Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Defamation Trial To Go Ahead On July 4

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: An image of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas in court shortly before the verdict late in November 2009]

Italy’s news service AGI is reporting that motions for acquittal have failed and that the defamation trial of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas will indeed proceed.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, the parents of Amanda Knox, were indicted today by the GUP of Perugia for the defamation of five policemen from the Perugia police who investigated the murder of Meredith Kercher….

The charge says the alleged defamation statements were posted in 2009 on the website of The Sunday Times. The story said they falsely attributed to the police some actions and conduct which is out of line with their official code of conduct.

In particular, the charge continues, it was related that, contrary to the truth, Amanda had not been assisted by an interpreter, she had not been given food or water, she was abused both physically and verbally, and she had been slapped on the back of her head with a threat “if you ask a lawyer that will make things worse for you.”

Knox’s parents are being defended by lawyers Luciano Ghirga and Maria Del Grosso, who asked today for the acquittal. The five police officers are represented by the lawyer Francesco Maresca.

The charges were filed by the police themselves and the prosecution is not involved. The illegal actions were alleged to have occurred after Amanda Knox arrived voluntarily and unrequested at the Central Police Station along with Raffaele Sollecito. She herself agreed to be further questioned as a witness, and so no lawyer was present.

After she fingered Patrick Lumumba, her questioning was stopped, and she was soon after questioned further as a suspect. Amanda Knox only made the slapping claim months later, while trying to explain why she fingered Lumumba, and she herself referred to the presence of an interpreter in her two-day stint on the stand in July 2009.

With the exception of a claim of a slap over the head by someone she has not ever identified, she confirmed she was not mistreated. Amanda Knox’s own trial for defamation resumes on 17 May. Her own lawyers have never ever claimed that any mistreatment took place, and they have never ever filed any complaint.

So. Can Curt Knox and Edda Mellas present evidence to refute the charges?  And can they explain away all of these?

And at the trial, for which side will Amanda Knox testify?

We don’t know if Lifetime include the claimed hitting and other abuse in the movie - but it would seriously seem better not to.


ABC’s Ann Wise has a report based on another Italian news service report.

Sloppy reporting. She fails to mention that it is the Sollecito team that intends to file suit in New York to try to stop the Lifetime movie and implies that it is the Knox team that is still fighting.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/11 at 06:40 PM | #

AP report here—-> Amanda Knox’s parents indicted for libel in Italy

Posted by mojo on 02/15/11 at 07:23 PM | #

Many commenters on those other websites seem quite ignorant of the fact that if anyone falsely accuses cops in the US of crimes that too is a serious crime.

Such false claims result in dozens of charges daily. They go under different names: perjury, giving false testimony, lying to the police, obstruction of justice, and so on.

The commenters are all of them wrong in thinking that you get a free pass for this stuff in the United States. District attorneys would be on their tails in a shot.

And had this case all been playing out in the US the crime shows on news channels would be hounding the perps’ families to death for making any false claims.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/11 at 08:10 PM | #

You’re quite right, Peter. Reverse the nationalities, imagine that Amanda Knox and her parents are Italian, and the murder was committed in America, and the parents ran a campaign disparaging the US and the Us justice system and saying “this wouldn’t be allowed in Italy” and made allegations against American cops, without any basis in fact.

It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to realize that the average American would be offended, disgusted and appalled. Which makes the anti-Italian bile of the Knoxophiles something deep in the realms of hypocrisy.

Posted by Janus on 02/15/11 at 08:35 PM | #

After three different versions of the movie trailer provided by Lifetime and two different legal deadlines given to Lifetime ( both deadlines have since past )  by the lawyers for Amanda Knox and the lawyers for Raffaele Sollecito, why have no comments been made to the media either by Curt Knox or Edda Mellas regarding the generation of the Lifetime movie?

Who all was involved in this Lifetime movie project?

Will the Lifetime movie include scenes of Amanda Knox’s and Curt Knox’s & Edda Mellas’ claims of the hitting and abuse to Amanda by the Perugia police?

Posted by True North on 02/15/11 at 08:38 PM | #

Headlines eem to us to be getting more and more confident and unequivocal. Here is the Vancouver Sun.

Parents of student sex-killer Amanda Knox indicted on libel charge in Italy

Meanwhile Chris Mellas seems to us to be becoming more and more squeaky - and Curt Knox and Edda Mellas have not been quoted directly for weeks.

Perhaps their murky role in the contentious Lifetime movie and especially in the highly one-sided “documentary” that follows has paralysed their two tongues.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/11 at 11:53 PM | #

This is undoubtedly a case they simply cannot win and is quite fair - and cannot be refuted as their loose tongues are there for all to see in black and white in the printed word.

It is of no wonder that the fisherman is stationed in Perugia now along with Amandas great pal (of a questionable time) curtesy of Rocco’s humanity.

A new strategy perhaps? I think so, with an added touch of guilt laden cowardice in the mix.

