Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Letters Between The Women’s And Men’s Wings In Capanne

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Nick Pisa’s report on Knox’s letters to RS on Sky News.

Still, there is conjecture now that Sollecito may (again) just have to cut loose and go his own way on a defense.

It is hard to see how Friday and Saturday really helped him. His people read the same media we do.

Amanda Knox has opened her heart in a series of letters to her co-accused and former boyfriend about prison life and their ongoing murder trial.

The American student, 21, is accused of the brutal sex murder of her British housemate Meredith Kercher, also 21.

In one of the letters to Raffaele Sollecito, 25, she writes a poem in Italian to him called Ho Una Sola Vita (I Have Only One Life).

On February 13, 2009, Knox wrote: “It was good to see you again today.

“We got to exchange a few more glances than usual, though I have to admit, I’m not good at reading the subtle messages that one passes through the features of the face, nor can I read lips.

“I know what kind of girl am I?!? Those things are supposed to be my first (underlined) language.

“So, long story short, I must admit that I didn’t pick up exactly word for word what you may have wanted to transmit my way.”

In another letter to Sollecito, a day later on February 14, Knox also writes about life in her cell at Perugia’s Capanne jail:

She asked him: “Are you alone in your cell?

“The thing about women’s prison is there about 70 of us altogether at the maximum and we all live on the same floor, so all of us are mixed together regardless of the length or type of conviction.

“For instance in my very own cell I’m living with a drug addict, a thief and an accomplice to murder… if I have to get down to their crimes they are here for.”

In another letter to Sollecito on February 18 she writes of their relationship and says: “I try not to think about “what ifs” at all but these aren’t sad at all for me to think about.

“We could have really had something special, it’s true.

“Although we still had (and still have) much to learn about each other, we clicked, we made each other happy, we were open to each other.

“We still have an opportunity to click. I’m still here for you.

“I know it doesn’t seem like enough because you want where we were headed before the whole world suddenly threw us into an experience we don’t deserve and we were cut off from each other.”

She added: “This whole experience is frustrating and I understand how you feel like I know you understand me.”

Knox closed the letter by writing: “You know what would be wonderful?

“Do you think they would let us hug each other when the judge absolves us? I’m tired of not being allowed to look at you.

“I hope this letter doesn’t hurt you because all of your letters give me a sense of peace. Thank you, I’m here to hold your hand.

“Your friend Amanda. Let it Be! Here Comes the Sun.”

Posted on 06/16/09 at 09:54 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Monday, June 15, 2009

It Seems Italy’s Anger Only Grows: Read La Nazione’s Editorial Today

Posted by Nicki



[above: Lake Como north of Milan, click for a larger image]

Posting again from Milan. This looks like becoming an international incident. Perhaps the US State Department should step in.

Timothy Egan, a Seattle journalist, wrote an offensive and largely fact-free blog about the innocence of Amanda Knox on the New York Times website last Wednesday.

This blog by Egan was widely quoted in Italian television and print-media reports and dozens of Italian blogs are now acidly commenting.

We are sure the New York Times will be reporting on what they have provoked. Today La Nazione has this editorial.

Timothy Egan is a former journalist, currently accredited as an authoritative New York Times editorialist, a self-proclaimed “Honorary Italian Citizen” to the point of sending his children to school in our country - how kind of him - a true hero.

Sustained by this pandering premise, the day before his compatriot Amanda Knox’s first deposition, on trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Egan elaborated a sober editorial with a “balanced”  title “An Innocent Abroad” where Egan doesn’t show the slightest doubt when having to choose between national pride and his shaggy fondness for Italy and its democratic principles, let alone judicial.

Amanda is innocent, a victim of an obsessed, powerful and hotshot Italian prosecutor. She is been persecuted and ruined by “vulture journalism and a careless prosecution”.

If this is the balanced approach of someone who is not risking 30 years in jail and has retirement money stacked aside, it is no surprise that Amanda, a student supported by her family, and with a very uncertain future, is holding on to her defense line, and even claiming that she was beaten at the Questura

Leaving aside details of the trial development, in this event there are all the cultural contradictions of an unresolved national tendency to self-harm, which authorizes many foreign observers to look at Italy still wearing the blinkers of mafia, pizza and mandolin.

