Thursday, March 10, 2011

Giuliano Mignini’s Trumped-Up Conviction For Guessing Right In The MOF Case

Posted by TomM

We previously posted on the case here and here and here.

Giuliano Mignini became involved in the Monster of Florence case only years after many people had already come to believe a satanic sect in Florence might be behind the MOF murders. But he pursued it with a vengeance when a body that in 1985 mysteriously washed up on the shore of a lake in his jurisdiction showed signs of murder.

And when the crime fiction writer Doug Preston injected himself into the case under a pseudonym and appeared to be planting evidence, Mignini gave him a very brief shaking up and Preston timidly removed himself from the case and from Italy - to turn to inventing a whole lot of fiction about it from safely across the Atlantic. 

Here now is the fine Italian journalist Adriano Lorenzoni, describing The Strange Conviction of PM Giuliano Mignini by the prosecutor whose frustrated conversation was captured (the recording seemed to prove there was indeed a satanic sect in Florence) in objective terms that prove sympathetic to Mr Mignini.

Translation here is with the kind help of my fellow poster Clander.

The Perugian investigation of the instigators of the crimes of the Monster of Florence has, in effect, been stopped.

In January of 2010 the Public Prosecutor of Perugia, Giuliano Mignini, and the former head of the flying squad of Florence, Michele Giuttari, were sentenced by the Court of Florence on the charge of abuse of office in an investigation into some Perugians connected to the “instigators” of the crimes of the Monster of Florence. According to the prosecution’s theory, Mignini and Giuttari illegally wiretapped and investigated journalists and law enforcement officials to influence their activities.

These are abnormal proceedings, since the Public Prosecutor Mignini had been properly authorized by the Investigating Magistrate of Perugia to use wiretaps for his investigation, actions that he had the duty to carry out. Abnormal proceedings also because leading the investigation against Mignini and Giuttari was the same Public Prosecutor’s Office [Procura] that Mignini [PM di Perugia], had investigated the head of, Ubaldo Nanucci. Not by chance did Dr Mignini object to the jurisdiction of that Office [Procura] to carry out the investigation and raise objections of the legitimacy of the judgment. The Court of Appeal of Florence will hear the appeal next November 22 [2011].

This all springs from a recording made by Michele Giuttari of one of his conversations with a Deputy Prosecutor of Florence, Paolo Canessa, in which Canessa states that his boss was not a free man and admits to having been hindered by the then Prosecutor General, Ubaldo Nannucci, regarding the requests of Dr Giuttari into the investigation of the crimes of the Monster of Florence.

Giuttari [then] sent the recording to Mignini, who turned it over to the Prosecutor’s Office of Genoa which had been authorized to investigate the magistrates of Florence. Prosecutor Nannucci was then investigated [verrà  inquisito] for having slowed down, or rather obstructed, the investigation of the Monster of Florence. Genoa promptly dismissed [archivierà ] it.

Giuttari continued to complain to Mignini about the conduct of the police commissioner of Florence, De Donno who, as ordered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, should have set up a new wire tapping room for the GIDES (serial crimes investigative unit) where Giuttari and his men were working [si erano sistemati]. De Donno never set up the new room [cosa che non fa]. Mignini charged him and sent the file to Florence.

A question comes to mind: where is the abuse of office in all of this?

It is also puzzling why there was such an apparent lack of interest in the investigations conducted by Michele Giuttari, even when they are not being obstructed. “The instigators must not be investigated because there are only conjectures, a fruitless waste of time,” Giuttari is told.

Astonishing. As long as the [lowlife] “snack buddies” are being investigated [for the MOF , all is well. It’s fine to investigate Pacciani, Lotti and Vanni; but when the investigation tries to produce greater results [si alza il tiro], problems start to arise. Michele Giuttari was even relieved of his post and transferred.

Prosecutor Mignini’s office is searched and documents from an ongoing investigation into the death of the Perugian doctor Fransesco Narducci are seized, documents which Mignini had without success objected were secret.

Another question comes to mind: why so much fear (in Florence and in Perugia) about the investigation of the death of Francesco Narducci?

