Category: Hoaxes against Italy

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Netflixhoax 4: Omitted - Netflix Illegally Demonizes Dr Mignini To The Advantage Of The Mafias

Posted by Peter Quennell



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

The Cynical Demonizing Of Dr Mignini

This was was in fact a deliberate PR ploy, with some collusion from the mafias.

Remember that huge PR campaign, probably the largest and most abusive ever run for someone charged with a crime? Which the Netflix producers somehow managed to forget totally?

More on that later. This corrects wrong impressions about a main target.

Our posts here and here and especially here blow the gaff on the “power-mad prosecutor” claims.

The demonization originally began as a ploy to stop Amanda Knox talking. It was because she was so exceptionally naive.

The Supreme Court noted how Curt Knox shut her down angrily when her parents first visited Knox at Capanne Prison. Family knew she could very well spill the beans, and she maybe came very close to that at various times.

From late 2007 she seemed to rather like Dr Mignini, and to want to keep explaining to him over and over again. Dr Mignini thought she came really close at the interrogation on 17 December 2007 when her lawyers stepped in to stop her.

So they started to demonize Dr Mignini in her eyes.

In her book she says she wanted to keep talking, especially to him, and she quotes things that they told her to try to frighten her - pretty far from the truth. The lawyers once said quite publicly that they wish she’d simply shut up.

The demonization was deliberately jumped to a higher plane by Curt Knox, Paul Ciolino and David Marriott, still with no basis in fact unless you consider Doug Preston’s and Mario Spezi’s MOF book fact (they left out that they were caught trying to frame an innocent man) in a meeting in West Seattle in January 2009.

The month the trial began, after 14 months already of Knox still dropping herself in it. 

Watch this amazing Powerpoint in which Kermit brilliantly takes the big lie apart.

Here we correct two of the main hoaxes which are yet again pushed out, this time by the Netflix team.

False Charges And A False Verdict Against Dr Mignini Were ANNULLED

Annulled means “wiped off the books” as the Supreme Court’s First Chambers wiped off the books most of Hellmann’s appeal verdict in 2013.

Read the whole arc of this case from 2010 to 2013 here and here and here.

The year 2013 was the year BEFORE Morse’s dishonest tweet. Both the rogue prosecutor and rogue judge took considerable hits.

By then it was extremely well known why and how Dr Mignini was set up, and why the Florence Appeal Court and Supreme Court not merely arrived at a not-guilty verdict but annulled the verdict of the rogue Florence Court.

Dr Mignini Has Never Consulted A Psychic, Never Claims Satanic Plots

Take a look at what Dr Mignini himself wrote to Corriere on this in 2013. This was translated and posted here three years ago.

To the editor of Florence Corriere

Dear Director,

I am Giuliano Mignini, the magistrate who performed the investigation and trials of first instance and appeal in Perugia against the people accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher, as well as the investigation into the death of Francesco Narducci linked to the one performed by the Florence Prosecution Office in relation to the masterminds of the “Monster of Florence” murders.

I saw reported the interview that the journalist Mario Spezi ““ a person accused in the Narducci case ““ did with Amanda Knox, a main defendant in the appeal trial that will start today ““ published in the Corriere Fiorentino on Sep. 29.
 
In two recent cases the Court of Cassation has annulled verdicts, which acquitted Knox and Sollecito, and which decided [by Judge Micheli] a dropping of charge against Spezi (the parts regarding “˜lack of certainty about malice’ were annulled too).

Therefore I don’t need to add anything further on that point.  Instead, I need to point out the falsehood of an assertion which Mr. Spezi makes at the beginning of his article, as he tries to explain the reason for a link which, in his opinion, allegedly exists between the two cases, the one related to the Monster murders and Narducci’s death, and the one about the Kercher murder.

Mr. Spezi’s text says: “”¦ a strangely similar background, for two different cases, behind which the magistrate thought he could see satanic orgies on the occasion of Halloween for Amanda, and ritual blood sacrifices as a worship to the Devil in the Monster of Florence case”¦”.

This is an assertion that Mr. Spezi and crime-fiction author Douglas Preston have been repeating for years, but does not find the smallest confirmation in the documentation of the two trials, nor in the scenario put forward by the prosecution in which the Meredith murder (which didn’t happen on Halloween but on the subsequent night) was the consequence of a sex hazing to which Meredith herself did not intend to take part, and, above all, it was the consequence of a climate of hostility which built up progressively between the Coulsdon girl and Amanda because of their different habits, and because of Meredith’s suspicion about alleged money thefts by Knox.

Furthermore the object of the proceedings in the Narducci case is the scenario about the murder of the same Narducci and the attempt, by the doctor’s father and brother, to conceal the cause of his violent death, and this included the background within which the event ““ which was a homicide in my opinion and in the opinion of my technical consultant, coroner Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia ““ had developed and taken place.

I had already denied several time assertions of such kind, but Mr. Spezi and Mr. Preston, and some people connected to them, go on repeating a lie, apparently hoping that it will become true by repeating it.

Another astonishing fact is that, despite that I was the prosecutor in the Kercher trial together with my colleague Manuela Comodi and then subsequently with my colleague Giancarlo Costagliola [at annulled apeal], and despite that I limited myself to formulating judicial requests which were all agreed to by a multitude of judges and confirmed by the Supreme Court, I am still considered as the only one responsible for an accusation against Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito, by twisting its content in various ways.

In the Narducci case, in the same way, I simply limited myself to performing the investigation and requesting the remands to trial, and the trial will have to start again now because the Supreme Court has annulled the dropping of charges [by Judge Micheli] and sent back the trial to another preliminary judge in Perugia.

The purpose ““ quite overt ““ of such endlessly repeated lies, is to defame the investigator, picturing him as a magistrate who is following alleged personal obsessions rather than sticking at facts, as instead he is.

The hope that such conscious misrepresentation of reality could bring advantage to the defences (foremost that of Spezi himself) is consistent with a bad habit which has all along flourished in Italy but is now also copied abroad.

Therefore I ask you to please publish my rectification against false and seriously defamatory information.

Kind regards

Giuliano Mignini

Do you know who is most often on TV in Italy DENOUNCING the notion that satanic plots are widespread?  Dr Mignini, in fact. Satanic plots do occur (the MOF crimes are accepted in Italy as one) but they are extremely rare.

Dr Mignini in fact locked up the psychic for false testimony to the police. And as he says, and as a vast volume of documents and media reports and court testimony attests, he never ever claimed anything satanic in Meredith’s case.

Dr Mignini Is Doing Just Fine

Dr Mignini is a huge hero in Italy for getting both the Knox-Sollecito-Guede case right (even Judge Hellmann and the Fifth Chambers did not fully let the perps off the hook) and the Monster of Florence case right.

Meanwhile, the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse who rages incessantly at Dr Mignini looks terrible. Much more to come.


Special credit to Machiavelli, Ergon, the Machine, Kermit, and the PMF Dot-Net crowd, for the guts of this post.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Netflixhoax 3: Omitted - Dr Mignini Explains The Dirty Tricks The Dishonest Netflix Team Employed

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.


1. The Wider Context

Longtime Italy-berater Judy Bachrach is one of the first to view the Netflix movie Amanda Knox. Predictably, she raves about it.

At bottom here Dr Mignini explains the actual final judgment on Knox and Sollecito, and shoots huge holes in Bachrach’s claims.

Judy Bachrach resembles one of those wind-up parrots. She repeats about a dozen of the Knox-PR talking points like mantras again and again.

There are literally hundreds of evidence points on this and other sites that overwhelmingly point to Knox and Sollecito guilt. There is no other way to account for them all. That is why the 2009 trial was so decisive.

Try running those past Bahrach and she is quite certain to come up short of any other explanation. Even simply our two posts directly below this, providing a flavor of that, would leave her seriously stumped. 

She published her first very simplistic take on the case in 2008, months before trial when much evidence was not public and the myth-making Knox and Sollecito PR was ramping up. Then another simplistic take every several years since. She has also repeatedly found her way onto TV and perhaps a dozen simplistic YouTubes are one result.

At Guede, she really rants. Clearly in her eyes the nasty black guy did it, and did it all alone even though not one court, ever, ruled that.

She makes it routine to mischaracterize Dr Mignini, who she seems to think really had it in for the girl (she always forgets Sollecito) because of something to do with sex. And in her mind all of Italy has been fooled.

Our main poster Machine posted an analysis of nine of Bachrach’ wild claims way back in April 2010. They are highly worth reading, here. Machine’s overall conclusion on Bachrach was this.

We have been analyzing Judy Bachrach’s many, many articles and TV commentaries about the case, and they all seem to point to the following conclusions. 

  • That she hasn’t ever read the Micheli report and doesn’t seem to have actually ever mentioned it.

  • That she hasn’t had full access to the prosecution’s 10,000-plus pages file of evidence, and maybe she has had no access at all.

  • That she didn’t attend the key court sessions in which highly incriminating forensic and circumstantial evidence was presented.

  • That she hasn’t absorbed the numerous factual newspaper and magazine reports about the key forensic and circumstantial evidence.

  • That she seems to rely either a lot or totally on sources with vested interests who feed her wrong theories and false information.

  • And that she comes across to us as the reporter most often showing on US media outlets the most complete ignorance of the case.

Quite a track record. We wonder if she is really very proud of it. She seems to sound so.


2. Judy Bachrach’s Latest Crackpot Claims

Judy Bachrach was fast to start beating the drum about the Netflix flick. Almost the first reporter there. You can read her article here. She clearly loves the Netflix report.

That it leaves out about 95% of the key facts seems to be over her head.

In the article, she quotes her recollection of an interview Dr Mignini gave her years ago.  This was clearly a gotcha moment for her - suddenly it was crystal clear why Amanda Knox is being tried for the crimes. Sex! It seems over her head that officially there really were sex crimes; all three were charged with them.

It pays to understand four things.

(1) Not only did the Netflix flick get things wrong and leave myriad things out (how many, we shall soon know) but it appears to accept that innocence was proved and that Knox and Sollecito had zero role. That was not what the Supreme Court said. See Dr Mignini’s final damning paras below.

(2) Italian lawyers think the Fifth Chambers ruling may have been illegal as well as bent. The reasoning can be read here. That is headed to court soon.

(3) Judy Bachrach’s crackpot inventions are not backed up by even one document, transcript or report. She really does parrot the Knox PR and uses inventions to fill in any gaps.

(4) There is a mafia angle, of which Bachrach could be part. Humiliating the forces of justice is what they like to do. We cannot go public until this officially starts to come out. Sollecito first drew attention to it, and law enforcement are on top of it.

3. Dr Mignini Corrects The Record At Length

We offered Dr Mignini this opportunity. He kindly came through. It is made pretty obvious that Bachrach was maliciously putting words in his mouth.  Dr Mignini spoke in Italian, and we translated, and he approved.

Dr Mignini speaks

I will share just some of my thoughts after reading the article in that magazine, which I would really prefer not to speak about. I mainly want to say that those statements which are put between quotation marks as attributed to me contained in that article? I never pronounced them.

I have never said ““ and anyone who knows me would understand (though this journalist Judy Bachrach doesn’t know me, doesn’t know me at all and I myself didn’t have the misfortune to know her) that I would never say, I’d never talk about, and I’d never mention, the morality or the immorality of a person as an argument within the explanation for a crime. Absolutely no way.

A crime is a violation of a law, an action that may be reprehensible or whatever you like, but it is an action regulated as provided by the penal code, subjected to penalty by the code, that needs to be ascertained, period. And that’s all. It needs to be ascertained following totally objective criteria. A crime is an objective action, a codified action. It has nothing to do with moral qualities, or allegations of moral qualities, or lack thereof, of an individuals.

The discussion in the article of Bachrach about those allegedly quoted statements about “morality” attributed to me, they are FALSE, I have simply never said them. And one cannot even say that they were a little changed, because I’ve never said anything even remotely like them. Those are statements of a kind that I would NEVER make.

Such is one statement reported in the article where I allegedly said “Amanda killed because motivated by a wish to be liked at any cost” ““ by the way, statements like those do not make any sense: the person who makes up such statements doesn’t realize she is saying things void of any meaning. 

The Italian Penal Procedure code (art. 220) prohibits that any research into the personality of a suspect could be used in court as evidence, such as the finding of a propensity of a suspect to commit crimes or similar argumentations. A proper research into the personality of a suspect is permitted only when there is a need to establish mental capabilities. On the other hand, some features of a suspect personality might be considered during investigations but only to understand the context of a crime.

When I happened to point at some features apparent in the personality of the suspects, I actually cited observations made by criminal psychiatrist Dr. Mastronardi who had given his opinion on the case. Aspects of personalities traits, showing features such as manipulative behaviours or a passive and dependent attitude ““ to mention some findings involving the suspects ““ were rather noted, highlighted or detailed not by the prosecution, but by the judges on various instances of the investigation and pre-trial hearings (Investigation Judge C. Matteini, Re-Examination Judge M. Ricciarelli, and Preliminary Judge P. Micheli).

[Editors note. These are the judges who really guided the case. Go to this post and scroll down and click through to posts #13 to #16. That includes the findings of the Supreme Court, which backed up the findings of Dr Matteini and Dr Ricciarelli’s panel. It also includes Dr Mignini’s interrogation of Knox, in which she in effect froze up; this was done at her own request though her lawyers were none too thrilled - they feared she would bomb out, and she did.]

As for the “motive” on this case. It should be pointed out that in a case like the murder of Meredith Kercher ““ the murder of a young student girl who was uninvolved in dangerous circles and had no enemies ““ independently from the identity of the perpetrators, we are talking about a crime that cannot have have a “motive” with a rational or consistent logical structure, nor could it be ascribed to a particular conscious and organized intention.

We may talk about causes that could have contributed to leading to a situation that ended in committing the crime. Among the factors we know that unbalanced personalities, life or emotional disorganization of perpetrators, behavioral excesses, inabilities to handle relations, psychological fragilities, are elements that always contribute to this kind of crimes, and we had reasons to believe that drugs also played a role.

The task of the judiciaries is not really to set out the motives of the individuals from a subjective point of view. We know that unfortunately a record of cases exists, in which apparent “ordinary” looking young people ““ including students ““ have committed very violent murders, in contexts where no “motive” could be explained in a way that appears rational or serious from an objective point of view, since futile crimes - including group murders - may emerge from the building up of situations involving individuals not able to handle issues of adult life.

Thus, all statements within quotation marks as reported in the article by Bachrach are false, I’d say absolutely false: they are the product of a making-up or a spin (I reserve for myself any necessary action in the event there is also a defamatory report) or reported without their context or with their context changed (like falsely reporting the dates, such as when I mentioned the time when some Perugian citizens used to compliment me).

I was stunned by one statement by the end of the article, that says ““ in which I am reported to have said ““ that “if they were innocent, they should forget”. That is a statement which I said on request of one of the two interviewers, who asked “what would you say to those young persons in the event that they were actually innocent?”. So what could I say, what should I answer to a question framed and spun in such a way? I might say: “it’s an experience that unfortunately happened to you, something that may happen, try to forget, seek all legal ways” ““ but I was saying that in the abstract, purely in the abstract ““ “that you think you can follow if you deem that you suffered an injustice” ““ albeit the Cassazione ruling is in the dubitative formula (Art. 530 § 2. cpp).

But then the Vanityfair journalist does not report my *second* statement, that is, the other one I said just following: “And what about if they are guilty? If they were guilty I’d suggest them to remind that our human life ends as trial that has an irreversible sentence, that will last forever”. My answer was made of two statements, not of one. Both were rhetorical and hypothetical. The last statement was the one I thought would have unleashed criticism, but curiously it’s the one missing in the article, there is no comment about it.

Another thing: it is true that people in Perugia happened to come to shake my hand and compliment me, but that happened much later, around 2013 and later, and those people basically complimented me about the Narducci case. It was somehow satisfying because it came after many years of difficulties and attacks. The Perugian people expressed their support to me because of the Narducci case, and secondarily they also expressed their support because of my independency in facing the international media campaign that was mounted against me after the Kercher case.

I don’t know if Vanityfair was the one which made up or spun my answers, falsely reporting them from the Netflix documentary, or if it was Netflix itself who made them up by editing the interview and disseminating content from a video prior to the premiere. I had a positive experience working with the documentary directors at the time. Not knowing what the journalist watched or made up, I will anyway reserve my decision as a consequence. I have to say, I am quite disconcerted about the way a certain American environment appears to think and keeps going on in a raving manner about this case.

One stunning aspect of this, is that the narrative they put forward, such as in the article we talk about, seems to be based on a focus on me, as if I were to become a kind of key character functional to their fictional story. I found this particularly strange since in reality the Kercher case investigation was actually based on the work of a number of judiciaries, all of them making decisions with a power that was equal, or greater than mine. So is how the Italian system works on these type of serious crimes.

The fact that even a second Public Minister was appointed almost from the beginning may suggest that we didn’t have personal investment: I asked Manuela Comodi ““ who has my equal rank, is not my deputy ““ to share the investigation and deal with the technical parts, such as the expert witnesses, since she is very good in this area. The other, multiple judiciaries involved beside us, all had greater powers, each of them could have stopped the investigation or changed its orientation and settings.

Therefore, a personalization of the case ““ as if I had some kind of special power ““ or a “polarization” of it ““ like a narrative that is woven between me and one of the suspects as main characters ““ that appears unrealistic to any person with a minimum of understanding of the system. Indeed if there are reporters who like to make up a story where a person with my name plays the role of a picturesque fictional character, motivated by “moral” or religious obsessions or else, all of this only shows an agenda pursued by those journalists that tells much more about them and about the type of campaign they are part of, than about the case. 

There is anyway one important element which, unfortunately, I know was left out from the documentary ““ partly because it was produced earlier than the publication of the Cassazione ruling ““ I know that something the documentary omits to mention, is the actual content of the latest ruling by the Fifth Panel of Cassazion. If we leave aside, for a moment, the several issues of consistency and law inherent in the ruling itself (those that may be spotted by those who read it with some knowledge of the topics), there is anyway the fact that the ruling confirms certain findings.

Some facts recognized as certain by the Cassazione, not reported in the documentary, are that it is anyway a “proven fact” that Amanda Knox was present at the scene of crime when crime was committed. The same ruling also points out how it is proven beyond doubt that Meredith Kercher was murdered by more than one person, and Rudy Guede certainly acted together with others. The fact that Amanda Knox was certainly there is emphasized by the Court to the point of noting their agreement with the lower Court on the fact that Ms. Knox heard Meredith’s harrowing scream, and even noted that she had the victim’s blood on her hands, that she washed them in order to clean them from Meredith’s blood.   

The High Court only raises a reasonable doubt about the active participation of Amanda Knox in the action of killing. The Court ““ in agreement with other definitive findings ““ also reminds that Ms. Knox voluntarily lied as she falsely accused an innocent, and notes that no way could this finding ever be overturned. All these things are missing in the documentary. I’d like all American friends to bear in mind these last bits of information as well, whenever they decide to seek information about the Kercher case.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Netflixhoax 2: Omitted - Producers Morse, Blackhurst, McGinn Commited Stalking Crimes

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Bigotry & stalking for fame & profit: producers Morse, Blackhurst, McGinn


Under Italian law the stalkers Stephen Robert Morse, Rod Blackhurst, and Brian McGinn have committed four kinds of crimes.

    (1) Misrepresenting evidence in an attempt to affect the outcome of an ongoing legal process in Italy.

    (2) Stalking justice officials (see below) in an attempt to affect the outcome of an ongoing legal process.

    (3) Stalking the family of the victim (this is a crime also in England and the United States).

    (4) Stalking members of the media (see further below) including screaming abuse at them in public.





Numerous abusive tweets have been deleted, but these and others were captured, and would weigh against them in court.

@NickPisa “Convinced you’re a heartless tabloid journo, but wanted to remind you that you f*cked up people’s lives:”

@BLNadeau “Reminder: Your quest for the latest, greatest story damaged people. You should be ashamed of yourself:”

@andreavogt “Wanted to remind you that your work seriously damaged many lives & you should be ashamed of yourself:”

Our main poster Pataz posted this about the gang’s harrassment of the Kercher family on his own site.

See “Amanda Knox” producer Stephen Morse’s shocking comment about the Kercher family

Posted on September 26, 2016 by pataz1

Here’s what we know: Sometime in late 2010 or early 2011, “Amanda Knox” directors Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn hooked up with Stephen Robert Morse and decided to create a documentary on Knox. Morse and Blackhurst went to Perugia in September of 2011 when Knox’s first appeal was heard. It appears that McGinn may have been with them, and that they connected with journalist Mario Spezi (who had previously been arrested by prosecutor Mignini for interfering with an investigation).

The Kercher family was represented at trial by their lawyer, Francesco Maresca. In Italy, the civil suit happens at the same time as the criminal suit, so Maresca was there to represent the Kerchers in their civil suit against the defendants for Meredith’s death. As a part of the original conviction in 2009, the Kerchers were awarded damages.

Knox’s defenders frequently attacked the Kercher family and their lawyer, Maresca, for the damages awarded to the Kercher family. Knox’s defenders claimed Maresca and the Kercher family were driven by the monetary damages awarded to the Kerchers.

Producer Stephen Morse, while covering the appeals, joined in these attacks on Meredith’s family, claiming the Kerchers were blinded by money.  While covering the appeals, Morse stated his belief the DNA evidence would result in an acquittal. Three days later, while waiting for the verdict, Morse claimed the Kerchers were ignoring evidence. In a tweet (still available Sept 2016), Morse charged the Kercher family with being driven by money:

“i feel for the kercher family but they cannot ignore dna evidence simply because they were awared an 8 figure civil victory. #amandaknox” ““Stephen Robert Morse, 3-Oct 2011, 7:57 am.

For US readers, this is similar to claiming the Nicole Brown family was only out for money when they filed their civil suit against O.J. Simpson.

Two of the Kerchers- Meredith’s father John and her brother Lyle- have previously spoken about the symbolic nature of the damages, and that they do not care about the money awarded. In 2009 Lyle told the Guardian “It’s not the case that this has ever been about us seeking money, which is why we’ve been reluctant to do much media stuff throughout. That money will never really change anything in that respect.”

Meredith’s father John Kercher spoke to the Sun after the Hellmann appellate court overturned the trial conviction. He spoke out against potential book and movie deals for Knox and Sollecito:

Kercher explained that their civil claim- and an £8million damages award made when Knox was convicted ““ were symbolic in Italian law. “I find it distasteful that Knox stands to make millions from what happened to Meredith. I don’t think anyone should make money out of it ““ not us, not them,” he said.

“How would any parent feel if their daughter’s murder was to be turned into a movie for people’s entertainment?”

“We would not take a single cent from Amanda Knox,” Kercher added.

Nobody has asked yet how much Netflix is paying Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn, and producer Stephen Robert Morse for the rights to add the “Amanda Knox” film to Netflix’s library on September 30th, 2016.


Friday, September 09, 2016

Netflixhoax 1: Omitted - Netfix’s Challenges In The Media World Makes For Suspect Messenger

Posted by Peter Quennell



Top curve: S&P 500 stockmarket index 2016. Bottom curve: Netflix’s stock plunge this year.

Netflix’s Amanda Knox is an extreme example of misleading bias by cherrypicking. This post is another in our ongoing series, the mothership for material for this media-friendly page online soon.



Netflix stock has lost more than 1/5 of its value this year. That’s around $10 billion. Stockbrokers are issuing sell-the-stock recommendations.

Axiom Capital’s Victor Anthony this morning initiated coverage of the stock with a Sell rating, and an $80 price target, based on concerns about its “super-rich multiple” against “rising competition, diminishing pricing power, and rising content costs.” “Netflix has enjoyed premium valuations for rapid subscriber growth,” he writes, “but subscriber growth is slowing.”