Shall we try for once to get rid of the oh-so-lovely parodies by Sordi and Villaggio [see explanation at bottom] and declare that we can’t take it anymore?

Prosecutor Mignini did well to decide not to react to the provocations. And the Police Union did even better in reacting, to announce legal action against Miss Knox.

Yesterday Florence woke up with the terrible nightmare of an eighteen year old student, another American, who during the night had reported having been raped next to Piazza della Signoria, furthermore right under the eyes of the city police.

The red alarm only lasted for a few hours. In the end the girl, after recovering from the last effects of the amounts of alcohol she had ingested, fell apart and retracted everything.

Far from wanting to indulge in stupid generalizations, as Egan in his furious attack against Italy does, the story of the young drunk Americans caught urinating in the Nettuno Fountain, right in Piazza della Signoria, has become an example of unbearable lack of respect.

If we really must accept lectures from the Americans, at least they should be lectures in civilization, and not in imported Wild West culture. Differently, we too may use a very, very sober title, in order to stress our reply to Egan’s patriotic reflections:

“An Indecent Abroad”

A.Sordi and P Villaggio are famous comedians known for satirizing Italy’s country’s social mores in pungent black comedies, farcical tales and grim drama in post-war cinema through the 80’s.

Posted on 06/15/09 at 12:28 PM by NickiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: News media & moviesTerrible reportingThe wider contextsItalian contextKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxers9 Mignini v Knox hoax
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Italy Shrugs: Why Amanda Knox’s Testimony Seems To Have Been A Real Flop

Posted by Nicki




Posting from Milan (above) where we also have been watching Knox testify in Italian.

Here are just three of the disbelieving headlines on the testimony that have been appearing in the Italian press.

  • All of Amanda’s wrong moves (La Stampa)

  • Amanda growls but Patrick bites (Il Giornale)

  • Amanda: I am innocent. But many “I don’t remembers” start popping up (ANSA)

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.

It is true that the Italian media and public opinion in general have not been very benign with Knox. But not for the reasons that the American media seem to want to push.

Let’s make it clear, Amanda Knox is not on trial because Italians are unaccustomed to or even “jealous” of her freedom and lifestyle… The first time we read these “explanations” we found them quite laughable.

But for many or most Italians the initial amusement has now given way to a profound irritation. Amanda Knox’s lifestyle is shared by hundreds of thousands of Italian girls, who like partying and sex as much as she does - or even more - and they live a happy carefree life with no fear of being perceived as “bad girls.” They behave no differently from any other girl of the same age in America or in any other Western country.

Dear American media, welcome to the 21st century and to globalization!  Please put aside pseudo-romantic and passè vision of a country where all men chase American girls because Italian women are not as approachable for “cultural” reasons: Italian men are into foreign girls no more but no less than Italian girls are into foreign boys.

They generally greatly like Americans because of their great interest and curiosity for a country and its people that many Italian youngsters have only known through books or movies. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”. She could even be from the North Pole as far as Italians are concerned.

What really matters to them is to find the truth about Meredith’s murder and to do real justice for her terrible death. 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 - and they perceive this even more-so after this last week’s court hearings.
 
In addition, the US media’s seemingly endless bashing of the Italian justice system, and of the whole country, most recently by CBS and ABC, has definitely made things worse.

The Italian police are NOT known to be particularly violent - although, agreed, it may happen when they’re dealing with violent males suspects from Eastern Europe or Africa, or in the streets when they have to deal with a riot. Violence is NEVER used with white, female college students from Italy, America or elsewhere.

And Italy is a sovereign state with a great juridical tradition. Receiving condescending lectures by the media of a country where the death penalty is still applied in many states comes across as more than insulting - it is utterly ridiculous. Before you judge the “backwardness”  of the Italian justice system, you should at least first read Cesare Beccaria’s amazingly humane Of Crimes And Punishments (written in 1764) and perhaps you’ll reconsider.

