Headsup: The first 8 episodes of the RAI/HBO production "My Brilliant Friend" about a supreme alpha-girl and her "moon" of a best friend airing in 60-plus countries are proving amazingly endearing. So many colorful elements of evolving post WWII Italy on display. Yes, some violence too, but peanuts compared to say New York in that era. A real must-see.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meredith’s Perugia #28: The Palm Riviera, For Her, Less Than One Hour East

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters

Posted on 06/27/10 at 01:35 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer Perugia
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Amanda Knox’s Supporters Obtain Rome Embassy Cables About Knox, Prove Of No Help

Posted by True North

The American Embassy in Rome above, and the State Department in Washington below.

Ninety-nine percent of the reason why countries put embassies in other countries is because they really want to get along.

The US and Italy in fact do get along, extremely well, and there are thousands of transactions between the two countries every day. Thousands of Americans live in Italy, and millions of Americans are of Italian descent.

At the request of the US Administration, the Italian government recently put a large contingent of Italian troops in Afghanistan.

Under the US Freedom of Information Act,  any American citizen can request and usually obtain astonishing amounts of official documentation, far beyond what can usually be extracted from the bureaucracies in most other countries.

Occasionally this information has embarrassed the department concerned, or the party in power in the Congress or the White House. But usually the documents are innocuous and without drama. Conspiracies simply never show up.

The blogger History Punk on his website Historiographic Anarchy has posted some cables (pdf format) from Rome to Washington, which report periodically on the Rome Embassy’s monitoring of Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison and her trial and appeals in Perugia.

As we would expect, these cables are extremely mundane. They were sent by a middle-level official in the consular section of the Rome Embassy to the Italy desk in the State Department.

They report carefully on the careful Italian legal process, and they never remark on anything wrong. No charges or claims or complaints are relayed from Amanda Knox. There is no talk of any anti-Americanism. No instructions, questions or comments are cabled from Washington in return.

One cable was not released. It was marked confidential and the contents are unknown. Here’s a guess at its contents: “Please keep those xenophobic ranters on a chain - they are doing the American cause in Italy no good at all”. 

My first post here on TJMK and proud of it. This is a good fight I join.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Aviello Story Seems To Show The RS & AK Defenses All But Concede Guilt Of All 3

Posted by Peter Quennell

Now SERIOUSLY grasping at straws.

The Sollecito defense latched with alacrity onto baby-killer and jailhouse-snitch Mario Alessi three months ago.

This seemed to have been widely taken in Italy as a sign of the Sollecito defense’s desperate weakness, rather than as a get-out-of-jail-free trump-card for Raffaele Sollecito.

Several weeks ago the Amanda Knox defense latched onto Camorra clan-member and jailhouse snitch Luciano Aviello.

With a lot less alacrity though - his various stories have been around for a long time.  This seemed to have been widely taken in Italy as a sign of the Knox defense’s desperate weakness,

Luciano Aviello, who is now in prison, and his brother Antonio, now on the run, are or were connected to the Camorra (NBC Dateline report above) which is Naples’s equivalent of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily. The Camorra is in some ways the older, larger and badder of the two arms of the Italian mafia.

Luciano Aviello and Antonio Aviello were living in Perugia at the time the crime against Meredith took place. Over a year ago, our poster Catnip posted this translation of a report from Italy on the Perugia Murder File board.

Saturday 09 May 2009

Prisoner writes: ‘I know real murderer’s name’

“I know the real name of Meredith’s killer, a fellow-brother Albanian friend of mine told me, and it’s not Raffaele Sollecito.” Luciano Aviello is Raffaele Sollecito’s ex-cellmate and, now, maybe encumbering his admirer, is writing another letter to Court of Assize president Giancarlo Massei.

A few weeks ago he had sent a letter in which he claims to have asked two of his friends to break into the murder house to prove that anybody could have done so. Yesterday, the page count of his letter jumped to five, and the tone was angrier.

He’s had it with journalists, because they’ve referred to his less than clear past, and because they wrote about his previous never-proven-true “revelations” on various important and dramatic criminal cases (like the disappearance of little Angela Celentano).

He’s had it with the police too, in whom he confided his secret about Raffaele’s innocence and who didn’t even give him the time of day.

He maintains that, actually, he has a letter written by an Albanian friend, which contains the real name of the murderer, and he wants to speak only to the court president, Giancarlo Massei, to reveal it to him.

Even the lawyer on the civil side of the case, Francesco Maresca, acting for the Kerchers, remains skeptical: “That letter ought to be re-read carefully: it’s not flour from his grainsack*”.


* This is a proverbial phrase (non è farina del suo sacco = “it’s not grist from his own mill”) meaning it wasn’t written off his own bat, and that other hands contributed to it.

