Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Welcome To New Arrivals #1: An Experienced Trial Lawyer Recommends How To Zero In On the Truth

Posted by Some Alibi



[Merediths window is seen on the top floor of the house in the lower foreground]

Welcome To Common Sense

This briefing was first posted with slightly different opening paras at the start of the annulled Hellmann appeal. New arrivals often tell us this helped them the most.

If you’ve come to this website because of the Amanda Knox book and interview, then welcome.  Like all of us who come to this case, you have one key question: did they do it?  The Knox book and interview seriously cherrypick the case, and perhaps haven’t helped you at all.

On the Internet, you will find people who are passionate in their defence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito; and you will find people who are passionate in their support of an exceptionally talented girl who died, of a fine justice system previously untainted by PR, and of the prosecution’s very strong case.

Click here for more


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Although The YouTube Trailer Suggests Diane Sawyer Wimped Out And Turned All Mushy…

Posted by Peter Quennell





It could still be wrong. Trailers have been misleading before.

The interview is tonight at 10:00 on ABC. Our Main Posters Kermit and Media Watcher both have tips that could still win Diane Sawyer Pulitzer Prizes.

  • Media Watcher: Diane Sawyer Interview With Amanda Knox: How To Push Back Against The False Claims And Emotion

  • Kermit Powerpoint:  Diane Sawyer’s Very Tough Interview With Amanda Knox: ABC Kindly Shares A Sneak Preview!

Here’s hoping. Even for Amanda Knox, our advice is usually the best. We’ll carry some sort of report on this tomorrow.

Posted on 04/30/13 at 07:21 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Amanda Knox Book: Could Her Book Legally Entangle These Four?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Image above: Curt Knox, Ted Simon, Robert Barnett, and David Marriott]


It seems probably that in every legal system on Earth, enabling or encouraging or inciting a crime may itself be a crime.

Could Amanda Knox’s forthcoming book be considered a crime, or more precisely a series of crimes? We wait to see what it says, but for starters its mere existence flouts Italian law. From our 22 April post:

Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.

At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.

Get that? Knox can talk her head off in court (as she did for two full days and many “spontaneous” interventions at the trial and annulled appeal) but because of a torrid history of false allegations against Italian courts, especially by the mafia and accused politicians, Italian law forbids her to do so outside in ways that misrepresent the evidence and impugn any officers of the legal system, prosecutors and prison staff counted in.

Sollecito’s book published six months ago made four kinds of mistake: (1) publishing for blood money while still accused; (2) including many false claims which contradict his own case at trial and will almost certainly contradict claims Knox makes; (3) defaming numerous officers of the court in freely accusing them of crimes - falsely, as his own dad admits; and (4) maligning the entire Italian justice system, the most popular and trusted institution in Italy with heavy protections at its disposal when it wants.

The criminal investigation into Sollecito’s book is under the wing of the same chief prosecutor in Florence who will oversee the re-run of the murder appeal. His investigation target is expected to be broad, and will certainly include the shadow writer and publisher and Sollecito’s own legal help. At the max, because Sollecito has impugned anti-mafia prosecutors and judges, he might face close to ten years.

PLUS the mitigating circumstances Massei allowed which brought his sentence down by five years will likely be disallowed by the Florence appeal court, adding five more years if the new appeal concludes guilt.

It seems an open secret in Perugia that Knox’s lawyers there have long shrugged off the US campaign and acted locally as if it really isnt there. They may or may not have attempted to forestall the book, though by now they certainly know it will make things far worse for Knox.

Sollecito’s lawyers have even more reason to know this as they are already under the gun, and they are probably sitting back and watching the trainwreck with ever-growing glee. 

Going forward, the prosecution is in a very sound and dominating position.

The evidence is very, very strong.  The Massei Trial Report is still unscathed. The Galati Appeal and the late-March Supreme Court decision absolutely destroyed the Hellmann appeal, and heavily implied that it had been bent. And the prosecutor who has been so unfairly maligned in the US has zero legal problems of his own, after Cassation nailed a rogue prosecutor for pursuing him and put his Narducci investigation back on track, and he was promoted and is set to be the Region of Umbria’s number one prosecutor very soon.

In contrast even without the albatross of the book Knox’s position was very weak.

She has already served three years for criminally lying to protect herself, and that sentence is subject to no further appeal. (Talk of taking it to the European Court is a joke.) Nobody in Italy will trust her word after that. As the post below this one shows, dozens of witnesses will speak up against any false claims. Who will testify on her behalf?

Also Knox seems intent on skipping the appeal, which is itself a contempt of court. And Sollecito, who has said he will be present, showed strong tendencies in his book to sell her short. If her book and her ABC interview are not roundly chastized on Italian TV as Sollecito’s was late last year, it will be a surprise. And complaints are already on their way to Florence - a prison guard she impugns in the book who earlier she herself had said meant no harm is moving forward. 

Curt Knox, Ted Simon, Robert Barnett, and David Marriott may end up in the crosshairs of the anticipated investigation for enabling or encouraging or inciting the book. And if Knox is handed extra years because of their zero due diligence, she may have a malpractice case against Simon and Barnett.

We hope their fingers are crossed.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Amanda Knox Book: Claims About Prison Traumas Widely Contradicted By Solid Sources

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Above and at bottom: an animated Amanda Knox in red t-shirt at a prison rock concert]

“Amanda Knox’s trauma in an Italian hell-hole of sin and debauchery!”

That opening remark of a preview by the National Enquirer of Amanda Knox’s forthcoming book has been widely parroted in other American media reports.

Putting out new claims in the book like that is apparently considered to be worth the huge risk of extra years behind bars for contempt of court described in the post below this one.

Still, the US edition was sanitized after the annullment by the Supreme Court of the Hellmann appeal, and the UK publication of the book was canceled altogether.

So what are these remaining shock-horror claims? We intend to post commentary on them all.

Several concern Knox’s time in Capanne Prison where, it should be remembered, she actually served a three year sentence for lying. This was a sentence recently ratified by the Supreme Court, for criminal lying about the involvement of Patrick Lumumba in Merediths murder.

Main prison claim 1: sex advances by staff

One of the prison claims made public names a now-retired senior prison guard who Knox now claims asked her for sex. Actually this is hardly new news. Knox made the claim but in a far weaker form in 2011.

Then as CBS reported she had in fact concluded the guard was not even serious about sex. He was seeking to understand her.

Investigative journalist and CBS News Consultant Bob Graham, reading from Amanda’s letter to him: “‘He was fixated on the topic of sex, with whom I’d done it, how I liked it, if I would like to do it with him. When I realized that he really wanted to talk to me about sex I would try to change the subject.’”

Correspondent Peter Van Sant: “What does this letter say to you about what she’s been going through?”

Graham: “It says in a time when she was clearly traumatized by the events of the death, the murder of her flatmate, that there she was, an innocent abroad, because she was innocent, she is innocent… and here she was being pressured, further pressured in a prison system, a system that at least she should have had some degree of safety.”

Graham, reading Amanda’s letter: “I realize that he was testing me to see if I reacted badly, to understand me personally. He wanted to get a reaction or some information from me. I did not get the seriousness of the situation.’”

Knox’s claim seems to have left Italians contemptuous. “Yet more lies.” Here is a commentary on Knox’s claim of sexual harrassment in Il Giornale.

AMANDA: “THE WARDER WANTED TO HAVE SEX WITH ME”.

Nino Materi - Monday 15/04/2013 - 15:38.

And in the end do you want to see that we will have even have to compensate Amanda Knox for the “psycho-sexual” abuse suffered in prison in Perugia? By now we have become used to everything in the ugly story of the murder of poor Meredith Kercher.

But you really need a strong stomach to get used to the idea that the girl from Seattle should even be earning millions of dollars with true-story book (“true” in a manner of saying) which rummages in the trash of the Perugia thriller. A literary destiny which associates Amanda with the other key character at the crime scene: that Raffaele Sollecito author of a another true-story book (once again “true” in a manner of saying). Sollecito’s memoir is entitled Honour Bound: my Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, while Amanda’s “best-seller” is called Waiting to be Heard.

Pages in which Amanda – among other things – tries to make herself out to be an ingenuous, modest creature actually “molested” by the sexually implicit sayings of a supposedly dirty-minded prison warden. Amanda writes, or the ghost writer does, “The screw would ask me with whom I had had sex, he wanted to know how many boyfriends I had and whether I wanted to go to bed with him.” The period referred to is when the American student was in the Perugia prison following the first stage sentence for the crime of Meredith’s “friend”.

Then, on appeal, Knox (and Sollecito) were acquitted and now Cassation has ordered a new trial for them both. Meanwhile Amanda has gone back to Seattle (from where she will obviously never return to Italy) and she is enjoying the proceeds of her new career as a writer, not to speak of being a guest of agony TV, where between tears she tells how she was persecuted in our country. And the more she cries, the more the audience hits the roof and the more Amanda’s bank account grows. No talk of repaying her debt to Italian Justice…

In the 400 pages published by Harper Collins, the New York publishers which obtained the exclusive on the memoirs of Amanda after paying out about three million dollars, there is no lack of titillating details. A perfect location: the cells of Capanne Prison. Here Amanda tells about “continual requests from a prisoner to start a lesbian relationship with her”. In other pages she recalls how “she was informed of being HIV positive shortly after her arrival in gaol”.

Then the shock-revelation about a prison guard who is now retired. Knox accuses him of “ doing nothing but talk about sex with her from the day she arrived after her arrest”. In a message to a girlfriend, the girl from Seattle tells how the man in uniform accompanied her on every medical visit, twice a day, and in the evening how he would call her up to the third floor of the prison to an empty room to chat. “He was obsessed with sex, with whom I had done it, how I liked doing it, whether I wanted to do it with him,” she writes in the book. “I was so surprised and scandalised by all his provocations that sometimes I wondered whether I was not misunderstanding what he was telling me. When I realized that he wanted to talk about sex I tried to change the subject.”

The guard is now suing the girl for defamation after Amanda said that she had been abused during the questioning. In an interview with Bob Graham, an English journalist very close to the Knox family, the guard admitted talking about sex with Amanda, but claiming that she was the one who introduce the topic: “I talked to her a lot, but only to calm her down. I asked her how many boyfriends she had had, but it was always she had to start talking about sex.”

Anyone who wants to rummage in the garbage, buy the book by all means.


Main prison claim 2: malicious sex-partner humiliation

The second main claim against a prison official concerned the preliminary results of a routine HIV test required of all prisoners and a list of sex partners. The list of sex partners was reported in the media in 2008 as if the prosecutor and prison doctor had engineered the result and then leaked it to the public. 

What did we find when we looked closely into this?

Knox’s own diary made quite clear that she was the one who decided to create such a list, and the list in fact seems to have been leaked by Knox forces. Back then, Knox herself exonerates the doctor and prosecutor.

Main prison claim 3: Italian prison conditions are unbearable

Italian prison conditions and treatment, Knox claims, were so bad that they made her life miserable. She says that at times she became very despondent, and even claims to have imagined doing away with herself. 

However, Italian prison conditions except for occasional overcrowding are widely considered among the most humane, caring and rehabilitating in the world. Compared to US prison conditions, they are like night and day.

And this almost universal claim of every prisoner everywhere is contradicted by the media on which she and her family worked hard; by prison staff and official visitors, and even by the US Federal Government itself.

(1) Contradicted by the extensive media reporting

Occasional despondency is not all uncommon among those paying their debt to society. And there is scads of reporting that Knox had adjusted well to prison.

Here is a report by ABC News after Knox was found guilty in 2009.

Knox said that she felt “horrendous” the night that the verdict was delivered. “She said the prison guards did come in to hold her and make her feel better. She said the other prisoners were good to her,” Thomas said.

The reporter said the prison is “extremely clean.” Knox’s cell, which she shares with another American who has been sentenced on drug charges, is small. “It had a little bathroom with a door, a bidet, a sink, a shower…. better than some of the things I’ve seen at summer camp or boarding school.”

The women inmates are allowed to go to a hairdresser once a week.

The prison is a new facility, just opened in 2005. The women’s ward has an infirmary, an entertainment room with a pool table and ping-pong table, and a library. There is also a small chapel. Outside there is a little playground for children with benches and toys because there are cells specifically for women with children. Currently there are two women in Capanne with children.

It was very widely reported over four years that Knox was given the opportunity to do all these many things rarely encountered in American prisons: Learn the guitar. Read a lot. Watch TV. Study foreign languages.

Do artwork (colored pictures of hands). Attend rock concerts where she was seen leaping up and down (images here). Attend classical concerts. Attend Christmas parties.

Knox even played a major part in the creation of a rock video with a rock group. Unfortunately for her, that video appeared to many to come close to a taunting murder confession.

And on various occasions Knox was quoted as saying prison guards were kind to her.

