Friday, October 01, 2010

Knox Slander Hearing Adjourned: Her Lawyers Make It Sound Like She Might Crack - Too Late?

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Amanda Knox and her lawyer Luciano Ghirga in court last June]

The slander hearing was adjourned by Judge Matteini to Monday 8 November, after less than one hour.

Amanda Knox now knows she is not only facing the huge and detailed Massei Report and (vital to remember) the really huge volume of witness and expert statements and evidence exhibits and other documents to which it it links, which are for the most part only available in Italian.

Now she knows she is facing a bunch of hostile cops, as she was exchanging stares with all of them today in court. And if she continues to accuse them in court, she will be cross-examined, and pressed very hard to name which one or ones it was - while looking him or her or them right in the eye.

Quite some pressure. Mr Ghirga has just been reported as saying this about Amanda Knox’s state of mind.

“She has hardened herself, she has become more unhappy and less serene,” he said. “I hope we can help her to find her serenity back before Nov 24 and that she doesn’t lose her courage. This would not help us.”

And here is another report from another of her lawyers.

“She’s very down,” said her lawyer, Maria del Grosso of Rome. “I’ve told her to be tough. It won’t help to fall apart now. “

This all seems to imply that Knox just might decide to abandon the hard line encouraged by the PR campaign, which seems to be getting her nowhere except into more hot water, and move from her various conflicting stories and over now to something completely different. 

Something credible and consistent that actually sounds like the truth? Who knows?

Coming so late in the process, with Meredith’s family and friends already put through deep pain for nearly three years, it may not happen - at least not yet. Still, one consistent story if believed could affect her sentence and the conditions of her stay in prison if she does not win her freedom at appeal.

And some peace of mind for all those who have been hurt. All except one: her family’s very precious Meredith. Stay tuned.


Hi Peter, thanks for the update.

It also looks like the Marriott/Knox/Mellas PR spin wheel is developing deeper cracks.  Amanda’s mother, Edda Mellas has been continuously telling the media that Amanda is in good spirits and is looking forward to her appeals trial.

And contrary to her family’s latest claim that they are not against the Lifetime movie being made, continuing reports out of the US and Italy are still saying that Amanda’s defense lawyers are against the film.

Like Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede, Amanda Knox’s family just can’t keep their stories consistent.

Posted by True North on 10/01/10 at 07:33 PM | #

Hi True North. Yes the differences between the legal team and the back seat drivers are more and more apparent. Where is Ted Simon in all of this - asleep at the wheel? Tough he doesnt speak Italian, and doesnt seem very good at Italian law.

This slander charge really NEEDS to go to trial. That is the only way to arrive at some definitive truth here. To once and for all clear the air. Legal followers here are very impressed at how the Italians are engineering all this pressure.

It is this brief episode which the conspiracy theorists have blown up to ludicrous proportions - claims that it went on for hours and hours, no interpreter, no food or water, and something close to waterboarding as the hapless Steve Moore chose to put it.

The interpreter on the night will be a neutral witness and there are several other witnesses beside the affected cops themselves, all of whom will be keen to take the stand. Even Amanda Knox herself has said she was well treated on the night!

When she is being cross-examined on the stand, how is she going to explain away that?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/01/10 at 08:18 PM | #

I would like to see her start telling the truth and stop hiding behind all her angel face bs.

Religion hasn’t done her a damned bit of good as everyone knows that honesty, remorse, taking responsibility for one’s own actions, etc are the basis for any religion, except for two that I can think of offhand: Satanism and Scientology.

Appreciative for the updates here as I have also packed my walking shoes from PMF.

Posted by tigger34 on 10/01/10 at 09:37 PM | #

I am constantly amazed by comments by Pro-Knox commenters on some blogs and websites that “the tide is turning” in Knox’s favour. Knox has suffered defeat, after defeat, after defeat, and her supporters are humiliated, one after the other. It makes no sense to claim that her cause is on the march.

As for Knox herself, I have to once again state my own personal view that she is not a person for whom it is impossible to feel a degree of sympathy. The current evidence suggests she is doing just what she should do - keeping her head down and doing her time. She did wrong, and she is being punished for it, and subconsciously, I think she accepts that. Certainly, she is in a better place mentally than she would be if she was back in Seattle.  The true villains are her vocal supporters, who will not let Meredith rest in peace, and will not let Knox serve her time quietly.

I bear Knox no ill-will, despite her horrific crime,  and I think it is important to remember that the statements from Camp Knox are never explicitly endorsed by her, as far as I know.

Although, as ever, I stand to be corrected.

Posted by Janus on 10/01/10 at 11:16 PM | #

Hi Janus. Yes, we have been told by several who study these things that Knox is not at all following the pattern of someone who was railroaded or thinks she was framed. None at all of the “jail-house-lawyer” syndrome is showing here. She does seem pretty accepting.