And there is a video of a Sky News Italy report in Italian dated 21 April 2009 which in effect says “this isn’t any big deal’.

In Italy, Luciano Aviello and his kaleidoscopic claims thereupon went onto the back burner.

Fast forward to several weeks ago, when the Knox defense engages in a high-profile, noisy flurry of activity to get a deposition from Luciano Aviello.

This time, Luciano recalls,  it was actually his own missing brother who did it, and he himself buried some clothing and some keys.

Casting total doubt on everything Luciano Aviello ever says, his hometown newspaper Il Mattino in Naples comes out with this report. It is our translation.

“The Meredith Case - A Mariano Clan Supergrass Pops Up: “Amanda Is Innocent”

By Gigi di Fiore

In the newsroom of the Mattino he seemed at ease. Luciano Aviello was [20 years ago] just over twenty years old, and had asked to recount his experience as a “streetwise youth in the Mariano Camorra clan”.

In an earlier time, a war was in full swing in the Spanish Quarter [of Naples] between the Mariano clan, the “picuozzo” [another name for this clan after the “picuozzo” or cord around a monk’s habit] and the Di Biase family, also known as the “faiano”.

The DDA (Direzione Distrettuale Antimafia or Distict Anti-Mafia Directorate) did not yet exist, but Federico Cafiero de Raho was already employed as prosecutor in the investigations into organized crime.

It was he who dealt with that bloody war. Twenty years later, Aviello had become a news-magazine character. Now in his own words, he claims to have a rolet in the Perugia trial for the Meredith Kercher case as a “decisive” witness.

On 19 April of last year, he addressed two little hand-written pages to the President of the Court of Assizes of Perugia, Giancarlo Massei. He declared himself ready to tell the truth, and revealed that he had twice given some friends of his the task of breaking the seals on the house where the crime took place.

On 31 March of this year, Amanda Knox’s defense team video-recorded the declarations made by Aviello, who is now 41 years old. As the weekly news-magazine “Oggi” writes, he said: “It was my brother who murdered Amanda [sic]. I can recover for you the knife used in the crime and the keys of that house”.

This fellow arrived on the third floor of via Chiatamone [Editor’s office of the Mattino] wearing casual clothes with a pretence of elegance: he never retracts anything, always seeking to find suitable words to best describe his “revelations”.

Contact lenses, slim, a cousin killed because he was affiliated to the Mariano clan, Aviello spoke, revealing an outline personality, in a shadow world of braggadoccio, always on the sidelines of the dealings and violent acts of those in power among the clans of the Quarter at that time.

He ended up in jail, having confessed to a murder. It wasn’t true, but they had promised him 5 million lira, a lawyer and an annuity.

The clan didn’t respect the pact, and so he began to talk freely. Enticed by the good life, he began to act as a gofer/go-between selling “black lottery” tickets. He felt important. He earned 500 thousand lira per week.

It wasn’t bad. Then he did “embassies” [message-running], little services, but never great criminal leaps. The clans considered him “not very trustworthy”.

He was implicated in the investigation into the Spanish Quarter Camorra, and convicted.

Today, Federico Cafiero, now deputy prosecutor and DDA Coordinator for the investigations into the Caserta province clans, says of him: “He was altogether untrustworthy, although every so often he would invent a new one [new story]. A revelation, as he would call it, which would subsequently reveal itself to be out and out nonsense”.

Such as when he said that he knew where Angela Calentano was to be found, or that he knew the hideouts of the main fugitives of the D’Alessandro di Castellammare clan.

For his “revelations” against Tiziana Maiolo, ex president of the Justice Commission of the Chamber, he was hit with a trial, in 1997, for calumny.

Two years ago, he fired off his biggest tale yet: he accused a public prosecutor from Potenza in the famous trial on “dirty robes” between Catanzaro and Salerno. He was given an audience by the prosecutor Rosa Volpe in Salerno.

He had announced revelations. His contradictions were immediately exposed.

On those occasions also, the sources of his stories were newspaper articles or gossip with his cell-mates. Such as Raffaele Sollecito, or Gennaro Cappiello for the “dirty robes” investigation.

A compulsive liar, a seeker of publicity?

Twenty years ago, Aviello seemed to be a self-centred person, proud to present himself as a witness to “important facts”. But he never managed to arrive at a scheme of constant collaboration.

For various crimes, he has so far served 17 years in jail. Now the Perugia case appears. Who knows?

Our poster SomeAlibi seems to have had the last meaningful word on the absurdity of this tale. SomeAlibi posted this rather devastating satire on the PMF forum.

I can see it now..

