Sunday, May 24, 2015

When Not Itself Nefariously Influenced, Italy’s Supreme Court Usually Sustains A Hard Line

Posted by Peter Quennell

The President of Italy at the first of a planned series of anti-mafia rallies

If there are any jurists in Italy who think the Fifth Chambers respected the law and the huge evidence, they are sure not speaking up yet.

A bent outcome? Certainly there have been attempts by organized crime and other unsavory elements to bend all the Italian courts at all levels (think Hellmann) and even at the Supreme Court level there seem to have been instances of successful bending.

But whereas in the US the administration of most justice is highly localized and most jurists have to run to keep up with evolving cases and trends in their own states, justice in Italy is highly centralised and all judges and lawyers follow all main cases.

Routes are many to keep an outcome that stinks from being left that way.

We are told to expect a scathing outpouring from numerous jurists when the Fifth Chambers pushes its report out. Also almost certain legal action and possible retaliation against Judges Marasca and especially Bruno via the powerful Counsel of Magistrates.

As their nervous defense lawyers will know all too well, two things in particular are not auspicious for Knox’s and Sollecito’s final outcome.

First, a huge push is now starting to finally rid Italy of the mafias. Like it or not Sollecito is related to mafioso of the same name and the seaside town in the Dominican Republic which he visited several times in recent months is said to be a thriving mafia hangout.

Now President Mattarella (himself a judge and mafia fighter) has kicked off a series of rallies throughout Italy to give all of the population courage and positive expectations. If he is appealed-to to reverse the Fifth Chambers verdict in Meredith’s case and he suspects organized crime had a vested interest in humiliating the Florence courts he may side with that appeal.

Second, if Cassation finds a way to revert to form on Meredith’s case it can be expected to reflect the hard line it demonstrated against the Hellmann-appeal outcome in 2013 and the hard line in for example this case among many similar.

Partners who manifest extreme jealous behaviour towards their other half are guilty of mistreatment, Italy’s highest court of appeal has said.

Italy’s Court of Cassation on Thursday overturned the acquittal of a Sicilian man for mistreating his wife.

The husband, who is from Sicily, allegedly suffered from “morbid jealousy”, also known as “delusional jealousy”, a psychological disorder in which a person wrongly believes their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any real proof to back up their claim.

His jealous behaviour included constantly accusing his wife of being unfaithful, reading her text messages and even demanding that their daughter get a DNA test.

According to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, his behaviour was so extreme that his wife even quit her job as a flight attendant because he said the job was “not suited to a respectable woman”.

In May 2014 an appeal’s court in Palermo, Sicily, acquitted the man of mistreating his wife.

But on Thursday Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittal, stating that such behaviour amounted to “psychological harassment”, a crime punishable by law.

“Constantly hassling the spouse with continuous manic and obsessive behaviour inspired by morbid jealousy constitutes mistreatment,” the court said, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.

His behaviour caused “significant imitations and constraints in her daily life and choices, as well as an intolerable state of anxiety,” according to the court.

The case has now been reopened and the woman’s claims will be evaluated in another hearing, the paper said.

Jealousy a crime? Isn’t jealousy widely seen as a Knox trademark?


Another Sollecito who may have bumped into Raffaele in the Dominican Republic or in New York here:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/24/15 at 03:57 PM | #

Peter, you ask if jealousy is a Knox trademark? Absolutely.

Knox is envious of everyone around her due to her low self-esteem. So she grabs attention, gets loud or physical and wrests the spotlight back from anyone besides herself who might have something to contribute.

Amanda Knox is a hot-shot who cannot bear competition which is probably why she moved to Italy, so she could trade on her nationality and be the different one, the newcomer, the stranger, the mysterious one. The rarity.

She rejected Rome and preferred a small town like Perugia where there’d be fewer Americans (who might be able to quickly see through her). In Italy she planned to use charm and audacity to play with the Italians as she saw fit in a personal game of cat and mouse, then use the language barrier to excuse herself and ease her conscience if things ended in acrimony. Very dodgy character. She found she wasn’t so charming at UW among her own.

She was probably jealous of Britt and David J and anyone who was stable. That’s why Meredith ticked her off so badly, being a rock solid personality with goals and the faculty for real achievement, a brave woman who wasn’t cowed by Knox’s obnoxious stunts.

The Italians have had great courage to stand up to the Mafia with its extreme danger and ruthlessness for decades. May the court gain the upper hand over bullies who use bribery, influence, and hidden corruption to get around the law.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/24/15 at 05:36 PM | #

Absolutely. According to some psychological theory (Melanie Klein et al), envy would be the base line for or at the development of every facet of Knox’s character and behaviour, and these patterns would have been formed probably by the age of one, or one to two years old.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 05/24/15 at 09:00 PM | #

@Hopeful and SeekingUnderstanding, Chris and Edda have shown a willingness to behave in any underhand way possible to keep their daughter out of prison.  They have lied, they have profited from blood money, they have wretchedly insulted the Kerchers whilst pretending to feel for them and they have prioritised their own reputations full in the knowledge that Knox is guilty.  No wonder she displays the characteristics of a foul and worthless person.

Posted by MHILL4 on 05/25/15 at 01:08 AM | #

Great post Pete! Thank you very much. It’s good to see that Supreme Court rulings are sometimes reviewed and the cases are reopened. I really hope that they do so with the case against AK & RS.