Owww. How timely if the documentary “Amanda Knox” burnishes Netflix’s reputation!

Obviously it would help Netflix a lot if everyone who really knows the case declares the report to be even-handed and objective - and especially if it doesnt leave key facts on the cutting-room floor.

The movie premiers tonight in Toronto.

From the reporting in the next few days, we will gain an increasing sense of the value and slants of its content. Ergon hopes to offer us a review in about a week’s time, and of course at the end of this month we can all shell out to watch it.

If the Netflix report has indeed left anything out we will start building an online list of these omissions.

Maybe the report wont, of course.

But all non-Italian media, virtually without exception, has left things out - hundreds and hundreds of points, points that have almost 100% of Italians seeing Knox and Sollecito as guilty.

This was one example. This is another.

Non-Italian media incessantly repeats the notion that Knox’s interrogation on 5-6 November scared her into fingering Patrick.

Those stories leave out that really there wasnt even an interrogation as defined under Italian law. Knox was in fact amiably building a list of vistors with names and phone numbers.

It leaves out that Sollecito tossed her under the bus that night and many, many times later.

It leaves out that Knox herself demanded to make both the written statements she signed that night. It leaves out that in both statements she said she went out from Sollecito’s house on the night. So much for several of her numerous alibis claiming she didnt.

Already we count two dead canaries in the Netflix coalmine. 

1) Ergon has just posted this statement in the thread under the previous post - itself a pretty awkward post for Knox apologists.

Press release from the Meredith Kercher Wiki re the Netflix documentary:

“For The Press. September 09, 2016: The Netflix documentary “Amanda Knox” opens at the Toronto International Film Festival today Amanda Knox. While claiming to be a balanced perspective its producer Stephen Robert Morse had made inflammatory reports about the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini (who was interviewed by the film makers) of “having been convicted of crimes” (he was acquitted) and being “a power-hungry prosecutor running the show”. Requests to producer Mette Heide on August 13, 2016 for comment about his bias were not replied to by this time.”

Well, Dr Mignini was never “running the show”. In fact a whole row of judges, up to and including five Supreme Court judges, was always calling the shots though to trial, and more subsequently.

On 17 December 2007 Dr Mignini kindly gave Knox a UNIQUE opportunity to clear herself (she dismally failed it). There was a very compelling trial, and a unanimous trial jury, and a 400 page verdict report - which barely mentions Dr Mignini.

And in a fiery repudiation Cassation agreed with the appeal court in reversing his conviction (for cops planting a bug a judge had in fact approved), and roasted both the Florence trial judge and prosecutor who since have fared badly. Meanwhile Dr Mignini is expected to be the next Prosecutor-General of Umbria.

2) This is from a film review today by Seattle’s Moira Macdonald

Mostly without editorializing [the filmmakers Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn] just let the witnesses speak “” among them the DNA experts whose eventual testimony led to Knox and Sollecito’s eventual exoneration “”  and I suspect some members of the lingering Amanda-is-guilty camp might revise their opinions by the end of the running time.

The “independent” Hellmann DNA consultants Conti and Vecchiotti? Who were roasted by the Carabinieri labs, the Florence Appeal Court, and the First Chambers of the Supreme Court for bias and extremely sloppy methods? See the image at botttom.

Dear Netflix: You really chained your future to Amanda Knox, and to that very discredited pair? You hired the crackpot Stephen Robert Morse to guide you? You didnt do any due diligence? You piled on more anti-Italy bigotry?

Poor Netflix. At first glance, it seems the stockbrokers’ advice could be smart advice.



Sunday, September 04, 2016

How Bob Woffinden And So Many Others Managed To Misstate The Case And Get Away With It

Posted by Peter Quennell



Meredith on a Skype chat session


Do you know this? Most people still dont. It explains a LOT including the numerous innocence frauds.

The attack on Meredith as summarised by Dr Mignini in the Machine’s must-read post below was reconstructed by Italy’s best crime-scene specialists, from Rome Headquarters, and it took an entire Saturday. Every mark in Meredith’s room and on her body were convincingly accounted for.

After the killers left and locked her in, Meredith was still alive, holding both sides of her neck to stop her life-blood leaking out. She might have lived for half an hour, in great pain, during which time an ambulance could easily have arrived and saved her.

But nobody called one. Her death was quite deliberate.

The Massei jury is said to have found all this evidence very powerful and left in NO doubt three had been involved (unanimous verdict) in what was a prolonged and exceptionally barbaric attack.

The Kercher family had asked Judge Massei in January 2009 for a closed trial as the autopsy part in particular would be key but also long and very graphic. Unfortunately it was settled that only the trial days covering the autopsy and the horrific attack would be closed.

This unique call by Judge Massei turned out to be a terrible one. It has caused immense damage to public understanding outside Italy, and to the legitimacy of the case ever since.

The public and the two later appeal juries never got to witness directly all this compelling evidence. In Italy, descriptions leaked out (not illegal) and so Italians following the case could get a good grasp - and the vast majority, perhaps all, were convinced (and still are) that the government team had got it right.

But the Hellmann and Nencini appeal juries and the Marasca/Bruno panel of the Supreme Court never got the full impact. And trial followers in the US and UK and so on had no idea (and even now only a very few have any idea) of what was presented behind those closed doors in 2009 and how it came across (several present were in tears during it) to the trial jury.

This terrible situation has allowed Knox and Sollecito and their teams and media supporters starting with Doug Preston, Candace Dempsey and Frank Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza) and ending (for now) with Woffinden to lie incessantly for eight years about Guede as a lone wolf and about the numerous hard facts of the attack and the autopsy.

There would be NO effective PR and NO effective appeals and NO effective innocence fraud otherwise.

Our summaries of the sentencing reports by Judge Micheli for Guede and by Judge Massei for Sollecito & Knox are very good, but even they fall short here. The best way to get all this powerful evidence right is to read the full Micheli report (translated by Catnip) and full Massei report (translated by Skeptical Bystander and team). Both reports are on the case wiki.

“Missing” still from the public record because it was part of the closed trial was what is said to be a very compelling video construction of the attack. This video is also ridiculed and misrepresented by Sollecito and Knox and their teams and apologists - because they could get away with it.

Will the Netflix movie being unveiled in Toronto this week explain all or even any of this? Why do we doubt it?


Thursday, September 01, 2016

How Bob Woffinden, Aggrandizing Investigative Journalist, Attempts To Perpetrate Innocence Fraud

Posted by The Machine



Said to be Bob Woffinden - as a pop music reporter, some years ago

1. Woffinden and innocence fraud

These days innocence fraud is a very real thing.

A stern warning was issued to crime laboratory administrators that some post-conviction exonerations may have been secured by innocence activists using malicious tactics, or ‘innocence fraud’, creating potential public safety threats as convicted felons are released from prison.

In this post, I will analyse another example of innocence fraud, this time by British journalist Bob Woffinden on Meredith’s case. Woffinden has done this on other cases before.

He specialises in alleged miscarriages of justice, and has written articles for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman and authored a number a books about high-profile murder cases: Miscarriages of Justice; Hanratty: The Final Verdict and The Murder of Billy-Jo.

Woffinden’s default position when it comes to controversial murder cases seems to be to assume a miscarriage of justice, and to claim someone has been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit.

He’s claimed that James Hanratty, Jeremy Bamber, Barry George, Sion Jenkins and Jonathan King are all innocent. Reflexively anti-police, Woffinden as I described in the post linked to above on the James Hanratty case has a history of putting victims’ families through considerable pain.

2. Woffinden On Meredith’s case

Here he tries to prove that Rudy Guede is innocent of murder, and falsely claims he was convicted because he was black. He also tries to cast doubt on the hard fact that Meredith was sexually assaulted - or that the police got anything right.

Anyone who has read the official court documents and court testimonies with regard to the Meredith Kercher case will be able to assess Bob Woffinden’s professionalism and credibility and ethics as an investigative journalist article by reading his contorted take.

To those who really do know the case, it is immediately apparent that he’s pretty ignorant of the main facts, and that he hasn’t bothered to read the official court documents or the court testimonies available in English here.

He mindlessly repeats various endemic Friends of Amanda PR myths. For example, he erroneously claims the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.

“The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault ““ and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito ““ they [the prosecutors] concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”

Dr Mignini didn’t ever say anything about there being a sex orgy that went wrong when he presented his scenario to the court at the trial in 2009 and the numerous hearings (which Woffinden seems totally unaware of) in the 15 months before.

Instead he gave the court a detailed chronological account briefly summarized below of a vicious physical and sexual assault on Meredith, which culminated in her dying some time after the killers left and locked her in.

23:21: Amanda and Raffaele go into the bedroom while Rudy goes to the bathroom.

23:25: A scuffle begins between Amanda, helped by Raffaele, and Meredith. The English girl is taken by the neck, then banged against a cupboard, as shown by wounds to the skull. She resists all this. Rudy Guede enters.

23:30: Meredith falls to the floor. The three try to undress her to overcome her; they only manage to take off her trousers. The girl manages to get up, she struggles. At this point, the two knives emerge from the pockets of Amanda and Raffaele: one with a blade of four to five centimetres, the other, however, a big kitchen knife. Meredith tries to fend off the blades with her right hand. She is wounded.

23:35: The assault continues. Sollecito tries to rip off the English girl’s bra.

23:40: Meredith is on her knees, threatened by Amanda with the knife while Rudy holds her with one hand and with the other hand carries out an assault on her vagina. There is first a knife blow on her face, then straight away another. However, these blows are not effective. The three become more violent. With the smaller knife, Sollecito strikes a blow: the blade penetrates 4 centimetres into the neck.

There is a harrowing cry, which some witnesses will talk about. Amanda decides to silence her, still according to the video brought to court by the prosecutors, and strikes a blow to the throat with the kitchen knife: it will be the fatal wound. Meredith collapses on the floor.

23:45: Meredith is helped up by Rudy and is coughing up blood. The English girl, dying, is dragged along so that she can continue to be undressed.

Why is Woffinden unable to substantiate his claim that the prosecutors concocted the scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong with a verbatim quote from Mignini or Comodi?

Because they never claimed this at all. A competent and ethical professional journalist should be able to support every claim they make.

Woffinden regurgitates another popular PR myth by claiming that Rudy Guede pleaded guilty late in 2008.

“Even as he [Rudy Guede] pleaded guilty, he vehemently asserted his innocence, saying, “˜I can’t talk about things I haven’t seen and that didn’t happen to me’.”

Rudy Guede has never pleaded guilty or confessed to Meredith’s murder. He has always denied killing Meredith. He opted for a fast-track trial in mid 2008 because he could escape a blatant attempt to frame him as sole perpetrator by the Knox and Sollecito defense.

It meant he would automatically received a third off his prison sentence but at the time he had no idea what that would look like.

Bob Woffinden gets yet another fact wrong when he claims the Hellmann appeal court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence.

“...the Italian court sanctioned a full review of the scientific evidence on which they had been convicted.”

It did nothing of the kind. Hellmann merely asked Carla Vechiotti and Stefano Conti to review two pieces of DNA evidence - the knife and bra clasp evidence.

They didn’t review the bloody footprint on the bathmat, the bare bloody footprints which had been revealed by Luminol, or the five samples of Knox’s DNA or the blood mixed with Meredith’s blood in three different locations in the cottage.

Yet another wrong “fact”. Bob Woffinden claims that a police officer flushed away Rudy Guede’s faeces and thus destroyed evidence.

“His recollection that he had leapt up from the toilet seat the instant he heard the scream was bizarrely corroborated by the fact that there were faeces still in the pan when the police arrived. Needless to say, one officer activated the toilet, thereby flushing away important evidence.”

Needless to say? In fact this claim is complete and utter nonsense. The faeces in the toilet wasn’t flushed away. It was carefully collected as evidence and tested. However, it didn’t yield any results.

“The faeces present in the toilet of that bathroom did not, however, yield any results, and Dr Stefanoni, the biologist of the Scientific Police, explained that the presence of numerous bacteria easily destroys what DNA might be found in faeces.” (The Massei report, page 43).

Why would Woffinden make these and other demonstrably untrue claims? It seems obvious that he wants to portray the Italian National Scientific Police (much respected by the FBI) as the Keystone Cops, in order to ridicule the forensic investigation, seemingly his purpose here.

Woffinden makes yet another false claim by stating that Guede made only one inconsistent statement.

“Guede’s solitary inconsistency was this. He did comment at the outset of the investigation that “˜Amanda doesn’t have anything to do with it’. But, at that stage, perhaps he couldn’t believe that she did have.”

Judge Micheli, who found Rudy Guede guilty of sexual assault and murder in October 2008, pointed out in his sentencing report of January 2009 that Guede’s accounts were unreliable and varied a lot.

“Analyzing the narratives of the accused”¦he is not credible, as I will explain, because his version is (1) unreliable, and (2) continuously varying, whether on basic points or in minor details and outline.”

Bob Woffinden also seems to be pushing the wrong notion that Rudy Guede didn’t implicate Amanda Knox until much later - which is another FOA PR myth.

Guede first implicated Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito whilst on the run in Germany on 19 November 2007 in an intercepted Skype conversation with his friend Giacomo Benedetti:

Giacomo: “So they [Knox and Sollecito] killed her while she was dressed.”

Guede: “Yes, here it says that they [clothes] were washed in the washing machine, but that’s not true. She was dressed.”

Bob Woffinden makes the erroneous and offensive claim that there’s no evidence that Meredith was sexually assaulted,

“In their investigation, prosecutors made a series of blunders. The first serious mistake was their assumption that Meredith was sexually assaulted. If one takes cognisance of Guede’s account, there is no evidence of this. The second mistake then ensued from the first. Needing to explain the presence of their three suspects in connection with the supposed sexual assault ““ and knowing there was absolutely no evidence to link Guede with Knox and Sollecito ““ they concocted the absurd scenario of a sex orgy gone wrong.”

Had Bob Woffinden actually bothered to read the key Massei trial report, he would have known that several medical experts - Dr Lalli, Professor Marchionni, Professor Bacci and Professor Gianaristide Norelli - testified that there were indications of sexual violence on Meredith.

Such conclusions were further explained [by Dr Lalli] at the hearing of April 3, 2009, in which it was highlighted that signs were present of sexual activity with characteristics of non cooperation by the young woman, which can be derived from the lesion pattern at the vulvo vaginal level (page 40 of transcripts).

[111] These signs were present in the purple ecchymotic type spots detected on the inner surface of the labia minora, the area where they are usually produced. It is the first point of contact for the sex organ or object including fingers penetrating the vagina and therefore the point at which an action ... performed without the full cooperation of both actors would produce purplish spots of this kind. (The Massei report, page 116).

He [Professor Marchionni] noted in this regard that, even without lubrication injuries of this nature are not the result of consensual sexual intercourse, and he argued that the cause of these lesions had originated from a “forcing” that could have been done by the penis or by hands (page 21, hearing on April 4, 2009). (The Massei report, page 117.)

With regard to sexual violence, he [Professor Bacci] referred to the inspection of the genital area conducted by Dr. Lalli at the morgue operating room. On the internal surface of the labia minora, attention was focused on areas of discolouration, which can be interpreted as small bruises, small abrasions associated with small haemorrhages indicative of “small lesions” (page 16, transcripts) consistent with a violent action of friction, pressure an typical of sexual violence and, while affirming the absence glaring signs of typical sexual violence (page 16, transcripts) he concluded compatibility with non-consensual sexual intercourse’ (page 16, hearing, hearing on April 18, 2009). (The Massei report, page 121.)

He [Gianaristide Norelli] further underlined the presence of a slight bilateral suffusion in the area of the iliac spines, i.e. in the areas corresponding to the anterior lateral part of the flank, which represent the end/terminal parts of the wings of the [pelvic] basin and the fact that “lesions in this area are fairly characteristic of seizure [grasping] and immobilisation”; [it is] an area which is “˜highly suggestive’ in the context of the investigation of sexual assault. (The Massei report, page 124).

It should be stressed that the the doctor who actually performed the autopsy - Dr Lalli - believed Meredith had been sexually assaulted.

“The prosecution focused on Lalli’s statements that he believed there had been non-consensual sex.” (Andrea Vogt, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 April 2009).

You need just an ounce of common sense to know that murder victims who were also raped or sexually assaulted didn’t consent. The Kerchers’ lawyer Dr Maresca made this very point:

“Sex that ends with someone dead is not consensual.”

Dr Maresca also highlighted the fact several medical experts said there were signs of sexual violence in court. Dr Maresca told the court that the expert witnesses

“sustained the prior results and valuations of the coroner who performed the autopsy and the forensic evidence specialists who already testified”. He added: “And for the first time today, we also heard that the bruises on the victim’s hips were consistent with a sexually violent approach.”

Unbelievably, Bob Woffinden regards Rudy Guede as a reliable and credible witness.

I’m surprised anyone would believe Guede’s ever-changing versions of events when they are so blatantly untrue. Guede gave two different accounts of arranging a date with Meredith and they’re both demonstrably false.

Meredith didn’t go to the Halloween party at the Spanish students’ house on 31 October 2007.

Guede then changed his story and claimed that he had met her at Domus, but Meredith was with her friends continuously and none of them saw her with him. None of Guede’s friends saw him with her either.

“He [Rudy Guede] stated that he met the girl on Oct. 31 in the house of some Spanish students and did not meet her later in the “Domus” pub, that the next day, shortly before going to the date with Meredith…

In the third interrogation, by the P.M. [public prosecutor] on March 26, 2008, he changed the place of his meeting with Kercher on Oct. 31 from the Spanish students’ house to the Domus pub” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, page 17).

“...and also because none of Meredith’s friends (Amy Frost, Robyn Butterworth and [10] Sophie Purton, with whom she had gone out on the evening of Halloween, Oct. 31, 2007) nor any of Guede’s friends (among others AC and PM) had ever seen them talk to each other.” (Judge Giordano’s sentencing report, page 10).

Meredith had NOT arranged a date with Guede at the cottage on Via della Pergola on 1 November 2007. She and Sophie Purton left their friends early that evening because they mistakenly believed they had lectures the next day.

“They [Meredith Kercher and Sophie Purton] were to meet on the morning of the second at around 10:00 am for a lecture at the university…:” (The Massei report, page 35).

“Meredith was tired from the day before when she had come home about five in the morning; the next day she supposed that she had a lesson at the University at 10 am and she needed to prepare for this and she had to also think about resting” (The Massei report, page 58).

Judge Massei explained at length in his report why Rudy Guede’s claims he had a date with Meredith were not credible.

“Speaking of Meredith, there has already been occasion to make mention of her personality (serious, not superficial, with a strong character), of her romantic situation [i.e. her love life] (she had not long beforehand begun a relationship with Giacomo Silenzi), of the plans she had for that evening (studying, preparing for the following day believing that there would be classes at the University, finishing a piece of homework, as her mother recalled during the hearing of 6 June 2009, and resting).

None of the people she frequented and in whom she confided (her relatives and her English girlfriends) testified that Meredith had made any mention to them at all of Rudy, for whom, therefore, she must not have felt any interest. With regard to the totality of these circumstances, it must be considered that Meredith could only have made an outright refusal to Rudy’s advances” (The Massei report, pages 365-366).

In rejecting Guede’s final appeal Judge Giordano succinctly summarised the reasons why he was found guilty of sexual assault and murder in his Supreme Court report. It had nothing to do with the colour of his skin.

“The judgement rationale thus proceeds through rigorous logical steps, quite consistently, with no possibility of misinterpreting evidence, distorting significant data, or disruption of the overall probative reasoning. Meredith Kercher, before being slaughtered with the deadly blow at her throat, was the victim of a series of wounds, of forced restraining of her limbs, especially the left hand and arm - and on the cuff of the left sleeve of the sweatshirt she wore clear traces of DNA of the defendant are found ““ aimed at overcoming her resistance to sexual violence, of which the traces of DNA of Guede of the vaginal swabs are evidence, which then led to the violent behaviour of the deadly slaughtering.

The version of the accused is totally unrealistic because, even apart from the obvious omissions and contradictions detectable in his many statements, his previous acquaintance of Meredith, shaped in his story by a meeting on the night before the murder at the Domus pub, by a kiss between the two and by a date for the evening of the following day, is clearly disproved by a whole articulated testimonial structure, [19] coming from several people and indicating that: the two did not meet at the Domus (indicated by the testimonies of all the friends who were accompanying Meredith), even less did they converse, even briefly, at the Shamrock pub during the match between England and South Africa broadcasted the day before (indicated by the testimonies of AC, PM and F), and Kercher never confided anything, as would have been natural, to her friends about a date with Guede, not even on the afternoon of Nov. 1, as she had done in other occasions about details of her personal and love life (indicated by the testimonies of Robin Carmel Butterworth, Sophie Purton).

This is consistent with the portrait of Meredith’s character; she avoided sexual relations with other men apart from Giacomo Silenzi with whom she had begun a relationship that she absolutely did not mean to betray, as stated by her friends, especially not for unimportant adventures.” (Judge Giordano’s Supreme Court report, pages 17-18).

Some conclusions

Bob Woffinden has made a name for himself by publicly championing the causes of convicted killers and sex offenders. Mainstream media organisations such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The New Statesman have given him a certain degree of credibilty and respectabilty by publishing his articles. Many people will trust him and assume that he’s a reliable and trustworthy journalist.

However, their trust is misplaced. His lack of due diligence with regard to his article about Rudy Guede and the Meredith Kercher case is disturbing and unacceptable. He doesn’t get the basics of journalism right - which is astonishing for someone who has worked as a journalist for decades. He gets basic facts wrong and he has made numerous demonstrably false claims.

A professional journalist should be able to substantiate every claim they make. Bob Woffinden is unable to do this because he has relied on some of the numerous factually inaccurate articles and the massive defense and PR spin about the case instead of the official court documents and court testimonies.

It defies belief that he accepts Rudy Guede’s fairy tale version of events. You don’t expect such childlike naivety from an adult let alone an investigative journalist. He’s obviously blissfully ignorant of the fact that Guede gave contradictory and confllcting accounts.

It seems he has a deep-rooted psychological need to believe in innocence and police malfeasance, which completely clouds his judgement to the point where he blindly supports and campaigns on behalf of people who are blatantly guilty of sexual assault and murder like James Hanratty and Rudy Guede.

If there’s a more sloppy and self-serving journalist in the world, I haven’t come across them yet.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Florence Courts Resent Mangling Of RS/AK Appeal By Cassation Now Have Ominous Ways To Re-Visit

Posted by Peter Quennell



Highrise Florence courts are just visible at left background


The Marasca/Bruno verdict setting RS and AK free has taken some hard knocks within the Italian legal community.

It is not lost on anyone that Sollecito defense lawyer Bongiorno was given special favors, including being allowed to argue unchallenged before the Fifth Chambers for some hours beyond the legal limit.

Or that the Fifth Chambers should never ever have received the appeal.

Or that the drafter, Bruno, was suffering seriously ill health at the time, and delivered a report which is largely legal nonsense.

Here Machiavelli and Catnip and most exhaustively James Raper explained many of Marasca’s and Bruno’s absurdities.

But the Florence courts are not done yet. They are still processing cases involving Knox, Sollecito, Sfarzo (a stage name, real name Sforza) and Aviello. They still sit on this potential bombshell of a case against Sollecito lawyer Maori, which explains how the Fifth Chambers acted illegally.

Other cases are also possible, and two involving Knox are still continuing in Bergamo.

Now Rudy Guede’s team of lawyers in Rome and Viterbo prison have filed an appeal against his own conviction. It is filed with the courts in Florence.

The team notes that judgments against Guede up to and including the Supreme Court’s First Chambers concluded that he had acted against Meredith only in collusion with others and not in isolation.

This could reopen the Marasca/Bruno outcome which argued that he DID act alone or at least not with RS and AK though there is massive evidence to the contrary. That judgment while final in the normal course of things cannot stand under Italian law if illegalities were entered into.