Ghirga: “Well thank you Mr Luciano Aviello, that testimony I think the court will find extremely interesting concerning why Amanda Knox couldn’t have done the murder because it was your brother who was responsible. Despite the fact he’s missing. But thank you and I believe we’re finished.”

Luciano Aviello (quietly): “We ain’t finished”

G: “Uh?”

LA: “So, about this de-fa-may-shun thing.”

G: “Uh?”

LA: “She didn’t do it.”

G: “Sorry?”

LA: “She didn’t dooo it.”

G: “But Mr Aviello we brought you here to talk about the murder not the—”

LA: ”—see it sounds like you ain’t hearing me too good. Perhaps you need a little airation of your ears to help you with that. How would a 22 millimetre hole strike ya? She didn’t say nothing. She didn’t doooo it, capice?”

G: “But, she said it in interview. And in court. I mean, we were all there”

LA (putting tooth-pick on witness stand) “See, now you are making me repeat myself and I don’t like that at all, no I don’t. But I am a tolerant man, so maybe once more for luck ok? She didn’t dooooooooo it.”

G: “All of us were there!... She doesn’t actually disagree she said it…. hello… Mr Aviello… hello… what are you…. what are you doing… why are you counting?”

LA: “Now requiring this many pine boxes ain’t going to be ecologically acceptable my friend, so I suggest EVERYONE here learns to listen up real good ok?”

Court (all): “Huh?”

LA: “Repeat after me. She didn’t dooooooooooooooooo iiiit”

Court (all): “Like hell she didn’t”

LA: “Wise guys, huh?”

Well… that certainly went very well! This all reads like an Italian movie called in English Johnny Stecchino by Italy’s favorite funny actor Robertio Benignii  He accidentally finds himself confused with a mafiosos in Sicily, sees his days are very numbered, and starts talking fast. Very fast..

He gets out of it, somehow, but the real mafioso still takes the hit. Nice knowing you, Luciano…

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why UK Media Deniers Like The Independent’s Amy Jenkins Come Across As Bigoted And Nasty

Posted by The Machine

“I can’t personally prove that Amanda Knox is innocent but I would bet every penny I own that she is.”

Bet away, Amy Jenkins.

The meme that Amanda Knox was being railroaded or framed was not too difficult to whip up in the United States.

Amanda Knox was not the first to get some Americans exercised over the notion that foreign meanies were picking on an American “just because he or she is American”.

Historically there have been a few cases for real. And it was easy to research the US dimensions of Meredith’s case in Seattle, and much harder to research the London, Leeds and Perugia dimensions. London, Leeds and Perugia are over there and in Perugia the language is Italian. 

But in London it is much easier to research Meredith, and to nail down the truth about this case.

Meredith was an exceptional person, with a very bright future ahead. And Amanda Knox probably had underlying issues even before she left Seattle, she was certainly on drugs and quite possibly an addict, she was running desperately short of money in Perugia, she quite possibly thought she had been fired because of Meredith, and in her relations with Meredith (and the other two girls in the flat) she was already like oil and water.

Meredith’s family have given some interviews with reporters who won their trust (you can see an image of one in this post) and people who knew Meredith in London and Leeds have talked about her with reporters who won their trust (you can see several in this post).

So it is always a real shock to read those stridently anti-evidence, anti-prosecution, anti-Italy, and frankly anti-Meredith pieces being pushed by a BRITISH journalist.  .

There have been maybe half a dozen British media deniers so far, and the online comments below their reports usually point out in spades how they got many many hard facts wrong. With the exception of the frankly peculiar Peter Popham of The Independent, toward whom not even one good journalist seems to have respect, they are then heard from on the case no more.

But their pieces hurt, and they do real damage. They are hurtful to Meredith’s friends, they have to be very hurtful to her family, and they are hurtful to Italy, the cause of justice, the memory of Meredith, and (in terms of equal and opposite reaction) to Amanda Knox herself. In Italy they do her no good whatsoever.

One of the WORST was this recent article in The Independent by the London-based freelance writer Amy Jenkins.

False claim: Amy Jenkins’s qualifications

Usually she writes about lifestyle, and particular about her own, concerning which she seems to have endless fascination - her articles are usually riddled with “I’ and “me” throughout. The photo below, with her kid for a prop, was actually posted with one of them.

Needless to say, these pieces don’t require very much in the way of research.

Here are some of the non-qualifications for Amy Jenkins to, all of a sudden, for the very first time, focus her attention on a foreign crime.

  • She appears to have no history of criminal research and no special knowledge of the law (she dropped out of law school in the first year) 

  • She has never stepped foot inside the courthouse in Perugia or attended any of the many court sessions.

  • She hasn’t had full, if any, access to the the prosecution’s 10,000 plus pages of evidence.

  • She obviously hasn’t read the Micheli report of January 2009 or the Massei report of March 2010.

