even in the associated trials, such as the one for defamation (against PM Mignini) and contempt (against the police) for which Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher along with his ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox, is being investigated along with the British journalist-author (now in absentia) Andrew Paul Gumbel.

Defamation, because many parts of the book “Honor Bound”, of which both are authors, contains for the prosecution various ignominious remarks.

More than simple phrases, entire chapters (allegedly) of the book are written in what is technically called “conclusione delle indagini” and requires the matter to be brought to justice, and therefore to trial.

[The book] starts by summarizing the main evidence (that was then proved to be wrong by the facts) against Sollecito.

The two being investigated write: “ the main proof that Mignini had to bring to the preliminary hearing were my Nikes… and he did everything possible to render them more incriminating…”

Then again “the police had only the pictures of my shoes (not those of the print) and in some way they came to the conclusion that my Nikes were the same brand, model and size as the shoeprints on the floor of Meredith’s apartment. There was no doubt about this”

Then the facts demonstrated that the shoe prints where of Rudy Guede, the third person condemned for the murder of the British student, and could not be those of Sollecito, because of the size.

Therefore this touches on the management of the trial on the part of Mignini. Sollecito-Gumbel write: “one of the reasons that our hearings were so distant one from the other was that Mignini was fighting his own separate legal battle for abuse of investigated activity.”

This connection goes to the case of the death of the Perugian Doctor Franceco Narducci, connected to the Monster of Florence case which Mignini had investigated.

Sollectito sustains: (defended in this case by Alfredo Brizioli) “I think our case, among other things, was a big diversion to keep the media’s attention away from the legal battle Mignini was having in Florence, and to give him the victory in a high profile case he so desperately needed to restore his reputation.”

The young Pugliese continues: “”¦..just as he did in the Monster of Florence case, Mignini used every instrument at his disposal against his critics and adversaries. The avalanches of legal action by part of Mignini had an inevitable icy effect , especially on the Italian press and this played a clear role in turning the public opinion against us.”

The charges against Sollecito and Gumbel are those of having sustained that it was Mignini’s idea to seek to obstruct the investigation as is from the beginning, it was a studied act to bend the investigation and turn the trial to his side.” 

This is a clear accusation in the eyes of the prosecutor Giuliano Giambartolomei: “His approach (Mignini’s), Sollecito is saying, was particularly vindictive…. This is enough for Sollecito to face charges of defamation.”

Important to note that Dr Giambartolomei does NOT explain here precisely what will be in his report. That will have to quote all the passages in full for which Sollecito may have to account. Then he or whatever prosecutor charges Sollecito will go to another depth.

With our analysis of the book and knowledge of Italian law we can probably pick many or most of the false claims made which impugn officals or the Italian system.

More posts coming. Stay tuned.


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sleazy Magazine Trick To Sell More Copies Results In Angry Reaction In Germany

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Cover of German magazine Aktuelle; the banner headline translates as “Awake!”] 


As we have seen, bad reporting can cause real harm. Here is an encouraging example of other media hammering the originator of a hurtful, tacky reeport.

The German Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher, the winningest of all time, is a huge hero in Germany, and known and liked throughout the world. He amassed a fortune close to $1 billion and had started many projects with his money to make a difference to many peoples’ lives.

The 44-year-old retired driver who is currently fighting for his life in a Grenoble hospital following a skiing accident has long made large but low-key donations around the world.  Here are some examples from the NewsTalk site.

UNESCO

The former Ferrari driver is a Special Envoy for Education and Sport and donated €1.5 million to the organization.

In a 2002 interview with the organization he explained his dedication to funding projects: “I really want to help the ones people don’t know about. Nowadays, certain projects attract lots of donors. Then there are others you never hear about. Those are the ones I’m interested in.”

He also once told F1 magazine that: “It’s great if you can use your fame and the power your fame gives you to draw attention to things that really matter.”

Senegal

In 2002, Schumacher funded the construction of a school in a poor slum in Dakar, the capital of the West African state of Senegal.

Sarajevo

In 1997, Schumacher opened a clinic for child victims of the Balkans War. The clinic provides artificial limbs for amputees as well as psychological support.

Peru

In 2002, he funded the construction of a ‘Palace for the Poor’ in Lima, Peru which caters for homeless children and provides education, food and medical treatment for street children.

2004 Tsunami

Along with his two sons, Schumacher’s bodyguard lost his life in ihe 2004 Tsunami following the Indian Ocean earthquake. Schumi donated over €7 million in aid which meant that he gave more money than many individual countries, sports entities and organizations.  .

Schumacher has remained in a coma in a French hospital for three months since a ski accident which initially seemed minor led to bleeding in the area of his brain. This is a particularly difficult time because for some weeks doctors have been trying to wake him up.

There is an unprecedented number of ongoing tributes to Michael Schumacher by friends and fans around the world and all the Grand Prix cars at present are carrying a message of hope.

A majority of brain surgeons now feel his waking-up will be a long shot at best, but Schumacher’s very loyal wife Corinna is having a $10 million medical facility built in a hurry at his estate several miles north of Geneva, Switzerland, on the west side of the lake. [Though widely reported his manager has just denied this.]

What has caused the outrage in Germany is the banner headline on the cover of a women’s magazine saying “Awake” implying that Schumacher himself has woken up. From the Eurosport site:

Outraged Michael Schumacher supporters have bombarded a magazine with furious complaints after a front page showed the F1 legend smiling with a horribly misleading headline - ‘AWAKE!’.

The magazine’s content, which was actually full of stories about other people who had woken from comas has infuriated Schumacher fans, who saw the smiling photo of the star cuddling wife Corinna as “abysmal”, “tasteless” and “insulting”....

Dr Gerd Hartmann, a regular reader, wrote in the comments section of popular news portal News.de: “Such magazines are simply terrible, especially given that the chances of survival with this type of therapy are abysmal.

“Out of 10 patients 5 would never recover, 3 will be severely disabled and only 2 might recover.”

Another user, posting under the name SchumiFan, added: “I can’t believe they are cashing in on this tragedy - there should be a law against this type of shoddy, sensationalist and downright insulting journalism.”

Meanwhile, German media ethics expert Christian Schicha said: “This is a clear attempt to deceive the readers. It is an obvious attempt to make money out of a sick man.

“It is completely tasteless. It is ethically completely out of the question. “Die Aktuelle blatantly makes the impression through the headline that they know something new about the case. It is completely irresponsible.

“Schumacher’s family have suffered enough without this kind of story circulating.”

Another cruel media trick of the kind that hurts the victim’s family the worst.


[Below: Schumacher and his wife Corinna were legendary for being together at every possible moment ]






Tuesday, April 01, 2014

With Radioactive Knox Campaign Not On Agenda,  US & Italian Leaders Give Each Other Big Boosts

Posted by Peter Quennell





Prime Minister Renzi needs all the support he can get for his economic-recovery program, President Obama the same for the Ukraine.

Here’s a Rome-based blog our main poster Yummi pointed out, which describes in detail chronologically how the productive four days went.

And Mr Obama went out of his way to give Mr Renzi a lot of praise as Reuters described

Renzi, Italy’s youngest ever prime minister, has set a testing agenda of economic and constitutional reforms to help the eurozone’s third-largest economy recover from its longest recession since World War Two.

“I want to say that I’ve just been impressed by the energy and vision that Matteo’s bringing to his position,” Obama said during an hour-long joint news conference in Rome.

“There’s a seriousness and ambition of ideas, and I think the spirit and the energy of the Italian people has the opportunity to be unleashed in a way that will be good for Italy, but it will also be good for Europe,” he said.

“So it’s wonderful to see this new generation of leadership coming to the fore.”

The comments were a welcome boost to Renzi, who took over leadership of Italy’s cross-party ruling coalition after a party coup last month, pledging to push forward more aggressively on reforms than his predecessor Enrico Letta.

Not a single mention by any official or any media outlet of the radioactive Knox campaign. NOT ONE. Ask any justice official in either capital city, and the responses now are ““Knox who?” and “She should go quietly and serve her time”.

She’s old news. Let’s move on.








Saturday, March 29, 2014

Silicon Valley Lawyer Richard Dwyer Mulls Knox Fingering Patrick, Also Dewani Killing Wife

Posted by Peter Quennell





Richard Dwyer is known as a very, very smart Silicon Valley lawyer. He is a Stanford Law School graduate. Using Skype he has posted a lot of astute video analysis online.

Below Mr Dwyer comments with cold precision and a significant depth of detail on the matter of Amanda Knox framing Patrick (15 minutes) which he sees as in itself all an America court could need to find for guilt.

In the second video below he comments on the strong case that South African justice has against Shrien Dewani for killing his wife (50 minutes) to which several posts of ours immediately below refer..



Monday, March 24, 2014

Jaw-Dropping BBC Bias Toward Murder Suspect Doesnt Stop UK Extraditing Him For Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell

Below: Anni Hindocha and Shrien Dewani; there are more images in the post below this one




1. Introduction

The British citizen Shrien Dewani is to be extradited to South African in a few days, to face trial in the death of his wife Anni.

This is another case with many similarities to Meredith’s: for example where money, arrogance, bigotry, dishonest PR and corrupted media are on one side, and where the careful courts and the more diligent of the public are on another.

Dawani does have his supporters, and some are making vicious accusations about Anni’s family and racist remarks about South African police (“incompetent and corrupt”) without any proof, not least on the FOA sites. 

Where this case maybe goes even beyond Meredith’s is in the extent and precision with which some of the reporting, especially two reports by the BBC, has been taken apart and revealed to have been corrupted.

The analysis of the BBC reports occupies an entire new website, which is linked-to in Part 9 below.

2. Facts of lives prior

The victim, Anni Hindocha, was born in central Sweden in March 1982. She would now be 32. In 1972 the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin had expelled 90,000 Asians from Uganda, and Sweden had kindly taken her family in.

Anni graduated in engineering and joined the Swedish telephone giant Ericsson in Stockholm right after. 

The family of her future husband, Shrien Dewani, moved to Bristol in the west of England from Kenya some years earlier. Dawani’s millionaire father built up a clinics and resthomes group. Along with his brother, Dawani was educated at Bristol Grammar and at Oxford University.

He worked briefly as an accountant in London, and then joined PSP Healthcare, the family firm, which soon made him too a millionaire.

Anni visited her cousin in the UK, met Dawani through mutual friends, met frequently in London and Stockholm, and were married (ceremonially but not yet legally) at a resort outside Mumbai (Bombay) on 29 October 2010.

Two weeks later, on 13 November, Anni was dead.

3. Prosecution murder scenario

Anni and Shrien made a honeymoon trip to South Africa and first spent four days at the Kruger national game park. Then they returned to Cape Town.

Dawani claimed that their hired car was hijacked by two perps in an eastern suburb, Gugulethu township, on the way back from an evening trip to a beach restaurant further east.

Then for no obvious reason he was dumped out of the moving hired car 11 miles away, unharmed, and unwarned about identifying who the hijackers were.

The next morning, Anni was found dead in the back of the car another two miles beyond that. She might have been molested; she had been shot once in the neck.

The families left South Africa with Anni’s body on the 17th. Her body was cremated in London and her ashes scattered on the lake by the town where she was born.

The hired-car driver and two others were promptly arrested and another was arrested later on. Mngeni, one alleged hijacker, was arrested on 16th November. Another, Qwabe, was arrested on the 18th, and the driver, Tongo, on the 20th.

4. Three arrests so case closed?

Things still looked very fishy though.

For example Dewani had given 3 different accounts of how he was ejected from the hijacked car. The car was not stolen or burnt. Dawani was unharmed, rare in hijackings, even though he saw the faces of the two.

He took Anni to the streets of Gugulethu twice at night. He told one reporter it was Anni’s idea, then told another it was Tongo’s. He apologised to Anni’s father for not saving her life, even before, if innocent, he could have known she was already dead.

And so on and on.

From London Dawani hired a high-powered South African defense lawyer (who mysteriously withdrew) and a high-powered UK PR man who set to work moulding the mindset of the British public against the authorities in South Africa (he is now on trial himself for multiple indecent sexual assaults.)

5. Tongo fingers Dawani

On 7 December under a plea bargain (for which he received 18 years) the driver, Tongo, said he had arranged a fake hijacking and the murder at Dawani’s request for a promise of about $2,000.

Tongo went into some verifiable detail about meetings, phone calls, text messages, and cash withdrawals from a bank.

6. South Africa speaks

Dawani was arrested in Bristol, western England, on the night of 8 December 2010, by officers from the [London] Metropolitan Police’s extradition unit. From Wikipedia:

On the afternoon of 10 December, at a hearing at the High Court, Watson told Mr Justice Ouseley that CCTV footage from the Cape Grace hotel showed Dawani:

* Meeting Tongo twice in his taxi in the carpark of the Cape Grace on 12 November, the night before the killing, when Tongo claims Dawani asked him to hire a hitman to kill a woman. In later extradition papers submitted to the British courts, South African Police claimed that Preyan Dewani tried to obtain the video footage of the pair meeting.

* Having a series of meetings with Tongo inside the hotel, without his wife Anni, in the 24 hours before the killing.

* Handing Tongo a package of cash on 16 November, three days after the murder, having just previously been sitting beside his grieving father-in-law, Vinod Hindocha. Tongo is then seen entering the hotel toilets, where he counted the money.

The court granted him bail and he was electronically tagged and required to observe a curfew while he stayed at his family’s home in north Bristol.

7. The extradition fight

This wasnt really a legal fight. More a fight for the hearts and minds of the British people, so that they could maybe lean on the British courts to block extradition.

In the following many months the extradition process was repeatedly interrupted while Dawani’s mental health was very publicly and emotionally made an issue by the lawyers and PR for his defence.

On his behalf, a Member of Parliament attempted to intervene.

Finally, just three weeks ago, after all possible appeals had been turned down, a court ordered that Dawani be extradited to South Africa on 7 April, for a trial to start the next day. 

8. The BBC Panorama Reports

These misleading reports were aired in March 2012 and September 2013 and somewhat inflamed UK opinion while leading it far away from the truth.

Seemingly highly invested reporters for two BBC Panorama reports were given access to testimony and autopsy evidence that the police and defense but not the public would have.

In describing the two programs Wikipedia added this cautionary note.

This section may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. Please improve the article by adding information on neglected viewpoints, or discuss the issue on the talk page.

9. The Panorama Reports repulsed

The Daily Mail and the Telegraph described the anger and anguish of Anni’s family at these unbalanced TV reports.

However, the real nuking of the two Panorama reports went live on a dedicated website, Panorama Busted, updated three months ago.

The analysis in this dossier shows how the Panorama programme makers used a catalogue of dirty tricks including misrepresentation of material facts, exclusion of relevant information, camera trickery and psychological skulduggery to try to fool the viewing public….

There is a scattering of snippets in the programme which appear to show some of the prosecution evidence against Shrien Dewani, but these form only a small segment and various trickery is deployed to belittle them.  The facts of the entire prosecution case against Dewani are not portrayed.

The findings of this dossier are truly shocking. The issues go beyond the sub-standard shoddy documentary which they tried to pass off as journalism undertaken in the public interest. The issues go much deeper.

The Panorama production team must now be investigated by the BBC and its supervisory bodies and, if found appropriate, the Metropolitan Police. The Culture Secretary is called upon to investigate why licence fee payers’ money appears to have been used to fund the PR campaign of a murder suspect.

10. Present conclusion

Sound at all familiar?

Please do read the whole rejection of the Panorama claims. In 24 parts, it is huge - quite an indictment of a prestigious media outlet lying to the British public about hard evidence in a foreign case, and leaving a great deal of it out.

As in Meredith’s case, under the rules for a fair trial, the prosecution may not rebut such false claims as these in the media, only in court.

Yes, to us, this is only all too familiar.


Some Images Relevant To The Murder Of Anni Hindocha And The Extradition Of Shrien Dewani

Posted by Peter Quennell

Please see the post above for the narrative. All images expand when clicked on.


[Image above: Anni Hindocha and Shrien Dewani before their ceremonial marriage]




[Image above: the ceremonial marriage in India; they were never legally married]




[Image above:the mother of Anni Hindocha who lives in central Sweden]




[Image above: the father of Anni Hindocha who lives in central Sweden]




[Image above: Stockholm HQ of telephone giant Ericcson, Anni’s employer]




[Image above: residential compound in north Bristol of the Dewani family]




[Image above: house in north Bristol where Shrien Dewani is under house arrest]




[Image above: Shrien Dewani with his father addressing the media]




[Image above: Shrien Dewani’s father and Shrien’s older brother]




[Image above: Shrien Dewani’s public relations manager addressing the media]




[Image above: downtown Cape Town where Anni and Shrien were in a hotel]




[Image above: Daily Mail recreation of the crime published December 2010]




[Image above: discovery of hijacked car and Anni’s body in Gugulethu township]




[Image above: car driver Nongo at his trial where he plea-bargained for his testimony]




[Image above: a memorial for Anni in her home town in central Sweden]




[Image above: her family scatters Anni’s ashes on the large lake near their home]

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Italy’s 13th Foreign Oscar Winner Shows A Very Beautiful Side Of Rome

Posted by Peter Quennell



Since 1950 Italian films have won more Foreign Oscars than those from any other country.

And now this. The Great Beauty.  Said by some to be a La Dolce Vita for the 21st century and by others to be a Great Gatsby for Italy.

The movie was re-released on 14 March after a limited run late last year and is still playing in many art houses in Europe and the US. The Great Beauty has a 91% positive rating among the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and the reviews sure take off in many different directions.

The Los Angeles Times review started off thus:

As its name promises, “The Great Beauty” is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino’s mind, a lot more.

One of Italy’s most impressive contemporary filmmakers, Sorrentino has a superb sense of how to fill a wide screen and, working with his longtime cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, a wizard with camera movement, his visuals display the intoxicating richness of color 35-millimeter film in a way few contemporary ventures can match.

When Sorrentino says in the press notes that “a single shot, if well thought out and balanced, can enthrall and say more than ten pages of dialogue,” he’s as good as his word

Another small shot in the arm for Rome where everybody seems to be headed these days. Well done Rome and well done Italian film industry where movies mainly for adults are still happening.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Human Rights Group “Human Rights Watch” Gives An Approving Nod To Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Armando Spataro, the chief prosecutor in the 2009 trial in Milan; CIA operatives all absent]


Human rights groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International keep an eye on the Italian courts, as they do the courts of most countries.

When it comes to Italy, they rarely have anything to complain about. Italy has a firm high-profile police presence but when the playing field is level the Italian courts are known to be very fair and prison rates are among the world’s lowest.

Nothing is seen to be broken..

The same applies to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which receives mind-numbing numbers of spurious appeals from Italy (an unfortunate circumstance for Knox) which repeatedly jump the gun (as Knox’s appeal did) before the Italian legal process is over.  But the ECHR only very rarely finds that Italian courts did anything wrong.

In an excellent report by the AP’s Colleen Barry (not our favorite reporter in Florence, but now we have hopes for her) the New York-based Human Rights Watch has just praised Italy for persevering against the CIA operatives who executed an example of extraordinary rendition - kidnapping for torture in a third country of suspected terrorists.

Cassation had just confirmed three of the guilty sentences among the 26 for American operatives earlier handed down:

“It is really a seminal case. It set a very important precedent that unfortunately has not been followed yet by any other countries,” said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We certainly hold it as an example how a national judiciary can in fact get to the bottom of an unlawful rendition.”

The Obama administration renounced the Bush administration’s practice of extraordinary rendition, and neither the CIA or State Department seems to have done very much to help the CIA officers who were being prosecuted.

Alessia Sorgato, who was one of four court-appointed defense lawyers, complained the U.S. government had not responded to requests for help to defend their clients.

None of the court-appointed lawyers had any contact with their clients. U.S. officials only granted two of the defendants permission to seek their own counsel, toward the end of the trial…

Leader Robert Seldon Lady did possibly get some minor official help to disappear recently within the United States, but has since spoken out against the CIA and State Department bitterly. So did other CIA operatives.

At the same time, the Italian government (think Ministry of Justice) has been fairly passive, and allowed the courts to increasingly confirm the convictions, except for several Italian ones (they were declared military as was one American).

These outcomes from Cassation may not result in former CIA operatives ending up in Italian prisons. But life for perps on the run can be made hell worldwide under an Interpol Red Notice. So civil rights groups are not unhappy.

Amanda Knox, learn something.


[Below: human rights groups in Italy kept up pressure]


Friday, March 14, 2014

On Saul Kassin: Our Letter To Dr Douglas Starr Who Wrote An Effusive Profile In The “New Yorker”

Posted by Peter Quennell





Dr Douglas Starr
Co-director of Science Journalism Program
Co-director, Center for Science & Medical Journalism
Professor of Journalism
College of Communication
Boston University


Dear Dr Starr

We would like to take issue with your article “The Interview: Do police interrogation techniques produce false confessions?” in the Dec 2013 New Yorker.

Specifically the effusive passages on the New York psychologist Saul Kassin. Dr Kassin was a hired gun in the annulled 2011 appeal of the Amanda Knox case in Italy. In our assessment he has widely conflated the defense’s (spurious) position he was paid for with an objective academic analysis.

Our posting community consists of professionals in legal and criminal-science fields, and we have quite detachedly uncovered over 50 false claims in Kassin’s widely-promoted papers and TV and conference appearances.  The presumed intent of those was to spark more paid court business and more academic advancement.

Amanda Knox was confirmed guilty for lying about her so-called confession a year ago by the Italian Supreme Court, and her sentence of three years was confirmed. This is the same “confession” Kassin builds huge castles upon, the false accusation which had placed an innocent man in jail for three weeks, during which time Knox never recanted.

So exactly what is left standing of Kassin’s position today is hard to discern. However, instead of exposing him and chastizing him, your New Yorker piece seems to have set out without due caution - no buyer-beware - to make your readers respect and associate with him.

This matter isnt over in Italy, because those many framed by Kassin are unhappy about baseless claims of illegal acts presented at a global John Jay College conference and many other forums and tv shows. Any one of those who feel impugned can trigger a felony investigation for poisoning American opinion in an attempted obstruction of Italian justice. Out of which, Kassin might find himself fighting charges incurring possible prison time.

If credible crime experts here in the United States such as yourself now come down in support of those falsely impugned in Italy, and in rejection of Kassin’s categoric false claims, it might assist to defuse a tense and ugly situation, and might keep Kassin’s legal troubles to a minimum. We dont speak on behalf of the officers framed in Italy but we might have some sway as we accept no payment from anyone and are widely trusted there. 

We would like to ask you to read these various posts explaining where Kassin went wrong, particularly the fourth one, and then decide what you might like to do. It would be good if this could include inserting an addendum into the New Yorker explaining that due caution should be observed toward Kassin’s claims.

If it would help I will need to be soon in Boston and could sit with you. I can also suggest several experts that you might like to consult with.

Kind regards

Peter Quennell
Editor True Justice
Biography

[Everything in this letter applies equally to the ludicrously inaccurate claims of ex FBI “mindhunter” John Douglas in his books and lobbying at the State Department.]


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Italy’s Anti-Mafia Winning Push In Co-operation With FBI Is Headed By Arturo De Felice, Who Was”¦

Posted by Peter Quennell



Dr Arturo De Felice (at center below) was formerly the head of Perugia’s police. He ran this show while the investigations into Meredith’s murder went on.

It was his police officers who conducted the witness interrogation about which Amanda Knox has told so many lies. Defenses tried to impugn police performance, but fell absolutely flat. Not one police action has ever been criticised by any judge.

Like Dr Giuliano Mignini and many others who performed so well, Arturo De Felice has been honored and promoted. He now heads an elite national organization in Rome much admired in Italy which works on a daily basis with the FBI.

He will be able to pull many strings if Knox tries to mount an extradition fight - especially one based on Knox’s endemic lies about the police. 

Here are several recent English-language reports of anti-mfia gains which name Dr Felice - the same highly successful police official who foolish amateurs like Michael Heavey and Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and Doug Bremner (none of whom speak Italian) have impugned. 

The huge joint FBI-Polizio operation described in the video at top and also here as resulting in many arrests in Italy and New York city is another feather in Dr De Felice’s cap.