If the American media just cannot understand that there are alternatives to the “American way ”, that may not be so bad after all. But they should at least show some respect for a foreign, sovereign state and its people.

If the media can’t even manage to do so - and they really want to help Amanda - the best thing to do now is to go quiet and let the Italian justice work at its pace and according to its own principles. If Amanda is only guilty of arrogance, callousness and narcissism, she will be free soon.

Dear American followers of Meredith and, for that matter, also friends of Amanda Knox. May I speak right to you, and right past the media?

There has been no character assassination, no demonization, no great wave of hate and revenge, no mad prosecutor, no Satan theory of the crime, no invented evidence, and no massive bumbling.

What there has been is a whole stack of evidence and a VERY careful process. Kernit in effect described all the evidence in his extraordinary 150 questions.

And on Friday and Saturday, Amanda Knox for better or worse chose to answer NONE of them.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Knox Testimony Does Not Seem To Have Gained Much Traction Here In Italy

Posted by Fiori





Posting from Florence (above) where we have been watching Knox testify in Italian.

I don’t believe her. It is interesting to see Amanda Knox being cool and self-confident, but testifying about how disturbed she became when the police became pushy during her interrogation. It doesn’t fit.

And it comes across as untrustworthy and contradictory that when asked about her drug use, she puts on a “schoolgirl”’ attitude: In effect “Sorry, daddy judge, I was bad, don’t punish me for being young”.  This seems definitely out of order with the rest of her performance.

“Performance” is the impression I get from viewing the segments shown from the court - a well-rehearsed performance. I suppose that the jury will wonder how this cool person can forget whether she has replied to a sms-message, how she can get so confused that she names Patrick, afterwards “is too afraid to speak to anyone but her mother”, and so on.

Most striking is that Amana Knox’s defence seems to stick firmly to the strategy of “mistreatment”; in effect that the only reason for AK being arrested is false statements produced under “illegal” pressure from the police.

By making “the ethics of police interrogation” the core question of her testimony, the defence - probably deliberately - creates a lot of associations to recent public debates of torture and interrogation techniques applied at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq.

By doing so they seem to want to try to turn the jury’s attention away from the point that AK knowingly participated in a murder investigation, and that any person with her intelligence will know that anyone who is called as a witness is required to show respect for the authorities - regardless of their nationality!

With reference to a variety of public materials from the US (“48 Hours” by CBS and many other reports), the way in which the Italian police have conducted Knox’s interview does not significantly differ from similar type interrogations made by US police. (This is not a stamp of approval, but removes the reason for any serious critique of the conduct of the Italian police.)

Her calmness and cool attitude, including her performing in two languages, does not, in my view - contrary to what the defence and her father expect - help to bring about an image of “another Amanda Knox” or a “more true Amanda Knox”.

Mostly her performance seems to contribute to shaping her image as complex, manipulative, intelligent, attention-seeking, and with only vaguely defined limits of identity.


Trial: The UK’s ITN News Posts A Video Report On Trial Events

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/13/09 at 12:42 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: The BBC Posts Video Of Defendant Arriving For Today’s Cross-Examination

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/13/09 at 12:33 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009
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Trail: Newsweek Reports On Friday’s Testimony By The Defendant

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Barbie Nadeau’s Friday report from Perugia.

Posted on 06/13/09 at 11:41 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda Knox
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Trial: Nick Pisa Files An Overview Report For Sky News

Posted by Peter Quennell

Now 5:00 pm Italy time. Nothing new so far from the UK media sources.

Even the Italian reporting is slowed now as they try to provide historical context, and we are still seeing reports of the claimed night at Sollecito’s. There should be a good description soon of Amanda Knox on the morning after at her house.

This is intensely difficult material for the reporters to write up, because every fact and timeline now offered has a history in itself. The reporters sometimes know the history but it is tough to write up on the fly.

There are two things to look forward to here later today.

  • Poster Nicki will post late but extensively from Italy on what the Italian media - and public - are now saying.
  • And Andrea Vogt and Ann Wise will presumably be filing their usual excellent end-of-the-day reports.