(2) Contradicted by the US Embassy and State Department

US Embassy staff regularly monitored Knox’s treatment both during trial and thereafter. She was given chances again and again to lodge complaints with an Embassy officer.

But as we posted here in June 2010 and here in May 2011 cables from the US Rome Embassy to the State Department in Washington DC released to reporter Andrea Vogt contained ZERO complaints.

This matters incredibly because it constitutes the official take of the US Federal Government.

It will be front and center of State Department and Justice Department considerations when an arrest warrant for Knox is issued and extradition requested both of which could happen soon.

(3) Contradicted by Member of Parliament Rocco Girlanda

Mr Girlanda visited Amanda Knox in prison approximately 20 times for the specific purpose (or so he claimed) of checking her prison conditions. In fact that was the only way he could legally visit her, although oddly enough a book and a number of other pro-Knox actions emerged - even a complaint to the President about the Perugia prosecutors.

After Knox was released late in 2011 Mr Girlanda specifically praised the prison staff in this statement.

Perugia Prison Police The Example of Professionalism.

The PdL Party member of parliament Rocco Girlanda praises the officers of the Perugia prison.

“I’ve had the opportunity to describe to the Minister of Justice, Nitto Palma, the great professional behaviour shown by the Perugia Penitentiary Police with regards to the court case that saw Amanda Knox as protagonist, a behaviour that I had always observed during the course of my visits to the Capanne prison in the last two years.”  So says Rocco Girlanda, Umbrian deputy of the PdL, after the conclusion of the appeal trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

“In recent months I have had the opportunity to make dozens of visits to the prison, which also included some of the petitions presented by the senior management of the premises and my commitment in this regard, always finding, that starting from the director Bernardina Di Mario, continuing with the Penitentiary Police commander Fulvio Brillo, up to the entire personnel employed, the helpfulness, the courtesy and their professionalism which allows me to say that Perugia is a model structure on the national landscape, managed and directed in the best way and with a large dose of humanity on the part of the staff employed.”


(4) Contradicted by Knox’s own Italian lawyers

Knox’s lawyers Mr Dalla Vedova and Mr Ghirga visited her again and again during the 2009 trial and 2010 hiatus and 2011 appeal. Knox once again had dozens of opportunities to lodge complaints with them - lawyers who could have initiated Supreme Court action in response.

When Knox was released late in 2011 Mr Dalla Vedova and Mr Ghirga were interviewed by the TV station Umbria 24:

The lawyers: “she never complained about the prison”.

Amanda Knox “has never complained about the conduct/behavior of the prison police supervisor” and “she has never mentioned his name”: to say so are the defenders of the American woman, lawyers Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, commenting on what was reported by the tabloid The Sun. “

Ghirga said: “In the diary Amanda never makes the name.”

Della vedova said: “We are grateful to the management staff of Capanne prison for their cooperation even given to the family’s requirements. Amanda has never reported violations against her.”

“She absolutely has received the correct treatment and the outmost solidarity, within compliance, especially in the prison’s female section.”


(5) Contradicted by prison guards and other inmates

In some interviews, the reporter Sharon Feinstein captures a view of a difficult, narcissistic, uncaring Amanda Knox which is very commonplace around Perugia. The real faults lie with Knox, in effect.

Our legal assessment

So does Amanda Knox’s book contain defamatory lies which could cost her considerable additional prison time? The book is not even out yet but, based on the first hints above, she’s in serious trouble. 








Monday, April 22, 2013

Lawyers Are Puzzled At Why Knox Seems So Intent On Risking Extra Prison Time

Posted by Peter Quennell





Knox doesnt need our legal advice. She has some pretty good lawyers of her own.

So what are they telling her now? The huge risks her book and interview run are all spelled out in the Italian legal code. Accused perps dont ever, ever take their case to the court of public opinion in Italy (try finding another example) because that is a very serious contempt of the court.

Italy’s justice system so favors DEFENDANTS that it is perhaps the most pro-defendant system in the world. In fact many Italians feel its leniency has gone way too far. That is why there are these automatic appeals and why Knox could talk freely in court and have no cross-examination of her claims.

At the same time, officers of the Italian justice system are sheltered by huge powers hardly even needing to be invoked. The reason the law is so strong in this dimension is in part because a favored mafia tactic is to do what Sollecito and Preston and Burleigh have done in their books: slime the officers of the court.

Those powers finally now HAVE been invoked, because of the extraordinary assault on the Italian system and judges and prosecutors and police (rejected even by his dad) by Sollecito in his book.

They are perhaps the strongest and most extensive attacks on the court system Italy has even seen.

This is under confidential investigation in Florence and charges expected this summer could cost Sollecito a sentence of five years or more. His book also just about kills his chances at the new appeal, because it makes several hundred wrong claims which to the prosecution will be like shooting fish in a barrel.

The defense lawyers surely know all of this. Unless they feel their chances at appeal are so bad (which could be the case) that they require desperate long-shot measures, they will surely tell Knox the same thing. 

Publishers’ necks and ghost-writers’ necks and ABC’s necks are on the line too. HarperCollins UK seem to have been very smart in yanking the book. Their lawyers must have figured all this out.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Tips for The Media: In Fact Guede Absolutely Couldnt Have Attacked Meredith Alone

Posted by Cardiol MD



[Bongiorno in 2011 trying to rattle an unshakable Guede claiming Knox and Sollecito did the crime]


The convicted murderer Rudy Guede to this day claims that Meredith let him into the house, so we cut him no slack for that.

But at the same time he was no drifter or serial knife carrier, he had no police record in 2007 (unlike Knox and Sollecito), and no drug dealing or breaking-and-entering has ever been either charged or proved.

In October 2008 Judge Micheli mistrusted and sharply rebuked a witness who claimed it just might have been Guede who broke into his house.

Guede seriously discounted his role on the night of Meredith’s death, but some physical evidence (not a lot) proved he had played a part in the attack. Thereafter his shoeprints lead straight to the front door.

Neither Judge Micheli nor Judge Massei nor the Supreme Court believed he acted alone or had any part in the very obvious cleanup that had been carried out.

The Knox and Sollecito defenses failed miserably to prove he climbed in Filomena’s window, and they never even TRIED to paint him as the lone attacker. That is why in 2011 we saw two of the most bizarre defence witnesses in recent Italian legal history, the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello, take the stand

Alessi got so nervous in claiming Guede told him Guede did it with two others that he was physically sick and had to take time off from the stand.

Aviello claimed his brother and another did it (not Guede) but then claimed the Sollecito family via Giulia Bongiorno floated bribes in his prison for false testimony.

Tellingly, although Bongiorno threatened to sue Aviello, she never has. Even more tellingly, Judge Hellmann himself initiated no investigation and simply let this serious felony claim drop dead.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of 20 reasons why Rudy Guede did not act alone, and why not one scrap of evidence has ever been found for any other two other than Knox and Sollecito themselves. 


1.    Included in Guede’s Supreme Court’s Sentencing Report was the fact that Meredith sustained 43 wounds

This fact was omitted from the Hellmann & Zanetti [H/Z] Report, for reasons that readers can only guess. This fact was also omitted from the Massei Report, probably out of humane respect for the feelings of Meredith’s family.

Its inclusion in the Supreme Court’s Report reflects the report’s factual completeness.  The PMF translation reads, in relevant part:

c) The body presented a very large number of bruising and superficial wounds – around 43 counting those caused by her falling – some due to a pointed and cutting weapon, others to strong pressure: on the limbs, the mouth, the nose, the left cheek, and some superficial grazing on the lower neck, a wound on the left hand, several superficial knife wounds or defence wounds on the palm and thumb of the right hand, bruises on the right elbow and forearm, ecchymosis on the lower limbs, on the front and inside of the left thigh, on the middle part of the right leg, and a deep knife wound which completely cut through the upper right thyroid artery fracturing the hyoid bone….

Including the number of minutes occupied by an initial verbal confrontation, the escalation of that confrontation into taunting and then the physical attack, leading to the infliction of 43 wounds, and to the fatal stabbing, how many minutes would all of this occupied?

The prosecution estimated it took fifteen.


2.    Meredith had taken classes in dance and played sports (football, karate)

See the Massei Translation, p23


3.    Meredith was a strong girl, both physically and in terms of temperament

See the statements by her mother and by her sister Stephanie (hearing of June 6, 2009). and description of her karate “sustained by her strong character” (Massei Translation, pp23, 164, 366, and 369).


4.    Meredith must have been ‘strongly restrained’

See the Massei Translation, p371; p399, in the original


5.    Meredith she remained virtually motionless throughout the attack

That was in spite of Meredith’s physical and personality characteristics [Massei Translation p369]  [Massei Translation p370-371].


6.    The defensive wounds were almost non-existent

See the report of Dr Lalli, pp. 33, 34, 35 with the relevant photos. Massei Translation p370.


7.  One killer alone could not have inflicted the 43 wounds with so few defensive wounds.


8.    There must necessarily have been two knives at the scene of the crime

See the Massei Translation p377.


9.    A lone killer would have to use at least one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to hold one knife.

To use 2 knives a lone killer would have to place 1 knife down, leaving blood-stain[s] wherever it was placed, and then reach for the other knife. Even wiping the blades on the killer’s clothes, using the one hand, and later scrubbing of the knives would not erase all the blood, as has already been demonstrated.


10.    Two killers could divide their attacks by one killer using both hands/arms to restrain Meredith

Meanwhile the other killer used one hand/arm to restrain Meredith, and the other hand to use the various knives. Could a lone killer accomplish all that?


11.    The clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear) had been removed.

See the Massei Translation p.370

“It is impossible to imagine in what way a single person could have removed the clothes that Meredith was wearing (shoes, pants and underwear), and using the violence revealed by the vaginal swab, could have caused the resulting bruises and wounds recalled above, as well as removing her sweatshirt, pulling up her shirt, forcing the bra hooks before tearing and cutting the bra.” [Massei Translation p.370]



12.    Meredith’s sweatshirt had been pulled up and removed.

See the [Massei Translation p.370


13.    Meredith’s bra had been forcibly unhooked

See the Massei Translation p.370


14.    Meredith’s bra had been torn

See the Massei Translation p.370


15.    Meredith’s bra had been cut

See the Massei Translation p.370


16.    Violence to Meredith was revealed by the genital swab.

See the Massei Translation p.370

.
17.    In the H/Z Appellate Proceedings, not only did Sollecito’s Lawyers not allege a lone killer

They themselves brazenly introduced false testimony to the effect that there were two other killers.


18.    Even H/Z did not deny the complicity of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Even H/Z seemed to conclude they are probably guilty, but not beyond a reasonable doubt:

… in order to return a guilty verdict, it is not sufficient that the probability of the prosecution hypothesis to be greater than that of the defence hypothesis, not even when it is considerably greater, but [rather] it is necessary that every explanation other than the prosecution hypothesis not be plausible at all, according to a criterion of reasonability. In all other cases, the acquittal of the defendant is required.” [H/Z p.92]



19.    Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial, found that Guede did not act alone

And that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as accomplices of Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher.


20.    Judge Massei’s court found that the evidence implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

He concluded they were joint perpetrators with Rudy Guede in the murder of Meredith Kercher


Overwhelming, right? Is it really reasonable to claim as Sollecito did in his book that Guede was a lone-killer?  Doesn’t all this contradict the lone-killer theory beyond a reasonable doubt?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Powerpoints #21: Diane Sawyer’s Very Tough Interview With Amanda Knox: ABC’s Sneak Preview!

Posted by Kermit





Skilled reporter Diane Sawyer does a great job here in negotiating the Knox PR minefield and eliciting a telling response. 

No wonder Amanda Knox seems so set on not heading for the appeal court in Florence. There she might face immense pressure to answer the hundreds of open questions on the witness stand.

This time under full cross examination, which was so strenuously avoided in mid 2009.

For this sneak preview courtesy of ABC please click here. The Powerpoints should take maybe a minute to load. I recommend that you use the Page Down key to advance.

if you don’t have the Powerpoint Viewer program loaded there is a download here. Interesting viewing. Thanks ABC.

Some further reading?

Click here for more


Monday, April 15, 2013

Barbie Nadeau Interviews Meredith’s Mother On Her Continuing Hope For The Full Truth

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





From Barbie Nadeau’s interview with Arline by phone in the Daily Beast.

“It is always distressing to hear and read about the murder,” Arline told me by phone from England, where she lives. “We have to brace ourselves for another round of this nightmare.”

And yet, while at some level she is dreading the revival of the spectacle surrounding the case, she is also glad the pursuit of the truth is continuing. “We want justice for Meredith,” she told me. “We don’t want anyone who is innocent to go to jail, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that seem to have been ignored in the last trial.”