With more and more documentation being read widely, the case against Knox and Sollecito acting in collusion with Guede is coming to look as strong as it did throughout their trial in 2009.

That is the quite possible Florence outcome.

It is one that Guede might accept fairly calmly, as his fury at Sollecito is quite palpable, and he wants nothing more than to nail his fellow attacker.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Italian Justice: Describing A Fine System And How To Improve It

Posted by Machiavelli (Yummi)

[Revered prosecutor Paolo Borsellino was assassinated 1992 with probable political connivance]

Trashing Of Justice System Gets Worse

Does this Reuters report capture Italian justice correctly?

We linked to it on 30 June and it seemed to have some key points missing. For example it omits, as English-language reports tend to:

    (1) that the system as originally designed strove above all to be fair,

    (2) that crime rates in Italy are low and murder rates lower and levels of incarceration and recidivism tiny by European standards.

    (3) that the police and justice system remain more popular and trusted than other institutions in Italy.

More On The Hard Facts

If we look at the facts, we could say that while it is true that Italian Justice System is somewhat dysfunctional as far as prosecuting white collar crimes and corruption - that is, politicians like Verdini - in fact if we read carefully, the precise reasons are:

    (1) It’s not the system itself but some of the laws, designed by politicians precisely in order to protect themselves, against the demands of the judiciaries;

    (2) The system is slow because, among other things, there are these unreasonable guarantees in favour of defence rights, which entail the right to series of appeals even on minor charges; besides making trials too long this also leads to a multiplication in the number of trials and of lawyers that embark on time-buying strategies and technicalities;

    (3) The main problems are the short statutes of limitations, which are designed in synergy with the aforementioned features. I would add another legal aspect:

    (4) The lack of an aggressive anti-corruption law; in Italy, judiciaries are basically prevented not only to effectively try corruption charges but also to even investigate them, because the law binds their hands; they are heavily restricted in their possibility to collect evidence, such as searching homes or wiretapping phone calls; they can do this only under certain limited conditions and only for just a few types of crimes.

    (5) Moreover, there are the political reasons: magistrates are under threat by the political system. The problem, here, is not the judiciary but the political system that has been trying to curb the independence of the judiciary for 25 years by various means, including laws and expedients, so that in fact there is an infiltration and an influence, as we know, and there is a chilling effect on magistrates that may have reasons to prosecute powerful people but naturally prefer to avoid problems.


A very important thing to point out: it is not true that all of the judicial system requires some big “reform” - in fact, it requires only modest reforms, and reforms not of the judiciary but to just to the criminal law, would suffice.

Such modifications should include reform of the statute of limitations, and better anti-corruption law that provide prosecutors with investigation tools.

As for the procedure code, a cut to the number of charges that can be appealed. And in the penal code, a cut to the number of irrelevant charges that need to be tried by criminal courts (which could be settled elsewhere) leading to the notorious overloading of the system.

One small, peripheral “reform” dealing with the political issue, could be simply a law that prevents judges from political activity in order to advance their career in the judiciary.

We saw the classical example of Fifth Chambers Judge Gennaro Marasca: a politician who came back working in the justice system after spending years exchanging political favours and getting involved in financial scandals as the minister of budget in his administration, and then was legally allowed to exploit his previous political career and make it count in his resume as if it was a judicial career, so he got onto the Supreme Court. 

But the big problem in Italy, as Judge Piercamillo Davigo has put it, is not the Judicial system. It’s society. The problem is that no system actually works if the members of the society do not intend to make it work, if there is a lack of political ethics.

And also, there is no system or group that, in the long run, is not affected by the problems of the society it belongs to. When there is a regime, part of the judiciary always follows suit, because they don’t have real alternatives, individuals must comply with the system they are part of.

If a society is politically corrupt, part of the judiciary will become politically corrupt as a consequence, they have no alternative and it’s unavoidable.  There is no law or reform itself that can change personal behaviours alone, we do not live under constant surveillance: an internalization of values is needed, the behaviour of citizens and people in power needs to be ethical, in order to have efficient justice.

As for the Five Star movement: I wouldn’t call it “pro-justice-reform”, as we can see, there is not really a political debate in Italy or in the Party about the need for any big reform, it’s attention to just some laws that are needed, among them that anti-corruption law.

The Five-Star movement has an anti-corruption stance and an anti-establishment stance. But rather than pro-reform, they are pro-justice, and generally pro-magistrates. This means they tend to side with the positions of judiciaries against the demands of the traditional political forces.

Judge Piercamillo Davigo is Director of Criminal Chambers II and the Penalties Joint Section at the Court of Cassation . Since April 2016 he has also been president of the National Magistrates Association (CSM).  He is an idol of the Five Star movement’s voters - albeit he does not have a political position.

On a practical level this could be seen as if the Five Star movement would like to see more criminals in jail and the prosecutors prosecuting more, while the Democrats and their allies and the other traditional parties would like the power of justice to be limited (they are the ones who designed the “inefficient” features of the system to their advantage, after all). 

Once again, the problems of inefficiency etc, in Italy does not come from the judicial system; they come from the political system. It’s the political system that has become inefficient, stuck and unstabile. There has been a lack of dynamic democracy for decades. Once the political establishment of Italy was related to mafia in many areas and there is still a murky system of power.

The “inefficiency” of the judicial system is only a mirror of this problem, that is the effect of the political establishment trying to take control of the system, or to block it or hinder it when control fails.

Both the political powers and organized crime have long also employed other methods when the previous failed, such as ad personam attacks against specific magistrates.

Former prosecutor Luigi De Magistris - the mayor of Naples - is an example of the political powers striking back against a magistrate who investigated them: they managed to ruin his career with the help of other complacent judges who waged war against him, and forced him out of the judiciary.

But they did not blow his popularity: the people supported him and he was elected mayor, antagonizing the national political powers.

It’s important to point out that what happened to Dr Mignini is exactly the same: he was prosecuted for alleged non-existent abuses because he disturbed powerful circles with “destabilizing” investigations into the Narducci case, then all charges were dropped, and the investigation proved illegitimate, but they managed to block the investigation on the Narducci case and hindered his career somewhat.

Other judges were less lucky: Paolo Borsellino for example was killed with the probable help of the Italian state. Many others died also.


Monday, May 02, 2016

Revenge “On” The Knox: Judges Bruno And Marasca Of The Supreme Court Strike Back

Posted by Chimera



Judge Bruno the drafter of the seriously bizarre Fifth Chambers report “Who, me?!!!”

1. Overview Of The Post

We have posted both multi-part analyses of the Amanda Knox book (extended 2015 edition) and also multi-part analyses of the 2015 Supreme Court verdict attempting to apply closure to the case.

Primarily because they both make so much up and leave so much out, both efforts appear to Italian lawyers and observers and our own team to have fallen far short.

Worse, as I demonstrate here, Knox and the Supreme Court were not even on the same page. They used different arguments which tend to cancel one another out.

In effect the report of Judges Bruno and Marasca late in 2015 pulled the rug out from under Knox’s book published a few months before.   

2. Arguments Of The Supreme Court

The final report from the 5th Chambers of Cassation was released in September 2015, several months late, with rumors swirling in Rome that it was proving a tough task. 

Our five critique series were put together by (1) the Perugia prosecution, (2) Machiavelli, (3) Catnip, (4) James Raper (the longest of those four), and (5) in draft by Olleosnep.

From James Raper critique Part 1

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  The standard of “beyond any reasonable doubt” was not met due to insufficient and/or contradictory evidence - pursuant to Article 530, section 2 of the Italian Code of Criminal Procedure.

2.  Multiple attackers upheld. Guede was guilty with others unknown.

3.  The break-in in Romanelli’s room was staged.

4.  Amanda Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but there is insufficient evidence that she played a participatory role.

5.  The DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife and the DNA profile of Raffaele Sollecito on the bra clasp have “no probative or circumstantial relevance”

6.  “Motive is not irrelevant” and motive was not established.

7.  No selective cleaning.

8.  No purpose would be served in remanding the case back to the 1st instance court of appeal (as had occurred on appeal against acquittal)

From James Raper Critique Part 5

The Fifth Chambers argued as follows:

1.  Knox was present in the cottage at the time of the murder but in a non-participatory role. Very probably (if this is not a held fact) she had scrubbed Meredith’s blood off her hands in the small bathroom.

2.  Sollecito was very probably there as well, but it cannot be known when.

3.  There was certainly an assailant (and perhaps more than one) in addition to Guede.

4.  There was a staging of the break-in in Filomena’s room.

While this seems (in a very tortuous way), to assert an “insufficient evidence” finding rather than an “innocence” finding, the findings of the 5th Chambers are now considered final, unless they are overturned.

That being said, these findings directly refute the bulk of Knox’s book “Waiting to be Heard”

3. Arguments of Amanda Knox

Our 12-part series taking apart the claims in Knox’s book can be found here.

(1) Chapter 5, 6: The Evening and Morning After Meredith Died

Knox Version (A): AK/RS were at his apartment, watching Amelie, smoking pot, reading Harry Potter and f***ing.  AK returned to her home late the next morning.

Knox Version (B): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith

Knox Version (C): AK was in the kitchen while PL was murdering Meredith, and RS was probably there

Knox Version (D): AK has no clue what was going on, and doesn’t remember anything.

Version (A) is the story AK told in her book and on television—though the details are flexible.  Versions (B), (C), and (D) are the 3 statements she made November 5th/6th.

However, the truth Bruno and Marasca think is closest to the truth (pun intended), is version (C), with Guede as the killer instead of PL.

Other courts: Pre-Trial Judge Micheli (October 2008), Trial Judge Massei (2009), Appeal Judge Nencini (2014) all found that Knox was not only involved, but that she personally killed Meredith.  Even if you accept the Cassation ruling that AK wasn’t actually involved, the final ruling did place her at the crime scene, and RS probably so.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(2) Chapters 7, 8, 9: The Ensuing Investigation

AK goes on and on in WTBH about how she was trying to help the police.  She complains about how she was subjected to repeated and very lengthy interviews.  However, she never shared any of the insider information she had about that night.  The police officers involved noted that she and RS seemed particularly unhelpful.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(3) Chapters 10, 11: The Knox Interrogation Hoax

AK goes on in great detail especially in Chapter 10 about how she was lured to the police station, and brutally interrogated.  In her December 2013 email to Judge Nencini, she refers to it as “torture”.

Interesting how she remembers it with such lurid detail.

  As AK points out, there is no recording or video
  All of the officers involved give “very” different accounts
  AK claims to be traumatized and have her memory go blank

AK’s performance was convincing enough to make Judge Claudia Matteini (November 2007) believe PL was the killer.  But since then ....

(a) the 3 judge panel headed by Judge Massimo Ricciarelli (November 2007);

(b) the 5 judge Cassation panel headed by Judge Torquato Gemelli (April 2008);

(c) pre-trial Judge Paolo Micheli (October 2008);

(d) trial jury headed by Judge Giancarlo Massei (December 2009);

(e) appellate jury headed by Hellmann/Zanetti (October 2011);

(f) Cassation panel headed by Judge Chieffi (March 2013);

(g) appellate jury headed by Judge Alessandro Nencini (January 2014);

(h) Cassation panel headed by Bruno/Marasca (March 2015)

.... have ALL ruled that AK framed PL, and that she did it willingly, and wasn’t tricked or coerced.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(4) The Afterword: Everything After Hellmann’s Ruling

AK triumphantly declares that Cassation (2015) found her and RS innocent.  But once again, AK releases her book prior to the Cassation report.  Idiot.

Se especially here.

AK does misrepresent far more than just the 2015 Cassation findings in the Afterword.  More on that later.

Bullshit level: COMPLETE

(5) Understanding the Bruno/Marasca Ruling

At a minimum, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and the Afterword of “Waiting to be Heard” are complete bullshit.

Considering that these bogus claims are repeated throughout the book, it can reasonably be inferred that much of the rest is made up as well. 

This is not me talking.  This is referencing the Bruno/Marasca ruling, which as it stands, is final.

(6) Author’s Note

This is a lot of speculation on my part, (as Andrew Gumbel would say “hearsay and speculation abound”), but feel free to comment

The B/M report can be understood in one word: finality.  They don’t want any one else looking at it.

(A) B/M rule “insufficient evidence” rather than “innocent” hoping to placate the Italian public.

(B) B/M sabotage AK’s ECHR appeal chances, as they don’t want another court looking to carefully at it

(C) B/M ruling essentially says “just short of guilty” to stop AK/RS from crowing about their innocence.

(D) B/M ruling claims AK/RS lied and obstructed to ward off any potential wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.

(E) B/M do strongly imply AK/RS are guilty to try to give a “moral win” to the Kerchers.

(F) B/M appear to bend over backwards to acquit, trying to look “incompetent, at worst”, rather than corrupt.

(6) The problem is: Bruno and Marasca haven’t taken into account the personalities of everyone involved

(a) The Hellmann/Zanetti ruling (October 2011) stunk of corruption, so Italy would be immediately suspicious of anything remotely similar.

(b) AK’s ECHR appeal seems to warded off for now, but AK seems hell bent on going ahead anyway.

(c) AK/RS did start parading around again, and AK re-released her book

(d) RS and Papa Sollecito sued anyway.

(e) Far from giving a “moral win”, this ruling and the accompanying report just leave a bad taste.

(7) Bullshit in WTBH (Beyond Bruno/Marasca)

Chapter 1: Before Leaving Italy

Questions For Knox: Why The Huge Lie About Your ZERO Academic Intentions In Europe?

Chapter 2: Federico Martini (a.k.a. Cristiano)

US And UK Media Wrongly Attribute Italian Report Of Knox/Cocaine-Dealer Link To Trial Prosecutors

Multiple: Capanne Chapters

The Amanda Knox Book: Good Reporters Start To Surface Amanda Knox’s False Claims In Droves

Chapter 31-35: The Hellmann Appeal

A Summary Of The Cassazione Ruling On Annulment Of The Knox-Sollecito Appeal

4. Final Thoughts

I stand by my claim that WTBH is 90-95% bullshit.

Fair to say, Bruno and Marasca would likely agree.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is Francesco Sollecito Forced Into Legal Aggression Anti-Guede Which Could Rebound?

Posted by Peter Quennell




Legal Development

Francesco Sollecito is being reported as denouncing Guede and initiating actions against him - and the Republic of Italy.

What must have looked to him nicely wound up by the Fifth Chambers at the end of March last year does seem to have a pesky tendency to become unwound.

It was unwound a bit by the continuance of Sollecito’s book trial in which RS lawyer Bongiorno refused to become involved. It was unwound a bit by the charges Dr Mignini requested against the RS lawyer Maori mid-year. It was unwound a bit by the Fifth Chambers with the poisoned sting at the end of its Report.

That Motavazione as phrased could open the way to a wrongful death suit against Sollecito (and Knox) or a petition to the President. A “guilty” verdict on the numerous false claims in Sollecito’s book could open the way to civil suits.

The petition was filed today at the Court of Appeal of Florence by their lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. The lawyers decided to turn to the last trial court that dealt with the process. In particular, they demanded compensation of 516,000 Euros for the detention to which Sollecito was submitted from 6 November 2007 to 4 October 2011.

The computer engineer from Puglia has always proclaimed he was not involved in the murder and was finally acquitted along with Amanda Knox.  “I can not spend my life defending myself from something I have not done ...”: Raffaele Sollecito commented on the interview… 

He was followed by his father Francesco in transmitting a statement from their home in Puglia. “Raffaele is shocked and outraged,” said Francesco Sollecito. “I am also deeply outraged. I did not even sleep last night.” The father of Raffaele - finally acquitted for a murder he always proclaimed he was outside of - criticized in particular “Guede’s attitude towards the brutally murdered girl. Guede is refuted by the procedural documents, many of which are omitted in the interview. It was denied, among other things, by Raffaele’s friends that there was a random meeting with Meredith Kercher.”

“Guede still has to explain why he was in that house and why he went to the disco after finding the body. Let us remember, Francesco Sollecito empahsized again, that he is a person definitively convicted of murder. “

No mention at all of Knox? She was the one Guede really nailed, though Raffaele was pretty firmly placed at the crime scene too.

Last year, a bombastic Raffaele Sollecito had threatened to file a suit against Italy, but his father and lawyers had wound him back. Presumably because way, way, way too much could come out. “Take care about what you wish for.” “Let sleeping dogs lie.” “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Take your choice.

But such a suit is normal and expected. It would look suspicious if it was never filed. Now the Florence prosecution may get the chance to make the case in full the Fifth Chambers never heard.

Storms In The Past

Francesco Sollecito and Raffaele Sollecito and Vanessa Sollecito are all notorious for loosing their cool.

Francesco lost it here toward Raffaele, and especially here. Vanessa lost it here and again here. Everybody lost it toward Amanda Knox. Sollecito’s own book describes that rage.

And take a look. Despite supposed “honor bound” there are dozens of examples there.

Francesco Sollecito lost it after the Hellmann acquittal when Raffaele said he and Knox were still a thing, and again when RS took off to Seattle after Knox. He lost it again when a false felony claim in Sollecito’s book was unveiled on national TV.

Bongiorno also often seems in a rage. Hmmm. A group of people in a rage, and then things go too far. Where have we heard that before?


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sollecito Lawyers Threaten To Sue If Guede Tells Any Lies; Dont Hold Your Breath…

Posted by Peter Quennell

Bongiorno goes overboard at end of Nencini appeal; Italy laughs


Way to ensure high ratings? Now Bongiorno threatens to sue RAI if the interview propagates any “lies”.

Sources here and here. Good luck! If she DOES sue (dont put any money on that regardless of what Guede says) the Fifth Chambers report will not be her friend and she surely knows.

She hasnt commented publicly on that report though Sollecito has been very sulky of late. She still talks as if the March verdict is the only one that stands.

At other times there have been such threats to sue. None ever happened there. Examples:

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Aviello for saying she had been offering bribes to his cellmates in exchange for their testimony to help RS despite a threat.

  • Bongiorno didnt sue Lifetime TV as threatened for the movie about Knox - the RS character barely appears, maybe that was her beef - despite a threat.

    And Mignini’s case against Maori will really put Bongiorno and Maori in a bind, if Guede doesnt do damage enough.


    Monday, January 18, 2016

    Reports That On Italian TV Thursday Guede Will Claim Knox & Sollecito Initiated Attack, Caused Death

    Posted by Peter Quennell





    It seems the serial defamer Amanda Knox wins no love at all in Italy. As we posted 10 days ago:

    A majority of Italians still believe that Amanda Knox led a cruel pack attack on Meredith and (to Guede’s and Sollecito’s seeming considerable shock) landed the fatal stab in Meredith’s neck.  They watched Knox on the stand for two days, in fact doing herself great harm.

    Italian media are sure looking forward to Guede dropping her in it on national TV later this week. There are half a dozen reports.  This summary in English by Liz Houle just went online.

    It is being reported on January 18, 2016 that Rudy Guede says that he is innocent of the murder of Meredith Kercher. In a clear and concise manner, Guede states that there is no evidence of his DNA on the murder weapon or in the simulated break-in room. He goes on to say that he knew both Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox but was more familiar with Knox. “It was not me, but I’m the only condemned” maintains Guede.

    Rudy Guede sat down in an interview on Italian television show Cursed Stories (Storie Maledette) and gave his unvarnished view of what happened. “It was not me. . . . ” pointing the finger back onto Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

    In precise and coherent language Guede describes exactly what happened the night Meredith Kercher was tortured and left bleeding to death on that cold November night. Guede explains “. . .when I was found in the house of the crime I fled because I was afraid. No one would believe me. I thought: Negro found guilty found. The subsequent investigations, conducted “‹”‹badly, have shown that I was right.”

    There’s also this. Actually CNN has blown hot and cold, with Paul Callan and Chris Cuomo and Erin Burnett and Nancy Grace all coming out anti-Knox.


    Friday, December 18, 2015

    Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Judge Receives Arguments Of Prosecution And Knox; Verdict In New Year

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



    Court in session 7 September in Florence with Knox a no-show

    1. Latest Development

    We are informed that the final arguments to the judge by both sides have been submitted in writing.

    We will summarise and/or fully translate them, hopefully next week. Next step is the verdict from Judge Boninsegna, which may come early in the New Year.

    Below is a reposting of the background to this unusual case, and Machiavelli’s reports from the court on 7 September.

    Such trials are very rare. Usually it is only organized crime figures that in the course of a trial impugn police and prosecutors who in Italy are much respected. Defendants rarely even get on the stand, and if they do so, they invariably follow the advice of defence counsel to not dig themselves in any deeper. 

    In contrast, Knox pretty well went haywire. NOBODY in Italy has ever believed her. Not her own lawyers, nor multiple hearings & trial judges, or the skeptical media, or the watching population, or Hellmann & Zanetti, or even Marasca & Bruno…  Not even Curt Knox! He failed to turn up to give scheduled defense testimony that could have helped Amanda Knox last September.

    Gee, thanks, Curt….

    And she has left her own lawyers handicapped, as they had publicly counseled Knox to stop escalating her claims about illegal coercion at her “interrogation” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Their filing probably needs to be especially careful to avoid their own liability. 

    2. Background To Calunnia Trial

    This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

    There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

    Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

    They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

    The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

    The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

    Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

    Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

    Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

    3. Machiavelli Reports From Trial 7 September

    1. Tweets from the Florence court:

    16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

    15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

    14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

    13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

    12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

    11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

    10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

    9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

    8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

    7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

    6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

    5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

    4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

    3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

    2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

    1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

    [Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

    2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

    No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

    Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

    Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

    The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

     


    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    Traitor? How Sollecito Extensively Smeared Italy In English But Of Course Not Italian

    Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




    1. Overview Of “Sollecito As Traitor” Series

    By way for example of his new Italian book, Sollecito is trying hard to make himself liked in Italy.

    An uphill task at best. Most Italians, who could follow the case a lot closer than most people outside Italy, know about all of this.

      (1) At his central-police-station interview 5-6 November 2007 and his first Matteini hearing two days later he dumped very heavily on Knox.

      (2) Throughout trial he gave Knox no help with her current alibi (that she was at his place all night) and again and again pulled out the rug from under her.

      (3) After the Hellmann outcome late 2011 Sollecito took off like a rabbit for the US (with his family soon in hot pursuit) and after Knox stiffed him tried very hard to get someone - anyone - to marry him so he could stay.

      (4) Before the Nencini verdict came out in early 2014, a panicked Sollecito took off to the north in a car and got cold feet (or was warned to stop) at the Austrian border and ignominiously came back.

      (5) Before the Fifth Chambers verdict came out in early 2015 a panicked Sollecito took off for Bari rather than remaining at the Supreme Court to find out what the verdict would be.

      What Italians mostly dont know is this. In late 2013 Sollecito’s first book - only in English - came out, and he was soon all over American TV once again sticking it to Knox.

      In the book his self-serving strategy was threefold: (1) Despite the title, point hard to Knox; (2) Point harder to Dr Mignini and the supposedly bungling, mean police; and (3) Point hardest to the official mechanisms, by lying on a grand scale, to make them out to be brutal and highly archaic at best.

      This series will lay out how Sollecito, lying and lying from what he thought would be a safe distance across the Atlantic, tried hard to make Italy look bad in the eyes of the world.

      A lot of posters contributed to the analysis of Sollecito’s 2012 English-language book on which much of the series will be based. Thanks especially to Sara, Kermit, Cardiol MD, and James Raper, who did the most work. 

      1. Sollecito’s First 20 False Claims

      We first posted a version of this analysis in May 2014. These twenty examples of felony claims all appear in the book’s preface which is only seven pages.

      Such claims continue throughout the book at approximately the same rate and they will be examined in future posts. 

