Monday, December 16, 2013

Appeal Session #6: Case For Knox’s & Sollecito’s Guilt - The Civil Parties

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[Above, today: Dr Maresca, the Florence lawyer who speaks for the victim, arrives at the court]

7. Court resumes tomorrow

Court will resume at 9:30 am Italy time with the first of the summations for the defenses. When they conclude, probably in January, the prosecution will have a chance of rebuttal.

6. Reporting in English

Andrea Vogt has posted a detailed report from the court at The Freelance Desk, Scroll down to the heading “Update Dec 1t 2013”

5. Reporting in Italian #3

Report by Gazetta del Sud

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accused in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, were in the grip of a “murderous rage” fuelled by illegal drugs and alcohol, a lawyer for the victim’s family said Monday. Knox, Sollecito and a third person definitively convicted of the crime, Rudy Guede, had “no inhibitions” because of the drugs and alcohol they ingested before murdering Kercher in November 2007, charged Vieri Fabiani.

Only later did the “fear take over” and led to false explanations including a simulated break-in and robbery, and a false accusation against a bar owner in Perugia, where the murder occurred, added Fabiani. A Florence court is trying the case against Knox and Sollecito, who have been on trial twice before for the murder of Kercher. Both have said they are not guilty of the accusations.

Guede was convicted in a fast-track trial and is serving a 16-year sentence in the murder, but Italy’s top appeal court said it was unlikely he acted alone. Knox, who is in the United States and has not returned for this trial, and Sollecito each served two years in prison after a lower court convicted them of murder in 2009. An appeal court overturned those convictions in 2011 and in March, Italy’s highest court sent the case back to the appeals stage over aspects of the evidence it argued had not been properly examined before.

The supreme court ruled that the initial forensic evidence had been wrongly dismissed in the acquittal and a prosecution theory about a sex game that went wrong should be re-examined. Kercher, 21, was found dead on the floor of an apartment she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007. Guede’s DNA was found inside Kercher, on her clothes, and elsewhere in the apartment.

Fabiani said that a motive for the murder was “irrelevant” because the crime was committed while the trio were abusing substances. An Italian prosecutor has requested a 26-year prison term for Knox and Sollecito for the murder, plus a further four years for Knox for allegedly slandering bar owner Patrick Lumumba, whom she initially implicated during tough police questioning before later retracting, saying she had been confused.

The new trial opened in Florence in September, and a decision is expected on January 10.

Translation by The 411

4. Reporting in Italian #2

Report by Umbria24

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable” that Amanda Knox on her website is issuing “invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” declared Dr Francesco Maresca, the lawyer for the parents and siblings of Mez, speaking in the Assize Court of Appeal of Florence, where judicial process continues for the murder of the young British student Meredith Kercher, which occurred in Perugia on the night of November 1, 2007 .

Dr Maresca asked the Court “to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process”, meaning the media coverage of the controversy being generated in the U.S. in the legal defense of Knox, as they should also “forget the statements made in court a few weeks ago by Raffaele Sollecito, who is now returned to a “vacation” in Santo Domingo”

Dr Maresca also pointed the finger at Knox for her book, for which she signed “contracts in the millions” and also retains “a person to handle public relations”. Finally, he invited the Court to also forget “those journalists who are inspired by the freedom of delirium and not the freedom of the press.”

Many elements confirm the original verdict. “We have no doubts about the guilt of the accused - there are so many elements to confirm the sentence”.

The family of Meredith Kercher, said the lawyer, will be in Florence on the day of the judgment of the appeal for the murder of the young British student by the defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito .

This was a heinous crime committed knowingly. “We ask the Court for truth and justice for a heinous crime committed with precise awareness and desire” said the lawyer Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family… “The defendants Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, in the process of killing Meredith Kercher, were “excited and a murderous rage was triggered” because, with the drugs and alcohol taken ” their minds were free of inhibitions”.

Fabiani focused in particular on Rudy Guede also convicted for the murder of Meredith, recalling that the judgment was delivered after the first degree trial in Perugia [in October 2008]. And on the verdict against Guede, Fabiani stated that he was sentenced in collusion with another two who “accidentally” have been identified as Sollecito and Knox, whose responsibility and presence on the scene of the crime are well documented.

