Monday, November 08, 2010

Another In Seeming Never-Ending Disasters For Hapless Knox Campaign

Posted by Peter Quennell





Apparently xenophobia and sliming and serial misconstruing of the evidence isnt working. The Italian authorities continue to be relentless and unblinking.

In court today, Amanda Knox was indicted by the judge and she WILL stand full trial next May for calunnia.  This first report on the BBC News website as follows.

American student Amanda Knox is to face trial for slander after saying police beat her during questioning over the killing of Briton Meredith Kercher.

A judge made the decision at a closed indictment hearing in Perugia, Italy.

Knox, 23, told the judge she never intended slander and was just trying to defend herself, her lawyer said.

Ann Wise of ABC News adds this.

American student Amanda Knox was indicted for a second time by an Italian court today, this time for allegedly slandering Italian police for saying they were abusive when they interrogated her for the murder of her roommate.

Knox, who was convicted last year of murdering Meredith Kercher and sentenced to 26 years in prison, stood up in court and made what Italian legal officials call a “spontaneous statement” before the judge’s ruling.

“I have always tried to defend myself. I never wanted to offend or slander anyone,” Knox said in Italian.

Nevertheless, preliminary hearing Judge Claudia Matteini indicted Knox, 23, for slander.

The charge refers to Knox’s testimony during her murder trial that Italian police were rough with her when they interrogated her overnight just days after Kercher’s body was found in a pool of blood in the house they shared.

She claimed the officers yelled at her, discouraged her from calling a lawyer and cuffed the back of her head. The 12 officers named in the slander complaint have denied being abusive to Knox.

At the end of the long interrogation, Knox signed a statement in which she said she had a confused dream-like recollection of being in the house and hearing Kercher scream, effectively placing her on the scene of the crime.

Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said Knox was “saddened” by the decision.

Another lawyer for Knox, Maria Del Grosso, told reporters that “for Amanda this (interrogation) was the genesis for her homicide accusation. She is very frustrated and obviously disappointed, but she knows that today’s was only a preliminary hearing and the truth was not ascertained today. Let’s hope it is when the case is debated because there was something that went wrong that night.”

Knox was driven into the courthouse in a police van with darkened windows. The hearing was closed to the public, but photographers were able to get a glimpse of her in the courtroom hallways. Looking thinner and drawn, Knox wore a dark green sweater and black pants, her hair is a jaw-length bob.

Before the hearing, Knox’s stepfather Chris Mellas told ABC News that “Amanda is doing better. She is rightfully angry about the slander accusations, and told me she was going to speak out in court this morning. She told me she wanted to tell them that she sees police interrogations shown on TV all the time, and would like to know why her interrogation was not recorded or videotaped.”

But according to her lawyers, she limited her statement to saying she was just defending herself and did not want to offend.

Knox will go to trial for slander on May 17, 2011 before a single judge, Cecilia Bellucci. Matteini said the case needed to go to trial to resolve some formal technical matters, and to debate the accusations, possibly with witnesses.

The lawyer for eight of the police officers, Francesco Maresca, said that the “framework of the request for an indictment was confirmed, and now we await the debate.”

Conviction of the charge could add as much as six years to Knox’s prison sentence.

Again, this is the nexus of Amanda Knox’s accusation against poor Patrick Lumumba who spent two terrifying weeks in Capanne Prison and later lost his business when the customers fled.

Whatever else she may be, Knox does seem to be a serial blamer of others. Blaming the cops for her blaming Patrick, Knox seemed to us to think, was an easy way out.

Italian reports say that she seemed to be scowling or sour or very serious or depressed (no mention of nervousness) and that she had put on a few pounds.


Posted on 11/08/10 at 10:46 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Trials 2008 & 2009Appeals 2009-2015Hellmann 2011+Other legal processesKnox followupThe wider contextsItalian contextKnox-Mellas team
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Friday, November 05, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Very Criticised Book On Knox Is Discussed By A Panel In Rome

Posted by Clander



[left to right: Mangani, Girlanda, Gramaglia, Thomas, Esposito]

On Monday 14 February Yahoo News linked to this post but we suspect Yahoo actually referred to this post which is our many many question (never responded to) to the Amanda Knox apologist Italian MP Rocco Girlanda

Our previous posts on Italian MP Rocco Girlanda’s energetic involvement with Amanda Knox can be found here and here and here.

Rocco Girlanda’s Italian-American Foundation organized a panel discussion of his book “Take me with you - Talks with Amanda Knox in prison” which took place on Tuesday of last week at the Palazzo Marini

Beforehand I had lunch in a bookstore next to Palazzo Chigi. One hour later I realized I had read half of Girlanda’s book. It’s a really easy read. Too easy.

It’s all about “me, me, me and more me.”  Sound familiar?.

Girlanda promotes himself (and his foundation) so much in the book that at a certain point I was not sure if the book was even about Amanda Knox. Girlanda and Knox are using each other.

Less than 40 people in total were present at the discussion. Sitting next to Rocco Girlanda were Giampiero Gramaglia (moderator, not involved in the case); Patricia Thomas (Associated Press), Pina Esposito (SkyTG24) and Cristiana Mangani (Il Messaggero)

Sabina Castelfranco (CBS) could not make it.

The Massei Sentencing Report was never once mentioned and rather extraordinarily it remained unclear throughout whether anyone on the panel had actually read it.

Meredith was first mentioned by name a full 35 minutes from the start of the debate.

I got the impression that Girlanda had read the negative comments about him that have appeared on the Internet - it almost seemed as if he was quoting from some of the comments I had read. His statements were watered-down compared to the stuff I’d heard from him in the last few days.

For example, when Gramaglia asked Girlanda if he thought that Knox was innocent, Girlanda said that he “does not know” and that “thankfully, it is not up to him to decide” reading this from his book.

We’ll see if that’s really his position on the case in the next few weeks.

Not once did he mention in the discussion that he wrote the book/is involved in the case because he thinks that he (or his foundation) has a role in US-Italy relations.