If she is inclined to fully turn and open up, it may not be easy for her to do this right in the searchlight, as there has been such an effort mounted, sparked in part by her own early claims and the absurd choice to run a take-no-prisoners PR campaign.

Now she has on the one side the pressures of (1) the slander trial threatening a possible six more years; and (2) the Massei Report and the prosecution moves for a sentence increased to life.

And on the other side, these peculiar conspiracy theory people, barking with what seems to be zero credibility and zero heavy hitters, that they are right there on the verge of victory - if she can only hang on for a while.

Maybe reading that Steve Moore’s flaky claims are being touted as her last best shot is what made her heart drop? We have no evidence that she respects or appreciates the conspiracy theorists and the white knights.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/01/10 at 11:36 PM | #

I looked to see what local news were saying on the AK slander case and came across this.

updated 10/1/2010 1:46:29 PM ET

he proceeding was continued to November 8th.

Her parents spoke out against the slander charges in Seattle. “Two days after she was arrested she told her attorneys and her mother and I that she was hit, this really isn’t anything new,” said Curt Knox, Amanda’s father. “It’s a really, it’s a distraction from, you know you wonder why.  why are they going after slander? It’s just bizarre,” said her mother Edda Mellas. Her parents also say it’s not fair the same judge who ruled against Knox in the murder trial of her roommate will be the same judge in overseeing this slander hearing. Earlier this week, the Italian Supreme Court turned down a request by Knox’s attorneys to replace the judge in this slander hearing.

I also found where they fired Steve Moore from Pepperdine’s University. They told him if he didnt stop about AK being innocent then he would lose his job. I guess he thinks he will get rick off of AK’s story
Below is a link

Posted by jasmine1998 on 10/02/10 at 04:58 AM | #

Hi Jasmine. This is of course CBS, the most biased of all the networks. and the only one now still in tow to the PR campaign. .

Of course this charge is not a distraction, as Curt Knox calls it, or bizarre, as Edda Mellas calls it. First, as explained in the previous post, slander is a serious crime, and impugning professionals with a fine reputation of their standards is slander.

But also it goes to the very heart of Amanda Knox’s defense and Curt Knox’s PR campaign and the huge house of cards the conspiracy theorists built on Knox’s charge, which they then of course exaggerated way beyond her original version.

Disprove Knox’s charge or have her plead guilty here, and the PR campaign is mortally wounded at one stroke. Judge Matteini was not even involved in the murder trial, and she was not the judge who arraigned them for trial.

We have two reports coming up on Steve Moore. We are still doing the research, but his sore-loser spin on just why he was fired should simply be ignored. His narcissistic meddling was bound to bite him in the tail.

By the way, Pepperdine has a very good law school - in the top 50 in the US. Some there have read Massei and checked out what’s on PMF and TJMK. They would have had a strong fix on Moore’s attitudes and level of competence.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/02/10 at 02:00 PM | #

I’m looking forward to reading the news about Steve Moore, Peter. He’s been quoted on websites plugging the “fired for following his conscience….his children no longer eligible for reduced fees at Pepperdine…whatever-happened-to-free-speech?” line. It wouldn’t surprise me if the truth was a little more complex.

Posted by Janus on 10/02/10 at 04:23 PM | #

Good choice of photo Peter, with Amanda Knox oh so relaxed and comfortable while in the courtroom on trial for murder, sexual assault and theft.

It’s almost like she is admiring her manipulative handywork and basking in her narcissistic glory.

Mr Ghirga is stood there like a paid white knight, but what else can he do given the circumstances?

I do think that the cheap and thin wallpaper the family have paid for to try and cosmetically cover all the massive cracks in their daughters warped personality is splitting and tearing all over now.

There are also splits becoming more apparent to people less accustomed to this case, with one faction saying she is having a whale of a time in jail, a great soprano and total credit to the prison system and darling of all the inmates (what would we do without her) and then now Mr Ghirga and other legal people saying they fear she may crack up at this stage and we have to make sure she keeps herself together.

A certain contrast in stories for sure.

Posted by Black Dog on 10/02/10 at 06:48 PM | #

Thanks, Peter. I am, of course, a “hater”, and I am not allowed to wish Knox the best of luck for the future, as you know.


Posted by Janus on 10/03/10 at 01:40 PM | #

I wonder if Knox is dressing more seriously for court now than tight vacation t-shirts and tight pants? I still scratch my head wondering why someone would dress so casual when appearing in court, being charged with murder. Now a convicted murderess, will she dress like a nun for court?

Posted by giustizia on 10/04/10 at 05:12 AM | #

Like others I have wondered for a while about how much AK’s family and their inane PR campaign and associated attempts at fame are preventing Knox from telling the truth about her involvement in Meredith’s murder.