  • She seems not to have a clue who the true victim Meredith Kercher really was or reached out to any of the very handy UK sources.

In other words, Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the real facts of the case. She seems to be knowledgeable ONLY about the list of spurious facts disseminated by the FOA, the PR campaign, and the adolescent bunch of Knox groupies..

Any even half-competent journalist would surely have enough common sense and cynicism not to accept what they are told without question, and would independently check all their facts to make sure they are accurate and reliable. She didn’t.

Any even half-competent journalist would also make sure to research all dimensions of a story before settling for a point of view - especially for a very strident, inflammatory, libelous and hurtful one. She didn’t.

False claim: “No forensic evidence”

If any proof was needed that Amy Jenkins knows almost nothing about the case, she provides it right up front by bizarrely and erroneously claiming that that there is no forensic evidence.

If she had actually bothered to read the judges’ sentencing report, which has been available to the public since 4 March, she would have known about all of this forensic evidence:

  • The double DNA knife which had Knox’s DNA on the handle and Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

  • The detailed medical reports that led the judges to conclude that Meredith must have been stabbed with two different-sized knives.

  • The evidence of countless forensic experts who testified that Meredith was attacked by multiple attackers.

  • The five instances of Knox’s DNA mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations of the cottage.

  • Knox’s DNA had united with Meredith’s blood into one single streak on the basin and bidet which means they were deposited simultaneously.

  • Knox’s bare bloody footprints which were revealed by luminol in the hallway.

  • Three traces of Meredith’s blood in Knox’s room which were revealed by luminol.

  • According to two imprint experts, the woman’s bloody shoeprint on the pillow under Meredith’s body matched Knox’s foot size. It was incompatible with Meredith’s shoe size.

  • Rudy Guede’s visible bloody footprints led straight out of Meredith’s room and out of the cottage which means he couldn’t have staged the break-in in Filomena’s room or gone into the blood-spattered bathroom.

  • The abundant amount of Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp which proves that Guede and Sollecito were both involved in the stripping of Meredith and her sexual assault.

  • The bloody footprint on the blue bathmat which matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possible belong to Rudy Guede.

The forensic and other evidence against Sollecito also implicates Knox. Computer, mobile-phone and forensic evidence provided irrefutable proof that Sollecito’s and Knox’s alibis were false and that they had lied repeatedly to the police.

False claim: “There was no motive”

Actually there were PLENTY of possible motives for Knox at minimum starting a violent taunting of Meredith, and the Miss Represented website suggested a while back that both Sollecito and Knox may have fantasized it.

And while Amy Jenkins seems to think that the prosecutors have to prove a motive in order to secure a conviction, prosecutors in America, Britain and Italy DON’T have to prove a motive. One of the reasons for this is that no-one apart from the murderer or murderers ever really knows for definite why they killed their victim.

Judge Massei suggested the motive was “erotic sexual violence” and that Knox and Sollecito were acting under the influence of drugs, but he could have advanced no firm conclusions and his reasoning and verdict would still remain intact.

False claim: “No previous trouble with the law”

One of the reasons why Amy Jenkins thinks Amanda Knox is innocent is because Knox had no previous legal record. This is argument is quite frankly ridiculous. There have been countless murders throughout history committed by people with no previous record. And in fact Amanda Knox DID have a record.

Perhaps the reason why Amy Jenkins claimed Knox had no previous record was to highlight Rudy Guede’s alleged criminal background?

It seems to be totally obligatory for all Innocenisti journalists to sooner or later refer to Rudy Guede as a “drifter” and a “drug dealer” and to claim that “his DNA was all over” Meredith or the crime scene. Amy Jenkins is no exception:

“Rudy Guede was a drifter and a minor drug dealer. He was on the run and his DNA was all over the murder scene.” 

These two sentences are straight out of the FOA’s handbook. The same terminology has been parotted over and over again by Innocentisti journalists. It seems so obvious that the PR campaign and/or the FOA are spoon feeding these gullible journalists with lines.

Amy Jenkins is clearly ignorant of the fact that Rudy Guede had lived in Perugia since the age of five, and he had his own apartment. Also that he didn’t have a criminal record for drug dealing or any other crime at the time of Meredith’s murder. And also that his DNA was NOT all over the crime scene - there were in fact very few traces..

Amanda Knox is the only one of the three who had a record at the time of Meredith’s murder. She was charged with hosting a party that got seriously out of hand, with students high on drink and drugs throwing rocks into the road, forcing cars to swerve. She was fined $269 (£135) at the Municipal Court after the incident: Crime No: 071830624.

Raffaele Sollecito also had a previous brush with the law. He was stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a small quantity of drugs.