He said he recently purchased 4 laptops. Three were for his eldest children. The fourth one was for AK and he had it delivered to her a while back.

He had met yet again with Amanda Knox just two days before (that must be added to the number of visits) and he gave her a copy of his book.

The panel discussion had opened with a few sentences from Girlanda in which he explained that he started following the case after Senator Cantwell made her “anti-Americanism” claims.

Patricia Thomas stated that those remarks were “ridiculous” and that “anyone who has been to Italy or knows Italy knows they are not true”. In her words, “Italians simply love Americans” (vabbè, mo’ non esageriamo). Her spoken Italian is really good.

Girlanda stated that he is interested in the state of the prisons in Umbria and that is why he went to visit Knox in prison (in his words, his “first visit to AK was the first time I had ever entered a prison”) and that the book was written “by chance” after his numerous encounters with her.

He stressed numerous times that, as an MP, he has the right to visit prisoners.

We were told at the meeting that one American journalist has visited Knox in prison: Patricia Thomas. She was present during Girlanda’s very first visit to Knox.

Patricia Thomas described the prison. She said it is a lot better than many summer camps she had been to when she was younger. The food is amazing and she could not believe that they even have bidets in the cells. She said that she took a lot of flack for writing about this a few months ago.

Girlanda said in response that the men’s section of the prison is not as nice since it is overcrowded. He made no mention of whom he visited in the men’s section, if anyone.

Ms Thomas said she could not believe that Knox’s mom and sister were taking pictures of each other inside the Court (“as if they were tourists inside the Sistine Chapel”) only a few hours before the verdict.

She spoke very highly of the Kerchers. In particular, she spoke of Merdith’s siblings at the press conference after the trial. She described them as “beautiful, well educated and articulate”.

Gramaglia asked the 3 journalists sitting next to him how they would have voted had they been on the jury panel:

Patricia Thomas, who really did not want to answer this question, and showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that she would have acquitted Knox and Sollecito.

Pina Esposito said that, based on the evidence, Knox and Sollecito are guilty. She would have voted guilty.

Cristiana Mangani, who showed no familiarity with the Massei report, said that Rudy Guede alone killed Meredith and that “Knox and Sollecito are in prison based on NOTHING” (yes, she said “nothing”, NIENTE). So, of course, she would have acquitted.

Ms Thomas said that Knox was “terribly handled by the PR firm and the lawyers”.

She said that in her opinion the lawyer Mr Della Vedova was hired for “opportunistic reasons” and that Mr Ghirga was “like a father who could not control his exuberant kid”.

She said that “AK’s PR efforts” should have focused on Italy and not on the US and she added that “it’s a good thing that this book has come out a few weeks before the start of AK’s appeal”.

At this point, the moderator Mr Gramaglia asks if anyone had any questions.

There was an ANSA journalist sitting in the first row who was really anxious to ask a question after Patricia Thomas made her remark about the book coming out “a few weeks before the start of the appeal”.

First of all he responded to Ms Thomas by saying that her statement that “it is good that this book has come out a few weeks before the appeal” is an insult to the Appellate Court. The ANSA journalist explained to Ms Thomas that the book would have no effect whatsoever on the Court.

He then asked Girlanda how he responds to those who are accusing him of exploiting the case and of being just another “puppy” in Knox’s hands (and by the tone of his voice and how he asked the question, it seemed as if he was one of those making the accusations).

Girlanda replied by saying that the proceeds of the book were going to his foundation and that he would not be involved when the board decides how that money should be spent.

Regarding the puppy comment, Girlanda replied “they can think what they want”.

Suddenly, no more questions were being taken.

[below Associated Press reporter Patricia Thomas who said she would have founnd AK and RS not guilty]


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Report #2 On Perugia: What Very Very Close Neighbors Sollecito And Guede Really Were

Posted by SomeAlibi

Posted on 11/04/10 at 02:29 PM by SomeAlibiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesThe locationsRaff Sollecito27 Single alibi hoax
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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Caring Perugia Sets Up A Scholarship To Commemorate Meredith And Offer A Kind Gesture To Her Family

Posted by Peter Quennell

We previously posted this report on the Mayor of Perugia, Wladimiro Boccali, and how he reflects the city’s still caring for Meredith.

Now we have this report from UPI that he and the city council and the School for Foreigners have created a scholarship for Meredith.

ROME, Nov. 3 (UPI)—A scholarship has been set up in the memory of a British exchange student found murdered three years ago in central Italy, officials said.

Perugia and the city’s University for Foreigners said the scholarship would honor the life of Meredith Kercher, the ANSA news agency reported.

‘‘Meredith Kercher was here, our guest, to study and we want to remember her as a young student,’’ Mayor Wladimiro Boccali said Tuesday, the third anniversary of the day she was found with her throat cut…

‘‘Perugia wants a tangible sign to remain from her coming here,” Boccali said. ‘‘I think Meredith should be considered one of us and, as such, she should find a place in the city’s shared memory, with a thought also for her devastated family.’‘

Murders are extremely rare in Perugia so they affect the whole city deeply. The city council has also tried its best to be helpful to the family and encourage the search in the Sonia Marra case.

Sonia also was a visiting student.

Posted on 11/03/10 at 11:14 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer PerugiaThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Monday, November 01, 2010

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher 28 December 1985 - 1 November 2007

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Perceptions Of Special

Meredith was taken from her family and friends and a waiting world three years ago tonight (Monday night) and private services are being held and flowers placed today and tomorrow to commemorate her.

Meredith’s family are on record as really wishing to see her commemorated as an infectiously happy, ever-lively, very caring and singularly smart young woman, for whom the world was really her oyster.

The world now increasingly sees that someone very special was taken away from us here.  The world seriously NEEDS people like Meredith. Even in death she is making an increasing difference.



Above: three white roses attached to the gate this morning by PMF commenter and TJMK main poster Some Alibi


All the signs are that Meredith would have had a meteoric career, in organizations that really matter to the world, starting in Brussels, and she would have built a very kind supportive high-achieving family of her own.