Want to try your hand at Google translation? They are not fully satisfactory but certainly much better than nothing.

Click here for a Google News roundup of all stories in Italian. Important: click top left on the Past Hour or Past Day for the very latest.

Click here to cut and paste articles into Google Translation. They will emerge in 5-10 seconds in rough English.

We have quite a few speakers of Italian in the group, by the way, and three or four posters in Italy, but good translation does consume time.

Posted on 06/13/09 at 09:03 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009News media & moviesGreat reporting
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Trial: Associated Press Reporting Testy Exchanges In Court

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report.

In a testy exchange, Mignini questioned Knox’s assertion that interrogators had extracted false statements from her by bullying her, calling her a “stupid liar” and even hitting her on the head at one point.

Knox gave a description of hours of questioning in which she said that she was told that if she did not tell the truth they would “throw me in jail for 30 years.”

Defence lawyers repeatedly objected during Mignini’s examination, accusing him of badgering the witness and asking her leading questions.

Mignini focused on Knox’s assertions that her false statements—notably, that her part-time employer Patrick Lumumba was the killer—were the result of “suggestions” during aggressive police questioning.

“Was Patrick’s name indicated after they saw (her SMS) message (to Lumumba) or just like that?” Mignini asked, sparking a heated row with the defence team that judge Giancarlo Massei had difficulty quelling.

Knox said she became so confused after “a steady crescendo ... of ‘I don’t know,’ ‘you’re a stupid liar,’ ‘maybes,’ and ‘imagines’ that ... I was led to believe I had forgotten things.”

She added: “When I said ‘Patrick’ I actually started to imagine a kind of movie, images that could have explained the situation, Patrick’s face, then (Perugia’s) Grimana square, then my house” on the night of the murder.

Posted on 06/13/09 at 07:48 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxThe officially involvedThe prosecutorsTrials 2008 & 2009News media & moviesGreat reporting
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Trial: Sky News Italy Video Of The Defendant’s Opening Statement Today

Posted by Peter Quennell

This is the court CCTV camera feed to the press-room, which is legitimate for the reporters there to capture.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 04:22 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxThe officially involvedThe defensesTrials 2008 & 2009Massei defenseHoaxes against Italy3 No evidence hoax
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Trial: Andrea Vogt Reports Knox’s Recounting Of The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for Andrea Vogt’s story on the Seattle PI website.

She described how the two spent the night of Kercher’s death at Sollecito’s house, checking her e-mail, reading Harry Potter in German, smoking pot, watching “Amelie” and making love, before going to sleep.

Forensic experts have testified that Kercher’s blood mixed with Knox’s blood were found in the bathroom and back bedroom of the apartment they shared.

Knox herself said she arrived at her apartment the next morning to see the door wide open and drops of blood, which she thought “strange,” but assumed one of her roommates had left in a hurry or was having menstrual issues. She took out her earrings (she had recently had multiple piercings and one was infected) on the sink, then took a shower, scooting from the bathroom to her bedroom on the bathmat, which she also noticed was stained with blood.

Prosecutors have argued that the footprint on the bathmat made in Kercher’s blood, is compatible with Sollecito’s footprint. Knox and Kercher’s DNA was also found on a kitchen knife believed to be the alleged murder weapon.

Concerned by feces left in the second bathroom’s toilet, she went to fetch Sollecito. When roommates, friends and the police arrived and knocked down Kercher’s door, she heard her roommate cry out “a foot, a foot!”

The group of friends all got into a car to warm up and talked about what police were saying might have happened. Upset and in shock, she cried then, she said, as Sollecito held and consoled her.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 03:54 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: Knox Claimed Not To Have Been At The House On The Night

Posted by Peter Quennell



[click for larger image]

New York’s Daily News from various wire services.

Knox said she last saw Kercher on the afternoon of Nov. 1. Knox testified the two talked about what they had done the night before — a Halloween night out — and Knox said Kercher still had a bit of her vampire makeup on, the AP reports.

