Sunday, May 19, 2013

Contrary To Reported Claim By Amanda Knox There Is Zero “Wave Of Defamation Suits”

Posted by Peter Quennell

No defamation suits have begun. But actually it is WORSE. And Knox would be suicidal to leave her story unchanged.

Bob Barnett and Ted Simon and anyone else presumably trying to give Knox good advice might like to take note. Canada’s National Post is reporting this:

Her book, which earned her an advance of almost $4-million, also risks inflaming Italian public opinion, offending the nation’s judges and triggering a wave of new defamation actions by the police and prosecutors she accuses of framing her.

“People asked me if I would change the book and I said absolutely not “¦ I am not going to change my story just because someone is threatening to sue me but I mean “¦ it sucks. It sucks and it sucks.”

Defamation, slander and libel refer to private, personal, civil suits against other persons who tell a malicious untruth. Knox and Sollecito are not (or not yet) facing anything like that.

Each through their unwise books and interviews has sparked a single investigation by a Chief Prosecutor (in Florence, Verona and Bergamo) into whether they are in contempt of court.

Those who would seek to undermine the due process of the Italian justice system and the proper functioning of the courts (very, very rare now) in this or the associated Monster of Florence case seem to include all of the following:

  • The three regional mafias;
  • A few defense lawyers and well-funded defendants;
  • Politicians shielding corruption;
  • In some instances the freemasons.
  • Those wanting investigations like MOF/Narducci to drop dead;
  • Muckraking magazines like Oggi;
  • Some anti-Italy foreigners.

None of them are simply pro-Amanda. All of them have hidden agendas, and all are already under the eye of law enforcement. Fighting institutions that make the public safe can make for strange bedfellows.

It has also especially in Italy led to powerful if usually latent ways to push back. 

If officers of the Italian courts are publicly accused of crimes in the media while a legal process is playing out, and the claims are malicious and untrue, this is not a civil matter (defamation, slander or libel).

It is a criminal matter (in the UK and US too) for which sentences can include long prison terms.

If the officers of the Italian court who are attacked are very senior and have an antimafia role they are REQUIRED BY LAW to request a criminal investigation by a chief prosecutor to take place.

They esentially have no further role themselves except to provide true testimony in court.

A range of measures is then available to investigating chief prosecutors, up to and including invoking the powers of the Council of Magistrates and even the President of the Italian republic. 

Knox and Sollecito both seem to have point-blank accused a number of officers of the court of crimes. In Deputy Prosecutor General Mignini’s case, he has been accused by both of them. The most serious:

  • By Sollecito of offering an illegal deal to make him sell out on Knox. Both Mignini and Sollecito’s father categorically stated that this was a criminal lie.

  • By Knox of illegally interrogating her about Patrick with no defense lawyer present. But the trial record shows Mignini was not even in the room.

These seem to be about as open-and-shut as contempt of court cases can ever get. “Sollecito and Knox, did you make these false claims or not? Yes or no?”

If the answer is yes, they’ll lose any criminal case in the blink of an eye. Thereafter many private or civil defamation suits can be expected.

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Radio Interview for those who care to listen to her. I don’t.

Posted by Miriam on 05/19/13 at 11:12 PM | #

Hi Miriam and, ah, thanks!

The more she wins the more she loses. Prosecutors like nothing better than a clear case.

Jar on PMF has said the Massei trial record suggests to him that the defense lawyers were not especially good. Out of their depth.

Only Giulia Bongiorno has had a case before the Supreme Court before, and her success record there is almost nil.


The chief prosecutors investigating the contempt of court cases have all deliberately taken them behind the scenes because of the hostile PR.

This would not be a trap for GOOD lawyers who would instantly shut their clients up.

But what is playing out here? The lawyers really are out of their depth?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/19/13 at 11:25 PM | #

Perhaps Knox and her lawyers are confusing it with calunnia? Knox and her parents have long faced calunnia trials for complaints brought by officers of the central police station.