If you too would like to post a message expressing your feelings toward Meredith and her family, please do so below this post. That might bring some comfort to those lucky enough to have known her, and to those very many who would have liked to..

As absolutely always, our thoughts are with Meredith’s mother, father, sister, and two brothers, in their profound grief in south London. We always wish we could do more.


Posted on 11/01/10 at 11:40 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memoryHer family
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Report #1 On Perugia: I Meet A Very Decent Brave Man

Posted by SomeAlibi


I walk the journey to the cottage from where Meredith and Sophie parted ways at the Via Del Lupo. Time from there to the cottage is 5 minutes at a leisurely pace. I video the journey for proof.

As I finish, I decide to walk up Via Scortici with the wall of the basketball court to my left, just to prove to myself that it isn’t what sane people would normally do (they go round the basketball court on the stairs of the Via Della Pergola which is why Amanda saw Rudy, practising on the basketball court, daily).

Managing not to get spread against the wall by a slowly passing car which honks at me for my patent stupidity, I come to the bottom corner of Piazza Grimana by the news-stand. The entrance to Corso Garibaldi, Raffaele’s road, is five metres away.

I turn round to look at the entrance to Piazza Grimana and see the figure of a man on crutches with shoulder-length white grey hair poking out from the bottom of a striped bobble hat walking away from me and towards the steps. Is it? I cross quickly and go round the top of the basketball court, along the pavement of Via Pinturicchio trying to look down to see if I can identify him. If it’s who I think it is, I haven’t been able to find him in previous days.

The man is dressed in a white and blue ski jacket and moves purposefully, even with the crutches. He goes to the steps of Via Della Pergola and heads down towards the cottage. But then he does a right and disappears into Via Melo which is half way down the steps and leads to an area of public garden. I go down after him, down the steps, and turn into Via Melo too. I try to take a picture but inadvertently engage video mode. That has to go quickly – I need to catch him.

I walk past a woman and then overtake him. As I do, I look back at him naturally as if just with a friendly passing nod. I allow my ‘spontaneous’ surprise to stop me.

“Mr Curatolo?” I say, in my best very English sounding Italian. He looks at me in a friendly way. His eyes are bright, unbothered, looking straight at me. He furrows his eyebrows minutely at me.

“Curatolo” he says with a pronunciation which is different from mine but in ways in which I’d never be able to explain. “Yes, I’m Curatolo” he says in Italian.

His voice is soft, clear, his diction precise, also unbothered, and he looks at me calmly.

I smile at him and nod, mostly to myself. I size him up for a couple of seconds. I reach out to shake his hand which he does so unhesitatingly, taking if from the crutch at his side. As I draw close to him, I hate myself for doing it, but I use an old trick a policeman taught me and breath in deeply through mouth and nose. It looks like a normal inhalation, which of course it is, but I’m smelling him. There isn’t the slightest wiff of alcohol or smoke about him, not from today or last night, completely corroborating the precision of his speech.

My spoken Italian, worse than my understood, will now let me down but I will try in Italian and English combined. He replies only in Italian.

“Thank you,” I say, shaking his hand, “Meredith Kercher; what you saw – so important.” I point to my eyes as I do so.

“Ah, Meredith Kercher,” he replies, understanding my action and nods. “Are you a friend?” he asks.

Well that’s a complex one. “Yes, in a way”, I reply, waggling my hand from side to side in the universal language of ‘kind of’.

“Ah, I see. That is a good thing,” he replies.

“Thank you,” I say again, patting my chest with the flat of my hand. “Many people say thank you. Many people.”

He nods.

“It is my pleasure,” he says in that calm voice again. Then he shrugs with those crutches of his but in a very measured way. “I saw what I saw” he says simply.

I look him straight in the eyes throughout the whole conversation. He doesn’t once break eye contact back – never - and I particularly note it when he says those final words. I look at him some more and I nod again.

“I know you did,” I say.

But this time I really do know it, with certainty. And since Raffaele and Amanda never said they went to the basketball court on the previous night and did what Curatolo saw them doing, I know when he saw them too.

“For you, sir,” I say and give him a twenty euro note to help him through today.

I ask if I might possibly take a quick picture, just to prove it happened, and he graciously says yes. I take a single one and then I shake his hand once more. I pat him on the back and smile a last time.

And then I say a final thank you and goodbye. I haven’t got the Italian to talk to him further but more than that, I want him to know that sometimes people say thank you and mean it without wanting anything else.

I walk off back towards Piazza Grimana and out into a little sunshine on an otherwise grey day as the bells start to chime out one o’clock.

Seeing the three disco buses last night after 11pm helped, about what happened that night in the square. But this meeting helped me more. I’ve dealt with more liars than most people have had hot breakfasts: I know the deeply credible ones, the squirming ones, I know the lies of drug addicts and thieves and other types more innumerable than I care to mention. He’s none of these things whatsoever. He is calm, measured, collected and together, softly spoken; a man with dignity even if he is down on his luck.

Curatolo saw what he saw, and now, as I start walking with a smile on my face, I know he did too.

Posted on 10/31/10 at 06:36 PM by SomeAlibiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Evidence & witnessesOther witnessesThe wider contextsPerugia context
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Meredith’s England: How Italy’s LA7 TV Captured It One Year Ago

Posted by Peter Quennell

A repeat of Main Poster Nicki’s post one year ago on LA7’s kind caring pro-Meredith documentary, unfortunately aired only in Italian. No US or UK network has captured Meredith’s story in English yet in a documentary or a film, though we know several would now really like to try, if Meredith’s family choose to say yes.

Below: Very moving scene from Meredith’s funeral, as her coffin is brought to Croydon Parish Church

Below: Croydon Parish Church (St John the Baptist) where 400 attended Meredith’s funeral mid-Dec 2007

Below: Reverend Colin Boswell conducted Meredith’s funeral service, and tells of pain at its long delay

“It was a very sad day, sad because of her horrible death, for the pain her family were experiencing at that time - pain they are still feeling right now. The family had to wait for six weeks before they could bury her, she was only 21 years old. Her family showed great strength and courage. We gathered together here in the church. There were many friends from school, teachers, university companions, friends, neighbours. We tried to play down our sadness as much as we could, to reflect upon the goodness of her life, her beauty; trying thus to concentrate on the positive characteristics of Meredith and of her existence which we had shared.”