Arline is invariably stoic, patient, and nice. But the outcome of the annulled appeal in 2011 which we now know was bent was a tremendous shock.

[After the 2009 trial Arline] Kercher went back to London to begin that painful journey. But that process was disrupted when Knox and Sollecito’s convictions were overturned on October 3, 2011. Kercher was back in the courtroom again that night. When the not-guilty verdicts were read, tears streamed down her face.

Now Kercher will have to wait once more. There will be at least two more verdicts before the nightmare is over—one by a new appellate court, which will reconsider the case, and another by Italy’s high court, which must sign off on the appellate court decision, or send it back to trial once again. As the next chapter of the case unfolds, she will have to relive the media show that tends to focus on Knox as the main character and her daughter as a bit player. She will again hear the gruesome details of her daughter’s horrible death. She doesn’t know how she will handle another cycle of trials, or if she will attend the next one.

The unfeeling Judge Hellmann spread the anulled appeal over a full year in 2011 with sessions only about every second Saturday to suit defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno and her baby.

He did not give a second thought to the immense travel and cost difficulties of the Kerchers.  The new appeal could and should fit in a space of two weeks. Chief decider once Cassation sets the ground rules (due in writing any time in the next few weeks) will be Fabio Massimo Drago.

Dr Drago (at center below) is Tuscany’s chief judge.



Friday, April 12, 2013

Questions For Knox: Diane Sawyer, How To Push Back Against The False Claims And Emotion

Posted by Media Watcher





Dear Diane Sawyer:

Much of Italy and the UK and US will be curious to see how this interview works out on the ABC network on 30 April.

The extreme overkill of spin and false claims have not worked well for Knox lately. Now twin developments (the blunt and categoric ruling of the Supreme Court two weeks ago, and the ominous legal moves against Sollecito for his own rash public statements) have left Amanda Knox perched on a thin icy ledge.

We have dozens of lawyers and even judges read here. We do not know even one astute lawyer who really understands the case and the Italian system who, in light of those twin developments, considers this interview or Knox’s book as any longer a good idea.

The yanking of the book in Britain shows a creeping realization of this among those with their own necks on the line here.

The twin developments have changed this from the launch of a “promotional” book tour to a very serious inquiry into an ongoing murder trial, with very serious implications for U.S./Italian diplomatic relations.

We’re appreciative that you are the journalist who will be doing the first in-depth interview here. You have a solid reputation for balance and objectivity, and we’re looking forward to seeing your broadcast. 

From Seattle, it often seems as though Americans simply cannot comprehend that a young co-ed could be caught up in a case so violent.  Because the court proceedings were conducted in Italian, most Americans heard the story of what happened through a media filter, which in turn got much of its information from people who had a bias in support of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

Repeatedly, we have heard reporters parrot the defense attorney’s claim that there is no evidence.”  However, the evidence presented was strong enough to convince Harvard Law School’s Alan Dershowitz that the conviction will likely be affirmed on appeal. 

Other legal experts who have said the evidence supports a guilty verdict include New England Law Professor Wendy Murphy, who was herself a former prosecutor, and Nancy Grace, a former prosecutor who now hosts a show on trials and legal issues for CNN.

Contributors to this site, who all work pro bono, have also concluded the evidence supports a guilty verdict. We have studied the evidence presented at trial (in many cases ourselves translating key court documents) and have monitored with growing alarm the huge disconnect here in the U.S. between what happened in court and what has been reported.

What motivates us now is seeing that the reporting of the trial here in the United States is objective and corresponds with the reality of what is happening in Italy and what Italians are seeing and reading. 

Ultimately, if the conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is upheld by the Appeals Court and then Italy’s Supreme Court, we expect that the United States will honor the extradition treaty that’s been in place for decades, because it shouldn’t matter whether a perpetrator is perceived as attractive or sympathetic. While everyone is entitled to a fair hearing and a fair judicial process, we also believe the victim’s family is entitled to justice.

Having said all of that, we’re looking forward to seeing your report and here are some of the themes we hope you’ll explore in the report that surrounds the interview:

    1) We believe it’s important to confront the “no evidence” claim head on by citing the actual evidence that is summarized in the Massei Report.  We believe it’s compelling and we hope you can lay it out– including the DNA, cell phone, witness statements, bloody footprint, the evidence of a coverup/cleanup, and the conflicting and shifting statements made by the defendants; all so that viewers can understand the full scope of what that jury heard and evaluated in making the original decision to convict.

    2) Many Americans seem to not understand the automatic three-stage trial process that is typical of the Italian judicial system - actually put in place to benefit defendants.  We hope you can provide an overview of Italy’s judicial process, and help viewers to understand the very limited scope of the contested evidence that was subject to review by the Appeals Court.  We also hope you’ll remind viewers of all of the evidence that was not subject to review during the appeal—again, the cell phone evidence, the conflicting statements from the defendants, the evidence that showed Amanda and Meredith’s DNA mixed together in the bathroom and hallway and Filomena’s room, the bloody (Sollecito) footprint, the evidence of a staged break-in and cleanup, and the witness statements about Amanda and Raffaele’s conduct at the time the murder was discovered and over the following days.

    3) Defenders of Amanda and Raffaele often claim that Rudy Guede acted alone.  Many viewers seem not to understand that the Supreme Court had earlier ruled that Rudy Guede was one of multiple attackers.  We believe it would be useful if you could review this for your viewers and cite some of the evidence that convinced the Supreme Court that Guede could not have acted alone.  Perhaps reminding viewers that Rudy Guede’s footprints lead directly from the murder scene to the outside door would be helpful, given that there was clearly mixed DNA evidence in the bathroom and a bloody footprint in the hallway, which had been cleaned up and later revealed through the use of Luminol (a chemical agent used by forensics specialists to detect trace amounts of blood left at crime scenes).

    4) We hope you’ll help viewers to understand a key point made in a recent NYTimes op-ed about the mathematical value of doing a second DNA test on the knife that was found in Sollecito’s apartment.  As you know, the Appeals Court Judge refused to allow a second test on the knife, even though a confirmation of the original result or a different result would likely have provided additional clarity.

    5) We hope you’ll address the issue of contamination – especially as the key issue on the bra clasp is not whether Sollecito’s DNA was on it, but whether Sollecito’s DNA could have gotten on the clasp through contamination.  Given that there was only one other piece of Sollecito’s DNA found in the apartment, and given that at the time it was analyzed, it had been more than a week since any evidence from the crime scene was reviewed in the lab, it might be useful to have someone address the chances of there having been contamination resulting in Sollecito’s DNA ending up on the clasp.

With respect to the interview itself, here are some of the questions many would like to see Amanda answer:

    • Why did you call your mother in the middle of the night Seattle time prior to the murder having been discovered?  What was it you wanted to tell her?

    • You tried calling Meredith the day after the murder took place and yet phone records show that two of the calls you made to her cell numbers lasted only three and four seconds and you left no messages.  How diligent were you in trying to reach her?

    • Why do you think you falsely accused your boss Patrick Lumumba? 

    • Why didn’t you withdraw your accusation against Patrick Lumumba in the light of day, once you’d had time to rest and reflect? 

    • You have said - though never under oath - that you were treated terribly – can you summarize for us what happened the night you voluntarily gave your written statement and very specifically, any circumstances in which you were treated poorly?

    • Were you given food and drink on the night you were questioned?

    • Were you bleeding on the night or morning of the murder in any way that could have left DNA in the bathroom or in Filomena’s room?  If so, why were you bleeding?

    • You’ve said that went back to your apartment to take a shower and to retrieve a mop to clean up some water at Raffaele’s apartment from the night before.  Why didn’t you simply use towels at Raffaele’s apartment to clean up the water - why wait until the next day?

    • Reports indicate that Rudy Guede was a frequent visitor to the flat below yours.  How well did you know Rudy Guede prior to the night of the murder? 

    • Do you stand by the statement you made on the day the murder was discovered that Meredith always locked her door? 

    • You emailed to friends and family that you were panicked about what might have happened to Meredith given the locked door.  Did the two of you try to break the door down?  If not, why not?  And if Meredith always locked her door, why did the fact that it was locked worry you?

    • Have you read the Massei report? 

    • Raffaele Sollecito said during his book tour that no one asked him to testify during the original trial.  Do you believe this is true? 

    • If your conviction is affirmed by the Supreme Court, do you think you should be extradited to Italy.  If not, why not?

Thank you for reading this letter, Diane.  Because of the PR fog around the case, we believe far more attention needs to be paid to the actual evidence that was presented at trial. 

We are confident that you’ll bring all of your considerable skill and experience to bear on this interview in ways that will leave viewers much better informed.




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Knox Book Put On Hold In UK As Legal Implications Of Blood Money For Still-Accused Finally Sink In

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





There have always been several huge problems in the promotion of Amanda Knox.

One problem is that Knox is not the real victim in the case and a great deal of compassion still resides for Meredith. Earning windfall blood money from the cruel death of a claimed close friend is hardly a classy way to go. 

A second problem is that we are still only at the end of the second act of a three act play in terms of the trials and appeals, and the Italian Supreme Court in the third act to come will almost certainly be no gullible pushover. And a whining or inaccurate book or movie demonising Italy and Italians (as her complaints about Capanne already have done) might not help her legal prospects one little bit. 

A third problem is that Italy’s officialdom and its population tend to maintain a hard and unblinking belief in the evidence against Sollecito and Knox, especially as the million dollar PR campaign largely flew below the radar there and they saw much of the hard case and a callous Knox live on TV. For example in Florence and Milan....

*******

Guess when we first posted those paragraphs above? Actually we posted them fifteen months ago on 6 January 2012.

And finally today fifteen months later HarperCollins UK suspended their publication of Knox’s book. Can the HarperCollins US suspension of the book be far behind?

We are not particularly given to directing legal advice to Amanda Knox - we think she should rethink and answer all the open questions - but the leeching of Knox-Mellas blood money going back nearly five years is absolute anathema to Meredith’s family.

So we have posted five subsequent times, pointing out to the Knox-Melasses and Robert Barnett and Ted Simon what should have been very, very obvious to them when they did their due diligence in Italy on the book:

Publishing to impugn Italian justice officials while still accused in an ongoing legal process is a contempt of court felony in Italy.

Ask Raffael Sollecito. He is now under investigation by the Florence chief prosecutor and could face millions in damages and further years in prison. So could his publishers Simon & Schuster and his shadow-writer Andrew Gumbel.

Not to mention that Sollecito is probably wrecking any chances he had at the repeat of the appeal. Does Amanda Knox REALLY want to be in the same boat? And do her shadow-writer and her publishers too?

Here are our other previous posts on her book:



Below: The HarperCollins US publicist Tina Andreadis (aka Tina Eleni) participated in the very very very odd Twitter exchange at bottom. She seems unfamiliar with the concept of “contempt of court” and the criminal and civil nightmares headed Simon & Schuster’s and Sollcito’s way.

Perhaps Tina Andreadis was out of the loop when her publishing company did its due diligence. 






Thanks to our main poster Bedelia for this astonishing catch.

Posted on 04/10/13 at 08:08 PM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Amanda KnoxKnox-Mellas teamKnox interrog hoaxKnox book hoaxes
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Monday, April 08, 2013

Tips For The Media: There’s Far More Evidence Than UK/US Courts Need For Guilt

Posted by SomeAlibi




The false claim “there is no evidence”

Some amateur supporters of Knox and Sollecito have committed thousands of hours online to try and blur and obfuscate the facts of the case in front of the general public.

Click here for more


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Tips For The Media: In Fact Knox Extradition Is Likely To Be Readily Granted

Posted by James Raper



[[Above: a plane landing at Florence airport; most under arrest arrive via Rome airport]


This is the latest in our many posts nailing the myths perpetrated by the pro-Knox campaign,

We can already see that there is an attempt to generate a new myth in the media and on the internet.  This is that it is unlikely that Amanda Knox would be extradited to Italy. Talking heads appear by the dozen on US TV channel networks to say so. A plethora of internet articles add up to the same. They are all wrong, take it from me.

However the fact that the subject is even under discussion is an indication that the implications of the Italian Supreme Court’s annulment of the Appeal verdict are sinking in, in some quarters at any rate. I am sure that what Ted Simon says for public consumption is very different from the advice which (assuming he has been asked) is rendered privately to Amanda and her family. If not then the family is being seriously misled as to Amanda’s prospects of avoiding extradition.

There is, of course, an extradition treaty between the United States and Italy and it seems that the main issue as to whether extradition could take place would be Double Jeopardy.

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Professor of Law, has written a good piece.  Sensible articles like this have been a long time in coming but even he gets some of it wrong and cannot resist creating a little air of uncertainty.

“Ms Knox would likely challenge any extradition request on the ground that she was already acquitted by the lower appellate court, so any subsequent conviction would constitute double jeopardy.