Try telling Dr De Felice “No, you got it wrong, and we wont extradite.”




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Council Of Magistrates In Effect Shrugs At Judge Nencini Answering Loaded Question Of A Reporter

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Cassation judge Antonio Esposito who just faced down a similar complaint to the CSM]


The only ones pushing for the CSM committee hearing today and maybe another one at Cassation were Giulia Bongiorno and a few political friends.

Everybody knows she has once again lost very big and once again is snakily trying to demonize the court rather than gracefully moving on.

The final vote of the full CSM will be announced next week, but it seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will shrug and move on.

Judge Nencini explained himself well for one hour (with his wife, also a judge, present) and probably no magistrate on the Council would have acted so differently, given that the michievous reporter had been asking if the killing of Meredith happened simply because the three had nothing better to do.

Maybe some of the magistrates were thinking “So Bongiorno didnt put Sollecito on the stand? Hmmm, she KNOWS of his guilt only too well”. There is no mood among them to to see the defiant Sollecito who has slimed the system and slimed a much admired judge use a loophole to get himself off.

Jools explained the context of today’s hearing several weeks ago and translated one of the media reports for us today.

Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM

Inquiry over post-conviction press statements

Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary’s self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.

In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down. But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.

As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased. One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.

The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse. He also denied saying the murder was the result of ‘‘kid’s play’’ gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito’s defense strategy.

The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official. The consensus seems to be that Nencini’s statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said.  Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.


Friday, March 07, 2014

Obstruction Of Justice? How The Guardian Poisons Public Opinion Against The Italian Courts

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Alan Rusbridger has been the overall Guardian editor throughout the whole period described]

1. How the Guardian got itself on a roll

The Guardian has a daily UK print run of around 180,000 which places it 12th among Britain’s 13 national newspapers. (Last is The Independent, which may soon fold.) The Murdoch-owned Sun has a print run more than 10 times the Guardian’s. The Daily Mail’s print run is 9 times, the Mirror’s is five times, and the Times’s is two times.

Seemingly stuck at the back, the Guardian has worked hard to get a lot of people to beat a path to its website, especially Americans, and to become addicted to it. Website readers now run neck-and-neck with its hardcopy readers. Its website comes second in readers among UK newspapers after the Daily Mail, thanks largely to those Americans, and that jumps the overall readership of the Guardian from 12th to 5th place in the United Kingdom.

In another attempt to boost circulation, the Guardian has become triumphally missionary. It is doing a lot more than the old-fashioned reporting which most other UK newspapers stick to. The Guardian assisted Julian Assange’s Wikileaks to publish a number of secret documents “borrowed” from governments, although it has since turned on him and has been attacking him and Wikileaks ever since.

The Guardian also spearheaded the media investigation into the phone-hacking by Robert Murdoch’s News Of The World which led to that newspaper’s demise and the ongoing parliamentary and police investigations into other phone hacking by other Murdoch media vehicles.

2. The Guardian’s substantial pro-Knox campaign

The Guardian’s campaign against Italian justice on behalf of Amanda Knox is another triumphalist campaign, but this one often takes it very far away from the truth, and almost certainly outside Italian law. Less obviously a campaign at first glance, but undeniably one in progress when one connects up the dots as we shall do. 

The resources the Guardian allocates to it are quite astonishing. Since 2007 the Guardian newspaper and website have been averaging several long reports, videos, opinion pieces or brief mentions every day for a grand total according to Google’s site-search application of over fifty thousand separate items.

Well over a dozen reporters have their names over stories and opinion pieces, and some have filed reports from London, Seattle and Italy that now number in the dozens and dozens.  At least three of the Knox PR shills (Nina Burleigh, Doug Preston and Andrew Gumbel) have managed to have over-the-top opinion pieces published in the Guardian,  with no explanation at all of their vested interests and family links. 

Only the volume of the Daily Mail’s coverage of the case comes anywhere near the Guardian’s - and the Daily Mail coverage shows little sign of being a consistent campaign. The Mail publishes pro-Knox and anti-Knox trivia and gossip and photos with equal enthusiasm, and attracts frequent irritation from the pro-Knox forces.

In sharp contrast to these two UK newspapers, the top American newspapers and websites have averaged at most one-fifth the number of items since 2007 and, with the possible exception of CNN, none of them seem nearly as fixated upon the Knox cause as the Guardian is.

From late 2007 to around mid-trial in 2009 the Guardian was about as even-handed and tentative in its coverage as the Times was. Then bias suddenly moved into overdrive. These headlines below are representative of the Guardian’s coverage from mid-2009 to the present day.

3. Notice the typical pro-Knox headline bias here

  • 2009 “Amanda will get out eventually” exclusive interview with mother Edda Mellas | Hattenstone

  • 2009 The friends back home intent on telling the ‘real Amanda Knox’ story | Paul Harris

  • 2009 Police beat me, Amanda Knox tells jury as she takes her turn in the witness box | Kington

  • 2009 Cold comfort in jail as Amanda Knox begins 26-year sentence | Kington

  • 2010 Unanswered questions over Amanda Knox’s conviction | Deborah Orr

  • 2011 Amanda Knox ‘crucified’ for crime she did not commit, lawyer tells court | Hooper

  • 2011 Amanda Knox begs judges to ‘do justice’ in emotional final plea | Hooper + Kington

  • 2011 Confident and optimistic, Amanda Knox waits to hear the final verdict | Kington

  • 2011 Amanda Knox was a ‘faithful woman in love’ says defence lawyer | Hooper

  • 2011 Yes, Amanda Knox is guilty. Guilty of being sexually active and female | Carole Cadwalladr

  • 2011 Amanda Knox ‘could make millions from TV and press deals’ | Lisa O’Carroll

  • 2013 My penpal Amanda Knox and me | Simon Hattenstone

  • 2013 Amanda Knox: I went to jail naive and came out an introspective woman | Esther Adley

  • 2013 Amanda Knox: what happened to me could have happened to anyone | Shiv Malik

  • 2013 Read all about Amanda Knox ““ except in neurotic Britain | Nick Cohen

  • 2014 Amanda Knox will not return to Italy to serve sentence, say parents | Lizzy Davies

  • 2014 Amanda Knox: ‘They’ll have to pull me back kicking and screaming to prison’ | Hattenstone

  • 2014 Amanda Knox: I feel stranded and trapped since new guilty verdict | Hattenstone

  • 2014 Amanda Knox vows to fight Meredith Kercher murder conviction ‘to the end’ | Hooper etc


4. Notice the typical anti-Italy headline bias here

  • 2009 Amanda Knox case is typical of Italy’s inconclusive justice | Tobias Jones

  • 2009 Call for solitary confinement of pair accused of killing Meredith Kercher | Kington

  • 2009 Cold comfort in jail as Amanda Knox begins 26-year sentence | Kington

  • 2010 Amanda Knox appeal: ‘Italians are embarrassed by this case’ | Preston

  • 2010 Unanswered questions over Amanda Knox’s conviction | Deborah Orr

  • 2011 Amanda Knox: victim of Italian code which puts saving face before justice | Preston

  • 2011 Amanda Knox is a witch? Sorry, are we living in 1486? | Joan Smith

  • 2011 Amanda Knox trial was flawed at every turn, says appeal judge | Kington

  • 2011 Amanda Knox: police under fire over botched investigation | Hooper

  • 2011 Amanda Knox’s lawyers hit back at police and prosecutors | Hooper

  • 2011 Amanda Knox ‘is lucky Italy doesn’t have death penalty’ | Hooper

  • 2011 Amanda Knox case is typical of Italy’s inconclusive justice | Tobias Jones

  • 2011 Amanda Knox: what next after 1,450 days of wrongful imprisonment? | Hooper

  • 2013 Amanda Knox’s retrial puts Italian justice in the dock | Joan Smith

  • 2013 Knife key to Amanda Knox trial had no trace of Meredith Kercher’s blood | Lizzie Davies

  • 2014 Knox and Sollecito case delivers harsh verdict on Italian justice | Andrew Gumbel


5. Meredith’s friends demand extreme bias be ended

This unprecedented objection to the Editor of the Guardian which had been signed by over 100 of Meredith’s friends was published on Tuesday 4 February.

The Guardian’s repeated casting of the Meredith Kercher murder trial as a gross miscarriage of justice for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is disturbing (Reports, 1-4 February). Undoubtedly, the case is complex and shrouded in ambiguity and uncertainty. However, there are at least three points which are certain.

1) During the pre-trial, trial proper, and retrial, different judges and juries have, after close and prolonged examination of all the evidence, concluded there is enough evidence against the defendants to find them guilty of the murder charge against them.

2) The appeal in which the defendants were acquitted was overturned after the supreme court found it to have “multiple shortcomings, contradictions and inconsistencies” and that the “evidence against [the defendants] had been underestimated”.

3) At the same time as she was originally found guilty of murder, Amanda Knox was also found guilty of slander and subsequently sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for having accused an innocent man of the crime. Although acquitted of murder on appeal, the slander charge was upheld.

At the time of the acquittal, Ms Knox had spent four years in jail, ie she effectively served the slander sentence while on remand. Therefore, she has not in fact served any time in prison for a crime she did not commit (although the same could not be said for Mr Sollecito if the final outcome of the legal process were to find him not guilty).

Assertions such as those made by Andrew Gumbel (himself a co-author of Sollecito’s autobiography) that Knox and Sollecito have been reconvicted “without a shred of evidence to substantiate the verdict” are untrue and undermine the gravity of the case, as does a one-sided interview with Ms Knox during which the evidence against her is barely addressed.

Only those in the courtroom are in possession of the full facts; it is only they who should make pronouncements on what the outcome should or should not be. Until then, the best course of action would be to wait for the (admittedly, grindingly slow) Italian legal process to come to its conclusion.

Guardian staffer Chris Elliot (image below) offered only a whiny and dishonest response. Our next post will start with that in identifying the Guardian’s many illegalities.



Monday, March 03, 2014

As Knox & Sollecito Try To Separate Themselves, Each Is Digging The Other In Deeper

Posted by willsavive




1. Sollecito Blabs Yet Again

One of an increasingly long list of “gotchas” for the prosecution, flowing from their tendencies to talk way, way too much. 

In a recent exclusive interview on an Italian TV news broadcast, Sollecito said he has several “unanswered questions” for his former girlfriend, Amanda Knox.

“You all know that the focus was only through Amanda to her behavior, to her peculiar behaviour, but whatever it is, I’m not guilty for it. “Why do they convict me? Why do put me on the corner and say that I’m guilty just because in their minds I have to be guilty because I was her boyfriend. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

This adds yet another waiver to the many different explanations Sollecito provided over the years about the same details.

In their “official” story, in the part that remained consistent, Knox and Sollecito both claimed that Knox left his flat the morning after Kercher’s murder and returned home, where she noticed the door left wide open and witnessed blood spots in the bathroom.

Knox claimed that she found it odd and just assumed that one of her roommates was menstruating and left blood behind. She proceeded to take a shower and returned to Sollecito’s flat and ate breakfast.

2. Telling Narrative Change

“Certainly I asked her questions,” Sollecito explained in his latest interview. “Why did she take a shower? Why did she spend so much time there?” When asked what responses he had for these question Sollecito replied, “I don’t have answers.”

In the interview, Sollecito said Knox left his apartment to take a shower, then returned hours later looking “very agitated.”

Yet, in an interview with Kate Mansey on 4 November 2007 just two days after the murder, and two days prior to arrest, Sollecito said:

But when she went into the bathroom she saw spots of blood all over the bath and sink. That’s when she started getting really afraid and ran back to my place because she didn’t want to go into the house alone.


3. RS Differs Sharply From Knox

This is a far cry from what Knox said in her email also dated 4 November 2007 to friends and family, Knox wrote:

I returned to raffael’s place. after we had used the mop to clean up the kitchen i told raffael about what i had seen in the house over breakfast. the strange blood in the bathroom, the door wide open, the shit left in the toilet. he suggested i call one of my roommates, so I called filomena.” (6th paragraph).

The discrepancies between Knox’s version and Sollecito’s version is strikingly different.

  • Raffele claims Knox was visibly distraught when she returned and that this was the focus of discussion (i.e. being the first thing they discussed).

  • Knox claims that she did not even bring up the bizarre circumstances back at her apartment until “after” they finished mopping the kitchen floor.


4. My Analysis Of The Above

In his latest statement, Sollecito is clearly trying to distance himself from Knox, believing that there is far more evidence against her than against him. But:


  • Sollecito forgets to mention the bloody barefoot prints at Knox’s apartment, found to be in Kercher’s blood attributed to him.

  • Also the knife found in his apartment that scientists say was the murder weapon.

  • Also his DNA found on Meredith Kercher’s bra that was found in her room, even though Sollecito claims that he was never ever in that room.

  • Also his own strange behavior, which includes providing a false alibi (saying he and Knox were at a party with a friend on the night of the murder).

Also several conflicting other versions.

But what’s there to question if you [Raffaele] were with Knox the whole day and night of Meredith Kercher’s murder?

It appears as though Sollecito is alluding to the notion that he knows something far more than he is saying; yet, he is being very careful with his words””only providing us with a hint of this.

His latest statement is a clear attempt to distance himself from Knox.

5. Sollecito Freaks Out On Twitter


Sollecito appeared on Twitter recently, for what he claimed was to answer questions and clear his name.

He was very outspoken of his innocence and had no problem in his witty, sarcastic responses to those who questioned his innocence.

However, when I asked him about the Mansey interview he denied claiming that he was with Knox at a friend’s party on the night of the murder [huh?!].

Sollecito disappeared for a couple of days, came back to Twitter writing only in Italian, and ceased responding to any more questions.

Is it possible that Sollecito will turn on Knox altogether at some point when the pressure mounts over the next year? Guess we’ll have to wait and see”¦



Cross-posted from Savive’s Corner


Friday, February 28, 2014

What We Might Read Into Sollecito Lawyer Giulia Bongiornos Final Arguments To The Appeal Judges

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)




Under the table & over the top

The picture of a serene-looking Giulia Bongiorno waving a couple of knives in court on 9 January may be visual inspiration to this reflection about what we can understand from the structure and content of her closing arguments.

A very peculiar feature of her arguments was the desperate opening, suggesting to put the investigation ““ and the whole justice proceedings ““ on trial.

The introductive topic of her speech is a quote from a book by Alessandro Satta, a narrative description of the riotous irruption of the mob inside the Revolutionary Tribunal hearing room on Sep. 2. 1792, the defendants are the some of the King’s Swiss guards.

The passage by Satta describes the “horrendous” vision of a hord of sanculots slowly gathering outside the court, Bongiorno compares that to the angry mob in Perugia after the first appeal verdict.

But if you read the same text by Satta a little further, a few lines beyond the snippet Bongiorno was reading, the narration goes on describing how sanculots manage to enter the courtroom, in a force of hundreds ready to lynch the defendants, but they are suddenly halted by an authoritative order of the Judge, and they unexpectedly obey.

Just after that, Satta drops in an explanatory quote from the book Le Tribunal révolutionnaire  (by historian Lenotre) saying: “the people understood that these highly educated individuals in black robes would have gone on with the action started by the hords, and they would accomplish it more perfectly”.

It seems like Bongiorno opened her speech with an implicit depiction of the judges and magistrates of Perugia as kind of Jacobin extremists whose task is to “legitimize” the vindictive fury of a pitchforks mob.

The quote she read did not include Satta’s conclusive lines, so that the consequent thought about the judges’ role remained unexpressed and in the background.




(Photo by Machiavelli_Aki)


A side note about Bongiorno’s arguments: in fact I had the feeling that allusion to implicit subtexts was something that belonged to her speech as a method or a style, it marked the whole of her arguments. You may recall Wittgenstein’s dictum “This work consists of two part, what is written in it, and what is not written in it. The latter is the most important part.”

Such a motto might be apt to address the major feature of Bongiorno’s defensive argument, insofar as she conveyed that something that “couldn’t be talked about openly” was there and that was probably a main argument.




(photo by Ansa)


At first, as I said, she went through a brief emotional recollection of her moments while in Perugia surrounded by a raging mob, and then she unfolded the rest of her introductive section.

The purpose of this bit of revolutionary narrative first juxtaposing the Perugian citizens to Sanculots and the judges to Jacobins, and then, immediately following, a series of accessory arguments all encompassed by an introductive function, all this was clearly intended to set a framework thesis meant to work as a basis for the structure of the whole defensive arguments.

It is in fact a peculiar structure, apparently entirely resting upon one, single elaborate premise.

The thesis she places at the foundation of the entire defensive argumentation is the following: the trial as a whole, as much as its outcome, had been somehow determined and “tainted” from the beginning by events which occurred within a very short framework of time, in the very early days of the investigation, the weeks around the time of the suspects’ arrests.

Bongiorno suggested that only this “short period” ““ the early days of November 2007 - is what matters and the only topic worth of a defence analysis; since this was the time frame within which - according to Bongiorno - everything was decided, this was the time when some “errors” in the investigation occurred, before the point when a veil of prejudice and hatred fell upon people’s hearts and minds like kind of black curtain, preventing from that moment on any fair or rational judgement. 

Aggressive Digressions

After the quoting of Satta’s speech, she develops her introduction for a while, branching out into some political-sociological speculations (such as that authorities chose the crime scenario that was most reassuring for the population) as well as some political-anthropological consideration (like the theory that free spirited women are seen as suspicious as a consequence of women empowerment movements). 




(Palace of Justice of Florence ““ photo by FrederickStudio)


A speech opening as did Bongiorno’s, that is, relying on a set of over-the-top considerations, and apparently so much depending upon one extreme premise, unavoidably conveys a perception of weakness, which is at risk to be transferred to the rest of the argumentation.

Thus, it would be a logical question to ask ourselves: why did Bongiorno chose such a setting and introduction, with several risky, over-shooting arguments?

A perception that the argument was unconvincing was palpable among the public as she was unfolding her theories about Perugian police opting for “political” scenarios and about sexy and free women seen as suspicious because of the women’s political movement.

Scepticism emerged even more openly when she described a scene with Amanda Knox releasing her false accusations while speaking under the hypnotic influence of interpreter Anna Donnino - whom she called “psychic” ““ which triggered some stifled laughs among the public.

Then her long introduction dealt with the unfolding of a rhetorical structure set around the concept of “half”.

I use the word ” rhetoric” in a most technical, non-derogatory sense, to mean the setting of a clear order and concepts designed to be easily remembered, anchored to multiple implicit suggestions, so as to remain impressed in the mind of listeners what is distinctive of the style of Giulia Bongiorno.

Introducing to “˜Halves’

In the previous trial instances she didn’t miss the opportunity to borrow characters such as Jessica Rabbit, Amelie and the Venus in a Fur. I thought she would mention at least a few characters of Disney or the Harry Potter saga this time too, and I was not disappointed as she met expectations on this matter (she did mention Harry Potter, the Eskimo kiss “˜Unca-Nunca’, the Bunga Bunga,  the Aladdin Lamp and 9½ Weeks). 

She entered the topical part of the introductive section saying “˜basta’ to always focusing on Amanda’s personality alone, while considering Raffaele just Knox’s other “half”, he is not half a character, he should not be seen as reflexion of Knox.

The curse of being “half” chases him also, meaning there are only “half pieces of evidence” against him.  And this is the rhetoric structure envigorating the arguments after the introduction, the concept of “half” .






Only half pieces of evidence, almost a half admission, or the clear suggestion that there is maybe one “other half” of something (of culprits?) somewhere else, something not to be said, something that is not here.

The concept of “half” recurs and somehow pervades her defence, we should say something more about later on because she picked it up also in the subsequent hours of speech. 

Some videos from the Florence trial available may still be available at the Sky site.

Primordial Fossils

Only after recollecting all these things in the “˜aggressive digressions’ over the introductive part, she goes on with a ponderous section which is the main part of her argumentation.

It’s a topic directly stemming from the introductive themes and premises, in the sense that this main part focuses on and blows up events of the first four days of investigation. It zeroes on few small details of the investigation history, the previous introductive part functionally working to justify the choice and to limit the argumentation to these topics.   

Something the listener would notice from this first and main part of the arguments, as everyone well understands, is that these arguments are arranged in a peculiar type of architecture. A choice that makes crystal clear the actual state of the defence’s options.   

The defence strategy is to focus attention on the supposed flaws in evidence collection at the beginning of the investigation, and not on the evidence set itself.

Bongiorno’s arguments do not map out the evidence set array. They do not devolve an effort of analysis in proportion to the actual weight of the of pieces of evidence.

The bulk of her speech in fact can be summarized as a criticism of some historical happenings ““ what she sees as such ““ which allegedly occurred within a very small time frame. She devoted hours to attacking the beginning of the investigation, early errors such as that the shoe print that had been wrongly attributed to Sollecito on a first assessment.

It appears this attack against the early procedures of the investigation was really considered to be the most effective weapon the defence had left.

The “˜topics’ Bongiorno addressed in this attack as “˜main points’ of evidence against Sollecito, are only three: the wrongly attribute shoeprint, Sollecito’s side-tracking the investigation, and “˜the knife’ (a topic which gets picked up again later, with a long discussion focused on the blade length). 

In the same “˜knife’ topic she included DNA discussion, in a connected digression she dealt with the bra claps, called all the scientific evidence collection “˜the mother of mistakes’ and offered again the known criticism of Stefanoni’s alleged “suspect-centred”.

Later in her speech, she dealt with the other evidence topics, parroted the “˜principles’ expressed in the Conti & Vecchiotti report, offered the known arguments about the bathmat print, etc.

But the bulk of her defence hinged around those “˜mistakes’ in the early investigation phase, this was the actual core of her argumentation, while the other pieces of evidence were dealt with summarily, I had the impression they were almost treated as accessories.

It was clear above all that the defence was not battling the structure of the evidence actually existing today, they were battling a minuscule part of it, or better they were battling something else, something which is not directly the evidence, but rather some historical foundations of the accusation building.

Basically what Bongiorno conveyed is, the fighting terrain was the “˜investigators’ errors’, their “˜excesses’. That is, they were not actively contending Raffaele’s innocence any more.

The implicit content was rather obvious to the listener: a direct claim of Sollecito’s innocence had been already abandoned, that territory was left beyond the lines and the defensive front had been drawn back.

The topic now was not innocence, but rather how the accusation had been unfair and excessive.






At her opening, the quote of Satta was a device to draw attention to the events at the “origin”, so as to prepare listeners for the fact that defence arguments will be focused on what happened during the moments before the “black curtain” came down.

Hence the a long introduction starting from an image of the fury of a mob of sanculots, a narrative on this theme: people were willing to convict the defendants immediately and judges were legitimizing people’s violence.

She oriented the discussion towards the topic of early prejudice and excesses, so to justify the fact that she will talk about the early phases rather than the evidence set, and then she introduced the leit-motiv of the “half”.

This means, rather than disputing the pieces of evidence, Bongiorno wanted to set a “trial of the investigation”, she zeroed on just a few details actually not having much relevance in the actual evidence set.

She talked at length about elements that are kind of fossils ““ like when she went on discussing about the number of circles in the sole of Guede’s shoeprint ““ putting the alleged “errors” in the course of the investigation on trial, and her speech at times sounded as if it was a lecture about dinosaurs, recalling curious things now extinct. 

The explicit function of her introduction was to justify her setting aside the evidence set, downplaying it by framing it into a historical moment, maintaining that it was collected and interpreted when investigators were already beyond the “black curtain” of bias, therefore tainted by prejudice, while judges were like sycophants before an angry mob.

The purpose behind the Black Curtain

The implicit, most important function of the introduction was accomplished via the concept of “half” and all the subliminal suggestions attached. 

We should ask ourselves: is it reasonable to believe Bongiorno was so naïve to expect that the court may accept a theory about a dismissal of evidence in limine?

The answer is no. Bongiorno knew perfectly well that her preliminary criticism of the investigation would not lead to a dismissal of the evidence. 