Below: One of several shots of the Kercher family in Perugia, their only direct presences here

Stephanie: “Mez was so important for so many people for her spontaneous, smiling and altruistic personality. We are trying to understand with great difficulty why she was taken away in such a cruel way.”

Below: Several images of Meredith appear late - documentary could have used fresh images in first part

Below: Image from a segment on Meredith’s starring in a music video, linked at top-right here

Below: One of many intensely moving segments on Meredith’s Perugia friend Samantha Rodenhurst

“I’d only known her for five weeks, but when you are in a foreign land, you become friends very quickly. You depend on each other for so many things, emotional support, language support, advice, information. We became close rather quickly, even though we didn’t ever have the opportunity to know more about each other’s pasts. I think at first she reminded me of the friends I used to have at home… In fact we became good friends at once.”

Below: Start of a long segment on University of Leeds where Meredith’s activities were described

Below: One of various scenes at the University tending to show women students Meredith’s age

Below: First of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

Yes especially in the beginning it was talked about a lot. But now it’s almost disappeared. I don’t think it was excessive; I think the media concentrated just on some aspects, just the ones they thought would make interesting news, like the war in Afghanistan, the news which create a sensation they keep showing. But probably they don’t report the whole story. I think that in the case of Meredith they concentrated on just a few things exaggerating them, leaving out others. And now, for the family, it’s been going on for too long. They’re going back over the same things.

Below: Second of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

She is remembered here. Services have been held and there is a memorial to her. There is much sadness.

Below: Third of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

It’s think that for the family it’s been going on for far too long. The media can’t just talk about it the same way they did in the beginning.

Below: Fourth of four university students unhappy at protracted process and poor media coverage

Our media pass very quickly from one thing to another. Sometimes they are very mistaken: perhaps they don’t give some things the attention and depth that they really deserve.

Below: Another intensely moving segment on Meredith’s Perugia friend Samantha Rodenhurst

“Horrible -  it was a horrible, terrifying moment.  I was in a complete state of shock I couldn’t feel anything - I think that when you are in such a state it’s almost impossible to feel anything. I didn’t cry much that evening; I was in too much shock.  I couldn’t do anything.”

“After the funeral service, we planted a tree at the school: a symbolic place where people can come to remember her and pray for her.”

Below: Storefront sign in Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith lived till she was 18

Below: Wider shot of Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith lived till she was 18

Below: A cafe in Coulsdon, Croydon, in south London where Meredith often ate out

Below: The owner of the cafe describes often serving Meredith cheeseburgers and chips

She was always a very striking girl - a very beautiful girl.  Now it’s a been quite a while, because she went off to college.  She used to come here once a week, sometimes with her family.  She would order a cheeseburger with chips and a milkshake.

Below: The newsroom of the Croydon Guardian which has provided the best coverage in the UK

Below: Croydon Guardian reporter Kirsty Whalley who we have praised here for her outstanding articles

“Meredith’s background is solid, very proper middle-upper class. She was a girl from a very good family. Meredith’s family is reserved and their friends are acting according to the family’s wishes: no publicity. The family was surprised by the number of people attending the funeral, friends, neighbors, and former classmates. They like to remember her happy smile, because she was a happy person. She went to Croydon Old Palace School, very exclusive, prestigious and very expensive, where she made many friends.  She loved to write and loved the media; and certainly she wanted to travel and to have experiences of new places. Her brother gave an address in her honour in which he said he wanted to always remember her so jovial, happy, always ready to make people laugh; that he wanted to remember her smile.”

Below: The entrance to the church, Croydon Parish (St John the Baptist) where Meredith’s funeral was held

Below: The floral arrangement at the funeral of Meredith (Mez) put together by her friends

Below: One of the several intensely moving images of the cemetery where Meredith hopefully lies in peace

Below: Another of several intensely moving images of the cemetery where Meredith hopefully lies in peace

Below: The final of many images of Meredith in the documentary which rises to linger in full-screen

Below: Three images of the conclusion of the dcumentary, for which a translation is provided above

Merdith Kercher was killed in Peruga on 1 November 2007. Amanda Knox e Raffaele Sollecito were arrested on November 6th 2007. They have been charged with voluntary murder and sexual violence.


The verdict of the Court of Cassazione is expected by December 2009. The Ivorian citizen Rudy Guede has already been sentenced to 30 years by the GUP of Perugia in a fast track trial.


Patrick Lumumba, accused by Amanda Knox, was cleared of all charges after two weeks of detention in the Perugia jail.

Posted on 10/31/10 at 01:14 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer EnglandHer EuropeNews media & moviesMedia news
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Corruption Of Appeal: Angry Top Criminal Judge Chiari Is Blatantly Forced Aside

Posted by Peter Quennell




Very Dirty Business

Only one month ago Umbria’s top criminal judge Sergio Matteini Chiari was to preside.

Now a very angry Judge Chiari has been forced aside with no public explanation from Chief Judge De Nunzio [image below] as to why.

A wildly wrongly qualified judge, Hellmann, a business judge with just two criminal trials in his past, both fiascos, mysteriously takes his place.

Rumors of foul play are appearing in the Italian media. Has Chief Judge De Nunzio been leaned upon politically? Do big bucks or rogue masons have any role in this?

Click here for more


For Sad Third Anniversary of Meredith’s Death, Your Suggestions For Music Videos That Resonate?

Posted by Earthling

The third anniversary of Meredith’s death in Perugia will be next weekend.

As in previous year there will be private services and kind Perugians who cared and care for her will place flowers at the gate of her house. We think the best we can do to channel how readers might feel is to open a new page (from Monday) for your musical video choices of how Meredith and her passing speaks to you. 