False claim: “Amanda Knox had no lawyer or interpreter”

Amy Jenkins further betrays her ignorance of the case by making the following claim: “She was interrogated with no lawyer and no translator present. She made a phony confession.”

Precisely as in the US or UK, the police weren’t required to provide Knox with a lawyer in the first (quite short) interrogation, because she was being questioned as a witness then, and not as a suspect.

And in fact Knox WAS provided with an interpreter, Anna Donninio. Anna Donninio’s testimony was widely reported-on by the British and American media. In fact Knox herself spoke about her interpreter when she testified at the trial. She says it right here in the video - she actually says the interpreter was trying to help her..

This was very widely reported. If Amy Jenkins had followed the case in the media, she would have known about this. Ten minutes in the archives of The Independent would have turned this fact up.

False claim: “Amanda Knox’s confession was phony”

Amy Jenkins claims that Knox made a phony confession. Hoever it did not escape the judges’ and jury’s attention that Knox’s several confessions contained significant elements of the truth.

  • Knox claimed that she was in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder, which was corroborated by Antonio Curatolo.

  • She claimed that there were three people at the cottage when Meredith was killed: herself, Raffaele Sollecito and Diya Lumumba.

  • The police were already suspicious of Knox and Sollecito, but they were not aware that there was a third person.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted before the results of Dr. Lalli’s autopsy report were presented to the court on 8 November 2007.

  • Knox knew that Meredith had been sexually assaulted by an African man.

  • Knox claimed that she heard Meredith screaming. Nara Capezalli and Antonella Monacchia testified that they heard a loud scream on the night Meredith was murdered.

  • Knox stated she heard thuds and this would explain how Meredith received wounds to her skull. The prosecutors believe that Meredith was banged against the cupboard.

And Amy Jenkins has completely ignored the fact that Amanda Knox made a false and malicious accusation against an innocent man, Diya Lumumba, and NEVER withdrew it while he was inside..

Knox admitted that it was her fault that Lumumba was in prison, in an intercepted conversation with her mother on 10 November 2007.

She and her mother both KNEW that her accusation was inaccurate and unjust and that she was responsible for it. However, she didn’t recant the allegation the whole time that Lumumba was in prison.

False claim: “Knox was charged because of frivolous behavior”

Amy Jenkins here willfully misrepresents the prosecution’s case by suggesting that they they thought Knox was guilty simply because she turned a cartwheel at the police station:

“she turned an inappropriate cartwheel. In a Catholic country, it’s clearly not such a leap to go from there to stabbing your room-mate in the neck during a violent sexual assault – because that’s the leap the prosecution made.”

So the anti-Catholic venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Knox wasn’t found guilty because of an “inappropriate” cartwheel and it is not mentioned anywhere in the judges’ sentencing report.

Jenkins reveals a simplistic and superficial knowledge throughout of Italian law. “If convicted of this “slander” the Italians will add six years to her sentence.”

This claim is simply not true. Six years is the maximum sentence. It’s not automatic.

False claim: “It was all because of a need to save face”

“However, at this point the rumour mill about Knox and her boyfriend had been in full flood for 18 days and the authorities had already put Knox behind bars….  To save face, Knox and her poor boyfriend had to be somehow levered into the frame.”

So the anti-Italy venom surfaces here. This bigotry is so common among the deniers. 

Amy Jenkins didn’t even attempt to provide any counter arguments to the mountain of forensic and circumstantial evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Instead she put forwards a silly conspiracy theory:

The notion that several police departments in Perugia and Rome, the three interpreters, and more than TWENTY different judges, including the judges of the Italian Supreme Court, are involved in some huge, sinister conspiracy to frame two innocent people (one of whom is Italian) so that they can all of them save face, is utterly preposterous - and almost certainly it is libelous.

Diya Lumumba was released from prison because unlike either Knox or Sollecito he had an airtight alibi and there was absolutely no forensic evidence linking him to the crime scene. But if the authorities simply wanted to save face they could have kept him in prison instead.

It’s unforgivable for Amy Jenkins or any other journalist for that matter to get basic facts wrong about the case when they can read official court documents.

There is some very bad news on the horizon for David Marriott and the FOA: the judges’ sentencing report will soon be published in English - and very widely disseminated.. They won’t find it so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible, lazy, bigoted journalists like Amy Jenkins in the future.

If Amy Jenkins has even the slightest decency, she will apologize to Meredith’s family and friends.

Posted on 06/18/10 at 12:44 PM by The MachineClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Commentary by The Most Widely-Read English-Language Website In Italy

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Knox campaign seems to have divided out into three pieces, none of them seemingly at all effective.

The ludicrously shrill David Marriott campaign, the ludicrously shrill Anne Bremner/FOA campaign, and the adolescent internet rantings of the Knox groupies. All three seem to be painting themselves into a corner.

