Monday, September 09, 2013

In English, The Chieffi Supreme Court Rationale For Hellmann Annullment & Florence Repeat Appeal

Posted by Our Main Posters

1. What Happened Today

This immensely intriguing report dated 25 March 2013 has now been put into English.

The translators are the PMF posters and Italian speakers Catnip, Clander, Earthling, Jools, Popper, Skeptical Bystander, The 411, Thoughtful, Tiziano, TomM, and Yummi,

These are members of the same team that has already done so much to level the playing field which the defense forces have tried so hard to tilt by way of the fact that Italy speaks a different language. 

2. What We Already Said

On 23 June in his summary for English speakers our main poster Yummi started off as follows:

On June 18. 2013 the Supreme Court of Cassazione issued the official rationale for the sentence of annulment of the Hellmann-Zanetti verdict.

That verdict acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito on the charge of murder and sexual violence, while finding Knox guilty of the crime of calunnia (obstruction of justice by maliciously placing false accusation against a person you knew was innocent)....

The 74-page motivation report states clearly that they “˜accept the points of the recourse’ from both the Prosecution and the Kercher parties, while they reject the Knox defense recourse.

While you will realize it yourself in reading it, I can say in advance that what the Supreme Court points out in the appeal verdict is a pattern of manifest violation of an unprecedented gravity. All those I know in the law professions have never seen, throughout their professional lives, a Cassazione bashing portraying such a concentration of flaws in one verdict. 

Mostly written by Judge M. S Caprioglio (possibly including parts by Judge Severo Chieffi) the document features a sophisticated Italian language and a formal style.

Below at front: some of the judges of the Supreme Court’s elite First Section with Dr Caprioglio at right]



When there’s good people around, like those that have invested so much to complete the translation, there is hope for both humanity and justice.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to each and everyone of you for all your hardwork.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 09/09/13 at 09:28 AM | #

Calunnia - in British law, reading the translator notes, this most closely resembles ‘Perverting the course of justice’ - a serious crime that carries a prison sentence of a few years I believe (max 5 I think).

Hadn’t realised that before now!

Posted by TruthWillOut on 09/09/13 at 10:03 AM | #

Once again, excellent work by the translation team.

Having read the report I don’t think it could be clearer than this.
The defence will have a very hard time arguing against this - it is robust.

I would advise Amanda Knox to read this (she likes reading apparently)and then maybe she can understand why her acquittal was annulled so comprehensively.

Unless of course while reading she sees it in flashes of blurred images.

Posted by DF2K on 09/09/13 at 01:26 PM | #

Another great article by journalist Andrea Vogt, AMANDA KNOX APPEAL ll / MEREDITH KERCHER MURDER

Posted by True North on 09/09/13 at 03:25 PM | #

Hard to exaggerate how much the PMF documents are praised by lawyers in Italy and the US who are licensed for the Italian bar.

The Italian courts usually dont give official recognition to such efforts (which are very rare) but they may come to do so here.

They did order the key documents put into English and placed online in this case here:

One major example of an official translation in that case is this 210 page document here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/09/13 at 04:07 PM | #

I dont think nearly enough is being made of the extreme rarity of complete annulment.

Appeal judges experienced in criminal law almost never fall into that career-destroying trap. At most maybe 1-2 times a year.

As PMF and TJMK long picked up the Hellmann report (probably written by Zanetti) is extraordinarily brazen and dumb.

See these posts by James Raper, Cardiol, Yummi, etc, here:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/09/13 at 05:52 PM | #

Thanks to Yummi once again for giving us back in June the “heads-up” concerning the content of the Supreme Court Annulment of Knox’s and Sollecito’s initial Appeals verdict. It was shocking to see his summary of how the Cassazione report - in the original Italian - rejected in strong language each and every aspect of the Hellman appeals decision .... except the guilty verdict for calunnia.

Now, we have the opportunity to read the detail of that Cassazione report, in a very exact yet readable translation to English.

Many, many thanks to the PMF translation team. Your contribution to dispersing the dark shroud of the PR machine smoke and mirrors campaign is very significant indeed.

