Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Are The Judges And Jury Now Thinking? The Current Position Of AK And RS

Posted by Brian S

When nothing else works, the mantra again becomes “I simply don’t remember”.

Attempts have been made at various alibis, but as each of them fall flat or collide, the fall-back position becomes one of blackouts on the night.

I view this with complete disbelief.

Although I was only a teenager at the time, I can remember exactly where I was and who I was with when somebody came into the room and said JFK had been shot.

I can remember where I was and who I was with when I watched on TV as a man first walked on the moon.

I can remember the business phone conversations I had on the afternoon (UK time) the World Trade Centre came down.

Because I can remember those “surreal” conversations, I can recall all the details of a work project in which I was involved in the days immediately preceding and following. I can even remember the pub lunch I had on the Sunday before, and the content of the casual conversations I had with colleagues after we finished the weekend portion of that same project. That was nearly eight years ago.

I can remember all of the details of some of the more traumatic or major events which have occurred in my own life.

I just can’t believe that RS and Ak can’t remember what they did the night Meredith was killed - even if they really are innocent, and didn’t find out about the murder until the next day.

Traumatic and other major events “fix the memory” pretty well forever. I can still remember much of my first day at school.

If AK and RS were “so far out of it” they can’t remember what they did on November 1st, then they can no more remember they didn’t kill Meredith than they can remember that they did.

Many people, even those innocent, may be tempted to “create a simple alibi” when first interviewed by the police. Especially if they have to admit to something like “we spent the night at home smoking cannabis” or they spent the night with the partner of their best friend.

And then in face of any contrary, damning facts, they usually suddenly grow a brain.

Let’s walk through what happened inb this case.

At their very first questioning, on the day after the murder, RS and AK said they wandered around town and then went to a party.

Within 3 days the police knew this wasn’t true, because of a trace on Raffaele’s phone movements. And so on November 5th, they called him back in to explain the anomaly.

They didn’t request Amanda’s attendance as well but she went along with Raffaele anyway.

It’s at this time that most innocent people will admit that they had lied earlier, as they don’t want to dig themselves in any deeper. They make their excuses now, and admit to what they were really doing.

Raffaele did now tell the police that his earlier story “was a load of rubbish he made up because he didn’t realise the inconsistencies in what Amanda had said”.

But he now said that he was home alone, doing things on his computer from sometime around 9:00pm when “Amanda went out to meet friends at Le Chic”. And that she didn’t come back until sometime around 1:00am.

As Amanda had conveniently made herself available at the police station with Raffaele, the investigators now asked her for her version of the evening too.

Faced with the removal of Raffaele’s alibi for her, and his saying that she went out to Le Chic (plus the admittedly misunderstood text message “see you later”) she now came up with the story “Patrick killed Meredith, and I was in the kitchen, with my hands over my ears”.

Over the following days, Amanda slowly withdrew from her accusation against Patrick and, following witness evidence which proved he was at Le Chic, came up with the third story that “Raffaele may say I went out, but that’s wrong. I did spend the evening with him.”

Unfortunately for her, Raffaele continued to maintain his story that he was home alone on his computer, and that Amanda went out, right through the stages of his appeals up to the appeal made to the Supreme Court last March, where he claimed that “the evidence against Amanda is being arbitrarily used against me on the erroneous assumption that we spent the evening together”.

To this day, Raffaele has not changed this assertion, nor provided any new version for the trial.

Currently, the judges and jury will know of the claims that Amanda says she was at home all evening with Raffaele. And that Raffaele says that he was at home alone and Amanda went out at around 9:00pm.

The judges and jury will understand that their current stories are conflicting, and that one or both can’t be true.

Two prongs of Raffaele’s alibi have already failed.

1) Evidence at the pre-trial proved that the mobile-phone tower which picked up the aborted call to Meredith’s bank proved nothing about the location of Meredith’s phones at the time the call happened.

2) Evidence already presented at the trial has proven that Raffaele did not use his computer past 9:10pm on the night Meredith was killed, and that statements made by both Amanda and Raffaele that they didn’t rise until approximately 10:30am the following morning have also been demonstrated as untrue. One or both of them played music on the computer at approximately 5:30am.

The evidence produced to date hasn’t proven that AK and RS killed Meredith, but it’s proven beyond any doubt that both AK and RS have been lying, and that their stories for the time in question don’t match.

Whatever else they may say now at the trial, can the judges and jury (or we the public) actually be expected to believe it?

Who will believe Raffaele now if he changes his story, for example to say that, yes, he really was at home with Amanda, and not on his computer that evening? That he’s now changed his mind, and actually Amanda didn’t go out to meet friends at Le Chic?

Why should anyone believe a word he says? Who could believe he’s suddenly recovered his memory and not just invented another story to fit with the changed circumstances in which he finds himself?

His credibility looks to be toast.

And who will believe another word from Amanda, if the external enquiry concludes that the police really didn’t hit her, and she is faced with a second charge of slander?

Remember Mignini acted instantly to ask for that inquiry when Amanda made her accusation in court. Assuming that tapes and records of her interview exist, and he knows full well what they will reveal.

Her credibility too looks to be toast. 

So. What now? More statement somersaults? More mental fog?

Enjoy the show, judges, and jury.


Yeah. Well. I wouldn’t be heading fast to any witness stand with all that baggage if I were a perp.

But who knows? You can never keep a good narcissist down. We already have two examples and possibly three of Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Della Vedova exasperated at the lose cannon of the campaign and seemingly not fully in control of their client.