This isnt that. Its another level of seriousness not to vindicate individual but to vindicate the justice system and its courts themselves.

It is possible Cassation or the Florence chief prosecutor might put off the re-run of the appeal to have these trials first, as legitimacy is at stake.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/20/13 at 01:21 AM | #

It is hard to believe that their lawyers can be so out of touch, on where exactly the laws stands on all of this.

Time to start stock up on our popcorn and enjoy the fireworks!!

Posted by Miriam on 05/20/13 at 01:42 AM | #

the daily fail but still - $4 milllion bucks but she’s penniless - boo hoo

Posted by mojo on 05/20/13 at 02:56 PM | #

She’s not penniless at all.  I believe this is another PR spin so she’s not accused of banking blood money. She really is a piece of work.

Posted by Earthdog on 05/20/13 at 03:15 PM | #

Knox is playing with fire. How dare she accuse Mignini of illegally interrogating her and refusing her a lawyer. Anna Donnino the interpreter says that at one point Amanda refused the offer of a lawyer (see Catnip recent translation PMF).

Amanda has been trying to blame the Perugian police for her slander of Patrick ever since the net she threw over Lumumba for what she thought was her legal escape then twisted back over her head and put the cuffs on her for four years while Patrick was out in two weeks. The pit you dig for another you fall into yourself.

Mignini has waited staunchly through this longrunning game of Clue while playing by the rules and his patience has paid off. He and the Italian justice system now have this hastily written, extremely foolish book that cements Knox into a terrible lie. She was treated quite well by the Perugian police, especially for a suspect withholding information on a murder.

Maybe the police called Raffaele (she joined him that night uninvited) at about 10:30pm because that was near the time of Meredith’s death. Maybe mental muscle memory would put them both in a fearful state. They think Meredith was killed around 11:30pm. Knox was always an early riser by nature so the late hours are bad for her. That fatigue may have been part of why she got so crazy that night with Meredith. So the police work the realities, they called them in late, people think differently at night, plus Raf kept delaying going to the Questura IIRC, he wanted to finish his spaghetti? supper first with friends and was incensed at being put upon by the police. He’d show Vanessa (oops, I mean the police) a thing or two.

Amanda was once so good at keeping things vague and uncertain as camouflage for her lies. Why didn’t she have the sense to keep her accusations of Mignini and the police vague and uncertain like her former “memoriale”. Writing that gift to police she vaguely said Patrick wasn’t there, but yet she was unclear of what was fact or fantasy. She was uncertain, maybe Patrick was there at the murder. She thought she was safe to shade it in confusion.

Yet now with this book and ample time to consider and reflect and get various legal advice on a dangerous point of untruth, she blasts Mignini for an illegal interrogation. She trades blanks for bullets.

One guy said she actually wants to return to prison, the reason for this reckless book. Great insight! She would have done better to write about her dreams and visions and fantasies which she’s known for. In trying to give this book some teeth she has created one that may bite her.

She should use her creative writing to fictionalize everything, if she had any sense. Write a satire, change the names. Again she is being drawn away from her best talents by poor counsel and panic to make $$$$$$. And as Earthdog says, she’s probably lying about not having much money now. She has some, she’s not Bill Gates.

Mignini plays fair, and Amanda is still scalded because she wasn’t strong enough due to guilt to outfox the police.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/20/13 at 04:48 PM | #

Bill Gates is loved and hated for being the CEO of MS. I still love Bill Gates jokes- kill bill.

But the Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is loved by billions over the world. For his unconditional love of the poor masses. Many cannot even pronounce his name. Most know only vaguely about him. For these people, love has a new meaning.

Yes, Amanda Knox is no Bill Gates. The truth is nobody cares. She will never be. For her, love is a four letter word. To be used. And abused.

Comparing Bill Gates to Amanda is offensive.