      1. That Italian justice authorities took the easy way out

      This is the story of two ordinary people who stumbled upon an extraordinary circumstance, the brutal murder of a British student in Italy. Neither Amanda Knox nor I had anything to do with the crime, but we came perilously close to spending the rest of our lives in prison because the authorities found it easier, and more convenient, to take advantage of our youth and inexperience than to mount a proper investigation.  It’s that simple. And that absurd.

      No advantage was taken of them. The two stood out very sharply from all the others of similar age, and of similar inexperience (whatever that means). They did and said dozens of things in the early days that set them sharply apart.

      They were interrogated quite fairly, the Italian media was not especially hard, Dr Mignini never ever leaked, and they had lawyers and family handy at every turn after they were arrested. They each gave the authorities less than zero help - they tried to lead them off on wild goose chases, for example the false claim AK made against Patrick and dozens of other false claims, and apparently tried to finger yet another north African, Hicham Khiri, in a conversation they clearly knew was being recorded.

      A “proper” investigation was indeed done. Simply read through all the posts on the trial here in the first half of 2009, and the prosecutor’s excellent summations, and you will see what a smooth comprehensive job was done. And the Supreme Court concluded that THREE had to have been involved, from the recreation of the attack and all the wounds on Meredith’s body. Subsequent to Patrick, AK and RS and their lawyers never came within light-years of throwing real suspicion on anyone else.

      2. That the preventive custody was very harsh

      On November 1, 2007, Amanda and I were carefree students at the beginning of a cross-cultural love affair in a beautiful Umbrian hill town. Within days, we were thrown into solitary confinement in a filthy prison, without access to lawyers or loved ones, accused of acts so heinous and disturbing we may never be able to banish them from our thoughts, or our nightmares.

      Raffaele was sent to preventative prison on Tuesday November 6. Capanne Prison was almost brand-new then, and far from crowded. Cells contain TVs and private bathrooms.

      All questioning had been stopped early on 6 November until Sollecito could have a lawyer present. He himself wrote to his father in his “prison diary” on November 7:  “I may see you tomorrow, at least that is what I was told by Tiziano [Tiziano Tedeschi, his lawyer at the time], who I saw today and who defended me before the judge.”

      Mr Tedeschi made no complaint about any delay in the first meeting with his new client. In Italy, a judge must determine within 48 hours whether to hold or release detained suspects. Judge Matteini did so meticulously with Tedeschi present and refused Sollecito’s release.

      3. That the prosecution and Italian media demonized the pair

      In the newspapers and on the nightly news, we were turned into monsters, grotesque distortions of our true selves. It did not matter how thin the evidence was, or how quickly it became apparent that the culprit was someone else entirely. Our guilt was presumed, and everything the prosecution did and fed to the media stemmed from that false premise.

      In the real world, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased. Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see said daily about possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV. Besides, any coverage, which was in part deliberate in the situation as dozens of students were fleeing Perugia, had no influence on anything, neither on the investigation nor the trial.

      The Italian system is set up so media can have less influence than almost any other media on any other justice system in the world. The Micheli and Massei sentencing reports show the judges were not unduly influenced even by the lawyers right in front of them, let alone by mild media reports 1 or 2 years before that.

      4. That four years were wasted showing where the prosecution went wrong.

      By the time we had dismantled the case and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity [in the annulled Hellmann appeal] we had spent four of what should have been the best years of our lives behind bars.

      “We” meaning the defense lawyers did very little in the annulled Hellmann appeal that they hadn’t flailed uselessly against in the trial. Except of course maybe shopping for an inexperienced and pliable business judge, and for DNA consultants who they could then spoon-feed. Much of the hard evidence they simply kept well away from in the trial and annulled appeal. Such as the extensive evidence in the corridor and bathroom and Filomena’s room, which were all considered parts of the crime scene.

      On the other hand, RS’s claim could well apply to what Dr Galati and Cassation did for the Hellman sentencing report. Dismantled the appeal verdict, and demonstrated its breathtaking absurdity.

      5. That Knox was made a target because timid Italy was scared of her.

      Amanda and I certainly made our share of mistakes. At the beginning we were too trusting, spoke too frivolously and too soon, and remained oblivious to the danger we were courting even after the judicial noose began to tighten. Amanda behaved in ways that were culturally baffling to many Italians and attracted a torrent of gossip and criticism.

      An inaccurate and xenophobic remark originated by the American Nina Burleigh, who was having severe culture shock of her own and surrounded only by other foreigners with similar mindsets. What EXACTLY was so baffling about Knox to the very hip Italians? That Knox was pushy, obnoxious, humorless, rather lazy, rather grubby, and not especially funny or pretty or bright?  That she put off Patrick, Meredith, her other flatmates, the boys downstairs, the customers in the bar, and just about everybody else except for the distasteful druggie loner Sollecito?

      Read this post by the Italian-American Nicki in Milan. To quote from it “As many of us were expecting, Amanda’s testimony has backfired. She came across not as confident but arrogant, not as sweet but testy, not as true but a fake who has memorized a script, an actress who is playing a part but not well enough to fool the public….. Amanda Knox is not on trial because she is American and therefore too “emancipated”....Italians don’t much like Amanda primarily because they perceive her as a manipulative liar, who is suspected of having committed a heinous crime for which there is a whole stack of evidence.”

      6. That Knox and Meredith were really great, great friends.

      We were young and naive, unthinking and a little reckless. Of that much we were guilty.  But what we did not do””and could not have done, as the evidence clearly showed””was murder Meredith Kercher.

      Meredith was Amanda’s friend, a fellow English speaker in the house they shared with two Italian women just outside Perugia’s ancient city walls. She was twenty-one years old, intelligent, and beautiful. She and Amanda knew each other for a little over three weeks, long enough to feel their way into their new surroundings and appreciate each other’s interests and temperaments. I never heard about a single tense moment between them.

      Plenty of other people did know of tensions. Meredith’s family and friends all knew Meredith was finding the noisy dirty lazy loud unfocused Knox and her drugs and one-night-stands hard to take.  Her other flatmates found her hard to take. Her employer Patrick found her hard to take. His customers in the bar found her hard to take.  The Lifetime movie got this strident angle pretty straight.

      Remember, Meredith enrolled for a full academic load at the main university. Knox in sharp contrast took only one undemanding language course - which anyone could walk into - requiring maybe 10 hours of study a week.  They increasingly did less together. In fact after several weeks nobody was lining up to have anything to do with Amanda Knox.

      Seemingly unable to reverse herself, she was headed to being among the least popular of students in Perugia.  It should be recalled that the callous remarks by Amanda Knox about the death of her so-called friend Meredith included “Shit happens”, “She fucking bled to death”, and “‘I want to get on with the rest of my life”.

      7. That an intruder knew about the rent money and so murder ensued.

      Meredith, of course, suffered infinitely worse luck than we did: she came home, alone, on an ordinary Thursday night and had her throat slit by an intruder hoping to steal the household rent money.

      There is zero evidence that this was the case. Knox herself ended up with a similar amount of cash that she has never been able to explain. There is zero possibility that Guede would know that any money was lying around - or not lying around, as it was concealed in Meredith’s drawer.

      And take a look at the many images of the brightly lit house at night. There are several dozen other houses behind it in the dark which any smart burglar would have chosen first.  In 2008 two real break-ins occurred at the house - both were in the dark behind the house, which is by far the easiest place to break in.

      And how many burglars break into an occupied home between 8:00pm and 9:00pm at night? Approximately none. So much for the spurious lone-wolf theory, which Judge Micheli first ruled out even before trial.

      8. That the media got hysterical and portrayed heartless killers.

      But the roles could easily have been reversed. If Meredith’s Italian boyfriend had not gone away for the weekend and if Amanda had not started sleeping over at my house, she””not Meredith””might have been the one found in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. That reality was quickly lost amid the hysteria of the media coverage. But it continued to hover over both of us””Amanda especially””as we sank into the legal quagmire and struggled in vain to overcome the public image of us as heartless killers.

      There was zero media hysteria. This silly claim was addressed above. Watch the Porta a Porta YouTubes and dozens of other Italian reports and try to find ONE that is not fair and cautious and mature.

      How precisely did the two struggle in vain to overcome their public image? By coming up repeatedly with stories which didnt even tally with others of their own, let alone with one another’s? They never between them made even one helpful statement which actually helped the police.  And even their respective parents strongly suspected or knew of their guilt and were all caught incriminatingly on tape.

      9. That Rudy Guede did it alone; ignore vast evidence that proves not.

      This should not have been a complicated case. The intruder was quickly identified as Rudy Guede, an African immigrant living in Perugia with a history of break-ins and petty crimes. His DNA was found all over Meredith’s room, and footprints made in her blood were found to match his shoes. Everything at the crime scene pointed to a lone assailant, and a single weapon. Guede repeatedly broke into houses by throwing a rock through a window, as happened here, and he had been caught by the authorities in the past with a knife similar to the one that inflicted Meredith’s fatal wounds.

      This is laughable. It has in fact been demonstrated in numerous ways that the attack involved multiple assailants and this was accepted by the Supreme Court.

      Sollecito’s own lawyers never forcefully argued this. They produced two non-credible witnesses in the appeal trial (Alessi and Aviello) to actually prove that Guede had some other accomplices or that several others did it. Also Amanda Knox if anything diverted attention AWAY from Guede as he did in turn from her. He wasn’t quickly identified precisely because Knox had rather credibly fingered Patrick.

      There is no proof Guede was an intruder. The trial court concluded Knox invited him in. Guede had zero proven history of break-ins or petty crimes or drug-dealing, and late in 2008 at his trial Judge Micheli became angry at such claims. Guede had no prior criminal record at all. He had only been back in Perugia for a few weeks, after an extended stay up north.  His DNA was not found “all over” Meredith’s room. A major surprise, in fact, was how few traces of him were found.

      The recreation of the crime scene and the autopsy both pointed AWAY FROM a lone assailant, not toward.  From Meredith’s wounds, it was quite evident that two and perhaps three knives had been used, and not a single weapon. What lone intruder carries or uses two or three knives?  And footprints in blood outside the door matched the feet of both RS and AK. This is why the Supreme Court confirmed Guede’s guilt only “in concorso” (with others).

      10. That the cops could have caught Guede fast, despite Knox’s frame

      Guede did not call the police, as Amanda and I did, or volunteer information, or agree to hours of questioning whenever asked. Rather, he fled to Germany as soon as the investigation began and stayed there until his arrest two and a half weeks later.

      Guede’s apprehension and eventual conviction on murder charges should have been the end of the story. But by the time Guede was identified, the police and the public prosecutor’s office had convinced themselves that the murder was, incredibly, the result of a sexual orgy gone wrong, in which Amanda and I had played leading roles. Their speculations ignited a media firestorm, inspiring sensationalist headlines across the world about the evil lurking behind our seemingly innocent faces.

      The authorities had no shred of evidence to substantiate this story line, only erroneous suppositions and wild imaginings. We had an alibi for the most likely time of death, and none of the initial forensic evidence tied us to the scene of the crime. Nothing in our backgrounds gave any hint of a propensity for violence or criminality. We were both accomplished, hardworking students known to our friends and families for our gentleness and even tempers.

      Four more untrue remarks. All three were convicted of a murder with a sex-crime element and nobody was wrongly “convinced”. Which alibi is Sollecito talking about now? He himself admits in chapter 1 (Love and Death) that they had no “real alibi”. They still have no alibis at all for the second half of the evening, neither of them, when Meredith’s murder indisputably occurred.

      Extensive forensic evidence within days tied them both to the scene. Not a single element of it has been discredited in the eyes of the Massei trial and Nencini appeal court. Not even one. Nothing was falsified.

      Neither of their backgrounds was squeaky clean. Both had long been into illegal drugs, the loner Sollecito had to be watched by his father and teachers, the increasingly disliked Knox had a history of doing and saying crass off-putting things. Both were lagging behind their brighter peers in their studies and Knox was taking a year off.

      11. That the prosecution fed the media a huge number of false claims.

      Yet the authorities stuck to their guns. They fed the media a steady diet of sensationalist stories of how Amanda, the promiscuous American she-devil, and I, her sex-and-drug-addled Italian helpmeet, had tried without success to drag Meredith into our depravity and punished her by plunging an outsize kitchen knife into her neck.

      Complete fiction. Again, in the real world, as the media reporters all confirm, the prosecution fed nothing at all secretly to the media, and publicly very little, none of it self-servingly biased.

      Italian reporting was sporadic and very mild compared to anything one can see daily on possible perps in the US and UK newspapers and on US TV crime shows. There is zero sign this mild coverage mattered to the courts. As the media reporters all confirm, they were fed next to nothing by the police or prosecution on the case,

      But whereas Mr Mignini famously never leaks, the defenses are widely claimed to have leaked throughout like sieves. So did Sollecito’s own family - they leaked an evidence video to Telenorba TV, for which they were considered for trial. Even we at TJMK and PMF received several offers of juicy leaks. Here is one example of where the Knox forces leaked - wrongly in fact - and then nastily slimed the prosecution and defenseless prison staff.

      12. That the authorities had lots and lots and lots of scenarios.

      It might have been funny if the consequences had not been so devastating. Listening to the tortured language of the prosecution””“one can hypothesize that . . . ,” “it is possible that . . . ,” “one can imagine that . . . ,” “this scenario is not incompatible with . . .”””it became clear that the authorities, like the media, were treating our case with the bizarre levity of an after-dinner game of Clue, or an Agatha Christie mystery. Everyone, even the judges in their black robes, had theories they were itching to air.

      Have Sollecito and Gumbel ever before been in any other court in Italy or the UK or the US?  Every judge and/or jury has to arrive at a scenario on lines not unlike this. That is the whole POINT of having courts - to weight the probabilities in what happened in the crime.  The only difference in Italy is that the judges have to think their verdict through for weeks, and then write it all out, and then see it scrutinized by a higher court. This is hardly a requirement to be sneered at.

      Gumble and Sollecito should have studied how US and UK juries arrive at their own scenarios. Very few US and UK lawyers think they do a better job. Ask those who watched the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials and bitterly criticised the outcomes. And Italy has a vastly lower rate of false imprisonment than the US does.

      13. That Italy is a medieval country with a primitive justice system.

      It could have been Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the revolver; instead it was Amanda and Raffaele in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. How was it conceivable that a democratic country known for its style and beauty and effortless charm””the Italy of the Renaissance and la dolce vita””could allow two young people to be catapulted to international notoriety and convicted of a horrific crime on the basis of nothing at all?

      This is not remotely what happened. There was very far from nothing at all. Convictions in the US and UK regularly result based on evidence 1/10 or 1/100 of that here - sometimes from one single evidence point. Any one or several of maybe 100 evidence points here could have convicted them in a US or UK court.

      Italy gives defendants every possible break, and the justice system is seriously loaded against victims and their families. Read here and here.

      14. That the prosecutors office and media were in a grim embrace.

      The answer has something to do with the grim embrace that developed between the prosecutor’s office and the sensationalist media. Like addicts constantly looking for the next fix, each fed the other’s insatiable appetite for titillation and attention. The casual cruelty of “Foxy Knoxy” and her Italian lover became too good a story line to abandon, even when it became apparent it was overheated and unsustainable. Our suffering was the price to be paid for the world’s continuing entertainment.

      WHAT grim embrace? WHAT addicts? WHAT fix? WHAT insatiable appetite? WHAT titillation and attention? This is clearly defamatory if it can’t be proven, and we can turn up no evidence that any of it is true. It has to be one of the most foolish lies in the entire book, it is so easy to disprove. These who are being accused of crimes here are career police and prosecutors secure in their jobs, and none have the slightest gain to make from false convictions.

      15. That in the justice system speculation and hearsay run rampant

      The meandering complexities of the Italian legal system, where speculation and hearsay are allowed to run rampant and time invariably slows to a maddening trickle, did little to help our cause.

      Total mischaracterization. First note that by comparison with any country in the world THERE IS NOT MUCH CRIME IN ITALY.  There is some minor corruption and still some minor mafia action, but thefts and burglaries and assaults are few and murders even fewer. The main crime if you can call it such is not lining up to pay taxes.  Italy’s murder rate is 1/6 that of the United States and its prison incarceration rate is 1/30 that of the United States, so where IS all this crime about which the claimed speculation and hearsay are running rampant?

      The legal process could have been fully over by the end of 2009 if (1) there was not the entitlement to two automatic appeals; in UK and US terms there was very little to appeal about;  and (2) the Hellmann appeal court had not been fixed to produce a corrupt outcome, as the displaced judge Sergio Matteini Chiari and Cassation and the Council of Magistrates have all made plain.

      And compared to American police and prosecutors, their Italian counterparts are famously taciturn under their unusually firm rules. There is media interest, for sure, as there should be when there are crimes, but that also is comparatively restrained. Watch the various Porta a Porta shows on YouTube and you will see how sedate crime discussion tends to be.

      The Constitution and judicial code set out to achieve the exact opposite of speculation and hearsay affecting justice, and they do so.  Creating this restraint is a primary reason for the judges’ sentencing reports and all the magistrates’ checks of investigations along the way.

      This whole series of dishonest claims about the the Italian system in the preface of the book and in a later chapter have clearly not been read through or okayed by even a single Italian lawyer.

      16. That in Italy proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists

      For reasons deeply embedded in the country’s history, the concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy, and the very notion of undisputed fact is viewed with suspicion, if not outright aversion.

      So Gumbel and Sollecito are historians and legal experts now? It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if either were able to explain the remark. This may be an ignorant swipe at the Napoleonic Code on which the law of a lot of continental Europe is based. Ignored is that Italy carried out its own reforms to the Code in 1990 and more subsequently. Much of that reform, it should be pointed out, was procedural or structural rather than substantive law.

      There are two things wrong with “..the concept of reasonable doubt scarcely exists in Italy.”

      1. It is factually wrong. Italian jurists, the courts, and so on, are well acquainted with the concept as it has been a fundamental aspect of criminal proceedings in Italy as elsewhere for many decades if not centuries.

      2. It suggests that Italians are not intelligent enough to understand the concept anyway. That of course is an insult to Italians.  Actually they are no less intelligent than the rest of us elsewhere who strive to understand it.

      Until the 1990 Reforms the relationship between criminal and civil proceedings in Italy were governed by the principles of unity of jurisdiction and the prevailing status of criminal proceedings. Hence, if the facts were the same then criminal proceedings (to punish the guilty) and civil proceedings (to render liable the guilty for damages) were heard at the same time and still sometimes are, as in the Meredith Kercher case.

      What has changed (relevant to the above quote) is that civil cases can be and are more likely to be heard independently from the related criminal cases and, where not, the standard of proof in civil cases (the preponderance of evidence or, as we usually refer to it, the balance of probabilities) is to be applied to the civil case, and the civil case only, rather than be confused with or overriden by the criminal standard of proof (beyond reasonable doubt).

      Not an easy task, admittedly, to apply different standards to different tasks, based on the same facts, in the same proceedings, but Italian judges are trained to do this because that is their system. No judge would EVER confuse “beyond reasonable doubt” with “the balance of probabilities” when the issue at stake is depriving an individual of his freedom.

      17. That the Italian judiciary has vast, unfettered powers

      Few in Italian society wield as much unfettered power as the robed members of the judiciary, whose independence makes them answerable to nobody but themselves.

      Radically the opposite of the truth. The paranoid claim reads like it came from ex PM Berlusconi fearful of his own conviction or one of his parliamentary lackeys such as Girlanda.

      The checks and balances on judges in the Italian system are enormous, perhaps the toughest checks and balances in the world. Read here and here about them.

      All of the best judges in the world are independent and they all follow a demanding career path, not elected (as ex-Judge Heavey was) under zero criteria, or appointed under the political sway of politicians. We wonder if Gumbel and Sollecito have ever heard of the US Supreme Court? Do those judges answer to anybody? No? How unfettered. 

      18. That the courts are the most reviled institution in Italy.

      Many Italians retain a healthy skepticism about the reliability of their procedures and rulings. The courts””tainted by politics, clubbishness, pomposity, and excruciating delays””are the most reviled institution in the country.


      As our Sollecito Book pages make clear again and again and again, the Italian system is remarkably NOT tainted by politics, as even the most surperficial watcher of the trials of ex Prime Minister Sylvio Berlusconi would know.

      And on the issue of popularity we have previously posted this and this and also this.

      Our Italian poster Machiavelli (Yummi), who posted our deep analysis of the appeal to the Supreme Court by Dr Galati, has provided these hard facts:

      For comparison, in 2011 the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the justice system “a lot” or “enough” was 53.3%. By comparison, the percentage of Italians who declared they trust the government “a lot” or “enough”  were 14.7%, and those who trust the parliament were only 15%.

      In 2012, the percentage of Italians who trust the parliament is now only 9.5%, and those who trust the Mario Monti administration are only 21.1%.

      Over the eight years from 2004 to 2012 the percentage of Italians who trust the justice system was always bigger than those who trust parliament or government by at least ten points, and in some years we can see a spread of 20, 30, even 39 percentage points achieved by the judiciary over the parliament and government.

      However, some cases of corruption (such as our Hellmann-Zanetti case, but also several others indicated by the Rapporto Italia 2012) do hamper trust.

      The most trusted institutions in Italy above all are the Carabinieri (74% of Italians trust them) and the Polizia di Stato (71%).

      Which means the most trusted institutions are precisely those law enforcement instruments which are deployed to enforce the orders of prosecutors.

      19. That prosecutors can spin their cases into any shape they please.

      Because the Italian legal system is almost completely blind to precedent and relies on a tangle of impenetrable codes and procedures, prosecutors and judges have almost boundless freedom to spin their cases into any shape they please and create legal justifications on the fly. Often, they are more interested in constructing compelling narratives than in building up the evidence piece by piece, a task considered too prosaic and painstaking to be really interesting.

      Whoever wrote this either wasnt an Italian or a lawyer, and either way didnt have much of a clue. The entire Italian system under the post WWII constitution was designed to PREVENT what Sollecito & Gumbel claim it allows here.

      There are checks and balances and reviews every step of the way. Magistrates (initially Matteini here) determine what a prosecutor may do in developing and presenting a case. Parties may appeal to the Supreme Court AT ANY TIME as Knox’s lawyers did over her second written confession - which she herself had demanded to make in front of Dr Mignini after he finished warning her of her rights.

      Hard for Sollecito & Gumbel to believe, perhaps, but the defense is actually present in the same courtroom. They can raise points of order at any time. So can the defendants themselves, at any time, something maybe unique in the world.

      And judges actually have minds of their own. And then there are the unique written sentencing reports, and the two automatic appeals if any parties want to pursue them.

      Sollecito & Gumbel should have read the 2012 Galati appeal more closely. The Prosecution’s Appeal To The Supreme Court is available in English here.  Precedent has a section to itself - “The non-observance of the principles of law dictated by the Cassation Court in the matter of circumstantial cases (Article 606(b)) in relation to Article 192 paragraph 2 Criminal Procedure Code.”

      Well, that’s precedent, via the Court of Cassation no less! How surprising from Gumbel/Sollecito that they should make that claim about ignoring precedent when in fact there it is, going right to the heart of the flawed Hellmann/Zanetti judgement on circumstantial evidence!  What else is a Code but in effect a codification, a gathering together, a rationalisation, of best law - and precedent? 

      There is an absurd irony here, were they aware of it. Perhaps they are. Surely it is Hellmann and Zanetti who have displayed “a boundless freedom” in spinning the case “into any shape they please”, and who have “created legal justifications on the fly”?  As for prosecutors doing this, at least Dr Mignini followed the evidence, and American readers may recall the infamous Jim Garrison, the DA hero of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK” but who in reality, unlike Dr Mignini, was a total and utter crackpot.