Knox went on to say Sollecito then arrived at the house; he and Knox had something to eat while Kercher remained in her room.

“She left her room, said ‘bye,’ walked out the door,” Knox said, who switched from speaking English to Italian. “That was the last time I saw her.”

Her testimony on the stand was markedly different than the statement she gave police days after her roommate was found dead.

Originally Knox claimed to have been at the house she shared with Kercher on the night of the murder. She later retracted that story and said she was not there.

Sollecito flip-flopped on his story as well. He had told police he was at his apartment watching a movie with Knox and she spent the night with him. Later, he claimed to not remember if she had spent the night.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 01:02 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009
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Defendant Testifies: Is This A Prosecutor’s Dream Come True?

Posted by Arnold_Layne



[click for larger image]

To my knowledge, in the past when Amanda has spoken on her own behalf she was not challenged by the prosecution.  Friday will be different.  On Friday, she will be asked to reconcile discrepancies in her statements.  She will not be a sworn-in witness so it is not clear which lines of questioning will be allowed but the prosecutor will certainly try to impeach her.  If she is a psychopath, things could get knarly.

You’ve all seen it many times on crime shows.  On cross examination, the witness offers some testimony, for example, the fact that she has never been married.  The lawyer then asks to offer into evidence a marriage certificate.  Reducing the credibility of a witness in this fashion is known as impeaching the witness.  There are special rules that apply which allow the attorney to ask questions not normally allowed.  To discredit a claim made by the witness, the prosecutor could, for example, enter new evidence not presented previously during the prosecution phase of the trial.  The jury is then instructed to use the evidence only as it reduces the credibility of the witness but to ignore it when otherwise considering the guilt or innocence.  That’s expecting a lot.

One characteristic of a psychopath is the ability to lie with facility.  This does not mean the ability to spin a yarn or to make up a good story.  Most of us can do this.  It also doesn’t mean that the lie is particularly bad (a boldface lie).  When asked a question when the truth is not going to yield a desirable outcome, most of us will pause a little, maybe lift our eyes upward, as we weigh the consequences of the lie.  Someone who can lie with facility speaks the lie as fast as they would the truth and with the same conviction.

The problem, of course, is that without the pause there is no weighing of the implications of the lie.  There is little checking for consistency.  In social situations this can easily be maneuvered around by saying something along the lines of, “Aw, I was just jokin’”.  Guede adjusted his story to meet the facts as they emerged.  Amanda now also knows the evidence against her and she’s had plenty of time to create a story to match it.  She will be on stable ground here as the Judge and jury weigh her statements against those put forth by the prosecution.  This is a good reason to only have one of the two defendants testify.  They can’t trip each other up.

Cross, on the other hand, is going to be a minefield for her.  Not only will the prosecution point out discrepancies but they will challenge her on them and she will be under pressure to correct them.  She will be up against a trial lawyer’s strong suit.  Mignini will be trying to impeach her.  If she steps on one of his mines, she will probably step on many – and he’ll be laying even more as she speaks.

Other incendiaries include her basking in the attention and notoriety she is getting.  Additionally, she is a creative writer.  Who can say what this might lead her to say if she strays from the straight and narrow.

I give her credit for doing this but I certainly don’t envy her.  I can’t say that I have ever done anything tougher myself.  I wouldn’t eat for two days, just as a precautionary measure. Btw “can you smoke on the witness stand?” I’d bring a carton, of Luckies.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 12:26 PM by Arnold_LayneClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesThe psychologyPondering motiveDefendants in courtAmanda KnoxThe officially involvedThe prosecutorsTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: Lunchtime Video Report From The Daily Telegraph

Posted by Peter Quennell

Posted on 06/12/09 at 11:39 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: BBC Posts Video Of First Words Of Knox Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above. Preceded by a brief bit of advertising.