These above and below are two videos shortlisted by our main posters as perhaps evoking how far Meredith had already come, where she was headed in the world, and what her needless death cut so brutally short in her infectiously-laughing, ever-more-successful prime of life.

I would like to offer a few words of my own to try to convey what I myself am feeling.

First and foremost, I must say that neither I nor any of us here on TJMK can even begin to imagine what Meredith’s family and her many friends in London, Leeds and elsewhere have gone through and are still going through.  Nevertheless, because we as humans are empathetic creatures, we strain and struggle to understand their pain.

I don’t think many of us reach too advanced an age without experiencing some strong grief. I may even go so far as to say that our shared grief is our wisdom. I myself lost both my parents at the age of 39 – my father to Alzheimers, and my mother, much more suddenly, to cancer. I know for a fact that the more sudden death, my mother’s, was the more difficult to bear. So I can imagine a tinge of what a truly sudden and brutal death of a loved one, through murder or suicide, might be like – although I have never experienced it myself.

Those who have never allowed themselves to feel any strong grief seem the most likely to heap scorn on those who have. In particular, those who most vociferously support the murderess in this sad case seem to me to be people who have long-buried pain and grief that they cannot acknowledge. So they belittle the Kerchers’ pain and support those who caused it.

I was severely criticized recently by a pro-Knoxer as ignoring the thousands of tsunami victims in my focus on one specific victim. Yes, the tsunami was sudden, brutal and tragic. Yet it was an act of God. Aside from helping the survivors, there was no human responsible for the event, so no crime and punishment issues are involved.  It is also human nature to want to ensure justice to the victim and her survivors. Those who refuse to understand this are not playing with a full deck, are not acknowledging the responsibilities of a moral society, and are in essence blaming the victim (see Emma’s recent eloquent post on this phenomenon).

But let’s focus no longer on those poor misguided souls who support murderers, for whom there is probably a special circle in Dante’s Hell, and reflect on our own difficulties in empathizing with what we do not understand and can never fully comprehend.

We are faced with the seemingly impossible task of empathizing with people we don’t know, over the loss of a girl, wonderful, brilliant, loving, and joyous, whom however we also didn’t know.

Even generations of time cannot separate one from those whose heartbeat is in empathy with ours. Is there any doubt that those who heard the first performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony felt any less stirring in their breasts than we do now, over 200 years later? Walt Whitman wrote movingly of the intergenerational affection he felt for those to come after in “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.”

Can those who live in our time, yet on a different continent, or in a different city, yet whom we don’t personally know, merit our sympathy any less, therefore? I think not. As the poet John Donne says:

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontory were, as well as if a Manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Few of us watching the thrilling rescue of the Chilean miners last week on TV knew them personally. Yet, we are involved in mankind; and we rejoiced with them and their families. Shame upon those who think that the grief, as well as the joy, of those whom we don’t know should not touch us. After the Chilean miners were rescued last week, they got together with their rescuers and sang the Chilean national anthem. Our breasts stirred with theirs. Music binds people together.

One of the more sickening aspects of this trial is the way Ms. Knox has appropriated certain cultural icons – good and beneficial in themselves – to herself, as if to use them as a banner. Her sick identification with Harry Potter and the Beatles, especially John Lennon, is a perversion of how a right-thinking person would use such cultural treasures. John Lennon himself was murdered by a deranged individual, and would hardly be supportive of any other murderer. Harry Potter worked for good, not evil, and used minimal violence only when absolutely necessary to defeat that evil. Harry’s own parents were murdered, and he suffered every day because of it.

Music is a great source of power. When the Civil Rights marchers of the ‘60s bravely faced water cannons, dogs, and men with clubs for their cause, they sang together, “We Shall Overcome.” I believe that we must re-appropriate the cultural icons that Ms. Knox has tried to steal from us as a mask for her murderous impulses. A murderer saying “all you need is love” is not the latest thing in “Post-modernism”; it is evil, pure and simple. Somehow, I’m confident John Lennon would have mourned the horrific loss of Meredith Kercher and spurned association with her convicted murderess.

We would now like to open it up to YOU the wider audience of True Justice for Meredith Kercher. What videos or songs remind you of Meredith, speak to her promising future, or help you deal with your grief?

Please email or post in Comments below your YouTube suggestions with some words explaining why that video resonates for you. All this week, we are going to add those videos and words on the new Musical Tributes to Meredith page.

We know there will be sad videos, of loss and grief. But we are also looking for the upbeat side. A clear majority of the videos on TJMK that already commemorate Meredith are decidedly upbeat.

Part of recovering from grief is knowing that the loved one’s love is still with us. Where would Meredith be now? And where was she headed in the next half century or more that should have been accorded to her? What do you imagine she would be doing? Where would she be living? Who would her friends be now? 

Let your imagination and empathy run wild, and let us know what you think, and what music you claim for Meredith’s memory. Thank you!

Forever rest in peace, dear Meredith

Posted on 10/31/10 at 11:44 AM by EarthlingClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer memory
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Anger Toward Hayden Panettiere For Arch-Callousness Toward Meredith’s Family

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Another with the symptoms of a charming psychopath, explaining how Meredith was killed?

Panettiere is reported as refusing to mention Meredith by name. In line with the standing orders of PR campaign, she seemingly wants to disappear Meredith. Make her a non-person.

The anger toward Panttiere among those who knew Meredith or closely identify with her, as we do, is growing stronger by the day. Now there is a scathing commentary by Jenny McCartney on The Daily Telegraph’s website

With depressing inevitability, the cameras began rolling last week on a TV movie about Amanda Knox, the young, blonde American convicted in Italy for her role in the killing of a 21-year-old fellow student, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

Hayden Panettiere, a rising star, is playing Knox. The actress described herself as “flattered” to be awarded the role, blithely adding: “It’s a really great story and a very controversial one.”

Both the comment, and the film, strike me as being in disgustingly bad taste. For it is not, of course, “a really great story”, but an intensely sad and very recent criminal case, in which an intelligent and beautiful British student was murdered.