      And what issue exploded the Porta a Porta TV show in Italy in September 2012? It was Sollecito’s false claim that the prosecution had secretly tried to offer him a deal if he would roll over on Knox.  NOBODY including his own father and his own lawyers confirmed him. Evidence against both was overwhelming. Nobody needed such a deal, and Italian prosecutors are highly rules-bound against ever offering such deals.

      Sollecito was in effect accusing Dr Mignini of a felony with this much-repeated false claim in his book. (In her book Knox also accused Dr Mignini of a felony.)

      20. That the prosecutors and judges in Italy are far too close.

      Prosecutors and judges are not independent of each other, as they are in Britain or the United States, but belong to the same professional body of magistrates. So a certain coziness between them is inevitable, especially in smaller jurisdictions like Perugia.

      Yes, prosecutors and judges in Italy belong to the same professional body of magistrates. But then so does the defense lawyer Ms Bongiorno. The claim that there is no independence between prosecutors and judges in Italy, in fact a coziness between them, is a bit rich.

      Consider, say, the UK. It is true cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service, a government body, but in serious cases the CPS will employ barristers from the Inns of Court. There is scarcely a judge in the UK, even up to the highest level, who was not and who is not still a member of one of the Inns of Court from whence barristers, for the prosecution or for the defence, ply their trade.

      You can’t walk past an Inn without seeing the names of judges on the roll call on the plaques outside. A judge is still a barrister, just fulfilling a different function, although, of course, now paid by the State.  The old school boy tie? Corruption? No, the fulfilling of different roles by members of the same body is called professionalism. 

      Judges and lawyers all belong to the American Bar Association in the US and attend the same conferences. No sign that this lack of “independence” ever affects trials.  This claimed excess of coziness is often ranted about online by the Knoxophile David Anderson who lives near Perugia. Nobody who pays him any attention can get where he derives this from. Maybe he heard it from Hellman?

      Perugia prosecutors and magistrates are all known to do a fine job, and the national Olympics & earthquake relief cases involving powerful Rome politicians were assigned for competent handling to where? To Perugia… Defense lawyer Ghirga and Prosecutor Mignini have the reputation of being good friends. And Mignini and Massei would both draw their salaries from the State. But so what? Do not judges and DAs in the the USA do likewise? Are Gumbel and Sollecito impugning the professionalism of the counterparts of Mignini and Massei all over the world? It sure reads like it.

       


      Monday, December 07, 2015

      Counterterrorism: Another Way Italian Law Enforcement Is An Effective Model For Everywhere Else

      Posted by Peter Quennell





      We have often mentioned these major justice-system pluses:

      (1) That Italy has one of the industrialized world’s lowest crime rates and that US cities have been observing its model.

      (2) That it has a very prominent and much admired police presence, and a small and much admired court and penal system.

      Now Thomas Williams is reporting this third big plus from Rome in Breitbart Business News

      A leading military analyst is citing Italy as a model of counterterrorism done right, pointing out that despite many factors going against it, Islamic terrorists have failed to kill a single person on Italian soil.

      In the most recent issue of Nikkei Asian Review, Romanian born political scientist and military analyst Edward N. Luttwak lays out a persuasive theory explaining how Italy has been so successful in thwarting Islamic terror attempts. In a word: Italy is not afraid to deport those it considers to be a threat to national security.

      In his essay titled “Doing Counterterrorism Right,” Luttwak contrasts Italy with France and Belgium, noting that although Italy is much more vulnerable than they are, it has been far more effective at stopping would-be terrorists before they strike.

      So where France has been “caught by surprise again and again by terrorist attacks with many lives lost” and in Belgium “terrorists have been coming and going for years, buying military weapons with remarkable ease,” Italy has remained unscathed.

      It would seem that Italy doesn’t have much going for it. It has porous borders and a Muslim population that exceeds 2 million and has played an active role in military expeditions in Islamic territories. Moreover, the Vatican is the “most iconic target in Europe,” and tops the list of objectives of the Islamic State, Luttwak observes. And yet, “nobody has been killed by Muslim terrorists in Italy.”

      Italian counterterrorism has been on full alert since 9/11, Luttwak says, and its combined forces “have detected and interrupted hundreds of terrorist plots large and small, at every stage from mere verbal scheming to fully ready actions.”

      So where terrorists have successfully attacked in Madrid, London, Paris, Toulouse, Copenhagen, Brussels and elsewhere, in Italy they have been foiled time after time.

      Luttwak suggests that Italy’s success is all a question of method, based on the insight that the only thing that can be done to stop potential terrorists is to follow those who are suspected to be truly dangerous around the clock so that they can be arrested or killed at a moment’s notice. Since the numbers of probable suspects can be astronomical, Luttwak says, their numbers must be effectively reduced if this strategy is to bear fruit. And this is exactly what Italy has done.

      State intelligence agencies throughout Europe monitor suspects, filling out reports and keeping files, but they often fail to take the action needed. The Italians, however, immediately conduct an interrogation on credible suspects, and many are sent home or arrested, if their situation merits it. Italy currently has more than 180 radical imams in prison, Luttwak notes.

      Employing this method, Italian authorities are able to keep numbers of suspected potential terrorists within a reasonable range and thus are able to monitor them effectively.

      Earlier this month, Franco Roberti, the head of Italy’s anti-mafia and counterterrorism task force, said he intended to protect citizens from the danger of terrorism “by adopting all the preventive measures necessary,” and noted that “we must be prepared to give up some of our personal freedoms, in particular in the area of communication.”

      The fact that the Italians lump together anti-mafia operations with counterterrorism is also telling. Unlike other European states, with the exception perhaps of the UK, Italy has a long history fighting serious organized crime within its borders, coming from the different branches of the Italian mafia working in various parts of the peninsula.

      The Italian interior ministry has reportedly also increased its “targeted expulsions” of persons considered to be a risk to national security. So far this year, 55 individuals have been deported and the ministry has said the numbers will only grow.

      According to Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, intelligence and counterterrorism units are reevaluating information gathered in recent months on some 56,000 people, scouring case files to see whether anything could have been overlooked.

      Given Italy’s impressive counterterrorism track record, it may be about time for other European nations to sit up and take note.


      Wednesday, September 23, 2015

      Supreme Court Confirms All Three Were There And Lied, RS & AK Apologists Desperate To Downplay That

      Posted by Machiavelli




      1. Shocking Sentencing Report

      Despite the public relations campaign this was by any standards a very strong case.

      In contrast the language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as weak as Rome lawyers have seen. The Fifth Chambers normally handles only appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other mundane non-violent personal and family injuries and they are forbidden from judging evidence. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

      No finding by any experienced murder judge ever stretches logic and law and evidence as much as this. This grim situation for RS and AK still remains. 

        (1) The report very firmly places all three at the scene of the crime with extensive language on a long list of proofs; but though bizarrely it separates two from the crime itself.

        (2) The final verdict is not “assoluzione” meaning acquittal or innocence but simply “proscioglimento” meaning the dropping of charges (not usually used in a court context, see the note in the final paragraphs of translation) which can be subject to appeal.

        (3) The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials. It makes a win against either or both Knox and Sollecito in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing. And it pre-emptively dismisses the frivolous appeal by Amanda Knox to ECHR Strasbourg.

      If the appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal. Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal, and sent Knox and Sollecito right back to jail.

      The report makes lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories to murder after the fact. Even the defense teams seem to have realised the risks in the shaky judgement

      2. Passages Finding Knox And Sollecito Were There

      In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the Marasca/Bruno report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were both at the house on the night. They find that the proof of that stands up. Highlighted in the translation below are passages amount to the firm conclusion that Knox definitely was there, with blood on her hands, and Sollecito logically also.

      From Chapter 4

      4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

      Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

      Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

      Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

      And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which ““ the one inflicted on the left side of her neck ““ caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone ““ this also linkable to the blade action ““ with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

      Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

      [Ed note: Firm settling on motive is not required in Italian law.] On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen ““ because of its abnormal disproportion ““ not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

      Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

      From Chapter 9

      9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

      About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.

      We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time ““ except obviously the other people present inside the house ““ could have known (quote p. 96).

      According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

      Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

      (Ed: This next passages on hypotheticals shows how ignorant of murder jurisprudence Marasca & Bruno were, they had never handled a murder case before.]  The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

      Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance ““ this is decisive indeed ““ that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows ““ if we concede everything ““ that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

      Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

      It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

      However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

      And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards ““ apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside ““ on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who ““ as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling ““ had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible.

      But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived ““ they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio ““ the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

      Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents.

      Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead.

      The latter point apparently balances ““ still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness ““ the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

      Mr. Quintavalle ““ apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic ““ did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

      Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and ““ as for what was said ““ the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

      On that point, it must be pointed out that ““ again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts ““ it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime.

      The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

      What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

      It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using ““ it is said ““ the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

      Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

      9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions. His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is ““ as we said ““ an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

      There remains anyway the strong suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine. On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

      And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

      The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

      An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

      An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

      Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

      9.4.3. It is simply the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

      From Chapter 10

      10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

      And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather ““ as we observed above ““ they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

      At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula ““ that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

      The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

      The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. [Ed: unproven how damage occurred, all records were recovered.]

      The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

      Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

      The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

      Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] of dropping of charges which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

      [Translator’s note:  Under the Italian Procedure Code, the Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during the investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. When applied to the investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

      The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

      It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.



      3. Wrong Translation Circulated By Amanda Knox

      This version was garbled apparently to try to show innocence.  (It is a crime to deliberately garble Italian legal documents.)


      Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

      4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.


      Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

      9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

      About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.


      Monday, September 07, 2015

      Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Testimony In Florence Court Today By Some Accused By Amanda Knox Of Crimes

      Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




      1. Overview Of This Post

      The post is in 3 parts and was added to on the fly as new information flowed in.

      Part 2 below summarizes what this trial is all about. It is not about Knox’s book, it is about her claims on the stand in mid 2009 of crimes committed by numerous investigators and the lead prosecutor.

      Part 3 below is live reports from the court. Part 4 is about the Supreme Court sentencing report released today in Rome.

      2. Background To Calunnia Trial

      This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

      There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

      Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

      They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

      The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

      The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

      Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

      Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

      Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

      2. Machiavelli Reports From Calunnia Trial

      1. Tweets from the Florence court:

      16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

      15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

      14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

      13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

      12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

      11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

      10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

      9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

      8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

      7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

      6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

      5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

      4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

      3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

      2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

      1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

      [Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

      2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

      No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

      Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

      Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

      The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

      4. Machiavelli On Cassazione Sentencing Report

      4. The Cassazione sentence on the #meredithkercher case about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito is an offence to intelligence.

      3. Cassazione repeats several times “strong suspicion” remains about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito

      2. Cassazione says #amandaknox was in the apartment when murder was convicted, and it is “incontrovertible” that she committed calunnia.

      1. INCREDIBLE: SC says *proven* fact that #amandaknox was in house when murder was committed. Agrees with court on this


      Tuesday, September 01, 2015

      The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #2

      Posted by Peter Quennell



      Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Angela Pietroiusti. Quick route to Comments here.

      1. Most Bungling Team In Legal History?

      There is NO WAY Knox and Sollecito would be out on the streets if the playing field had been level.

      Knox’s lawyers and family and PR effort and publishers all bungled enormously and suffered an overwhelming loss at both Knox’s trials (murder and calunnia) when pre-trial concessions could have served them well.

      To make up for this, they tilted the playing field.

      Manipulation of the media and thus American (but not Italian) opinion and manipulation of the evidence and manipulation of judges and manipulation of court-appointed DNA experts and manipulation to prevent Italy from finding out what was in Knox’s and Sollecito’s horrific books.

      You want to see manipulation in spades?

      See here and here and the whole huge area of the DNA and of course the RS and AK books.

      You want to see bungling in spades?

      No better example than this one which could possibly cost Sollecito lawyer Luca Maori his career and has stopped the Fifth Chambers of Cassation dead in their tracks.

      Also Knox’s and Sollecito’s foolish books involving dozens of others are coming back to haunt them in court. Also look here at how Chris Mellas dropped Knox in it.

      Helping Sollecito cost his sister Vanessa her Carbinieri job. Sollecito’s father admitted to Panorama he tried political manipulation and was charged. Knox’s parents parroted Amanda Knox and were charged. “Helpful” investigator Paul Ciolino framed an innocent man in another case and was charged. Doug Preston ally Mario Spezi smeared investigators after the two tried framing an innocent man and blocking an investigation getting too near the truth and Spezi was charged.

      Judge Heavey lied to national presidents everywhere and was reprimanded and soon retired. The defense arranged for Judge Hellmann to preside over the 2011 appeal; he was overturned and pushed out. Pepperdine University pushed out the besotted security guard Steve Moore. Frank Sforza, facing felony charges, took off like a rabbit out of America. Defense witness Aviello was charged. 

      The defenses’ attempt to climb in Filomena’s window came up short. This bungled frame-up went nowhere. The pathetic Bruce Fischer team has gone nowhere.

      2. Bungling In Knox’s Calunnia Case

      Keeping Knox quiet for her own good was always a mighty struggle and the defense lawyers openly complained. It was an open secret in Perugia from 2007 to 2009 that Knox’s defense lawyers were struggling with Knox herself and with her family and her PR.

      At least one defense lawyer was fired or walked off the job (as with the Sollecito team). This struggle broke out into the open at various times, for example see here.

      Still. Knox’s defense team also did at least five things to help make matters worse for her in her calunnia trial now.

        1) They allowed Knox to interrupt prosecution witness Anna Donnino, the interpreter, during her testimony in March 2009 to claim she was hit, having repeatedly said previously that that was untrue. That set the legal reaction in motion.

        2) They put Knox on the stand seemingly unbriefed and allowed her to contradict both days and days of prosecution testimony and also prior declarations by herself.

        3) They put a presumably privileged letter from Knox to themselves in evidence (see previous post) knowing that it contained false claims.

        4) They applied to a Perugia judge for the transfer of the calunnia case from Perugia to Florence, thinking the Florence court was gunning for Dr Mignini when the truth is opposite.

        5) They applied to the same Perugia judge for the attachment of Dr Mignini’s name to the complaint though they knew he was not at the “interrogation” as even Knox said on the stand.

      Due to failed defense efforts Knox has already served three years and is a felon for life, and she now could face another six plus more penalties for her book. She is still not off the hook for murder as Fifth Chambers judges broke two laws and had fishy friends in their pasts.

      So, good luck, Amanda Knox. GREAT TEAM!

      3. Day Two Of Knox’s Testimony

      These are excerpts related to the “interrogation” of 5-6 Nov. Important: we dont yet know what else the prosecutors will include in their charges as much of Knox’s testimony was on other things about which she also lied.

      Excerpts in both posts are from the full transcript on the Case Wiki, and all transcription and translation into English (a massive task) was by the PMF Team.