Fabiani called Sollecito and Knox persons of “high criminal capacity” who have created the picture of a crime without serious motive.  Then after the murder “fear, terror, took over and they set out to simulate a theft, frame Patrick Lumumba, to mystify, however clumsily, to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

Fabiani argued that the presence of two defendants in the house on Via della Pergola that evening, and their willingness toward murder, were strongly demonstrated.

“The motive becomes irrelevant,” even if it can be identified “in the issues between Amanda and Meredith, which evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim, in an escalation”.

3. Reporting in Italian #1

Report by Blitzquotidiano

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede were ” excitedly and this unleashed their homicidal rage ” that tragic night between the first and November 2 of 2007. Vieri Fabiani, one of the lawyers of the Kercher family, during the appeal session in Florence about the murder of Meredith Kercher .

Because of drugs and alcohol their minds were “devoid of inhibitions ,” argued the lawyer, according to whom the defendants should be considered ” persons of a high criminal capacity .” After the murder, fear took over, then they get to simulate a theft, to accuse Lumumba, to mystify to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

The lawyer explained that the presence of the two defendants at the crime scene and their willingness to commit murder was strongly demonstrated. “The motive becomes almost irrelevant, even though important elements can be identified” in the problems existing between Amanda and Meredith, which “evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim in an escalation”.

For the Kercher family it is “intolerable that Amanda Knox on her website makes invitations to collect donations in memory of Meredith” added the lawyer Maresca. He invited the Court ” to forget the opposing sides and all that is foreign to the process.” The court should “forget” the statements made in court a few weeks ago by ” Raffaele Sollecito who has returned to “a vacation” in Santo Domingo

Avv Maresca also pointed the finger at Amanda and her book thanks to which she ” has signed contracts making her a millionaire.”

2. Tweets from La Nazione

10. Amanda knows the mode of the crime because she was present

9. Motive is irrelevant, the presence of the accused at the scene of the crime is proven

8. Amanda and Raffaele in the grip of the excitement and this triggered the murderous rage

7. It is not sustainable that Rudy Guede is the only murderer

6. The lack of motive is irrelevant, there is evidence of homicidal intent

5. The ruling of the Supreme Court crushed the acquittal of appeal

4. Amanda knew the mode of the murder

3. On the knife found at Sollecito’s house there was the DNA of the victim

2. Contamination of the bra clasp is false (invented)

1. Meredith proceedings: hearing begins. Lawyer Vieri Adriani for the victim family to speak first

1. Tweets from Freelance Andrea Vogt

5. Courtroom nearly empty for closing args of lawyer representing meredith kercher family. Not much interest in their quiet suffering.

4. Maresca: “While we’re here in trial, Sollecito in Santo Domingo & Knox in US taking online donations for victim she’s accused of killing.”

3. Kercher attny Serena Perna: Meredith’s many wounds in many places (from bare hands,from knife, yet not defensive) = multiple attackers.

2. Kercher attny: Motive, or lack thereof, is absolutely irrelevant.1000 different problems could have led to fatal escalation of violence.

1. Right now lawyers for the civil parties (specifically Kercher family) giving closing arguments. Defense is to follow.

[Below: two images in the courtroom from previous sessions]


While the prosecutor, and the state, rightly speaks for the victim, Meredith Kercher, so, too are family attorneys Francesco Maresca and Serena Perna, who are there to remind us that the family are victims too, and to ask the court for Justice for Meredith Kercher, RIP.

Posted by Ergon on 12/16/13 at 02:40 PM | #

I just returned from the court. Trying to defend another poor and helpless girl- another victim of intolerance.

All of you have taught me many things- most important of them is the courage to stand up. Not to bend down to petty fears. Never ever to give up hope- the last gift from the Pandora’s box.

Ergon, I want to mention that the greatest victim will be the justice and the people. We have a dirty habit of thinking that such things do not happen to nice people. Violence begets greater violence. It must be stopped at any cost.

Will the blood of Meredith be a waste?

I do not believe in eye-for-an-eye philosophy. I just want the justice to pronounce that we do not accept what has been done to Meredith and tell these two “kids” that you have to pay. Somehow. Someday. And there is no other way.