That is when the real legal complexities would kick in, because Italian and American law are quite different and both will be applicable in this trans-national case involving a citizen of one country charged with killing a citizen of another country, in yet a third country.

America’s extradition treaty with Italy prohibits the US from extraditing someone who has been “acquitted“, which under American law generally means acquitted by a jury at trial. But Ms Knox was acquitted by an appeals court after having been found guilty at trial.  So would her circumstances constitute double jeopardy under American law?

That is uncertain because appellate courts in the US don’t re-try cases and render acquittals (they judge whether lower courts made mistakes of law, not fact). Ms Knox’s own Italian lawyer has acknowledged that her appellate “acquittal” wouldn’t constitute double jeopardy under Italian law since it wasn’t a final judgement - it was subject to further appeal, which has resulted in a reversal of the acquittal.

This argument will probably carry considerable weight with US authorities, likely yielding the conclusion that her extradition wouldn’t violate the treaty. Still, a sympathetic US State Department or judge might find that her appellate acquittal was final enough to preclude her extradition on the ground of double jeopardy.”

“Final enough”?….hmmmmm. That doesn’t seem very legal language to me. And given the Italian three tier system how does one determine when an acquittal is final enough, other than at the end of it? Of course, if in doubt, the State Department or judge could read all the published court judgements in the case. That would help.

On the other hand, perhaps Dershowitz should read the 1984 Extradition Treaty between the USA and Italy more carefully.

Article VI states -

Extradition shall not be granted when the person sought has been convicted, acquitted or pardoned, or has served the sentence imposed, by the Requested Party for the same acts for which extradition is requested.

The Requested Party, in the case of a request for extradition from Italy, will of course be the United Sates.  Clearly this is no bar to extradition in the case of Amanda Knox as there has been no judicial process against her in the USA regarding the murder of Meredith Kercher .

And for the avoidance of doubt jeopardy Article I states - “The Contracting Parties agree to extradite to each other, pursuant to the provisions of this Treaty, persons whom the authorities of the Requesting Party have charged with or found guilty of an extraditable offense.” So an offense shall be an extraditable offense only if it is punishable under the laws of both Contracting Parties by deprivation of liberty for a period of more than one year.

(There are other circumstances under the treaty when extradition will not be granted, but these do not apply to Knox. They concern political and military offences.)

Furthermore the 1984 Extradition Treaty recognizes (as do all such treaties) the validity and fairness of the contracting parties’ respective judicial systems. Such treaties would not be possible otherwise. The USA has already extradited its citizens (when it had to) to countries where, as here, an appeal acquittal has been overturned on further appeal, the original conviction has been re-instated, and the process then continues to another appeal. This is in recognition of the fact that in some systems the State has a right of appeal as well as the accused. What’s wrong with that?

Is all of this likely to change on account of Amanda Knox?

Imagine, for a moment, that Knox fights the request for extradition through the US courts and secures a landmark decision from the Supreme Court that the request is a violation of double jeopardy. At a stroke the US government will be forced to negotiate a raft of new unequal treaty rights and obligations with a number of foreign states that will feel insulted, nonplussed and humiliated by the slight to the reputation of their judicial systems. Some may refuse to do so, and this will more likely disadvantage the USA than the other way around. It would create an enormous mess in US relations with such states.

I don’t think the Supreme Court would be that daft. It’s just not, given the circumstances, a runner.

Neither would the State Department, for the same reasons, be that daft. It is under a treaty obligation, the extradition papers being in order, to (a) grant the request or (b) if the request is challenged in the courts, to hand the matter over to the Justice Department for it to be pursued there on behalf of the Requesting Party.

The reality is that if Knox’s fresh appeal were to fail and the conviction were to be upheld finally by the Italian Supreme Court, then her opposing an extradition request from Italy through the US courts would be an exercise in futility, and an extravagant waste of legal costs that would cut deep into the alleged $4 million for her book.

There would be nothing left for her after that, and after paying off Marriott and numerous other creditors waiting in the wings.


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Giuliano Mignini Promotion Places Him First In Line For Prosecutor General of The Region Of Umbria

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: Giuliano Mignini at left at Lake Trasimeno where Dr Narducci’s body believed bound was recovered]


Umbria of course is the Region for which Perugia is the capital and the current Prosecutor General is Dr Galati who will soon retire.

The post that the popular Dr Mignini was promoted into on his high-scoring merit this past week is one of three deputy prosecutor general posts. The promotion was delayed because of the rogue prosecution against him which Cassation annulled, but he is the most senior and most high-scoring of the three so he should succeed Dr Galati.

We will post the full story (it is a long and impressive one) after our series of posts on the Cassation outcome is done. The story includes an almost unprecedented THREE Cassation wins in just the past several months.

  • One obviously was Dr Mignini’s role in the overturn of the Knox-Sollecito appeal and confirmation of Knox’s felony conviction. His main role was to have presented an error-free case at trial in 2009 resulting in the solid grounding of the Massei Report just praised by the Supreme Court.

  • One was the final termination of the spurious prosecution against Dr Mignini and Dr Michele Giuttari in Florence by a rogue prosecutor who was desperate to cover his tail after he was (legally) caught on tape incriminating himself.

  • One was the Cassation decision to permit the reopening of the MOF-related Narducci case and to confirm that investigations and prosecutions against nearly two dozen who had been seemingly obstructing justice may proceed.

Congratulations to a fearless and effective prosecutor. We will update his full story here soon.

Posted on 04/06/13 at 10:17 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Those officially involvedThe prosecutorsThe wider contextsItalian context
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Friday, April 05, 2013

The New Palace Of Justice In Florence Where The Repeat of The Appeal Will Take Place

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



[Click above for a larger image]


The huge new Palace of Justice in north-west Florence was fully opened in January 2012.

It was built on the site of a former FIAT factory. It is Italy’s second largest Palace of Justice after that in Turin (in Rome the justice functions are still distributed) and one of the most modern and spectacular in Europe.

Several thousand people work in the building, including the judges, lawyers, clerks, police and support employees.

It houses all the civil and criminal courts for Florence, and the higher courts for the province of Tuscany. Also the chambers of the chief justice and all other judges. Also the office of the prosecutor general and chief prosecutor and all prosecutors. Also the office of the judges for preliminary investigations (GIP), and also all the associated police and support functions.

It was inaugurated on 23 January 2012 by the Minister of Justice Dr Paola Severino and the Mayor of Florence Mr Matteo Renzi (images below) and It frees up nine sites in the center of Florence for other business.

It was designed by the architect Leonardo Ricci (now deceased), is 240 meters long and 146 wide, with a tower of 72 meters, the second highest in the city. The occupied building area is about 800,000 square meters.

The largest courts are on the ground floor, and the upper floors house smaller courts and the offices for all the judges and prosecutors.


























Above: the January 2012 inaugural opening ceremony. Front from the extreme left the Chief Prosecutor (red tie), the Mayor of Florence (red, white and green sash), the Central Government Minister of Justice (white scarf) and the Chief Judge (beige coat).

The Chief Prosecutor Dr Giuseppe Quatrrocchi and the Chief Judge Dr Fabio Massimo Drago will be ultimate overseers of the new appeal. They will appoint the prosecutors and judges who will preside.

The Chief Prosecutor is already heading a contempt of court investigation into the many false claims of criminal behavior in Sollecito’s book. He seems certain to need to do the same if Knox’s book transgresses.

False claims in either book may incur additional years in prison, and millions in civil damages.

Posted on 04/05/13 at 01:26 AM by The TJMK Main PostersClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Appeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+Italian system
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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Real Catastrophe For The Defenses That Was The Supreme Court Ruling Last Week

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)





On Tuesday March 26, the Supreme Court of Cassation quashed the previous acquittals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

The Supreme Court annulled almost the entirety of the 2011 Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdicts, declaring the appeal outcome completely invalid on five of the six charges. The Court only upheld the sixth charge which made definitive Knox’s conviction for calunnia for which she had been sentenced to three years.

Calunnia is the crime of maliciously placing false evidence or testimony against an innocent person, something the Italian Criminal Code considers not as criminal defamation but as a form of obstruction of justice, a more serious offence. 

Worse for Knox, the Court annulled a part of the appeal verdict which had dropped the aggravation known as continuance, the aggravation that acknowledges a logical link between the obstruction of justice and the murder charge.   

Once the dust has settled, the defendants and pro-Knox and pro-Sollecito supporters and defences may finally realize how severe a defeat has been dealt to their side. 

Most American journalists were completely unprepared for and very surprised at the outcome. But most Italian commenters and a very few others elsewhere considered the outcome quite predictable (the criminologist Roberta Bruzzone for example hinted so in written articles, so did Judge Simonetta Matone, as well as John Kercher in his book, and many others too).

This really is a catastrophe for the defences. A complete annulment of an acquittal verdict is just not frequent at all. They do occasionally occur, though, and this one appeared easily predictable because of the extremely low quality of the appeal verdict report. 

For myself I could hardly imagine a survival of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti outcome as being realistic.

I previously posted at length on the Galati-Costagliola recourse (that is an important read if you want to understand all angles of the annulment). I argued there that a Supreme Court acceptance of the verdict would have so jeopardized the Italian jurisprudence precedents on circumstantial evidence that it would have become impossible to convict anyone in Italy at all. 

The previous appeal trial obviously violated the Judicial Code as it was based on illegitimate moves such the appointing of new DNA experts for unacceptable reasons.  It contained patent violations of jurisprudence such as the unjustified dismissal of Rudy Guede’s verdict on a subset of the circumstantial evidence. Hellmann-Zanetti even “interpreted” the Constitution instead of quoting Constitutional Court jurisprudence.

They omitted a number of pieces of evidence, literally “forgetting” them or dismissing them without providing an argument (they should have, being an appellate trial based on the previous findings and arguments of the lower court). The appeal trial had obvious illogical contradictions on a macro level, such as the contradictory putting together of the conviction for calunnia and the acquittal on the murder charge (ignoring a logical link required by statute without introducing any reason at all). 

The Hellmann-Zanetti verdict was also based on an illogical processing of all pieces of evidence (such as the dismissal of Nara Capezzali’s evidence without logical reason, even after calling her “credible,” and that of Quintavalle; and attributing the bloody footprint to Rudy Guede on the basis of some ludicrous reasoning).

The appeal verdict basically ignored the concept of “a contrario” evidence, like concluding that the luminol footprints are probably not in blood but in some other substance and not related to the murder (despite failure to indicate any alternative substance nor any reasonable scenario).

The verdict was also biased with open prejudice in favor of two of the suspects in assuming they would be unlikely to even socialize or hang out together with the third, based on social or racial discrimination (two whites from good-looking families are called “good fellows” while the third is “different”). 

Beyond the glaring, major faux pas in procedure, the verdict’s low quality, unlawfulnesses, and hypocrisy in its reasoning tended to be pervasive and obvious through all its paragraphs, and possibly this also could have caused an aura of distrust toward the work of the Hellmann-Zanetti court. 

One could assess the strikingly low quality of the appeal verdict especially by comparing it to a sophisticated recourse such as the 100-page Galati-Costagliola Supreme Court appeal. While nobody could anticipate with total certainty the Supreme Court decision between the Galati-Costagliola appeal and the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict, to good legal eyes the outcome would be as uncertain as the result of an England versus San Marino football game!

EACH of the eleven single mistakes, plus EACH of the six “method” mistakes pointed out in the Galati-Costagliola recourse could by itself have been a sufficient cause for the annulment of the acquittals.

The redundancy of reasons and remarks by Cassation sheds light on the judgment shortcomings from many different angles, and all the reasons presented for the recourse were certainly assessed by the Supreme Court. 

But on the practical side, most probably the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict did not even survive beyond the first mistake. The appeal verdict most likely crumbled completely from the very beginning on reason #1, the illegitimate appointing of new experts by Hellmann-Zanetti to re-examine the DNA.   

But even given that the defences’ defeat could be foreseen, I never expected the defeat to pervade to this extent.

I thought the appeal verdict might be quashed entirely and a new appeal would start from scratch. But the Supreme Court went further and decided to “save” only the parts of the verdict that were unfavorable to Knox, and declared her conviction for calunnia definitive.

Meanwhile, the Court accepted the Calati-Costagliola reason #10, and quashed the part that denied a logical link between calunnia and murder.
 
The Supreme Court thus sends Raffaele Solecito and Amanda Knox back to appeal trial, but this time Amanda Knox will enter the trial as a felony convict with a definitive criminal record, which – the Supreme Court hints – is to be considered logically linked with the charge of murder. 

Moreover, judges in the appeal that will come next in Florence will have to follow the decisions set by the Supreme Court. Since the Supreme Court’s motivations report has not been issued yet, we still don’t know what points exactly Cassazione will make. But we can expect that several arguments used by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti that were “needed” to acquit Knox and Sollecito will be now declared illegitimate. 