According to the Perugian Public Prosecutor [Mignini], Francesco Narducci was connected in some way to the Monster of Florence case.  Giancarlo Lotti, one of the [lowlife] snack buddies, asserted that some doctor was given the amputated parts of a female body, in exchange for money.

Crimes, therefore, on commission [i.e. murder or mayhem for hire] by a doctor. A real doctor, not the mere pharmacist, Francesco Calamandrei, of San Casciano val di Pesa. Among other things, during the investigation it emerged that Calamandrei and Narducci knew one another. Narducci then died in unclear circumstances on October 13, 1985. Drowned in the waters of Lake Trasimeno. One month after the last murder committed by the Monster of Florence.

Suicide was claimed at that time. A truth considerably less than believable. So much so that while the Preliminary Investigations Judge [GIP], Marina De Robertis, dismissed the case for lack of enough evidence [con formula dubitativa] the hypothetical murder case against certain suspects (the journalist Mario Spezi, the pharmacist from San Casciano, Calamandrei, and others) and declared it time-barred, still, evidence exists of other crimes committed at the time: the concealment and abduction of a corpse and the falsification of numerous public records.

Moreover, since last April, we have been waiting to learn the reasoning with which, for different reasons, including claimed lack of evidence, the Preliminary Hearing Judge, Paolo Micheli, acquitted twenty people (including Narducci’s father and brother) of charges of forgery, criminal conspiracy, dereliction of duty, and concealment of a corpse.

Against this decision of the Preliminary Hearing Judge, Public Prosecutor Mignini will most likely file an appeal as soon as the sentencing reports are lodged which should have been lodged last July 20 [2010].

Mignini and Giutarri were acquitted of the charges of abuse of office (and Mignini also of aiding and abetting Giuttari) because it was not proven that any crimes were committed [i fatti non sussistono] (and the Florence Prosecutor’s Office did not appeal).

[The abuse of office charges] related to their so-called parallel investigations to those of the Genoa Prosecutor’s Office, which was investigating the former head of the flying squad of Florence for false acts [falso] due to the recording of the conversation with the deputy [Prosecutor] Canessa (of which we have spoken above) which, according to the indictment, had been tampered with. This investigation then led to the search of the office of the Public Prosecutor of Perugia [Mignini’s office] and the seizure of numerous investigation documents.

Needless to add that the proceedings against Giuttari and the two police officers concluded with a judgment of non-suit for absolute lack of foundation of fact, as proclaimed by the Genoan Preliminary Hearing Judge Roberto Fenizia. The “aberrant” conviction of Giuliano Mignini does not have immediate disciplinary consequences of any kind. The disciplinary proceeding is in fact suspended until the resolution of the criminal case on which it depends.

And Public Prosecutor Mignini is able to continue to carry out his functions, in trials of great importance and of international interest, such as that relating to the death of the English student, Meredith Kercher.


Thank you Tom for the post, however I cannot make sense of the translation…is there a summary that I could read?

Posted by Giselle on 03/10/11 at 07:36 PM | #

The various activities described here are byzantine in complexity and not helped by a lack of clarity in translation.

Prosecutors authorised to investigate each other and even magistrates.

To summarise :-

Magnini’s troubles seem to stem from a taped conversation that the then head of the Florence Flying Squad (Giuttari) had with a deputy Florence prosecutor about the Florence Chief Prosecutor, and which Giuttari sent to him. The contents of this tape were relevant to Mignini’s authorised investigation. He could hardly ignore it but the tape recording was not itself an authorised activity. However that was Giuttari’s problem not Mignini’s.

Mignini sends the tape to Genoa prosecutors who were investigating Florence magistrates. They don’t use it but this gets back to the Florence Chief Prosecutor who then investigates both Giuttari and Magnini.

There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of collusion between Mignini and Giuttari. Giuttari seems to be the loose cannon here.

But just to mess things up even further different jurisdictional courts have come to different conclusions as to Giuttari’s and Magnini’s involvement.

Is the above correct, roughly speaking?

A right mess really. A turf war between prosecutors and perhaps even magistrates.

The business concerning Narducci is even more bizarre. 20 people charged with various offences relating to his death, all of whom were acquitted at preliminary hearing by our very own Judge Micheli. Presumably the 20 were charged by Magnini.