Posted by chami on 12/16/13 at 03:23 PM | #

Hi Ergon.

Important explanation. In a system that is more pro-defendant than almost any in the world the attornies for the victims and their families are a small tilt back toward the victim having a voice.

Many in Italy feel this is far from enough and despite generally helpful, sympathetic and even kind officials (Dr Mignini is greatly appreciated by the families of the victims in his cases), it is one of the toughest in the world in which to be a family member of a victim.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/13 at 03:42 PM | #

Good report Chami. Encouraging.

Methods of justice are certainly evolving in the age of cable news and the internet and it seems on balance easier for a concerned group to make a difference without big bucks behind them by highlighting the real evidence and uncovering the dirty tricks.

Later, it could be important to hear about that case. There is a lot of anger today in the US over a rich kid who a judge let off without prison punishment for mowing down four people fixing a car at the side of a road when he was driving drunk under age.

He got off so lightly because Judge Jean Boyd blamed his “richness” and therefore no discipline imbued in him. So he drank and killed but nothing told him not to. Crazy, right?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/13 at 04:42 PM | #

“Because of drugs and alcohol their minds were “devoid of inhibitions ,” argued the lawyer, according to whom the defendants should be considered ” persons of a high criminal capacity .” After the murder, fear took over, then they get to simulate a theft, to accuse Lumumba, to mystify to banish from their minds the crime they committed.”

I understand why Fabiani would choose to put it like that - to give to the jurors some sort of explanation for the horrific act . Personally I think the two sociopaths were/are fairly devoid of inhibitions anyway (as their backgounds show) - though the drugs may have helped. Also, as sociopaths, they wouldn’t need to banish anything from their minds, neither has any conscience - what’s to banish?

Anyway well done Fabiani for putting it graphically to the court.

Posted by Odysseus on 12/16/13 at 04:50 PM | #

Thank goodness for the excellence of Andrea Vogt and Italian reporters. A little truthfulness slips through.

Most Americans will instead read more incompetent or bought-and-paid-for reporting by the Associated Press’s appalling Colleen Barry, who we have repeatedly complained about before.

One quote today: “The case was being tried for a third time after Italy’s highest court vacated an appellate court ruling throwing out their lower-court murder conviction.”

No, they are NOT being tried for the third time. This is NOT a new trial. There is no question of “re-conviction” as the original conviction still stands.

Knox and Sollecito are APPEALING that original conviction, by Judge Massei’s panel of judges at trial in 2009, and this is after their own defense teams bent the previous appeal court, leading to the Supreme Court annulment of its outcome.

In any American court, this process would almost certainly have ended in 2009, where the trial was a very fair and competent one, and where the defenses were absolutely overwhelmed.

There never ever were any strong grounds for this appeal. American judges have told us they would never have endorsed any request for an appeal.

Rightly, Knox and Sollecito would instead now be serving their sixth year.

In another report, Colleen Barry refers to Knox’s so-called appeal to the Court of Human Rights and wrongly says the “judgment” of that court is mandatory. It isnt, it is advisory. And Colleen Barry is obviously ignorant of this:

In fact Knox faces the possibility of A NEW CONVICTION for making false claims about her interrogation and lying about the police presence. We already know that Strasbourg - which doesn’t accept 95% of submissions - wont take Knox’s appeal seriously.

Colleen Barry should stop cutting-and-pasting misleading defense PR propaganda, and instead try some actual investigating.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/13 at 05:04 PM | #

I like Marresca asking the court to forget “those journalists who are inspired by the freedom of delirium and not the freedom of the press.” LOL.

Couldn’t have been put better. Journalists covering this case have been an absolute disgrace on the whole - with a few notable exceptions. Shame they can’t be put in the dock when this is all done and dusted.

Posted by Odysseus on 12/16/13 at 05:11 PM | #

Drugs, particularly alcohol, reduces inhibition is the sense that one tends to do things that you would not normally do under similar condition. Different drugs act in different regions of the brain and therefore has different effects. Reduction of inhibition basically occurs due to the impaired decision making processes. Most are well known and well researched, particularly with respect to alcohol. Alcohol is somewhat different from other hallucinogenic drugs because it reduces basic motor skills.