After the testimony shown (it was in the first two minutes) all cameras had to leave the court.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 09:10 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009
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Trial: Reuters And Getty Images Of The Defendants In Court Today

Posted by Peter Quennell




Posted on 06/12/09 at 08:36 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: CNN Reports Defendant Claimed Questioned While On Drugs

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the report by CNN Rome’s Hada Messia.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 08:12 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Trial: Richard Owen Reports First Knox Testimony With Nick Pisa Video

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report in the Times, and once there click on the video.

When questioned in court today, the American said that when under “police pressure” she had “imagined many things”.

She said she had made her accusation against Mr Lumumba “against my will”. Asked if the police had suggested to her that the murder had taken place during a party at which Ms Kercher had had sex she replied: “Yes”.

Asked if she had been struck by police, she again replied “Yes”. Police have testified that Ms Knox was treated well during her questioning and have denied that she was hit

She said: “They called me a stupid liar and said I was trying to protect someone”.

By the way, no lawyer following the trial that we know thinks the evidence is “flimsy"as the TV anchor seems to think.

Posted on 06/12/09 at 07:54 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxTrials 2008 & 2009News media & moviesGreat reporting
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Powerpoints #13: 150 Questions For The Defendants They Have Incessantly Avoided

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

We who offer this site in memory of Meredith want above all for the truth and the whole truth to come out.  The full story behind this horrific crime of great violence in Italy, and why such a wonderful girl had to die.

Meredith’s terribly suffering family in London have repeatedly said, to them it’s the truth that matters most. They want to know why their daughter and sister was deprived of a lifetime of promise, and why the violence to her had to be so great.

Meredith’s many sad friends in London and Leeds, and in other places in England and around the world - many of whom may now have a life-time of loss and adjustment - also absolutely deserve to get to know.

And millions of decent people in Italy and in England and throughout Europe and increasingly the US are now also seriously asking: why? Exactly what happened that night in Perugia, and need it ever happen again?

These 150 questions, truthfully answered, should bring out all there is to know about this case. They may or may not mirror what the prosecutor has in mind, but we think they would provide all of the picture.

Please go for it, Amanda? For Meredith’s sake. And for her ever-deprived family. And for all those others sadly affected. Whether or not you were actually involved, truthfully tell us now all that you know.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Two Great Cliff-Hangers In This Week’s Proceedings

Posted by Peter Quennell



[courtesy AP: Ms Knox last Saturday when the Kerchers were in court]

These will have the press corps pouring into Perugia in record numbers tomorrow

  • Will Amanda Knox actually get up and testify, or conclude differently as the appointed time approaches?
  • Will Amanda Knox once again claim to have been at Sollecito’s place all of the night which he contradicts?

She also faces a very tough time with these issues and these issues and for that matter these issues.

Andrea Vogt has excellent reports on the possibilities in last Sunday’s Independent and yesterday’s Seattle P-I.

The situation does seem to be fraught with downsides and, we presume, upsides.

Posted on 06/10/09 at 11:56 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda Knox
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Newsweek On What Knox Will Face On The Stand This Friday And Saturday

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report from Newsweek’s Barbie Nadeau.

On Friday, Knox will finally get her day in court, taking the stand as a “communal” witness for the prosecution, civil plaintiffs and her own defense. Her testimony is expected to last at least one day….

Witness-jury interaction is one of the most critical aspects of a criminal trial, especially for the prime suspects. Not talking often implies the suspect has something to hide. But taking the stand can be far riskier.

“The biggest risk is that she doesn’t follow the advice of her lawyers,” says Alessandra Batassa, a criminal-defense lawyer in Rome who has served on defense teams in similar crimes. “The court will be absolutely influenced by nonjudicial factors like her demeanor. Her image has been painted in a very bad light in the trial so far, so she has to portray that she has normal sexual relationships and that she is just a normal girl. She has to be very convincing.”

In the past, Knox has not always proved herself a competent speaker—especially under pressure. As heard in audiotapes obtained by NEWSWEEK from a January 2008 prosecutorial interrogation, she speaks in a steady, low voice that is calm and confident, but she makes basic mistakes. When asked about specifics of the morning after the murder, she clearly stammers and stutters, undoubtedly damaging her case in the eyes of the prosecutor. At times she is indignant, answering questions with her own questions.