I wonder if without the influence of her strident family, Knox would have told the truth by now or at least come closer to it, she has admitted being in the house during the murder several times.  Whether she is afraid of disappointing her family (even though they know she is guilty), incurring their wrath (they are all she has left) or unable to tarnish the ‘perfect girl’ image she thinks she still has, once again her family are not helping her at all.

Posted by lilly on 10/04/10 at 01:31 PM | #

She might even have started herself the support, by her initial so called alibi contending first mail to family and friends. I rembered a sort of harsh introduction, like: ” I tell this only once . . . .”

Even if she did not commit the crime (sic), she suffers the things she wished for Patrick.

Posted by Helder Licht on 10/04/10 at 05:09 PM | #

And . . . .  Edda suffers the things she had in mind for Patrick’s wife.

Posted by Helder Licht on 10/04/10 at 05:12 PM | #

And child.

Posted by Helder Licht on 10/04/10 at 05:12 PM | #

Hi Lilly,

It is becoming actual fact more each day than mere supposition that the family of Amanda Knox have backed her into a corner and in doing so made it even more difficult for her to tell the truth and confess to her crimes.

Many observers of this case saw this right from the beginning - almost from the point Edda Mellas first set foot on Italian soil.

I personally do not think a confession of any sort will happen for some time yet but as Peter has pointed out cracks are certainly starting to appear in the artificial facade that has been constructed around this obviously sick young murderess.

It is a sad indictment, but fame really does seem to be the spur for the people invited by the Knox/Mellas families to attach themselves to her.

Posted by Black Dog on 10/04/10 at 09:08 PM | #

I think Raffaele will be the first to crack, in an effort to save his own bacon, and that will bring forth pieces of whatever truth that the others will tell, most likely to save their own hides.

Posted by Mo-in-Mass.,USA on 10/05/10 at 01:43 PM | #

Raffaele certainly seems to be the ‘weakest’ of the three in some respects, though agree with some of the analyses of his personality on here, but not sure how changing their story on appeal could benefit either him or Knox.

If they tried to plead a lesser role and reveal the ‘truth’ of the night, would that really gain them any credence with the Judges/Jury at this stage? It may even have the adverse effect and serve to undermine their credibility further and antagonise that they had lied and misled everyone in the first trial.

Was Knox under oath when she testified?  Although the full truth would of course be welcome, hard to see how Judges being disposed to leniency in such an event.

Posted by Lola on 10/06/10 at 10:26 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Knox was not under oath when she testified.  Witnesses are under oath, but defendants are not.

Any account of what happened that night would have to fit the evidence and be fully supported by it in order to hold any weight.  I agree, Lola, at this stage it is hard to see how any judge could be disposed to leniency - especially if any ‘truth’ was not fully supported by evidence.  Only the TRUTH will do. 

Guede has, in my opinion, told a few grains of truth (certainly not the full truth, but a couple of points, he at least admits he was in the flat for example) - Knox and Sollecito have yet to come close to explaining anything that the evidence points to having occured.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/06/10 at 10:55 AM | #

I can see two scenarios that might work for one or other of them in an Italian court, given that system’s strong proclivity for second chances.

One, that one of them breaks with the others and says that I wasnt even there (Sollecito) or that I was an accidental bystander (Guede and maybe Knox) but I will tell you what the other two really did. And I am really, really sorry to Meredith’s family.

Two, that one of them says that yes I was there but there were mitigating factors (drugs and in the case of Knox maybe ill health) and I am really, really sorry to Meredith’s family. Also (Guede and Sollecito) that it was Amanda that wielded the final blow against Meredith and I never in a million years expected that.

Knox certainly seems to be in the deepest soup here so she would need to be the one that moves most dramatically. If she is mentally crumbling now, the choice may be out of her hands - it may just happen anyway. Her last best choice, made for her.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/06/10 at 03:17 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

I feel it will be hard to swing the “I wasn’t there - except for the clean up” line because the details in the Massei Report show quite clearly that the dynamic of the attack involved three people.  Both defence teams had expert witnesses who held the opinion that the attack was by a solo attacker however the court dismissed this view because it did not fit the evidence.  In my opinion if any one of the two were to attempt that line it is likely the appeal court would take a poor view of them as it doesn’t appear to be backed by evidence.

Therefore I think Peter’s option two is the more likely scenario - how likely it is that one of them will change their tune is a very different story.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 10/06/10 at 03:59 PM | #

I can’t see anyone believing an “only there for the cleanup” testimony. Who cleans up after a murder? Only the murderer.

Peter, what you say is interesting especially as in one of her many versions of what happened AK already said she was there as a bystander when she accused Patrick - she said she was in the kitchen, put her hands over her ears, heard screams etc. I always found that story interesting, in a way a sort of twisted partial confession with innocent Patrick conveniently substituted for Guede (did she know where Guede was when she told that version?) and herself in the role of innocent bystander. Which of course she was not.

Posted by lilly on 10/07/10 at 05:07 PM | #

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