Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Claims By Perpetrators & Their PR That THEY Are Victims Get Equal Pushback

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei will soon confront many false claims ]

To the considerable pain of victims and their loved ones, Italy’s has become one of the most pro-defendant justice and penal systems in the world.

That doesn’t mean that it has become a complete pussycat. Push it, and it usually pushes back harder in its search for the truth. And the quality Italian media goes along. 

Time and again the ill-conceived short-term PR and legal tactics for Knox and Sollecito based on a hurricane of lies have left them in terms of the ultimate end-game worse off than they were before.

Judge Matteini and Judge Micheli (the judges in 2008) both took firm lines with the copious evidence and the psychological tests of AK and RS in front of them.

Both judges took a line as firm as the prosecution (as firm as the “evil Mignini”) in concluding that there was a drug-fueled hazing escalating to murder with sexual aspects (however short the timescale of the intent).

[Ed note: See comment by Yummi below which explains the above a little differently. PQ.]

Though his panel of judges voted unanimously for guilt, Judge Massei in 2009 did take a somewhat less firm line in the sentences, after observing one daffy defendant and one very nervous defendant sitting in front of him for nearly a year. Judge Massei for no especially convincing reason

(1) pinned the initiating of the attack on Rudy Guede (really?!) and

(2) handed Knox and Sollecito (and thus Guede) quite a break with his supposed “mitigating circumstances” (the duvet over Meredith’s body) resulting in 20 years lopped off their combined sentences.

Both the defenses and the PR were weak and largely futile in that year. But come 2010 the dirty tricks moved into overdrive.

Cassation reverted to the firmer line in January 2011 when it ruled on Guede’s final appeal: Guede was a party to the murder, but copious evidence proved he did not act alone. 

The Hellmann appeal court and DNA consultancy and verdict of 2011 were corrupted (counter-measures are still quietly playing out) which fully explains its startling soft line.

Thereafter the Italian courts observed the illegal blood-money binge with the essentially fictional books of Sollecito and Knox, and two years of them each claiming to ill-prepared interviewers “we’re the real victims” on TV.

Cassation observed all of this, annulled the corrupted Hellmann court verdict, and issued instructions in June 2013 to the Florence appeal court to ensure that the firm line should be maintained. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a firm line from the chief prosecutor (Crini) and a seeming firm line from the lead judge (Nencini) in recent weeks.

In the rest of this year Italy will see at minimum these events where the court’s firm line will go on and the babbling and unhelpful legal and PR tactics may finally dry up.

    1) RS and AK continuing to babble for a while on TV as they each dig the other one deeper. Sollecito has just said that his saliva or sneezing may explain why his DNA was on the clasp of the bra.

    2) The sentencing report of Judge Nencini is due at the latest on 30 April and he seems likely to give space to rebuttals of any bizarre new claims made by Knox and Sollecito before 30 April like the one just above. 

    3)  The obstruction of justice trials of witness Luciano Aviello and incessant meddlers Mario Spezi and Frank Sforza will continue, probably though into 2015. Each of those trials could result in others (like Spezi ally Doug Preston and Sforza allies Bruce Fischer and Steve Moore) being declared at minimum persons of interest if not actually charged.

    4) Florence prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze (image above) may soon be announcing which passages in Sollecito’s book Honor Bound criminally defame Italian officials or deliberately miscontrue hard facts in evidence in an illegal attempt to to poison public opinion against the court.

    5) Similarly soon after on Amanda Knox’s book with the surreal title Waiting To Be Heard (and on Knox articles and interviews in Oggi) by the chief prosecutor in Bergamo. 

    6) Cassation’s First Chambers should be the one to handle Knox’s and Sollecito’s final appeal. They handle murder cases and they issued the guidance to Florence in 2010.

    7) If so, they should take note of such revelations by way of Judge Nencini’s and Prosecutor Crini’s reports; and this next autumn or winter may finally declare a firm “confirmed guilty” final-appeal outcome and invite Knox to come back.

And when prosecutor Giambartolomei Firenze announces which claims are radiocative, hopefully a major hush will come over Heavey, Fischer, Bremner and Moore.


Its very odd that the two Bremners and Fischer and Heavey and the two Moores still seem to think they could have quite legally and without harm to themselves run the same type of hurt-intended campaign in the US.

They really need to get back on their meds.