The Kercher family, who demonstrated considerable dignity through a long and heavily sensationalised trial, must now be subjected to the additional pain of knowing that the circumstances of Meredith’s death are already being converted into entertainment.

Even Knox’s Italian lawyer, who is presently appealing against her conviction, has strongly denounced any such “exploitation of the situation”.

The truth is that the film’s backers glimpsed a case in which both the murderers and the victim were young and attractive, and – in their eagerness for a salaciously brutal storyline – abandoned all other considerations.

I don’t suppose the film industry ever had much of a conscience: the difference now is the confident assumption that the public doesn’t, either.

Click the Daily Telegraph link to read also the well-informed and very critical comments by commenters Jo Jones and Mutley.

Posted on 10/30/10 at 09:15 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Concerning MeredithHer familyThe officially involvedVictims familyNews media & moviesMovies on caseThe wider contextsN America context
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Kercher Family Lawyer Francesco Maresca Confident Appeals Will Fail And Justice Will Prevail

Posted by Peter Quennell





This excellent interview of Mr Maresca by Leonardo Molinelli just appeared in Canada Corriere.

The interview is similar to several others Mr Maresca has just given in Italy. Mr Maresca shows in all of them that he is very confident about the defense appeals not succeeding in any dramatic way.

Justice will be served in Kercher case

“The investigation was carried out very well”: lawyer

By Leonardo N. Molinelli

There’s less than a month to go to the start of the appeal process for the murder of 20-year-old American student Meredith Kercher. The next phase will begin on Nov. 24, which should establish the guilty parties in the death of Kercher, who was killed in Perugia, Italy between Nov. 1 and 2 of 2007.

Charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault, and theft is 26-year-old Amanda Knox and 23-year-old Raffaele Sollecito with whom Knox was having a relationship.

The other person facing charges – Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast – will not be part of the process since he has already been condemned to 30 years [reduced to 16 at first appeal] at a summary procedure. He will face the Court of Cassation (appeals) for final sentencing [in December].

All three of the accused have always declared their innocence and the upcoming process promises to be controversial and sensational. The defence for Sollecito and Knox, in fact, has requested access to all forensic investigation from the Court of Cassation.

They’re requesting the analyses of all the principal exhibits, maintaining that the two were not present at the murder scene and thereby placing the blame squarely on Guede.

“The Kercher family has taught the world the dignity of silence.” 

With these words, the family’s lawyer Francesco Paolo Maresca outlines the trial that went beyond the usual standards in legal battles in Italy, moving from the courtrooms to TV and newspapers.

Corriere Canadese/Tandem recently spoke to Francesco Paolo Maresca about the trial.

Has there been any new developments since the preliminary sentencing and the appeal?

“No, let’s say that the defence requested the appeals court for a review of all forensic findings, following the defence line in the preliminary trial, in which they contested all the assessments.”

Accusations that were discredited with the preliminary sentencing.

“Yes, so much so that the preliminary sentence is based on all these laboratory results accepted as fully reliable in the presence of the parties, and no one ever contested anything on that basis.”

So what is the defence’s objective in this case?

“They’re requesting, in substance, the detailed analyses of all the main exhibits, therefore the bra hook containing Sollecito’s DNA and the bathroom rug with Sollecito’s footprint.”

Do they intend to demonstrate the non-involvement of the two youths in the murder?

“They’re aiming to demonstrate the total non-involvement, unloading everything onto Rudy Guede.”

So Guede would have killed Meredith by himself while Amanda and Raffaele were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“Actually, they say they were at Sollecito’s house after having smoked hash, made love, and woken up early the next morning.”

So they would have been connected to the crime scene as part of a conspiracy?

“They got there by coincidence based on test results. They say that the DNA on the bra isn’t Sollecito’s and if it were, it would have been found in other parts of the house, that the footprint on the rug isn’t Sollecito’s), that the DNA on the knife isn’t Knox’s, and so on.”

Instead, what are the facts as pieced together by the preliminary sentence?

“The facts pieced together would be a sexual attempt gone wrong, with a series of progressive and worsening knife wounds, with intimidation and threats and with three very serious wounds to the neck, of which one was fatal. We – and the sentencing acknowledges this – maintain that the facts cannot be viewed as a premeditated theft but as a crime of violence.

They probably attempted some sort of sexual game, Kercher refused, they threatened her, wounded her, blood spilled, and they panicked. Knox knew everyone so if they had called an ambulance or the police, they would have had to justify their presence, which is why they finished her off.”

So it wasn’t premeditated?

“There’s no premeditation. There is no premeditation. The event needs to be examined using the approach of a contingent situation, of the fear of being discovered, of the fear of making noise. Kercher screamed horribly from the pain, the simulation of a theft was to throw the research on the wrong track.”

America insists there were leaks in the Italian justice system, a conspiracy against Amanda, and so on. What impression did you get during this trial? Are there any deficiencies in this trial?

“The investigation was carried out very well, and forensic science and the police did a good job. There was just the one deficiency – and un-influential – of this blessed (bra) hook that was left behind and discovered 40 days later, but it was proven that it could not have been contaminated, using a series of technical valuations.

One must consider that 368 exhibits were gathered if I’m not mistaken, and above all we made an enormous commitment of deliberating for about a year (Editor’s note: January to December, 2009), which was very quick for Italian trials. Rudy Guede was examined with a summary procedure within a year of the act, and the other two to three years from the act, but with a deliberation that involved 170 witnesses and technical consultants.”

An exemplary trial considering that Italian justice system is often blamed for being slow.

“It gets blamed because they have completely different parameters and have juries and courts that dedicate themselves to a single trial – they begin and end that trial over three-to-four consecutive months, doing nothing else. In our system, the criminal court does this while the judges concurrently do another 20, 30 or 40.”

A difference in systems that could be the reason for these accusations.

“They were astounded because we didn’t have daily hearings. We pointed out that having weekly hearings on Friday, Saturday, and Monday – that is three days out of six – is a very unheard of commitment. We all risked our families because we couldn’t see them anymore…”

The defence for this case is reminiscent of the one used for the Cogne case, with the victim who disappears from the media, and the likely murderer who becomes a celebrity of sorts.