Meanwhile, Amanda Knox’s two lawyers in Italy seem to be going their own sweet way, quite impervious to the above, and it is clear that the Massei sentencing report has given them very much food for thought.

Italian-language reports as they have mostly done for two-plus years vary between strict neutrality and the occasional caustic comment on Knox or Sollecito.

Italy’s biggest English-language internet outlet, read by tens of thousands of residents and visitors who don’t speak very much Italian. has also adopted the same cool objective tone.

This is today’s thoughtful, well written commentary by Rome Journal contributor Rebecca. 

We had closely followed the first trial, in which Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of murdering her British flat mate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia.

This was one of the most dramatic and internationally observed Italian trials of this decade, and Italy as the scene of crime and trial had come under close scrutiny, and had been at the centre of a bizarre media frenzy covering the case.

Now, Amanda Knox is back in court. She faces slander charges against the police, who she claims hit her during the questioning a few days after the killing in November 2007. Italian police strongly denied that Knox was subjected to any physical abuse, which is supported by an external inquiry.

If Knox is found guilty of slander, she could face another six years in jail, on top of the 26 years she is currently serving.

Knox’s defense lawyers filed a motion to prevent the presiding judge, Claudia Matteini, from hearing Knox’s slander case because of her involvement in the preliminary hearings into the murder. A hearing today will take the final decision about whether Matteini is the appropriate judge to hear this case. The trial is likely to start on October 1….

What is particularly unnerving about this case is the sense that much of the testimony is contradictory: All three convicted of the murder deny their involvement, but cannot explain their inconsistent testimonies, and keep changing their account of what happened on the night of the murder.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, a journalist who has followed the case from the start and has always provided excellent coverage and analysis, asks ten questions that Amanda Knox has never answered, even though they could set her free. That she never addressed them, indicates that her involvement in the murder may have been substantial.

Whether the lies aim to conceal that the convicted did partake in the murder – which frankly didn’t work – or whether they intend to cover up something else, remains a mystery. Any hints regarding the truth in this matter, even if they come from a separate trial, will be of high interest.

What are your thoughts on the trial? Why do you think Amanda Knox keeps lying? If she is truly innocent, why not tell the truth?

Posted on 06/17/10 at 02:35 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Decision On Who Will Be Amanda Knox’s Judge At Her Forthcoming Slander Trial

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above and below: Amanda Knox entering the court area less than an hour ago. The decision is due momentarily.

Our previous post on the slander trial was here.  The Appeals Court should be announcing the decision on which judge right about now>

Added: ANSA and other Italian news services are reporting that Knox made one of the spontaneous statements the Italian law allows her, and that the decision on a judge will take another five days. 

“I just wanted to defend myself”. So said Amanda Knox, back in court once more, this time for defamation. “I’m sorry that the matter has reached this point,’ said Amanda before the Court of Appeals in Perugia

The court will within another five days decide on the request of her defense team to replace the preliminary hearings judge, Claudia Matteini, for the trial of the Seattle student who is accused of slander against various police officers.

Posted on 06/17/10 at 12:17 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe judiciaryAmanda Knox
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Legal Analysts Abrams & Kelly Who Reported Badly On Meredith’s Case Turn “Expertise” To Peru

Posted by Peter Quennell

1) Dan Abrams

Above: NBC’s legal analyst Dan Abrams on recent developments in Peru. Immediately below: Dan Abrams after the Knoc-Sollecito verdict last December.

Last December, Dan Abrams exaggerated the Italian media depictions of Amanda Knox and their effects - has he ever watched the CNN and Fox crime shows at home in New York?!

But he essentially got it right on the hard evidence presented and on the legitimacy of the verdict. He did not slam the prosecution or Italy in general, and he displays at least some token understanding of how the Italian legal system works.

Missing only was any mention of the (then forthcoming) judges’ sentencing report, and the key fact that that report represents the point of departure for the appeals. A report that is strongly loaded against the flaky scenarios of “who REALLY did it”.

By the way, Dan Abrams here followed some minutes of appalling reporting by NBC’s Keith Miller, who has surely been the worst and most biased reporter in Perugia. Miller is apparently based in London, a freelance, and not Italy, and he speaks no Italian.

If you so wish you can see Paul Miller here fawning over the Knox family and Amanda Knox, and misrepresenting just about every “fact” he selects to mention.

2) John Q Kelly

Below: John Q Kelly, a New York lawyer who is often on the airwaves, generally with a heavily pro-victim slant, talking about the Lima and Aruba murder cases in which Joran Van Der Sloot is the one suspect in each. 