Her mother is the same as she - apples and trees and so forth.

What next Edda? What next Curt?

You never really said that? You never meant what you said to an worldwide media organ?

You just simply repeated what your daughter told you?

The house of cards slowly slowly starts falling down on the 4th of July.

Posted by Black Dog on 02/16/11 at 12:19 AM | #

Hi Black Dog. Great comment. The oft-repeated criminal-behavior claims against the Perugia cops were not just out of the blue either - they were seemingly intended to provide a strong justification for Amanda Knox to falsely accuse Patrick Lumumba and, although she knew him innocent, to give him two weeks in hell.

And Curt Knox and Edda Mellas had been WARNED they were untrue - in fact Amanda herself told Edda Mellas they were untrue and that conversation was caught on tape at Capanne. We dont ever endorse the sliming of the Perugia and Rome officials involved and Italian law is fair and quite clear.

If there is any way the interrogators can hit back, fine, let them go to it. By the way, the prosecution are not involved in this case. It is brought by the police who are claiming they were defamed.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/16/11 at 05:30 AM | #

It’s looking like yet another one of Curt Knox and Edda Mellas’ schemes backfired. There were obviously just too many solid facts Lifetime had to run with in the screenplay that they couldn’t avoid leaving out.

Now the two have to face up to the fact that their media force de résistance has gone up in smoke. Of course if the screenplay weighed more in favor of their daughter, as they originally hoped, or were even promised, the silence from them would be deafening.

Posted by Kazwell on 02/16/11 at 08:05 AM | #

Barbie Nadeau has a new article about the Lifetime film:


Posted by The Machine on 02/16/11 at 09:25 AM | #

If found guilty what is the punishment? What could the potential outcome be for Amanda’s parents?

Posted by Ginny on 02/16/11 at 10:58 AM | #

Hi Ginny. This is somewhat of a special case as it is the pollice bringing the suit and the prosecution is not involved.

Italian law is designed in large part to push people toward rethinking and redemption. If found guilty they are likely to face a large fine payable to the officers defamed. Possibly a prison sentence, but it would be suspended as they would be considered first time offenders and the sentence would be under three years.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/16/11 at 02:13 PM | #

Just read the excellent piece in the Examiner, posted at PMF by SomeAlibi; this is a terrific read.

I particularly like this paragraph. 

“Why would two people who claim that jurisprudence demands irrefutable evidence of guilt then attempt to try their verbal case in the court of public opinion without it themselves? Because they obviously realize that Italy does have evidence against Amanda Knox that did justify her guilty verdict and thought mud slinging to the contrary would free her”.

I like the first sentence because it describes to perfection the manner in which the PR Supertanker has gone about it’s tawdry business and also how it’s shaped the FOAKers approach to the relentless harassment on the Italian legal system and anyone who prefers to disagree with them. I like the second sentence because it confirms the bleeding obvious.

Curt and Edda may only get a suspended prison sentence but the mischief in me let my imagination loose. Maybe Edda can share a cell with Amanda and Curt a cell with Raff; even more amusing would be for Curt to share a cell with Rudy though. That is a particularly evil thought. Perhaps the two deserve each other.

Posted by Smacker on 02/16/11 at 06:57 PM | #

If the Knox parents can be indicted for slander, why can’t all the newspapers who repeated the story of police abuse also be indicted?  The prosecution team needs to focus on their job, which is defending the lower court’s verdict on appeal.  I can’t see how an indictment of the parents helps in this regard.  I realize that the police officers initiated the procedure, but if I were on the prosecution team, I would have discouraged the indictment.  Let’s focus on the main issue—defending the integrity of the police forensics and battling the pro-Knox efforts to discredit the evidence supporting the conviction.

Posted by LisaFloyd on 02/17/11 at 02:18 AM | #

Hi LisaFloyd. Actually the police and prosecutors have been doing precisely that for the past three years - and in the court of public opinion, just how far has that got them?

The allegations could be extremely damaging to the careers of dedicated police officers and investigators and it would be seriously out of line for the prosecutors to try to stop them proving their good name.

The fact of this indictment seems to have cooled the campaign and so already it is leading to a reduction in heat and a clearer picture of the solid case and the wild accusations that have dogged it for so long.

That looks like a big net plus.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/17/11 at 02:47 AM | #

Hopefully these slander cases against Amanda Knox and her parents will put to rest a lot of misinformation regarding her treatment

Posted by Barry on 02/17/11 at 08:26 AM | #

So the big day in court has arrived for “dumb and dumber”. Another conviction looks likely for 2 more members of the Knox family. What a class family.

Posted by gabster1971 on 07/03/11 at 11:05 AM | #

So the big day in court has arrived for “dumb and dumber”. Another conviction looks likely for 2 more members of the Knox family. What a class family.

Posted by gabster1971 on 07/03/11 at 11:05 AM | #
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