Friday, January 13, 2012

Umbria’s Chief Prosecutor Will Proceed Against Knox And Sollecito And Also Aviello

Posted by Peter Quennell

Above: Cassation. Image replaced till we are sure we have one of Dr Galati. See comment in thread below.]

Dr Giovanni Galati is the region of Umbria’s chief prosecutor. He was appointed by the Minister of Justice last year. Previously he was a high-profile and very successful Deputy Prosecutor General at the Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome.

The chief-prosecutor post in Umbria is a sign of great official confidence in Dr Galati. His office in Perugia is one of the best staffed and most formidable of that of any of Italy’s 20 regions. The principle reason for this is that the Perugia office serves as a national surrogate for Rome prosecutors where national political cases are concerned.

His office has been investigating corruption in construction related to the Winter Olympics in 2006 and the severe earthquake in 2010. Parliamentarians in the party of former Prime Minister Berlusconi (which is also the party of Sollecito defense counsel Gulia Bongiorno and Amanda Knox acolyte Rocco Girlanda) are among those now being investigated. Several or some MPs could end up in prison and the parliamentary party severely damaged..

Mr Berluconi’s party is no longer the lead party in the governing coalition in parliament, but it was the lead during the whole of the first-level Knox and Sollecito appeal in Perugia up to the surprise verdict from Judge Hellman. Berlusconi, Bongiorno and Girlanda seem to have all had good reasons to humiliate Giovanni Gelati and his team.

Now Dr Galati gets to fight back.

Reporting items of breaking news on Meredith’s case on her excellent Twitter feed ( @andreavogt )  the Italy-based reporter Andrea Vogt has already reported that Dr Galati is preparing to proceed with a forceful Cassation appeal of the appeal verdict.

Andrea Vogt also reports that the defense super-witness and Mafia super-snitch Luciano Aviello will face a slander hearing in Perugia on 24 May. This may be a smart tit-for-tat move by Dr Galati as Judge Hellman did seem to have bent over backward in his report to ridicule all the prosecution witnesses - most of whom he never even set eyes on.

It may also be a smart taunt directed at Giulia Bongiorno. On the witness stand during the appeal, Mr Aviello claimed that Ms Bongiorno had channeled suggestions to his prison of bribes from the Sollecito family for false testimony. She angrily said she would sue him - but so far she hasn’t launched a suit. 

Dr Galati is said to respect Mr Mignini, and to consider that his sliming and the sliming of the police investigators by the Knox forces has been way, way, way over the top.

During the appeal Dr Galati appeared twice in the courtroom to show solidarity with his prosecution colleagues. He addressed the court at the start of October on what he considered severe shortcomings in the DNA report written by Stefano Conti, Carla Vecchiotti and the peripatetic grandstander Greg Hampikian.

Our main poster Tiziano translated this from La Nazione.

The new Prosecutor General of Perugia, Giovanni Galati, spoke briefly in Court in support of his colleagues. He wished to “show his complete support of all the matters raised by his colleagues, in particular as far as the expert report is concerned.”

Seated next to the deputy Prosecutor General, Giancarlo Costagliola, Galati spoke before the Court affirming that it had seemed “his duty” to inform himself on the proceedings in court.  “I hope that the Court’s decision will be the fruit of a dignified confrontation of the parties.”

Referring to the expert report of the consultants named by the Court ... he spoke of “evident gaps” and “evaluations [which had been] not requested.”

Last month there was an official function involving Dr Galati and the mayor of Perugia and the chief judge of the Umbria appeal court to initiate Italy’s first online system to allow every interested party to track the progress of court cases and appeals and to obtain all the public documents.

It was not said at the time that one reason for such an open information system is to counter the massive misinformation put out by the Knox and Sollecito forces - but smart people in Italy are not slow to connect up the dots.

Dr Galati’s grounds for the appeal to the Supreme Court (where until recently as mentioned above he was a trusted main player) will be published by February 18th. He does know that court.


There may be justice yet.

Posted by mylady007 on 01/13/12 at 07:12 PM | #

Not only that mylady007 but it will likely be wave after wave. This is almost old-testament biblical.

Witnesses Aviello and Alessi will probably both be charged. The Sollecito family faces a trial in Bari for interfering with justice, and Vanessa Sollecito is not out of the woods with the Carabinieri. Amanda Knox and her parents Curt and Edda all face further trials for calunnia. Steve Moore’s wife may be charged for wildly confronting Mignini outside the court.

And a number of Amanda Knox acolytes seem naively intent on painting large targets on their backs. Way to go, Steve Moore, Bruce Fischer, Doug Preston, Doug Bremner, David Anderson, Michael Heavey, Greg Hampikian, and Jim Lovering. This may surprise you, but in Italy, Italy’s laws rule. Did I miss any out?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/13/12 at 07:48 PM | #

@mylady007 - Amen to that.

Peter, this may seem like a totally irrelevant question here but when I try to reach truejustice through google search, it shows a message saying “this site may be compromised” (in terms of hacked etc). Why is that? I was wondering if that mite discourage new users from visiting.

Posted by Sara on 01/13/12 at 07:49 PM | #

Hi Sara. We are not seeing it (though it has been engineered before!) so can you tell us what browser and what precise words you google?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/13/12 at 07:56 PM | #


I am also seeing that… Strange but true…

Yes, that is to discourage new visitors… The exact words appear below:

True Justice For Meredith Kercher
This site may be compromised.
3 days ago – It’s heartening that Dobson and Norris have been finally brought to justice. Forensic scientists used advanced techniques which were not ..

