Hard Line Against Seeming Self-Serving Meddling By Preston & Spezi Likely To Get Cassation Nod

[Another crazy provocation from Preston & Spezi The Angel With The Eyes Of Ice due in Germany soon]

Breaking news.  Cassation is deciding right now on a formidably worded appeal by the Umbria Prosecutor General to sustain the MOF/Narducci investigation.

The mood generally in Italy is pro the Giuttari and Mignini Monster of Florence supposition, for which there is some firm proof, and not in favor of the hairbrained Spezi and Preston supposition, for which there is none at all. Giuttiari’s book Il Mostro sells very well, while Spezi’s and Preston’s MOF hardly sells at all.

Continued investigation had been stymied by the self-serving actions of certain Florence prosecutors in charging and convicting Giuttari and Mignini for supposed harm to themselves. That conviction was reversed a year ago by an appeal judge in Florence for lack of jurisdiction, and several week ago Cassation scathingly ruled that the case must come to a total end..

The judge who found Giuttari and Mignini guilty (Francesco Maradei) is now up to his ears in his own trouble for bending court outcomes, seemingly due to pressures and bribes. Meanwhile the way has been opened for Mignini to move up to the level of Prosecutor General for Umbria (there are four prosecutor posts at that level) in the next few weeks.

Giuttari spoke out strongly about the trumped up case, and in yet another unexpected development the police chief he blamed for blocking strong pursuit of the case, Antonio Manganelli, has just died.

This post by Yummi of 21 January (especially the second half) is a vital read.

One thing you can say for the fictionalist Doug Preston: he never knows how to quit when he’s behind! 

Read our many, many posts especially by Kermit exposing Preston as a serial liar here.  This new book [image at top] by Preston and Spezi in German on Meredith’s case is promised for release next month, and included in the publisher’s blurb is this claim:

In Perugia, Italy, the British student Meredith Kercher is brutally murdered in her apartment. Prime suspect is her American flatmate Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. With sparse circumstantial evidence both are convicted to extremely long prison sentences. Two years later, an appeals process frees both. Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi roll out the spectacular case of Amanda Knox from scratch. Previously unpublished details, interviews with lawyers involved and the exposure of the dubious machinations of the Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini guarantee a breathtaking reading that can compete with any thriller.

Yeah, well, good luck with that one.

As we have reported in depth the Chief Prosecutor in Florence is already considering contempt-of-court charges for Raffaele Sollecito based on a large number of complaints about his book. If Amanda Knox’s book which is promised for next month impugns even one Italian official, she can be assured of the same..

Presumably so can Preston if this book, the latest of his many hairbrained ventures, comes forth.  More reporting right here when Cassation decides on the Prosecutor General’s appeal.

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With sparse circumstantial evidence both are convicted to extremely long prison sentences.

There are people even at my place, ordinarily intelligent commenters who would see that and believe it implicitly because they want to. 

We can run long, wordy timelines and lists of the actual evidence and they’ll ignore that, then just come back in later with exactly the same view as before and you know they’ve looked at nothing you’ve read.

They’re not even interested in the case, being so long ago.  They just “know” such a sweet girl was not guilty.  That’s what we are up against but not what Cassation is up against.

Cassation is an entirely different matter and it is going to shock many.

Posted by James Higham on 03/22/13 at 12:53 AM | #

Pete, were you aware that TJMK and PMF stand as prime examples of the “dubious machinations of the Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini”?

Apparently Dr. Mignini’s manipulative and powerful ability to reach into the subconscious minds of others without their knowledge allows him to force almost anyone to do and say as he pleases.

Posted by Fly By Night on 03/22/13 at 01:34 AM | #

Sure thing FBN! As Mignini has 60 million Italians all fooled we would presumably not be immune! All those boring facts Preston ignores are not what swayed us at all.

I wonder what manipulates Preston’s brain. It doesnt do a very good job. Read especially Kermit’s recent posts (scroll down).  http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C555/

Spezi complained in a recent interview with an Italian blogger that they could only get the book published in Germany. So far, no publishers in the US and UK and Italy seem to want to leap in.

I wonder why.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/22/13 at 02:01 AM | #

I will explain some things that maybe are not clear because of the similarity of titles covering the magistrates’ roles.