“From a theoretic interpretation, I’d say that’s justice, and I must say that Meredith Kercher’s family taught the elegance of silence to the entire world. Because as the families of Knox and Sollecito organized foundations, associations, sought funds, gave interviews, requested political help, Meredith Kercher’s family remained under the radar screen notwithstanding the offers, including financial (ones).”

Posted on 10/29/10 at 09:50 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009Hellmann 2011+Amanda KnoxRaff Sollecito
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lifetime’s Knox TV Movie: Is A Shallow Callous Narcissistic Girl Being Played By…

Posted by Peter Quennell


Is a shallow, callous, narcissistic girl being played in the movie by another shallow, callous, narcissistic girl?

It is certainly looking like that right now.

Hayden Panettiere, now involved in the filming of the Lifetime TV movie in Milan and Rome (they are avoiding Perugia - it seems too many people there take strong exception to this film) has STILL not reached out to Meredith’s family or her friends.

Or showed the slightest concern for the real hurt that this misleading glamorizing of Amanda Knox, the convicted killer of the REAL victim, Meredith, is causing here.

This is Andrea Magrath in the Daily Mail.

In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Panettiere said she had not met Knox, who is appealing her conviction.

‘I wish. I know the Italian government is being pretty protective of her, her lawyers are being protective of her, which is pretty understandable. ‘It’s something I would like to do (meet her) but I’d be more surprised if it happened than if it didn’t.’

Panettiere said she was ‘floored’ and ‘flattered’ when she was asked by director Robert Dornhelm to play Knox in the film. She added: ‘They called me up and asked me to do it.

I’m so privileged to play the role. It’s a really great story and a very controversial one. ‘The way the script is written is very well done, in a way that I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with.

‘I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be a really tough project to do but it will be good.’  Panettiere revealed the film will only show events up until Knox’s conviction.

It is NOT just “a really great story”. It is actually for-real, and a highly talented woman-on-the-go, Meredith Kercher, who was outstripping Amanda Knox in all possible dimensions, died very horribly here.

And what exactly is so controversial? Apart from the thousands of mistruths about the hard evidence spread around by a million-dollar campaign? Hayden should try reading the Massei Report.

Also it was Amanda Knox’s own lawyers who banned Hayden from Capanne. Sollecito’s lawyers continue to threaten to sue to stop the movie dead until after the second appeal - which might drag on for years.

Alistair Foster in the London Evening Standard also has a brief report. The post is notable for the sharpness of the comments of Kermit who is a frequent poster here. Most of the comments under both these reports are very critical of the film.

Will the Lifetime TV movie try to reflect the actual cold hard facts, as detailed at great length in the Massei report? A good question for some journalists to be asking of the actors, writer and director. 

Along with why, precisely, doesn’t Hayden Panettiere reach out to the Kercher family? And to Meredith’s friends? 




Posted on 10/28/10 at 01:11 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesMovies on case
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Now Makes Him A Target In Italian Politics

Posted by Cesare Beccaria


This below is the statement made by Maurizio Ronconi, an Italian parliamentary of UDC (elected in the electoral college of Umbria) after the announcement of the upcoming publication of a book on Amanda Knox written by Rocco Girlanda, a fellow parliamentary of the political party of Berlusconi.

Amanda Knox should be spending her time in prison, as she was sentenced to 26 years on first instance. There is no need to manipulate and exploit an event (that is still to be fully clarified) that has seen the tragic death of a young girl, an attempt to blame an innocent person and that has also inflicted a very serious damage to the image of Perugia University

The Honorable Maurizio Ronconi is right. Writing a book on a convicted murderer, portraying the “humane side” of the killer, just weeks before the beginning of her appeal process, is simply tasteless. To say the least. Writers usually write books on the killer’s life, trying to understand their mental state and the reason behind their actions. Instead Girlanda writes something close to an imaginary love story with a young woman convicted on first instance for the worst of crimes. Mr Ronconi added:

As of today, Amanda Knox is not a heroin but a murderer and as such she should be treated, without begging for forgiveness and certainly not claiming that she was a victim of anti-Americanism”, affirmed Ronconi. He also added that “members of Parliament are allowed to visit prisoners [in order to hear about their living conditions behind bars], but it’s outrageous to report the contents of such visits in books and publications when [personal] opinions have already been verified and judged by a court of law.


Mr. Girlanda claims that his book does not discuss the trial and that he does not enter into the merit of the judicial case. He claims that he never met Amanda’s family nor has he ever met her attorneys. He does however acknowledge that the Knox family has hired a PR team, but claims that he never met them either.

But Mr. Girlanda has recently posted a couple of videos on his own account on YouTube under the name “StaffGirlanda”. In one of the videos he posted Girlanda appears right after Steve Moore, who claims he was an FBI Special Agent, when interviewed by NBC.

Why is Mr. Girlanda associating himself with a person (Steve Moore) that has clearly proven to have a very superficial knowledge about this case? Why is he posting, on his own YouTube channel named “StaffGirlanda”, a video from NBC that immediately connects his image with a person that constantly appears on American television to bash and accuse, with silly arguments, an entire country, without knowing the basic facts regarding the murder of Meredith Kercher?

There obviously must be some sort of connection between the two. He could have chosen to post the NBC video of his interview and cutting out the other individual, but he didn’t. The video can be viewed here:

Mr. Girlanda claimed that his actual intention was that of regaining ties with the United States, which, according to him, have been weakened after the conviction of Amanda Knox. But Girlanda should know that, although the family of Amanda Knox have hired a PR team to spread lies and misinformation to the American public, their effort had almost zero impact on the American public at large - very few people in the United States have heard of Amanda Knox or are able to associate her to an event - and no impact at all on the Federal Government..

Although the Knox PR campaign team managed to procure interviews on national television, they were never able to obtain the support of ANY reputable American or international professional and expert in criminology, genetics, forensics and comparative law.