I have also taken a screen shot, for the unbelievers…

Perhaps we are on the right track…

Oats. A grain which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.

Posted by chami on 01/13/12 at 08:10 PM | #

A powerful appeal document from Dr Galati by the end of January?

This can’t be good news for Knox’s book/movie deal hopes.

It will be interesting to see if the upcoming actions are reported, or ignored, in the USA media.

Good luck pitching your new client, Mr. Barnett.  For your sake I hope you are billing by the hour, and collecting monthly.

By the way, Pete - was that you in the front row Tuesday night for the New York Philharmonic’s performance of Gustav Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, with your cell phone going off?  I was calling you about that time, and got no answer…

Posted by Fly By Night on 01/13/12 at 08:29 PM | #

The “site compromised” warning only comes up with the Google search engine when searching for “truejustice for meredith kercher”.  It points to this page that has instructions for interpreting and resolving Google’s alert:

Posted by Fly By Night on 01/13/12 at 08:39 PM | #

Warning is now gone at Google Search!

Posted by Fly By Night on 01/13/12 at 09:04 PM | #

It came up when searched for “true justice” in google. 

When clicked the warning (link), it says: inter alia,

To protect the safety of our users, we show this warning message for search results that we believe may have been hacked or otherwise compromised. If a site has been hacked, it typically means that a third party has taken control of the site without the owner’s permission.

I am elated: some one wants to know my credit card and date of birth and other details…

A very newsworthy news… Thanks Sara for pointing this out.

“No question is so difficult as one to which the answer is obvious.”

Posted by chami on 01/13/12 at 09:05 PM | #

Thanks Sara and Fly By Night. Our hoster will do a malware scan of our server but in 10-plus years with them I never ever encountered any malware. They have a formidable hardware firewall. I’ll be offline this pm but will post the response as soon as possible thereafter. An FOA hit? We may find out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/13/12 at 09:12 PM | #

I am still getting the same warning.

Both truth and justice have been murdered long ago but they refuse to lie down.  So some kind soul has decided to put us to temporary rest.

One tasted freedom, the toothpaste refused to get back into the tube.  Is it my fault?

Posted by chami on 01/13/12 at 09:25 PM | #

A new task for Rocco ?

Posted by ncountryside on 01/13/12 at 09:42 PM | #

It’s pleasing to hear that the prosecutors are going to appeal. I hope the judges at the Italian Supreme Court reverse Hellman’s insane verdict and that the US Department of State honours the extradition treaty between America and Italy and sends Amanda Knox back to Italy so she can serve the rest of her life sentence. No-one should ever be allowed to get away with sexual assault and murder. Knox’s gender, class and nationality are completely irrelevant. I also hope Sollecito is sent back to Capanne prison.

Posted by The Machine on 01/13/12 at 09:51 PM | #

@The Machine

You are deeply right to affirm that (quote) No-one should ever be allowed to get away with sexual assault and murder. Knox’s gender, class and nationality are completely irrelevant.

I am in entire agreement with that sentiment even as I doubt that Knox & Sollecito will return to prison. It’s one thing to reverse a verdict & I am hopeful of that. It’s something else to let a young pair go free (after almost four years in prison) & then, on the strength of a reconsideration, to uproot them all over again to finish a “sentence.”

The justice is in the verdict & that of course has not been served by the Hellman court. It was well-served in the original trial.

I quite believe that Cassation will settle the matter once for all but I can see Amanda making money this year (some—not tons), going nowhere &, in effect, “getting nowhere,” but remaining in Seattle. She would presumably live with a reversal of the verdict & somehow, imperfectly, adjust to that.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/13/12 at 11:52 PM | #

I’m a bit worried about this. If there is animosity between Galati it will be seen as a grudge match by Knox supporters. I truly want justice for Meredith and her family [and all of her supporters] but I wonder, will there ever be an end to this?

I was watching a programme over the Christmas covering top headlines throughout the year [Irish TV]. Knox was headlines in October, and the announcer asked ‘if Kercher’s murderer will ever be found’, this reminded me of a question I’ve been meaning to ask. If Hellman truly believes that they were not there, that they did not commit this crime - were the Police instructed to re-open the file and continue looking for the perpetrators?

Posted by Melanie on 01/13/12 at 11:58 PM | #

This is excellent news, Peter.  Great post.  Let justice be served.  How’s the PR machine?  Still strong / solvent enough to continue to mislead all US newschannels?  Or can the prosecution appeal reasoning be made fully known in the USA this time round?

Posted by thundering on 01/14/12 at 01:40 AM | #

Hi Melanie. I think you’d agree that the prosecution and Meredith’s family had a right to a level playing field. Signs are it was not level last time around. Also that Mignini deserves some reversal of his unfair demonization over four years.

Judge Hellman has not inspired any moves to find the “real killer” and some of us wonder if his heart was really in the verdict or the report, or whether he was leaned on. Or maybe muddled, criminal law is not his area, and he had not handled a DNA case before.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/14/12 at 02:20 AM | #

Our web hosters confirm that they have done several malware scans and as expected nothing nefarious showed up.