The name “Procuratore Generale” (what is often translated as “prosecutor general”) indicates two different kind of powers (and thus, maybe it is better to use the word “Procurator” because “prosecutor” is a misleading word for some of the roles). 

The first kind is: “procuratore generale presso la corte d’appello” (“procurator general at the appeal court”). This office is a regional prosecution office that deals with appeal courts.  Galati is the head of the Umbria office; the work in the courtroom is carried out by three people, a “vice” (Costagliola) and two “deputies” (it: “sostituti”, Mignini and Razzi).  In Italy there are about 18 prosecutor generals like Galati.

The second kind of procurator general is “procuratore generale presso la corte suprema” (“procuratr general at the supreme court”).  These kind of magistrates resemble less “prosecutors”, they are all in Rome, they work at the SC, and they do not prosecute nor present recourses.

They instead represent an office of the SC; they are independent parties called to express their pinion on the submissions made to the court. So they do not process appeals themselves, they only make independent assessments on appeals submitted by others (yes, the Italian justice system is that complicated). The PGs present to the court their interpretation of the law based on SC precedents, and thus provide the court with an “independent” opinion, meaning they bring arguments and precedents useful to a decision (often rather sophisticated). Then the court will decide. 

There is one “procurator general” and about fifteen deputies or more, all in Rome (normally by PG you mean one of these deputy). This was the job that Galati was doing before moving to Perugia.

Now, the recourse on the Spezi & Co case was submitted at the SC by Giuliano Mignini.  Today, the PG at the SC, procurator Gaeta, expressed his opinion on Mignini’s recourse. He said, all (!) points of Mignini’s recourse should be declared valid (although only one would be enough to re-open the case).

That’s not a frequent event. A total acceptance of the points by the PG, sounds like a complete triumph for Mignini at the SC (not really surprising for those who are into these issues, but nonetheless his success by now looks impressive).

Posted by Yummi on 03/22/13 at 04:14 AM | #

Thanks Yummi! You read my mind. I was trying to figure out the difference between PG Galata and “PG” Gaeta. It sounds like Mignini’s appeal is likely to be granted.

Posted by brmull on 03/22/13 at 06:32 AM | #

Good news from Andrea Vogt!

Italy’s High Court has sided with Perugia Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini in Monster of #Florence mystery, ordering Narducci case reopened.


Posted by jools. on 03/22/13 at 01:27 PM | #

Thanks Yummi!

I am slowly learning to appreciate the complicatedness.

Posted by chami on 03/22/13 at 05:22 PM | #

This book is in German, why ?
But I believe that Douglas Preston is one of those pro-Knox activists who fits the anti-authoritarians with a grudge against law enforcement to a nicety. His real interest is not defending Knox but getting his own back at Mignini, using the Meredith Kercher case as a proxy.

Posted by aethelred23 on 03/22/13 at 06:14 PM | #

Mignini is a champ! He won all his points. He will outlast adversity to come back stronger, wiser, tougher every time. Bravo Mignini, an honest prosecutor who is always the target of hate or envy.

Dr. Narducci died from an overdose of Demerol. Seems weird a handsome young man of Narducci’s stature would have offed himself like that. If Mignini followed that trail only to have it blocked by rich Florence families…  where there’s smoke there’s fire. Mignini has wise instincts.

I have no idea what went on in the MOF case but I trust Mignini’s judgment a lot. That said, I’m no fan of a snowstorm of lawsuits for any and every infraction, only if they become absolutely necessary. Murder always crosses the line.

I’m also too much of a free speech advocate to be happy about Spezi’s silly Ice-eyes book not finding a publisher in Italy, although his book is probably a pile of tripe with the honesty of Jodi Arias and rife imagination off the chain like Preston.

Mignini will keep moving up and one day wrap up some extremely big cases. He’s growing oak trees, not flowers.

On a separate note, I’ve been delving into Knox’s story “The Model”. See http://patrishka.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/amanda-knox.

Here you will find her story about a young woman who was stalked by a jilted lover and how the woman and her young daughter flee to her ex-husband’s place for refuge. The woman is named Nadya, her daughter is Aislin, and the rescuer is David.