So far, Sollecito’s line of defense has been more left-brain (cold logic in looking out for himself) and Knox’s line of defense has been more right-brain (I am a sweet misunderstood kid, and you’d really all love me if you’d only all known me).

I think they needed more than just a few more hours on the day after to really get their tales in sync. Speaking out and telling all might be the one smart thing left to do now.

It would certainly be the kind and compassionate thing to do, for justice for Meredith and some closure for her family. And the sooner the better now that things look so bad for the pair.

By the way, if Guede lies on the stand, expect six more years for him too. The message of Mignini slapping another charge on Knox for slander was aimed in three directions - not just one.

The FOA campaign may actually be right in one respect here: Mignini is a VERY tough guy. Thank goodness he is on Meredith’s side in all this. I would hate to see him on defense.

No wonder Doug Preston seems to sound like Mignini put a pineapple up his tail. I wouldn’t have shared that experience in a book. Immortalized as a complete wussie… and in his own words!

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/09 at 04:59 PM | #

Thanks for this post Brian, it’s really useful to understand where Sollecito is in all of this as he’s not a huge feature in the UK/USA media reports. It’s the Amanda Knox Show for the english speaking world, thanks to the media & the FOAK.

If Amanda says she was with Raffaele but Raffaele says she went out alone to meet friends, then AK & RS have a problem, a huge problem.  If AK says she stayed in yet RS says no, then surely it’s game over for her, with his alibi now relying on the judge understanding that he was high and might have lost the odd hour here and there?

I’m struggling to see where her defence can go with this without Raf’s defence allowing him to have yet another flash of recalled memory and decide she was with him all night? Or worse still, AK has another go at concocting a story for the Judge to see if he will buy her new story. 

What are we on now, revision four or five?  They are both making a mockery of the system.  If the Judge has any sense, he’ll let the trial continue, let the defence costs build up (bankrupting respective parents in turn) and let these two hang themselves with their own words.  If AK & RS have any sense, they’ll put a stop to this now and tell the truth, if for nothing else but the Kercher’s & their own parents sake. 

The biggest issue I can now see for these two?  The fact that Rudy’s appeal story (AK/MK fighting over stolen cash) is more believable than anything AK or RS has said so far. Please do not think I am sticking up for Rudy as he is despicable for leaving Meredith to die/forming part of the trio who murdered her.

You don’t need to be a forensic scientist or accountant to know AK & RS were broke yet loving their drugs too much to stop.  Last time I checked herbal weed prices in Italy (via an Italian colleague in Amsterdam!), they were comparable to the UK eg. £20 for 2-3g.  Amanda’s $4000 dollars wouldn’t have lasted very long at all when you factor in her €300p.m rent & other living costs. Suddenly, you have motive for AK & RS - money.  And RG - they owed him the cash!

Posted by daisysteiner on 03/19/09 at 05:18 PM | #

Yeah ragazza americana, it is playing out in sorta surreal slow motion. But it does give everyone time to chew on things.

You perhaps agree we would rather have a slow trial than a rushed one, for justice to be seen to be done?

Judge Micheli of course clearly thought the clean-up was not so immaculate, and we have already seen at least five new facts emerge at trial that tend to confirm this.

1) The two caught standing outside with the mop and the pail, seemingly disconcerted, when the Communication police first arrived.

2) The washing machine still running, and some of Meredith’s clothes still inside.

3) The glass chards lying around on TOP of all Filomena’s disarranged clothes and possessions.

4) Luminol revealing Amanda-sized footprints and Raffaele-sized footprints on the floor of Filomena’s room.

5) An Amanda-sized footprint or shoeprint on a pillow in Meredith’s room.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/09 at 05:21 PM | #

Daisy, wow, continued denial if they’re guilty bankrupting the parents? You’re right, I hadn’t thought of that one. That would be some pressure to grow a brain at last.

Seems to me drugs do tend to explain why Guede was there at the scene. He could of course both been there seeking his back-payments for drugs and joining in on the depraved actions that erupted. His DNA is conclusively on Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/09 at 05:35 PM | #

Daisy, Peter,

There has been a new breakin at the house, not much info yet ...

Additional (self inflicted) pressure on the defendants:

Lets not forget that the Solliceto family are in deep trouble. They had calls intercepted where they discussed using high level political connections to have 2 investigators removed from the case. They also seem to have discussed more sinister means .. threats I believe.

The prosecutor made statements about this in the last hearings, charges haven’t been brought yet.

Posted by Kevin on 03/19/09 at 09:12 PM | #

Okay, it seems apparent the charges (actual or potential) against AK and RS, to date:  Criminal charges of murder.  AK both murder and perjury, and civil damages for slander. I need some help with the Italian law. Do the victim’s family also have a potential wrongful death civil case against the defendants? In US law, people may be awarded financial compensation for damages. Usually, no one ever expects to recover financial awards, but its a safety valve against book rights or other potential ill gotten gain many years later, if the criminal happens to live through the criminal punishment.  Remember OJ Simpson writing the book “If I did it” or something like that….

Posted by tony on 03/20/09 at 06:32 AM | #

Thank you Brian S - you always write so clearly and simply. Wonderful stuff. I really have a better picture of RS’s situation now. Something just occurred to me, apologies if you have covered this before. If the story runs that Amanda returned to the flat first, found the blood, had shower etc then rang RS, surely her phone call to him will be on the records. If she did ring him, and his phone triangulation places him at his place, how do the prosecution explain this? I have read nothing about the details of this call anywhere. I suppose they could have gone back to his place then staged it with this in mind, with AK going to the flat first. Any thoughts?

Posted by TT on 03/20/09 at 03:47 PM | #
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