It’s tempting to see the hidden hand of an FOA IT professional in this - they have pulled stunts like that before - but as a popular site we are seeing over 100 spam registrations a week. They all try to link to other websites. This registration is done by robots trying to jump the position on Google search of those other sites. A time consuming nuisance to weed them all out and they are maybe triggering some reaction from Google. We’ll find out!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/14/12 at 02:51 AM | #

Hi Peter,

It’s wonderful to see that TJMK continues to attract daily large number of readers since it first went online.

Formidable that TJMK has achieved peak daily visits of 21,909!

TJMK and PMF are the authoritative nonprofit sites on the Meredith Kercher case.

Posted by True North on 01/14/12 at 05:07 AM | #

Dr. Galati sounds like a formidable guy for the prosecution.

But the central question is “Does he worship SATAN?!!”

Posted by Jeff Friend on 01/14/12 at 05:42 AM | #

Wait, that joke was all wrong.

Dang it.

Oh well, at least I can’t ruin good news!

Posted by Jeff Friend on 01/14/12 at 05:45 AM | #


ni ange ni bête- we are all victims of our own circumstances, in some ways or the other.  I, in particular, do not feel that it is right to judge any person by a single action, however ghastly it might have been.  We all carry our own “satan” inside us but our greatest achievement is that we ourselves decide to rise to greater values that we ourselves have defined for us.  Neither God or Satan have any temptations to yield to!

I hope I have not offended any one of you!

“Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.”

Posted by chami on 01/14/12 at 07:05 AM | #

Well Hello after all this time. Yes I have silent. The reason being that I was so disgusted with the verdict that I considered moving to Seattle. Anyway this is good news. Hopefully All I wanted for Christmas and all I wanted for New Years will finally come to fruition. I don’t think Knox will ever leave Seattle though. Perhaps the family, (Still rotten to the core) will ignore this since the P/R firm is null and void. The family is broke I hear so no more P/R. That’s good and I hope it continues. Nobody wants to hear Knox drivel on TV anyway and in fact you will never see her on any show unless the questions are anathematized. Knox is old news. So we can only hope for the future and eventual ‘True Justice For Meredith Kercher’ who Knox tortured and killed and arranged for her to be raped. This simple statement seems to be lost from time to time so I will keep on plugging away.
Very Best Peter and as always thank you

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 01/14/12 at 11:38 AM | #

Hi chami. Jeffshana was being tongue-in-cheek there of course though he seemed to realise irony does not always come across! Interesting your philosophical musings which add a useful and often funny element to our chat.

Demonizing for real of Dr Galati would be especially foolish (though dont expect that to sink into Bruce Fischer’s narrow one-track mind) in view of his own friends in high places. At top levels the main players in the Italian justice system stick together to preserve what is essentially a very fine institution.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/14/12 at 01:26 PM | #


I noticed that only after my post and I did not want to prolong.

I have found that keeping quiet is a very good defence!

... with liberty and justice for all ... who can afford it.

Posted by chami on 01/14/12 at 03:20 PM | #

Hi Graham,

Is this true?

‘the P/R firm is null and void. The family is broke I hear so no more P/R’

Where has the information come from?

Posted by thundering on 01/14/12 at 03:42 PM | #

Surprising news & disconcerting. From today’s UK

A British student faces up to a decade in a U.S. prison for actions which are not even a crime in the UK.

Campaigners say Richard O’Dwyer, 23, is being abandoned by his country in the same way as computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

Read more:

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/14/12 at 04:57 PM | #

Wrong button again.
From todays UK Mail (information above.)
The young man, son of a pediatric nurse & retired doctor, has lost his fight to avoid extradiction to USA for posting an illegal website.

One thing clear from this: US has no leg to stand on if Italy chooses to ask for extradition of Amanda Knox. Changes the whole outlook.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/14/12 at 05:02 PM | #

Thanks Peter, sorry for the negativity last night, you always reassure me:0) Of course the Kercher’s deserve a level playing field hopefully things will level out now. Some intelligent person recently posted that Knox was acquitted by one court and found guilty by two.. that’s how I’ve been thinking of it since.

@Ernest, thanks for posting re the English guy. The UK never seems to have any issues with extradicting their citizens if requested by another country. What’s the US reaction likely to be?

Posted by Melanie on 01/14/12 at 06:04 PM | #

Hi Melanie,

The likely US reaction to this extradition is beyond me.

But it’s surely not some US government watchdog agency which is behind all this. Big business means to exact its pound of flesh for the young man’s crime of posting websites where illegal downloads can be made.
What a comparison to the crime of which Amanda is accused!

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/14/12 at 06:36 PM | #

Richard O’Dwyer broke a cardinal rule of Internet piracy which is surely widely known about in the UK - don’t ever try to make money out of it.

This would have been a real red rag to a bull:  “The court heard that his website, TV, was earning £15,000 a month from advertising revenue.”

Running ads for big gains while facilitating the theft of other peoples’ intellectual property is absolutely a no-no. The law is in place because the movie and music industries need somehow to continue to make a buck (both see domestic revenues declining) and pressed for such a law.

Check out the big torrent aggregating sites like Isohunt and they carry few or no ads at all - hence they are not considered deep pockets and virtually never get sued.

But haul in a quarter of a million dollars a year as O’Dwyer did and they would be painting a big target on their back. He should have learned not to do that from this famous European example:  That site now carries no ads:

Many other European countries have an anti-piracy-for-profit law and my guess is in the UK if it has none a law is only a matter of time. It surprises me that there is absolutely nothing - UK laws are often more swingeing than in the US.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/15/12 at 01:19 AM | #

PS: I think we are no fans of misleading reporting here? A comment that I just saw under the poorly researched Daily Mail article says that Richard O’Dwyer seemingly did break a law subscribed to by the UK under international conventions:

“People making posts on this subject appear to be totally unaware of the international convention that exists concerning copyright law and the infringement of intellectual property rights to which the UK is a signatory along with almost all other nations in the Western World.”