On Meredith’s case John Q Kelly got it very screechily very wrong.  That was probably the single worst lawyer’s commentary on Meredith’s case (leaving aside Anne Bremner’s absurd rants) that we have ever seen.

KELLY: “My thoughts, Larry, it’s probably the most egregious international railroading of two innocent young people that I have ever seen. This is actually a public lynching based on rank speculation, and vindictiveness. It’s just a nightmare what these parents are going through and what these young adults are going through also.”

Not surprisingly, John Q Kelly has not since said another word on Meredith’s case.

Posted on 06/15/10 at 12:08 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesNews media & moviesMedia newsOther legal processesThose elsewhereThe wider contexts
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wow! Seems A Spreading Epidemic Of Lone Wolves, Now Being Claimed On Two Continents

Posted by Peter Quennell

While in Santiago Chille before he was extradited to Lima Peru (above) this is what Van Der Sloot reportedly told police.

Van der Sloot gave a different account of events while in custody in neighboring Chile, where he was captured after the killing and quickly extradited.

In the version offered to Chilean investigators, Van der Sloot said he and Flores were surprised in the early morning by two robbers in an apparent assault.

“A man came out of the bathroom blocking the access door with a knife in his hand. On the bed was another man with a gun,” the Spanish-language report quotes him as saying. “The man with the knife said to be quiet, but Stephany began talking in a loud voice and he hit her in the face, making her nose bleed.”

It also says Van der Sloot told Chilean agents that the previous day, he and Flores had been extorted by apparent police officers who demanded $4,000 and a wristwatch he brought from Thailand.

Two lone wolves!  Apparently he then got some advice from Seattle that that one is copyright, and and that he could not use the “14 hours without food or interpreter or lawyer” line, not right now.

However. it could soon become available. Along with a cheap Spiderman act..

After weighing how absurd all this was sounding, he was overwhelmed with the truth.

Posted on 06/13/10 at 03:00 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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One Thing Seems For Certain About Meredith…

Posted by Peter Quennell

She would have made all of us laugh.

Meredith is described to us as having had a lightning-fast wit - sign of an exceptional intelligence - of the kind not uncommon in big cities like Rome, Paris, London and New York. You either got it and cracked up or, if you were a little slow or befuddled, maybe you didn’t.

London is at its loveliest and most lively right now. We first posted these fun videos with several others on what would have been her last birthday. They both relate to Southwark, where she was born, now the liveliest and most fun part of town.

Posted on 06/13/10 at 08:48 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning Meredith
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Friday, June 11, 2010

The Charging Of The Stephany Flores Murder Suspect In Lima Peru This Morning

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/11/10 at 04:35 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesThe psychologyOther legal processesThose elsewhereThe wider contexts
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The Lima + Aruba Murder Suspect Appears To Be Frantically Dealing: A Lesson For AK And RS?

Posted by Peter Quennell

Not surprising considering the thought of this.

That would grab any half-smart perp’s attention. Smart of the Lima authorities to make that hellish future quite plain.

Dealing is the only way Van Der Sloot can go now, several of our lawyer posters believe. His latest defense lawyer was talking of trying to have his confession to Stephany’s murder revoked, apparently on the grounds that his first lawyer (from Peruvian legal aid) was not a “real lawyer” whatever that means.

Perhaps he is not thinking things through.

Rudy Guede clearly dealt with the system too. He gave away a few things, but not very much (less than we would have liked) but still, he did end up facing only 16 years.

There is a rumor (just a rumor at the moment) out of Italy that Sollecito might - might - be separating himself out. He just might have offered to talk, and to do some sort of a deal.

Our lawyers suspect that Della Vedova and Ghirga might have wanted to try to deal for Amanda Knox too - maybe a psychological or hard-drugs based defense.

But that the hard-liners on the Knox bandwagon in Seattle and elsewhere (Preston, Ciolino, Anne Bremner, Michael Heavey, John Q Kelly, and so on) seem to have duped the Knoxes and Mellases into thinking that an innocence outcome was a very high probability with a hard-line PR campaign and defense.

And now look at where Amanda Knox stands. Not at all pretty. 

In our lawyers’ views, what is the worst move of all moves that the Knox bandwagon drivers and the AK groupies have made?

Arguing that this was simply a lone-wolf attack, and probably only by a seemingly very very very nimble Rudy Guede.

A lone-wolf- attack was totally ruled out over a year ago by Judge Micheli.

He based that on (1) the evidence from Meredith’s autopsy which showed 100% that two or three had to have been involved, (2) the overwhelming signs of a clean-up and the moving of Meredith’s body - several hours after the attack, (3) the various witness statements, and (4) the total meltdown of AK’s and RS’s various alibis.

And the AK + RS sentencing report due out soon on PMF and TJMK in English will be absolutely the kiss of death to any serious defense based on the lone-wolf scenarios (such as they are).