Posted by James Raper on 03/10/11 at 09:52 PM | #

I should add thanks to Tom and Clander for making the effort. Some of the lack of clarity may be due to the journalist.

What strikes one immediately about this honest and objective bit of reporting is how dishonest and unobjective the pro-knox camp’s take on this is.

“Corrupt” they shout knowing full well that a common assumption that people will make is that Mignini has a tendency to bend the rules for personal gain - if not financially, then for enhancement of reputation.  There is no evidence for that at all. Is this what they mean? They should be clear one way or another.

There is a more limited - and less commonplace - sense of “corrupt” which is just simply officials bending rules, but the other side deliberately avoid making any distinction, and neither is it obvious at all - as the above report shows - that there has been any bending, deliberate or otherwise - of any rules.

If Mignini has a failing it is perhaps an impetuosity born of frustration, perhaps endemic amongst many involved in the Monster of Florence case.

Micheli struck out the charges Mignini brought, clearly, in my opinion, for lack of sufficient evidence, a lesson Magnini absorbed for his next brush with Micheli (assuming that it is the same judge) in the case of Meredith Kercher’s murder. No one can suggest that they are an old pals act.

Justice is only done if it is seen to be done and if each case is treated on it’s own merits at every stage of it’s proceedings. Meredith’s murder was an entirely different case for Mignini and the case was treated on it’s own merits by prosecution and judges alike. But to listen to the other side you would think that was not the case and that corruption and incompetence was endemic throughout every stage. That is a smear against an able prosecutor and the Italian justice system.

Posted by James Raper on 03/11/11 at 01:00 AM | #

Thanks James, the summary is much appreciated.

Posted by Giselle on 03/11/11 at 02:50 AM | #


Perhaps Mignini is becoming high profile in Italy for his careful handling of this international murder case. It may raise his status so that he is no longer frivolously harrassed for personal selfish reasons by those he is brave enough to contend with for their footdragging and obstructing justice.

The Meredith Effect. She makes the best, better. She exposes the truth.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/11/11 at 03:29 PM | #

Maybe this coud help. There is a mistake in the translation of this paragraph:

” It is still Giuttari who complains to Mignini about the conduct of the police commissioner of Florence, De Donno who, as ordered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, should have set up the new wire tapping room for G.I.DE.S (serial crimes investigative unit) where Giuttari and his men were working [si erano sistemati]. Giuttari never set up the new room [cosa che non fa]. Mignini charged him and sent the file to Florence. A question comes to mind: where is the abuse of office? “

In fact the mistake is in the subject “Giuttari never set up”; the actual subject of the sentence is “De Donno never set up the office with wiretapping equipment, thus Migini charged him” Mignini charged De Donno and sent the trial file to the Procura of Florence.

“E’ ancora Giuttari a lamentarsi con Mignini per il comportamento del questore di Firenze, De Donno il quale, come disposto dal Ministero dell’interno, avrebbe dovuto provvedere all’istallazione della sala intercettazioni del G.I.DE.S , ( gruppo investigativo delitti seriali ) dove si erano sistemati Giuttari e i suoi uomini, cosa che non fa. Mignini lo incrimina e manda il fascicolo a Firenze. Viene da chiedersi: dov’è l’abuso d’ufficio?”


Yes the incriminating facts indeed stem from a byzantine war of legitimacy between juristictions. Maybe it is worth knowing that Ubaldo Nannucci - contrarily from Mignini - has resigned from his role as prosecutor in Florence.

Posted by Yummi on 03/11/11 at 04:30 PM | #

Thank you Yummi for spotting that error. However, I would like to point out that the translation of this article was incomplete. I had specifically asked TomM to go over the translation once again (after I had corrected over 90% of his translation errors) and to send the article back to me for the final proofreading. I found out only today (look at the date !) that the translation had been uploaded.

Posted by Clander on 04/03/11 at 03:52 AM | #

The blame in entirely on my shoulders.

Posted by TomM on 04/03/11 at 09:56 AM | #

That should be: The blame is entirely on my shoulders.  Mi dispiace.

Posted by TomM on 04/03/11 at 09:58 AM | #
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