Bongiorno also knew that the series of preliminary arguments she would offer would be considered ineffective by judges. Such as that the knife DNA should be seen as unreliable preliminarily, that Stefanoni’s work lacked “transparency”, that Vecchiotti and Conti’s “method” should be taken at face value (Bongiorno knows C&V’s intellectual honesty was called manifestly questionable by the Supreme Court ), that this and that allele in the bra clasp DNA should not be considered because, etc.

She also knows that this court will not allow pieces of evidence to be considered separately from each other in a parcelled out way, and that imperfection of single pieces themselves do not work as a logical argument.  Even less could she dismiss the evidence based on political and anthropological theories.

From the fact that she was setting afoot on a trial of the investigation instead of battling the evidence,  the rational listener infers that she is well aware of the weakness of her position, since it implies that the evidence set as the battleground would be indefensible. She needs to search for another terrain of attack, a different structure, as the only possible move.

But there is also another implication. She does need to engage and draw attention to areas where she could “win” something, but this also means that her intent was to “soften” the accusation, to work it out at the flanks rather than face it frontally; to reduce the size of some fundamentals, the “excess” of the accusation.

In other words, to shorten the sentence. And if possible, to separate Sollecito’s position from that of Amanda Knox, albeit within the boundaries of her client’s plea.






Her strategy of attack had a reason, that was to try to soften the accusatory attitude against Sollecito. Besides being risky (may sound extremely unconvincing) the strategy was also loaded with implicit meanings.

What was most stunning to me ““ as it was a recurrent topic through her whole speech ““ was   the concept of “half”. She picked up this introductive theme several times, such as while speaking about the medical findings explaining that only “half” the length of the blade would be used, if a knife so large as Sollecito’s kitchen knife was used, saying that, in this event, this would mean the perpetrator did not intend to kill and killing was the effect of “mistake”, an involuntary movement. 

The importance of the length of the big blade and its “half” was emphasized by a waving of knifes, in a quite impressive theatrical performance: “Either the big wound was made by a smaller knife”  that was held by “someone else” or the knife was “plunged only by half” showing there was no intent to kill.

All this is to be coupled with the fact that, as said above, she devoted a main portion of her 6-hour speech to discussing things that are fossils, elements not existing any more.

She dealt later with other pieces of evidence too, though in a way that seemed somehow marginal, and she did not deal with some of them at all - the inconsistencies in Knox’s account, for example, were left completely out.

She was not that kind with Knox’s written memorials either, calling them “farneticanti”  (waffling, raving).

I noted her complaining about Raffaele being “halved”, as his character is portrayed as depending on Amanda’s and thus seen as equally guilty insofar he was Amanda’s half ““ and this effect is somehow transferred to pieces of evidence.

Bongiorno’s rhetoric emphasizes that Sollecito was accused on “half” pieces of evidence (you perceive that the metaphorical repeating of “half” implies that evidence actually exists,  “by half”, and at the same time this complaint about being seen as “half” of something is a subliminal suggestion that the defendants should be considered separately, and their charges as well, thus maybe their responsibilities if considered separately may be different;  and when it comes to discussing how the murderer used only half of the blade, the subliminal suggestion is bring down the charge by half, involuntary event/manslaughter versus voluntary murder). 

The Mark of Infamy

Giulia Bongiorno picked on the investigators and acted as if she was putting the investigation on trial not because she thought that this would lkead to the defendants being found innocent, but exactly for the opposite reason, because she expected them to be found guilty.

Insults against Prosecutor General Crini, against witnesses and and gratuitous accusations are a risky path but they are also an overt attempt to “soften” the investigation scenario, rather than fight it frontally.

She had no hope to make her client look innocent, her only hope was to soften the strength of the accusation, to make him look less guilty, not so bad as the investigators saw him.

She pursued this in two ways, by suggesting that he should not be seen as the “half” of another perp but rather his responsibility should be considered separately, only that evidence which proves directly against him (Bongiorno repeatedly pointed out that Knox did not utter his name in her interrogation and statement), his actual responsibility might be much lesser than the charge for which he is accused.

The other arm of the defence’s pincer move, the second way to try diminish the accusation, was to portray the investigators in bad light. The “˜excess’ of accusation was to lay blame on investigators for their bias and errors.

Bongiorno’s attack against the investigation might be intended to achieve a psychological effect due to comparative process.

If you consider how the police are responsible for “˜excesses’ and disputable behaviours, you may think the investigators have been prone to gross mistakes that lead to exaggerating Sollecito’s implication, thus the accusation should be not be taken at face value and should be corrected. Maybe the correct assessment of evidence proves he not as much implicated as they had thought.






This seemed to be Sollecito’s own defence strategy, albeit implicit, since Bongiorno must restrain her action within the boundaries of her client’s plea. 

In order to follow her strategy, however, Giulia Bongiorno decided to take a few steps which must be pointed out as particularly reprehensible and infamous.

I was surprised and stunned by those action because they qualify the character of Giulia Bongiorno as far worse than I thought, I really did not expect her to stoop so low. 
 
The infamous part of Bongiorno’s speech is her gratuitous name calling and defamatory attack against Anna Donnino, her attempt to smear her professional reputation and the rude insult in calling her a “˜psychic’. 
 
In real life Anna Donnino is a very respected professional, she has been working for the Questura on tasks of interpreter and language mediator (not as a “˜translator’).

She is also an intelligent person, she is precise and expresses herself with the utmost clarity as her lucid testimony shows.

She is known not only for having unquestionable professional ethics, but also she has an excellent reputation as a person; she is honest and humane and known by everybody for her extremely reassuring, protective temperament, and for her expertise and excellent performance of working with people.

She would help immigrants in difficulty to express themselves and understand their rights and was priceless helping the police to obtain precise information in their investigations.

As an expert in chuchotage and linguistic mediation from two foreign languages, the professional quality of her work is excellent. Her training and work is of interpreter and language mediator although sometimes shee is given translating tasks such as the translation of recordings and wiretappings.

The Questura of Perugia used to hire “˜language mediators’ at the time. You don’t know what a language mediator is? See a university course for a degree in Language Mediation.

The Questuras of some bigger cities also have “˜cultural mediators’ in addition. They are mother-tongue trained to deal with African or Chinese immigrants (one of the many young people having their internship as cultural mediator in a Questura is shown here.

To me, this defamatory attack against Donnino was most disturbing. By doing this Bongiorno came across as surprisingly mean, I’d say what she did was really infamous.

Indeed this was not the only virulent attack, it came after insults to the city of Perugia as she was comparing its citizens to a mob of blood-thirsty fanatics.

This attack too is also particularly vicious, since it exploits, inflames and is subtly synergic with the tones of lies and prejudices disseminated by a perfidious propaganda strategy.

But at a certain point, Bongiorno focused the defamation against one person. As she unfolded a narrative about Anna Donnino acting as a “˜psychic’ who managed to hypnotize, to gaslight Knox to the point of inducing a state of trance in which she mistook a dream for reality, some people couldn’t help laughing in the courtroom.

But even if we consider the surreal and comical rather than the convincing effect, the defamatory intent stands out as reprehensible and humanly vicious.

This is because, as I said above, these particular insults were directed against a person distinguishable for her being a most decent, honest and trustworthy character, and also ““ a further reason ““ because of the recent events for which this person experienced personal suffering: Anna Donnino, a mother of teenagers, has been struck with cancer, and has undergone surgery.

She is under treatment but still currently remains in very bad health. 

The attack against Anna Donnino is an action that rebounds as an ugly stain on the reputation of those who launched it.  A young man from Perugia created a Facebook group to express a the citizens’ “hate”  for those who lead a defamatory campaign of lies against the city. He collected over two thousand likes within three days.

Some of the comments were about Bongiorno’s insults against the city and against respected citizens, pointing out her outrageous hypocrisy since Giulia Bongiorno poses as a campaigner for the respect and dignity of women.




(a StripBit comment by a poster on a Facebook group)


Criticism of Giulia Bongriorno pointing out her hypocrisy is actually not a novelty, it has appeared long since in the press and on the internet.

But it’s hard to understand how someone like her, promoting   an image of herself as an advocate for women and for correctness and respect in language and culture, could take such a an egregiously visible false step, come out with such stupid stereotypical rants, only for what looks like an awkward and useless cause. 

Conclusion

A note for the record: we may recall Bongiorno has also attacked the Perugian police officers, citing the recording of some of their phone conversations in which they say bad words about the Sollecito family.

We can understand her outrage (at least we could, if only she were not the hypocrite she is) but at the same time we can’t fail to notice that she “forgot”  to mention another half of the phone call recordings.

Specifically those where the members of the Sollecito family were speaking about the police officers;  and the kind of language they were using, while attempting to plot “˜under the table’ help from some politician.

Expressing their intent to “˜scorch’ officers and “˜destroy’ magistrates, and one person even suggested that if he met Monica Napoleoni on the road, he would kill her by “˜running over her with the car’ then flee without telling anything, pretending that nothing happened.

Never mind.






After these last sparkles and the knife waving Bongiorno’s performance was over. In the following day’s hearing it was Maori’s turn. As a really last resort, he was taking on the task of disputing evidence in a more “traditional” way, objecting to points of evidence.

Possibly this revealed even more the extreme weakness of the defensive argument (a commenter called it “˜pathetic’).  I did not listen to his argument myself,  I only notice that he did not get much space neither in the press nor in the pro-Knox commenting sites; this might be a clue of how unconvincing he might have been.

One thing that however I could learn about it, is about the feeling, the perception that Maori pointed out even more the separation between the two positions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

A hint about this comes in the words of a journalist who was questioning Alessandro Nencini in the lounge immediately after the verdict: the journalist pointed out how Sollecito defence “tried to split the positions of the two accused”.






This mild attempt of a separation was the last act by the defence. As for Raffaele Sollecito himself, we were left with his rather different claim, his book where he described himself as sticking to a “˜honour bound’.

He reportedly bragged about this also with his ex-girlfriend Kelsey Kay, who described him as feeling very entitled because of his loyalty to Amanda Knox and believing she owes him a vital a favour; but Knox won’t even respond to his messages.

Then, we had his final admission in an interview that his friendship with Amanda Knox has “˜deteriorated’, because apparently Knox in practice no longer supports him as before. 

If his defence advisors understood that they needed to somehow “˜separate’  his position from Knox’s at any cost, despite his plea, to suggest he may be implicated but just “˜less’ guilty, we may only agree with them on this. It would also be convenient for him to confess even if he shared the same degree of guilt of Knox.

Sadly, instead he still felt compelled to offer further lies and changing stories such as”˜I noticed no blood on the bathmat’ when questioned by Kate Couric; he offered again a story of pricking Meredith’s hand while cooking together at the cottage.






Other murderers, who committed even more heinous crimes, have recovered and rehabilitated themselves after time spent in prison; even some of those deemed among the worst serial killers managed to do this by expressing remorse ““ for example the rather psychopathic “˜Ludwig’ (Furlan & Abel) killers.

Sure after the years he will spend in jail for the gang-like crime he is found guilty of,  there would be a possibility for a “˜casual murderer’ such as he is to be perceived as rehabilitated.  But to see him as “˜less guilty’ or as “˜rehabilitated’ would be impossible as long as he remains silent or denies.   








Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Claims By Perpetrators & Their PR That THEY Are Victims Get Equal Pushback

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]


To the considerable pain of victims and their loved ones, Italy’s has become one of the most pro-defendant justice and penal systems in the world.

That doesn’t mean that it has become a complete pussycat. Push it, and it usually pushes back harder in its search for the truth. And the quality Italian media goes along. 

Time and again the ill-conceived short-term PR and legal tactics for Knox and Sollecito based on a hurricane of lies have left them in terms of the ultimate end-game worse off than they were before.

Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli (the judges in 2008) both took firm lines with the copious evidence and the psychological tests of AK and RS in front of them.

Both judges took a line as firm as the prosecution (as firm as the “evil Mignini”) in concluding that there was a drug-fueled hazing escalating to murder with sexual aspects (however short the timescale of the intent).

[Ed note: See comment by Yummi below which explains the above a little differently. PQ.]

Though his panel of judges voted unanimously for guilt, Judge Massei in 2009 did take a somewhat less firm line in the sentences, after observing one daffy defendant and one very nervous defendant sitting in front of him for nearly a year. Judge Massei for no especially convincing reason

(1) pinned the initiating of the attack on Rudy Guede (really?!) and

(2) handed Knox and Sollecito (and thus Guede) quite a break with his supposed “mitigating circumstances” (the duvet over Meredith’s body) resulting in 20 years lopped off their combined sentences.

Both the defenses and the PR were weak and largely futile in that year. But come 2010 the dirty tricks moved into overdrive.

Cassation reverted to the firmer line in January 2011 when it ruled on Guede’s final appeal: Guede was a party to the murder, but copious evidence proved he did not act alone. 

The Hellmann appeal court and DNA consultancy and verdict of 2011 were corrupted (counter-measures are still quietly playing out) which fully explains its startling soft line.

Thereafter the Italian courts observed the illegal blood-money binge with the essentially fictional books of Sollecito and Knox, and two years of them each claiming to ill-prepared interviewers “we’re the real victims” on TV.

Cassation observed all of this, annulled the corrupted Hellmann court verdict, and issued instructions in June 2013 to the Florence appeal court to ensure that the firm line should be maintained. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a firm line from the chief prosecutor (Crini) and a seeming firm line from the lead judge (Nencini) in recent weeks.

In the rest of this year Italy will see at minimum these events where the court’s firm line will go on and the babbling and unhelpful legal and PR tactics may finally dry up.

    1) RS and AK continuing to babble for a while on TV as they each dig the other one deeper. Sollecito has just said that his saliva or sneezing may explain why his DNA was on the clasp of the bra.

    2) The sentencing report of Judge Nencini is due at the latest on 30 April and he seems likely to give space to rebuttals of any bizarre new claims made by Knox and Sollecito before 30 April like the one just above. 

    3)  The obstruction of justice trials of witness Luciano Aviello and incessant meddlers Mario Spezi and Frank Sforza will continue, probably though into 2015. Each of those trials could result in others (like Spezi ally Doug Preston and Sforza allies Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore) being declared at minimum persons of interest if not actually charged.

    4) Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze (image above) may soon be announcing which passages in Sollecito’s book Honor Bound criminally defame Italian officials or deliberately miscontrue hard facts in evidence in an illegal attempt to to poison public opinion against the court.

    5) Similarly soon after on Amanda Knox’s book with the surreal title Waiting To Be Heard (and on Knox articles and interviews in Oggi) by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo. 

    6) Cassation’s First Chambers should be the one to handle Knox’s and Sollecito’s final appeal. They handle murder cases and they issued the guidance to Florence in 2010.

    7) If so, they should take note of such revelations by way of Judge Nencini’s and Prosecutor Crini’s reports; and this next autumn or winter may finally declare a firm “confirmed guilty” final-appeal outcome and invite Knox to come back.

And when prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze announces which claims are radiocative, hopefully a major hush will come over Heavey, Fischer, Bremner and Moore.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Power Shift In Italy Very Unfavorable To Anyone So Stupid As To Thumb Their Noses At Italian Justice

Posted by Peter Quennell




Meet 39-year-old Matteo Renzi

Mr Renzi was sworn in by the President of the Italian Republic on Saturday as the new Prime Minister of Italy. As a top German newssite remarks, he is looking like a much-needed breath of fresh air.

Mr Renzi is colorful and dynamic and very popular, and may become one of the most effective leaders in recent Italian history and a major player on the world stage. Mr Renzi comes from FLORENCE where he was the popular and effective mayor.

Unlike the Berlusconi faction in parliament (which once included Giulia Bongiorno) Mr Renzi is a big friend of law and order, police, and justice. In the image at bottom you can see him opening the huge Palace of Justice in Florence with all the top officers of the court who just organized the appeal.

This is very bad news for Sollecito and Knox and their foolish gangs, as Mr Renzi will be very unlikely to look kindly on that same Florence court - and any court in Italy including, especially, Cassation - being flouted by convicted perps and made to look weak.

If the new Minister of Justice sends an extradition request to his desk, you can bet that he’ll send it on to the United States. And the US, very keen to stay on good terms with Italy as one of its 2-3 most reliable allies, will exhibit little if any resistance to the extradition of Knox.

More bad news for Sollecito and Knox

The sardonic Italian media is paying very close attention to the ongoing game of each of them pushing the other closer to the flames, and the almost-certain prospect of the two of them and Rudy Guede explosively flying apart.

The Italian media is picking up on signs that Sollecito has become highly resentful at his on-again off-again rejection by Knox, especially as many or most in Italy believe it was Knox who wielded the big knife that killed Meredith to which the other two had maybe not signed on in advance.

There are additional pressures headed down the pike. First, Rudy Guede will be given brief study leaves soon, and under Italy’s new “clear the over-crowded prisons (somewhat)” law Guede could even soon see himself released and free to talk.

Plus the investigators examining the criminal defamation of the justice system and officers of the court by Knox and Sollecito in their exceptionally foolish books are believed very close to announcing that a case against them has been made.

Sollecito’s father on national TV has already admitted that Raffaele lied about a deal to get him off, and this on Knox seems an open & shut case. Knox and Sollecito might face additional sentences of 3 to 7 years if they keep provoking a hard line.

Here are two articles translated by Miriam which summarise (not perfectly in our terms but good enough) the signs of the growing divide and the evidence that will see Knox and Sollecito back in prison.

Vitadamamma

Amanda Knox Will Return to Italy and Go to Jail, as Will Raffaele Sollecito, While Rudy Guede Will Be Freed

This scenario is not only plausible, but seems to be the natural outcome of the last sentencing of the Mez case. Few believe that the Corte di Cassazione could overturn, again, the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence.

So Amanda Knox will return to Italy and go to jail.  For Amanda Knox, “her extradition is quite possible” Christopher Blakesely say without equivocation. He is one of the main experts on such penal proceeding in the United States.

The day after the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence, Giovanna Botteri, the RAI correspondent in the USA, reported something similar, underlining that Amanda rushed to CNN to cry all her tears didnt help.

Knox uses even the social networks to scream again her innocence, but the law says something different.

Even Italian popular opinion seems not in Amanda’s favor : Perugia,  through the social networks, has literally screamed its disagreement and displeasure against Amanda (read: L’Urlo di Perugia: a Facebook page against Knox:  from the people of Perugia)....

Rudy is at the moment the only one sentenced in jail…. How does Rudy reconstruct that night?  Rudy swears to having consensual sex with Mez.

After the intimate relation Guede went to the bathroom and from there he heard her scream, rushing to her room he found her in a pool of blood, and tried to help her. Realizing that Meredith was dead, in shock he ran away.

On the plausibility of this reconstruction, the judges had numerous doubts, to the point of finding Guede guilty and sentencing him.

This reconstruction, according to his lawyers, explains not only the biological traces of Rudy all over the crime scene but also his flight.

How does Amanda reconstruct that night?

Amanda continues to sustain that she did not wield the knife that killed Mez, that she heard her scream while she was in the kitchen and that she covered her ears like a scared child.

The “whys” are many and heavy.  Why did Amanda accused Patrick Lumumba, incarcerated for 14 days while innocent, due to her ignominious accusations? Why on the knife used for the murder are there traces of Mez and Amanda?

Knox DNA was on the handle of the knife that killed Meredith: only because she used it to cut potatoes? The alibi of the potato has always been used by Knox and her lawyers, but it is plausible?

And Raffaele Sollecito?

One of the most decisive evidence against Sollecito in the first trial was the bloody foot print on the bathroom math. In the appeal process that footprint was challenged, it was said that it could be not Sollecito’s and was ascribed to Guede with benefit of doubt .

Now it seems certain that Rudy was wearing shoes ,as is demonstrated by other prints at the scene of the crime, thus the bloody footprint goes back to being ascribed to Sollecito.

Why is Rudy Guede in jail while Amanda and Raffaele are on the loose?

After the verdict of the Corte d’Assise d’Appello of Florence the appeal to the Cassazione,  was announced, while waiting for the Cassazione, the guilty Raffaele Sollecito had to hand over his passport in order to make it impossible for him to leave Italy.

Right after the sentence Sollecito was stopped in Udine about 60km from the Italy/Austrian border and about 40km from the Slovenian border.

Before the verdict of Corte D’Assise d’Appello of Florence Sollecito was a free man, and therefore legally in possession of a passport and the right to cross the border.

Sollecito, instead of waiting for the verdict in the court room, around 12 o’clock that day left with his new girlfriend and arrived in Udine [in north-east Ital]..

Around night time during a snow storm the two of them took refuge in an hotel , and the owner recognizing Sollecito by name, alerted the police that promptly arrived in order to confiscate Sollecito’s passport as decided by the Court.

Sollecito told the media that he had no intention of fleeing the Country.

One can ask what Sollecito was doing in Udine then, a few hours after his guilty verdict. To excuse Sollecito one can perhaps say that the young man was overpowered by anguish and fear, in fact up to today

Sollecito had never seemed to want to evade justice, instead he was usually in the Courtroom.

Amanda in contrast was not sanctioned with any precautionary measures.  She arrived in America as a free citizen after the not guilty verdict.

Now,  if and when the Cassazione confirms the verdict of the last proceeding, America needs to extradite Amanda and remit her in the hands of the Italian Justice… 

America is tied to Italy by sanction accords by name of international laws, thus if the Cassazione upholds the guilty verdict, Amanda must return to Italy. Nothing makes one think that America could oppose an extradition.

Rudy Guede is the only guilty one in jail at the moment.  His detention was confirmed after a fast track trial, decided by his layers, and his detention was 16 years in jail. (with time off for the fast track trial)

Not many know that while the doors of the prison may soon open for Amanda and Raffaele,, for Rudy instead “freedom” may be close by.

Thanks to the new decree passed last December by the Parliament, Rudy could leave the prison where he is detained. Guede is one of 3 thousand detainees who could benefit from the “empty the prisons” decree.

 

Menti Informatiche

Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox are close to a break up after the sentencing..

Raffaele wrote Amanda a letter saying: “Amanda I am tired. I don’t want to be punished, neither do I want to continue to give justifications for matters that concern you and not me”.

Amanda says “I understand him but: I want to say that Raffaele is not my slave and I am not his oppressor. Raffaele has many reasons to be resentful, but not with me.”

The bond between the two, accused of the homicide of Meredith Kercher, is cracking. A bond that lasted from that horrible night of November1st 2007, when in a house in Perugia, via della Pergola, their English friend was savagely killed.

Looking at a concrete possibility that the Judges of the Cassazione will confirm the sentencing which condemned Amanda and Raffaele to 28 years of jail for her and 26 for him, the two ex-lovers are starting to distance themselves from each other.

Amanda took a picture of herself holding a sign that read “we are innocent” so as to underline a common faith, from which Raffaele can’t dissociate. Not anymore.

Raffaele after six years may be starting to understand that being Amanda’s “fiancé” did not help him at all. He said this to Giulio, in an interview a few months ago, and now in an interview to CNN:

In the Judges head I must be guilty because I was Amanda’s boy-friend. It does not make any sense for me. According to the Judges because in some way I supported Amanda, I must be implicated. According to me this is aberrant. My standing has not been just ignored, but completely forgotten. In all the proceedings I was not part of them unless for the scientific investigations.

For many, many hearings the topic was my DNA, but nobody said nothing of the reason why I was accused of the homicide except the fact that I was Amanda’s boy-friend and because I was with her very often and spent many nights with her, I had to be in some way connected with the homicide.

Is Raffaele’s defense thinking of ditching the girl? Is Raffaele ready to tell the truth of what happened that night? Now Raffaele is in Bari, and is thinking over what happened to him. He reveals:

I discussed with my friends and family the possibility of going abroad a year ago, but I cannot accept the fact of leaving all the people who are dear to me for a theory. I had no motive to hurt Meredith Kercher.

Now I have no light in my future. They took away my passport and I.D. card, and I do not know if I can realize my dreams, or anything I want to do. I do not accept that my future is destroyed.

Too often, though, Amanda and Raffaele forget to mention that Meredith’s life really was destroyed.

Against Amanda and Raffaele there are scientific evidence, bloody footprints on the floor, DNA on the bra clasp and knife, and the many contradictions in their alibis.