      Cross Examination By Prosecutor Mignini

      GM:  In your preceding declarations, on Nov 2 at 15:30, on Nov 3 at 14:45, then, there was another one, Nov 4, 14:45, and then there’s Nov 6, 1:45. Only in these declarations, and then in the following spontaneous declarations, did you mention the name of Patrick. Why hadn’t you ever mentioned him before?
      AK:  Because that was the one where they suggested Patrick’s name to me.
      GM:  All right, now is the time for you to make this precise and specific. At this point I will take…no, I’ll come back to it later. You need to explain this. You have stated: “The name of Patrick was suggested to me. I was hit, pressured.”
      AK:  Yes.
      GM:  Now you have to tell me in a completely detailed way, you have to remember for real, you have to explain step by step, who, how, when, was the name of Patrick suggested to you, and what had been done before that point. The name of Patrick didn’t just come up like a mushroom; there was a preceding situation. Who put pressure on you, what do you mean by the word “pressure”, who hit you? You said: “They hit me”, and at the request of the lawyer Ghirga, yesterday, you described two little blows, two cuffs.
      AK:  Yes.
      GM:  So that would be what you meant by being hit?
      AK:  Yes.
      GM:  Or something else? Tell me if there was something else. You can tell us.
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  So, you are—[Interruptions] The question is—[Interruptions] Escuse me. Excuse me. The question is quite clear. He is repeating this in order to give the accused a chance to add something to these events that were explained by the accused yesterday. The pubblico ministero is asking to return to these events mentioned yesterday in order to obtain more detail about exactly what happened and who did it. Please be as precise as possible.
      GM:  So you were in front of—
      GCM:  The question is clear.
      GM:  All right, so tell us.
      GCM:  Yes, it’s clear.
      AK:  All right. Okay.
      GCM:  If you could give more detail, be more precise, exactly what was suggested to you, about the cuffs, all that.
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  And who did all this, if you can.
      AK:  Okay. Fine. So, when I got to the Questura, they placed me to the side, near the elevator, where I was waiting for Raffaele. I had taken my homework, and was starting to do my homework, but a policeman came in, in fact there were I don’t know, three of them or something, and they wanted to go on talking to me. They asked me again—
      GM:  Excuse me, excuse me—
      AK:  [coldly] Can I tell the story?
      GM:  Excuse me for interrupting you otherwise we’ll forget—
      CDV:  Presidente, I object to this way of doing things. The question was asked—[Yelling, interruptions]—we should wait for the answer.
      GM:  It’s impossible to go on like this, no, no.
      CDV:  If a question is asked, she has to be able to answer.
      GCM:  Please, please. That’s correct. There is a rule that was introduced, which says that we should absolutely avoid interruptions from anyone.
      CDV:  I want to ask that she be allowed to finish her answer. She has the right, no?
      GCM:  Please, please, pubblico ministero. It’s impossible to go on this way.
      GM:  I would like to, I can—
      GCM:  No no no, no one can. We have to make sure that while someone is speaking, there are never any superimposed voices. And since the accused is undergoing examination, she has the right to be allowed to answer in the calmest possible way. Interruptions and talking at the same time don’t help her, and they can’t be written down in the minutes, which obliges the courts to suspend the audience and start it again at a calmer and more tranquil moment.
      GM:  Presidente—
      GCM:  No, no, no! Interruptions are absolutely not allowed! Not between the parties, nor when the Court, the President is speaking. So, interruptions are not allowed. Now, the accused is speaking, and when she is finished, we can return to her answers—
      GM:  Presidente.
      GCM:  Excuse me, please! But at the moment she is speaking, we have to avoid interrupting her. But—I don’t know if this is what was wanted—but while you are speaking, if you could tell us when. For instance, you say you were doing homework, but you didn’t tell us when. We need to know when, on what day, the 2nd of November, the 3rd, what time it was. While you are talking, you need to be more detailed, as detailed as you can with respect to the date and the time.
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  And we must avoid interruptions, but when you have finished, we can discuss your answer.
      AK:  Thank you. So, here is…how I understood the question, I’m answering about what happened to me on the night of the 5th and the morning of the 6th of November 2007, and when we got to the Questura, I think it was around 10:30 or nearer 11, but I’m sorry, I don’t know the times very precisely, above all during that interrogation. The more the confusion grew, the more I lost the sense of time. But I didn’t do my homework for a very long time. I was probably just reading the first paragraph of what I had to read, when these policemen came to sit near me, to ask me to help them by telling them who had ever entered in our house. So I told them, okay, well there was this girlfriend of mine and they said no no no, they only wanted to know about men. So I said okay, here are the names of the people I know, but really I don’t know, and they said, names of anyone you saw nearby, so I said, there are some people that are friends of the boys, or of the girls, whom I don’t know very well, and it went on like this, I kept on answering these questions, and finally at one point, while I was talking to them, they said “Okay, we’ll take you into this other room.” So I said okay and went with them, and they started asking me to talk about what I had been doing that evening. At least, they kept asking about the last time I saw Meredith, and then about everything that happened the next morning, and we had to repeat again and again everything about what I did. Okay, so I told them, but they always kept wanting times and schedules, and time segments: “What did you do between 7 and 8?” “And from 8 to 9? And from 9 to 10?” I said look, I can’t be this precise, I can tell you the flow of events, I played the guitar, I went to the house, I looked at my e-mails, I read a book, and I was going on like this. There were a lot people coming in and going out all the time, and there was one policeman always in front of me, who kept going on about this. Then at one point an interpreter arrived, and the interpreter kept on telling me, try to remember the times, try to remember the times, times, times, times, and I kept saying “I don’t know. I remember the movie, I remember the dinner, I remember what I ate,” and she kept saying “How can you you remember this thing but not that thing?” or “How can you not remember how you were dressed?” because I was thinking, I had jeans, but were they dark or light, I just can’t remember. And then she said “Well, someone is telling us that you were not at Raffaele’s house. Raffaele is saying that at these times you were not home.” And I said, but what is he saying, that I wasn’t there? I was there! Maybe I can’t say exactly what I was doing every second, every minute, because I didn’t look at the time. I know that I saw the movie, I ate dinner. And she would say “No no no, you saw the film at this time, and then after that time you went out of the house. You ate dinner with Raffaele, and then there is this time where you did nothing, and this time where you were out of the house.” And I said, no, that’s not how it was. I was always in Raffaele’s apartment.
      GCM:  [taking advantage of a tiny pause to slip in without exactly interrupting] Excuse me, excuse me, the pubblico ministero wants to hear precise details about the suggestions about what to say, and also about the cuffs, who gave them to you.
      AK:  All right. What it was, was a continuous crescendo of these discussions and arguments, because while I was discussing with them, in the end they started to little by little and then more and more these remarks about “We’re not convinced by you, because you seem to be able to remember one thing but not remember another thing. We don’t understand how you could take a shower without seeing…” And then, they kept on asking me “Are you sure of what you’re saying? Are you sure? Are you sure? If you’re not sure, we’ll take you in front of a judge, and you’ll go to prison, if you’re not telling the truth.” Then they told me this thing about how Raffaele was saying that I had gone out of the house. I said look, it’s impossible. I don’t know if he’s really saying that or not, but look, I didn’t go out of the house. And they said “No, you’re telling a lie. You’d better remember what you did for real, because otherwise you’re going to prison for 30 years because you’re a liar.” I said no, I’m not a liar. And they said “Are you sure you’re not protecting someone?” I said no, I’m not protecting anyone. And they said “We’re sure you’re protecting someone.” Who, who, who, who did you meet when you went out of Raffaele’s house?” I didn’t go out. “Yes, you did go out. Who were you with?” I don’t know. I didn’t do anything. “Why didn’t you go to work?” Because my boss told me I didn’t have to go to work. “Let’s see your telephone to see if you have that message.” Sure, take it. “All right.” So one policeman took it, and started looking in it, while the others kept on yelling “We know you met someone, somehow, but why did you meet someone?” But I kept saying no, no, I didn’t go out, I’m not pro-pro-pro—-
      GCM:  [taking advantage of her stammer] Excuse me, okay, we understand that there was a continuous crescendo.
      AK:  Yes.
      GCM:  As you said earlier. But if we could now get to the questions of the pubblico ministero, otherwise it will really be impossible to avoid some interruptions. If you want to be able to continue as tranquilly, as continuously as possible…
      AK:  Okay, I’m sorry.
      GCM:  So, if you could get to the questions about exactly when, exactly who… these suggestions, exactly what did they consist in? It seems to me…
      AK:  Okay. Fine. So, they had my telephone, and at one point they said “Okay, we have this message that you sent to Patrick”, and I said I don’t think I did, and they yelled “Liar! Look! This is your telephone, and here’s your message saying you wanted to meet him!” And I didn’t even remember that I had written him a message. But okay, I must have done it. And they were saying that the message said I wanted to meet him. That was one thing. Then there was the fact that there was this interpreter next to me, and she was telling me “Okay, either you are an incredibly stupid liar, or you’re not able to remember anything you’ve done.” So I said, how could that be? And she said, “Maybe you saw something so tragic, so terrible that you can’t remember it. Because I had a terrible accident once where I broke my leg…”
      GCM:  The interpreter said this to you?
      AK:  The interpreter, yes.
      GCM:  I also wanted to ask you because it isn’t clear to me: only the interpreter spoke to you, or the others also?
      AK:  All the others also.
      GCM:  Everyone was talking to you, all the others, but were they speaking in English?
      AK:  No, in Italian.
      GCM:  In Italian. And you answered in Italian?
      AK:  In Italian, in English…
      GCM:  And what was said to you in Italian, did it get translated to you in English?
      AK:  A bit yes, a bit no, there was so much confusion, there were so many people all talking at the same time, one saying “Maybe it was like this, maybe you don’t remember,” another saying “No, she’s a stupid liar,” like that…
      GCM:  But everything was eventually translated, or you understood some of it and answered right away?
      AK:  It wasn’t like an interrogation, like what we’re doing now, where one person asks me a question and I answer. No. There were so many people talking, asking, waiting, and I answered a bit here and there.
      GCM:  All right. You were telling us that the interpreter was telling you about something that had happened to her. [Interruption by Mignini.] But you need to get back to the questions asked by the pubblico ministero. This isn’t a spontaneous declaration now. This is an examination. That means the pubblico ministero has asked you a question, always the same question, and we still haven’t really heard the answer to it.
      AK:  Yes, sorry.
      GCM:  Right, so you were saying that there was this continuous crescendo.
      AK:  It’s difficult for me to say that one specific person said one specific thing. It was the fact that there were all these little suggestions, and someone was saying that there was the telephone, then there was the fact that… then more than anything what made me try to imagine something was someone saying to me “Maybe you’re confused, maybe you’re confused and you should try to remember something different. Try to find these memories that obviously you have somehow lost. You have to try to remember them. So I was there thinking, but what could I have forgotten? And I was thinking, what have I forgotten? what have I forgotten? and they were shouting “Come on, come on, come on, remember, remember, remember,” and boom! on my head. [Amanda slaps herself on the back of the head: End of video segment] “Remember!” And I was like—Mamma Mia! and then boom! [slaps head again] “Remember!”
      GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please, excuse me…
      AK:  Those were the cuffs.
      GCM:  So, the pubblico ministero asked you, and is still asking you, who is the person that gave you these two blows that you just showed us on yourself?
      AK:  It was a policewoman, but I didn’t know their names.
      GM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
      GM:  So, now, I asked you a question, and I did not get an answer. You ... [interruptions]!
      LG or CDV:  I object to that remark! That is a personal evaluation! Presidente! That is very suggestive. He is making an unacceptable conclusion. He can ask a question, but this is a personal opinion. It seems to me that she did answer. She answered for a good five minutes.
      GCM:  Sorry, but I said that we were supposed to avoid interruptions, that we weren’t supposed to interrupt when someone was speaking—
      LG or CDV:  But—
      GCM:  Wait—avvocato, excuse me, please, let’s try to avoid these moments which don’t help anybody and probably harm the person undergoing the examination because they create tension in the court—
      GM:  When I am doing the cross-examination I would like—
      GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero. This is another recommendation: let’s avoid analyses. Let’s take the answers as they come, later the right moment will come to say that from this examination, you did not obtain the answer that you expected, that the accused did not answer the questions. That is a later phase. At this moment, let’s stay with the answers that we have, even if they are not exhaustive, and return to the question, but avoiding personal evaluations of their value. Go ahead, publicco ministero, go ahead.
      GM:  I would like to—
      GCM:  Yes, yes, go ahead, return to your question. And then you can come back to it with more details.
      GM:  The central point of that interrogation was the moment when the name of Patrick emerged. You spoke of suggestions, you spoke of pressure, you spoke of being hit, I asked you to give me a precise description of who gave you the blows, you need to describe this person. Was it a woman or a man? Who asked you the questions? Who was asking you the questions? There was the interpreter, who was the person who was translating. But the exam, the interrogation, who was doing it? Apart from the people who were going in and out. You must have understood that there was a murder, and this was a police station, and the investigation was hot, and what I am asking you is, who was actually conducting the interrogation?
      GCM:  The pubblico ministero is asking you, you said that the two blows were given to me by someone whose name I don’t know. The pubblico ministero is asking you firstly if you can give a description of the person who hit you, if you saw her, and if you can give us a description. The second question—
      AK:  So, when I—the person who was conducting the interrogation—
      GCM:  That was the second question! You’re starting with the second question, that’s fine, go ahead, go ahead.
      AK:  Oh, sorry…
      GCM:  Go on, go on. The person who was conducting the interrogation…
      AK:  Well, there were lots and lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man who was holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman, and she gave me another blow to the head.
      GCM:  This was the same woman with the long hair?
      AK:  Yes, the same one.
      GCM:  All right. Are you finished? Tell me if you have something to add.
      AK:  Well, I already answered.
      GCM:  Fine, fine, all right. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
      GM:  I’ll go on with the questions. In the minutes it mentions three people, plus the interpreter. Now, you first said that they suggested things to you. What exactly do you mean by the word “suggestion”, because from your description, I don’t see any suggestion. I mean, what is meant by the Italian word “suggerimento”, I don’t find it.
      GCM:  [quelling them] Excuse me, excuse me, please, please, excuse me, excuse me! Listen, the pubblico ministero is asking you: “suggestions”, you also mentioned words that were “put in your mouth”, versions, things to say, circumstances to describe.
      The pubblico ministero is asking two things: who made the suggestions, and what exactly were you told to say? }}
      AK:  All right. It seems to me that the thoughts of the people standing around me, there were so many people, and they suggested things to me in the sense that they would ask questions like: “Okay, you met someone!” No, I didn’t. They would say “Yes you did, because we have this telephone here, that says that you wanted to meet someone. You wanted to meet him.” No, I don’t remember that. “Well, you’d better remember, because if not we’ll put you in prison for 30 years.” But I don’t remember! “Maybe it was him that you met? Or him? You can’t remember?” It was this kind of suggestion.
      GCM:  When you say they said “Maybe you met him?”, did they specify names?
      AK:  Well, the important fact was this message to Patrick, they were very excited about it. So they wanted to know if I had received a message from him—
      [Interruptions]
      GCM:  Please, please!
      [Interruptions, multiple voices]
      CDV:  It’s not possible to go on this way! [Mignini yells something at dalla Vedova]
      GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me!
      ??:  I’m going to ask to suspend the audience! I demand a suspension of five minutes!
      GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me! Please!
      CDV:  Viva Dio, Presidente!
      GM:  Presidente, I’m trying to do a cross-examination, and I must have the conditions that allow me to do it! The defense keeps interrupting.
      ??:  That’s true!
      GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please—
      GM:  We’re asking for a suspension!
      GCM:  Just a moment, excuse me. I’ve heard all the demands and suggestions, now the Court will decide. So.
      [Several moments of silence, during which Amanda murmurs in a very tiny voice: “Scusa.”]
      GCM:  I want to point out that the accused offers answers to every question. She could always refuse to respond. She is answering, and that doesn’t mean she has to be asked about the same circumstances again and again. She is not a witness. The accused goes under different rules. We have to accept the answers—
      ??:  But—
      GCM:  Please, please! We have to accept the answers given by the accused. She can stop answering at any time. At some point we simply have to move on to different questions. One circumstance is being asked again, the accused answered. The regularly, the tranquillity, the rituality of the court, of the process, has to be respected. The pubblico ministero was asking about suggestions. [To Amanda] If you want a suspension we can do it right away.
      AK:  No, I’m fine.
      GCM:  So the pubblico ministero was asking about the suggestions. All right?
      AK:  Sure.
      GCM:  So, you were the one who gave the first indication, introducing this generic pronoun “him”? This “him”, did they say who it could be?
      AK:  It was because of the fact that they were saying that I apparently had met someone and they said this because of the message, and they were saying “Are you sure you don’t remember meeting THIS person, because you wrote this message.”
      GCM:  In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?
      AK:  No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”
      GCM:  But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?
      AK:  Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone. But I told them that I had received a message from Patrick, and they looked for it in the telephone, but they couldn’t find it, but they found the one I sent to him.
      GCM:  I also wanted to ask you for the pubblico ministero, you wrote this message in Italian. I wanted to ask you, since you are an English speaker, what do you do when you wrote in Italian? Do you first think in English, and then translate into Italian, or do you manage to think directly in Italian?
      AK:  No, at that time, I first thought in English, then I would translate, and then write.
      GCM:  So that clarifies that phrase. Go ahead, pubblico ministero, but I think we’ve exhausted the question.
      GM:  Yes, yes. I just wanted one concept to be clear: that in the Italian language, “suggerire” means “indicate”, someone who “suggests” a name actually says the name and the other person adopts it. That is what “suggerimento” is, and I…so my question is, did the police first pronounce the name of Patrick, or was it you? And was it pronounced after having seen the message in the phone, or just like that, before that message was seen?
      ??:  Objection! Objection!
      GM:  On page 95, I read—
      CDV:  Before the objection, what was the question?
      GM:  The question was: the question that was objected was about the term “suggerimento”. Because I interpret that word this way: the police say “Was it Patrick?” and she confirms that it was Patrick. This is suggestion in the Italian language.
      GCM:  Excuse me, please, excuse me. Let’s return to the accused. What was the suggestion, because I thought I had understood that the suggestion consisted in the fact that Patrick Lumumba, to whom the message was addressed, had been identified, they talked about “him, him, him”. In what terms exactly did they talk about this “him”? What did they say to you?
      AK:  So, there was this thing that they wanted a name. And the message—
      GCM:  You mean, they wanted a name relative to what?
      AK:  To the person I had written to, precisely. And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!” At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember,” and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me…
      GCM:  “Remember!” is not a suggestion. It is a strong solicitation of your memory. Suggestion is rather…
      AK:  But it was always “Remember” following this same idea, that…
      GCM:  But they didn’t literally say that it was him!
      AK:  No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”
      GCM:  So, these were the suggestions.
      AK:  Yes.
      GCM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
      GM:  I object here on the dynamics, because here there’s a contrast…well… per carita—[Brief interruption from GCM]—From Amanda’s answer, it emerges that there was this cell phone and this message and this “Answer, answer,” whereas in the minutes of the Dec 17 interrogation, page 95, we find: The police could not have suggested—[Arguing, everyone speaking, Maresca, Pacelli etc., some saying that they need to know the exact page, it’s different in their version. ]
      GCM:  While the pubblico ministero is talking, let’s avoid interrupting him. It’s true that the pages are different, but still, if you can’t find the page, ask for a moment’s pause, don’t interrupt the reading.
      GM:  So, on line number one, two, three, four…
      GCM:  Pubblico ministero, don’t worry about the lines, please read.
      GM:  [reading] She said: “I accused Patrick and no one else because they were continually talking about Patrick.” Suggesting, to use Amanda’s words. I asked: “The police, the police could not suggest? And the interpreter, was she shouting the name of Patrick? Sorry, but what was the police saying?” Knox: “The police were saying, ‘We know that you were in the house. We know you were in the house.’ And one moment before I said Patrick’s name, someone was showing me the message I had sent him.” This is the objection. There is a precise moment. The police were showing her the message, they didn’t know who it was—
      GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me pubblico ministero [talking at the same time] excuse me, excuse me, the objection consists in the following: [to Amanda], when there are contrasts or a lack of coincidence with previous statements, be careful to explain them.
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  Do you confirm the declarations that the pubblico ministero read out?
      AK:  I explained it better now.
      GCM:  You explained it better now. All right pubblico ministero. Go ahead.
      GM:  So, let’s move forward.
      AK:  Okay.
      GM:  Now, what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?
      AK:  Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of “Patrick”, I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation. I saw Patrick’s face, then Piazza Grimana, then my house, then something green that they told me might be the sofa. Then, following this, they wanted details, they wanted to know everything I had done. But I didn’t know how to say. So they started talking to me, saying, “Okay, so you went out of the house, okay, fine, so you met Patrick, where did you meet Patrick?” I don’t know, maybe in Piazza Grimana, maybe near it. Because I had this image of Piazza Grimana. “Okay, fine, so you went with him to your house. Okay, fine. How did you open the door?” Well, with my key. “So you opened the house”. Okay, yes. “And what did you do then?” I don’t know. “But was she already there?” I don’t know. “Did she arrive or was she already there?” Okay. “Who was there with you?” I don’t know. “Was it just Patrick, or was Raffaele there too?” I don’t know. It was the same when the pubblico ministero came, because he asked me: “Excuse me, I don’t understand. Did you hear the sound of a scream?” No. “But how could you not have heard the scream?”. I don’t know, maybe my ears were covered. I kept on and on saying I don’t know, maybe, imagining…
      GCM:  [Stopping her gently] Okay, okay. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
      CDV?:  I’d like to ask a question, I’d like to make an objection about—
      GCM?:  All right, so—
      GM:  Is it a question or an objection? [crossing, arguing voices]
      GCM:  Please, no interruptions.
      CDV?:  [stronger] I said, I am asking a question and making an objection—
      GCM:  But, excuse me, let’s stay with essentials. Let’s hear what the pubblico ministero has to say, and then we’ll see. That’s a premise.
      GM:  I appeal to the court that this is making the examination impossible.
      GCM:  Please, please, sorry. Go ahead.
      GM:  I am trying to understand. In the interro—[he breaks off in mid-word, I think dalla Vedova must have stood up again.]
      GCM:  But it’s not possible to hinder things this way, avvocato. Excuse me. Why?
      CDV?:  [hard to hear because he’s speaking at the same time as GCM] The defense would like to formally ask for a break [?]
      GCM:  We haven’t even heard what he is trying to say yet. You can’t make preventive objections! I’m sorry, avvocato.
      CDV?:  I’m not making an objection—
      GCM:  [really trying to stop him but not succeeding, CDV goes on talking at the same time] Please, please avvocato, no no no no, the pubblico ministero is speaking. [GM also says some words] Excuse me, excuse me.
      CDV?:  The suggestions of the PM before asking the question are inopportune, because he is suggesting and making suggestive…
      GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me! [He really, really needs a gavel to bang!]
      GM:  [some words]
      GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero! We are creating useless moments—
      GM:  [some words]
      GCM:  [much louder] Please, pubblico ministero! Please! Now, excuse me.
      GM or CDV:  Please explain this concept to me.
      GCM:  Please, please! [He finally obtains silence] I understand that when these interruption happens, the tone gets a bit louder, but that is not helpful. [Interruption] Please, please—but we are getting the impression that the objections are preventive. So while the pubblico ministero is speaking, which he has every right to do in this phase, and the defense already had their chance to do it, and they weren’t interrupted yesterday, so we ask for equal treatment today, at the present moment of the examination of the accused. And the tone should always remain cordial without giving the impression of a—
      CDV:  Yes, yes, no, no. But it’s just that, I am asking that—
      GCM:  Please, avvocato. There’s no reason. We are trying to reconcile the interests of all parties, we are gathering circumstances on which the different parties are called to make analyses and the Court to decide. This will be helpful for everyone. Go ahead.
      GM:  The question is this: You say, you just told me a little while ago, that… the police—I’m trying to—well, I have to give a little introduction so she understands my question. You said “they found this message and they asked me whom it was to, if it was true or not true.” And you answered. Then the police obviously goes forward with their questions. “So, tell us”. And you…you just told me, I can’t read it, obviously I don’t have the transcription right here, but, I might be making a mistake, I don’t know, but you were saying that you remembered Piazza Grimana. Did you really say that?
      AK:  Yes.
      GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, there, now what the accused is saying is: “On the basis of these elements, I tried to reconstruct a scene that could be verified.” In these terms, not because she… She mentally elaborated, with her imagination: this is what I understood, how the scene could be realized, containing those elements that had come up.
      AK:  Certainly.
      GCM:  But she wasn’t speaking of an effective memory of circumstances that had effectively occurred in her perception. That is the meaning of the response of the accused.
      AK:  Certo.
      GM:  But you said that you remembered Piazza Grimana.
      AK:  I had an image of Piazza Grimana.
      GM:  An image of Piazza Grimana, that’s right. Now listen, in the interrogation, page 95, the same interrogation, but the same expression turns up in other places, I can give references if necessary…

      [Start of 6:54 minute video segment] ...I asked this question: Why did you throw out an accusation of this type? In the confrontations with Mr. Lumumba (I was continuing and you answered right away): “I was trying, I had the possibility of explaining the message in my phone. He had told me not to come to work.” Perfectly normal things. So, faced with a perfectly normal circumstance, “My boss texted me to tell me not to come to work and I answered him,” you could have just stated that. End of response. Instead, faced with the message, and the questions of the police, you threw out this accusation. So I am asking you, why start accusing him when you could calmly explain the exchange of messages? Why did you think those things could be true? }}
      AK:  I was confused.
      GM:  You have repeated that many times. But what does it mean? Either something is true, or it isn’t true. Right now, for instance, you’re here at the audience, you couldn’t be somewhere else. You couldn’t say “I am at the station.” You are right here, right now.
      AK:  Certainly. [Some noise]
      GCM:  The question is clear.
      AK:  Can I answer?
      GCM:  [quelling noise] Excuse me, excuse me! Please, go ahead.
      AK:  My confusion was because firstly, I couldn’t understand why the police was treating me this way, and then because when I explained that I had spent the whole time with Raffaele, they said “No, you’re a liar”. It was always this thing that either I didn’t remember or I was lying. The fact that I kept on and on repeating my story and they kept saying “No, you’re going to prison right now if you don’t tell the truth,” and I said “But I’ve told the truth,” “No, you’re a liar, now you’re going to prison for 30 years because either you’re a stupid liar or you forgot. And if it’s because you forgot, then you’d better remember what happened for real, right now.” This is why I was confused. Because I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand anything any more. I was so scared and impressed by all this that at some point I thought What the heck, maybe they’re right, maybe I forgot.
      GM:  So, and then, you accused Lumumba of murder. This is the conclusion.

      GM:  I wanted to spend a moment on one last question, maybe the last but I don’t know, about the morning of the 6th.
      AK:  Okay.
      GM:  There’s another thing I didn’t understand. You said pressure was put on you, and there were suggestions, you explained today exactly what those consisted in, to say the name of Patrick and to accuse Patrick. Then you wrote a memorandum in which you confirm everything. And you weren’t under pressure right then. Why didn’t you just say: “I falsely accused someone.” Someone who was in prison, who was put in prison, maybe for a long time. Can you explain this to me?
      AK:  Certo.
      CDV?:  Can I make an objection? Very, very calmly and without animosity?
      GCM:  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you [for the calm, no doubt]. Thank you.
      CDV?:  It seems to me that the pubblico ministero, in presenting his questions, always makes references which go as far as actually suggesting the answers, and also—
      GM:  Well it is a cross-examination.
      GCM:  Please, please let’s avoid interruptions and let each person express what he has to say. Go ahead, avvocato.
      CDV?:  In the question he just asked, he mentions the memorandum and says it confirms. Now, this might be a specific question, but it should not be an assertion on the part of the pubblico ministero, followed by another question. If we look in the minutes, we find a series of unilateral declarations which all go to show what interests the pubblico ministero. To my mind, this mentality goes against our way of examining the accused. I just want to make this clear.
      GCM:  All right, taking into account these remarks, the pubblico ministero’s question remains. It could be rephrased like this: during the 5th and the 6th, you said there were pressures, and the name of Patrick Lumumba emerged as also being involved in these events. But as the pubblico ministero notes, you then you wrote the memorandum spontaneously. We heard that you yourself asked for paper to be able to write it.
      AK:  Certainly.
      GCM:  And writing with this liberty, you even referred to it as a gift, these elements which had already emerged, you reasserted them, and this involvement of Patrick Lumumba. What the pubblico ministero is asking is: how did you—this question was already asked yesterday—in these different circumstances, you weren’t in the room any more, there wasn’t any pressure, why didn’t the truth somehow get stabilized?
      AK:  Yes, yes. In fact, what happened is that I had literally been led to believe that somehow, I had forgotten something real, and so with this idea that I must have forgotten, I was practically convinced myself that I really had forgotten. And these images, that I was actually forcing myself to imagine, were really lost memories. So, I wasn’t sure if those images were reality or not, but explaining this to the police, they didn’t want to listen to the fact that I wasn’t sure. They treated me as though I had now remembered everything and everything was fine and I could now make a declaration in the tribunal against someone, to accuse someone. I didn’t feel sure about that. I didn’t feel—
      GCM:  Excuse me, but in the memorandum, do you remember what you wrote about Patrick? Because maybe it wasn’t precise…
      GM:  [Interrupting] I want—I want—I want to contest this point. Two points in the memorandum. If I’m not mistaken, you weren’t a witness right then. You had been the object of an arrest warrant. You had been arrested. You know the difference between a suspect and a witness. You weren’t a witness. Not any longer. So in the memorandum—
      CDV?:  One moment—[hard to hear] Does she know the difference?
      GM:  Can I continue? Sorry, avvocato, but I’m asking questions! Can I continue? He’s continually—
      GCM:  Sorry, sorry, go ahead.
      GM:  This is impossible!
      GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero, go ahead, go ahead.
      GM:  I am interrogating. I am interrogating. Now I’m distracted. Now, the difference between a suspect and a witness—a person informed of the facts. You said: “I made these declarations so that I could leave, so I could be—” but instead, you were arrested. And you wrote the memorandum after you had been arrested. And you wrote two sentences: I’ll read them. “I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that events that could have taken place in my home with Patrick.” [In Italian: “I confirm…”] Do you know what the word “confirm” means in Italian? “In the flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer.” There wasn’t any policeman with you when you wrote that. No one. You wrote that in complete liberty. Do you know how to explain to me why? And this is even more decisive than what you said some hours earlier. Can you explain this?
      AK:  I couldn’t even explain to myself why I had these images in my head, because I didn’t know if they were memories or not. And I want to say that if I made these declarations, that they asked me to sign and everything, I did it, but I wanted in the memorandum to explain my doubt, this fact that I wasn’t sure about it, because no one ever wanted to listen when I said listen, I don’t know.
      GCM?:  Effectively the memorandum was correcting what had been said, and these doubts arose.
      GM:  Do you have lapses of memory? At that time did you ever have lapses of memory?
      AK:  Did I have what?
      GM:  Lapses of memory.
      AK:  Oh, lapses of memory.
      GM:  Lapses of memory. Moments where you couldn’t remember things that you had done. “What did I do yesterday? I don’t know.”
      AK:  [Laughing] I’ve had that problem all my life.
      GM:  What?
      AK:  I’ve had that problem all my life. I can’t remember where I put my keys.
      GM:  So it happened to you at other times? Explain it to me. You previously mixed up things, didn’t know whether you had dreamed things or they were real?
      AK:  No, not that part about the imagination! I would forget for example what I ate yesterday for dinner, yes, that happened to me, but not to actually imagine things.
      GM:  To imagine something that hadn’t really happened, that never happened to you.
      AK:  No. I never had that problem, but then, I had never been interrogated like that before.
      GM:  Okay, so when you had this flashback, you saw Patrick as the murderer. What was this flashback?
      AK:  The flashback consisted in this image of Patrick’s actual face, not that I imagined an actual act, I imagined his face. Then I had this image of Piazza Grimana, then an image of Patrick’s face, then I always had this idea that they wanted to say: these images explain the fact that you met him, and you brought him home, and maybe you heard something and covered your ears, and it was always like this, not that I actually imagined having seen Meredith’s death. It was these images that came by themselves, to explain…
      GM:  I see. All right. I take note of what you’re saying. Now, let’s talk about your memorandum from the 7th, still written in total autonomy, without anyone around you. You wrote: “I didn’t lie when I said that I thought the murderer was Patrick. At that moment I was very stressed and I really did think that it was Patrick.” Then you add “But now I know that I can’t know who the murderer is, because I remember that I didn’t go home.” Can you explain these concept to me?
      AK:  Yes, because I was convinced that I somehow could have forgotten. So in that moment, I—
      GM:  So what you had said might have actually been true?
      AK:  Yes.
      AK:  Yes, it could have been true, but at that moment. But then, when I was able to rethink the facts, it became clearer and clearer that it didn’t make sense, that it was absolutely ridiculous that I could have thought that or imagined it.
      GM:  But didn’t you feel the need to intervene to get an innocent person out of prison? You didn’t feel the need?
      AK:  But the police had already called me a liar, and I didn’t feel they were listening to me. Also because in the Questura—
      GM:  But you were in prison!
      AK:  But in the Questura, I had already told them: Look, I’m not sure about this, and they didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to listen, because they said to me “No, you’ll remember it later. You just need a little time to really remember these facts.” I told them no, I don’t think it’s like that, but they didn’t want to listen.
      GM:  They didn’t believe you. But you, once you said that you remembered, [snaps fingers?] you could have just made a declaration or sent me another memorandum saying “No, I didn’t say the truth. Patrick is innocent.”
      GCM:  Excuse me, we already had explanations about this.