On the tape she is either serious or arrogant, even laughing at the prosecutor’s line of questioning. When she has addressed the court in spontaneous declarations, she has waffled between confidence and calamity. She has spoken about her vibrator and about being interrogated by police and about being disappointed by what Kercher’s friends have said about her. She will almost surely be less cavalier this time, as her lawyers prepare her for what will be a grueling day. The jury will be listening attentively, but more important, they will be watching her every move.

She will be questioned by the prosecutor about specific elements of the case, including why her DNA and Kercher’s blood were found around the house, especially in a back bedroom where police believe she and Sollecito staged a break-in. Other questions will include why her DNA was discovered on the handle of a knife that had Kercher’s DNA on the blade.

She will likely have to provide a believable alibi for the night of the murder, something that she and Sollecito have yet to do. And she has to be careful not to accidentally blame Sollecito, who is waiving his right to testify. “The biggest mistake she can make is to accuse or unload the responsibility on the other suspect,” says Batassa. “And she should not accuse or blame the court or those deciding this case.”...

How Knox physically interacts with the jury could play an even bigger role in how they perceive her. Body-language experts agree that nonverbal communication affects a listener even more than words. Very erect and even stiff posture or the sudden crossing of the arms or legs often indicates that a person is uncomfortable with what he is saying.

When people lie, gesticulation will also slow down—those covering something up tend to overcompensate by trying not to draw attention to themselves. Some go to the extreme, even putting their hands in their pockets, sitting on them or trying to keep them from moving. Experts agree that touching the mouth or face—especially scratching the nose, touching the ear or the chin—is the most obvious body-language lie detector.

Posted on 06/09/09 at 09:38 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda Knox
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Newsweek’s Reporter Cam: Amanda Knox Enters The Courtroom

Posted by Peter Quennell

Also last Friday. The Kercher family arrived later in the day, but did not testify until Saturday.

The start button of this video is on the left, and the sound button is on the right There appears to be no way to full-screen it. 

Posted on 06/09/09 at 09:31 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009
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Newsweek’s Reporter Cam: All Stand! Judges And Jury Enter The Court

Posted by Peter Quennell

The two judges and six jurors take their places in court last Friday.

The start button of this video is on the left, and the sound button is on the right There appears to be no way to full-screen it.

Posted on 06/09/09 at 09:22 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedThe judiciaryTrials 2008 & 2009
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Newsweek’s Reporter Cam: Knox And Sollecito Arrive And Depart In The Same Van

Posted by Peter Quennell

The two defendants gere depart from the court in the van to Capanne Prison together last Friday.

No report on whether they are allowed to talk. The start button of this interesting video is on the left, and the sound button is on the right

There appears to be no way to full-screen it. Sky News has Newsweek trumped on that feature.

Posted on 06/09/09 at 09:00 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Monday, June 08, 2009

Powerpoints #12: Telling Evidence Against Sollecito The Experts Seem To Have Got Absolutely Right

Posted by Kermit





Click here if you have Powerpoint or the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded. If not here is the Viewer download.

Previously in the Powerpoint series we presented visually some of the evidence that helped Judge Micheli to conclude that there was more than one perpetrator.

During most of the court sessions in May 2009, Lorenzo Rinaldi and Patrizia Stefanoni and their formidable evidence-processing teams from Rome added a lot to what we know about the forensic evidence found in the house.

Many of the images and diagrams they used appeared in the media, particularly the Italian media. It is now possible to examine even more closely what the evidence suggests about the perpetrators.

Sollecito has tough evidence against him in a number of dimensions. Added now to the woes of his defense team is the analysis of a bloody footprint that was found on a bathmat in the bathroom of Meredith and Amanda Knox.

The Powerpoint title refers to a barren tree. This reference is explained in the conclusion of the presentation. In essence, it refers to a marked tendency of perpetrators to NOT add enough incidental detail to their stories to be really convincing.

Sollecito has so far come up with many barren trees - minimalist stories in which none of them have enough incidental detail to convincingly explain evidence like this.


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