An envelope of stalker photos is handed to Nadya at her desk at 11:00pm, at which time she has a terrifying reaction of fear and danger (Nadya’s a writer or proofreader. She calls herself “a machine” able to get through more work faster than all the ants around her).

She sees the disturbing photos of her asleep, her in a raincoat crossing the street, and one of her naked upper torso as she stands in her house. She feels violated, freaks out and knocks over her green chair. She rushes home from work to grab Aislin her 13-year-old by the wrist very hard. In her fear she hurts Aislin. They dash off to David Parker’s apartment for safety.

David is the child’s father and her ex-husband. Nadya is deeply concerned about losing Aislin’s love due to the divorce, her focus on working, and dating men.

Knox names her characters:
Nadya=Russian for “hope”
Aislin=Gaelic for “inspiration,vision, or dream”
Parker=Old French gamekeeper of medieval park

The stalker is a rough brute with calloused hands and five o’clock shadow whom Nadya turned to in a time of fatigue and desperation. His name is Malcolm. Could that be an echo of Mellas, malice.

It is David who calls the cops from the safety of his apartment to report the crime of stalking and harassment.

Knox wrote this on November 6, 2006. I wonder if she based the Nadya name on the Nadia of TV’s popular “Alias” series that starred Jennifer Garner. Alias Season 3 came out in 2003 with Nadia as the abandoned daughter of evil Arvin Sloane. Sloane later uses her to chase his Rimbaldi obsession.

Nadya had grown up in Argentina and become a spy. When she enters Sloan’s life as a grown woman he uses her merely to help him find the Rimbaldi artifact, the elixir of life. In the end, he shoves her into a glass table and kills her. Nadia in “Alias” is the half-sister of Jennifer Garner’s character Sydney Bristow, Sydney the uber-spy whose adventures take her all over the world in one adrenaline rush after another. Heady stuff.

Amanda’s stories like this and “Baby Brother” always seem to deal with sibling protection or conflict, and the question of being pushed out of a house with the wail, “Where the heck do we go?”

I think the Aislin character represents Amanda’s inner child, her dream fantasy of being carried back to her father’s protection after a harrowing time away from him when she was menaced.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/22/13 at 06:59 PM | #

Like so many things written by Knox , “The Model” is sinister and dark, similar to the atmosphere prevailing in her music video “The Mistral blows”.The entry linking to Amanda`s short story also links to the journal she kept in Germany in 2007 before setting off for Perugia. It tells us nothing and except for the fact that it gets on my nerves , it keeps reminding me of a diary kept by a fourteen-year-old girl, not of by a 20-year-old college woman. Was she actually proud of reading “Harry Potter” in German translation ? Not very impressive ,Foxy Knoxy , I´d mastered “Harry Potter” in its English original and was proud I could read as I did German at the age of 11. “Harry Potter” is not very sophisticated , I was absolutely bored with it by the I was 20.Besides,  she reveals that she couldn´t even fully understand the Italian version yet . Hadn´t Meredith been reading “Sea of Truth” , a serious modernist work , before she was murdered ? Here we have another difference between Amanda and Meredith, the former struggling with a children´s book while the latter was already delving deeply into advanced literature . What a pity a superior mind like Meredith´s had to be snuffed out by a childish schoolgirl.

Posted by aethelred23 on 03/22/13 at 11:03 PM | #

I am in favor of the pursuit of contempt-of-court charges and any lawsuits until the books finally stop flowing and some of the worst of the dishonest muck is removed from the internet. It simply wont go away of its own accord and it is damaging.

However the fact that the new Preston/Spezi book is coming out only in German is not because of any legal quagmire when it was being offered around to publishers in Italy, the UK and US about the same time as Sollecito’s book.

It was purely a general sense by possible publishers that their obsessional line of accusation was going nowhere, and no longer selling books. Many bookbuyers voting with their mouse doomed its future in other languages, not possible lawsuits .

If you read the reviews of the MOF book on Amazon, you will often see claimed what aethelred23 said in her first comment above: that it is far too much about Preston trying to regain his manhood, and far too little about blazing new truths in the MOF case.