“This is a serious crime not to be made light of. The penalties are onerous if found guilty, a youthful age is no defence especially if earning£15,000 a moth as alleged from this illegal activity.”

“Without copyright law we would have no viable international film industry or even decent TV drama to watch. It would now seem to be a little late for Richard O’Dwyer and his mum to be sorry about it.”

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/15/12 at 01:28 AM | #

All that being so my question is this:

WHY is it that the US, quick to demand the extradition of citizens of other nations, is unlikely (from all reports) to extradite Amanda Knox for the heinous crime of sexual assault and murder which ARE crimes in the USA?

Posted by thundering on 01/15/12 at 03:48 AM | #


Your remarks sent me back to the Mail for a review.  You are quite right to stress the magnitude of the financial crime: 15,000 pounds a month isn’t chickenfeed.  It was clearly an error on my part to follow the warp of the article & be influenced by that.

We do note the difficulty of extraditing Americas in contrast to Brits. If, of course, the article is reliable in reporting that. Your complaint of misreading reporting is well taken. Some of the remarks of quoted officials & British MPs were perhaps also misleading.

You say nothing of the question of extraditing Ms Knox. My opinion on that is changed, as it were involuntarily, by this news. I quite believe now that Ms Knox ought to be present in court to hear the final verdict in person & to receive any associated sentence. For many reasons (having nothing to do with a supposed “innocence”) I remain of the opinion that she & Raffaele Sollecito will not go back to prison. And should not.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/15/12 at 04:04 AM | #

Hi thundering. The FOA have been putting that “no extradition” around as part of their increasingly shrill discounting of the second appeal. Not one of our lawyers believe it is true. It would be up to an individual judge to decide and if the Italian Supreme Court reinstated the sentence it would be almost impossible to say no.

I’ve hypothesized a couple of times that AK herself might decide to go back rather than face an Interpol warrant out for her preventing any travel for the rest of her life. Better to pay her dues and put this behind her rather than to be seen as a dangerous convict on the run.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/15/12 at 04:07 AM | #

Hi Peter.

Thanks for answering my question which has been nagging away at me for some time.  Most reassuring.  I like your hypothesis and would tend to agree.  She needs to pay her dues and enable herself to clear her conscience which, in turn, would enable her to have some sort of meaningful life later on.

@ Ernest Warner.

Why ‘should not’? 

Because of her gender, race and youth?

Posted by thundering on 01/15/12 at 04:27 AM | #


I am no lawyer but I try to see the point from the defender’s eyes. 

1. Is it ok to kill someone if I have some motive? As if killing someone without a motive is not a killing at all?

2. I think theft is a theft. The magnitude of the earning is secondary.  Else, I would say that the advertisers are the causative agent for this crime, i.e., if there were no adverts, the said crime would not have taken place.

3. Another hypothetical question: suppose Iran says that US must shut down all the porn sites as they are hurting our religious feelings: what would the US say?

4. On the same set of comments, I saw one comment that says “What about extraditing those American Bankers who have caused trillions of pounds worth of damage to our economy? are they going to face justice”?

We have joke here: if you steal $100, you are a thief; if you steal $1M, you are smart and if you steal $1B, you are a hero.

It is all about money.  If no big bucks were involved, US would not have bothered. 

IN ALL CASES, local laws must be considered first.

“Why won’t sharks eat lawyers?  Professional courtesy.”

Posted by chami on 01/15/12 at 06:23 AM | #

VERY interesting news!  Thanks for bringing it to our attention.  One hears nothing of it so far in the American media.

Posted by believing on 01/15/12 at 07:24 AM | #

Hear, hear Thundering would love to see her face the music in person!

This case has shades of Meredith, it’s about the murder of a young Irish girl in 1999, she’s a household name here. I watched a cold case review of this last week - interestingly the police seemed to have changed their minds about the profile of the killer, they now believe it may have been a woman who was jealous of Raoinaidh. A psycologist was interviewed and he believes that the killer may be suffering due to the fact that they have never come forward and experience the release of confession and punishment.

Posted by Melanie on 01/15/12 at 05:43 PM | #

Bravo, Galati! Come on, Mr. Galati, be a bulldog for justice. Prosecute the offenders to the fullest extent of the law. Get this arrogant, aggressive show-off who clamors for attention along with her mutinous, fake-gentle, devious, rebellious boyfriend punished for the crimes they committed.

If this Chief Prosecutor of Umbria Mr. Galati is as tenacious, smart, and highly motivated as he looks, he will achieve long overdue justice for Meredith. Nobody is more deserving of it than she is. John Follain’s book says that even when Amanda poured a drink over the disc jockey’s head at the Velvet club and was promptly thrown out, Meredith stuck up for her out of loyalty and kindness (pp 34-35). Follain quotes Meredith as having said of Amanda, “Poor girl, she’s on her own. We don’t know why she did it but she won’t do it again.” Amanda was allowed back in.