Posted by chami on 05/20/13 at 05:57 PM | #

Hi Chami

Just on your last line. There wasnt a comparison to Bill Gates. There was only a comparison about the respective sizes of their fortunes. Would it work better for you if it read Warren Buffet or Carlos Slim - or Donald Trump? Hopeful will change it. Though the new news here is that Bill is back to being the richest - a guy who as far as I am aware we all like. His philanthropy really is well known in the US, and much admired, as he is very public about trying to enlist others.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/20/13 at 06:06 PM | #

We dont go out of our way to identify all the false accusations of crimes in the two books. A few are identified on the RS and AK Book pages. But this is really for the prosecutors in Italy, and belatedly for AK’s and RS’s publishers and lawyers.

But as Hopeful above went to bat for him, this bunch of erroneous claims by Knox about Deputy Prosecutor General Mignini stands out as exceptionally nasty and erroneous - not least for how she starts by dropping her own lawyer Dalla Vedova in it (he really said that?).

Carlo [Dalla Vedova] who’d never sugarcoated my situation, said, “These are small-town detectives. They chase after local drug dealers and foreigners without visas. They don’t know how to conduct a murder investigation correctly. Plus, they’re bullies. To admit fault is to admit that they’re not good at their jobs. They suspected you because you behaved differently than the others. They stuck with it because they couldn’t afford to be wrong.”

And for Mignini, appearing to be right superseded everything else. As I found out that summer, the determined prosecutor had a bizarre past, was being tried for abuse of office, and had a history of coming up with peculiar stories to prove his cases. His own case is currently pending on appeal.

In 2002, on the advice of a psychic, he reopened a decades-¬old cold case. The Monster of Florence was a serial killer who attacked courting ¬couples in the 1970s and ’80s. After murdering them he would take the women’s body parts with him. Mignini exhumed the body of Dr. Francesco Narducci after the psychic told him that Narducci, who died in 1985, was the Monster and that he hadn’t committed suicide, as had been supposed. Instead, Mignini believed that Narducci had been murdered by members of a satanic sect, who feared the Monster would expose them. He charged twenty ¬people, including government officials, with being members of the same secret sect as the Monster.

Mignini had a habit of taking revenge on anyone who disagreed with him, including politicians, journalists, and officials. His usual tactic was to tap their telephones and sue or jail them. The most famous instance was the arrest of Italian journalist Mario Spezi, and the interrogation of Spezi’s American associate Douglas Preston, a writer looking into the Narducci case, who subsequently fled Italy.

In the hour we had each week to discuss my case, my lawyers had never thought there was a reason for us to talk about Mignini’s outlandish history. Carlo and Luciano told me only when it became apparent that, for Mignini, winning his case against Raffaele and me was a Hail Mary to save his career and reputation.

“The whole story is insane!” I said. I couldn’t take it in. It struck me that I was being tried by a madman who valued his career more than my freedom or the truth about Meredith’s murder!

Here are some corrections, all of which could have been addressed before the error-riddled Knox book was published.

1. The prosecutors are not remotely bullies, they take on national cases, and early on took a gentle approach to Knox; the real problem was that she liked them, and nearly confessed.

2. Mignini had no bizarre past at all, and the case by a rogue prosecutor against him was ended in 2011 and scathingly reviewed and rejected again by Cassation a few weeks ago.

3. Mignini entered the Narducci/MOF case years after just about everybody in Italy had concluded - probably correctly - that a satanic sect was indeed driving the MOF murders.

4. Judge Micheli mysteriously halted the investigation and charging of 22 including Spezi who were laboring to give the satanic sect a break. Cassation has just reversed Micheli, and investigations now resume.

5. Mignini has zero record of “taking revenge” on anyone, and he let the foolish Preston and Spezi off very lightly considering what they were up to and how they lied about it. (See Kermits major post on this, later this week.)

6. Mignini’s career was never remotely at threat. Everybody with a brain knew his Florence prosecution was payback. and he will soon be the #1 prosecutor in the region of Umbria.

