Friday, March 06, 2009

Patrick Lumumba Seeks Damages For His Time In The Big House

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the story.

Knox is being tried on a charge of calunnia for her false implication of Patrick (see an explanation of calunnia at bottom). Patrick was of course the owner of the Le Chic bar, now closed because of the heap of trouble that his former waitress Amanda Knox dropped on his head.

He was held in Capanne Prison for about two weeks as a suspect, after she alleged (voluntarily, in writing) that she had seen him in the house on the night of the crime. And heard Meredith’s screams as he committed the murder.

Might he perhaps not have been so ticked if she had recanted the accusation any time in the next two weeks? Maybe. Maybe not. But Knox might easily have done. Nobody was pressuring her to do otherwise.

This seems an open-and-shut case. The evidence is all there. So Knox lives and learns. We hope.

Explanation of calunnia

The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone”Ÿs reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.



By the way, it has long been conjectured that Patrick was close to firing Knox for dereliction of duty (too much time wasted chatting up the men customers) and that this was maybe payback.

This was hinted at in some incendiary remarks Patrick made about Knox after he was sprung from Capanne. A seemingly friendly text exchange between Patrick and Knox on the night in question seems to contradict this, however.

It will all come out when he testifies in the murder trial.

Whether Patrick had already offered Meredith the same job, which is also conjectured, seems doubtful. The English girls did not mention it in their recent testimony as something Meredith had told them about.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/06/09 at 07:09 PM | #

There are reports today (Saturday) in the Italian press of the hearing yesterday in the Court of Assizes and some remarks made to the press.

Such as “Speaking of the story the musician said that “it was as if I found myself on the beach and I had an airplane fell on my head.” “

Accompanying Patrick and his lawyer to the hearing was a psychologist, who testified that Patrick still suffers from a lot of stress from Knox’s accusation, his being handcuffed and hauled away to prison in front of his wife and small son, the closure of the Le Chic bar for lack of a crowd, and the continuing suspicion and avoidance of him around Perugia.

There are actually two claims, one against the Italian state for the equivalent of around a million dollars, and one against Amanda Knox for an unspecified sum.

The state’s lawyers mildly protested the size of the claim, but he may get all or most of it. Apart from the rough arrest after Knox’s false accusation, there was the time taken to spring him from Capanne, some days after it was pretty apparent he was at his bar at the time of the murder, and there was the forced closing of his bar for some months.

The one bright note in his life after the airplane fell on his head is that his wife has given birth to a baby girl. She won’t be called Amanda, that’s for sure.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/07/09 at 03:06 PM | #

I’m not very familiar with yoga positions, is there in fact a position that resembles a cartwheel? I’m not sure how inappropriate it is to do yoga while at a police station, it seems unusual but then several things about AK are unusual.

However, I think the issue of yoga or not is being used as a diversion from what I really find strange: AKs accusation of PL during an interview that was not apparently a formal interview, just some probing questions from an investigator.

I just can’t see why any innocent person would spontaneously attempt to frame someone else. I can see why someone would withhold evidence if they had been threatened by the actual murderer; but PL was not in fact involved.

Posted by bobc on 03/07/09 at 04:55 PM | #

Bar owner wrongly held over student murder to appeal amount.
(ANSA) - Perugia, March 16 - An innocent Congolese bar owner who was detained in connection with the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher was awarded 8,000 euros for unjust imprisonment by a Perugia appeals court Monday.

Patrick Lumumba had asked the court for 516,000 euros in damages and his lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, described the sum awarded Monday as ‘‘miserable’‘.

‘‘There has been no recognition of damage to his property or health, and the damage to his image has not been adequately valued,’’ Pacelli said in a statement, announcing that his client would appeal to Italy’s supreme court.

Lumumba, 38, was arrested on November 6, 2007 on testimony from another suspect in the case, Kercher’s 21-year-old American flatmate Amanda Knox, who fingered the pub operator and musician as the killer.

He was released after 14 days in jail after an alibi confirmed he had been working in his city-centre pub on the night Kercher was killed and police failed to find any forensic evidence linking him with the crime scene.

Earlier this month the court heard how father-of-two Lumumba, who had no previous criminal record, was now unemployed after economic difficulties forced him to shut his pub, which had been closed by police during the first phase of their murder investigation.

Lumumba also claimed to have suffered psychological consequences from his arrest.

‘‘The crime that led to (Lumumba’s) arrest is notorious for its exceptional media coverage, and this has certainly affected (him) more deeply that the normal negative consequences of unjust imprisonment,’’ Pacelli said in his statement Monday.

He stressed that Lumumba’s request for damages was ‘‘not merely an ‘economic’ protest, but (an expression) in monetary terms of his profound indignation over what was and continues to be a stigmatising, tragic and extremely sad affair on a human, personal and family level’‘.

Knox, who later withdrew her testimony against Lumumba, is currently on trial for Kercher’s murder with her 24-year-old Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Lumumba is suing Knox for defamation as part of the trial.

Posted by Jools on 03/16/09 at 08:42 PM | #
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Or to next entry Guede’s Grounds For Appeal Sound None Too Convincing

Or to previous entry Brief Explanation Of Difference Between “Calunna” And “Diffamazione” EDIT