From the beginning their behavior caused the carabinieri to be suspicious of them.

Without forgetting the spontaneous confession of Amanda of being in the house while her friend was being murdered. “I have a vision of being in the kitchen, covering my ears while they kill her.” She even gave the name of the killer Patrick Lumumba, her boss, who was then discovered to be innocent.

The attempt to divert the investigation, pointing the finger against an innocent man, is evidence of the quilt of Amanda.

Even Raffaele changed versions more than once. In one of the interrogations he said Amanda was not with him that night and arrived at his apartment in the early hours of the morning. He then said he smoked too much marijuana and could not recall what happened that night.

In the meantime Rudy Guede, 27 years old, condemned to 16 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, with others, writes:

Now that my verdict is definite, for too long the judicial reasoning have been subjected to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings…  I would like to point out that I do not accept being labeled as a homeless man,  drifter, and a thief; when instead I had a splendid family and precious and clean friendships in Perugia.

Amanda Knox’s defense team wants to pass him off as a habitual thief. Rudy adds: ” “Meredith’s house was turned upside down, someone simulated a break in. I was not condemned for this simulated break-in.”

If it was not Rudy, then who?



Friday, February 21, 2014

The US Lacks Legal Authority To Decline To Deliver A Guilty Knox To Italian Authorities

Posted by TomM



[Rome airport; exceedingly rare for those convicted of Italian crimes not to be sent back via here]


The reporting on this case has, with few exceptions, been poor.

Recent reporting on whether the US would extradite Amanda Knox continues that tradition, ranging from assertions that “sources” within the State Department say they would never extradite her, to claims that the risk of extradition is real, but that the Secretary of State has the discretion to refuse to extradite.

If the Secretary of State actually has this discretion, it must be grounded in the law.

That means it must be found in the Constitution, or in an act of Congress, or in a treaty—all of which constitute the “law of the land”.  Beyond authorizing the President to make treaties, with the consent of two thirds of the Senate, the Constitution sheds no further light.

The only act of Congress dealing with extradition of US citizens is Title 18, United States Code, section 3196; a bit of background first.

There is no uniform US extradition treaty.  Each treaty is separately negotiated with the other sovereign nation.  Historically, many of the treaties entered into by the US contained clauses providing that neither country was obligated to extradite its own citizens.

Notwithstanding this, the US had extradited US nationals on the basis of discretion to extradite even though extradition was not required by the language of the treaty.  But in 1936 the US Supreme Court held that if the treaty does not “obligate” the requested party to extradite its own citizens, the Secretary of State does not have the discretion to deliver the person sought to the requesting country.  [Valentine v. United States ex rel. Neidecker 299 U.S. 8]

In 1990, Congress passed 18 U.S.C § 3196, captioned “Extradition of United States citizens:”

“If the applicable treaty or convention does not obligate the United States to extradite its citizens to a foreign country, the Secretary of State may, nevertheless, order the surrender to that country of a United States citizen whose extradition has been requested by that country if the other requirements of that treaty or convention are met.”

That is the full extent of Congressional action on extradition of US citizens; there is no Congressional grant of discretion to the Secretary of State to decline extradition in the face of a treaty obligation.

Some US extradition treaties contain clauses that give the requested country the discretion not to extradite its own citizens; perhaps that is where the idea that the Secretary of State has discretion not to extradite Knox comes from.

Here, for example, is a clause from the US-Sweden treaty:

“There is no obligation upon the requested State to grant extradition of a person who is a national of the requested State, but the executive authority of the requested State shall, subject to the appropriate laws of that State, have the power to surrender a national of that State if, in its discretion, it be deemed proper to do so.”

The treaty with Italy is short (ten pages) and written in plain language.  The treaty has commences with Article I, captioned “Obligation to Extradite”:

“The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the authorities of the Requesting Party have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.”

The cover letter of the Secretary of State to then-President Reagan explains:  “Article I obligates each State to extradite to the other, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty, any persons charged with or convicted”¦”. (emphasis added)

There are mandatory grounds for refusal, such as political or military acts, double jeopardy (if the person sought has already been tried by the requested State for the same offense), or if the prosecution or penalty is time-barred in the requesting State.

There is just one discretionary ground: if the country requested is also prosecuting the person sought for the same act.

Article 4 provides:

“A Requested Party shall not decline to extradite a person because such a person is a national of the Requested Party.”

Thus, any discretion to deny extradition implied by 18 USC 3196 has no application to requests made under this treaty.  Further, although some appellate cases have treated some issues regarding extradition of nationals differently, they fairly firmly hold to the difference in the meaning of mandatory words like “shall” and “obligate” on the one hand, and discretionary or permissive words like “may”.

Comments to the effect that the US has declined extradition to Italy in the past are superficial and uninformed.

The first illustration such commentators cite is that of the Air Force pilot who severed a ski lift cable, causing multiple deaths.  That was not an extraditable offense under the treaty because of double jeopardy; the pilot had been court martialed.  Although his acquittal enraged Italians, the pilot had already been tried by the US, and thus his case fell under the mandatory ground to denial of extradition specified in the treaty.

The other example mentioned is that of the CIA operatives who were prosecuted in absentia for the abduction of Abu Omar in Milan.  The Italian Minister of Justice refused, during both the Berlusconi and Prodi administrations, requests of the Milan court to commence extradition proceedings.  In Italy, the courts and the government are independent, and the courts lack power to compel government to make a request for extradition.

Even if the Italian government had made an extradition request, there is at least a colorable argument to be made that this was in the nature of a military act in the US war on terror, thus constituting a mandatory ground of refusal.

Thus, if Italy requests the extradition of Amanda Knox, the US lacks legal authority to decline to deliver her to Italian authorities.  If the US government wants to avoid extraditing her, it will have to rely on diplomacy rather than law.  In other words, it will need to convince the Italian government not to make an extradition request in the first place.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Our First Reviews Of The Painstaking BBC-3 Report First Aired In The UK On 17 February

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Review by SomeAlibi

Watching “Is Amanda Knox Guilty” was a funny thing. I suspect for people following the case closely, on either side, it was a sobering experience. Not because it changed perspectives, but simply to see how quickly one hour passed and the necessary trade offs that had to be made to fit within that schedule. The opportunity cost was a level of detail to which in-depth followers have become accustomed.

Just one example: Sollecito and Knox’s partial alibi that they were checking their emails on the night of November 1st was explained as being challenged by two broken computers. Perhaps, (although unlikely to be the material issue) but where was the much more salient fact that their ISP records showed that was conclusively untrue? Where was the challenge: if you say you’re checking emails to establish part of your alibi against a murder and it is shown to be absolutely untrue, what does that suggest…?

There were many other “clinchers” that had to be let go in the name of brevity. But it wasn’t that sort of documentary - it was neither a case for the prosecution or a case for the defence: it put the main suggestions at the level of detail that was possible and it allowed both sides to speak to the points at that level of detail.

I find it interesting that there has been such a howl of bias from those supporting Knox and Sollecito. Objectively there’s no good ground for it: the documentary allowed both sides forward in equal measure and no pro-justice watcher would celebrate it as a pro-conviction piece.

The arguments were balanced, the video, audio and picture quality eye-opening. For those on the other side, their markedly different reaction appears to be that the documentary has broken the taboo that The Evidence Shall Not be Told. The idea that there is an easy-to-consume piece that puts forth the case and defence equally is seen as a disaster.

The campaign for Knox continues to be obsessed, beyond all things, with trying but now failing to make sure the public doesn’t know the basis of the case. For a long time they hoped to drown out the multitude of terribly inconvenient truths within it by screaming “no evidence”. ‘Is Amanda Knox Guilty’ put the lie to that conclusively, but fairly, and now many hundreds of thousands, perhaps soon to be millions will ask themselves why those supporting Knox and Sollecito have had to adopt this tactic at all.

If they really are innocent, why has the case against them been so comprehensively white-washed in the US?

The conclusion, is rather simple and I saw it encapsulated on a large television screen last night with the repeated clips of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito outside the cottage kissing and “comforting” each other: there for a fraction of a second, shown several times, is Amanda Knox, unable to stop herself glancing at the camera filming her and stealing her gaze away again very quickly pretending she hasn’t.

It’s a look that says everything: furtive, pretending it didn’t happen, immediately covering up in a way that poses a stark proposition: why on earth would you do that if you had nothing to hide?  And like so much of the multiple collapsing alibis and non-working answers and the desperately dishonest fingers-in-the-ear “no-evidence” pretence of those supporting her, is a proposition that can withstand no scrutiny.

Review by SeekingUnderstanding

What a relief to watch a very clear and unbiased narrative. The quality of the visual information was top rate - seeing so much original footage, and presented as it was in a logical time sequence.

Even though I was already familiar with the evidence, including the photographic material, I found it very helpful to see it all presented in this way. I appreciated, too, hearing and seeing the excerpts in original Italian (along with English translations). It added even more authenticity.

I hope that, at long last, this will have helped some - or hopefully many- people to see that the two ‘camps’ in this case do not divide into AK supporters and AK ‘haters’. There are the FoA and their followers ...and there are the others who seek the objective truth and justice.

If hate has been generated in some quarters, then the Knox (and Sollecito) camps need to look to themselves and their own behaviour. This programme was important in the tone it set.

I actually found it to be quite lenient towards the defence on a number of counts.

There were several instances where the defence point of view could have been strongly countered by known and established facts, but, bending over in fairness, these were left unanswered.

Here are just four instances :

1) In the discussion around the blood and DNA left in the bathroom - Dr. Gino’s assertion that ‘the blood/DNA ‘could have come from anywhere’ might have been countered with AK’s own declaration that the bathroom was previously clean. Dr. Gino also suggested a very improbable scenario of ‘it could be saliva’ (on the bidet?). Cassation emphatically said that it must be shown HOW any suggested contamination could have occurred.

2) There was a missed opportunity in discussing the knife presumed to be the murder weapon to mention Sollecito’s lame, unreal excuse of ‘Meredith pricked her hand’ etc.

3) Anne Bremner stated ‘Amanda could not have turned overnight…into a murderer’. Attention could have been drawn to many things, both physical events (her predilection for cruel pranks, including a staged burglary in the US, and wild parties, etc), and also many psychological indicators that would have clearly shown how her behaviour has, in fact, demonstrated consistency.

4) In the discussion re the bra clasp, the delay partially being caused by the defence themselves was not mentioned. Also, detailed discussion re the one bare footprint on the bathmat was omitted.

Since there is, in fact, so much evidence, it must have been difficult to chose and balance what did go into the hour long programme. All in all, I feel Andrea Vogt and her team worked hard, and did very well to let the facts speak for themselves.

I hope it will lay a few fictions and myths to rest.






Review by Earthling

What is the “Amanda Knox trial” (really the Meredith Kercher murder trial) really about? Is it about an innocent 20-year-old pretty white girl being railroaded by the medieval Italian justice system?

Or is this actually a murder trial, about the fact that a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious young woman, innocently trying to improve her life by study abroad, was brutally murdered?

I believe it’s the latter, and the BBC3 production gives us one of the first truly balanced reports on this trial.

The filmmaker starts from the beginning, and takes us through the murder, investigation, and various trials and appeals up to the present day. Instead of the breathless “Perils of Penelope” tone (toward Amanda Knox) that most such previous “documentaries” have taken, this one takes a sober look at the actual evidence.

Did you realize that there are luminol-revealed bare footprints in Knox’s size in the apartment? Luminol reveals blood and a few other substances; but those substances can be ruled out because the test was done six weeks after the murder, by which time those substances would have dissipated.

Blood doesn’t dissipate. This documentary shows you those bloody footprints in all their creepy glory, something never shown on American TV before.

“Is Amanda Knox Guilty” also speaks of the actual DNA evidence in the cottage linking Knox to the murder, including five mixed-DNA spots (Knox and Kercher) that tested positive for blood. Both prosecution- and defense-oriented experts are allowed to comment on this evidence, and the viewer is allowed to make up his or her own mind.

My one criticism is that a lot of the evidence against Knox (witness statements, cell phone data, fake break-in) is skimmed over or not even mentioned. Also, because the documentary quotes Rudy Guede’s position at length without any contradictory narrative, it is confusing as to whether the filmmaker might have believed him.

In the end, the filmmaker says, he was convicted of participating in the group murder. However, a stronger statement against his “I’m entirely innocent” defense would have been good.

Other than these quibbles, this is the best documentary on the Meredith Kercher murder case that I have ever seen.

Review by ZiaK

I watched the BBC programme on the Meredith Kercher case hoping for a more balanced view of the case than has been presented in the English-speaking media to date.

The documentary does present some of the evidence against Knox and Sollecito - including the bloody footprints, the mixed blood/DNA traces in the bathroom and corridor, the bra clasp, the knife DNA evidence, the strange timings of phone calls to police, the unlikelihood of the “break-in” being anything other than staged - but omits to point out that none of the other flatmates’ DNA was found in the blood traces, so saying that “it’s because Meredith and Amanda shared a flat” is misleading.

Nor does it point out that, although the murder knife was found in Sollecito’s flat, none of HIS DNA was found on it: it had only Amanda’s and Meredith’s DNA.

The programme didn’t cover the cell-phone evidence, showing that neither Knox nor Sollecito were where they said they were, at the times that they claimed. The programme also repeated the “Friends of Amanda” PR soundbites, such as “there was no evidence of Amanda in the murder room” - whereas the fact that her footsteps tracked blood OUT of the room are actually evidence of her having been present IN the room before it was locked (i.e. at the time of the murder).

Furthermore, in my opinion, the narrator’s voice seemed to evince sympathy towards Amanda, rather than describing events with a passive or objective tone of voice.

As one of the translators who has participated in translating case documents (such as the judges’ reports describing why they came to their decisions), I am only too aware of the extent of evidence against Knox and Sollecito, and I would like to see knowledge of this evidence become more widespread throughout the English-speaking world.

The BBC programme is a step towards this, but in my mind, only a very small step. I hope the pace will pick up soon, and more objective and extensive knowledge of the true facts of this case will be made available to everyone so they can form a rational opinion of the case based on true understanding.






Review by Cynthia

I’ve just watched this, and it’s very good - with a huge amount of footage hitherto unseen (directed by Andrea Vogt).

For what it’s worth, I note the following points:

1) There’s no mention of Meredith’s friends who heard Amanda say ‘she fucking bled to death’ before the fact was known to anyone else. Perhaps they didn’t testify, being too distressed? If so, it’s a great pity, because it seems a veritable clincher that hasn’t been used at all.

2) The bra DNA arguments are quite extraordinary. If we can determine that we all have Neanderthal DNA (tho’ I know a lot of American fundamentalists don’t believe that mankind goes back more than 6,000 years!) I can’t for the life of me see why DNA would be unusable after a poxy delay of 12 days ...

3) The argument that the Luminol traces may indicate not barefoot treading in blood but in bleach seems absolutely unbelievable to anyone who does housework (like me!) Bleach is horrible stuff, and you really, really don’t want to be getting it on your bare skin. Even Amanda, with her vestigial domestic skills, would have noticed if she’d trodden in it.

4) Bremner says Amanda was an honor student. She wasn’t; she had funded herself (not that that’s discreditable). (Also, are honor students unable to write cursive script? The shots of her handwriting show that she can’t do joined-up writing. [Or thinking.] I don’t know whether the phrase exists in American English, but not doing joined-up writing is a term of great intellectual contempt in English.)

5) We saw Amanda’s ‘mask’ speech. This is really interesting - who would even think that masks were being put on them if they weren’t using them themselves?

6) The programme mentions the little-reported fact that another, smaller knife found at Sollecito’s also had Meredith’s DNA on it.

7) The film omits to mention Hellman’s lack of any experience in criminal trials.

8) Every shot of Amanda in the film has her talking about ‘me’ and ‘I’. She never, ever mentions Meredith - it’s all about HER suffering. She never even says ‘the murderer is out there - I wish you’d stop persecuting me and get them’.

Presumably this is because Guede is supposed to be the sole murderer - and nobody seems in the slightest bit worried that there’s no murder weapon with HIS DNA on it! (Yes, there are his turds - but that wasn’t what killed Meredith.)

9) FOA has used the fact that the recent jury took 12 hours to deliberate over the verdict as an indication that they couldn’t agree. But why not just that they were being extremely careful and re-examining everything?

10) Finally, just an observation: Maresca speaks the most beautiful Italian - you can hear every word calmly flowing past.

Review by Miriam

Much appreciated. Outside of the Porta a Porta transmissions on the case, the best I’ve seen.

I understand they had to give both sides, but I felt that the defense came out on the losing side. I thought it funny that it was implied that since they only tested for blood it could of been saliva.

I don’t believe even her supporters would argue that Knox was so quirky as to brush her teeth in the bidet! Or maybe she spit in the bidet, in which case Meredith would have had every reason to complain about her bathroom habits!

Now if only this or something like this would air in the U.S.






Review by Sara

This is actually one of the most objective and well-researched reports I have seen on the case and I am very happy that BBC has managed to be so unbiased.

It presents both sides of the story equally well and does an excellent job of countering the extremely silly “no evidence” argument that the FOAkers like to repeat at equal intervals.

Regardless of what one believes, I think the documentary will at least succeed in convincing most people that there is indeed sufficient evidence against the two of them, and Italy’s judicial system is not crazy to convict people without any evidence.

My favourite part was when the defense DNA expert (can’t recall her name) tried to explain away the mixed blood evidence by saying that one of them could have had a nose bleed, and the other could have cut her hand in the same place leading to mixed blood.

Come on already, what are we? Kindergartens making excuses for not handing in homework? What is the possibility that both of them would bleed in exactly the same places not once or twice but multiple times? I think anyone with a bit of sense can see that they are clutching at straws.

However, I was a bit disappointed that few things were missed out. For instance, the fact that Guede’s footprints led straight out of the house, the fact that Amanda’s lamp was found without any obvious reason in Meredith’s room, Amanda’s extremely odd midnight call to her mom that she conveniently “forgot”, her million showers despite her concern towards “water conservation” etc.

Sollecito’s multiple changing stories were not really elaborated upon (the story in which he went to a party, the one in which he checked emails, the one in which he pricked Meredith etc etc).

Also, inconsistencies between their accounts of various events could have been pointed out (Was Filomena’s door open or close? Did AK call Filomena from the cottage or from Sollecito’s house? etc).

Witness accounts were not given any screen space either. I think touching upon these would have made the documentary even more impressive.

That said, I understand that the team has done the best they would within the limited time they had, and everything just cannot be accommodated within one hour.

So, all in all, kudos to the team and BBC for a job well done.

Review by Odysseus

I though it was a very competent overview of the case. After so much pro-defendant spin in the MSM (no doubt engineered by the American defendant’s PR outfit), it was refreshing to have a sane, measured and rational presentation. The victim deserves no less.

Congratulations to BBC3 and to the programme makers. It’s good to know that the BBC of blessed memory hasn’t been entirely dumbed-down nor intimidated by “partial outside interests”, the latter being director Andrea Vogt’s own description of the forces intent on muddying the waters in this case.





Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Congratulations To The BBC For A Report Emphasizing The Sheer Extensiveness Of The Evidence

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[From the BBC report: Meredith the night before the cruel, deadly attack with her Halloween friends]


This is the painstaking and obviously expensive report by Andrea Vogt and Paul Russell with interviews in London, Seattle and Perugia.

It was aired by the BBC on 17 February. Considerable time is allocated to defense lawyers and experts and the Knox family and Ann Bremner of the FOA taking their best shots at explaining how Knox could maybe have not been involved.

Still, the sheer mass of the evidence remains as the 80,000 pound elephant in the room, lacking any hint of a realistic alternative explanation. Three people committed the horrific attack, including Rudy Guede and two others.

Only Knox and Sollecito remain pointed to by dozens of evidence points as those two others. Not one single evidence point indicates anyone else was involved. The Masssei trial court got it right as the Nencini appeal court just confirmed.

We will enquire if we can embed the hour-long video. But as it may be picked up by US and other foreign media outlets, we will start by simply summarizing it soon.  Assessents by those who have already seen it are welcomed.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Hard Questions By Italian Journalist Giuseppe Castellini For Sollecito

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above: Giuseppe Castellini of Giornale dell Umbria has long exposed the Knox/Sollecito lies]

1. Overview Of Italian Media Takes

The fast-growing satires of Knox and Sollecito in Italy described in our previous post are not just emerging in a vacuum. 

The many tough crime-show comperes and crime reporters in Italy have rarely let Knox or Sollecito get away with any of their lies. One example was when Bruno Vespa, the host of Porta a Porta, Italy’s most popular crime show, forced Francesco Sollecito to admit to Italy that his son lied extensively in Honor Bound. Another example is when Oggi published some of Knox’s lies and they were rapidly exposed. For seemingly endorsing Knox’s lies Oggi will face trial for obstruction of justice. 

There are countless other examples where Sollecito and Knox have been exposed as liars. The super-sharp editor of the Giornale dell Umbria, Giuseppe Castellini, has just published this challenge to Sollecito who had absurdly had claimed that nobody ever wanted to ask him any questions in court.

2. Giuseppe Castellini Questions RS

The translation is by Miriam. 

Murder of Meredith:  a few questions for Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito, found guilty and condemned to 25 years by the Appeals Court of Florence, for the murder of the English student Meredith Kercher (for the same crime Amanda Knox was also found guilty and Rudy Guede is already serving a definite sentence of 16 years) has stated that he was never questioned in court, because no one ever asked him.

For the record and in order to have a complete picture at, it should be remembered that during the investigation, Sollecito twice took advantage of his right to not respond to the questions of the PM Mignini.

So if it’s true that the prosecutors, in all the trials never asked to question him in court, neither did he ask to be, limiting himself to giving several times making spontaneous statements, without being cross examined.

However, this is not the real point. The fact is that Raffaele could not or did not want to respond to the questions of the investigators.

His version was always brought forth in detail by his lawyers, obviously, but that is not the same thing.

Important questions remain to which Raffaele did not answer directly during cross examination by the Prosecutors.  Let’s try to summarize some crucial unanswered ones. Who knows if Raffaele will ever decide to respond in detail right here on these pages even though ““ at the moment ““ it seems improbable. We address him directly, sure that he reads these pages.

1. The first time that you were questioned in Questura you said that the first of November 2007 (Meredith was murdered the night between the first and the second of November) after a walk through downtown Perugia (before that you and Amanda have been in the house in via della Pergola). You came home around 08.00pm while Amanda come back much later around 01.00am, you then changed your version saying that you had always been together.  Your first statement seem like a distancing from Amanda, in those hours nobody knows what she did, while the second one has a complete different flavor.  Why did you radically changed your version?

2. It’s proved by the findings (even if your lawyers contested it) that the computer in your house was activated for about half an hour from 05.32am till little after 06.00am of the second of November.  For the experts of the Police it was certainly a human interaction.  You, instead declare that you and Amanda were sleeping.  So who was it then that was using your PC at that hour? 

3. Your and Amanda’s cell phones were turned off at the same time around 08.40pm of the first of November and they were turned on, practically at the same time, a little after 06.00am of the second of November (at that time you received the “good night” sms sent from your father the night before).  How do you explain all this? 

4. You stated that you were not in the house in via della Pergola.  How it is possible that your DNA is on the bra clasp (17 loci that shows your genetic profile, and for the father of Italian genetics, Prof. Vescovi, that with the current processes are not only enough, but more than enough to match your DNA).  And why did luminol revealed a bare right foot print compatible with yours, in addition to the one on the bathmat in the small bathroom? (the size of the big toe, just to point out one thing, is just like yours, while Rudy’s is a lot smaller).

5. Why, if Rudy was the only assassin, in the corridor would he cancel only the bare foot prints, leaving in plain sight always his, but left with the shoe print of his left foot?  Doesn’t it come to mind that whoever cleaned up the prints thought to cancel theirs (specifically the ones ascribed to you and Amanda) leaving behind those recognizable as Rudy’s?