7.  And the convicted liar Knox with the notoriously nasty tongue and myriad mental confusions had better be ready to defend her bald claim that the greatly respected prosecutor is the “madman”.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/20/13 at 06:25 PM | #

Hi Peter.

One thing I don’t understand (just one for now) is that HarperCollins have seemingly withdrawn WTBH from most European markets, presumably fearing criminal prosecution for publishing material in contempt of court (is that correct?), yet it’s still on sale in the U.S. Why don’t HarperCollins in the U.S. fear the same thing?

As you say in your post above “if officers of the Italian courts are publicly accused of crimes in the media while a legal process is playing out, and the claims are malicious and untrue…it is a criminal matter (in the UK and US too) for which sentences can include long prison terms”.

Posted by Odysseus on 05/20/13 at 09:07 PM | #

Hi Odysseus

Good question. We suspect its complicated.

First, the reference in the post to penalties for contempt of court in the US and UK was intended for the very rare cases here when a media assault on a prosecutor or judge HERE is embarked upon. Can you suggest any examples? Even in the case of Nifong in the Duke case in Durham where many (not all) concluded he didnt have a rape case, there was immense pussyfooting by the media led by the NY Times.

Second, only the UK arm of HarperCollins (owned by News Corp in NYC) publicly withdrew the book stating a concern about defamation. The French and Spanish language versions were simply disappeared along with an English language version offered on Amazon Italy.

Third, ALL the defense and publisher lawyers might be confused into thinking (1) this is merely calunnia; and (2) there is stacks of evidence or so the Internet seems to show; and (3) anyway how can those meanie Italians possibly hurt us?

Fourth, HarperCollins might - might, we have no evidence on this yet - finally be waking up, but not persuaded that to withdraw the book is the best thing. They would lose all revenues instantly, in effect admit to a recognition of guilt, and maybe face suits from groups like Amazon.

Fifth, although all we post above is also available to Italians through their own media and law code, the initiating of the investigations was done minimally and quietly and none of the three chief prosecutors have yet said anything.

Ironically, they have done this because they all want a clear shot at a case if there is one, and they dont want the PR and especially the lawyers to get a real taste of what they might be facing and go public and start even more harassment.

PR and legal tricks are a two edged sword, and neither have been very much tested on this scale. Part of why TJMK keeps going is to make sure this is not only the first huge case (as it is) but also the last one.

My gues is the Italians are headed toward a hands-down win on all fronts, and the next thing to happen (the written order due from Cassation following the end-March decision) will hammer this home and start an extended process of u-turn.

The Italians accused of crimes do have legal help here in the US and those who who have attacked them here thinking the Atlantic or US law kept them safe may encounter them though the contempt of court actions should play out first.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/20/13 at 09:42 PM | #

It’s slowly, inexorably, coming to its denouement.  The foolishness of the Knox camp and her in particular is no surprise to any of us I think.  This is more a last desperate roll of the dice.

Let it all unfold and let justice come to Meredith and peace to her family.

Posted by James Higham on 05/20/13 at 10:18 PM | #

Thanks Peter. Very helpful.

Posted by Odysseus on 05/20/13 at 10:18 PM | #

Thanks Peter.

It’s very important from a wider perspective that this sort of PR doesn’t ultimately succeed. 

Fortunately, I believe, there are enough people with a deep respect for law and order, and the calm face of justice will eventually prevail over deliberate obfuscation, confusion, and manipulation.