      The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #1

      Posted by Peter Quennell



      Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo. Quick route to Comments here.

      1. Arrangements For Knox Trial In Florence

      Knox’s second trial for aggravated calunnia will take place later this week and early next week in Florence.

      For the record the sentence for a repeat calunnia offense can be six years and the statute of limitations cuts in at 11 year and three months which in this case will be late in AD 2020.

      The real drama if any will be next week, when witnesses are to be called starting on Monday. We should have some court reporting from Main Poster Machiavelli. There is the possibility of a closed court and a verdict on Tuesday.

      We believe the judge will be Dr Giampaolo Boninsegna. We presume that Knox will not attend (perhaps a weak move, perhaps not).

      Two prosecutors have developed the case which was sparked by complaints from investigators in the Perugia central police station. They are Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo (image above) and Dr Angela Pietroiusti. We could see either or both of them in action.

      It appears now that knox’s lawyers will again be Ghirga and Dalla Vedova, who some lawyers criticise for dropping her in it at trial with an ill-judged stint on the stand after 20 months of trying to stop Knox dropping herself in it.

      2. Why Knox Was On The Stand in 2009

      Knox’s team primarily primarily intended that Knox’s two days on the stand should serve to explain why she framed Patrick and then allowed him to languish in prison.

      Both publicly to the media and at the Micheli hearings in late 2008 Knox’s lawyers had denied she was ill-treated or forced into a “confession”. So why was Knox put on the stand?

      Probably in part because Knox absolutely insisted on it, given her considerable track record of written and spoken explanations and her interrogation in December 2007 by Dr Mignini. Each time a fail, but perhaps she had in mind the movie Groundhog Day.

      And probably in part because the prosecution portion of the trial had been pretty damning. There had been stacks of evidence and numerous witnesses whose testimony fitted together pretty seamlessly.

      Contrast this with the defense portion of the trial, from late summer onward, which was often awkward and hesitant, often did not fill complete court days, and really gained no ground back.

      3. The Knox Defense Team’s Uphill Task Here

      Bizarrely, Knox AND her lawyers AND her family had already sat through days and days of testimony earlier in the trial from various investigators who were present on 5-6 November when Knox explosively fingered Patrick.

      Knox’s testimony was like night and day compared to that, as if none of that previous testimony had even happened. This was probably unique in Italian legal history and quite possibly in US legal history also.

      Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, still far from complete, which has included a lot of new translation, showed what a very consistent picture of events on 5-6 Nov all these witnesses testified to.

      Testimony led by Knox’s team (see below) was quite extensive but it tellingly wandered far from the main point and was very pussyfooting about 5-6 Nov even though Knox was not under oath and prosecutor cross-examination was circumscribed. It really won no points for Knox at all and didnt avoid her serving three years.

      To consider the target testimony below against the picture the court had already developed, please read at least Part One of the series.

      Look below as you read for all the numerous claims by Knox of illegal pressure and illegal abuse and illegal insistence of scenarios and names given to her by the cops.

      According to the prior testimony of all those officers Knox is impugning, none of these claims of illegality seemingly designed to hurt careers had any truth at all to them.

      4. Day One of Knox’s Testimony

      Day two’s testimony will follow in our next post. Excerpts in both posts are from the full transcript on the Case Wiki, and all transcription and translation into English (a massive task) was by the PMF Team.

      Relevant Questions By Lumumba Lawyer Pacelli

      Here AK is Knox, CP is Pacelli, and GCM is Judge Massei.

      CP:  Listen, let’s get to the evening of November 1. On the evening of November 1, 2007, did you have an appointment with Patrick near the basketball court?
      GCM:  (Interrupting the interpreter who is putting this question into English for Amanda) Excuse me, excuse me. Also for the interpreter, also the English translation, everything is for everyone, this is not a dialogue between two people.
      CP:  I’ll ask a simpler question, Presidente.
      GCM:  No no, we heard it. Please, go ahead. (The interpreter translates the question)
      AK:  No, I didn’t.
      CP:  So, on the evening of November 1, you didn’t meet Patrick?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  You didn’t meet him at the basketball court?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Then why did you say you met him at the basketball court during your interrogation of November 6, 2007, at 1:45 in the morning in front of the judicial police?
      AK:  It was a complicated situation. I can explain it if you want me to go into it.
      CP:  Yes, yes, later.
      AK:  Okay.
      CP:  You had the keys of the apartment in via della Pergola?
      GCM:  Excuse me, avvocato, she was saying something.
      CP:  Sorry. Please, go ahead.
      GCM:  She was adding something. Please go ahead. You can answer…
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  ...with all the time and the precision that you need.
      AK:  Okay.
      GCM:  (addressing the interpreter) Tell her that if she wants to add something, as it seemed she did, she can do it, and we will listen. (Interpreter puts this into English)
      AK:  Yes. Um, the interrogation process was very long and difficult. Arriving in the police office, I didn’t expect to be interrogated at all. When I got there, I was sitting on my own doing my homework, when a couple of police officers came to sit with me. They began to ask me the same questions that they had been asking me days…all these days ever since it happened. For instance, who could I imagine could be the person who killed Meredith, and I said I still didn’t know, and so what they did is, they brought me into another interrogation room. Once I was in there, they asked me to repeat everything that I had said before, for instance what I did that night. They asked me to see my phone, which I gave to them, and they were looking through my phone, which is when they found the message. When they found the message, they asked me if I had sent a message back, which I didn’t remember doing. That’s when they started being very hard with me. They called me a stupid liar, and they said that I was trying to protect someone. (Sigh) So I was there, and they told me that I was trying to protect someone, but I wasn’t trying to protect anyone, and so I didn’t know how to respond to them. They said that I had left Raffaele’s house, which wasn’t true, which I denied, but they continued to call me a stupid liar. They were putting this telephone in front of my face going “Look, look, your message, you were going to meet someone”. And when I denied that, they continued to call me a stupid liar. And then, from that point on, I was very very scared, because they were treating me so badly and I didn’t understand why. (Sigh) While I was there, there was an interpreter who explained to me an experience of hers, where she had gone through a traumatic experience that she could not remember at all, and she suggested that I was traumatized, and that I couldn’t remember the truth. This at first seemed ridiculous to me, because I remembered being at Raffaele’s house. For sure. I remembered doing things at Raffaele’s house. I checked my e-mails before, then we watched a movie. We had eaten dinner together, we had talked together, and during that time I hadn’t left his apartment. But they were insisting upon putting everything into hourly segments, and since I never look at the clock, I wasn’t able to tell them what time exactly I did everything. They insisted that I had left the apartment for a certain period of time to meet somebody, which for me I didn’t remember, but the interpreter said I probably had forgotten. (Sigh)...
      AK:  So what ended up happening was, that they told me to try to remember what I apparently, according to them, had forgotten. Under the amount of pressure of everyone yelling at me, and having them tell me that they were going to put me in prison for protecting somebody, that I wasn’t protecting, that I couldn’t remember, I tried to imagine that in some way they must have had…it was very difficult, because when I was there, at a certain point, I just…I couldn’t understand (Start of 15:19 minute video segment) why they were so sure that I was the one who knew everything. And so, in my confusion, I started to imagine that maybe I was traumatized, like what they said. They continued to say that I had met somebody, and they continued to put so much emphasis on this message that I had received from Patrick, and so I almost was convinced that I had met him. But I was confused.
      CP:  But—did you really meet him at the basketball court?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Then how could you be convinced that you had met him?
      AK:  I was confused.
      CP:  When you said this, how many police inspectors were present?
      AK:  I don’t know how many were police officers or inspectors, but there were lots.
      CP:  Listen, but you were accompanied to the bar, they offered you a cappuccino over the night? They assisted you through the night?
      AK:  I was offered tea after I had made declarations.
      CP:  So they treated you well.
      AK:  No!

      On November 6, 2007, at 1:45, you said that you went to the house in via della Pergola with Patrick. Did you go?
      AK:  The declarations were taken against my will. And so, everything that I said, was said in confusion and under pressure, and, because they were suggested by the public minister.
      CP:  Excuse me, but at 1:45, the pubblico ministero was not there, there was only the judicial police.
      AK:  Ha. They also were pressuring me.
      CP:  I understand, but were they telling you to say that, too, or did you say it of your own free will.
      AK:  They were suggesting paths of thought. They were suggesting the path of thought. They suggested the journey. So the first thing I said, “Okay, Patrick”. And then they said “Okay, where did you meet him? Did you meet him at your house? Did you meet him near your house?” “Euh, near my house, I don’t know.” Then my memories got mixed up. From other days, I remembered having met Patrick, at Piazza Grimana, so I said “Okay, Piazza Grimana.” It wasn’t as if I said “Oh, this is how it went.”

      GCM:  Please go ahead, avvocato.
      CP: —which is the object of both declarations, the one at 1:45 and the one at 5:45. (Crossing voices.)
      GCM:  It was about facts, though?
      CP:  All right, I’ll reformulate the question. Meredith, before she was killed, did she have sex?
      AK:  I don’t know.
      CP:  Then why, in the interrogation of Nov 6 at 1:45, did you say that Meredith had sex before she died?
      AK:  Under pressure, I imagined lots of different things, also because during the days that I was being questioned by the police, they suggested to me that she had been raped.
      CP:  And the police suggested to you to say this?
      AK:  Yes.
      CP:  And to make you say this, did they hit you?
      AK:  Yes.

      CP:  When you wrote the memorandum, were you hit by police?
      AK:  When?
      CP:  When you wrote the memorandum. Were you hit by police?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Mistreated?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Did the police suggest the contents?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  You gave it to them freely?
      AK:  Yes.
      CP:  Voluntarily?
      AK:  Yes.
      CP:  Listen, in this memorandum, you say that you confirm the declarations you made the night before about what might have happened at your house with Patrick. Why did you freely and spontaneously confirm these declarations?
      AK:  Because I was no longer sure what was my imagination and what was real. So I wanted to say that I was confused, and that I couldn’t know. But at the same time, I knew I had signed those declarations. So I wanted to say that I knew I had made those declarations, but I was confused and not sure.
      CP:  But in fact, you were sure that Patrick was innocent?
      AK:  No, I wasn’t sure.
      CP:  Why?
      AK:  Because I was confused! I imagined that it might have happened. I was confused.

      CP:  Did you see Patrick on November 1, yes or no?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Did you meet him?
      AK:  No.
      CP:  Then why did you say that you saw him, met him, and walked home with him?
      AK:  Because the police and the interpreter told me that maybe I just wasn’t remembering these things, but I had to try to remember. It didn’t matter if I thought I was imagining it. I would remember it with time. So, the fact that I actually remembered something else was confusing to me. Because I remembered one thing, but under the pressure of the police, I forced myself to imagine another. I was confused. I was trying to explain this confusion, because they were making me accuse someone I didn’t want to accuse.

      Relevant Questions By Knox Lawyer Ghirga

      CP:  I’ll repeat my question. On the 10th, you said to your mother: “It’s my fault that he’s here. I feel terrible.” Why didn’t you say this to the pubblico ministero?
      LG?:  I object! He’s already asked this question. And it was answered.
      GCM:  Yes. It was already asked.
      CP:  Yes, but she hasn’t answered!
      LG?:  Yes, she HAS answered!
      CP:  Can she answer? I didn’t understand.
      GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me. Please.
      CP:  I didn’t understand her answer, President. Can you explain?
      GCM:  So, the question was asked and has been asked again because—
      CP:  (speaking over him) Because I didn’t understand the answer!
      GCM: —the defense lawyer has not understood why—in what regards the police, the accused has said that when they came to bring her paper, they said “Oh, another truth,” so her relations with them were such that she did not feel that she could tell them this circumstance. It remains to ask why she did not tell the pubblico ministero. This is what the lawyer is asking. For what concerns the police, we have heard her position and her answer. We’re talking about the period after the 10th of November, when this conversation with the mother was recorded. In what concerns the pubblico ministero, the lawyer is asking you why you didn’t feel the necessity, like with your mother, of telling him that Patrick Lumumba, as far as you were concerned, had nothing to do with all this.
      AK:  We are talking about when I was in front of the judge?
      GCM:  After the 10th of November.
      AK:  Frankly, I didn’t have good relations with the police after that period, nor with the pubblico ministero, because he also had suggested declarations that got written down in the declarations. I didn’t know where to turn. I felt better talking to my defense than to the police.

      LG:  All right, I’ve exhausted this topic. Now, I said we were just coming to the evening when you were called in, or rather when Raffaele was called in to the Questura on Nov 5. Where did you come from? Were you having dinner somewhere? Do you remember?
      AK:  We were at the apartment of a friend of his, who lived near his house, and we were having dinner with them, trying, I don’t know, to feel a bit of normality, when Raffaele was called by the police.
      LG:  Okay. So you went with him in the car, and you came in and they settled you somewhere, and later you were heard.
      AK:  Yes. What happened is that they weren’t expecting me to come. I went somewhere a bit outside near the elevator, and I had taken my homework with me, so I started to do my homework, and then I needed to do some “stretching”, so I did some “stretching”, and that’s when one policeman said something about my flexibility. A comment.
      LG:  Okay. Then you were interrogated, let’s say interrogated, it was just for information. So you were interrogated.
      AK:  Mm.
      LG:  During the interrogation, there were several people in the room, did someone come who was involved in Raffaele Sollecito’s interrogation? He was being interrogated in one place, you in another.
      AK:  So, there were lots and lots of people who came in and went out, and after one had come in and gone out, another policewoman told me that Raffaele said that I went out of the apartment—at least, Raffaele apparently said that I (stammering) had gone out of his house.
      LG:  Okay. And the episode of the text message came later? After this person came in and said that? You don’t remember?
      AK:  Yes, yes. I think it happened after they told me that.
      LG:  Now what interests me is that you should be precise about the term “hit”, because being hit is something…was it a cuff on the head, two cuffs on the head? How precise can you be about this “hitting”?
      AK:  So, during the interrogation, people were standing all around me, in front of me, behind me, one person was screaming at me from here, another person was shouting “No no no, maybe you just don’t remember” from over there, other people were yelling other things, and a policewoman behind me did this to me (you hear the sound of her giving two very little whacks).
      LG:  Once, twice?
      AK:  Twice. The first time I did this, I turned around to her, and she did it again.
      LG:  I wanted to know this precise detail.
      AK:  Yes.
      LG:  After all that, that whole conversation, that you told us about, and you had a crying crisis, did they bring you some tea, coffee, some cakes, something? When was that exactly?
      AK:  They brought me things only after I had made some declarations. So, I was there, they were all screaming at me, I only wanted to leave because I was thinking that my mother was arriving, and I said look, can I have my telephone, because I want to call my mom. They said no, and there was this big mess with them shouting at me, threatening me, and it was only after I made declarations that they started saying “No, no, don’t worry, we’ll protect you,” and that’s how it happened.
      LG:  Then you stayed in the Questura?
      AK:  Yes.
      LG:  Then, at midday, or one o’clock, we don’t know exactly, they brought you a paper called an arrest warrant. When they served you this warrant, it must have been around twelve, one o’clock. Do you remember?
      AK:  So, all papers they brought me to sign, at that point, they were all the same to me, so I can’t even say what I had to sign, arrest warrant, declarations, whatever, because at a certain point, I just wanted to sign and go home.
      LG:  Right. But instead?
      AK:  Instead, no. After a while they told me I had to stay in the Questura, so I had to stay, and I rolled up in a fetal position to try to sleep, on a chair, and I fell asleep, then I woke up, and I was there thinking and some people were going in and out, and during this period of time, I was telling them: “Look, I am really confused, these things don’t seem like what I remember, I remember something else.” And they said “No no no no no, you just stay quiet, you will remember it all later. So just stay quiet and wait, wait, wait, because we have to check some things.” And at that point I just didn’t understand anything. I even lost my sense of time.
      LG:  And I wanted to ask you after how long they took you to prison. At some point there was a car, a police wagon that took you to prison. After how much time was that? You don’t know?
      AK:  Well, I can’t say, but what I can say is that I stayed a while in the Questura, and during that time I kept trying to explain to the police that what I had said was not certain, and they took my shoes during that time and they took some pictures, they undressed me to take the pictures, and so it seemed like a long time.
      LG:  So it was between this time and the time you went to prison that you wrote the memorial?
      AK:  Yes. I wrote it there because, I asked to do it because I was telling them “Listen, you’re not hearing me, give me a piece of paper, and I’ll write this down in English to be sure you understand what I’m saying.” But I couldn’t really say that. I just said “Look, I’ll give you a present.” (Laughs.) It was because I wasn’t really able to speak or understand then. So I wrote that, but after I wrote the first pages, I was in the middle of writing this memorandum, they suddenly said “Hurry up, hurry up, finish because we have to take you to prison.” I stayed there like…I didn’t expect to go to prison, I thought maybe I hadn’t understood. I asked the policemen, the people who were around me, there, “But Why? I haven’t done anything.” And they said “No, it’s just bureaucracy. At least that’s what I understood.
      LG:  All right Amanda, okay. Thank you. So you went to prison and spent the night. When did you write the second memorial?
      AK:  So in prison I again asked for paper, because that’s how I’m used to expressing myself, the way I succeed best, also to organize my thoughts, I needed to write them down. I needed to reorganize all my thoughts, because at that point I was still confused, I still had these images in my memory that finally I understood were a mixture of real images in my memory from other days mixed with imagination. So I needed those pieces of paper, so I could take everything and put it in order.
      LG:  All right, I’ve finished the subject of the night in the Questura. When you made your first declaration, it was without the pubblico ministero. Then he came. Can you tell us if there was some discussion about a lawyer? If you remember, and whatever you remember.
      AK:  So, before they asked me to make further declarations—I really can’t tell you what time it was, I was lost after hours and hours of the same thing—but at one point I asked if I shouldn’t have a lawyer? I thought that, well, I didn’t know, but I’ve seen things like this on television. When people do things like this they have lawyer. They told me, at least one of them told me that it would be worse for me because it would prove that I didn’t want to collaborate with the police. So they told me no.

      Amanda Knox’s first letter of Nov 9, 2007

      This letter was entered in testimony by Knox’s lawyers on the first day. It was written by Knox to her lawyers around noon on Friday, Nov., 9, three days after her arrest and one day after the Matteini Hearing. Words that are missing from the scan are shown in square brackets.

      Presumably intended to help Knox, it has now become part of her problem.

      Per I Miei Avvocati

      - Amanda Knox (Friday, Nov. 9, 2007)

      Buon giorno Signore Ghirga e Signore Vedova. I’m sorry, but I must write in english to make sure I express myself (cl)early. Please excuse my handicap. I trust you are well, though probably very busy with my case and for this I thank you. What I want to provide for you now is help, because I know my position (is) a little confusing. I want to write for you everything I know as best I can and I especially want to tell you about this so-called “confession” that the police received from me. I want to begin with this “confession” because I know it is the most confusing, and so I will begin with that night.

      The night of Monday, November 5th, 2007, and the following early morning of Tuesday, November 6th, 2007, was one of the worst experiences of my life, perhaps the worst. Around 10:30pm or 11pm Raffaele and I arrived at the police station after eating dinner at the apartment of one of Raffaele’s friends. It was Raffaele who the police called, not me, but I came with him to the Questura anyway while he was to be questioned for support, as he had done for me many times. When we arrived he was taken inside and I waited by the elevator and looked through my books while I waited. Not long aftwerward one of the police came and sat by me, wanting to talk with me, supposedly to pass the time. He didn’t tell me he was a police officer. In fact, he said I could tell him whatever I wanted because it wouldn’t matter. At the time I was frustrated and told him so. I thought it was ridiculaous that the police called us in at ridiculous hours of the night and kept us at the police station for hours on end with only vending maschine (sic) food to sustain us, especially since we (wer)e all doing our best to help the police. I had been asked twice to reenter the home of my neighbors and mine, first to witness the blood in the neighbors’ apartment and then to look through (k)nives in mine. I really feared the place. Inside my own home I broke down crying because I couldn’t stand to be inside. These were the reasons for my frustration and I told him so.

      He then wanted to discuss who I thought the murderer could be, but as I had already told them before, since I wasn’t there at my home, I couldn’t have any idea, but (deleted words) he wasn’t satisfied with my answer. Who did I think it was? How would I know? I didn’t know anyone dangerous. Soon I was joined by other police people who only wanted to “talk” but who interrogated me again with the same questions. What males had ever been in my house? Who knew Meredith? Did I have any phone numbers? I gave them all the information I could. Names, phone numbers, descriptions. But it was all giving me a headache. I had already answered these questions before and I was confused as to why the police wanted so much to talk to me. Why me? Why did they keep asking me who I thought the murderer was when I already told them I had no idea?

      And then they brought me inside, because it was “warmer”. I (asked) where Raffaele was and they told me he would be done soon (but) in the meantime they wanted to talk to me. The interrogation process started rather quickley (sic). One minute I was just (tal?)king and the next they were asking me where I was between (?):30pm and 1:30am between November (1st) and 2nd. I told them I was with my boyfriend, like I had already said. They asked me what I had done during this time period and I found that I couldn’t remember a lot. I told them (we) watched the movie Amelie together, that we ate dinner (tog)ether, that after dinner Raffaele washed the dishes and spilled water on the floor when the pipes came loose. I told them that (we) smoked hash somewhere in that time but I couldn’t remember (mo)re. They told me I was lying. They told me they knew I had (not) been with Raffaele. They told me they knew I met someone that night. They told me they had proof I was at my house that night. This really confused me. I told them I wasn’t lying and (the)y began to get angry. Stop telling lies, they told me. We know (you) were there! But this didn’t make sense. I was frightened, because I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I did during the time (the)y were asking me. What were you doing?! Where did you go?! We (kno)w you were at your house!! Who did you meet?! But this all (did)n’t make any sense. How could they have proof that I was at my (hou)se when I wasn’t? Why did they think these things? Why me? They told me Raffaele had finally told the truth and that he had no (rea)son to lie. They told me that they knew I had told Raffaele to (lie?) and I told them this wasn’t true. I had never told him any (suc)h thing. We talked about the message I received from Patrik (and) I told them yes, I received a message from Patrik, he told me (not) to go into work that night because there was no one there. I (did)n’t remember if I had sent a message back, so I said no, but they (had) taken my phone and showed me the message I forgot I sent: (ending?) with the words, “Ci vediamo. Buona serata.” They called me a (stu)pid lier. They said I was protecting someone, who was it?! (The)y stuck pieces of paper in front of me, to write down the name (of) the murder, but I didn’t know. And I still couldn’t remember (wha)t me and Raffaele had been doing at his house. I had nothing to (say?) to answer their questions and it was terrifying me. Why couldn’t (I r)emember. The interpretor told me that one time she experienced (a ho)rrible car accident and couldn’t remember what had happened (unt)il a year later. She told me perhaps I had seen something (horr)ible and I couldn’t remember. Since I couldn’t remember (wha)t I had been doing at Raffaele’s house I started to think what (...?) was true? What if I had seen something and I didn’t (rem)ember? But it didn’t make sense. I remembered being (at) Raffaele’s the whole night. But in the meantime the police were (...?) or they were going to put me in jail for (...?) (p)rotecting the killer. They told me they had already caught the killer (a)nd they just wanted me to say his name, but I knew nothing. My (m)ind was a blank slate. Now, now, now!!! They were yelling at me. One (p)olice officer hit me on the back of my head twice. My head was (s)earching for any answer. I was really confused. I thought I was at my boyfriend’s house, but what if it wasn’t true? What if I couldn’t remember? I tried and tried and tried, but I couldn’t remember anything until all of the police officers left the room except one. He (to)ld me he was the only one who could save me from spending the (n)ext 30 years in jail and I told him I couldn’t remember. I asked to see the message on my phone to see if I remembered sending that (an)d when I saw the message my mind thought of Patrik. It was all I could think of, Patrik. I imagined meeting him by the basketball (cou)rts, I imagined him in front of my house, I imagined covering my ears to stop the sound of Meredith’s screaming, and so I said (Pa)trik. I said Patrik and I regret every second of it because now I (k)now that what I have said has done someone harm that I have no idea whether he was involved or not.