6. You and Amanda were seen by the homeless Antonio Curatolo late the night of the murder and Amanda was seen by the shopkeeper ““ that knew you well and already saw you with Amanda ““ enter in the shop at about 07.45am to buy something and go back toward piazza Grimana.  You and Amanda say that at that hour you were sleeping in your house. Is there something that can demonstrate this, that up to now has slipped away and that would give you the missing alibi?


3. Questions For RS Of Our Own

We have advanced plenty of questions for the evasive Sollecito of our own. Here are seven examples.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Italy The Faux Self Pity Of Knox And Sollecito Is Increasingly Becoming A National Joke

Posted by Peter Quennell



Meet Amanda Knox the Perugian Chipmunk version.

Knox’s Facebook page is also being satirised and ridiculed (one message there reads “Perugia Hates You”.) Some may actually believe the rumor that Knox is shopping herself around for salacious movies.

Sollecito being nabbed at the Austrian border because of a quick tip to the police also inspired sarcastic humor in Italy, and several journalists have come up with questions to challenge Sollecito when he gets on the stand, as he so desperately wants or says he does.

We expect some more Italian satire (and maybe not only Italian) and will report on that as well, as this long-needed and much-deserved hit-back against dishonest pandering to media audiences could prove an important trend.

If satire proves the way to stop RS and AK babbling lies daily about the case and Italian justice via every craven media outlet, then well done Italy!! Nothing else seems to work to shut the two up, although their false claims and smears could constitute obstruction of justice.

If Knox and Sollecito want to avoid being spoofed, they have two very easy ways to do so: (1) shut up and avoid the media, or (2) stick to telling the truth.


Admired Feminist On Knox As Ice-Cold And Media’s Hit & Miss Performance On The Case

Posted by Peter Quennell





This is a key part (please read it all) from the great Victoria Brownworth’s Trial by Media - The Case of Amanda Knox

Is Knox guilty? Two long, complicated trials have said yes. Knox’s massive PR machine”“much like Simpson’s”“says no. That PR machine also ignores the fact that Knox falsely accused a black man of the murder and that he spent time in prison solely because of her accusation that she saw him take Kercher into the bedroom and heard her scream””while she, Knox, did nothing.

Angelina Antoinetti, Knox’s personal prison guard, told reporters after the conviction on Jan. 31 that Knox has reinvented herself for the media.

“Now she’s become this TV star, who cares passionately about what happened to her “˜friend’ Meredith Kercher, and wants the truth to come out. She’s painting herself as a warm, loving human being, but the Amanda I knew was so composed, I never saw her suffering and other prisoners and staff called her the Ice Maiden.”

Antoinetti said Knox “never, ever talked of Meredith or expressed emotion about her death. Whenever Meredith’s face came on TV she didn’t want to know and didn’t respond. She was impenetrable. Underneath the veneers she remains the same controlled woman I knew well in Capanne prison. She was so composed, I never saw her suffering.”

Antoinetti said that Knox “became attached to me. I opened her cell each morning and shut her in at night. She liked English music like the Beatles and always sang. She had guitar lessons, too.”

Knox was “unlike any other prisoner,” Antoinetti said. “I’ve never seen another girl like her, especially so young. She’s magnetic and manipulative. She had no emotions for people, only books. She never talked to other prisoners, she was only concerned about her world. Even when they freed her after the appeal, she didn’t speak to a single person she had just spent four years with, just walked out.

That’s not human, is it?”

And that is the question for many: Who is the real Amanda Knox?

As with the Simpson trial, the media has played a huge role in the Knox case. The U.K. papers labeled Knox “Foxy Knoxy” while the Italian papers played up Knox’s sexual history and the more lurid sexual elements of the case”“the assertion that the murder was a drug-fueled sex game gone wrong.

In the U.S. ABC News has been a virtual PR firm for Knox, devoting hours of time on both 20/20 and Good Morning America as well as the actual ABC Nightly News promoting Knox’s innocence. Diane Sawyer did a heavily promoted hour-long interview with Knox when she was released from prison in 2011. And when the Jan. 31 conviction came in, on her ABC Nightly News broadcast, Sawyer led with “the American girl” Amanda Knox”“even though Knox is 26. A full six minutes of broadcast time was devoted to Knox”“including video of her singing and playing guitar. When has a national news network treated a twice-convicted murderer in such a manner?

The two media portraits of Knox”“the sex-obsessed sexual manipulator she’s been portrayed as being by the European media and the pristine girl-next-door innocent-abroad the U.S. media has presented conflict, obviously. But what has been lost in the emphasis on Knox as the victim of the story is the actual murder victim, Meredith Kercher.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Much-Demonized Rudy Guede Is Back In The News And Increasingly Threatening

Posted by Peter Quennell





Rudy Guede has long DELIBERATELY been demonized so that the attack on Meredith can be assigned to him alone.

This description of Guede’s early days in the Ivory Coast and Perugia in the excellent Darkness Descending by Paul Russell and Graham Johnson remains the ONLY one that fully checks out. Certainly not that by the dishonest PR shill Nina Burleigh.

Guede wasn’t especially an angel, and some in Perugia were iffy about him. But he had real friends, and up north he held a real job with a real career future, until that prospect imploded and sent him haplessly back to Perugia.

Late in October 2008 Judge Micheli discounted all that Guede ever said about his role in the attack on Meredith in various conversations and statements, and sentenced Guede to 30 years.

But Judge Micheli also concluded that there was no firm evidence either that Guede acted alone or that Guede was a drifter, drug dealer, knife wielder or burglar (Micheli was very sharp with one witness who claimed Guede may - may - have broken into his house).

In 2009 through his lawyers Guede enquired of the prosecution whether he might testify at the Knox-Sollecito trial.

But the prosecutions’ hands were already tied by the indictments and they (rightly) believed they had a really strong case regardless of anything Guede could add.

At the 2009 trial the defenses pussyfooted around and never settled for a firm position on Guede. They floundered in their subdued attempts to prove that Guede or somebody else unknown was the so-called Lone Wolf.

The Lone Wolf theory is really a zombie theory with so many stakes through its heart that no court will ever take it seriously.

Guede’s steadfast fallback position before and since was that he was only in the house on the night of the attack because Meredith invited him to come in and they began love-making.

At his late-2009 first appeal and also at Sollecito’s and Knox’s 2011 appeal before Judge Hellmann, he increasingly firmly pointed the finger at Knox and Sollecito as the murderers.

Guede had been initially inclined to let sleeping dogs lie after he was mysteriously beaten up in the sex offenders wing of Viterbo prison, where prisoners are meant to be kept very safe.

But Judge Massei’s scenario of the attack on Meredith in his March 2010 Sentencing Report, with Rudy Guede as the lead instigator, really bothered him.

And in mid 2010 he became even more bothered when claims were made by a fellow prisoner the baby killer Mario Alessi that Guede confided that he really had committed the murder, along with two others. Not with Knox and Sollecito.

A very angry Rudy Guede in turn wrote a letter denying this which very rapidly went public.

In 2011 there was a tense confrontation in the Hellmann court (which several times descended into chaos) when this letter, in which by now Guede firmly accuses Knox and Sollecito, was read out for him.

Guede stuck to this position on the stand, and he was not required to face full cross-examination by the shrill, frustrated defenses because he was already convicted and no longer the one on trial. 

Seemingly fed up with all the dirty tricks against him and the now-incessant Knox and Sollecito mantras in the media that Guede had acted alone, he has come out with another letter.

Italy’s AGI News Service has posted this letter to an unidentified recipient, along with this report.

(AGI) Perugia, February 11 “Against me are being repeated false imaginated reconstructions of the crime for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way, in the public eye and not just in Italy.”

He apparently also posted what he wrote in his own hand on the Facebook page “Legal processes and their surroundings”...

The letter is on a sheet of notebook paper handwritten and signed by Guede.

“To my regret I am again forced to take a pen and paper and write for the sake of the truth.. to all those thousands of people who still believe in justice.”

“They can not access all the pleadings and components of this sad and extremely complex legal case which was dramatically painful for those who lived it . My sentence and judicial reasoning have been for too long subject to a continuous and willful manipulation and alteration of the data of the proceedings.”

“Against me are made continuous false and imaginary reconstructions for the sole purpose of wanting to denigrate my figure and person, systematically and in a negative way in the public eye and not just the Italian.”

“In the final judgment, as far as I’m concerned about these false and imaginative reconstructions, is that I was acquitted of theft and simulation of crime, a fact that I never hear mentioned in the various journalistic reconstructions.”

“I also want to point out I do not accept in any way to be passed off and continually held up as a drifter, a thief, a homeless man, seeing my person and my dignity offended continually, denigrated and stereotyped by facts and things that do not realte to me… when I had a beautiful family and precious squeaky clean and friendly relations in Perugia.”

Fast-forward to today, where reports say that Guede is getting close to day-release for study purposes and may only be months away from making more evidence against Sollecito and Knox public.

Our posting lawyer TomM has looked at the issue of Guede being allowed out to study, and finds it regular and humane in this assessment.

I respect the Italian system of criminal justice. Just as I recognize that the Italian courts have much better information than anyone posting on the internet relating to the culpability of the defendants in this case, I also think that the people who oversee Guede’s stay in prison are better informed as to his fitness to be reintegrated into society. That he would be allowed out during work days to become better educated, returning to his prison cell at the end of the day seems to me a more enlightened approach than what we do here.

We used to have training programs in prisons. I don’t know that they were “cushy”, but they did work, so that when these convicts were released they were equipped with a marketable skill and rarely re-offended. But, the public thinks these were too cushy, so more Draconian circumstances and longer sentences are now the norm. It used to be people were sent to prison as punishment, now they are sent for punishment.

Sometimes when a prisoner who has spent his or her entire adult life in prison completes the sentence imposed, they have to be physically dragged from their cells, so ill-prepared are they for anything other than doing time. With no skills, social or job-related, they re-offend—surprise, surprise. Sometimes re-offense is for the purpose of being returned a world that, for all its dangers is, to them, relative safety.

While it is certainly true that prison doesn’t have much impact on sociopaths, the one thing they are attached to is money. Taking away their money does impact their behavior, so there is an alternative to killing them.


Friday, February 07, 2014

The Hubristic, Meanspirited Campaign: What Sort Of Life Has It Left Knox And Sollecito Now?

Posted by lauowolf





Sometimes it can be frightening to see how people’s self-interested choices turn around to bite them instead.

Had Knox and Sollecito simply told the truth to begin with, this case would have been only a nasty local story in Italy, with a bit of light coverage in Seattle and London. They would have had to accept some narrative that explained their involvement and their guilt, and they would have been sentenced accordingly.

They would then have served their time and gotten out. Eventually they would have gone on, perhaps, to live relatively normal lives.

After all, by the time they left prison virtually no one outside the families involved would remember, or much care, what they had done. Their criminal records would follow them forever, of course, but certainly there would have been no public repercussions for an obscure murder in Italy, years in the past.

People live with such pasts: they live their lives and create a future despite their pasts.

Instead, Knox and Sollecito have rendered themselves toxic for the rest of their lives. Everywhere they go, as long as they live, they will be recognized, whispered about, and pointed out by supporters, opponents, and even the relatively uniformed public.

Always.

Already, Sollecito’s Austrian side-trip was busted by someone who, predictably, recognized him. The intense paparazzi effect will eventually wear off, but years from now, whenever either of them does something simple, its effects will live on.

Apply for a library card ““ instant name recognition, walk through the airport - and someone will realize why that face is familiar.  They’d better get used to it because some stranger will always recognize them. At their every life event, there will be a news alert, and someone potentially selling the story or a photo.

They and their families deliberately established an intensive PR effort for selfish reasons: in order to avoid the repercussions of a terrible act.

But this press creation is a terrible beast. Now that it is here it will need to be fed. Always. Get drunk in public - someone will have a cell phone handy; a marriage breaks up - the ex-spouse will tell all. (And, really, neither of them has the kind of money needed to live forever insulated from the vulgar public.)

For the rest of their lives, in everything they want to do, the whole did-they-or-didn’t-they narrative will be weighed in other people’s reaction: Would you hire either of them for anything? Would you rent them an apartment? Elect them to the school board?

All other things being equal, there will always be someone else available, someone equally good who has no awkward history. And everyone will know about that history; they worked hard to make it so.

And I’m not talking about the prejudice against ex-cons. That’s a real thing, and it will have its impact too. All convicted felons have real problems, after all, but few of them have achieved such notoriety, let alone embraced it.  What I’m talking about is the impact of even old-news celebrity, of always now, and for the rest of their lives, being tabloid fodder.

Sure, there will always be people (Mad Pax?) drawn to the faux glitter of it all, but a life accompanied only by those wanting to share in your “fame” seems pretty ugly to me. What normal person wants the hassle of becoming involved with something like this?

Furthermore, they will never know when someone they think of as a friend might suddenly start thinking of a way to cash in. There might be a book in it, or at least a juicy article for a tabloid.

This isn’t meant as expressing any kind of sympathy for them at all, by the way. They have blood on their hands and horrors in their heads.

Eventually they may come to some kind of terms with their actions. Frankly, though, I hardly care, for it is not merely their crime that requires expiation. I have been sickened to see the unfolding ruthlessness and the sheer ugliness of their publicity campaign.

At its center their PR beast reveals an utter selfishness that is willing to appeal to the worst in their supporter through appeals to American xenophobia, to racism, and in smears against Meredith, Rudy, and Patrick, as well as the entire system of Italian justice.

The PR beast they created denigrates every other element in the case, while portraying the pair of them as young, innocent, and only guilty of a visible passion for each other and a naïve belief in the police.

This tactic required a media product for sale: the attractive young lovers. Their campaign has forced their names, and images and story in all our faces for years now. They and their families did this entirely voluntarily, and they have seemed to relish the attention it brought them.

They’ve been interviewed extensively, treated sympathetically by those who should know better, and altogether have had much more than their fifteen minutes of fame. But celebrity is a beast that turns on its own.

And, importantly, unlike other famous people ““ actors, politicians, authors and the like - there is no proper use for their fame. They have nothing real to share with us, only their story. It is, literally, all about them. And that is how it will remain.

They have become a narrative whose next chapter will always be told. The PR beast, for all its reach, will not be enough to keep them out of prison. But the cameras will be there the day they finally leave prison, in case we have forgotten their faces.

And there will be photos when they drive drunk. Or marry. Or divorce.

Their names are out there, waiting for the tagline, waiting for the joke. (“How bad is your new roommate? Well, at least she’s no Amanda Knox.”) There will be no end to it, ever. They will have no privacy, ever. Karma at work is a scary thing. They invited the beast into their lives, and now it will never leave them alone.

[Below: Said to be Amanda Knox leaving home hiding under a windcheater]


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Italy’s Unpopular Politicians And Mafia Fellow Travelers Against Italy’s Popular Justice System

Posted by Peter Quennell


[Above and below: several of over 100 car bombings Italian police and prosecutors were killed in]

1. On The Pro-Justice Side…

This puts the faux Nencini “end-of-civilization-as-we-know” crisis into some sensible context.

The Italian system doesn’t exactly come out badly compared to say that of the US. Surprise, surprise: See here who agrees.

Comparatively speaking, Italy has a much lower crime rate than the US, a much lower murder rate, a highly professional un-elected police hierarchy, a much smaller court system, and a miniscule number of prison cells.

The mafias are now mostly backed into small pockets..

For reasons to do with Italian history pre-WW II the system keeps politicians very much at arms length.

Almost every other justice system in the world comes under the Prime Minister’s or equivalent’s control, and it his or her party that appoints the judges. The Italian system comes under the separately-elected and non-partisan President of the Republic.

All judges and all prosecutors follow a career path laden with checks and balances, learning exercises and tests. (At this the highly-competent and impartial Dr Mignini excels and he will soon be the attorney-general of a region.)

The system is extremely pro-defendant - probably the most pro-defendant in the whole world. See this article and this article for proof.

The number of Italians who are in prison at any one time is proportionally only about 1/5 that of the United States. Take a look.

It is not like everyone in Italy is impatiently waiting for the fatuous posse of Preston, Heavey, Fischer & Moore to turn up and save them from themselves. There is no problem there.

Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi) who reported for us on the Cassation and Nencini appeals has assembled these facts on what the Italian population actually thinks. 

For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

(My source is “Rapporto Italia 2012” by EURISPES).

More evidence of this popularity.  And even more.

2. On the Anti-Justice Side

In the past decade both corrupt politicians and the mafias have been remorselessly rolled back.

The Perugia Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2010 rebuilding following a huge earthquake.

The Florence Prosecutor-General’s Office being close to Rome and notoriously hard to bend was given national jurisdiction over the corruption of the contracts for the high-speed rail links that pass through Florence and on.

But attempts of corrupt politicians and others to meddle in this case go on and on and on.

Knox and Sollecito may think it is for pure love of them. Think again. There are unsavory parties on the anti-justice bandwagon who if it suited them would disappear Knox and Sollecito in the blink of an eye.

Politics played a part in ex-MP Rocco Girlanda, a Berlusconi poodle, accessing Capanne Prison multiple times to slobber over Knox. As a member of the Justice Committee under former Berlusconi-party MP Giulia Borngiorno’s sway (hows THAT for a conflict of interest?) Girlanda (1) petitioned the President for Knox, (2) tried to cut the national police wiretap budget, (3) tried to get Perugia prosecutors investigated, (4) repeatedly appeared on TV and in other media to make false allegations, and (5) chaired several US/Italy “liberation” meetings.

Sollecito lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has been wearing her member-of-parliament hat to stir up the (essentially toothless) Ministry of Justice against Judge Nencini. And to try to get the Council of Magistrates to give her client a break (Good luck with that - they wont move.)

The mafia backseat drivers (known about in Italy but not reported in the US) are there in a minor but pervasive way. Their roles were summarised in several places including this post here.

It is odd, to say the least, to see such self promoting reformers of the Italian system as Preston, Heavey, Fischer and Moore happily carrying water for the mafias.

So What We May Expect

Judge Nencini is a seasoned mafia fighter, and he is also a seasoned fighter of politicians who are corrupt and try to bend the system their way. But his record is very clear. Attack him for murky end - and he does not exactly back down.

From the point of view of Sollecito’s prospects, this faux storm looks like another huge wrong move.


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Defense Dirty Tricks: Did We Just See Yet Another One, An Attempt To Compromise Judge Nencini?

Posted by Jools




Judge Nencini offers corrections

This is my translation of a statement from Judge Necini carried by the Florence GoNews website.

“In relation to the press articles that reported my statements on the trial for the death of Meredith Kercher I intend to point out that there has been no interview organized or pre-arranged.

I ran into some journalists in the corridors of the courthouse who told me of the rumors and speculations that were being circulated on the duration of the deliberation session.

I then had a brief talk with them meant, in my intention, to clarify possible misunderstandings. In this I accept responsibility, reaffirming that I did not agree to disclose in any way the reasons for the sentence.  In particular, I have not expressed any opinion on the strategy procedure followed by the defence of the accused.

In fact the only reference to that matter, reported in the article that appeared in Il Messaggero, is one in which I stated that the accused were defended in the process to a ‘very high standard.’

If my words have generated misunderstandings on this point and on the absolute legality of the choice of an accused to make spontaneous statements I regret it.

These explanations are dutybound for the respect I owe to the people who participated in the process with me and to the [Law] System of which I’m proud to be a part of; as well as for consistency in my professional history, with over thirty years of work carried out without spotlights and without interviews.”


Context for those corrections

This is in relation to the previous days articles claiming Judge Nencini supposedly gave an “inappropriate” interview to the press.

In very short order three or four lay members of the Superior Council of Magistrates (CSM) laid a complaint about non-appropriate conduct (under Art. 6 of the CSM rules) for a presiding appeal court judge to give press interviews commenting on the motivations reached by the judges on any sentence before its official publication.

Not surprisingly, the first people to complain were Bongiorno and Maori (grasping at straws, much?!!) and then to follow were these three or four lay members of the CSM, who happen to be also members of the centre-right political party “Forza Italia” (Berlusconi’s party).

As a result of the complaint made by these people, the Justice Minister, Annamaria Cancelleri, ordered an inquest on the allegations against Judge Nencini which could have led to his reprimand for disclosing details of the verdict reached to the press.

Personally, I think this all results from the desperation of Sollelcito’s defense and they have erncourgaed the others to instigate it. Making a meal out of nothing, in the hope that the whole appeal trial gets thrown out.

And let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for Bongiorno to find some of Berlusconi’s people that are always looking for ways to attack members of the judiciary given Berlusconi’s hatred for the system. Just my opinion…

In any case, the allegations seem to be false, Judge Nencini actually didn’t say much, and the inquest will prove it, but in the meantime the press is concentrating on this rather than the hopeless work the defense produced. This maybe is the whole objective.

The later, longer interview

The interview by Fiorenza Sarzanini with Judge Nencini the following morning is claimed to be quite legal, because the decision of the court had been published the previous evening.

Andre Vogt kindly posted a very accurate translation on The Freelance Desk, and as it will scroll down soon and be hard to find, we can repost the full interview here.

The Freelance Desk

Posted 1 February

Italy’s most influential newspaper, the Corriere Della Sera, this morning has published a fascinating long interview with Judge Alessandro Nencini about his reasons for convicting Amanda Knox. The interview was done by one of the newspaper’s most veteran crime and investigative reporters, Fiorenza Sarzanini. Click here to read the original.

HEADLINE: Amanda and Raffaele: The Judge Speaks

SUBHEAD: “I have children too; it was a huge burden.”

SUBHEAD2:  “The defense had asked to separate the positions of the two accused, but Raffaele would not allow himself to be questioned.”

By Fiorenza Sarzanini

“I feel relieved because the moment of the decision is the most difficult. I have children too, and handing down convictions of 25 and 28 years for two young people is a very hard thing, emotionally.”

It is 10 am the day after the verdict and Justice Alessandro Nencini is in his office. The President of the Florentine Court of Appeals, which two days ago found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher, knows that the decision will “open up new debate, especially in the media”, but that is exactly why he agreed to explain how the verdict was reached.

You deliberated in chambers for 12 hours. Was the judicial panel divided?

“The case files took up half of the room. There are 30 expert reports. The lay judges, who aren’t court staff, had to read all the documentation to reach a joint decision, as is expected in the appeals court.  You have to review all the documents, think about them, and reason.  We did that using all the time that was necessary, and taking into account the fact that the victim was also a young girl.

And then the decision was unanimous?

“I spoke of a joint decision. I can say that in all these months and in particular during the last session of deliberations, we carefully considered the gravity of a verdict that involves young people and their entire families. This is a case that has consumed many lives.”

Yours was a narrow path, the Court of Cassation had urged you to remedy the Perugia appeal decision that had acquitted the two accused.

“Not so, we had maximum flexibility. The only restriction was that in the case of acquittal, we would have to have give reasons based on logic. There was no other binding restriction.”

Not even with regard to the decision handed down in Rudy Guede’s case?

“Effectively the specifics of the case was this: there was a person already convicted via fast-track, and definitively, for concourse in the same homicide. The Court of Cassation was asking us to consider who participated and their roles.  We could have said that the two accused weren’t there, and then provided convincing reasoning, but we did not believe this to be the truth.”

Why didn’t you question Guede?

“For what purpose? He has never confessed and even if we had called him, he had the right to remain silent.  We didn’t think it was necessary.  Rather, we felt it was important to study the other aspects more in depth.  In fact we requested an expert report and heard witnesses about which there were doubts. That is the role of the appeal judges. In four months, we’ve been able to arrive at a result.”

Sollecito’s lawyers had asked you to split the defence.
“We’ll explain the point more in the reasonings, where we will explain why we rejected that request. In any case, Sollecito did not want to be questioned during the trial.”

And this influenced your choice to convict him?

“It is the defendant’s right, but certainly it removes a voice from the trial proceedings. He limited himself to making spontaneous declarations, saying only what he wanted to say, without being cross examined.”

Over the years, various motives have been speculated. What idea did you yourselves form?

“We convicted and we will explain it explicitly in our reasoning.  For now, I can say that up until 20:15 of that evening, these young people all had different plans, then their commitments fell through and the occasion for this to happen was created.  If Amanda had gone to work, we probably wouldn’t be here.”