Posted by Kermit on 09/09/13 at 06:16 PM | #

I did finish the reading in one sitting! It took long time.

It is quite boring and written in legalese but the logic and points are straight and clear.

Once I tried the google translation but that was a real torture. I gave up fast! Thank you all the volunteers for the excellent work!

Particularly brilliant is the summary (first half) and it shows that the judges had grasped the whole problem.

It is quite possible to make 1-2-3 mistakes here and there but the Hellman and Co appear to have systematically perverted the whole system. How it is possible?

There are dark secrets indeed!

Posted by chami on 09/09/13 at 06:54 PM | #

“Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.” Paul Auster

To all who worked on making this translation available in memory of Meredith Kercher, not only I thank you, but anyone who respects the laws of civilization and has a desire for peace and justice to prevail, also thanks you. Your translation brings the evidence to those English speakers whom do not speak Italian. Your collaboration honors the Italian Justice system’s mission to provide justice for Meredith and her family. Thank you!

Rest in Peace Meredith!

Posted by bedelia on 09/09/13 at 08:41 PM | #

@chami:  I find this to be the least opaque of any of the motivations documents so far.  I’ve posted a couple comments on PMF but it’s abundantly clear why the Supreme Court rejected Hellmann’s fixing of the time of death and his failure to account for the ‘complicity’ of the accused in Guede’s conviction.

That’s just a couple of the easy ones!

Posted by Stilicho on 09/10/13 at 01:41 AM | #

What is strange, or maybe another word would be more accurate, is that everything in that report is and has been known to anyone who wanted to know it.  Seriously, nothing new.

Whatever it was that the Hellman court thought or believed or wanted to do, none of the people involved with that decision could have expected that no one would question what they did.  In other words, the Hellman court must have known that the Supreme Court would say this.  Right?

Posted by jamesepowell on 09/10/13 at 01:52 AM | #

Excellent and laborious work. Thank you all so very much.

Posted by Bettina on 09/10/13 at 02:03 AM | #


Interesting question.  There tends to be, in my experience, far too much nowadays of the attitude : ” Do it, and see if you can get away with it..”

It was just somewhat of a shock to see this attitude within an official judicial system. Perhaps that is why it has been rounded on so decisively - and unusually, as Pete says.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 09/10/13 at 09:51 AM | #

I agree with @jamestrialpowell and I will go further in saying that everyone could see it all happening during the actual appeal trial. Why was it allowed to continue?

Exactly what roles did Daclon and Girlanda have?  It seems pretty clear they knew beforehand as they made certain Knox was on a plane home faster than you can say jiminy cricket.

Posted by jhansigirl on 09/10/13 at 11:36 AM | #

I agree with jamestrialpowell and jhansigirl.

I saw it coming from about half way through the appeal process.  My gut feeling was then reinforced a week before the day of the verdict.

There was a news VDO clip online in the week before the appeal verdict.  It featured a reporter intercepting Deanna Knox in the street as she was on her way to the court. 

Deanna Knox stated categorically that they were ‘taking Amanda home next week.’

To this day I regret not posting a link to that clip on PMF and having Clander save it.  To me it was evidence.

Posted by thundering on 09/10/13 at 12:26 PM | #

At least it is good for Deanne to get her life back.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/10/13 at 01:41 PM | #

How can her family possibly not know?  How can her family possibly not see the evidence what we see?

In my opinion they are all complicit in the charade that has been propagated and deserve no sympathy or good thoughts from anyone.

Posted by DF2K on 09/10/13 at 05:09 PM | #


I agree this report is written so nicely and is highly readable too. I did bite Micheli and Massei too but never completed the reading.

I read a lot and I am forced to read often. This one is very engaging and I did finish it in one sitting.

I am not a lawyer but I could see the flashes of brilliance showing through. They have gone through the points one at a time and demolished each one very robustly. I could now see what is meant by taking the evidences collectively and not individually.

But still, it is a legal document written in legalese!

Posted by chami on 09/10/13 at 05:24 PM | #

Picking up on the subject raised by James Powell: how could the appeal judges and the entourages not KNOW they would be reversed by Cassation?