This might mean that we will not see for a second time such faulty reasoning as “Knox’s statement can’t be used as evidence of lying because it is not true.” It may not be possible to dismiss the verdict that found Guede guilty of concurring in murder “with others” from the set of evidence just because it was “weak.” It may not be possible to deduce the time of death based only on declarations of Rudy Guede. 

We also may not have a chance to again see an expert declaring that contamination is “likely” on the sole basis that “everything is possible.” We also may not have another judge attributing footprints without talking about any measurements.






The Supreme Court session began on March 25, and it is only a rare event that a Cassazione session extends over into two days.

The first criminal division of the Supreme Court – scheduled to decide on this case – was a five-judge panel presided over by Dr Severo Chieffi. His name never did sound like a particularly favorable omen for Knox and Sollecito. Dr Chieffi is a 70-year-old judge, known for being the author of a famous 2008 verdict which definitively closed a notorious criminal case (“the first time a Cassazione hearing attracted massive live media attention”), a verdict among the most quoted in jurisprudence which is known as that “on reasonable doubt.” 

Dr Chieffi and his nine-judge panel explained reasonable doubt as to be intended as an “a contrario” concept, the concept used to formulate a logical reasonable alternative. That verdict pointed out the concept of “reasonable” and also stressed that the nature of evidence is “logical” – reasonable depends only on the plausibility of alternatives, not on how conclusive or reliable single pieces of circumstantial evidence are, and a piece of evidence does not require any specific “physical” element or conclusive quality.   

The rapporteur judge was Dr Piera Maria Severina Caprioglio. The rapporteur judge goes through the papers of the whole trial and summarizes their content to the other panel judges; the rapporteur and the president are the two who physically write the report (it may sound like irony that both judges have the adjective “severe” in their name). I was told Dr Caprioglio was a rather stiff judge, known for her scrupulosity in procedure matters, and she is also a specialist – and hard liner – about sexual crime (maybe that’s why she was chosen by Dr Chieffi as the one to do the research on this case). 

At the Supreme Court there is also an office known as the Office of Procurator General, which has more than 50 magistrates. The Procurator General appoints a magistrate (normally called the “PG”) to study cases and to make arguments on all cases dealt with in Supreme Court sessions. The PG is considered “neutral” in the sense that their office represents no party only the “precedents” of the court. While the rapporteur makes a description of the case, the procurator makes arguments about the recourses submitted by the parties. 

At 10:30 am on Monday, Judge Caprioglio begun her 90-minute speech summarizing the case. She detailed legal events that led to the first Massei-Cristiani verdict, and then the appeal trial led by Hellmann-Zanetti and their verdict. 

She sounded rather neutral; hers was a sheer summary with no comment attached. Nevertheless, it sounded most ominous for the defences: right from Dr Caprioglio’s speech, in fact, Knox and Sollecito’s attorneys understood that they were going to lose. 

This is because Dr Caprioglio devoted half of her rapporteur time or more to detailing Massei’s first degree trial and verdict, explaining the arguments and evidence used by the Massei court. Such attention was itself ominous to the defences. 

A main basis of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti verdict is in fact a series of denials about the work of the lower court, in which plenty of evidence was simply ignored or dismissed without dealing with the first degree conclusions; while the strategy of Giulia Bongiorno was to entirely “replace” the details of the evidence set with a self-made narrative, quite unattached to actual trial events, which somewhat “worked” as rhetoric and in the media.

Yet Dr Caprioglio was not yet the biggest problem facing Knox and Sollecito. The defence was about to face a pincer front, because the Procurator General’s offices did not appreciate the appeal verdict at all.

A bomb went off with the speech of Procurator Riello which followed next. 

Dr Riello recalled the points of recourse submitted by Galati-Costagliola, which may sound technical or subtle to those unaccustomed to them. Dr Riello endorsed the radical censures made by Galati-Costagliola and made clear his own view in an overview of the whole verdict. His arguments had the subtlety of an anvil. 

To summarize, he basically maintained the appeal judges had conducted an appeal trial as if they were idiots, and followed the paths of logic, procedure and law like sailors without a compass.
 
Seen from the point of view of the Procurator General, their way of conducting the appeal trial itself was like a journey through a dreadful series of unlawful steps, decisions informally taken without deliberation, and arbitrary and unjustified ordinances. The court simply “lost their way.”

In the body of their findings, it seems they understood almost nothing about the evidence – in particular about how circumstantial evidence works. They did not deal with the findings and arguments of the first instance court as they should have, as if they didn’t exist, and they trivialized the previous legal material. 

In fact Dr Riello sounded almost sarcastic; outraged by the incredibly amateurish work of this appeal court, he tended to detail the merit of questions and was interrupted by the president asking him to stick to the discussion on the table. 

At the close of his speech, he called the appeal verdict “a rare concentration of law violation, a monument to illogicality.” He said “the judge of merit lost their way in this trial.” Dr Riello noted “they fragmented, they parceled out the pieces of circumstantial evidence.”

He implied not only incompetence but a kind of disingenuous attitude: “The Court employed a fair dose of snobbism for trivializing the first degree verdict, reducing it to four elements. A very imprecise and superficial synthesis.”

He went beyond the criticism expressed in the Galati-Costagliola appeal when he described an obvious bias of the appeal court “not in just a few passages of the second instance verdict – it’s as if the defendants should benefit from a kind of anthropological and cultural immunity, in relation to the events.”

He criticized Pratillo Hellmann’s dismissal of Amanda Knox’s handwritten memoir, and recommended that a new appeal trial must in part be based on that statement as “it is a usable document”; and he stressed that in his opinion “the scream heard by Amanda is a significant datum, of great importance.” The behavior claimed by Knox on the morning of November 2, 2007 in his view was “chilling” and her taking a shower in a cold bathroom is a “chilling detail.” 

Dr Riello concludes by saying: “These are all conditions for not letting the curtains close on an upsetting and extremely serious crime for which the only culprit found up to the present day is Rudy Hermann Guede, who has been addressed through a Lombroso-style assessment, either calling him a thief, a criminal or a drifter. He didn’t confess and he was not convicted by another court for concurring in a crime together with others, maybe with ‘ectoplasms.’” (A reference to Cassation’s previous decision that he did commit the crime with others, but Hellmann-Zanetti identified no other people; hence ‘ectoplasms.’)

The Prosecutor General also dealt with the DNA experts’ report which defined the previous results as “unreliable.” He implied that the report and its language were used as a pretext by the defences “as a tombstone, while in fact it is not.” It was used as a tool to focus the trial on the DNA and steer it away from the whole evidence set, to “bury the set of pieces of circumstantial evidence which all have their vital value.”

The rhetoric of the defences aimed to “blame everything on those involved in the scientific police who are almost depicted as bunglers; however they are not brigadiers playing with toy chemical sets, they are in fact a highly qualified department and they do employ cutting-edge technologies.” 

A severe legal bashing like the Riello speech is not at all common at the Cassazione. As I heard the news on the radio, law experts commented that the event was unusually serious, and they hinted that its consequences may lead to the setting of a historic jurisprudence precedent.

Francesco Maresca – who brought his mentor Vieri Fabiani with him – endorsed the recourse points and made points similar to Dr Riello’s. He pointed out that a major flaw of the appeal trial was to focus on two DNA instances as if the case was based on them. The court appointed experts to review items with no legitimate basis, they provided an inconsistent explanation for their steps, and then they refused to analyze and introduce further evidence, totally contradicting themselves and also violating the code.

Their criteria for choosing which piece of evidence to discuss or review were totally contradictory, and their series of steps egregiously violated a series of procedural conditions that any court is supposed to follow.

The analyzing of the knife DNA sample and bra clasp sample as pieces in isolation is a sort of device that serves a defence made-up narrative; the focus on “disputed” items and the re-make of a narrative about legal events is simply a defence strategy which is aimed at the media rather than official court proceedings. For the Kercher family, the evidence points to the guilt of Knox and Sollecito beyond reasonable doubt. 

The evidence, explained Maresca, consisted of numerous pieces of evidence and reasoning, that were simply not dealt with by the appeal court. The whole process was “non-transparent” and the result is also contradictory given that Knox is indicted by her own words on the crime of calunnia.

Maresca explained that the appeal verdict is riddled with many flaws and errors in the merit of the facts which cannot be assessed by the Cassazione court, but there are also patent violations of law which are “strong and obvious” and of the most serious kind.






Then it was the defence attorneys’ turn. Giulia Bongiorno knew she would need to apply the full power of her best rhetorical skills: she pointed out a factual error in the recalling of Prosecutor Riello and threw herself head-first into the merit of the evidence. 

She even made FOA-style overstatements on the number of Guede’s DNA instances: “So many genetic traces of Rudy Guede were found in the bedroom of the murder, Amanda and Raffaele’s DNA would have been found too if they had been there.” (Her claim is false: in fact, only four samples yielding Guede’s DNA were found in the bedroom, and some were very scant.)
 
Bongiorno focused on investigation mistakes and complained that Raffaele Sollecito “was put in jail because of a shoe print found beyond the duvet which covered the body, a print that was attributed to Guede.” She also commented on Knox’s handwritten memoir and again put forward the claim – already rejected by all the judges of all instances – that the statement should be “not usable” because there was a “blackout” of defendant guarantees. Apparently, Bongiorno did understand that the most dangerous threat, and the actual battleground, would be about the danger of having Knox now definitively convicted for calunnia. 

Bongiorno said “we do not want to put the scientific police on trial” but then said the point defence demonstrated was that they made “an infinite series of errors.” In fact, Bongiorno’s speech largely consisted of the well-known defense stance of pointing the finger at a list of supposed wrong-doings by the police.

Bongiorno’s argument of pointing out supposed “police mistakes” would probably ring true to Knox’s Amarican supporters, who may find these arguments convincing and effective. 

In fact, it was obvious that Bongiorno’s position was extremely weak, and that her arguments were not going to have any effect. The weakness of Bongiorno’s arguments was obvious from the start because she backed into arguing the case only on the merit of investigation techniques. 

Her arguments would maybe resonate effectively with uninformed spectators, but they had already failed in those courts that were legitimate, and they have no consequence from a legal standpoint. Talking about supposed mistakes during the investigation and supposed bad behavior of police are good to build a narrative for journalists, but they would have zero effect on expert judges. 

I think she knew she was going to lose, but besides being a lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno is also a smart public person, and she plays in the public arena as well as in a court of law at the same time. Her technical stances are all wrong, but she knows she will be remembered well for her good-looking performance. 

The president did not interrupt her, showing due politeness toward the defence attorneys. But no attorney would convince the Supreme Court by simply saying “we demonstrated that the investigators made mistakes.”

In order to seek to obtain some positive effect, she should have argued in favor of the Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti appeal verdict on points of law, and put forward arguments for their legitimacy; for example, an argument in response to point #1 of Galati’s recourse claiming that the appointing of DNA experts was unmotivated.

Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova had to take care of their own recourse against the conviction for calunnia on the false accusation of Patrick Lumumba. Their line of defence on this point was the same – and could be nothing else – than what they maintained though all the previous instances. Dalla Vedova deals with the handwritten note where he understands “Amanda says she is confused, she does not care about what she said.”

They reintroduced the myth that “she had been interrogated by the investigators for 54 hours.” They explain – almost a paradoxical argument – that the document was “a defensive paper” while then becoming one of the elements on which the charge of calunnia was built. They stressed that “she wanted to cooperate” with the investigation and that “she was a friend of Meredith.” 

A failure of their arguments was easily predictable because their recourse was built on points that had already failed at lower instances. Some time ago before this appeal, I posted this criticism of the Ghirga-Dalla Vedova recourse on Knox’s calunnia conviction to the Supreme Court:

Pages 3-11: The first argument is about the non-usability of the evidence for the crime of calunnia.

Such an argument is basically the re-proposal of the same argument that had been already dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2008, and subsequently by Massei-Cristiani in 2009 and also by Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti. Therefore, it is an especially weak argument. Ghirga-Dalla Vedova do attempt to use it again at the Supreme Court because it is what they have.

Just like Giulia Bongiorno will likely recall it too, just like she attempted to request of nullification of Stefanoni’s testimony on procedure grounds before Massei, which was rejected again by Hellmann-Zanetti (the Knox supporters have such a spun perception of the proceedings, they apparently don’t see how some basic defensive claims were rejected by all judges).

Pages 11-14 complete the first argument, addressing the further requirements of the crime of calunnia (maliciousness and voluntarity). 

Basically, this point contends that the false accusation was not voluntary or not malicious. The only usable point in my opinion in this reasoning consists of one line, which recalls that Hellmann-Zanetti did not acknowledge the aggravation of continuance for the crime of calunnia. But this point has no consequence because it is a weak point in Hellmann’s verdict itself which violates jurisprudence and logic itself.