Here is the original Preston whine - it was actually untrue, he was not indicted or charged though he could have been:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/03/prweb358544.htm

Just a few weeks, later he was writing in The Atlantic that Mignini did nothing wrong and Preston admitted he kinda asked for it via his foolish behavior. Then by 2008-09 with abook to sell he was back to the Great Satan thing.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/13 at 12:28 AM | #

@ Hopeful

many people who trust a paradigm of “freedom of speech” above all would share your view; I don’t want to flatly dismiss your belief, however, I only want to point out one thing.

There can be a problem in the practical life of societies, an inherent danger that belongs to reality, and it is particularly worth of notice in the Italian society.

In Italy, defamation is a mafia tool. I mean it is a tool, a criminal activities, used in highly organized manner with utmost sophistry groups, just like other criminal activities, to gain power, to protect themselves from the ruling of law and to subdue their opponents.

You may see the unlimited possibility of “free speech” as a resource available to you; but most Italians may think this belief is dangerously naive. You see it as a tool that you may benefit from in your life, but it is in fact a power.

The rhetoric of unlimited free speech is the same thing as the rhetoric of free firearms - and the slogans “everyone will be safer if everybody has free access to firearms”, or “only a good person with a gun can stop a bad person with a gun”, they are a fraud.

My Calabrian grandmother used to tell me “le parole sono pietre” (“words are stones”). Literally meaning, words can kill. Physically, not metaphorically. They may be, in fact, the most powerful tools. Implying, keep your stones knowing they are weapons and use them cautiously, they may be used sophisticatedly, bear in mind words - yours and others - are instruments for real power, even for physical killing.

Last week a person was convicted to 12 years for calunnia in a famous mafia case in Sicily. Spezi is charged with this crime in the Narducci case. Calunnia is a malicious use of false words and evidence to obstruct the activities of authorities. Defamation is the malicious use of words to do the same thing in the public opinion arena, without the use of authorities.

As long as “defamation” is seen as one individual against another, within an individualistic society, you may see little damage and be an enthusiast supporter of freedom of speech. But the Italian society is a world in a small space crowded with an incredibly complicated system of very ancient allegiances and groups engaged in tensions with each other. Conspiracies on criminal deeds are not rare events, and “freedoms” must not be seen just as individual opportunities.

Posted by Yummi on 03/23/13 at 04:21 AM | #

That’s an interesting perspective Yummi, but I remain unconvinced that calunnia/defamation suits are an effective deterrent. These laws are especially hard to enforce on the internet where everyone says nasty things about everyone else—international standards will prevail over time.

P.S. When you have time, will you explain the details of the Cassation decision today?

Posted by brmull on 03/23/13 at 04:58 AM | #

Hi brmull.

Tricky timing for that report as there is much to explain but at the same time we have several posts pending that will set the scene for Cassation’s decision on monday. Probably best if we postpone this report to wednesday when it has a shot at sitting at the top for a day.

Yummi’s two posts (links in the post above) went a long way to forecasting in advance what Cassation has now decided. Mignini is (1) free of his trumped up conviction and (2) free to get closer to the truth of how and why Narducci died. Two HUGE wins. Cassation sided with him both times.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/23/13 at 05:09 AM | #

The reason we have both hate speech and defamation laws in place is because freedom of speech ends when it becomes a severe violation of someone else’s rights (the right to not be degraded, discriminated against, or to have one’s professional reputation tarnished in the absence of evidence).

The price we pay for being able to reach audiences at unprecedented speed and in unprecedented numbers is increased responsibility. When you lie to further your own goals, and in the process defame another person and encourage hatred against them, you should be very afraid of law suits.

That said, I don’t think Preston had trouble finding a publisher because of some form of censorship.  Publishers are businesses, not freedom of speech charities.  When they offer a contract, they must consider potential legal liabilities, profit potential, and, not least, their own ethics.  Some may refuse to publish a book which they consider offensive (and it’s their right, as private entities).  Some may not care much about ethics per se, but care about how other people’s ethics will impact their sales down the line (i.e. avoiding backlash from publishing a book which their readers may consider unethical).

It sounds like English-language and Italian publishers did not want to deal with potential lawsuits stemming from Preston’s book or they considered it morally reprehensible and didn’t want to be associated with it.

Posted by Vivianna on 03/23/13 at 03:43 PM | #


You have provided the best explanation of defamation within the Italian context that I’ve ever come across.

Posted by John Forbes on 03/24/13 at 05:19 AM | #
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