1) Hellmann and Zanetti were incompetent to preside over the case, no question; Hellmann usually presided over business cases and Zanetti presided over minor civil cases. They were appointed by Chief Judge Di Nunzio after secret lobbying by the defense counsel. We know this because the excellent judge who was replaced, Judge Chiari, resigned over it and came out and said so. Hellmann and Zanetti sounded besotted by the “young people” and seemed to have a deep innate dislike for the black person (Guede).

2) The prosecution in 2011 clearly DID realize from about halfway through that the appeal court was extremely biased or bent. Dr Comodi said as much quite publicly several times. It was reported in Italy. There was chat on PMF that she might upset the court and assure a non-guilty verdict but that verdict was already set in concrete. Attorney General Dr Galati had limited power to intervene, because he had just arrived in Perugia, and didnt want his first action to be to accuse the chief judge of game-playing.

3) Italian juries on these first level appeals have a tendency to look down on trial juries and often get very angry at what they think are stupid mistakes. But they dont hear again the case the prosecution presented, they mainly hear the points raised by the defenses, and if defenses blow a lot of smoke (search “the CSI effect” here on TJMK) and Amanda Knox is sitting there primly dressed and periodically wailing, as she did at the opening and closing, the notorious “bambino effect” can cut in which makes it hard for Italian juries to find anyone under 25 to 30 guilty.

4) The Supreme Court knows of the negative appeal-jury effect, a systemic problem, and often reverses their conclusions. The prosecution never doubted the Supreme Court would find in their favor, because Hellmann’s managing of the court and proceedings was often so ludicrous. It was so obvious he didnt know the criminal law. Hellmann was edged into retirement; but he could face far worse because of the Aviello trial, because he brushed aside clear evidence of felonies claimed by Aviello in 2011 and rushed on to other matters.

5) There has been an arrogance and stupidity to those who support Knox which seems impossible to exaggerate. It has placed them in a huge bubble. Preston, Sforza, Burleigh, Dempsey and Fischer are Exhibits A. They dont have even ONE good lawyer. Hardly any of them speak Italian. Many are bigotted, some disturbed. None of the defenses lawyers have ever won a case at Cassation, not one of them. Ted Simon and Ann Bremner dont have a good grasp of the real case; neither speak Italian, and neither know Italian law. Chris Mellas and Bruce Fischer pump out more and more wild fantasies and so far seemed to get away with it. So its really a case of the blind leading the blind.

That the Florence prosecution and court is proving as competent and hard-line and aggressive as it is is really no surprise to those who know it well, though it is a huge surprise to the perps’ entourages. Unfortunately it was a rogue prosecutor and rogue judge in Florence who convicted Migini, but Casssation reversed them in very strong language, and like Hellmann and Zanetti they are long gone. This has always been a play in three acts and Cassation has made pretty clear what it wants before the final curtain.

Expect further annullments if the appeal court doesnt deliver it.  Ironically, because Rudy Guede went through the three act cycle first Cassation really knows the case and is unbending in the belief that three perps must have attacked Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/10/13 at 05:52 PM | #

” deserve no sympathy or good thoughts from anyone”

Pete’s summing up of adults in high places plus involvement of own parents in the entourage softens my thoughts about AK’s sister.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/10/13 at 09:10 PM | #

Wonderful as always and thank you Peter for your all your work

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/10/13 at 11:27 PM | #


I do not agree “Hellmann and Zanetti were incompetent to preside over the case”- it was part of the master plan!

They decided the final verdict in advance and then argued in a very convoluted way. They did what they were expected to do.

They simply did not care whether their judgment will survive the appeal process; they simply do not bother.

I have never heard that a judge says about his own judgment that “the real truth could be different”? I know I am hard of hearing but then…

There will always be a full spectrum of people in any profession. We need to focus on what they do and what they say when they sit on the majestic chair!