The poisoning of public opinion by way of false claims against prosecutors and police has NEVER been done on such a scale. Police and prosecutors and judges in the US would have seen anyone who tried frogmarched into court to explain.

False claims against the mountain of evidence would have been laughed off American TV if Meredith’s murder had occured here. All of the legal talk shows without exception take essentially the same pro-justice pro-victim position we take here.

And blood-money rarely if ever remains in the hands of the perps. That is why the blood-money payments made to Knox and Sollecito break all American records.

As we have often said before, the trial in 2009 was so swift and so efficient and so deadly (and so weakly rebutted) that in the US any request for an appeal back in 2010 would have simply been declined.

Knox and Sollecito would long be forgotton, they’d be a further four years into their prison terms, and Meredith’s family would have some desperately needed peace.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/14 at 07:30 PM | #


“And blood-money rarely if ever remains in the hands of the perps. That is why the blood-money payments made to Knox and Sollecito break all American records.”

I’m probably being dense and maybe pedantic but how does your second sentence follow from the one before? Unless you’re saying it’s rare for £x million to go to the perps. But then who else would it normally go to?

Posted by Odysseus on 02/26/14 at 08:59 PM | #

Hi Odysseus

Blood-money from American crimes is usually forfeited to the victim or the state under (increasingly tough) state-level Son of Sam or equivalent laws.

Knox and Sollecito can get away with it for now (break the record in blood money gained) because they are being tried under Italian law.

But take a look at this:

A Son of Sam law is any American law designed to keep criminals from profiting from the publicity of their crimes, often by selling their stories to publishers. However, this is not in the same manner of asset forfeiture, which is intended to seize assets acquired directly as a result of criminal activity. Where asset forfeiture looks to remove the profitability of crimes by taking away money and assets gained from the crime, Son of Sam laws are designed so that criminals are unable to take advantage of the notoriety of their crimes.

Such laws often authorize the state to seize money earned from deals such as book/movie biographies and paid interviews and use it to compensate the criminal’s victims. The term “Son of Sam” refers to the nickname of serial killer David Berkowitz, the subject of a notorious 1978 murder case.

In certain cases a Son of Sam law can be extended beyond the criminals themselves to include friends, neighbors, and family members of the lawbreaker who seek to profit by telling publishers and filmmakers of their relation to the criminal. In other cases, a person may not financially benefit from the sale of a story or any other mementos pertaining to the crime—if the criminal was convicted after the date lawmakers passed the law in the states where the crime was committed.

Knox and Sollecito have big legal targets on their backs in the US, lawyers say, and they seem to face at least three big blood-money problems down the pike.

1) The NYS Son of Sam law may apply to blood-money from Italian crimes too, and to blood money gained by anyone who profits from the death of Meredith (Steve Moore? Bruce Fischer? Frank Sforza?) except maybe publishers and writers writing in good faith.

2) The Micheli and Massei financial awards to the Kerchers and Patrick might be considered in part the equivalent of a Son of Sam award, though it penalizes for an estimated loss on the victim’s side rather than a substantial gain on the perp’s side.

3) It looks like Knox and Sollecito will be tried in new trials for the claims in their books asnyway. Those charges will extend to their publishers and agents in the United States. The charges will be perversion of justice, not Son of Sam, but the effect would seem to be the same.

Blood-money was a terrible idea and Knox and Sollecito could move from record gain to record loss without the victim’s family lifting a finger in action.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/14 at 09:52 PM | #


OK - understood. Thanks.

Posted by Odysseus on 02/26/14 at 10:09 PM | #

Hi Odysseus

Good if some of us keep worrying this like a dog worries a bone. I posted what I’ve been told but there is plenty more to learn.

There will be a number of processes putting power in the hands of the Italian state as they conclude and much or most legal action might be there.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/26/14 at 10:17 PM | #

The only thing that I disagree with is that the Mignini-Comodi prosecution were somehow “soft”, compared to other judges. Actually, Mignini and Comodi’s requests were the tougher in terms of penalty.

They requested the stiffest penalties (they obtained almost the maximum from Micheli’s judgement - 30 years for Guede - but they had even sought life in the first instance for Rudy Guede, albeit there was scant possibility for that because it’s almost impossible on a short track trial, and would require some extreme aggravation, normally something beyond committing a single murder).

It seems to me Mignini & Comodi were very hard-liners.