Thank you all for your help.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/20/13 at 10:38 PM | #

Ah this is so lovely. The only comment I have is to repeat myself concerning painting oneself into a corner, because that is what they have done.  This includes Knox herself of course.
The publishers are in a similar pradicument since they will have to explain probably to their shareholders (Rupert Murdock notwithstanding) as to why they shelled out any money anyway. I can see heads belonging to chief editors falling as well. That includes Knox. I just love It. The more air time Knox gets the deeper the hole. It’s the Jody Arias syndrome. Keep taking and convict yourself.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/21/13 at 12:02 AM | #

@Grahame Rhodes
Yes…in the last few clips I have seen/heard, I detected that Ms AK is ..well, getting a bit giddy, with the exposure and attention. In the last one, she said ‘Thankyou..’ exactly as a Prima Donna would… hints of Princess Amanda etc!
Hence becoming ungrounded really.
The play continues to unfold. Act 4 now.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/21/13 at 12:27 AM | #

@chami I’m sorry for the confusion. I admire Bill Gates tremendously. He is so wonderful. His wife’s a lovely person, too. He’s a huge giver and philanthropist. He has inspired others to give away half of their fortunes to the poor. I equally admire Warren Buffett. They know how to sow and share the wealth. It creates harvests returning to their own lives as well as helping others. I meant that Amanda was nowhere near as wealthy as Bill Gates, but she does have more money than she’s letting on.

I once wrote Gates a letter when he was embroiled in a lawsuit about bundling. Judge Jackson did later recuse himself, as I predicted to Gates. It was just a wild lucky guess on my part, but I wanted to encourage the beleaguered Gates (I was young, what was I thinking?!) who had already started helping poor school systems with computers for students. Now he has turned to medical aid and no doubt many other sorts of charity from his fortune. His recent tears about Steve Jobs really showed a tender heart. He also is very respectful and complimentary of his father, which says a lot.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/21/13 at 01:03 AM | #

Even the title is a trip up clue.
Yes folks, It’s a ‘Story.’

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/21/13 at 03:51 PM | #

In the case of Knox, I think she must really believe she won’t have to go to Italy.  So she can write whatever she likes.

Apparently there is now a petition in the making asking the US Administration to help stop Italy putting Amanda Knox on a re-trial.

Posted by thundering on 05/21/13 at 04:48 PM | #

Hi Thundering

Well yes of course there is.
lets see now ‘Petition or Extradition Treaty’
guess who wins.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 05/21/13 at 05:36 PM | #

I think Knox and her handlers are trying to circuitously create interest in her book with stories planted in the foreign media.  She’s been doing this with the DM in the UK and now Postmedia (its clients include the NaPo) in Canada.

Her allegations may develop into full-blown legal actions but the bigger issue she’s creating for herself is the addition of voluntary declarations to the case file.  All those letters and signed declarations are now on the table as evidence against her.

Not very bright.

Posted by Stilicho on 05/21/13 at 08:41 PM | #

Hi Stilicho

I have to agree. The repeat appeal in Florence could be a total minefield. There are several things to happen first which could decide what we get to see but regardless, it won’t be pretty:

(1) The Cassation report on the March annullment decision is due soon and it could circumscribe the new appeal a lot and maybe set some narrow timeframe so the contempt cases may gain significance. .

(2) The findings from the three chief prosecutors (Florence, Bergamo and Verona) on the contempt of court complaints are due in 3-5 months which could in turn make even a circumscribed appeal gain significance.

(3) Those three reports will identify every false claim and accusation of a crime stuffed into the two books and into these latest interviews and what laws precisely were broken.

(4) If the repeat appeal moves forward first, those reports will loom as a disastrous backdrop, and given that blood money was a main angle for each author, they might each be looking at life.

Yes. Not very bright.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/21/13 at 11:23 PM | #

This latest First Post article by journalist Andrea Vogt titled,


Posted by True North on 05/21/13 at 11:27 PM | #

Asking for any information on the source of the story of the AK RAPE PRANK at the Univ.of Washington in Seattle. Was it published in the local student newspaper at the time? Where did this story originate? This is very important. Please contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Thank You.

Posted by DDPT on 05/30/13 at 03:36 AM | #

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Or to previous entry Seeds Of Betrayal: In Interview Knox Reveals To Italy Her Considerable Irritation With Sollecito