Follain says on p. 44 that Dr. Sollecito is not only a urologist but a wealthy surgeon “and a forensic doctor”. (Chapter 6) A forensic doctor? wait a minute, that is a medical examiner, a coroner, also known as a forensic pathologist. In other words someone who does autopsies, whose functions include the investigation of any violent or suspicious death! Is this why Vanessa became drawn to police work? Did Raf perhaps give his father a case to solve?

As for the female Raf was drawn to, John Follain says (p. 37), “Insecure or not, Amanda spoke openly about men and her sex life to Meredith—so much that Meredith felt embarrassed listening to her. Amanda told her she had no problem being seen nude and that in America she had once talked to a friend’s boyfriend even though she was stark naked.”

Posted by Hopeful on 01/15/12 at 10:42 PM | #

This is good news. I will sleep well tonight.

Posted by nopassingby on 01/16/12 at 01:24 AM | #

I’d LOVE to see Sollecito and Knox hauled back to jail. What is the chance of that?

I can hardly believe that they got away with their sliming media campaign, and worse, that it worked. Its a disgrace.

Posted by devorah on 01/16/12 at 02:06 AM | #

Thank you, Dr. Galati.
As a person living in the US, on the West Coast, I am not happy to have this murderer wandering about loose.
Here’s hoping this is the first step towards changing this situation.

Posted by lauowolf on 01/16/12 at 02:12 AM | #

Children are born innocent, but whatever happens afterwards is a function of one’s karma. Finding the connections between those events and even, from past lives, and the decisions we make now can be really rewarding.

We are who we are, but in a way, we are who our parents are too. We contrast Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, both the children of divorce, but we see the strong family ties of one, and the lack of a father figure in the other. Yet in Amanda we see the same anger as in her father.

There is indeed a deep illness in Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito, and in their faces one can read exactly what happened that night.

I have children too, and work so hard to keep them off of drugs and alcohol, not by lecturing them, but giving them an alternative spirituality, compassion, and way to deal with emotional pain than escapism. I have worked hard to teach them not to harm others, in words or deeds. This is the dilemma of all of us who are parents. We respond to the anguish of Meredith’s parents. But how would we deal with the fact if our child should be accused of doing murder? I would know if my child was lying to me. Do the Knoxes and the Sollecitos? And how did they respond? There was a point at which Knox’s mother knew. What did she do? Did she lie to herself? Accept Amanda’s word because the alternative would be to send her daughter to prison?

I could care less what the groupies do. Their antics are well covered in many books of abnormal psychology, and their tactics, I have seen in the countless astroturf methods used by oil and defense industry PR firms. Their pathology is interesting, in a minimal way.

But the parents? Sollecito we know about. He’s the urologist, rumoured, to the Mafia. He can be the venal, amoral man who makes water flow uphill, just to save his son. He knows his son did it, and tries to pervert justice.

The Knoxes? They hire a PR firm whose first job is to cover up and lie. They hire experts whose theme is police labs make mistakes, therefore we can plant ‘reasonable doubt’. The question is, how much do they have to stretch the truth to plant that thought? I think they are amoral too, and their identification with the guilty colours their judgement. They start an astroturf campaign to give the semblance of widespread support for their cause, the better to facilitate political interference and subvert justice. Again, it is not just the abnormal psychology of the perps and their facilitators that fascinates and repels us, it is the twisting of truth and proven fact.

This is the dilemma of parents. How would we deal with this if our child was accused of such a horrible crime? Of course we would do the best to help provide a good defense. But I would also look at the pain caused to the victims’ family, and would honour that, and never be disrespectful of that.

I would also tell them to tell the truth. A lie creates a karma worse than the actual punishment of the crime. And if I could not tell when my child is lying to me, then I have failed as a parent. And, if I felt they were guilty, I would leave it to the lawyers to deal with it, and I would not go on TV and lie.

But the Knoxes? Their behaviour, so in contrast with that of the Kerchers. They lied so much to themselves, to their children, and in saving Amanda, did they not consider the harm they had done?

Posted by Ergon on 01/16/12 at 05:17 AM | #

Good post, Ergon. 

Divorce, anger, nature-nurture, parental instinct / dilemma, amorality, lies and ultimate damage. 

All very valid points.

Posted by thundering on 01/16/12 at 02:40 PM | #

As I see it, the best move is the transparency- Peter wrote that “...allow every interested party to track the progress of court cases and appeals and to obtain all the public documents” - this will be a very good countermove to disinformation.  One thing I often wonder- how many criminals are let off on a petty technicality?  The devil is there in the details.

Posted by chami on 01/16/12 at 05:11 PM | #

Hello,dear Melanie,I want justice for Meredith,too.
But,I don’t know if we will ever have it.Here,in Italy,nobody talk about Meredith,anymore;and this make me sad.I fear America pressure for the Suprime Court decision.So far,I guessed right,in any things.Unfortunatly.I always thought Amanda would be convicted in the first trial,then America would put pressure for the appeal,and at the appeal trial,she would be aquited.And all of these things happened.Even Maresca,at a certain point of the appeal trial said.“I fear that America pressures has begun”.
We must hope that the judges at the Suprime Court will have the dignity and the strong personality, to resist at the pressures.
This is the only hope,we have.