We also ought to say the “sexual context” was always a secondary aspect in Mignini’s scenario. It has always been a scenario of a non-premeditated murder, and the main aspect of the motive always was a hazing. The bedrock motive, in the prosecution scenario, has always been an argument due to grudges between Meredith and Amanda Knox, and the sexual hazing (or “sex game gone wrong”) was only a reaction contextual with this. 

Mignini was also the one who pushed the “drug-fueled” contextual element most. Judge Micheli dropped this aspect, by dismissing the testimony of Kokomani in a rather (in my opinion) too scathing and hasty way. But Mignini and Comodi believed Kokomani was the pusher, they believed he was there, and they actually believed the druggies environment and the drug element played a big part in the story.

Unfortunately Kokomani was “burnt” by Micheli’s mistake and Mignini failed to put the drug dealers context back into the trial. But he made a desperate attempt with Massei though.

Posted by Yummi on 02/27/14 at 02:55 AM | #

Hi Yummi

That correction is appreciated and I put a note in the text of the post. It’s hard to get straight who thought drugs was a major factor simply from reading the court record. In an interview recently Dr Mignini did again emphasize the importance he gave the drugs aspect.

I hope those over on PMF who puzzle over Kokomani’s role get to see this. Yes Massei was even more dismissive of him than Micheli. If he was the pusher (and not Guede) it could allow for the two getting high without him - perhaps starting back in RS’s flat.

Knox’s extreme body odor the next day can be explained by heavy use of some form of amphetamine. Drug experts tell us she displayed all the classic symptoms but the body odor is a real clincher.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/27/14 at 04:01 AM | #

Exactly Peter…speed makes one stink. Altho, taking a shower would have fixed the problem. So , in the end, we have one more stinking lie from Knox.
She did NOT shower in the hours before the police arrived.
Thanks Pete

Posted by Bettina on 02/27/14 at 06:18 AM | #

IIMU that Italian Criminal Law provides penalties for “Failure to Provide Emergency Assistance”. Is Abandonment also an applicable offence?

I wonder if My Lady Knox’s protestations as she patiently Waits To Be Heard have been too much to prevent a Statute of Limitations to expire.

Would legal eagles of Italian Law, such as Yummi and Popper kindly enlighten us?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/27/14 at 11:14 AM | #

Hi all.

I’m new, but have been lurking for the past one and a half months reading as much about the case as my life will allow.

Has anyone seen the CNN piece, 26 February 2014, about Sollecito’s recent interview?

The video report also quotes John Q Kelly saying: “The facts and the evidence with regards to each of them [Sollecito and Knox] is entirely different.” Sollecito claims Knox was “very agitated” when she got back to his place and wanted to know why she took a shower given the blood in the bathroom etc.

I haven’t read all 6200 comments in the thread, but from skimming the thread, it seems that the Knox PR campaign is taking serious damage. Most people it seems are reading it as Sollecito distancing himself from Knox. Those who defend Knox are sounding more and more apoplectic.

Posted by RustumK on 02/27/14 at 12:30 PM | #

Hi RustumK,
in my opinion discussing with groupies is totaly worthless. From time to time I do it at “” and I made my experiences with “them”.
Bashing the Italian justice system is all they are able to do.
I am following the case very intensive since July 2013 and wrote many German lines. Now i appreciate the “little break” till Nencinis reasoning.
I am looking foreward to read his reason, why he did not allow to split the case.

Posted by itsneverBoW on 02/27/14 at 01:24 PM | #


“I am following the case very intensive since July 2013 and wrote many German lines. Now i appreciate the “little break” till Nencinis reasoning.”

I am following the case very intensive since the start and wrote many bad English lines. I do not appreciate the “little break” till Nencinis reasoning. 😊

Posted by Helder Licht on 02/27/14 at 01:51 PM | #

@ Cardiol

“Failure to prevent emergency assistence” is an offence under the Italian penal code, and also “failure to raise alarm” is an offence. The Italian law is very rigid on behaviour requirements whenever there is a situation of perceived danger.

As for the legal statute of Knox’s protestations, they are moro or less indifferent for the legal situation of Knox herself, because she is already convicted and supposed to go to prison anyway.

However they may well not be indifferent to publishers and journalists who disseminate them. A case about Knox’s assertions is already pending in the court of Bergamno, it’s about statements reported by magazine Oggi. Therefore the topic is open and, as a matter of civil damage assessment, might be not subject to statute of limitation. Book publishers, networks, online platforms and journalists are liable under many statutes.