It can be considered favourable to the defendants because it can be used as a mitigating factor- they did not know what they were doing!

However, I do not think that the crime was unplanned- it was unplanned in a professional sense but rather it was planned in a very short time. They did not talk about murder because there was no need to. The two were nevertheless sure where their plan is leading to. But please, do not call that hazing.

If fear really took over, they would have both ran away- just like RG. They would not have the presence of mind to plan for a simulated burglary. The mistakes they did are not due to fear, they are due to ignorance.

Only thing I am rather puzzled concerns the damaged hard disks from the laptops. It cannot be explained by coincidence.

Posted by chami on 12/16/13 at 05:21 PM | #

Good job. if it weren’t for folks like you, I would be out of the loop.

Posted by Bettina on 12/16/13 at 06:31 PM | #

Hi Chami

“Only thing I am rather puzzled concerns the damaged hard disks from the laptops. It cannot be explained by coincidence.”

It turned out that there was much less to this than was made to meet the eye. In fact, really nothing. Fly By Night sent me a good explanation; I am out of time right now to find it but we should make a post of it.

Most or all of the material on the drives stuff was recoverable, the disk platters were not damaged, Sollecitos own main Apple computer wasnt affected, and the internet movements and non-movements recorded automatically by the internet provider repeatedly contradicted Sollecito’s (shifting) claims of computer use.

The prosecution was never very interested in days of work on those hard drives with no obvious evidence leads in sight.

And of course, the defenses shut up about the “damaged” claim (having already poisoned public opinion) and after 5 years have still not analysed what is on the drives to “help” their client.

That cannot be explained by coincidence…

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/16/13 at 07:33 PM | #

Below is the latest summary of today’s Florence court proceedings by journalist Andrea Vogt.

Posted by True North on 12/16/13 at 09:16 PM | #


Thanks for detail. I was not aware of the details and I hear the FoA camp quote this all the time as “incompetent italian investigation”.

In fact, the process is really not difficult. The hard disks are physically removed and mounted on another working machine in “read-only” mode and the contents extracted as a “image” file.

As you rightly say, most of these are really not interesting as a major part is used up by the operating system and the actual user data is really small (often less than 1%). But another part the investigators look at is the log files, where the operating system writes the history of the user activities. This may even be more than 10% of the total hard disk size for a computer of 3-4 years of use.

Unfortunately lawyers cannot make out anything from the log files. They are written in “computerese”!!!

I rarely post on other forums but I sometimes take a look and it is my personal opinion that while I may allow 30-40% as genuine ignorance, a large part is the result of the very successful propaganda machine.

Posted by chami on 12/17/13 at 04:13 AM | #

So when does Bongiourno make her grand performance, January?
I think we could expect much of the same, I’m just wondering how differently she can flog the dead horse.

Posted by DF2K on 12/17/13 at 09:34 AM | #

Defences start their submissions shortly.
What do you think their line will be? Contamination? Unreliable witnesses? No motive? No trace of RS and AK in the room itself?
Flogging a dead horse is indeed the apt phrase to describe their efforts.

Posted by Valdambrino on 12/17/13 at 10:29 AM | #

Good for Maresca.  He has been faithful to Meredith and her family and I have nothing but enormous respect for him.  Very sorry to learn that there were so few in court yesterday - Meredith’s day.

Posted by thundering on 12/17/13 at 12:54 PM | #

May I second that….huge respect and gratitude too to Maresca…hoping greatly….

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 12/17/13 at 01:00 PM | #

There are three lawyers there speaking for the Kercher family, Maresca, his colleague(?) Fabiani, and Serena Perna.

But yes, he has indeed been dogged in his pursuit of justice for Meredith, and has my great admiration.

Posted by Ergon on 12/17/13 at 04:32 PM | #
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Where next:

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Or to next entry Appeal Session #7: The Day For Knox And Sollecito Attorneys To Show Where Prosecution Went Wrong

Or to previous entry Why Is Appeal Prosecutor Crini So Very, Very Interested In The Precise Position Of Filomena’s Door?