Posted by Matteo_65 on 01/16/12 at 10:49 PM | #

Dear Peter, you have to understand that Italy is not a country,but an American colony.As an Italian,this make me sick.Maybe one day I will begin a political career,because I am angry to see my country to be the yes-man of the U.S.
I belive that the so called “judge” Hellman was put there by “unknown” forces. Does it tell you anything that Amanda left the Capanne prison in a black Mercedes with one of the leedars of the Italian-American Foundation?
Just yesterday I read an almost incredible article.The article was saying that on the days of the appeal’s verdict there were a lot of “strange” and “scary” people in Perugia.That many felt scared to talk. Where were they to treat the jury?
C.I.A. and S.I.S.M.I.(the italian secret service)agents was talked about. Fiction? I think there is something credible. Here in Italy many think, even before this article, that jurors were threatened.
I believe one day one or two of the jurors will talk and that day we will know they weren’t free to vote what they wanted.

Posted by Matteo_65 on 01/16/12 at 10:56 PM | #

Hi Matteo, it is always good to get an Italian point of view. I think it is understandable that Italians no longer speak of Meredith, life goes on and we must move with it. You must also consider that there has been no real news for quite a while, I have no doubt that if there was a re-trial in the morning Italian’s would be out in force to support Meredith and her family, they captured the hearts and minds of the Italian public and there they will stay!!

I believe Hellman knew what the verdict would be before the jury was even selected, it was a very unjust outcome. Having said that, I believe that what goes around comes around, what that means is that what you put out into the universe comes back to you [some people prefer to call it karma]. Knox is living in her own hell. She must be very worried about RS over in Italy far from her control, he is a loose cannon for sure. If he smokes some dope or has a few drinks God knows what he’ll say.

In addition, the family must be broke, her younger sisters will begin to feel resentful if they are missing out on things due to the financial situation Amanda brought about [teenagers want everything let me tell you!!]. Curt & Edda will feel it too - they know full well that she’s guilty, that can’t be easy to live with. Knox herself can’t confide in anyone, that will eat her up from the inside out. They are all in a prison of their own making.

Every single legal system in the world has its problems, Italy no more than anywhere else.

M xx

Posted by Melanie on 01/16/12 at 11:36 PM | #

Good post, Melanie.

Posted by NCKat on 01/17/12 at 05:37 AM | #

Excuse my ignorance Egon but what do you mean by an “astroturf campaign?” Is this the same as a grassroots campaign???  Am I right in thinking Hilary Clinton raised the subject of Knox in Italy as part of this campaign?  I didn’t know anything much about Meredith Kercher until I read the Follain book which on my last look a few days ago wasn’t reviewed here.  It seemed very cool and dispassionate and one could only reasonably conclude Knox and Sollecito were guilty. Even so, from reading here, there seems to be even more forensic evidence not discussed in the book pointing to Knox’s guilt.  Given that Knox had a scratch on her neck the day Meredith was found, was there any evidence of Knox’s DNA found under Meredith’s fingernails?  Has anything ever been made too of the fresh load of still warm washing in the washing machine containing Meredith’s and Knox’s clothing on the same day.  Sollecito said that Knox had gone to the flat to get some washing to bring back to his flat.

Posted by helenv on 01/17/12 at 06:04 AM | #

Hi Helenv

Follain’s book was reviewed here before it was even published.

I’m sure you will agree that due to the sheer volume it would have been impossible to include all of the evidence in one book. For a full details on all of the evidence the Massei Report is your only man. It is summarised on this site for the benefit of those who don’t have the time to go through the whole thing.

Posted by Melanie on 01/17/12 at 04:27 PM | #

Images on the post are changed till we can be quite sure we have one of Dr Galati. Nobody in Rome or Perugia is disputing the facts in the post, which came from several sources, but we have a message in saying the images do not look like Dr Galati, or rather, he does not look like them. For obvious reasons, not all prosecutors in Italy welcome the camera.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/17/12 at 04:45 PM | #

If this hasnt already been answered, “Astroturf” is the term coined for the creation of a fake “grassroots” campaign. David Axelrod has a company which specialises in it but it is one of several such companies. There is software which has been developed to allow one person to create and control a very large number of virtual people, giving them facebook pages, email addresses and the capacity to respond to blogs. In this way, one PR company can create the impression that a large number of people are focused and passionate on an issue.

However Im not sure this was a pure astroturf situation. Sure, the initial PR effort used astroturfing, but ultimately the PR developed its own momentum. This case was presented as an innocent american girl was being railroaded by contaminated DNA evidence and a overly zealous prosecutor. If you present this caracature of reality on TV “documentaries”, dont be surprised when a large number of people buy the story.

Thats why PR works.

Posted by harrym on 01/17/12 at 04:50 PM | #

Hi Matteo_65,

As a superpower, America expects the rest of world to be its colony and acts accordingly.  No, I do not think that the US is evil but assumes too much power (money) and dictates too many things to ALL. If you think Italy acts as a slave to the US, then just think of Germany and Japan! One great thing about the US is that sincerely believes (that is what I believe) in the good of man and has done some real progress in the world (I know many would disagree here).  But I also believe that the US foreign policy is run by Mafia and they would love to see that the typical American remains as insulated as ever.

I also believe that the Hellman judgement was a done deal from the beginning but they also wanted that the show must go on, the “due process” should not be interrupted and the party should leave on a civilian flight.

That way, even Berlusconi did not care much about the US.  US is very much worried about the military bases it has in the Europe and does not want to annoy unnecessarily its allies. 

What you will say about the UK then?

One unintended consequence of this is that the Europe is very much united today.  Just imagine how it was 50 years ago and compare today.  Infighting is less, average prosperity is up and economy is robust (yes, it is, inspite of difficult times).