      After I said his name I was hysterical. I was weeping, (s)cared of what could have happened to me. I honestly thought (t)his could have been the answer. I was so confused. They told me that they had to write all of this down but I told them I wasn’t (s)ure. So they told me just to say what I had said, that I had seen (Pat)rik. That I had heard Meredith screaming. I told them I was (c)onfused, unsure, but they weren’t interested. While they were writing my so-called “confession”, which the didn’t call it (t)o me, they asked me to say if it was okay to write certain things. I (d)dn’t explain, but just said yes or no according to what these (im)ages of Patrik were showing me, but I always told them I wasn’t (su)re, these things didn’t seem real. They asked me why he had done (thi)s and I didn’t know why. Why would anyone kill another person? I told them he must be crazy. They asked me if I feared him and I (sa)id yes. I was so confused and the idea that he would kill someone (fr)ightened me. But I had never been frightened of him before, he has (al)ways been kind to me. After all of this I was allowed to sleep, (fi)nally. The whole thing was going through my head and I felt (aw)ful, to even think I could have been involved. But the more (confu)sed I became, the more sure I was that these ideas about Patrik (w)eren’t true, but I still couldn’t remember what I had been (do)ing at my boyfriend’s house after dinner.

      I seriously started to doubt when the police told me what my boyfriend had said. (1) First, that when I received the message from (Pat)rik, that I had told him I had to leave to go to work. This I (k)new, even then, wasn’t true. I remembered and still do specifically (th)at I had told him I _didn’t_ have to work and I kissed him and (...)

      (...) said, “Yay!” (2) I also never told him to lie for me. Why would he lie? Could he have lied about me not being there too? I was especially troubled by this because even though I had thought of Patrik, I still remembered being at Raffaele’s house. I told the police of my doubts but they said not to worry, little by little, I would remember. So I waited.

      I tried writing what I could remember for the police, because I’ve always been better at thinking when I was writing. They gave me time to do this. In this message I wrote about my doubts, my questions, and what I knew to be true.

      (Deleted words) During this time I was checked out by medics (and?) had my picture taken as well as more copies of my fingerprints. They took my shoes and my phone. I wanted to go home but they told me to wait and then eventually that I was to be arrested. Then I was taken here, to the prison, in the last car of three who carried Patrik, then Raffaele, and then me to prison.

      I hope this clears up some confusion for you and I’m sorry again that it is in English. I hope you are in contact with my mother and if you are, could you please tell her I love her, that I miss her, that I’m okay, and that I hope to see her soon.

      I also just received the order of arrest and it says I must remain here in prison for one year. I’m assuming this means only if they can prove I did it or not. So I’m not sad, I just have to wait until they prove I’m not guilty, and that I wasn’t there.

      I want to write another message for you which describes my version of events that at this time I remember very well. This I will do on a different piece of paper and a little later because I’m very tired.

      Good luck and thanks,
      Amanda Knox
      quasi mezzogiorno
      Venerdi, Novembre 9, 2007


      Part 2 (Day Two) in our next post.


      Tuesday, August 11, 2015

      Problems With Fred Davies #2: His Claims On Knives, Wounds And Stains Also Highly Mislead

      Posted by James Raper



      Several of the numerous scientific witnesses; some evidence was behind closed doors

      Overview Of This Post

      Remember that Amanda Knox, a felon for life, served three years for framing Patrick for murder.

      In my previous post I dismissed the claim which the British barrister FG (Fred) Davies pervasively made in Parts 1 to 20 of his mammoth series in Criminal Law and Justice Weekly that it was actually Guede and his team who had somehow framed Knox and Sollecito for a crime he alone committed and left all of Italian law enforcement bamboozled.

      I now have Parts 21 to 26 as well, all of the series, and I wish to examine one more large area of cherrypicked facts and misinterpretations, along with Davies’s final conclusion.

      First, Fred Davies’s Final Scenario

      As anticipated,  Davies concludes that Knox and Sollecito should only have been convicted of the charge of simulating a burglary. He presents his own synopsis of what happened on the night of the murder which has both Knox and Guede present at the cottage for the murder, but not Sollecito.

      Davies says it is Guede who sexually assaults and stabs Meredith. Knox, unaware of what was going to happen is horrified and scared out of her wits, retreating to her bedroom and locking herself in.

      Davies says Guede flees, ignoring or unable to do anything about the fact there is/was a witness to his horrific crime. When it’s safe to do so Knox emerges and meets up with Sollecito.

      Davies says that Knox, fearing that if she went to the police she would only end up being accused of involvement in the murder, persuades Sollecito to be her alibi, and to stage the scene to point to a burglar, and Sollecito, being the Honour Bound sort of chap he is, agrees to go along with this. Once they both embark on this course of action there us no turning back.

      I trust that you are all duly intrigued with Davies’s scenario and panting to learn how and why he arrives at it. Unfortunately this will have to wait until another day if it is to be from me.

      He has, after all, taken 26 Chapters in half a year to get to this point and I am not yet ready to deal with them comprehensively. Others here may contribute posts and discuss implications with the Criminal Law editor.

      Fred Davies On Knife Or Knives

      Whilst I guess most comments are going to be about the above synopsis, I am going to deal with his thoughts regarding the knives, these being quite central to his synopsis.

      My argument below is supported by numerous previous posters none of whom differed markedly from Massei or Nencini. 

      Davies in contrast is sharply critical of Massei. He simply excludes the Double DNA knife (Exhibit 36) as the murder weapon.

      He is also critical”¦.nay, I would have to say that he is outraged”¦. at Massei holding that Sollecito was responsible for the lesser of the two wounds, that on the right side of Meredith’s neck. He is critical of Micheli for not finding, as a matter of fact, that Guede was the one responsible for the wounds, using his own knife which has yet to be recovered.

      Without more ado I will proceed to Mr Davies’ evaluation:

      “The finding against Sollecito that it was he who inflicted two of the three wounds to Meredith Kercher using a pocket knife which was in his possession at the material time is deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”

      Well, I was unaware that Massei had found that Sollecito inflicted two of the three wounds. In fact I am not aware of three wounds (unless he includes what is effectively a nick) , but if there were then Massei only attempted to attribute two, the one to the right of the neck, 4 cms deep and with a width of 1.5 cms, being attributed to Sollecito’s “pocket knife”.

      It did not cause any significant structural damage, unlike the wound to the left, 8 cms deep and 8 cms wide which had penetrated both Meredith’s larynx and the cartilage of the epiglottis, and had broken the hyoid bone. 

      Is the rest “deeply flawed, offensive and wrong in law”?

      “It could not have been part of the prosecution case that Sollecito used a pocket knife to subdue and stab Meredith Kercher. If it had why was Sollecito and/or Knox not charged with carrying the said pocket knife without justified reason? To recapitulate,, the charge alleged that the killing was achieved by means of”¦”¦”¦”¦.and deep lesions to the left anterior-lateral and right lateral regions of the neck, caused by a bladed weapon (Exhibit 36).

      The Massei Court’s finding strikes against basic principles of fairness which applies to all criminal proceedings. Put another way, a criminal court is not generally entitled to bring in a verdict which differs markedly from the basis on which the prosecution puts it’s case. This is because the defence would not be able to adequately prepare and meet such an unexpected contingency. In plain English the defence would be ambushed or taken by surprise. In this case the defence was ambushed and the defendants’ rights (Knox and Sollecito) were fundamentally infringed.”

      Oh come on! Ambushed? Really?

      OK, so the charge did indeed indicate that that both the right and left sided wounds were caused by “a bladed weapon to which Chapter B applies” (Exhibit 36) but the reality is that the defence always knew that Exhibit 36 (because of it’s dimensions and in particular it’s width 4cms from the tip) could not have been the cause of the wound to the left anterior lateral. That’s a matter of simple logic and in any event every expert and all the lawyers in the case agreed on that.

      So the way the charge was erroneously framed in fact misled no-one.

      Indeed had the defence thought so then they could have raised the matter. Mr Davies does not claim that Massei did not have the power to amend the indictment. If the court was unable to, or the defence chose not to raise it, either way thinking it was a clever appeal point, then it did not become one.

      Indeed, Mr Davies will know anyway that in English law, by virtue of The Indictments Act 1915, courts can (and frequently do) order an amendment to an indictment at any stage (which includes during a trial) provided the amendment does not result in an injustice to the accused.  This is a practical necessity as it would be an affront to the concept of justice if defendants were to be acquitted on the basis of a mere technicality.

      One might consider what amendment might have been made.

      A possibility is that reference to the right-sided wound might have been excluded. It was the left-sided wound that was fatal, after all, and caused, as the prosecution would endeavour to prove, by a weapon which, as it happened, belonged to Sollecito.

      The prosecution did, of course, maintain that it was Knox who wielded the weapon, but might, as an alternative, have also asserted that it was Sollecito. Indeed the framing of the charge leaves it an open question as to which of them did. They were charged jointly with having caused Meredith’s death.

      The evidence that it may have been either (AK or RS) is a common feature of cases to which the English legal doctrine of joint criminal enterprise applies.

      The doctrine applies particularly to a case such as this in that no matter who actually wields the weapon the other participant in the common enterprise is deemed to possess the same level of criminal liability even if he did not know that there was a knife or that it would be so used. Being reckless as to that possibility is sufficient.

      It is surprising how often how little is required to establish joint enterprise. Frequently the mere fact that the participants know each other and were there, and that the situation was a combustible one of the group’s making, is enough. The doctrine has come in for a great deal of justified criticism but despite this remains firm law.

      My preference would have been to amend the indictment to refer to the right sided wound being caused by a bladed weapon, the blade being of indeterminate length but with a width of approximately 1.5 cms. It is the width of the wound that is salient because it is indicative of the width of the blade on the knife being used which, whilst also being indicative of the likely length of the blade, but without being sure, could be either a pocket knife (4 cms or more) or a flick knife (which could also be a pocket knife). 1.5 cms is about the width of the tip of one’s index finger, by the way.

      Massei, and others, always refer to this knife as a pocket knife. However henceforth I am going to write “pocket knife” to refer to the options of a pocket knife with a blade of 4cms or more, or a flick knife.

      As to Mr Davies other point as to why Sollecito was not specifically charged with carrying a “pocket knife” without justified reason, I do not know, but since the framing of charges is a matter for the prosecution, one might as well leave the matter there.

      In any event the lack of a specific charge does not in any way preclude a court from inferring the nature of a weapon from the pathology of the wound nor from identifying the probable assailant (as distinct from having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the culpability of a single perpetrator named in a specific charge of “carrying”).

      Guede did not ever face a specific charge of carrying a weapon but that does not prevent Mr Davis from concluding that Guede had a knife and had stabbed Meredith. It seems that Mr Davies would have been quite happy for Guede to have been so charged and convicted on Professor Vinci’s (see later) dubious testimony.

      In this last respect, however, Mr Davies could have more telling argument. Lets see.

      “To infer that Sollecito had a pocket knife at Via della Pergola 7 on the fateful evening of November 1-2, based on the character evidence of four witnesses called for the defence, was to say the least highly unusual..”

      I think the operative words here are “witnesses called for the defence”, amongst whom was Sollecito’s own father. Yes, highly unusual but then that is what happens when you do not vet your own character witnesses before cross-examination.

      Sollecito’s proclivity for carrying a knife (usually a pocket knife) at all times (and indeed he had one on him at the time of his arrest in the Police Station) is highly relevant. These witnesses referred to a knife with a blade of about 4 cms, or perhaps 6 cms.

      In addition Sollecito was something of a knife aficionado. The police found two specialist knives, a Spiderco and a 2004 model Brian Tighe. Neither of these can be connected to Meredith’s wounds but they are indicative of his affinity to weapons specifically designed to be used in a fight to maim or kill. Clearly a flick knife falls into the same category.

      As to proclivity evidence against Guede one can refer to his brief possession of a kitchen knife acquired at and belonging to the Milan nursery (which he did not break into, he had been given a key).

      There is, of course, Tramontano’s dubious claim (angrily dismissed by Micheli even though Guede was never given the chance to challenge this in court) that a black man broke into his property and, confronted by Tramontano, had pulled out a flick knife as he exited. Tramontano tried to claim the burglar was probably Guede based on a photo of him he had seen in a newspaper. If it really was Guede he was not carrying that knife with him at the Milan nursery 8 weeks later.

      “Even if Sollecito was present at the scene of the crime (as distinct from being complicit), the court could not have been sure that any “pocket knife” in his possession, which incidentally was never recovered, had inflicted all or some of the injuries, the most cogent rationale being:

      1. The prosecution could not prove the dimensions and the character of the knife were consistent with the injuries inflicted upon Meredith Kercher.

      2. The Court paid scant regard to the totality of expert opinion as to the type of bladed weapon (or weapons) which had been used to stab the victim

      3. The Court paid scant regard to the dimensions of a bloody outline of a knife found on Meredith’s pillow

      4. Consequently the Court could not have been sure that any pocket knife and, a fortiori, exhibit 36 had been used to stab Meredith that fateful night.”

      As to 1 above, we know that no suitable weapon was ever recovered but if the indictment had been amended in accordance with my preference then the prosecution would easily have proved that part of the indictment, relating as it does to the wound on the right side of the neck.

      It is a reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities that the wound was caused by a “pocket knife” and if one accepts the presence of multiple attackers (which I understand is a judicial truth in the case even following the latest acquittal of Knox and Sollecito) then, again on the balance of probabilities, and taking into account all the other circumstantial evidence in the case, I submit that it is a reasonable inference that it was Sollecito’s “pocket knife”.

      The bar of “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to culpability re the specified charge and is not to be confused with the elements.

      As to 2, this simply is not true. I shall look at the totality of the expert opinion in a moment but suffice it to say that Massei spent a considerable amount of time in his Motivation detailing with and discussing the defence experts’ opinions.

      As to 3, (and it was not on the pillow but the bedsheet) it was Professor Vinci’s contention that the bloody outline (there was a dual outline, he said) was left by a knife with a blade 11.3 cms long or a knife with a blade 9.6 cms long with a congruent section of handle 1.7 cms long (9.6 + 1.7 = 11.3). Davies does not mention a blade width but in fact Professor Vinci actually says 1.3 to 1.4 cms wide.

      Taking these measurements as read, Davies points out that they are incompatible with either a pocket knife (such as Sollecito had a proclivity to carry) and Exhibit 36. I have no argument with that observation. It follows, he then argues, that one has to infer the presence of a third knife in any hypothesis and if a pocket knife and Exhibit 36 are already accounted for by Knox and Sollecito then a reasonable inference is that the third knife would have to be Guede’s. Indeed (Davies does not say this, but I will) Professor Vinci’s blade is not incompatible a priori with either of the two wounds.

      This is worth looking at seriously as so far it is the only worthwhile point Davies has made.

      First of all I have to say that I have searched for but have not found any rebuttal evidence or comment from the prosecution amongst the documents on the Wiki.  I do not even see a question on the matter in the cross-examination of Professor Vinci.

      Massei only briefly commented about the bloody outline on the bed sheet.  He opined that the blood stains were certainly “suggestive” but insufficient to establish any clear outlines from which reliable measurements could be established. Clearly then he did not accord any reliability to Professor Vinci’s measurements. But is Massei right? One does not have to be an expert to consider this.

      First of all, here are images of the blood stains.






      In the picture below the stained section of sheet is cut out for analysis the day after the discovery of the murder.

      Did the prosecution overlook their own analysis of the stains? Did they deliberately do so after Exhibit 36 was found, 9 days later on the 12th November, to have Meredith’s DNA on it? Or did they always know that the stains established nothing?






      The next question to be asked is whether we can see the outline of a knife, or rather a blade. I think the honest answer to that is, on balance, yes. We think we see the tip of a blade, do we not? Maybe two, maybe even three.

      It is fairly clear that Professor Vinci takes the largest of the stains to be the hilt of the handle to the knife. Lining that up with what is perhaps the likely clearest possible perceived blade tip (being the middle out of a possible three I believe I see) then the distance to the perceived hilt is indeed something like the 9.6 cms which Professor Vinci has measured.

      But there are problems. Here are two of Ergon’s photos from his posts here and here with Exhibit 36 superimposed on the stains in two different positions to reflect the supposed dual outlines.










      The blob of blood in the bottom left of the pictures and it’s lesser moon at 1, or 2, o’clock are regarded as having come from the same position on the blade and so with that reference point the blade is positioned accordingly in each photo.

      We can surely take it that Professor Vinci also sees the same duality. But if the bloody hilt is aligned to fit with “the moon” stain in order to get the 9.6 cms measurement, then what has happened to that large hilt stain when the knife is moved further to the left, and then dropped a bit, to align to the moon’s planet (the blob)?

      It has either disappeared or become an edge. That doesn’t make sense if “the moon” is the lesser version of the blob. The blob has to come from the first positioning of the knife. Despite this, in the knife’s later position the volume of blood at the hilt has actually increased comparative to the knife’s first position. That doesn’t make sense either.

      So maybe the largest stain pre-exists, even for perhaps a moment, the stains suggesting the blade outlines, but in that case we can throw Professor Vinci’s measurements out of the window.

      Can we do without the blob and it’s moon? It’s all a lot less convincing without them. But in truth we cannot even be sure that they are related. Nor that the largest stain has anything to do with the hilt of a knife.

      A further connected observation concerns Professor Vinci’s claim that the blade of the knife is 1.3/1.4 cms wide. Like the rest of his evidence I do not find this very convincing. I suspect that he has deduced this from the largest stain which has a length, he says, of 1.7 cms. It’s width could then be something like 1.3/1.4 cms.

      If the width of the knife is represented by approximately 1.4 cms then, given the position of the bloody hilt relative to the tip of it’s blade, what are we to make of the two spots of blood in a horizontal line above? They look like the upper (or lower) edge of a knife but they can’t be without making the blade wider.

      Why does it have to be the same knife anyway? The stains could be the result of two different knives collected and laid to rest in the same spot.

      The blood stains are certainly bewitching - rather like seeing patterns in tea leaves at the bottom of one’s cup - but on the balance of probabilities I would not totally rely on anyone’s perception of them even, with all due respect, Ergon’s but his analysis is as good as anyone’s, and that for me is the point of it.

      In short I think that Massei was probably right. These stains are suggestive but basically useless and the police/prosecution ignored them for that reason.

      “Consistent with English law the Massei Court’s findings should be struck down as Wednesbury unreasonable. Where there is no evidence to support a finding of a court or the court has reached a conclusion which is irrational or perverse, in the light of the evidence adduced at trial, a conviction based on that part of the evidence cannot be sustained”¦”¦”¦.The Massei Court also appears to have violated Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to a fair trial),”

      Yeah, right.  The case to which he refers, Associated Provincial Picture Houses v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1KB 223, is an odd and unnecessary one to pray in aid.  It was a civil case where the appellant sought judicial review in respect of a licencing decision. As a formulation of a first principle of natural justice it is, of course, unquestionable. However the claim that Massei reached a conclusion that was irrational or perverse is laughable.

      It is at this point that one does begin to wonder whether Davies is indeed connected in some way with the daffy Nigel Scott (Sollecito”˜s ex Lib Dem Haringey Councillor groupie) who similarly emerges with bizarre arguments.

      Next, in his evaluation, we come to a numbers game as to who was for and against the incompatibility of Exhibit 36 with the fatal wound on the left side, but before I enter into that game I want to make a point about incompatibility.

      A knife blade is only incompatible with a wound if the depth of the wound is longer than the length of the blade or if the width of the wound is shorter than the width of the blade at the relevant depth.

      We can therefore establish that Exhibit 36 was not incompatible, a priori, with the depth of the wound.  The blade on Exhibit 36 was 17. 5 cms long and the depth of the wound was 8 cms.

      Yes, I know that other arguments as to incompatibility were advanced based, in the main, on these measurements. These Massei logically deconstructed. In fairness to Mr Davies he did not advance them in his evaluation and so neither shall I.

      I would also have to concede that Sollecito’s “pocket knife” is not incompatible a priori with the wound on the left side nor, even if it”˜s length of blade was over 4 cms, with the wound on the right. Nor Professor Vinci’s knife either.

      The same is true of the width of these knives.

      It should however be recalled that the width of the right-sided wound was also 8 cms. That is over 5 times the width of the “pocket knife”. The width of the blade on Exhibit 36 - 8 cms from it’s tip - was twice the width of the blade on the “pocket knife”.

      This fact, and the robustness of the larger weapon, particularly with regard to the observed butchering at the base of the right-sided cut, makes Exhibit 36 a far more likely candidate, in my submission, than a “pocket knife”, and that’s without taking into account Meredith’s DNA on the blade.

      Returning to our numbers game, Mr Davies puts it slightly differently from Massei. He says -

      “And if that were not enough, of the 8 experts who gave evidence on the point, two (Dr Liviero and Professor Bacci) opined that Exhibit 36 could have caused the fatal wound to Meredith’s left side. Professor Norelli could not rule out Exhibit 36. Professor Ronchi’s opinion is not clear due to the use of the “double negative” (non-incompatibility)  - it will be assumed that he supported the prosecution contention, but in any event al the remaining four experts, Professors Introna, Torre, Cingolani and Dr Patumi) opined that Exhibit 36 could be ruled out.”

      In other words a draw but one of the prosecution experts is a bit “iffy”.

      Massei tells us that Dr Liviero concluded “definite compatibility”, Dr Lalli and Professors Bacci and Norelli “compatibility” whilst “non- incompatibility” came from the 3 GIP experts nominated at a preliminary hearing. The latter were Professors Aprile, Cingolani and Ronchi.

      “Non-incompatibility” is not hard to understand. It simply means not incompatible or rather, compatible.

      Note that Mr Davies has Professor Cingolani lining up to exclude Exhibit 36. Massei disagrees and I agree with Massei. So, for what it is worth (and this is a bit childish I know) Mr Davies loses the game 7 - 3.

      “And one final thought. If the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) were sufficiently compos mentis to dispose of the pocket knife “¦. Why did they not dispose of Exhibit 36?  By a process of deduction and logical synthesis the answer is plain for all to see: Exhibit 36 never left Corso Garibaldi and was not the murder weapon “

      Because it was on his landlord’s inventory of kitchen items? Indeed we don’t know for sure that the “pocket knife “was actually disposed of. All we know is that it was not identified and recovered by the police.

      And In Conclusion

      This is the second of my posts involving Mr Davies. I may not be disposed to do any more. I have to say that although he certainly provided some food for thought on this one, I have not been impressed with his analysis in the topics I have covered so far.

      Others here have been tabulating other factual errors and forced arguments and as I mentioned at the start we may see them carry this a bit further.


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