Are you saying that the murder was just a coincidence?

“I’m saying this was something that unfolded between these young people. There may have been coincidences, and we’ve taken it into the reasoning. I’m aware this will be the most debatable part.”

Cassation demolished the acquittal. Will you as well?

“We are not going to mention it. We simply have to focus on the decision in the first instance (Massei) which we confirmed, on the facts.

And you don’t believe that there were errors?

“I didn’t say that. Some I believe there may have been and I’ll point them out.”

You convicted Amanda Knox, but didn’t issue any precautionary measures against her. Why?

“She is legally in the United States.  At the moment of the offence she was in Italy to study and she went home after having been acquitted. She is an American citizen. The problem will arise when it is time to carry out the sentence.  For now I don’t believe that such a measure wouuld have been necessary.”

So why then have you confiscated Raffaele Sollecito’s passport?

“It was the agreed minimum. In these cases such measures serve as prevention. We want to avoid that he makes himself impossible to find during the period of waiting for a definitive judgment.”

And you believe being forbidden to leave the country is enough?

“Yes, that seemed more than sufficient to us. If there are other developments later, we will consider them.”


Monday, February 03, 2014

Authors Of “Math On Trial” Bring The Explanations Of The Hard DNA Evidence Up To Date

Posted by Peter Quennell




The important new book in question Math On Trial is by mathematicians Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez who is Leila’s daughter.

This article by Leila Schneps appeared in yesterday’s edition of The Independent and explains why the Nencini court has not ruled out any of the DNA evidence.

It’s not right to say there is “˜no evidence’ in the case against Amanda Knox. There’s plenty

The DNA alone is enough to raise questions

The verdict handed down yesterday at the new appeal trial for Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, accused of the murder of British citizen Meredith Kercher in Italy in November 2007, may come as a surprise to those whose view of the case has been affected by an international media blitz based on the oft-repeated claim “There is no evidence”.  Many believe that Rudy Guede, convicted in October 2008 for participating in the murder, acted alone.

There is, however, copious evidence to consider: the DNA alone is enough to raise questions. Leaving aside much of it, let’s focus for a moment on three key pieces of DNA evidence and present them from both sides, just as the jury may have heard them spoken of in court.

First ““ the bra clasp.

The part of the victim’s bra containing the hooks had been ripped or slashed from the rest of her bra.  Not immediately collected on that first day after the murder, it remained in the room in a sealed house for six weeks before being sent to the lab in December. There, it was tested and found to contain a large sample of Meredith’s DNA, together with a smaller but clearly visible contribution from Sollecito. The defence objections: firstly, between the two searches, objects in the crime room had been moved around, and indeed the bra clasp was found about a metre away from its original position.

Secondly, apart from “˜alleles’ - genetic traces -  of Meredith and Sollecito on the clasp, there were a few unidentifiable extra ones. Putting these two facts together, the defence pointed out that Sollecito’s DNA on the bra clasp could have been a consequence of a careless police technician stepping on Sollecito’s DNA elsewhere in the flat and then entering the room and stepping on the bra clasp, even though no DNA of Sollecito was found anywhere else in the house except on a single cigarette butt in the ashtray.

Second ““ the mixed stain.

Although not visible to the naked eye, the chemical Luminol which flashes blue on contact with blood revealed a spot in the room of the flatmate whose window had been smashed and room rifled.  Swabbing the spot produced a mixture of Amanda and Meredith’s DNA. This is a clear proof that the murderer entered that bedroom after the murder, as someone must have brought Meredith’s blood into the room, contradicting the defence theory that Rudy Guede broke into the house and then committed the murder.

The usual defence explanation for mixed DNA stains in the bathroom and corridor, namely that the house would have been coated in Amanda’s DNA given that she lived there, does not necessarily apply to a flatmate’s bedroom. It is much harder to leave traces of DNA than is commonly conceived, and hardly any of Amanda’s DNA was found in her own room - where she surely spent a lot more time than in her flatmate’s.

Lastly ““ the knife.

Days after the murder, a large kitchen knife was seized in Raffaele’s flat, where Meredith had never set foot. Police geneticist, Patrizia Stefanoni, swabbed spots on the blade of the knife and on the handle in the knife’s first DNA Test.  One spot in particular attracted her attention: a visible scratch on the flat of the blade.  The swab taken from this scratch yielded a positive ID for Meredith Kercher.

By the third trial, when a new attempt was made to collect DNA from the knife (which had been swabbed again during the appeal trial, though no tests were then conducted) there was no match to Meredith ““ a result welcomed by Knox’s defence team, though it did not in fact impact on the findings of the first trial.

Stefanoni’s test ““ she only conducted the first - came under strong fire in the courtroom. Two independent expert witnesses called in for the appeal against Knox and Sollecito’s original 2009 conviction stated that she had not worked in conformity with standard international protocol.  Indeed, standard protocol for DNA testing involves three steps: first determining how much DNA is in a sample, secondly amplification, which reproduces the sample millions of times, and thirdly electrophoresis which produces the familiar DNA graphs showing peaks in the location of an individual’s alleles.  Under cross-examination, Stefanoni explained that quantification had given a result of “too low” as the machine she used that day was not the most sensitive one in the lab.

Knowing that samples undetectable by the machine can still be sufficient to yield positive results, she chose to continue with testing. At the second stage of testing, amplification, a sample will normally be split into two or more pieces in order to run independent tests.  But knowing that the sample was small, Stefanoni feared that cutting it in two would yield no result at all, and chose to amplify the entire sample in one unrepeatable test.  The end result was a perfect match to Meredith Kercher.

Knox’s supporters have claimed since the beginning that the accusations levied against her are based on the Italian justice system’s hatred of a pretty, American girl who likes parties and having sex. And whilst both parties protest their innocence , Thursday’s decision shows that there is real evidence against her and Sollecito, that cannot be ignored.


Guide For Smart Media: Note Extensive Hard Evidence In Exceptionally Fair, Careful Legal Process

Posted by Media Watcher



[Accurate Italian media recreation of attack based on masses of closed court evidence 2009]

Vital media history in 2009

In Italy and Europe generally the guilt of the two is almost universally perceived.

One reason is that although about 1/4 of the trial in 2009 was behind closed doors (quite the opposite of the “tabloid storm” and “show trial” Americans have been told about)  Italians in particular got to find out about the long (15 minutes), remorseless, highly sadistic attack on Meredith.

Click here for the rest


Saturday, February 01, 2014

Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz And Philly Lawyer Ted Simon Both Claim The Devil’s In The Details

Posted by Peter Quennell



Alan Dershowitz sees plenty of evidence against Knox. He really has absorbed the key details, and in this case, the devil is in the details.

Alan Dershowitz has spoken out quite accurately a number of times on the case previously, and he shows great respect for the carefulness of the Italian system.

Philadelphia lawyer and Knox advisor Ted Simon also thinks there is a devil in the details. Or rather, he did back in 2008 (below) before he got on the Knox payroll and his foolish mantra became “There is no evidence”.

Wrong. There is stacks of evidence that Knox was in that room - and it wasnt even tested for DNA.

  • Why was her lamp in the room? Why cannot she explain that? Why are there zero fingerprints? Who wiped them? Who moved Meredith’s body? How did Knox’s and Meredith’s blood get co-mingled? In half a dozen different locations? Outside a locked bedroom door?

  • Why are there footprints in blood outside the locked bedroom door of both Knox and Sollecito? Why do Guede’s shoeprints head straight out the front door? And if Knox didnt start to rearrange the crime scene, who staged the break-in, and why?

  • And why do the various presentations in closed court in 2009 (all-day testimony by crime-scene and autopsy experts and a 15-minute video recreating the attack)  which proved THREE attackers still remain unchallenged?

Those pesky details…


Friday, January 31, 2014

Appeal Session #10 Images: The Attorney General Of Tuscany Dr Tindari Baglione Breaks The News

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

This help with translation happened right after Judge Nencini finished reading the verdict and sentences yesterday







Below: images of Lyle and Stephanie earlier in the long tense day


























 


Appeal Session #10 Images: The Two Judges And Six Lay Judges Deliver The Guilty Verdict

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





The statement is sharp and quite brief. Judge Nencini confirms that both Knox and Sollecito are confirmed guilty. The 2009 Massei verdict is upheld.

The sentences are 25 years in priosn for Raffaele Sollecito and 28.6 years in rpison for Amanda Knox including the 3.8 years for the calunnia already served. Each must also incur financial penalties.

Both may be locked in the sex offenders wings as both were confirmed convicted with a sex-crime component. Both may face further charges for false accusations of crimes in their books and in the media, as may some of their more strident “supporters”.

Few in the US and UK seem to realize, but the evidence presented at trial in the first half of 2009 was in fact overwhelming. In the US and UK it is probable no appeal would even have been allowed, as the appeal grounds were so flimsy.

Nothing was undermined at the Florence appeal. In fact the evidence became STRONGER as another trace of Knox was found on the big knife. Innuendo about DNA contamination was sharply rejected in face of zero evidence or even scenario.

Please read our case overview here which links to some vital posts and touches on several of the defense’s illegal tricks.

That includes the corrupting of the 2011 appeal, which is well understood in Italy but not registering with most US and UK media - Sndrea Vogt has begun reporting on part of it, the illegal meddling with the Hellmann DNA consultancy

..






Thursday, January 30, 2014

Appeal Session #10: After Defense Remarks Panel Of Judges Reaches Its Decision: BOTH GUILTY

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Verdict: Both are confirmed guilty

The Massei verdict is upheld. The sentences are 25 years for Raffaerle Sollecito and 28.6 years for Amanda Knox. Sollecito is to have his passport taken away.

For Knox they could issue a worldwide Interpol Red Notice for immediate arrest around the world, even before going for extradition, to stop her dishonest self-serving blabberings. 

Take a look at our conjectures down the bottom of this post on the judges’ deliberations. Looks like we got One, Two and Four right and Knox will be named in the judges report as the prime instigator.

That will hardly help her resist extradition. And it will please Guede and Sollecito, who both always hint at that.

To CNN: yet again this is NOT double jeopardy. Read the extradition treaty. It was ONE valid trial (2009) and now ONE valid and failed appeal (2014). Not two trials.

Tweets from our main poster Machiavelli

26. All these many thanks are so warming and comforting; I’m glad my contribution was useful among the many others.

25. No measure taken for expatriation of Knox because she is a US citizen currently in her own country.

24.  Passport withdrawn for Sollecito and movement restriction within the boundaries of the state of Italy.  No restriction for Knox.

23.  Ruled that Knox’s royalties belong to Lumumba,

22.  Accessory penalties/settlements: established Knox stinks, ordered Dalla Vedova to change jobs… (!)

21.  Her calunnia sentencing has been increased from 3 years (Hellmann-Zanetti) to 3 years and 6 months.

20. To be more precise: Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and 6 months. (She has already served four years).

19. Massei sentence confirmed (25y), Knox sentence increased to 28 years because of calunnia aggravation

18. Bongiorno very agitated

17. Five minutes and a half from a verdict?

16. Judge declared the verdict will be 3D and distributed goggles [?]

15. Sollecito was in the courtroom. Appeared nervous.

14. Said because of the greatness of their power they should acknowledge reasonable doubt.

13. Ghirga emphasized discretional power of the court. Said they have big power to acquit.

12. In point of law: Ghirga said evidence must be considered as a whole in compliance with SC, but assessment should find reasonable doubt

11. Said no blood on knife because of negative TMB and blood confirmatory tests.

10. Ghirga: cited the claims about picograms, said amount is not the point, the problem is test repetition and other conditions

9. Says bruise at back of head is compatible with frotal fight against single aggerssor (disagreement with Introna on this too)

8. Ghirga: Meredith’s blue sweater was removed before fatal stabbing, as for Torre’s opinion. Admitas he disagrees with Sollecito’s defence.

7. Ghirga talked about: Meredith’s blue sweater, an echimosis at back of her head, DNA laboratories and Stefanoni’s quantization

6. Ghirga recalled a small number of details of physical evidence and autopsy.

5. Dalla Vedova asked acquittal, did not specify, whereas Ghirga instead, talking later, invoked reasonable doubt.

4. D.V. says believes there are other Supreme Court rulings in his favor.

3. D.V. emphasized the single pieces of evidence should be assessed each one in parceled out, atomized way before considering the whole

2. DV focused on evidence assessment procedure, quoted SC rulings.

1. Dalla Vedova’s talking lasted a short time, and not very orderly.

Tweets from reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

28.  Court: Amanda Knox Is Guilty. See more in The Daily Beast.

27.  Kercher family members being briefed by lawyers and British consulate.

26.  Sollecito must surrender all documents, passports, identification,

25. Its 25 years for sollecito and 28.6 years for amanda knox

24.  Amanda Knox [2009] guilty verdict upheld,  sollecito [2009] guilty verdict upheld.

23. Judges and jury enter.22. Huge security presence ahead of verdict including riot police outside and in public area of courtroom amandaknox tense

21. meredithkercher sister stephany and brother lyle have arrived in court for verdict.

20 Prosecutor Crini has arrived in court for verdict in amandaknox appeal

19. Clerk says between 9-930 local time judges will return. Says judges want “utter silence no shouting or clapping”

18. Court clerk says verdict will be delivered between 9 and 9:30 tonight.

17. Amanda Knox “˜Afraid’ Of Today’s Court Verdict http://thebea.st/LeteHD  via @thedailybeast

16. Court clerk says at 8pm she will go back to judge to find out if and when they are ready to deliver verdict.

15. Court clerk says “presumably verdict at 8:00 but everyone come back at 7:00

15. Court clerk just announced that at 6pm local they will tell us when the verdict will be announced.

14. Mario Spezi, author of Monster of Florence, has come to court to hear amandaknox verdict.

13. Lawyers for amandaknox and sollecito, journalists already in courtroom ready for verdict that come come any time from 5pm Florence time.

12. Lunch has just been brought in to judges and lay jury deliberating amandaknox case. No wine.

11. Refreshments just delivered to jury members in amandaknox new appeal, espresso, cappucino and possibly a tea…

10. Judge in amandaknox new appeal says decision will not come before 5pm.

9. amandaknox lawyer asks court to absolve his client.

8. amandaknox lawyer says the dna on the knife attributed to meredithkercher can not be verified, can not be considered.

7. amandaknox lawyer Ghirga tells court they have to look at all the evidence to reach verdict, not value pieces here and there.

6. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t put two innocent people in jail to cover up mistakes of judicial system.

5. amandaknox lawyer tells judge: you cannot convict for murder in the name of Italy when evidence is ‘probably’ attributed to a defendant.

4. amandaknox lawyer says you can’t cancel out evidence, says Amanda’s rights were violated, she was in shock when she accused Lumumba.

3. sollecito in court by his dad who said they are all nervous for verdict over drinks with journalists at hotel bar last night.

2. amandaknox lawyer CDV says they are serene going into verdict because they believe in her innocence,

1. Court in session. One of the jurors wearing a shiny spangled skirt, rest dressed soberly.

Tweets from Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt

13. Meredith Kercher’s brother: It was the best we could have hoped for, but amanda knox verdict not cause for celebration.

12. amanda knox guilty verdict upheld. Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said he has called her. She did not cry. She was “petrified.”

11. amanda knox conviction upheld. sentenced to 28 years and six months. Sollecito to 25. Ordered passports to be taken.

10. Meredith’s sister and brother are accompanied by British consulate officials. A hush has come over the courtroom.

9. The family of meredith kercher has arrived in court to hear the verdict.

8. Even most experienced Italian court reporters not predicting what long wait for amanda knox verdict means. Could go either way

7. amanda knox verdict is expected at 9 or 9:30. Clerk reminds about the decorum expected:no applause, shouting, cheering, etc

6. Standing room only in Florence court as media, legal teams, public await amandaknox verdict (timing soon to be announced).

5. Judge and jury in amandaknox case have retreated for deliberations. Verdict not before 5 pm Italy time.

4. amandaknox Judge : we will not give a verdict before 17, after that,can come any time, but will announce with lots of advance notice.

3. Ghirga: We wait anxiously and seriously for justice for Meredith. But doing justice means doing it also for amandaknox and RS.

2. amandaknox lawyers are in court. Ghirga: “siamo fiduciosi, serene, emotionati.” (Roughly: “Trusting, calm, on edge”).

1. Verdict expected late today in amandaknox appeal….

Freelance Reporter Andrea Vogt On Website

From The Freelance Desk

Amanda Knox is expected to wait out the verdict in her appeal at her mother’s Seattle home (likely with American television news networks present) while Raffaele Sollecito was in court with his father and a friend. Sollecito made no remarks upon leaving for the courthouse in a taxi, surrounded by a pack of cameras.  Meredith Kercher’s sister, Stephanie, and brother, Lyle, are also expected in Florence today for the court’s decision, expected in the evening hours….

Conjectures on what the judges may be discussing

The panel of judges is in effect deciding now on positions that must be sustained in 2-3 months in a 100-400 page document that must be okayed by the Supreme Court.

This might be what the quite long (by Italian standards, they will have discussed the case intermittently) jury discussion today is focused upon. Here are four possible issues.


Possible issue one

As sharp Italian media are pointing out, Prosecutor Crini departed from the Massei scenario and suggested a different driver in one key respect.

Like Mignini and Micheli in 2008 he assigned the role of prime mover to Amanda Knox and not to Guede. (Nobody ever assigned it to Sollecito.)

Maybe hoping to give RS and AK a break the Massei jury (not neccessarily the judge himself) assigned to Guede the primary role in starting the attack, saying maybe he forced himself upon her.

Then maybe the other two came in from next door, and set about helping him to subdue Meredith.

They just happened to have two knives handy, and even Massei assigns the fatal blow to Knox.

Crini argued as more likely that Knox started to quarrel with Meredith over hygiene or drugs or money and the other two joined in and for 15 minutes the attack escalated.

In this Knox and not Guede is assigned the role of prime mover.

The judges may want to accept this and seek to assign Knox a harsher punishment accordingly.

(Neither court seems to have settled on a convincing reason for why the big knife was brought down from Sollecito’s house which looks to us at minimum forboding.)


Possible issue two

This relates to the scenario in the comment above. Judge Massei lopped five years off the routine sentences by conjuring up “mitigating factors”.

One such factor was the duvet placed over Meredith which Massei thought could be a sign of remorse, surely by a woman.

Many including psychologists never agreed with this. It could have been simply an aversion to all the blood, which Knox on the stand in 2009 chillingly described as “yucky”.

If so the sentences awarded could creep up beyond the durations decided on by Massei. Above 25 and 26 years.


Possible issue three

This is an alternative to One and Two above. The judges might think the crime was more like a manslaughter, an attack that ended in murder

But not intended as such and never agreed to by two of the attackers.  In which case sentences could be a lot lighter.


Possible issue four

There are financial award considerations. How much to award to whom, plus maybe ways to ensure their payment in light of Knox blatantly stiffing Patrick..

[Below: image of the judges and lay judges arriving this morning]


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Continuing Enormous Strength Of The Evidence Which Defenses Seem To Have Abysmally Failed To Shake

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above Judge Massei at Meredith’s house with panel-of-judges members early 2009]


What this Florence appeal is REALLY about

There is much confusion on this, sowed by various at-distance commentators who don’t read the Italian press or the excellent English-language reporters right there on the spot.

This is NOT a re-trial. This is a FIRST appeal by Sollecito and Knox against the guilty verdicts and sentences Judge Massei awarded them late in 2009. It is being repeated since their defense teams helped to bend the first (Hellmann court) iteration of the first appeal two years ago.

Since the end of 2009 they have been provisionally guilty of murder and other crimes, subject to final ratification by the Supreme Court, which has not yet occurred. Judge Hellmann decided to let them out and travel worldwide. Many think his decision on this was legally weak.

Was there prime-face justification for this appeal?

Under US and UK law many lawyers and judges think the judicial process could have stopped right there in the US and UK, because the grounds for appeal the defenses came up with in 2010 were essentially innuendo about DNA and little else.

But the pro-defendant Italian system unlike almost any other in the world allows appeals if any are filed to automatically go forward. So the bent, stretched-out and illegally wide-scope Hellmann appeal of 2011 was the first result.

Appointed apparently in illegal circumstances to replace the highly-qualified Judge Chiari (the lead-judge for criminal appeals, who then resigned) Judge Hellmann was ill-qualified at best - he was not a criminal judge and had handled only one other murder trial before, which he got wrong.

The annulment of the first first-appeal

The Supreme Court very rarely completely annuls any trial or appeal. But in this case in March 2013 it did just that, on a large number of grounds.

The 2013-2014 Nencini appeal court in Florence starts with the early-2010 Massei report plus new guidelines from the Supreme Court. Nothing else floated since early 2010 counts.

This case seems to break all records ever for (1) defamatory and dishonest PR; (2) dirty tricks, many illegal, by the defense; (3) dishonesty by those accused in two defamatory books and multiple statements to the press; and (4) greed and blood money while the process still goes on.

Contempt of court trials and investigations have commenced to push back, Amanda Knox is particularly at risk because her book contains false accusations of crimes (again) and she defies the Supreme Court in not paying Mr Lumumba his damages though she destroyed his business. 

Suggested Reading: Part One

Sooner or later (no necessarily now) read all the must-read posts in this group here, all the open questions for Sollecito in this group here, and all the open questions for Amanda Knox in this group here.

1. Getting up to speed on the 2008 RS and AK charges

Our four-part summary of Judge Micheli’s report is the best thing to read (scroll down) especially Micheli’s argument that ONLY Knox had any reason to re-arrange the crime scene - she lived there and needed to point evidence away from herself.

Also read Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s many mutually contradictory attempts to provide one alibi for both.

2. Getting up to speed on the 2009 RS and AK trial

The prosecution performed brilliantly and left the defenses despondent and out-classed (paving the way for more dirty tricks in 2010-13) and we were told that two defense lawyers nearly walked off.

To get a flavor of how badly the defenses did, read this post and this post on Knox’s absolutely disastrous stint on the stand. From there the defense portion of the trial really went downhill.

To get a flavor of how well the prosecution did read about the damning reconstruction (known about in all of Italy but not widely elsewhere) described here and here.

3. Getting up to speed on the Massei 2010 Report

The most vital read of all is the short-form version of the Massei Report by Skeptical Bystander and a team on PMF dot Org. If you have no time to read any posts, make sure to read that.

The other vital reads, not here but on the new “The Murder Of Meredith Kercher Wiki”, are the overview of the evidence and the chart of evidence synopsis.

We had a large number of posts starting in 2010 checking out whether in all details the Massei Report got it right. Read this first take.

4. Getting up to speed on the crime-scene scenario

Vital to understanding the Massei court’s crime-scene scenario which Prosecutor Crini espouses, wade through this excellent reconstruction of the crime in a long Powerpoint by our lawyer James Raper with the Powerpoint whizz Kermit.

About Part Two

The next part of our most-recommended reading from 2010 to 2014 will follow after the verdict to help correct the ill-informed debate over whether Knox goes back to jail.

It hardens the case and in our view leaves no holes for RS and AK to wiggle through. We will point the post to those arguments that anyone tries to raise.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Strong Proof That Raffaele Sollecito Also Stabbed Meredith Kercher Causing The Lesser Wound.

Posted by Ergon



Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is a Spiderco Delica4 Emerson Opener made for killing people

Overview

This picks up from from my previous post just below on the large knife that overwhelming evidence shows was wielded by Amanda Knox. 

Sometime around Thursday, January 30, 2014, Judge Nencini of the Florence Appeals Court will be delivering the verdict of the court in the case of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, at which time all arguments regarding the knives, staged burglary, DNA and forensics, false accusation, wonky alibis, and reliability of witnesses will be rendered moot.

There will be nothing left but an argument about the legality of the process, and not the evidence, presented by the defenses if they choose to at some point in the fall of 2014 before Cassazione, the Supreme Court in Rome.

But, until then, we are left with the indelible image of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno a few days ago flailing with two knives in court, arguing (1) the kitchen knife doesn’t fit the major wound, and (2) there’s a missing knife, which she suggested was a pocket knife wielded by Rudy Guede.