Do not forget that several arrest warrants are still there pending for CIA men- do you think Germany, Japan or France would have done that?

Just my thought. No offence intended to anyone.

Posted by chami on 01/17/12 at 06:24 PM | #

Hi harrym. Thanks for the interesting factoidsl on astroturfing. It was certainly used to create a crowd in the US which then proceded under its own momentum. They found a “weepy” angle. We know there has been guidance and networking and harmonization of message and even maybe funding from the center.

As PMF and TJMK are here largely to convey Italian truths those truths have had quite a chilling (or heating!) effects and we reckon the momentum will now move over to us. Our take is that the PR and and the “grassroots” movement are absolutely flummoxed in face of the second appeal and have no idea what to say. With the formidable Dr Galati involved the US Embassy will probably keep clear this time around. With the 2012 presidential election so will Hillary. Sollecito and Knox and the flashmobs are unlikely to turn up in court.

We hear from the inside that AK and RS are both proving huge disappointments these days and not behaving remotely like what is expected of innocent people, either day-to-day around town or out there on TV. AK is conspicuously too quiet and RS conspicuously too noisy and his father reigns him in. Melanie’s response to Matteo above captures nicely the prison they are in.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/17/12 at 06:33 PM | #

Hi chami. Okay that seems mostly a fair take. Obama foreign policy has been more isolationist after the rabid chest thumping of George Bush and Iraq and Afghanistan are both wound down.

Um, did you really mean to say that US foreign policy is run by the mafia?! That caused me to grin. All the mafias are pretty well defunct now both in the US and Italy. We in New York have had front row seats. Rudy Giuliani took down John Gotti (by chance I witnessed Paul Castelano and his driver dead on the street outside Sparks; there were only 4-5 of us around until 1000 cops turned up) and he got the mafia out of construction and the fish market.

I live on the Hudson River edge of Sopranos country and all the location shots for that series were filmed within 15-30 minutes of here. That was not a TV series the many Italian Americans in this area and NYC in general really appreciated.

What we do have in huge quantity now is Italian boutiques. If any of our NY readers with a camera would like to go photograph them that’d make for a compelling post.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/17/12 at 06:58 PM | #

Sorry Peter!

I wrongly used Mafia but that is because of my poor vocabulary.  I meant it in the same sense as “Beppe Grillo” talks about the politicians!  They are a class by themselves and I loosely use Mafia to describe this class of people… How to describe them… but you will surely know if you see one.

New York is just outside the US: New York, New York! You belong to the world.  Everything is there in you!

Yesterday couple of senators from Virgina were with us.  It appeared that they have never seen real people.

Perhaps I should say the new mafia!

Posted by chami on 01/17/12 at 08:17 PM | #

Posted by Miriam on 01/18/12 at 12:37 AM | #

Hi Miriam. Does that really say RS and AK have never been in touch since October?! Wasnt he saying a couple of months ago that they were writing to one another daily?

The “just an old friend” story about the girl on Facebook we knew about. Same story as Amanda Knox. First she was living with an exciting new guitarist boyfriend, and then the Mail tells us she only lives with Madison..

RS’s lawyer Maori says he has heard nothing of a prosecution appeal and doesnt know what the grounds could be.  Has he actually read the opus of Judge Hellman? Or PMF and TJMK?

Papa Doc seemed to suggest he is behind with the fee paying and in a deep financial hole. Have any of the lawyers been fully paid yet, and will they be they raring to go?

One thing emphasized by several of our Italian lawyers is that appeals to Cassation are highly specialised work (Dr Galati’s kind of work) and some Rome lawyers make it their whole career.

If RS and AK are going to go up against Dr Galati they may need whole new teams.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/18/12 at 05:20 AM | #

I’d be sorry to see Mignini go, I liked him..but whatever’s best for Meredith


Posted by Melanie on 01/18/12 at 11:13 AM | #

Hi Melanie. Mr Mignini won’t necessarily go but their big boss Dr Galati will call the main shots.  He is specialised in Supreme Court work which Bongiorno, Maori, Ghirga and Dalla Vedova are not.

We have practical examples of how Cassation appeals work from Rudy Guede’s appeal and also from the appeal of Alessi’s wife. Appeals are to be filed in Rome by 18 February (RS has nothing to appeal about which is maybe why Maori is not focussed) and then a lead judge at Cassation takes over.

The lead judge will read the appeal statements (we presume there will be one for AK’s conviction) and much of the documentation on the case. He or she will clearly read deeply - Guede’s appeal judge even picked up on a suggestive recorded exchange in Capanne between Knox and her parents where Knox seemed to say she was at the house and her dad shushed her.

Months later the lead judge and a panel will take oral arguments, ask questions, and just hours later issue a decision.

Then if they have found anything wrong it gets punted back to Perugia to be straightened out.  A judge will be assigned (it won’t be Judge Hellman) and court hearings and conceivably a new appeal trial will be held.  Then the new outcome will be sent back to Cassation to see if it clicks - it may not and Cassation will keep insisting until they believe justice for Meredith is done.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/18/12 at 02:57 PM | #

Peter, thanks for your well-informed posts, just above. But I don’t understand how Luca Maori can say that he has “heard nothing” of a prosecution appeal.  Surely, as Sollecito’s attorney, he’d be among the first to know. Is this meant to imply something which it would be premature to say?

“RS has nothing to appeal about” Maori is quoted as saying. Obviously not, but then why does he say so? Taken as a reminder that Sollecito is satisfied with the Hellman result, it almost sounds like a hint to the public that the result is a fait accompli.