The other claims at this point are basically useless; they attack the Hellmann verdict in a way peculiar to the prosecution appeal with an opposite stance. But in fact “not knowing” that someone is factually innocent obviously cannot be extended to an absolute meaning; Hellmann is illogical on that, because he dismisses the logical link with the murder without explanation. 

Pages 14-18 speak about the alleged “extreme exhaustion” of Knox in order to exculpate her of her confusion and falsehood.

This argument tends to be a stronger attempt to use some of the contradiction in Pratillo Hellmann-Zanetti, using as a starting point the fact that H-Z did state that Knox was allegedly under excessive pressure. They convicted her for calunnia nonetheless. I think this argument won’t go too far, for two reasons.

First, because it’s basically on the merits; it quotes the whole writing of Knox and requests the SC to directly re-assess the sincerity of her words, something which the SC are unlikely to do.

Second, because while on the one hand there is a contradiction in H-Z as they accuse her of calunnia but do not use her writings as an evidence of lying on the other crime, and they reject the continuance despite the obvious link between the calunnia and the murder, on the other hand the contradiction addressed by Ghirga is weaker. There was in fact no factual finding about “excessive pressure,” neither in the H-Z appeal trial nor in previous Massei testimonies.

As for jurisprudence, pressure and “psychological alteration” itself is not enough to cause a loss of mental faculties to understand and will. Basically, most crimes are committed in a state of psychological stress or alteration, and people are responsible for themselves notwithstanding. The faculty to understand and will is not a psychological condition; it is something that affects the cognitive and decisional functioning of the brain on more basic functions, and requires a medical assessment.

So there is no way the argument of Ghirga-Dalla Vedova can overturn a conviction for calunnia based on an argument of psychological conditions: they have no basis; and there is no consistent ground to assert “excessive pressure” either. 

Pages 19-20 is a very short argument about two articles of the code that Ghirga puts in in relation to a case of defensive rights. 

This is an argument I am unable to assess clearly. This point basically claims Knox is somehow protected by the law because of an extension of her rights of defence. I have the feeling this point is wrong, because the boundaries of the right to defend oneself are already fixed and limited by a SC ruling of 2008, and because Article 51 only applies to what she declared as a defendant, but not to what she declared as a witness.

Pages 20-22 is only about the sentencing and not about innocence; it claims that, anyway, even if Amanda is guilty of calunnia, the punishment was too stiff and this severity was not logically motivated by Hellmann. This point is the only that could stand, in my opinion.

After the hearing of March 25 – which was the ninth case the Supreme Court panel dealt with that day – the panel deliberated for six hours, then adjourned the hearing and scheduled the final decision for the following morning.

The question whether to annul the verdict entirely, or to confirm the calunnia conviction, might have been the cause of some of the extra time needed. 

When the Supreme Court has to deal with scheduled cases the relator puts a mark – between 1 and 8 – indicating the difficulty of the case: 1 is the easiest and 8 is very complex. 

Almost all recourses are below 3, while a case like the one on the Narducci investigation a week earlier, involving Mignini, could have been closer to 8. The difficulty of this case is unknown. But because of some sensitive jurisprudence involved and because of the articulation of the recourses, this could have been around 6 or higher.

After retirement of the court, and adjournment to the subsequent day, at 10 am on March 26, the court’s dispositivo was the following:

ENDING THE RESERVATION FROM THE HEARING OF 03-25-2013, [THE COURT] DECIDES AS FOLLOWS: ANNULS THE IMPUGNED VERDICT, LIMITED TO THE CRIMES UNDER CHARGES:  A) (INTO WHICH CHARGE C) IS ABSORBED), B), D), E), AND TO THE AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER C.P. ART. 61 NO.2 IN RELATION TO CHARGE F), AND REMANDS [THE CASE] TO THE CORTE DI ASSISE DI APPELLO OF FLORENCE FOR A NEW TRIAL. REJECTS THE APPEAL OF AMANDA MARIE KNOX, WHOM IT SENTENCES TO THE PAYMENT OF COURT COSTS AS WELL AS REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PRESENT PROCEEDINGS BY CIVIL PARTY DIYA LUMUMBA, IN THE AMOUNT OF 4000 (FOUR THOUSAND) EUROS, IN ADDITION TO I.V.A. AND C.P.A., PLUS GENERAL EXPENSES ACCORDING TO LAW.

Thus, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are sent back to appeal trial in Florence on all charges related to the rape and murder of Meredith Kercher (a, b, c, d, e). And Knox is definitively declared guilty of the obstruction of justice charge known as calunnia, while the argument denying any logical link between the calunnia and the murder is quashed.

Resources used

The article above draws in part upon a translation into English of news information published by various Italian press sources, which our readers may like to look at directly. A good coverage of the case – including Riello’s speech – was broadcast by RaiNews 24 and they also have a lot of information on the website. Online updates were provided by Televideo. Commentaries and discussions were hosted on Radio1 - GR Rai. Dr Riello’s comments were reported by Il Fatto Quotidiano and Style.it. There were reports on Libero Italy.it. Also details and chronicles were reported at the end of the day by Il Giornale dell’Umbria. Coverage and the quotes for March 25 were provided by AGI. The dispositivo official document was obtained and published by Andrea Vogt.



A Growing Number Of Commentators Are Objecting To Overexposure Of The Two Still Accused

Posted by Peter Quennell





We have a series of posts coming up that will describe in detail and analyze the outcome of the Supreme Court.

At least one post will be a roundup of the media. Noticeable this time was less of a tendency to lionize Knox and Sollecito. Some articles and TV reports flipped for Knox, but none did for Sollecito.

And some editors and reporters have weighed in strongly for better balance. David Barrett of the Daily Telegraph wrote this one.

The impending retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher fills many court-watchers with dread, myself included.

Details of the crime are horrific enough. But during the lengthy court processes which we have already witnessed, my discomfort was intensified by the obsession with Amanda Knox.

The photogenic young American, now 25, was convicted and then acquitted of the 2007 murder. She received more sympathy than most suspects who have ever stood in the dock on such a serious charge.

The media pack which followed the Italian trial would often comment on Knox’s apparent frailty; the “stress” she was suffering or whether she looked “pale”. It made me gag.

It’s a difficulty with which any professional and humane court reporter is familiar: how do you keep the victim, who is absent, visible in the very human drama that is a murder trial?

Is it appropriate to pay more attention to the suspect than to the issue at hand; namely, securing justice on behalf of a person whose life has been taken from them? I say it is not, although I can understand why it happens….

When the Italian prosecutors again attempt to secure a conviction for that tragic murder in Perugia we will have to get used to seeing Knox’s face on a daily basis once more. But let’s ensure that Meredith remains at forefront of all our minds.

.


Monday, April 01, 2013

Alarm Bells Ignored: Overconfident PR And Lawyers May Have Led To That Shock At Cassation Outcome

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Amanda Knox has seemed to us more stunned than confident since she got out of Capanne. Her father mentioned that she was not given the whole picture there.

But we have been surprised in recent weeks at how the defense lawyers and spokesmen and especially Raffaele Sollecito and Giulia Bongoirno and Carlo Dalla Vedova and the PR flunkies were seemingly seeing the Supreme Court appeal as a forgone conclusion in their favor, a blip requiring no change in the end game.

Here are 20 warning bells that we think they might have missed or heard wrongly which contributed to a shocked and ill-prepared reaction to the Cassation ruling, and each of which a team of hard-nosed lawyers not befuddled by PR might have heard and responded to quite differently. 

    1. The Italian media in 2007-2008 in fact did not blow the case and Knox herself out of all proportion. Most of the lurid headlines appeared in the UK press where they had zero effect on the 2009 jury. There really was a hard case to answer.

    2. The British and American media mostly came to be manipulated on the lines Barbie Nadeau’s book described, which meant a big contrast opened up between hard Italian reporting and fantastical UK and US reporting.

    3. The Knox and Sollecito teams shrugged off a short-form trial in October 2008 at which point they might have pleaded that Meredith’s murder was not intended and drugs and mental quirks had resulted in a terrible but unintended outcome, perhaps providing relief both for themselves and Meredith’s family. 

    4. The prosecution part of the trial in 2009 was in fact, contrary to frequent illusory claims, fast and comprehensive and decisive, and it may have been at the end of that phase that the jury was already ready to vote guilty. 

    5. The defense part of the trial was far less successful with Amanda Knox on the stand suggesting to Italians that she was cold-blooded and uncaring, and from then on the defenses were desultory and dispirited with no strong points ever landed. Several days one or other of them failed to show.

    6. The prosecution summation at end of trial was extremely powerful and included in it was a very convincing 15-minute crime-scene recreation video (never released to the public) which accounted for all the marks and stains in Meredith’s room and on her body by an attack group of three.

    7. The Massei report, again contrary to frequent illusory claims later, was considered by those familiar with such reports a model of good logic and reasonable assumptions. It laid out and connected hundreds of evidence points which in a normal appeal process would have been unassailable.

    8. The 2011 appeal did not happen because Massei was riddled with legal errors and wrong assumptions, which would have been the criteria for any British or American judge to agree to such an appeal. It happened solely because, unique to Italy, such appeals are automatic if demanded, resulting in a huge number of appeals on weak grounds. 

    9. Italy does not have a terrible record of trial reversals as some claim. It has a record of fine-tuning and adjustments of thousands of appeals by appeal juries seemingly wishing to prove that they are being diligent. Cassation is aware of this quirky systemic effect, and it often bounces back appeal outcomes to dead center. 

    10. It had appeared that the PR effort was joined by a lot of influential “heavies” including MP Girlanda, Judge Heavey, Senator Cantwell, Joel Simon of CPJ, and the billionaire Donald Trump. Most had limited positive effect in the US and less in Italy, and have been quiet since the Cassation ruling.

    11. Judge Hellmann was a surprise replacement for Judge Chiari, then the able and experienced head of the criminal division. (He resigned over this.) Judge Hellmann, a good civil judge, had very limited criminal-case experience. Chief Judge De Nunzio has not explained why he replaced Chiari .

    12. The scope of appeals is carefully laid out in the Italian judicial code, and they are not to be repeat trials with overall reconsideration of all evidence and al witnesses only absent the careful presentation process and cross-examination at trial. In the US or UK the defense grounds for appeal might simply have been rejected. 

    13. Prosecutor Mignini was provisionally convicted in March 2011 of abuse of office, but careful examination would have revealed that the grounds were spurious and he had no need of a conviction in this case. Cassation in the past month has killed his own case terminally and chastized those who brought it. 

    14. Incriminating DNA was found in Meredith’s room and also outside it in many locations, and also on a knife in Sollecito’s apartment. DNA consultants were “illegally” appointed who muddied the waters but decisively disproved none of it. 

    15. The Supreme Court is on record as deciding that three perpetrators attacked Meredith. The defenses never set out to prove Guede was a lone wolf attacker, for a long list of reasons, and they failed to prove that jailhouse witnesses Alessi and Aviello had pointed out credible alternatives.

    16. The Hellmann-Zanetti report surprised a majority of Italian lawyers who read it for its passion and broad scope and tendentious logic, and for misunderstanding certain key legal concepts. Some instantly saw it as having feet of clay, and a pretty sure candidate for reversal.

    17. The significance of Chief Prosecutor Dr Galati in the process seemed seriously discounted.  UK and US media mostly ignored his appointment and where he came from, which was in fact Cassation in Rome where he was a highly effective Deputy Chief Prosecutor.

    18. The Galati appeal itself was extremely competent and hard line and targeted the Hellmann appeal outcome in several levels or layers in a total of ten points. It is one of the toughest and most sweeping appeals ever filed in Italy, and in the US or UK alarm bells really would have gone off at this one. 

    19.  Sollecito’s book was seemingly okayed by his lawyers, although it causes them major complications in three respects: it introduces new “facts” which contradict his own defense; it derides Italian officials and accuses them of crimes; and it looks like a seedy attempt to make money out of a crime for which the writer is still on trial.

    20. While Sollecito had been acting happily oblivious and super-confident in recent months, he has added to Amanda Knox’s own problems by semi selling her out in his book, and by waking the new 800 pound gorilla of contempt of court prosecutions for not respecting the judicial process.

It may not surprise you to learn that Giulia Bongiorno has not had a very winning record at Cassation, and as far as we know the other lawyers have no experience of winning there at all.


One Final Word On Nina Burleigh In Response To Those Saying She Got It Right And We Wrong

Posted by The Machine





Actually Burleigh didnt get very much right. I’ve dipped into the book and read various articles and they all stray from the truth.

Here is our review of one major aspect of the book which shows what damage to the truth it does.