In part I, I proved that the imprint of the knife on the mattress sheet matched the kitchen knife, in shape and dimensions. We have already seen in other articles here on TJMK, that there is a definitive match with Knox and Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the murder weapon, and now we know it was transported to the cottage, to leave its mirror image on the bed.

Here, in part II, is a recap of Massei on the knives and wounds inflicted on Meredith Kercher, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound.

Also we will have Frank Sfarzo and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds. And it will try to address what happened to the missing knife that inflicted the lesser wound on Meredith, and who might have wielded it.





Closeup of the stabbing end of the Spiderco knife shown at the top


Deliberate false claims

One of the many myths surrounding this case was that investigators had no reason to seize the kitchen knife from Sollecito’s flat, and when I showed the photos from Conti’s lab, with the deep scratches on it, that it may have been altered in some way, and denying that was where some of Meredith’s DNA might have been trapped. IIP even posted an out of focus picture some time back to prove that point.

Here is Frank Sforza on the late and unlamented Perugia Shock.‘ANY KNIFE COULD HAVE DONE THAT WOUND’

End of a Myth

Frank Sfarzo, Sept. 19, 2009

Quote: “It was introduced in the room, it was taken out of the box with all precautions, it was shown to them like a relic. They could have a look at it from a distance, and see, or believe to have seen, the groove into which the biological material of Meredith was found.” And:

“Amanda Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova brought him (independent expert Professor Cingolani) to say something very clear about the main one: any single-edge knife is compatible with Meredith’s larger wound.”

Here is Bruce Fischer on the error-ridden Injustice In Perugia.

Quote: “The knife was a common kitchen knife retrieved from the kitchen of Raffaele Sollecito. The knife was chosen from the drawer because it looked clean. (Editorial note: it was also, deeply scratched and nicked)

No blood was on the blade.

No DNA was on the blade.

The knife doesn’t match most of the wounds on Meredith.

The knife doesn’t match the bloody imprint left on the bed.

The photographic evidence shows that Raffaele’s kitchen knife is to (sic) large to match the bloody imprint on the bed.

At 4 cm from the tip the knife blade is 2.2 cm wide, while the injury (i.e. the small wound) is 1.5 cm wide. Raffaele’s kitchen knife could not have caused the wounds. The knife blade is also too long to have inflicted the large wound.” (Ed. note: Here they are conflating the dimensions of the lesser wound with the knife that inflicted the major wound, to cause confusion)

This is typical of the dishonesty of Bruce Fischer, who was only parroting what the defense experts had been saying in Massei’s court.

Fischer’s source was these posts from the now discredited Frank Sfarzo: Knife doesn’t match wounds and Knife doesn’t match imprint on bed.



An image of Sollecito’s 2004 model Brian Tighe knife specifically made for killing people

From the Massei Report

This is from the excellent PMF translation.

P. 99: The witness (investigator) recognized it when shown Exhibit 36 as that same knife (pages 176 and 177, hearing on February 28, 2009). He remembered that in the drawer there were other knives, but he collected what was later indicated as Exhibit 36. It had the following dimensions: blade 17 cm. and handle of dark colour 14 cm. He recalled that in Sollecito’s bedroom they found another knife whose total length was 18cm, with an 8cm. blade.” (This would be his Brian Tighe pocket knife, the Spyderco flick knife was seized from his person when he was arrested)

P.135: The stab wound corresponding to the injuries on the right side of the neck was indicated as being a little wound of very small dimensions with a very small path. The path of the wound is 4cm long and only 1.5cm wide. The blade used to make this wound must have had a width of 1.5cm at 4cm from the point. This blade only entered 4cm into the neck “because it encountered the angle of the jaw” (page 33 of the transcripts).

P.147: Professor Vinci testified at the hearing of August 18, 2009. He considered the subject of the “bloody stains” found on the undersheet in Meredith Kercher’s room. In relation to these stains, on the basis of graphics given in the report dated June 30, 2009, he asserted that the knifeprint found on the undersheet in Meredith’s bedroom could have been made either by an 11.3cm knife blade, or by a 9.6cm knife blade together with a mark 1.7cm long left by the handle of the same knife. In either case, the blade could not be wider than 1.3/1.4 cm. (Ahem)

P. 154: Prof Cingolani: He clarified that irregularities present on the blade, on the edge of the blade, could have created the rippling in the wounds.

P. 157: the examination of the wound on the right part of the neck, which had absolutely incompatible dimensions: 1.5cm long and 0.4cm wide with a depth of 4cm.

p.164: she was therefore struck on the right latero-cervical region with a single-edged blade which produced a wound with dimensions of 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a penetrating depth of 4cm: an action not relevant in determining the cause of death but intended, as before, to subdue Meredith Kercher’s resistance.

p.166: the width of the (kitchen knife) proximal third [blade one third of the distance from the handle] is 3cm.

p166: Along the edge, there was evidence of irregularities in the form of thin ridges at 2.2cm and at 11.4cm from the tip.

p. 167: The experts and consultants who were examined during the course of the trial, taking into examination the various wounds present on the neck, excluded the compatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 and the wound inflicted on the right latero-cervical and having the following dimensions: 1.5cm by 0.4cm, with a depth of 4cm in an oblique upwards direction. They in fact showed that the confiscated knife, at a distance of 4cm from the tip, has a width of approximately 3cm and thus almost double the 1.5cm width of the wound, a width thus incompatible with the dimensions of the blade of this knife.

p.172-3: In relation to the above, the thesis of the incompatibility of the most serious wound and the knife Exhibit 36 is held to be unacceptable, though this knife is incompatible with the 4cm-deep wound, as we have seen. Nor does this conclusion contrast with the circumstances illustrated by Sollecito Defence consultant Professor Vinci in his report relating to the “šanalyses of the haematic stained shapes discovered on the mattress cover in Meredith Kercher’s room”›.

p.175: The reconstruction offered by Professor Vinci certainly appears suggestive. Some doubt remains in the reconstruction of the dimensions of the knife derived in relation from the marks found on the bed sheet. If these marks indeed derived from the knife placed on the bed sheet, then they should in fact have been more abundant, and should have outlined the shape of the knife with greater precision, for the following reason: the knife, if it was placed on the bed sheet, was placed there immediately after it had been used to strike Meredith; therefore, the fresh and abundant bloodstains present on the blade should have been imprinted onto the bed sheet in a more evident and copious way than is actually appreciable. It cannot in any case remain unobserved that, if one of the knives used had a blade length of 11.3cm, or else 9.6 cm ““ according to what was indicated by Professor Vinci in the conclusions to his report ““ the argumentation set forth to sustain the incompatibility of the knife Exhibit 36 would not, on this alone, have any foundation.”

For the record, here are the paragraphs from the English translation of the Massei Report where Patricia Stefanoni describes the streaks and scratches on the double DNA knife and locations where samples were taken.

Judge Massei (on pg. 196) wrote about forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni:

“She specified that trace B had been taken from a point on the face of the blade; she added that no biological trace was visible to the naked eye. However [she added that] “under considerable lighting, a series of streaks were visible to the naked eye. These streaks ran parallel to the upper part of the blade, therefore, more or less, they were parallel to this side [of the blade] and towards the point they went downward and, therefore, they followed the shape of the point. These streaks, anomalies in the metal, were visible to the naked eye under intense lighting” (page 95 of the transcript). Still in regard to the visibility of these streaks, she specified that they were “visible under good lighting by changing the angle at which the light hit the blade, since obviously the blade reflects light and thus creates shadows, making imperfections visible”.

The samples taken from the handle, in the points indicated with the letters A, D, F were taken in order to verify the possible presence of DNA by the person who grasped that knife. In particular, for sample “A”, a particular point had been chosen, “in which there’s the hand-guard” (page 95) and therefore, in all likelihood, the point where there was the most friction between the hand that grasped the knife and the handle. This sample yielded the result of Amanda Knox’s genetic profile.

The other samples yielded negative results, except the one taken from the blade, from the “scratches and streaks visible under good lighting, by changing the angle of the lighting with regards to the blade” that yielded the genetic profile of the victim (page 96 hearing May 22, 2009).”

And now we know: Dottora Patrizia Stefanoni got it right.

And some disagreement amongst the experts: p.291-2: Professor Cingolani had in fact noted and declared the following: “in the second lesion, the one that is 2 centimetres deep and 1.5 centimetres wide from corner to corner, the only thing that we are tempted to do, [albeit] in an absolutely amateurish/unprofessional way, because we only have photographs available, is to measure, assuming that only the tip entered, how wide the blade is [at a point] 2 centimetres from its tip: it is precisely 1.5 centimetres wide!



A closeup with measurements of Sollecito’s Brian Tighe knife made for killing people

My own investigation

Here is my initial close examination first posted on PMF dot Net last summer.

Ergon   Post subject: INVESTIGATION OF THE KNIVES USED IN THE MURDER Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:42 am

Investigation into the death of Meredith Kercher-THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED

The murder of Meredith Kercher was particularly bloody and brutal. Reading through Massei, pages 109- SURVEY AND EVALUATION OF THE FORENSIC RESULTS through to 158-173, THE CAUSE OF DEATH AND THE MEANS BY WHICH IT WAS OCCASIONED we are reminded of the brutality with which the attack took place, the sexual assault by more than one person, the restraining, the defensive wounds on Meredith’s hands, the torture by more than one knife, restraining by a hand over the mouth when she screamed, (even while she bled to death) and two major knife wounds, one to the left of the throat, the other, to the right. Massei rightly concludes, as did the Supreme Court, that more than one attacker was involved, and, per Massei, there was more than one knife used in the attack. The defense experts tried to draw attention away from the kitchen knife, but, reading through Massei again, I saw how they dropped clues to what the dimensions of the second knife might have been.

We know that Raffaele Sollecito had a fetish for violent porn, that he had an expensive collection of knives, and his many alibis for the night in question have been thrown out by the court. From my studies of criminal psychology, from reading both Amanda and Raffaele’s books and watching videos of their court appearances and television interviews, their psychopathology seem apparent not only to my eyes, but even to the general public that must have looked at them and decided their story somehow did not ring true, and refused to buy their books. There are indeed certain neurological deficits apparent in their demeanor that renowned German neurologist Dr. Gerhard Roth postulates shows up as a ‘dark patch’ in brain scans of all those who display criminal behaviour, and even, “The second type is the mentally disturbed criminal who looks at his world as threatening. A wrong look, one false move, he can explode and become a killer,” he said.

I was shown videos of the crime scene, and able to observe the wounds in Meredith’s neck. The scenes of the room in which the murder took place and, the neck wound, were truly horrifying to me, and showed the extent of the attack. Those images still sit in the mind, but also, cause me to want to get to the bottom of this mystery, hence, my work on the case.

I believe, observing the photos I already posted in the Evidence Files that the kitchen knife was the murder weapon that struck the fatal blow that night. I also believe, reading the pathologist’s report, that the blade that was stuck in Meredith’s neck, in the right latero-cervical area to a depth of 4 cms, was Raffaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe pocket knife, photo also in the evidence files. Yes, no DNA or blood was sampled from it, but that only indicates it was successfully cleaned that night. My reading of Sollecito’s pathology is that he would not want to dispose of the knife he used, it being very expensive and also as an extension of his fetishistic ego. One other thing I asked to look at: The high resolution photos I posted of the bed show the outline and dimensions of two knives. I believe that both images are of the kitchen knife that struck Meredith in the left latero-cervical to cause a cut of 8-9 cms in depth, and a length of 8 cms (p. 167)

There are two exhibits of the mattress cover, one marked “J” and the other, “O”, both displaying the approximate size and dimensions of the kitchen knife, which I will explain when I post the photos. The first, “J”, has more blood because I believe the knife was placed there first and wicked on to the sheet, causing the distorted splotch at the end. By the time it was moved to its final position by the purse, “O”, it retained just enough blood to leave a clearer, indelible impression.

It was a butchery.”

One last point: Rep. 33A/B/C/D were four samples taken from a black-handled folding knife. It tested negative for blood, but, in one sample, the DNA profile matched a mix of Knox and Sollecito. The other samples were negative. Stefanoni: pp. 103-104

Looking at the images produced by my illustrator, and taking the average of the two estimates of the wound depth, 2 and 4 cms, one arrives at a blade width of 1.5 cms at 3 cms length from the tip of Raphaele Sollecito’s Brian Tighe collectors knife, on which, coincidentally, both Amanda Knox and Sollecito’s DNA was found.

Conclusion:

Raffaele Sollecito stabbed Meredith Kercher, causing the lesser wound. And my personal opinion? It was with the Brian Tighe knife, and somehow both he and Amanda Knox got their DNA on it around the same time that night.


Monday, January 27, 2014

An Investigation Into The Large Knife Provides Further Proof That This Was THE Knife

Posted by Ergon


Overview

This is the first report of an investigation (the second part follows soon) of the kitchen knife used in the murder of Meredith Kercher, RIP.

Specifically its compatibility with the imprint of a bloody knife found by police investigators on her bed under-sheet which as you will see here seems possible to prove.

Two other recent posts also concentrated on aspects of the knife as strong proof: (1) proof of both Knox and Kercher DNA and (2) proof from the throat wounds.

  • Reference files are from very high definition crime scene photos not in general circulation.

  • Grateful thanks to the volunteers of the Meredith Kercher community who assisted in this production


Florence Court of Appeals

This is our poster Machiavelli, tweeting from the Florence courtroom on November 26, 2013:

“(Prosecutor Alessandro) Crini stated that this kitchen knife was compatible with the knife print on Meredith’s bed sheet”.

And this is from the defense summing up on January 09, 2014:

Bongiorno: “It’s too big, not the murder weapon.”

“Bongiorno shows a picture with an envisioned “knife” (pocket knife belonging to Guede?) together with the print on the bed sheet.”

“Nobody brings a “small blow with a big knife” “You don’t use half of a big knife” (she says)


Genesis of an investigation:

To recap: evidence was been presented at the Massei court of the first instance, which accepted that the kitchen knife, containing both Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade (trace B) and Amanda Knox’s DNA on the handle (trace A) was the weapon that struck the fatal blow to Meredith Kercher’s throat.

At some point after the attack, the perpetrator, Amanda Knox, puts it down on the bed, leaving “hematic stains” (bloody imprints) on the mattress.

The court concludes the shape of the imprints are compatible with the kitchen knife. It also concludes, based on the size of a lesser wound that a second, smaller knife caused the wound on the other side of the neck, and, the impossibility of accepting that a single weapon inflicted both wounds.

This is what it boils down to now, as we come to the final arguments of this case on January 30, with a decision to be handed down by the court later in the day:

  • Was the kitchen knife found in Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen the murder weapon that killed Meredith Kercher on November 01, 2007?

  • Did the killer leave behind proof in the form of bloody imprints on the under sheet covering Meredith’s bed?

  • And is the defense trying to divert attention away from it, even though the image on the bed fits the dimensions of the kitchen knife?

  • And pointing to a second knife, not ever found?

This article (to be followed by part II) was prepared to offer answers to these questions.

Methods used

As someone with a keen interest in photography, I know we see things in photographs that are not always apparent to the naked eye.

Where before we had all been misled by low definition photographs released by the defense to obscure incriminating details, I was able to obtain and view the high definition photographs shown here that proved that indeed, the bed imprints matched the seized kitchen knife, exhibit 36.

These photographs, first posted at Perugia Murder File Evidence Files have been circulating for some time, with members trying to match the knife to the bed imprints, but not, in my opinion, being able to match it exactly.

First, note that the killer placed a knife on two separate locations on the bed, marked by reference cards “J”, and “O”. (Reference photos below.)

I discarded “J”, because there was too much blood there to form an accurate measurement.  The killer lifted the knife and then placed it at “O”, which gave a better image, but even then, did not match exactly. Still, it was clear the images looked like a kitchen, and not, a pocket knife as alleged by the defense.

Looking at the reference photo, I saw a double image of a knife blade at “O”. (see where there’s a curved edge of the blade? That’s what convinced me there might be a double image there)

Conclusion reached

My opinion is the knife shifted slightly when it was placed there, hence the double image, which now made a perfect match with the kitchen knife, in both instances (see reference photos).

So I got a professional illustrator and other skilled people people to do the scale drawings and produce the video you see above which seems to provide conclusive proof the murder knife was placed on the bed.

Reference photos:




Image 1 above (click for larger image): Bed II (Image J and O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)




Image 2 above (click for larger image): Knife II (Image O on under sheet, shot November 02, 2007)




Image 3 above (click for larger image): FOTO5BIS (Conti-Vecchiotti lab, Mar. 22, 2011)




Image 4 above (click for larger image): Knife-Bed-Vector-AllScales (To prove the scales used to match the images)




Image 5 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-lower-hi (The knife’s first resting position at “O”)




Image 6 above (click for larger image): Knife-pos-upper-hi (The knife’s final resting position at “O”)


Next steps

There are only four more days left till the Florence Appeals Court under Judge Nencini issues its verdict.  It must of course consider ALL the evidence, of which there is a preponderance that indeed suggests the verdict will, as would be proper, be guilty as charged.

Part II will be ready ASAP. It will be a recap of Massei on the knife, and how the defense continually tried to divert us away from the knife image by saying it did not fit the dimensions of the major wound. Also will have Frank Sfarzo’s misdirection and Bruce Fischer’s amateurish attempts to prove that Rudy Guede caused the knife wounds.

Happy as always to do my share for justice for Meredith Kercher.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Many Extraditions Do The US And Italy Refuse? Approximately Zero, When It’s To Each Other

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Ex-fugitive Florian Homm above and below in front of his palatial Mallorca Spain home]


The State Department and FBI collaborate more closely with their Italian counterparts than with almost any others in the world.

Italy is a very loyal political ally to the US and has helped out a lot diplomatically and militarily around the world. The FBI and their Italian counterparts in Rome have officers permanently embedded from one another and there are dozens of transactions going on all the time..

Extraditions both ways take place without fuss at the rate of a few a year, which the State Department and Justice Department are not inclined to fight. A couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court in Rome declined the final appeal of fugitive swindler Florian Homm and sent him on his way to the US.

Homm had many millions to pay top lawyers to fight his extradition case. But he still lost.

The only extradition requests from Italy the US doesnt fulfill are the CIA kidnaping in Milan and Air Force Dolomites case.

It is the CIA and Pentagon overtly or clandestinely exercising special military privileges that is the cause of the two standoffs. NOT the Department of State, which has made clear it is not too thrilled.

Contrary to broad confusion in the US (fed by biased stories from Colleen Barry of the Associated Press) the Florence appeal is not a second or third trial of Knox.

It is a FIRST appeal, actually filed by Sollecito and Knox, on the same lines as any American first appeal, after the previous Hellmann appeal was furtively bent, and then scathingly annulled.  Knox has been in provisionally guilty status since late in 2009.

So double jeopardy absolutely does not apply.

The one REAL difference between this appeal and any American appeal, which seems over Colleen Barry’s head, is that this appeal request was automatically allowed. Any American appeal judge (except Heavey, who serially gets the hard facts wrong) would have thrown the flimsy appeal grounds out.

It may take up to a year, if Amanda Knox chooses to waste more big bucks on lawyer fees -  their batting record for that is pretty dismal so far, though, and a confirmed-guilty verdict in Florence next week might be only the start of more legal strife. False claims in her book will soon see her back in court.

But it seems 100% likely that Italy will “get their man”. To a rapidly increasing number of Americans, Italy’s gain would also be the US’s gain.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rejected Yet Again By Knox, Sollecito Seems Frantic To Avoid What Might Be A Final Return To Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell




The explosive story of Kelsey Kay

Radar Online is an American celebrity-news website owned by the American Media group in New York. 

It is ranked at about the 500th most popular site in the US. Starting yesterday, Radar Online has been advancing a story with a video by an ex-girlfriend of Sollecito, Kelsey Kay (image above) who lives in Idaho.

Kelsey Kay is claiming that while in the US in several of his 2012-2013 stays Sollecito was seeking a way to get married in a hurry, supposing that being a US resident would somehow keep him safe from Italian law. At first glance Kelsey Kay seems compassionate and smart and she paid Sollecito some money and it is not obviously that she is drumming up any for herself. She sized him up accurately in retrospect. So here we go.

Foxy Knoxy BETRAYED: Ex-Lover Raffaele Sollecito Turns On “˜Evil B*tch’ Amanda As He Faces 26 Years For Meredith Kercher Murder “” And Knox Won’t Help Him Beat The Rap

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were branded a modern-day Romeo & Juliet when they were both imprisoned for the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher. But now, Sollecito is turning on the woman who was once his only ally, branding Knox an “evil bitch” who is “selfish, mean, [and] cruel” “” all because she wouldn’t marry him in a scheme designed to keep him out of prison!

As Radar has reported, Sollecito proposed to Knox in March 2013, hoping she would marry him and help him flee the retrial and potential reconviction for Kercher’s murder. When Knox refused, he turned to his online pen pal, Idaho woman Kelsey Kay to air his anger.

According to a new report in Star, Sollecito told Kay Knox was “a selfish, mean, cruel girl,” and an “evil bitch.”

Now Kay tells Radar, that was only the half of it.

“I think his feelings were hurt,” Kay explains. What’s more, she says, it seemed that Sollecito felt Knox was obligated to help him because of the couple’s unique history.

“He came across very entitled, like he had saved her [during the first trial] in Italy by not turning on her,” Kay claims, “and that maybe she was obligated to do the same for him.”

“I’ve read text messages “¦ between the two of them,” Kay says. “The text messages were [often] him texting her and her not responding. And he portrayed that to me as she was insensitive, and didn’t care.”

But in the few messages that Knox did send Sollecito, Kay says, she seemed like an entirely different woman than her ex-lover claimed.

“There were some [texts] about them not being able to marry, and [Amanda] explained herself in a very elegant way,” Kay reveals.

Sollecito’s responses, however, were “more desperate, needy,” Kay says…


The Knox-Sollecito kabuki dance goes on

Going back to the very night they were arrested Knox and Sollecito have never been fully as one.

In early statements they each quite openly placed suspicion on the other, and Sollecito retained this high-ground position right through the 2009 trial to its “guilty” end, slyly suggesting he had the upper hand.

Sollecito never at trial or the 2011 Hellmann appeal ever yanked his charge that Knox was absent from his house and maybe present at the attack on the night that Meredith died.

At trial in 2009 the distancing continued. Knox became so desperate about this that she wrote Sollecito frequent “love letters” and finally quite publicly asked justice authorities if they could meet (it was denied).

Their lawyers danced the same kabuki dance. Read this series by a Rome lawyer who watched every feint on TV.

In January 2012 the prosecution said they would appeal the Hellmann outcome to the Supreme Court. They KNEW the outcome had been tainted by the defenses - as, later, so did the Supreme Court.

Two months later this happens.  Sollecito suddenly rockets off to Seattle - with his family in hot pursuit.

No marriage with AK resulted, but what did result, six months later, was Sollecito’s dishonest book, which shows all the signs of channeling the Seattle-centered FOA loonies, and none at all of the hard facts on the ground.

Six months later Knox’s own book appears.

In the two books, Knox and Sollecito not only tell different versions of their truth - they each reveal some exasperation with the other, and it reads in both books like their amazing love affair back in 2007 would have soon ended on the rocks.

In the short period they were together in Perugia, Knox continued messing with other boys - both in Perugia and (with her old boyfriend) in Seattle - while Sollecito stayed home and sulked.

The titles of both books (Honor Bound and Waiting To Be Heard) were themselves big lies - but Sollecito’s is probably the bigger lie.

The prosecution did NOT ask him to roll over on Amanda - they had no need and no legal right - as even Sollecito’s own dad on national TV confirmed (“That was made up.”) and Sollecito’s one and only claim to be “honor bound” had been that he had resisted.

Thereafter Sollecito and Knox seem to have met again in Seattle and maybe in London and New York.  But still no peace of mind or mutual joy at the end of the road for either, as this post and this post strongly demonstrate. 

And legal residency in a country is of course not a barrier to perps convicted in other countries ending up back there and behind bars. The US sends its own nefarious citizens-by-birth to face foreign justice on occasion. Very naive.

