Friday, December 05, 2008

Formal Kercher Request That Trial Be Behind Closed Doors

Posted by Peter Quennell

The Kercher family have now formally filed the request that the trial of Knox and Sollecito be held behind closed doors.

The Kerchers’ request was filed by their extremely capable court-appointed lawyer, Francesco Maresca, with the Court of Assizes in Perugia.

The Court will announce its decision on this at the first, public, session of the Knox/Sollecito trial on 16 January.

The trial of Rudy Guede - which was also behind closed doors - largely hinged on evidence from Meredith’s bedroom and from her autopsy.

That evidence was said to have been extremely disturbing to many inside the court-room, and resulted in Guede’s very stiff 30-year sentence.

If the evidence not yet in the public domain really is as sickening as is rumored, it is hard to see the defense teams resisting the request.

And the Italian system hardly needs to prove publicly its extreme caution, carefulness, and fairness. Despite some absurd claims to the contrary.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/05/08 at 03:21 PM in The officially involvedVictims familyTrials 2008 & 2009


Pete - I thought I had read somewhere that this request had been refused because it was “not predominantly a sex crime” but am struggling to find it again. Was this a rogue story now withdrawn do you know ?

I’m interested in your interpretation of Guede’s trial and sentence. If there was such strong and sickening evidence why did he persist with such an inept defence ? - even his attempts to pass the blame on the other two were belated and half-assed. His accusation that they were trying to frame him doesn’t make sense either - they actually covered his ass better than their own !
If he wasn’t capable of coming up with a coherent story couldn’t his defence have pleaded insanity on his behalf - he certainly seems deranged on his youtube video.
And why the stiff sentence which even Maresca seemed surprised at ? Is it possible Michelli imposed it knowing it would be reduced on appeal with the intent of scaring the others into confession in the meantime ? What are your thoughts ?

Posted by MikeMCSG on 12/05/08 at 05:06 PM | #

Hi MikeMSG,

Please see link below for reasons why the judge convicted Guede:

  “His accusation that they were trying to frame him doesn’t make sense either - they actually covered his ass better than their own !”

I’m not so sure. First, if three of them were involved but agreed between them to cover it up and make it look like a burglary, and if Guede had left the cottage before Knox & Sollecito (i.e. if he’d left the job of cleaning up mostly for them to do), then that would explain why it was only Guede’s bloody hand print which was found on the pillow which rested below the victim’s head where the police found her. From this, Guede could easily suspect that they cleared up all evidence which could have convicted them (knox & Sollecito) but deliberately left his (Guede’s) in an attempt to frame him. This would explain why his lawyer claimed that Guede wanted a fast-track, separate trial because he thought that the other two would gang-up against him to convict him.

Second, Guede originally said he saw ‘some italian-looking man’ run out of the cottage after having stabbed the victim (i.e. he didn’t at this stage accuse either Knox or Sollecito). As the evidence against him grew (including his DNA on the victim’s body, his foot print, and his bloody hand print in the victim’s room), Guede must have become suspicious that Knox & Sollecito have tried to frame him as the burgler who raped & killed the victim. He quickly changed his statement & said he thinks the person he saw running out of the cottage was in fact Sollecito & that he also heard Amanda’s voice. This could have been Guede’s reaction to the evidence which by then had come forward (such as the fact that the prosecution suspected the house had been bleached, and had not found any of Knox’s finger prints in her room, or anywhere else in the cottage, etc.).

I too, asked myself, why on earth do such a good job at bleaching everything in the cottage, wash all the dirty clothes in the washing machine (which the police say was running when they arrived at the scene), yet somehow forget to add the pillow case with Guede’s hand print on it…hmmm…

Fast Pete - what do you reckon? Is there any evidence that Guede had left the cottage before the other two, or that Knox & Sollecito did indeed try to frame Guede?

Posted by Socrates42 on 12/05/08 at 05:58 PM | #

Socrates - Interesting post thanks. One question - do we know exactly whose clothes were in the washing machine ?

Posted by MikeMCSG on 12/05/08 at 06:43 PM | #

Sorry, I don’t. Knox, when interrogated, claimed she’d put a wash on when she’d gone back to the cottage to have a shower that morning. Sollecito also claimed, in a confession, that he rememberd Knox asking him for a plastic bag that morning before she left his flat to go have a shower at her cottage; she told him she wanted to take her dirty clothes home.

Posted by Socrates42 on 12/05/08 at 07:43 PM | #

If any trial needs to be public it is this one!

Posted by nmr on 12/05/08 at 11:03 PM | #

What does “behind closed doors” mean in the case of a long version of an Italian trial?  Is the whole trial held in secret? If so, are the transcripts of the trial available after it is over?  Being from the U.S., I am used to jury trials (a trial of your peers) which are difficult to hold in secret.  I guess its easier to keeps things under wraps with everything being decided by administrative law judges only.

Posted by Arnold Layne on 12/06/08 at 02:03 AM | #

Shoe shine washing line.
I am glad we have clarification on this issue.
The stepfather of Amanda Knox stated that the Knox family had requested that the trial be held without any media intrusion.
I found this rather strange myself, as I thought only the victims family could request such a thing.
In Mr. Mellas’s mind it seems the accused killer is shouting the odds here.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 12/06/08 at 04:08 AM | #

I think the main concern of the Kercher family regarding the press is that every time an unpleasant fact is mentioned in the case, the press will be taking ‘reaction shots’ of the family, and also that they don’t want photographs of Meredith’s body splashed all over the media. Probably the Knox family also don’t want to sit in court with 20 cameras permanently trained on them.

It’s highly unlikely that the trial will be closed, however. It looks like the Italian authorities are moving in the direction of having a couple of TV cameras in the courtroom, and the live video will be streamed through to journalists in another room, or even in another building. That way a large number of journalists can be accommodated, and they can come and go as they like, and be be working on their laptops, phoning, etc. without disruption to the trial. There will be no question of intrusive cameras always trained on the families to catch any emotions, and it will also be easy to close specific parts of the trial to the public, if that is ever necessary.

Posted by GreenWyvern on 12/07/08 at 02:03 PM | #
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