Many of the pro-Burleigh commenters on the Time website and also many reviewers on Amazon dont seem to realise just how hard and fast Burleigh played with the facts.

Poor understanding of the evidence, poor grasp of the law, terrible fact checking, emotions run wild, and zero grasp of the Italian language, account for her very inaccurate work. This really is her Achilles heel.

As our responses scroll fast in comments at Time and we have only so many hours in the day, here below are ten quick examples for Burleigh supporters of how easily she screws things up.

The book is being officially examined and Nina Burleigh will surely in due course be confronting a much longer list.

    1. She falsely claimed in her book The Fatal Gift of Beauty that Meredith Kercher was born on 28 December 1986 (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, Dramatis Personae).

    According to the Massei report, her actual birthday is 28 December 1985 (p23).

    2. She falsely claimed in her book that Rudy Guede was on 26 December 1983 (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, Dramatis Personae).

    According to Rudy Guede’s sentencing report, he was born on 26 December 1986 (p2).

    3. She falsely claimed that Rudy Guede’s DNA was inside Meredith’s purse (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, p14).

    According to the Massei report, his DNA was found on Meredith’s purse (p43). The Micheli report specifies that his DNA was found on the zip.

    4. She falsely claimed that Rudy Guede’s prints were on Meredith’s walls (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, p14).

    The Scientific Police were unable to identify any fingerprints on Meredith’s walls. Guede was identified by a bloody palm print on a pillow case. (Micheli report, pages 10-11, The Massei report, p43, Rudy Guede’s sentencing report, p5).

    5. She falsely claimed on the Sound Authors website that Mignini charged Knox with participating in a satanic rite.

    Mignini has never claimed Meredith was killed during a satanic rite. In fact, he has specifically denied ever claiming this. In his letter to LInda Byron, he stated the following:  “On the “sacrificial rite” question, I have never said that Meredith Kercher was the victim of a “sacrificial rite”.

    Mignini told Drew Griffin the following in an interview on CNN:  “I have never said that there might have been a satanic rite.”

    6. She falsely claimed that Amanda Knox described a “vision” in her handwritten note to the police (The Fatal Gift of Beauty, XXIV Timeline).

    Amanda Knox never claimed she had a “vision” in her handwritten note or any of her witness statements.

    7. She falsely claimed in an article for Time that there were only two elements of “material evidence” against Knox and Sollecito - Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra clasp and Meredith’s DNA on Sollecito’s kitchen knife.

    According to the prosecution’s experts, there were five instances of Knox’s DNA or blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage. Even Amanda Knox’s lawyers conceded that her blood had mingled with Meredith’s blood.

    In other words, Meredith and Amanda Knox were both bleeding at the same time.

    According to the imprint experts, the bloody footprint on the blue bathmat in the bathroom matched the precise characteristics of Sollecito’s foot, but couldn’t possibly belong to Guede.

    Knox’s and Sollecito’s bare bloody footprints were revealed by Luminol in the hallway.

    8. In the same article, she falsely claimed that the knife was picked at random.

    Armando Finzi was the police officer who bagged the knife. He testified that he thought it was the murder weapon because it was compatible with the wound on Meredith’s neck.

    9. Another false claim from the article was that Rudy Guede left fingerprints at the crime scene.

    He didnt. None at all.

    10. In an article for the Columbia Chronicle  she falsely claimed that freedom of speech doesn’t exist in Italy.

    Pretty bizarre. She should learn to read some Italian. They have as many freedoms as those in the US and UK. And the incarceration rate is 1/7 that of the US.

    11.She falsely claimed in a Time article that the prosecutors painted Amanda Knox as an “angel-faced she-devil”.

    It wasn’t prosecutors who painted who Amanda Knox as a “she-devil”, it was Carlo Pacelli, the lawyer who represents Diya Lumumba, at the trial in 2009.

    Carlo Pacelli’s comments were widely reported by numerous good journalists who were present in the courtroom, so this would have been really easy to check. .

    Barbie Nadeau describes the moment he referred to Knox as a she-devil in some detail in Angel Face: “Who is the real Amanda Knox?” he asks, pounding his fist in the table. “Is she the one we see before us here, all angelic? Or is really a she-devil focused on sex, drugs, and alcohol, living life on the edge?”

    “She is the luciferina-she devil.” (Barbie Nadeau, Angel Face, page 124).

 

Posted on 04/01/13 at 11:59 AM by The MachineClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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Unmasking What Is Behind The Angry Virulence Of Bruce Fischer And False Claims Of Elina Miettinen

Posted by Peter Quennell




1. What TJMK Is All About

TJMK came online late in 2008 nearly a year after the rabid pro-Knox vilification of the case, the justice officials, and especially the real victim and her family began.

TJMK essentially does what the crimeshows do on CNN and other cable-news channels: explain the case from the point of view of “the people”. You can see Nancy Grace and Wendy Murphy doing the same any night of the week, though usually in much more fiery terms.

Here it matters much more, because the case was tried in Italy under Italian law, and US and UK media have failed to translate vast tracts that explain the case. With several fine exceptions they never interview justice officials, and often impugn a great justice system and Italy itself.

The theory of the crime we lean toward is simply the official one - that all three were involved, with Knox starting and finishing the attack - held by all the Italian courts except for the Knox & Sollecito appeal before the Hellmann court in 2011 which was meddled with by the defense.

It is also held by 90% at least of Italians who could follow the case in Italian on the excellent Italian media. We have posted taking down many posturing wannabees at length, but attacks on purely personal grounds is something we avoid.

So in systematically laying out the truth, we came to be demonized too, along with many fine reporters and experts who attempted to present the overwhelming case for guilt.  This post rebuts one instance of that.

2. Who Knox supporter “Bruce Fisher” really is

“Bruce Fisher” is notorious for rabid demonizing, even among his own people. Lately he has lost many supporters he demonized after he misled them about Frank Sforrza who has a whole row of trials in his future. 

Fisher’s real name, hidden with great effort for more than two years so that he could defame freely, turned out on professional investigation to be Bruce Fischer and he was recently laid off as a floor assistant at York Furriers, a store in a mall 35 miles north-west of Chicago. 

We are told his education is very basic and his professional skills relevant to elaborating on the Perugia are zero. Also that Fischer had declared personal bankruptcy twice and now possibly has done so a third time to try to escape big debts. His sole income is from his wife’s family and what he panhandles from his naive group..

We are also told that when his house was repossessed for default on mortgage payments he was reduced to taking his family to live with his mother. Also that from his schooldays he has been known as a hothead with poor people skills and thinking skills.

When “reporter Bruce Fisher of New York” first surfaced online in obsessive support of Amanda Knox in the year after trial (which he appears not to have followed or know much about) eyebrows of all our psychologists went up at the blatantly obvious perversion.

We are told that he called himself “Bruce Fisher” to attempt to hide this from his wife and that our “outing” his real name and identity did a lot to push him to the deep end. He doesn’t seem to have any friends willing to say that they respect him. Some regard him as a rather dim and very angry redneck who has yet to make any positive contribution in life.

Fischer along with Frank of Perugia Shock has duped many others into thinking there is no case against Knox - only a huge conspiracy in which half of Italy is involved. David Anderson, Karen Pruett, Saul Kassin, Michele Moore, Steve Moore, Michael Wiesner, on and on.

3. The correct facts about help to Elina Miettinen

As many have remarked, “Bruce Fisher” is notorious for rabid demonizing, even among his own people. One of the main ways he has demonized is to lie about about the histories and credentials of those who stand for the truth - all a lot better qualified and successful than Fischer himself.

My wife and I have helped many in ballet over the years and all the other help went well. In this case a Russian dancer who walked off with $15,000 highly misrepresented a business relationship that was about to come right which would have set her up nicely for life and provide a success model for many others.

Did Fischer in turn misrepresent that? Judge for yourself.  In essence his meddling cost Miettinen a very possible $1 million or more.

Miettinen’s desperate situation

A few years ago three Swiss girls staying with us and I were at the stage door of the American Ballet Theater company in New York watching the dancers come out. They saw the Russian dancer Elina Miettinen emerge and tried to talk. She seemed so panic-stricken she could hardly stand up.

I wrote her a note later merely saying “Whats up”? She wrote back immediately that she had just been told she was laid off (as the ABT was close to broke) with no money and no visa to work in the US. She would not be able to pay rent or feed herself or, in fact, stay in the US.

Assistance we provided

We met and agreed that a promotional website could be her best bet. She would provide videos and stories and it would be hers to keep. I might use it as a model for others down the road. No money was talked about at the time.

Right after she went back to Helsinki where her parents lived and stayed for a month. We met after she came back and again she was almost paralysed with fear. After an hour she finally told me she had been unable to tell her family and friends she had been laid off and she was still broke. She had literally almost nothing on which to keep going. Could I help?

I immediately got her $500 out of an ATM and said sure I could consider helping her further subject to the website project which would be our way out. Her parents and seven in New York (my wife, the Swiss girls, her teacher, another dancer, and her roomie/best friend plus her own parents all knew all about this.

Business loans I advanced her eventually totaling $15,000 allowed her to (1) stay on in the United States, (2) pay her rent and keep rehearsing, (3) find two interim dance assignments, (4) become featured on a highly popular website, (5) activate interest in NBC in reporting her life story, and (7) eventually be available when the ABT’s finances came right at years end, when they could offer her a new contract.

She has never repaid any of the $15,000 back, despite numerous of promises to do so. To repeat: without the money we loaned her (for various work requirements all of which she skipped out of) Mietteinen would not even be in the US now.

She and I talked for many hours about the problems of dancer promotion. We decided to try a new “personalizing” website and we worked out a plan and a contract over several meetings for which we both kept copies in ring binders.

I didnt go looking for her in particular for this experimental dancer site, an intended model for many others, so she may not have been the best potential candidate of whom there were many others. A senior staff member of her former company wrote saying she was a poor choice as they did not see her going far in her career.

But she just came along and was desperate and interested and seemed to show promise, so I tried work with what she was.

Her initial promising start

When I first met her, she was hyper-anxious about almost everything, her future, her men (or lack of them), her dance and her looks included.

She was very cooperative for the first four months, attending our meetings 1-2 times a week, telling me her stories for the site, providing video and shots of herself, and meeting in San Francesco to accumulate more and apply for gigs.  We both worked on the design of the site which for its purpose looked cool and professional, and she suggested such ideas as bringing in her best friend and teacher on the project, and also a photographer back home. .

Her teacher, her room-mate and some others all saw us getting along just fine. They were willing to join the project so I had several separate meetings with the teacher and best friend to gather material on them too. I pressed her to consult her parents on the site and the contract and several weeks later she told me they said it should really be her site.

Her emerging troubled personality

She increasingly revealed a strange habit, of ranting on at agents and photographers and so on who she endlessly supposed wanted to rip her off. (Actually they did - she had never got paid for any modeling done.)

In direct response I made quite sure to involve my wife and four Swiss girls who were staying with us at the time. They had all seen her dancing and it was one of them that first pointed her out. For the record they were all smarter (they all have good college degrees now), taller and prettier than Mietttinen (they all dance and model). In Geneva I know all of their parents and we all get along really well.

Also she shared a number of personal concerns especially about boy friends and I tried to give her the best advice. We were good friends in a business sense, and there was nothing more as everybody involved in the project could see.

I email all my business partners about the rate I emailed her, and we set up a separate email account so she only needed to read when she wanted. The emails the Swiss girls send me and vice versa are no different in tone or subject. She was fully aware that at any time at a moment’s notice she could arrange something different or stop the emails or meetings or contract.

The agreed pioneering website

So within three months the website was created. She provided all the materials we posted and repeatedly promised many more, especially videos. As agreed in the business plan the website (“Exciting Arrivals”) was intended

(1)  to give Miettinen a shot at new ballet gigs and long term contracts and a ballet future, and also at promoting herself commercially as a model, and to be able to stay on in the US for which she had only a dance viza,

(2) to personalize her rather than to glamorize her, telling her stories which are in fact very interesting (she was born in deep poverty on the edge of the Arctic circle in the terrible economic era of Gorbachev);

(3) to be a pioneering model website to help many other dancers to promote themselves career-wise and financially also. The company and web property to that end would become hers and I keep the model and cover my costs only.

By the autumn of 2009 the website already showed we had got it right. It rose up to be briefly the most popular dancer website in the world. The story approach clearly worked. We already had offers on the horizon equivalent to maybe one million dollars factored forward.

Her breaking of contract

The only demands I was making were for video and shots and interviews for the site and for her to follow up on our leads. I thought she would give our project 3-4-5 months of work for that money, but it actually only added up to maybe two weeks.

Instead of following up our excellent leads with NBC TV (who may have profiled her life) and the Finnish Embassy (who may have sponsored her) she increased her classes (which was fine), danced several roles in the Staten Island Nutcracker (which was fine), and began to spend many days with photographers (not so fine, they paid her nothing, and we got nothing new for the site which was still only half complete.).