There is not the slightest possibility that Meredith was attacked by just one perp - with TWO knives - while being sexually attacked - while attracting all of THOSE wounds to her body - and not revealing ANY signs of being able to fight back.

Frankly, if the lone-wolf theory is the Knox campaign’s last best shot,  Amanda Knox is well and truly cooked.  She might still achieve a shorter sentence, some final peace of mind for Meredith’s family and friends, and some self-respect for herself through the rest of her life.

But she does need to deal.

Posted on 06/11/10 at 12:11 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesThe psychologyHoaxers from 2007Heavey, BremnerOther legal processesThose elsewhere
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oprah Winfrey Still Snowed: Still Helping To Advance The Fiction That A BLACK Guy Did It Alone

Posted by Peter Quennell

Sad but true. A black commentator helping to revile Rudy Guede. Certainly a historic first for Oprah - though the US media is unlikely to notice.

Oprah’s emotional fawning over the Knoxes and the Mellases (with copious shots of their kids, and some misleading statements by Ted Simon) is being rebroadcast on the ABC network this afternoon.

Click here for our previous comment - plus plenty by our insightful readers.

CNN Report On The Money Transfers That Bankrolled Van Der Sloot’s Trip To Lima

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/10/10 at 03:32 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Charges In The Murder Of Stephany Flores In Lima Peru Are Expected Tomorrow

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: the father of Stephany Flores describing her to the press in Lima. Below: the hotel where she met a violent fate.

The police and prosecution news conference that had been announced for this morning has been put off for 24 hours, at which time a judge is expected to announce the charges against Joran Van Der Sloot.

Apparently the average time between charges announced and a verdict announced in Peru is about two years. Van Der Sloot would be kept in prison for the whole time, standard practice to prevent disappearance and maybe to prevent further crimes..

Those who think that the actually pretty mild media depiction of Amanda Knox in the weeks after Meredith was found should perhaps take a look at this headline in a New York newspaper this morning.

This is pretty typical of the coverage of suspects in horrific murders in the United States, and the very benign treatment of Knox seems a total outlier. The cable new netwroks between them are giving this case about three hours a day, and all have had crews in Peru.

The FBI and police in Alabama seem to be envisaging a request to extradite Van Der Sloot to the United States for the attempted $250,000 fraud of Natalee’s mother. It is still not clear who paid Van Der Sloot the $25,000 he apparently mostly blew on gambling in Lima.

There is also a report that his mother and, before he died of a heart attack in Febriuary, his father were increasingly distancing themselves from their son.

Posted on 06/10/10 at 12:56 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Prominent Seattle Sock Puppet Michael Heavey Might Be About To Take A Fall

Posted by Peter Quennell

Michael Heavey was the Washington State judge who wrote several letters riddled with innuendo and wrong claims to judicial authorities in Italy in the second half of 2008.

These letters were ignored in Italy, and Michael Heavey soon piped down and disappeared. Then he wrote a further letter in August 2009 to the highest officials which was again riddled with innuendo and wrong claims.

Now he is back in the limelight for writing that second letter. In Seattle a complaint has been lodged, about the illegal use of his office to give a misleading aura to his letter.

1) This was our post at the end of 2008 when Judge Heavey first tried to interfere in the Italian judicial process on behalf of Amanda Knox. We pointed out just some of the things that Heavey had managed to get wrong.

2) This is the second open letter of August 2009 to the top officials in Italy (which was then ignored). .

3) This is the complaint lodged by the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct about his allegedly appearing to interfere “officially” which is a contravention of the oath of office, and so pretty serious.

4) This was the report on the complaint against Judge Heavey in the Seattle Times.

The Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct has filed a complaint against King County Superior Court Judge Michael Heavey, alleging he violated the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct for his support of Amanda Knox, who was convicted of killing her British roommate in Italy.

The alleged violations include writing letters on official court stationery to Italian judicial system officials on behalf of Knox, utilizing King County court staff to type the letters, and speaking publicly on the case “in an attempt to influence the proceeding,” according to the commission.

Judges may not, under the Code of Judicial Conduct, lend the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of others, the commission notes.

According to the commission, Heavey is required to file an answer with the commission within 21 days, unless the time is extended by the commission. Once the commission receives the judge’s response it will set up a public hearing on the allegations….

The 11-member commission is an independent agency created under the state Constitution to assure the integrity and independence of the judiciary. Members are appointed by the governor, judicial associations and the Washington State Bar Association.

This has to be rather chilling for other sock puppets, if any, considering whether they too should interfere. 

Posted on 06/08/10 at 05:06 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The wider contextsSeattle contextN America contextKnox-Mellas teamHeavey, Bremner
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