Posted by chami on 09/11/13 at 05:12 AM | #

In Hellmann’s aquital speech I saw the puppet strings. No selfrespect this man.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/11/13 at 09:30 AM | #

The Italian Supreme Court definitely slammed the Hellmann court reasoning and spoke of “manifest illogicality which must be rightfully censured.” (p. 83)

Hellmann court dissed the methods of Prof. Novelli as “in an experimental phase” (p. 84) when he and Prof Torricelli begged that the new third trace of DNA on the knife be tested. Hellmann’s so-called court appointed experts Conti and Vecchiotti had found yet another trace of DNA on the knife right beside the one Stefanoni found on, yet they refused to test it, failing to complete the very mandate that Hellmann had given them, wonder why. Novelli is a geneticist of undisputed respect. Torricelli “quantified the useful material in the trace as 120 picograms which is sufficient to execute a double amplification.” (p. 89)

The Supreme Court said the court appointed experts (Conti-Vecchiotti)concluded “too superficially” that Stefanoni’s lab lacked negative controls to exclude contamination. Toricelli says the alleles from the bra trace show a 1 in 3 billion chance of it being from a person other than Raffaele, as she also argues for the Y-haplotype being further proof.

The Supreme Court also upheld the validity of Curatolo’s testimony, Quintavalle’s testimony, the three ear witnesses to the scream and running footsteps, and emphasized the importance of Knox’s own handwritten statement: “perhaps I checked the emails, perhaps I read and studied, perhaps I made love with Sollecito” where the only certainties she admitted about the night of the murder were smoking marijuana, taking a shower with Raf, and dining late. She records here her dreamlike state of crouching in the kitchen, hearing Meredith’s scream, holding her hands over ears, and a detail about seeing blood on Raf’s hands from a fish. (p. 54) This dreamlike explanation of her actions on the night in question finishes with ” she didn’t remember with certainty whether she was at her house that night”. (yet her alibi is that she clearly remembers being at Raf’s all night, yet another contradiction).

Although the Supreme Court acknowledges that Knox’s handwritten note is vague and confusing, it says the appeal court failed to evaluate the letter properly.

The SC points out how the appeal court had “a tendency to take as already proven exactly that which needs to be proved” or begs the question on many matters.

The SC ridicule the appeal court notion that “Guede had reason to simulate the burglary”.

Curatolo’s testimony they find valid in the “tesserae of the mosaic” of other known facts along with Quintavalle’s testimony, both of which added together “shattered their negative alibi”.

The Supreme Court also challenged the appeals court waffling on Aviello (Part 9).

They redflag the entire appeal as a case of being blind to “quae singola non probant, simul unita probanti” which although my Latin is nonexistent, I think means: what a single point cannot prove, the unity of several points together does prove.

Thank you to all the translators for working hard to put the Supreme Court motivation into English. It is a great review of the case.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/11/13 at 06:06 PM | #

Here is a question for the lawyers. Another one on extradition.

Should the USA agree to extradite Amanda Knox and she flee to another country that does not have an extradition treaty with Italy, would that also need to be a country that will not extradite to the USA?

In other words would the USA not make any effort to get her back as it is in actual fact Italy that wants her or would they, having agreed to extradite her to Italy, also seek to have her repatriated?

If that is the case she would have to find a country that would not extradite to either Italy or the USA?

Posted by thundering on 09/12/13 at 07:11 AM | #

Sorry in advance:  more vomit.

Too many inaccuracies from the perps and the newspaper to bother eviscerating.  I know you all can spot ‘em like fireflies in a dark Indonesian jungle at night.

Posted by all4justice on 09/12/13 at 08:54 AM | #

Hello everyone i have not written for a while but i read TJMK daily. Am looking forward to the new Appeal in Florence and intend on being there for the final few days even if i have to wait outside with the crowd.

I hope that this Court will re test the knife using the latest DNA technology. If it confirms what we already know and that is Meredith’s DNA on the tip and Amanda’s on the handle this would be the smoking gun NON!

The same with the bra clasp.

But another thing that has always stuck with me is that Edda Mellas staying quiet after Amanda told her Patrick had nothing to do with this. I am sure Dr Sollecitto wants to vomit everytime he thinks of this vile trashy family ruining his family and his retirement fund.