Posted by Yummi on 02/27/14 at 03:59 PM | #

I thought AK body odor would likely come from a frenzied clean-up which likely went on for hours, plus lack of sleep. But perhaps the amphetamines before the attack would also have added to it all. 

No one seems to talk anymore about them having a mop when spotted by postal police outside of the cottage which in itself is very odd, because if they needed it for the water spill, AK would have brought it back the first time she went back to get RS when she was “worried about the blood drops and open door”.  Why have it with them later on except if they were just finshed doing the clean-up?  Or is that just a rumor again?

Lack of pre-meditation or a sex ‘game’ (?) doesn’t explain why a large kitchen knife would have been carried specifically from RS’s apartment to her own apartment.  And why that knife in particular, when I’m sure there were cooking knives already at her own apartment and even scarier knives in RS’s bedroom. It’s all so strange.

All I can think of was an idea to scare MK with that knife, perhaps having dressed up in costumes? like the fake break-in she did before, and then more drugs, and a fight which escalated after the stolen money issue came up.  But where does RG come in with all of this plan?  Why was he there that night, when was he contacted, or did he just happen to be on the basketball court and then the three bought drugs from Kokomani?  There was no message to him from AK or RS and he didn’t even have a cell phone.  I never heard of Kokomani as the pusher / dealer but that does make some sense now.  Interesting.

Posted by believing on 02/27/14 at 04:51 PM | #

Could someone explain to me why everyone assume that an appeal will be granted. We now that the defendants intend to appeal but it’s not an automatic right, the last judgement could be the final one in a few weeks’ time if the Court of Cassation doesn’t accept the appeal

Posted by Xarta on 02/27/14 at 10:54 PM | #

Knox and Sollecito and some of those who support them are like those conservative Japanese who have been denying the atrocities they have committed during WWII. They want their reputation to be spotless so that they will never be suspected of any wrong doing. Having a spotless reputation gives them the privilege of never being questioned and so free to do whatever they want.

It is like a thief who denies he has ever stolen so that he can continue stealing.

Posted by janenewyork on 02/28/14 at 12:29 AM | #

@ Xarta

1. The Florence ‘judgement’ will be issued as the motivations are published (in fact, as for the courts of merit, the legal ‘judgement’ coincides with the written rationale; in other words, the ‘judgement’ is the motivations report, not the verdict read in the courtroom).

2. When the judgement comes out, the defence will do for sure a last attempt to impugn it before the supreme court. The appeal at the Supreme Court is actually NOT called ‘appeal’, it’s called ‘recourse’.

3. A ‘recourse’ is not something like an ‘Appeal’ looks in the US; it is instead, by definition, always admissible, if it’s about a judgement of merit by a lower court. While a recourse is launched, the final judgement must be considered pending.

4. Albeit i’ts always admissible, a recourse is also very likely to be rejected (especially on a case like this one). If the reasons for recourse are rejected by the SC, the judgement becomes final.

Posted by Yummi on 02/28/14 at 12:29 AM | #

@ believeing

There is no link between Kokomani and the murder of Meredith, he played no role in this case (whether he was the pusher who provided them with drugs it’s unknown, but it has no implication in the case).

However Kokomani is certainly a drug dealer, and not a dealer of marjuana (the Albainans in Perugia trade other stuff); he was there around the cottage that night, besides he admitted to being there, because his cell phone records show that he was stationing there in the area; and he was certainly there to do some buisness.

It is also a given fact that he knew Rudy Guede, and he knew the dealers of Piazza Grimana (who were on phone contact with Amanda Knox).

(btw I don’t think the jar he claims to have thrown contained “olives”).

Mignini did believe that, given that Kokomani was actually on the place, that he clearly intended to testify - and he testified about interesting details - but also intended to lie at the same time about what he was doing there, this leads to think the origin of the crime somehow had something to do with the drug dealers environment, and is plausibly related to drug use.

Posted by Yummi on 02/28/14 at 12:51 AM | #

Thanks for those precisions Yummi, the terminology I’ve used was inaccurate but you confirm that the recourse can be rejected by the Supreme Court. The saga could end very soon

Posted by Xarta on 02/28/14 at 12:29 PM | #
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