Rocco Girlanda added that he hears “echoes of anti-Italianism from America”, and that was one of the reasons for writing the book. If that was even the case what good would it do to write a love novel about an American girl convicted for murder? Does Mr. Metternich really think that his book is going to improve the diplomatic ties of the two governments (which, obviously, have never been even slightly touched by this case)?

Girlanda should know the U.S. Embassy has followed this trial from the very beginning and has already spoken to State Department. The Knox family was told that the trial was obviously fair and that the Italian criminal system is very accurate and very pro-defendant. They know that she was lucky to have been trialed in Italy, where criminals receive short prison sentences and sometimes (unfortunately) literally get away with murder.

Mr. Girlanda should read some books on international relations instead of writing novels. He should also learn some basic concepts of the principle of the division of power. He will understand that the executive (and legislative) branch is completely independent from the judiciary and that politicians must not interfere in any judicial procedure, directly or indirectly.

With his novel praising an American convicted murder, Mr. Girlanda, from his personal perspective, tries to gain some “sympathy” from the United States. This “useful idiot” has a hard time understanding that in America no one knows who he is and that no one cares about him nor about Amanda Knox. If he wants to do something useful in his life he should write a book about the injustice perpetuated against Carlo Parlanti and Chicco Forte: two clearly innocent people convicted in California and Florida without the slightest proof whatsoever. In Washington State, Amanda Knox would be on death row by now with only one tenth of the evidence.

Amanda is lucky to be trialed in Italy. She has excellent attorneys that are doing a great job in defending her difficult case in a court of law. She does not need the help of politicians, marketing companies, alleged ex-FBI agents and other bizarre characters. At first, her attorneys ignored and reluctantly tolerated this media circus orchestrated by the PR company engaged by the Knox family, as long as it was kept out of the Italian media. Recently, on several occasions, Amanda’s attorneys have expressed their explicit disapproval of all this media folly, which is certainly not helping Amanda’s case in court (which is where she will be judged on appeal).

Italy should be having general elections within six months. For the disgraceful content of his book, Mr. Girlanda, as a politician, will soon have to respond to his constituency, which in Umbria are not exactly sympathetic to Amanda Knox.

PS: Steve Moore said that he’s “not going to gain anything out of this. I’m not going to write a book. Anybody who gains off of this has some answering to do”. And he adds “I cannot imagine somebody who gets a book deal or a movie deal over this”. Does Mr. Girlanda approve this message?

Posted on 10/26/10 at 01:46 PM by Cesare BeccariaClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxers
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rocco Girlanda’s Strutting Manic Grinning Intrusion Seems A Major Danger To Sollecito/Knox Harmony

Posted by Peter Quennell


We will be having several posts on this whole new development.

They will go further than what is published into the politics (as Girlanda is a politician), and the law.(as Girlanda may be subject to reprimand, and legally liable if his intrusion weakens Knox in any way).

We have been observing during the legal process of the past two years a series of what our psychologists believe are minor sexual deviancies or perversions all masquerading as the Amanda Knox White Knights. None of them ever really help Amanda Knox, and all of them heap hurt on Meredith’s friends and her for-ever-suffering family.

The professional psychological take across the board seems to be that if Curt Knox and Edda Mellas take the notion of kind parenting seriously, they would certainly allow no more of these damaging posturing phonies - each with an agenda they cannot possibly fulfill - within 100 miles of their daughter at this time.

Amanda Knox is clearly somewhat emotionally fragile, and she will have a very tough time getting through her trial for slander and then her appeal. There is in fact very little wiggle room for the defenses within the very tough constraints set by Judge Massei.

The defenses have a tough enough time of it already. They don’t need these deviant White Knights repeatedly trying to leap to the front of the parade. We now have the ugly smirking intrusion of Rocco Girlanda, yet another one intent on buoying Knox up to think she is some sort of goddess on the point of stepping out into an adoring world. And he, Mighty Rocco Girlanda, is her savior.

And for what? For Amanda to then come crashing back down at her next hearing, or back in the grim environment of her cell. Lift her up, crash her down. Lift her up, crash her down. Lift her up, crash her down.

Way to make Amanda Knox a basket case for life. She could even become completely catatonic.

And then what, Mr Girlanda? Would THAT be good for your career?

For the sake of Knox’s threatened remaining sanity, her parents should put in place some serious expectations management. Dont believe us? Ask ANY good psychologist and they will tell Knox’s parents the same thing. She does NOT need all these phony promises - where everybody else gets rich and famous. And she lingers on in her cell.

And after the damage he has already done, Rocco Girlanda should make a point of going far away. And if he doesnt, his wife and five children should make him.

Posted on 10/21/10 at 12:41 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamMore hoaxers
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today In Perugia: Another Sign of Extreme Nervousness In The Knox-Mellas Camp?

Posted by True North



[above: successful former prosecutor and respected judge Claudia Matteini]

Edda Mellas and Curt Knox were expected to show up for their day in court today. But they didn’t.

Presumably their lawyers warned them in advance that Judge Matteini’s ruling on whether there is to be a libel trial would be going against them. Perhaps not one of the most perfect press-conference moments when loose tongues already seem to have got them in hot water. 

Their defamation trial hearing was postponed by Judge Carla Giangamboni to 15 February. This is today’s court report from the Italian news service AGI.

Five police officers from the Perugia Flying Squad have launched a civil party libel action suit against the parents of Amanda Knox.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were not in attendance for this morning’s hearing which has been postponed to February 15.  Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, who are divorced and remarried, have always stood together in defense of their daughter.

They are accused of defaming the officers of the Perugia Flying Squad in an interview made to the Sunday Times in June 2008, in which among other things, they claimed that Amanda had been interrogated for 9 hours without the aid of an interpreter, was kept without food and drink,  and that she was threatened and hit on the back of her head.

Meanwhile on November 24 the appeal hearing will commence in the Court of Appeal in Assize for the two former lovers, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito who were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Posted on 10/19/10 at 12:04 PM by True NorthClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: The officially involvedAmanda KnoxKnox-Mellas team
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