In November her ballet company, the ABT, found they could take her back on contract and even offered her a raise. We were with her teacher when she told us and her teacher didnt seem to think this was entirely for Miettinen’s best.

Teacher gives strong warning

Miettinen wanted the project to go on but her increasing narcissim and suspicion were evident. Her teacher at two separate meetings, and her room-mate at one, warned me she had an extraordinary knack for misunderstanding people and becoming paranoid and ranting on.

Her teacher was so unhappy at this attitude, which she saw at the start of every class, that she refused to say on the site that Miettinen would have a great future as a dancer.

Miettinen promises not to defraud

With $15,000 at stake, my wife and the Swiss girls who followed everything now began to suspect her. We found out that young Russians had been running a series of scams in Manhattan, acting desperate and getting hep and money, and then turning nasty and walking off.

She promised she was not part of a scam or planning to walk off. Right up to our last meeting in mid December, when we put the project on hold while she returned to work, she agreed the site should stay up. It remained way short of done, of course, and never ever became that model that so many dancers needed.

Miettinen walks off with $15,000

The deal between us, a generous one, was always that we would keep the site up as a model and work on it when we could, and take it down only if she paid me back half the money which would be around $7500 now. It was never agreed that she could simply have all the money and I would end up with nothing.

Final exchanges show relationship fine

There were a few emails and Facebook messages in 2010. She sounded okay and there was no evident problem. This exchange below is the one and only time Miettinen ever asked to have the website taken down. She hardly sounds in wild-eyed terror. It is dated 16 June 2010 exactly six months after we had last met.

1) My message to Miettinen

Subject: Ashton Ballets tonight

Tonight was absolutely amazing.  I liked the Birthday and Awakening and loved the Thais and the Dream. So did everybody around me. I just posted this on my Facebook + the ABT Facebook.

“American Ballet Theatre dancers LOVE Ashton! Tonight they could hardly stop grinning. DH and HC and GM did grin! Ashton presses them to absolute limits, theres NO WAY they could keep that up for one big ballet. Corps too was pressed way beyond normal. Plus we got to see half the principals and soloists.”

2) Miettinen’s response

Subject: Ashton Ballets tonight

“Good that you are enjoying our season and having fun in creating websites about abt! I think the website of me doesn’t make much sense anymore because I’m not working for it with you. Maybe it’s better for you to concentrate on the other sites. I’m sure people are more interested in reading about the whole company than just about one dancer.

Have fun with the sites and have a great summer.”

3) My response

[There is no copy. I wrote back on Facebook and Miettinen has deleted that message. Presumably because I reminded her of the deal. I gently repeated the purpose and pluses of the model site, and observed the site was still doing her and the company a lot of good. But if she wanted to pay 1/2 the money back as often agreed, then we could be done.]

Then there were just 1-2 quick messages between us in the next eight months, not about this. She did not ask again. The project was extremely promising for her and for others and I hoped she’d resume - it is very common for people experiencing rapid change and jealousy from others to sit it out on the side for a while.

Fischer prompts false accusation to police

And then, on the prompting of Fischer and Steve Moore, a NYPD detective phoned us in March 2011.  He was angry to find that he had been misled (as he has agreed with our lawyers) into thinking the site represented extortion and stalking.

He didnt know that Mietinen was in the US only because of our funding. He didnt know that we had a contract and business plan. He didnt know that she had provided all material for the site. He didnt know that she owed me half of $15,000. He didnt know that she is known to have a paranoid tendency to rant on.

Still, I took the site down, and decided to wait till Miettinen returned to Planet Earth. I am in no hurry. Will she, one day? Miettinen continues to owe us the $15,000 that we loaned her to allow her to stay on in the US and to get back on her feet and rebuild confidence.

The emails Fischer posted and misrepresented give no idea of what was really going on, what Miettienen was saying at our many meetings, or what others who observed were saying and in several cases warning about.

She has since joined in substantial harrassment online. She posts as “Jane”. Many people who know her only as “Jane” despise her. Many women who have read the emails have observed “what the hell?!”

Fischer misrepresents the project, and is unaware of the contract.  That Fischer is a disaster in his own business deals is no reason for him to damage others. Inciting false reports to the police is a crime, of course.

In essence Fischer’s meddling cost Miettinen a very possible $1 million or more, and legally we could easily take her down, though at a probable cost of leaving her jobless.

Posted on 04/01/13 at 06:20 AM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in Hoaxers: tools & dupesKnox-Mellas teamBruce FischerElina MiettinenNews media & moviesTerrible reporting
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Friday, March 29, 2013

More On The Ill-Considered Campaign of Vilification By The Sour Knox PR Shill Nina Burleigh

Posted by Peter Quennell





REALLY not a good time for the sour PR shill Nina Burleigh to be entering into attack mode. Much better to be covering her tail.

One book is already being investigated by the chief prosecutor of Florence (the same one that will oversee the repeat appeal) for contempt of court in attempting to interfere with an ongoing legal process.

Sollecito and his team might face years in court and millions in awards - and Burleigh’s defamation-riddled The Fatal Gift Of Beauty which flatly accuses many Italian officials of crimes is already a candidate for a similar outcome. 

Good luck with that one. She could be paying out for years. Nina Burleigh now seems to me a tad delusional - making things up, not for the sake of lying for an advantage, but simply because her mind sorta works that way, and so she shoots herself in the foot.

Skeptical Bystander of PMF has already rebutted Burleigh’s claims against her, in this post immediately below. This was my own experience with Nina Burleigh.


Request for assistance from Nina Burleigh

Burleigh really didnt have any good cause to pick a fight with me as I have always treated her extremely well.  I met her personally only once - in August 2009 - but we emailed frequently though most of 2009.

The meeting grew out of this post.  I emailed the link to that post to Nina Burleigh via her blog;  and also to John Follain, who thanked me politely.

She emailed back that she was surprised to have landed the assignment, as she had no expertise in that area, but her publisher had recommended it. She said she could use any help. I said I would see if our contacts in Rome and Perugia could help her.

She moved to Perugia in the spring for a month or two and as she has no Italian some arrangement was made for an interpreter. She attended some of the court sessions. As agreed, I emailed various contacts asking if they might want to help her.

The reaction across the board however was no. 

Burleigh was being seen constantly in the Knox-Mellas entourage and was already regarded as a doubtful reporter at best, one who had already lost her cool.


Burleighs request for a meeting

She returned to New York, after Knox had been two days on the stand, to rustle up more money and take her family back with her. She emailed me for a meeting to share tips and information, and was hoping we might open a way to the Kerchers. (We never do.)

I asked her if she was neutral and independent, or working for the PR scheme. I would not have met with her if she hadn’t promised by return that her mingling with the Knox-Mellas crowd was for show, just an act, really she was secretly neutral.

Based on that guarantee, she and I met for an afternoon and evening at her summer place in the Delaware gorge two hours west of New York.

We had lunch in the village, when she presented me with a signed book, and then we moved to the kitchen of her house, a converted schoolhouse. Her children were playing in there so we moved upstairs to sit at a table in her bedroom.


Burleigh says Knox seemed psychopathic

I explained the case from the prosecution side and she seemed to do her best to follow along, busily generating notes. She VOLUNTEERED that she had concluded that Knox was a psychopath during Knox’s stint on the stand. She said the realization had kept her awake at nights some.

I didnt prompt her or make that up - how would I have possibly known? In fact until then I didnt even know she’d been in the court.

She did tell me this assignment would be a financial strain. None of her books had covered their costs. The publishers’ advance was a small one, Italy is expensive, and she joked that she might have to give up her Manhattan apartment.

Oddly, she managed to stay in Perugia for most of a year. Wonderful how those savings stretched out so.


Subsequent emailing between us

We kept in touch for a few months after she went back to Perugia with her family. She asked me for some more help in making contacts. Here below is an email exchange late in October - ten weeks after we had met.

This is also six week after she claims she questioned the bucket and mop claims on this site and concluded we had facts wrong and were not to be trusted (she never actually emailed a question, and we never did make the “bucket and mop” claim she invented). 

1 MY EMAIL 21 OCTOBER

>>    Long time no talk. I still owe you some stuff and my knowledge seems to grow daily. I just drove to Seattle, and had nearly a week getting in deeper there.
>>
>>    Are you staying on there in Italy until the whole thing is done?  The other publishers’ publicists have been emailing me, and we have talked several times.
>>
>>    I could be in London soon and if so in Perugia.
>>
>>    Pete

2. BURLEIGH REPLY 21 OCTOBER

>> Hey {Pete
>>
>> I’ll definitely be here for the verdict! Send me any stuff you want to share. I am still hoping to talk to the British friends at some point, but only if they want to, I don’t want to bother them.

>> cheers,
>> n

3. MY REPLY 21 OCTOBER

> Thanks Nina! How nice.
>
> How much do you actually have on Meredith? Its not just (I hope!) only all about La Knox? The friends might talk but I’d need assurances on this angle.
>
> And what is the title and the publish date now? We foresee now three okay books coming out in January with no firm date on John Kercher’s about Meredith.
>
> Pete

4. BURLEIGH REPLY 21 OCTOBER

> Meredith. Not much at all! Really just what’s been in the press and that’s not good because I want to bring her character into the story, who she was, what the world has lost. It is a big hole in my repoirting. Anything you can do would be so appreciated.

> As for date, its really dependent on when I get key interviews. I am more interested in getting the good, true story than beating quickie crime book competition in january.

> So grateful to you for keeping up with me, and it will be really nice to see you here.

> All best
> Nina



Rebutting claims in Burleighs Time attack

Actually it has never had a down day: the Knox-hating websites have been passing along innuendo and cherry-picked factoids for six years now.

What innuendo and cherrypicking? What hate? Let us see some examples. We deal in hard facts and key documents and Italian translations here. Dozens of reporters and lawyers read. And TJMK was created only four and a half years ago, in direct response to the hyper-aggressive PR scheme. 

The other acronym you will encounter is TJMK, which stands for “True Justice For Meredith Kercher”—the young British woman murdered in this case–and is run by a New Jersey-based Englishman who claims that at one time he consulted at the United Nations.

I dont claim that. I was on the permanent staff of UN development for over 20 years, and then I left to consult with governments on growth directly. Burleigh KNEW that by the way. An example of this supremely under-qualified womans’ attempts in her article at personal put-downs of others.

These sites host extremely active avatars, many proclaiming to be lawyers, forensic experts, criminologists, but who never reveal their true identities.

Anyone can tell at a glance that real names are used here where they can professionally tolerate personal put-downs like Nina Burleigh’s.  They ARE lawyers and experts, they state their experience, and nobody else questions this. They all have better qualifications than Burleigh’s.

In 2009, I sat down with TJMK founder Peter Quennell, who has always claimed he started the site to make sure that no one forgot the victim.

We sat down only at her pleading request. There was really little in it for me. And TJMK DID make sure Meredith is not forgotten. I didnt just claim that.

A stout, ruddy Englishman living in New Jersey, he had been holding out the carrot of introducing me to the elusive Kercher family.

I am not stout, ruddy or English, and I live looking across to Manhattan. What carrot? She hoped for contact with Meredith’s family, and I offered and promised nothing.

After a month in Italy doing reporting, however, I realized that some of the “facts” on Quennell’s website didn’t seem to be in the police record in Italy. I emailed him to ask where he had found out that Knox and Sollecito met police standing outside the murder house with a mop and bucket in hand. That damning incident was nowhere in the record, not even the prosecutor would confirm it, nor had Italy’s Polizia Scientifica ever tested such items, which would surely have offered up some useful DNA evidence, had they been used to clean blood.

So where is that famous email? This would be two months BEFORE the emails quoted above. Does she sound questioning or suspicious or rejecting in those?

Try searching “bucket” on this site and see what you find. Did we really make the bucket a big deal? There is ONE mention in a media report of someone’s evidence of a bucket having been at the door. All the other mentions are of the bucket in Sollecito’s flat.

Quennell then accused me by email of being on the Knox family payroll, informed me that his sources in Perugia had seen me consorting with Amanda’s mother (I had in fact met with her once, in a public place, by then) and eventually started writing about how he was going to “train his scope” on my apartment in Manhattan, and closing emails with “how are the kiddies?”

That joke email preceded all of those emails above. I didnt accuse Burleigh then of being on the Knox payroll. She is presumably thinking of the question I put to her months ago, before we ever met.

To which she had promised me she WAS neutral. Not just a PR shill.

Posted on 03/29/13 at 10:51 PM by Peter QuennellClick here for my past posts, via link at top left.
Archived in News media & moviesTerrible reportingKnox-Mellas teamNina Burleigh
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