I have myself taken it for granted that the Italians by & large see Amanda as the initiator of the whole tragic event. They could hardly wish to see Sollecito behind bars if Amanda remains free in Seattle.

In the article mentioned by Miriam above Sollecito says something to the effect that at this time there’s no love involved.  Separation from Amanda is complete, period. At both ends complete. But might this easy sundering be more hopeful for Raffaele?

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/18/12 at 04:12 PM | #

Hi Ernest. Perhaps best not to believe anything out of either RS or Maori in this nail-biting period for them? Maori will know what is in the wind. He gets officially informed along with the rest of us about any prosecution appeal on 18 Feb. He may or may not be the RS lawyer to go forward.

Maori is right that as RS got off scott-free whereas Ak served a 3-year sentence RS does have nothing from his side to appeal about. That is unless he or his dad want to set the stage to sue the government for wrongful imprisonment if they win at second appeal.

My take is that RS really wants to be with AK again but the families are keeping them apart. AK never seems to have attracted great men and maybe RS still has some attraction for her, though she seems fickle at best and he knows that.

Not exactly a pairing made in heaven. More the other place.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/18/12 at 04:58 PM | #

Hi Peter.

Yes, we shall be seeing now the second phase of the misinformation, disinformation and confusion being spread, deliberately and intentionally or by simple good old stupidity. We cannot take or accept any statement on the face value unless it comes from the official sources.

Amanda means beloved; I do not know what is her understanding of love and hatred (they are separated by a very thin line) but, following Ergon, I think they (I mean she and her parents) should reflect a little and act more maturely.  I think, overall, RS family has done their job a bit better in keeping their mouths shut (mostly).

I am a friend of the working man, and I would rather be his friend than be one.
    —Clarence Darrow

Posted by chami on 01/18/12 at 06:47 PM | #

Peter Said:  My take is that RS really wants to be with AK again but the families are keeping them apart.

I think this will become a HUGE problem for Knox through the years since it appears that Sollecito is preparing to stalk Knox, forever.

Can it just be a coincidence that he signed with a Seattle-based book agent and now want’s to move to Seattle to start a career in game design?

Posted by Fly By Night on 01/18/12 at 10:52 PM | #

Hi Peter

Great work ,once again.

Any idea what happened to Clint van Zandt?
Unlike opportunistic wastes of space such as Moore (accompanied by a rather disturbing wife) and Ron Hendry ,this former FBI man actually had something intelligent to say on the case.

During the appeal he appears to have had nothing to say.Is this just a case of a shockingly biased and disrepectful US media ignoring somebody with a high rep, from within the country, lending further weight to Knox’s murderous actions?

I mention this also because I believe that the Italian authorities allowed him to read the whole murder file.
My last question- is Clint van Zandt the only Amercian to actually see the case file-or be allowed access to it?

Posted by rb on 01/18/12 at 10:59 PM | #

Fly by Night said that RS, ‘want’s to move to Seattle to start a career in game design?’

Aside from stalking AK, does he hope that he would be placing himself outside the reach of the long arm of the law?  I presume the US would have fewer qualms about extraditing an Italian citizen back to his own country?

Now that would be interesting, if you see what I mean.

Posted by thundering on 01/19/12 at 12:46 AM | #

@ thundering. Would they be games that reflect his interest in violence, sex with animals and lying through his teeth? Potential employers in Seattle need to know…

Posted by nopassingby on 01/19/12 at 08:53 PM | #

Since I’ve also seen the warning about the site possibly being compromised, I stayed off until a computer tech person told me it should not entail any problems for me.  Now I am delighted to see this post.  It’s not surprising for me to learn that Dott. Galati respects Mignini.  The insults hurled at him from this side of the Atlantic have always seemed appalling to me.  My very positive view of him was reinforced when I had the good fortune to run into him late last spring while on a side trip to Perugia to view the antiquities with a friend en route to Rome.

After checking out of our hotel, we were waiting a long time for a bus to the train station and happened to notice Sig. Mignini going into a newsstand.  Although a long way from my days of studying Italian, I decided to approach him and let him know that not all Americans thought Amanda Knox was innocent.  Impeccably courteous, he listened to what I had to say without any sense of impatience.  Mignini responded to my points about the case in a very professional manner, keeping to the evidence and never making any disparaging personal remarks about Knox.  He even referred to her very ardent and vocal supporters as simply misinformed.  He also asked some interesting questions about regional differences in views about the case in this country.  At the end, Mignini said that he appreciated hearing our views and shook our hands warmly.

We were impressed with both Mignini’s intelligence and his kindness.  It’s hard to envision an important prosecutor in this country spending twenty minutes or so discussing a case in such a chance encounter.

Posted by Tullia on 01/19/12 at 10:51 PM | #

Thank you for sharing that, Tullia.  Following the case with much interest as we all are, these small insights and tidbits of authentic information are always very welcome.

Posted by thundering on 01/20/12 at 08:03 AM | #

You’re very welcome, Thundering.  I always look forward to your comments, including the most recent ones on this post by Peter.  I’ve also wondered about the assumption that Knox will never be extradited back to Italy if the first appeal is overturned.  It’s difficult for me to comprehend why the State Department would resist extraditing her, since they apparently monitored the original trial carefully and affirmed that there was nothing irregular about it.

Posted by Tullia on 01/20/12 at 06:43 PM | #
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