Knox and Sollecito both self-admitted flight risks

Ten days ago in a breaking-news box we posted this:

Breaking news. UK media quote Amanda Knox as saying she may go on the lam if guilt is confirmed. (Remember this is HER appeal. She opened this can of worms.) However the US/Italy extradition treaty and official US paper trail give her zero reason for comfort, and an extradition request would immediately put her in a US jail to stop her going on the lam. An Interpol Red Notice would make her unemployable and subject to worldwide arrest.

Now the poster Jackie on PMF dot Org (a lawyer) has posted this:

I think the Kay Fiasco bears directly on the proceedings underway: IF the texts can be authenticated, and IF there is a guilty verdict, those exchanges will make it all but impossible for RS’s lawyers to argue that he is not a flight risk.

So one week from today there is a strong chance a judicial order to lock them up will flow from the Florence court. 




Monday, January 20, 2014

Appeal Session #9: Sollecito Team Concludes, Prosecutor Crini Rebutts Defenses’ Claims

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above: Sun hits the facade of of one of the most modern courtrooms in Europe]

5. Andre Vogt’s Excellent Post-Court Reporting In The Week

From Amanda Knox’s fugitive fears: she’s right to be worried

Sources close to defence lawyers confide that they, too, fear it may not go their way.

It didn’t help that Knox ignored her lawyers’ pleas to travel from Seattle and attend court in Florence - she sent an email instead - nor that she repeatedly requested to meet the Kerchers, only to be sternly rebutted by their lawyer, who suggested she act more like a defendant.

Then she started a new blog and began blithely responding to comments ““ most recently posting an admission that she had once faked a break-in as an April Fool’s prank before she left for Italy (a staged burglary is a key part of the case against her).

Have the wheels come off Knox’s public relations machine now that she’s safe in Seattle? She may need them again soon, because this appeal differs radically from the first one in 2011 which resulted in her acquittal, but which was harshly criticised and eventually annulled by Italy’s Supreme Court earlier this year.

There are three good reasons why this trial is different ““ and why Knox has reason to be nervous:

First, her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers have distanced his defence from Knox’s.  “He may have brushed her hair and cleaned her ears, but he would not have killed for the love of Amanda,” his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno told jurors in closing arguments earlier this month. “Turn off Amanda,” she said. “Raffaele is not Amanda’s other half.”

Second, the uncompromising Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini has stayed away from Florence. Without him in court as a convenient villain, the “innocent American abroad being railroaded by a rogue prosecutor” narrative no longer holds water. The Florentine prosecutor, Alessandro Crini, has distanced the state’s case from the always controversial kitchen knife that may or may not have been the murder weapon. He’s also given less credence to the “˜sex game gone wrong’ theory that was central to the prosecution case in the first trial. Instead he’s considered all the evidence as a whole. There might have been a fight about missing money and hygiene, he said, but motive doesn’t matter: murders happen all the time for banal reasons. And convictions happen on much less evidence.

Third, the strict Florence judge, Alessandro Nencini, has curbed all antics by lawyers, public and media. There are no perp walks with popping flashbulbs this time. However the appeal ends, no one can argue that this trial wasn’t professionally managed.

4. Tweets by freelance reporter Andrea Vogt

14. Sollecito defense on bra clasp: For us, the condition of the room and conduct of the forensic police tells us there was contamination.

13. Judge interrupted Sollecito lawyer with a booming “No!” saying wiretapped conversations of Sollecito family not to be discussed this trial.

12. Maresca: Whatever you decide, we believe justice will be done & all elements considered in depth. We will serenely accept your decision.

11. Kercher attorney Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to amanda knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.

10. Fabbiani, attorney for Meredith’s brother, urges court to look beyond motive. Perna for her sister: one person alone did not kill Meredith.

9. Lumumba attorney Pacelli concludes with this phrase to the jury: “Convict liar Amanda, the diabolical slanderer.”

8. Presiding Judge Nencini has cut Pacelli’s amanda knox monologue short. Says going off track. Pacelli promises to finish in 5 min.

7. Lumumba’s attorney Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on amandaknox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.

6. Prosecutor asks (in case of conviction) cautionary measures so defendants can’t flee. Options are: passport, house arrest or arrest.

5. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence.

4. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time. Only in Italy!

3. Sollecito attorney: The only things certain are the death of Meredith Kercher and the presence of Rudy Guede in the house that night.

2. Sollecito attorney: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.

1. In court, Sollecito attorney Maori contesting prosecutor’s arguments point by point. Knife, bathmat, alibi, witnesses. Afternoon rebuttals.

3. Tweets by our main poster Machiavelli

[At this point Machiavelli signed off]

62. Crini: Nencini asks the clerk’s officer to write down formally the exact terms of prosecution request to issue cautionary measures [if verdict guilty]

61. Crini says his conclusions are unchanged. Prosecution suggests arrest decrees are issued immediately if defendant(s) is(are) guilty

60. Crini points out the crime and motive originate from group dynamic.

59. Crini: Bongiorno had pointed out that anyway Sollecito should be accounted only for what he had done (implicit: not what Knox did)

58. Crini: The excessive and too quick reaction to a situation of rising argument is typical of group reaction.

57. Crini: Argument about cleaning was also reported by Meredith to her father John Kercher

56. Crini: Massive rejection of English [girls] testimonies is “weak” on the part of defence; tensions and dislikes in the house are recorded on paper

55. Crini: Movite cannot be assessed preliminarily as if it was a piece of evidence to be discussed

54. Crini: if you need to prove a crime, it is opportune to detect a motive, but a motive is only a plausible conjecture not basis for deduction

53. Crini: Bongiorno called all English girls ‘unreliable’ (because English, maybe coached by lawyers etc.)

52. Crini calls ‘amusing’ Bongiorno comparing her client with captain Schettino

51. Crini: Some thoughts about the motive.

50. Crini: It makes no sense to say the large kitchen knife is ‘incompatible’ with the big wound.

49. Crini: To the court: can you imagine a ‘surgical operation’ with a small knife producing a wound with clear margins on a live struggling victim?

48. Crini: it is difficult to produce an 8x8 cm large wound with a small 8cm long knife, it would produce at best a wound with irregular margin

47. Crini: The blade hypothesized by defence from the bed sheet stain is anyway larger; these are anyway conjectures. Datum is compatibility

46. Crini: thinking you can preemptively deduce the size of the blade from bed sheet stain is ‘unrealistic’

45. Crini: The “double knife theory” is based on the small size of the right wound, experts point to a likely much smaller knife with thin blade.

44. Crini: no defence wounds, no fight bruises, nothing under nails, bruises indicate forced restraint of victim; how she was immobilized

43. Crini: Massei court did not decide about attribution of pillowcase shoeprints, Crini objects Vinci’s finding, thinks prints are too small

42. Crini: Knox defence: says when Guede leaves palm print on pillowcase leaves a signature

41. Crini: Bongiorno called the murder scene “flooded” with Guede’s DNA. Crini points out his traces in room indicating he had free hands (no weapon)

40. Crini: The defences also dealt thoroughly with the use of the knife, wounds, blade size

39. Crini: The dynamic of the crime. Maori attributed all traces to Rudy Gede alone

38. Crini: All alleles of the victim were found in a scratch on the knife blade. Human DNA is normally not on knife blades

37. Crini: Vecchiotti admitted there was a scratch on the blade

36. Crini: The same defence experts did not object to the attribution Y haplotype of Guede found in the victim’s vagina

35. Crini: Calls Vecchiotti’s reasoning on bra clasp “a priori”, dismissed for reasons totally general and vague. Doesn’t read Y haplot. and X together

34. Crini: Points out a passage where Vecchiotti’s report misquotes police findings inserting the word “only”, built a strawman

33. Crini says let’s look at the Conti-Vecchiotti report, to see what it says, if you can subscribe with the report.

32. Crini: Tagliabracci in 2008 objected to quotes of prof. Gill calling them “too recent”

31. Crini: Objections referred to Low Copy Number are obsolete, and also partly undermined by the RIS report

30. Crini: Calls “embarassing” Bongiorno when alleges the police was wrong in attributing stains to cat’s blood

29. Crini: Disproves Bongiorno’s allegation that the clasp was stepped over.

28. Crini: Novelli rules out there was contamination in laboratory, as well as tertiary transfer in situ.

27. Crini is “pleased” the defence did not attempt to allege laboratory DNA contamination. Points out findings by Novelli

26. Crini: report says had there been internet surfing or writing activity, this would have resulted as obvious.

25. Crini cites arguments about computer expert reports, hearings of 14 Mar 2009 and Dec 2010 say further investigation is unnecessary

24. Crini: Maori omits to quote pieces of Curatolo’s testimony.

23. Crini will deal with Maori’s “theory of alibi” only very briefly

22. Crini says defence arguments on bathmat print are conjectures. Rinaldi is actually same person who correctly attributed shoeprint

21. Crini: Bathmat print: compatibility assessment can be done on what is measurable

20. Crini: Guede knew the hous and apartments, would have chosen logical entries and logical behaviour, Crini calls burglary theory ‘not credible’

19. Crini: alleged small wounds on Guede’s hand, inconsistent with absence of his blood on scene

18. Crini: Talks about Bongiorno’s criticism to staged burglary scenario - the scenario of Guede already inside apartment

17. Crini says police report timings, records of CCTV video camera and phone calls are ‘consistent’

16. Crini does not see corroboration of alleged 7-minute late clock error of CCTV. The 13.29 call was from Carabinieri HQ and don’t change anthg

15. Crini tris to “strain” the timing of police arival to favor the defence, to see if scenario fits. Considers possible CCTV time error

14. Crini: Sollecito calls Carabinieri too late, also because last phone call to Romaneli was at 12.38

13. Crini: Call to Sollecito’s sister, and then Sollecito’s call to Carabinieri at 12.51-45. Crini: this timing is late independently from Battistelli

12. Crini: Battistelli arrives on foot about 10 minutes eariler than postal police car

11. Crini wants to look better at some arguments about Sollecito’s declarations to postal police. Battistelli recalls 12.35 consistent with CCTV

10. Crini talks about Sollecito ‘sidetracking’, talking about statements to postal police

9. Crini: Knox’s Calunnia also contains details that have external corroboration and she could not have deduced from simple burglary scenario

8. Crini: A Calunnia is itself incriminating (require strong defence explanation), but Knox’s Calunnia also contains furth incrimiating details

7. Crini: Knox maintained her calunnia against Patrick over a period of several days. Crini points out the logicality of Cassazione argument.

6. Crini: Knox statements: ‘Patrick had sex with Meredith’ and ‘there was a loud scream’ were new elements, unrelated to known facts and not retracted

5. Crini: On calunnia, Crini points out that there was an argumentation about Knox defence about usability of Knox’s statement. argument is wrong

4. Crini: Theoretically all defense points could be replied to, Knox’s Calunnia, Sollecito statements to police, the staged theft, the mat print; DNA evidence

3. Crini says he will talk briefly only about a few selected points, without repeating himself, and without discussing old arguments again

2. [After the break] Prosecutor General Crini begins to reply.

1. [After the break] Sollecito entering the court, asked what he expect, says “no comment”

2. Tweets by reporter Barbie Latza Nadeau

44. Judge especially hard on Sollecito sub lawyer, reprimanding her for introducing new arguments when she is only supposed to be refuting.

43. Sollecito sub lawyer argues no DNA from Meredith Kercher on bra clasp w/Sollecito’s DNA, failing to mention she was wearing the bra..

42. Six years of Kercher trials and some lawyers still pronounce the K in Knox.. “ka-nox” as Sollecito’s sub lawyer just did.

41. Kercher lawyers finished, now Sollecito lawyers up for rebuttal, but both his principal lawyers had to leave early.

40. Kercher atty Maresca: Perugians reacted angrily to Amanda Knox acquittal because it was scandalous: acquittal was decided in advance.

39. Kercher lawyers ask court to consider all the previous testimony they say proves more than one person killed Meredith Kercher.

38. Lumumba lawyer says his client has not received any of the €22k he is owed by Amanda Knox even though the slander conviction is final.

37. Judge reprimands Lumumba lawyer for veering off course, he is only to discuss slander aspect of case, not murder itself.

36. Lumumba’s atty Pacelli is delivering a vitriolic rebuttal on Amanda Knox - mixing his unbridled contempt w/her own statements.

35. Lumumba keeps referring to Amanda Knox as “the American”, says she had a penchant for drugs, alcohol, sex.

34. Lumumba lawyer calls Amanda Knox a “diabolical slanderer” “¦

33. Lumumba lawyer says Amanda Knox substituted Patrick for Rudy Guede.

32. Court back in session with Lumumba lawyer up. Sollecito back in court after break.

31. Prosecutor Crini: a lack of motive does not equal proof of innocence. Amanda Knox

30. Prosecutor focused on knife, says traces of Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox are valid.

29. Sollecito staring at prosecutor as he delivers rebuttal, jury taking notes, judge listening intently, journalists trying to stay awake.

28. Prosecutor in new Amanda Knox appeal says motive in murder is never simple and clear, like murder itself is complex.

27. MeredithKercher lawyer says her brother and sister plan to come for verdict Jan 30.

26. Prosecutor just referred to Amanda Knox as “la nostra Knox” as he tries to refute defense arguments.

25. Trial back in session after “pausa caffe” during which Sollecito and his accusers were in tiny court coffee bar at same time.

24. Prosecutor making brief rebuttal, pushing Sollecito and Amanda Knox back together after Sollecito lawyer clearly tried to separate them

23. Sollecito just told group of reporters he was not sure if he would come for verdict.

22. Sollecito lawyer finished. Judge asks lawyers how much time they need for rebuttals. 15 minute

21. Sollecito lawyer says his client is not guilty. Does not mention Amanda Knox in final moments of closing arguments.

20. Sollecito atty: This case is an anomaly. Various judges interpreted facts differently over the years. There’s reasonable doubt.

19. Sollecito lawyer tells the court they can only accept that Meredith Kercher was murdered and that Rudy Guede is the lone killer.

18. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno has just arrived in court with three male assistants.

17. Sollecito lawyer says Sollecito was never with Guede, Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox. Says testimony that they were was false.

16. Sollecito lawyer working to discredit witnesses. Says store owner who says he saw

15. Judge in response to Sollecito lawyer asking if jury is tired: if we are tired now we will have to kill ourselves by the end of the day.

14. Sollecito in court today. Will he come for verdict on 30th?

13. Sollecito lawyer lays out why homeless man in park who testified he saw Amanda Knox and Sollecito arguing night of murder is unreliable.

12. Patrick Lumumba also absent from court today.

11. Judge in Amanda Knox new appeal rarely looks at Sollecito lawyer, writing notes, scrolling tablet, but minimal eye contact.

10. Sollecito lawyer on mass media tangent, says the “super witnesses” for prosecution in earlier trials were all for show.

9. Judge in Amanda Knox 2nd appeal asks for clarification on hard to follow techie evidence.

8. Sollecito lawyer showing computer records for Raf’s computer access, says access was human, not automated. Jury squinting at slides.

7. Sollecito lawyer moves on to Raf’s computer, how computers belonging to Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher were all “accidentally” destroyed.

6. Sollecito lawyer back on break in. Frequent reference to Guede “the real assassin”. No mention of Amanda Knox at all yet.

5. Sollecito lawyer focusing on staged break in.

4. Sollecito lawyer G Bongiorno not in court this morning.

3. Sollecito lawyer Maori says luminal also picks up fruit juice, not just blood. Judge taking notes.

2. Sollecito lawyer showing slides of famous footprint on bathroom rug in Meredith Kercher blood.

1. Sollecito lawyer now summing up in Florence, then rebuttals. Verdict expected Jan 30.

1. Tweets by reporter for La Nazione

46. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito) : “In a process based on circumstantial evidence motive is the glue of the whole thing.”

45. Lawyer Colotti (Sollecito defense) begins.

44. Sollecito defense : “The Meredith’s bra clasp was contaminated as evidence “

43. Sollecito defense : “It was Rudy Guede who entered through the window after breaking the glass “

42. Sollecito defense : “There was no misdirection in statements of Sollecito “

41. Now it’s up to the defense again, Sollecito team begin their final responses

40. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “On the blade there are traces of the victim “”

39. Lawyer Maresca (Kerchers) : “Hellmann appeal, the acquittal was a pre-cooked judgment”

38. Lawyer Francesco Maresca (Kercher family) begins

37. Lawyer Perna (Kerchers) “Wounds on the body victim compatible with the knife found at Sollecito’s house “

36. Lawyer Perna (Kercher family) begins

35. Lawyer Vieri Fabiani , one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, the Kercher family

34. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Judges, sentence the liar Amanda , the devilish slanderer “

33. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Meredith could not stand Amanda”

32. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda is on Lumumba’s mind constantly “

31. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “Amanda hoped Lumumba slander would not be discovered “

30. Lawyer Pacelli (Lumumba) : “the defense of Amanda was rancorous and non-existent “

29. Lawyer Carlo Pacelli (for the plaintiff Lumumba) begins.

28. Crini: “If Sollecito and Knox are condemned then precautionary measures should be decided to ensure execution of the sentence”

27. Crini: “There were tensions in the house for reasons of hygiene ”

26. Crini: “The absence of sure motive is not a defensive threshold “

25. Crini : “At the scene there was no contamination “

24. Crini : the prosecutor carries on his indictment reaffirming the validity of the clues

23. Crini : the prosecutor continues rebuttal,  the Tuscany Attorney General Dr Tindari Baglione enters the court

22. Crini : “Slander of Lumumba in itself is an important element “

21. Crini : the Prosecutor General starts his rebuttal

20. Sollecito’s father::”That’s understandable , too much stress”

19. Sollecito :”I do not know if I’ll be in the courtroom on the day of judgment

18. This ends the argument of Maori (defense of Sollecito )

17. Maori: “The only possible verdict is an acquittal”# meredithnazione

16. Maori: “In the various processes motive , time, and the murder weapon changed ontinuously”

15. Maori: “The witnesses who say that Raffaele and Rudy knew each other, said things false”

14. Maori:”The witness Quintavalle for many days after the murder of Amanda did not speak”

13. Maori: “The witness Quintavalle speaks thirteen months after the fact”

12. Maori: “The witness Curatolo is unreliable , wrong date and report things that are false”

11. Maori: “Some witnesses have had access to financial sinecures”

10. Maori: “The witnesses are characters created by the mass media”

9. Maori: “At 21.26 Sollecito opened from his PC the cartooon Naruto”

8. Maori: “At 21.10 there was interaction Sollecito with his pc”

7. Maori: “Analysis of the computer shows that Sollecito ‘s alibi is true”

6. Maori: “No simulation , glass window broken by a stone from the outside. No glass outside”

5. Maori:”No simulation of theft. Blinds on window with broken glass were not closed”

4. Maori: “The bloody footprint on the bath mat is not Sollecito’s foot”

3. Maori: “Meredith was killed at 21”

2. Maori: “The kitchen knife is the murder weapon . Wounds are not compatible”

1. The hearing begins : now it’s up to the lawyer Maori



[Below: previous image of Attorney General Dr Tindari Baglione who is in court to hear Dr Crini]


Saturday, January 18, 2014

False Claims In Bongiorno’s Summation: That The Wound “Proved” Sollecito’s Big Knife Was Not The One

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





In defense summation on 9 January, nobody who really knows the case (such as Judge Nencini) would have bought many of Giulia Bongiorno’s outlandish arguments.

The post below this one illustrates how Bongiorno in about half her arguments tried to demonize and mischaracterize all of Perugia, as if somehow Perugia itself had become the real villain in forcing a rush to judgment and wrong conclusion. In fact Perugia took a huge hit from Meredith’s murder but has acted gracefully and competently ever since. 

This post by several of us after discussion in Comments is the first of two on Bongiorno’s claims about the large knife. The second one will follow next week by Ergon.

There is no question in our minds but that this IS the murder weapon. It was proved convincingly by way of the DNA tests done by the Scientific Police and Carabinieri. Here we prove it by way of human physiology and the autopsy.

Waving two knives with a manic expression, Bongiorno claimed that the the large knife in evidence was far too large for the wound in question - and anyway, anyone intent on murder would have easily pushed the large knife right through so there was no intent of murder anyway. Bongiorno dismissed the possibility that hyoid bone could have somehow stopped the blade, prevented it from penetrating, as the bone is not resistant enough.

The surface location of the hyoid Bone is shown in the Illustration above; its front is only a few millimeters below the skin: The hyoid bone is loop-shaped like a C, open at the back; this Hyoid loop encloses part of the airway:


The hyoid bone curves around the upper airway at the base of the tongue, and is also called the tongue-bone or the lingual-bone. It is located between the mouth and the larynx; therefore during inhalation air passes through the hyoid loop before it passes through the larynx, and during exhalation air passes through the larynx before it passes through the hyoid loop.

The hyoid is an integral factor in the swallowing, breathing, and phonation mechanisms. If transected in such a way as to connect its part of the airway directly to the atmosphere, as it was in this case, swallowing, breathing, and phonation will be seriously impaired, as they were in this case.

The coexistent bleeding from the also-transected Right Superior Thyroid Artery accelerated Meredith’s death, more by the drowning-effect of inhalation of the blood into her lungs, than by the loss of circulating-blood alone.

Both the hyoid bone and the jawbone are mobile, which is why we can chew, swallow, talk, smile laugh, and sing, the way that we do, each of us in our own unique way.

The Massei Prosecution Reconstruction depicted the killers making cuts obliquely from behind.

The fatal cut started on the Left, but crossed the midline to the Right.

Both the Right Superior Thyroid Artery, and the nearby Hyoid Bone, were severed but from Massei, it is not precisely clear where the hyoid loop was severed, and it seems that the cut did not include the midline skin; The Florence Appellate Court will have access to the relevant records.

Here is why the hyoid could not have damaged any knife:

It is an old rule of materials-physics that a softer substance cannot even scratch a harder substance.

[To some people this may be counter to their intuition, so I have passed it by an eminent MIT physicist, and he agrees with me that the knife blade would not show signs of damage caused by the stabbing in this case.]

As pointed-out recently on TJMK, some confusion has arisen, caused by a quotation in the Massei Report, where on p371is written: “”¦a single blow was apparently halted by the jawbone”¦”

The statement that a blow could be “apparently halted” by Meredith’s jawbone is at best a figure of speech, and the quotes of Prof Cingolani on page 152 of the Massei Translation clearly indicate that any cause and effect inference from the phrase “apparently halted by” did not mean it was stopped-by the jawbone:

Prof Cingolani “did not, however, have elements of certainty to establish that the blade which had caused the wound 4 centimetres deep had stopped at the said depth because [it was] stopped by the jawbone.”

Maybe there is a Judicial, translational, or typographical glitch and “by” the jawbone should have been “at” the jawbone.

Skin is soft and bone is harder but there is no way that the knife striking the jawbone would halt the knife in this case, the jaw would just roll with the strike, depending on the angle of attack. [The force was not even enough to mark the jawbone itself!]

Furthermore, contact between the knife and jawbone or hyoid bone would not mark the knife because living-bone is softer than the knife.

When your pet gnaws on a non-living cow-bone, neither the bone nor your pet’s teeth can bend; both your pet’s teeth and the bone can be broken or dislocated, and the bone gets scratches on it because it is still softer than the teeth, but your pet’s teeth do not get scratches on them, because they are harder even than the non-living bone.

If someone is stabbed in the back with a kitchen carving knife, penetrating ribs on its way to the heart, the knife may have no scratches at all, nor show any signs of damage caused by that action.

[Look at your own kitchen carving knife. It probably has no marks caused by striking chicken thigh bones. It will have fine parallel scratches created in the manufacturing process.]

Any implication-in, or inference-from the statement quoted above that stabbing Meredith’s neck with enough force to penetrate the layers of her neck and then strike bone would have the effect of signs of damage to the knife-blade is a figment of an uninformed imagination.

The kitchen-knife, found in Sollecito’s apartment, with Meredith’s DNA on the blade and Knox’s DNA on the handle, is the weapon that killed Meredith.


Page 9 of 36 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›