Posted by Mason2. on 09/12/13 at 09:33 AM | #

Hi Mason2,
The situation that Amanda Knox plonked her mother in was that if she (Mellas) was to state to the police and lawyers that Patrick had nothing to do with it then how could she (Knox) know that?
She must have been involved in some way if she can for certain say Patrick wasn’t.
So Mellas kept her mouth shut and told no one…
because she couldn’t speak Italian.

The sly and calculating Knox of course had already been thinking along these lines in her bizarre ambiguous (fake) druggie dream like written statement in which she stood by what she had said in blaming Patrick for rape and murder, because as far as she and the police knew, it could have been Patrick at that stage.

Posted by DF2K on 09/12/13 at 01:28 PM | #

@ all4justice’s Daily Mail ref.

At least the DM knows its legal vulnerability; it ended the article with this line:

“Sorry we are unable to accept comments for legal reasons.”

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/12/13 at 03:28 PM | #

I’ve just phoned Channel 5 here in the UK and they confirm that the programme “Knox On Trial: The Key Questions” will air on Thursday 26 Sept. at 10.00pm.

I may have misheard the customer services guy but it could be the title is now amended to “Knox On Trial: The FIVE Key Questions”.

Here’s some advance information:

Could it be this will turn out to be a rare factual documentary? We can hope.

Posted by Odysseus on 09/12/13 at 05:58 PM | #

Thank you Odysseus .
I look forward to your resume, as I don’t have access to this.
Let’s hope.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 09/12/13 at 06:12 PM | #


Will do. Btw in case Channel 5 people read this I meant “rare factual documentary ON THIS CASE” - I don’t mean to imply that Channel 5 documentaries are generally biassed!

Posted by Odysseus on 09/12/13 at 06:34 PM | #

Hi Odysseus

Well done on the Channel 5 documentary. 

This is believed to include in-depth prosecution interviews. A real “first” for non-Italian reporting.

We have serious need of a recording of this. If you or anyone else in the UK could capture this it would be much appreciated.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/12/13 at 07:02 PM | #


I’m not sure how this could be done, I’m not very knowledgeable in this whole area.  Some Channel 5 shows are apparently available to stream on the internet, once they have been broadcast for the first time,  via, but this seems restricted to the UK i.e. if the IP address is non-UK streaming is barred. And only shows where Channel 5 have the rights are ever available on this service (don’t know if this will be one of them).

Googling “Watch Channel 5 abroad” brings up some solutions for accessing “Demand 5” abroad, don’t know how good they are or if they are costly.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Posted by Odysseus on 09/12/13 at 07:47 PM | #


I can record the Ch 5 on tivo. Will seek advice on how to copy to PC..and upload to you tube/ I would nor really know how to.

I have never ever watched Ch5.TV equivalent of the worst tabloid journalism..Daily Mail/Sun. Still you can only hope that some producer has the sense to put together an honest inquiry.

Posted by Olliebear on 09/12/13 at 08:01 PM | #

@ Odyssesus

Thanks for the shout out on Ch5 date.

Posted by Olliebear on 09/12/13 at 08:04 PM | #


Unless of course someone records it to DVD and ships it to you! Would it work? Unfortunately I only have a DVD player, not a recorder.

Posted by Odysseus on 09/12/13 at 08:05 PM | #

Hi Odysseus and Olliebear

It may or may not be worth this effort but if its a good one, we have summarised and posted a lot of stills of other good ones here which helped as a lesson for other media. Here are two Italian and one American examples.

If it IS sreaming outside the UK (maybe not, if they hope for foreign sales) we can maybe capture it here. If not, then burning it to a DVD or uploading it to a server would be just great.

PMF has posted a lot of video on their player and of course we have our own dozen or so YouTubes. The effort we have to put in! All because most UK and especially US media wont go the full mile.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/13/13 at 02:04 PM | #


Yes can record on tivo and then copy to DVD.Not sure about region compatibility..but will check..

Posted by Olliebear on 09/13/13 at 03:55 PM | #

I’ll certainly watch it and give a report. It will probably be a day or so after the screening however.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 09/13/13 at 06:52 PM | #

I’ll certainly watch it and give a report. It will probably be a day or so after the screening however.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 09/13/13 at 07:00 PM | #
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