Posted by Johnny Yen on 05/25/15 at 01:25 AM | #

Nice article Pete.  However, from perusing the North American media, there seems to be no trace that anything is actually going on.  Just a rehash of the ‘‘broke with PTSD’’ non-sense.

Knox’s own site says she is ‘‘finally and definitively cleared’‘, yet she is still asking for donations to fund her legal defence.

Was the Cassation panel united when they ruled, or was there a dissenting opinion?  If so, would be very interesting to hear from that judge.

I can imagine there will be stunned confusion in the U.S. when something actually does break.

Pardon the continued posting from the last article:

The rambling, incoherent, babbling is from someone probably inspired by Knox.  Arias gets very uncomfortable when the topic of intent/premeditation is brought up.

However, when Detective Flores brings up the topic ‘‘Was anyone else there?’‘, Arias gets the sudden idea to blame it on 2 masked people, (a man and a woman).  Detective Flores asks her why she didn’t bring this up before.  It’s not like she hadn’t been questioned for 6 hours at this point.

Det. Flores also asks why she went to go see her new boyfriend as normal, if such a thing happened.  People attacked in home invasions—and murder witnesses—typically don’t act that way.

The statements of ‘‘2 other killers’’ gets written up, but it is obvious that the police don’t believe her.  They tell her they don’t.

Those statements were later used in court to help prove she was a total liar.

Sound familiar?

Also, on the topic of ‘‘rough’’ interrogations, for the most part they are totally unnecessary.  See this 2010 questioning of Canadian rapist and serial killer Russell Williams.

Posted by Chimera on 05/25/15 at 05:43 AM | #

Thanks Pete. Encouraging that the Fifth Chambers can expect some blowback.

As obnoxious as our faux-tragic heroine is it’s surely knife-boy’s fixed smirking countenance that will continue to haunt. He never showed the merest glimmer of concern or anxiety about the outcome, just a barely concealed enjoyment at playing the innocent part. Complete with white jacket.

This is a boy/man who has intuited from a very early age that “papa will always fix” (something he might have guessed was associated with strange handshakes and shady characters visiting the family home?).

If corruption is suspected in the Fifth Chambers verdict, Bari is surely the place to start looking for a prime mover.

More generally the delinquent pair are really representatives from dysfunctional families. Maybe prison for the identified culprits would have given their families a free pass;  as it is,  discontent at what seems to be a bent verdict might help keep attention on the case and, perhaps, eventually lead to study of the family dynamics involved.

What can we learn from this horrific crime and the breathtaking insouciance of the perpetrators about how NOT to bring up children? (In the meantime we can still hope that AK & RS get the justice they deserve.)

Posted by Odysseus on 05/25/15 at 04:55 PM | #

Hi Hopeful

Great insights. I think this rings very true and would simply add two things.

“Amanda Knox is a hot-shot who cannot bear competition which is probably why she moved to Italy, so she could trade on her nationality and be the different one, the newcomer, the stranger, the mysterious one. The rarity.”

First, as you hint, with some, Knox had outstayed her welcome back in Seattle at UW and there were murmurings when the news broke of her arrest “Why are we not surprised?” She presumably hoped to start in Perugia with a clean slate but she messed that up fast too. By the time of the the attack on Meredith there really was no-one left who actively wanted to be with her.

Second, she did not go to enroll in the university (despite claims in her book that she told her parents she would) and Perugia then had quite a reputation for easy drugs and Knox voraciously set herself up fast on that front. Had she WANTED to enroll and used the UW/UP twinning arrangement for exchange students she would have been well funded and supervised - and Meredith would probably still be alive.

This post was addressed to Knox but maybe the title was wrong and it should have been addressed to Edda Mellas and Curt Knox who sent the loose cannon on her way.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/26/15 at 12:28 AM | #

Hi Chimera

Judge Marasca and one other judge are said to have resisted the verdict for several hours but Juidge Bruno had the votes.

Re this remark “However, from perusing the North American media, there seems to be no trace that anything is actually going on. Just a rehash of the “broke with PTSD” nonsense.”

Its deliberate quiet now as far as Italy is concerned, as is usually the way, as those justice officials involved cant or wont seek headlines until the Fifth Chambers signs off.

We know somewhat more than is in the post (which is all true as the Knox defense will know) and its not Perugia or its local justice officials that the Fifth Chambers will confront. Its really Florence, which is very powerful and influential in the general scheme of things and networked throughout Italy.

The Prime Minister comes from there, and he in effect got the votes in parliament to elect the new President. Possibly he was misled by the US but otherwise its hard to see how he gets a political or diplomatic win by allowing the Fifth Chambers travesty to stand.

In coming weeks US media are going to learn a lot more. As you know as well as anyone theres been a vacuum of truth, which seems set with our help to go away.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/26/15 at 12:45 AM | #

Hi Odysseus and MHILL4

Interesting comments about the families and their roles. Both of course have their own trials ahead.

Papa Sollecito did step in to fish RS out of the soup. But there is quite a list of instances where his frustration showed. Edda Mellas definitely too.

Both RS and AK were living way from home and on drugs and past the age of 18. The one prime mover parent in all of this, who may have pushed Amanda off down the slippery slope, was Curt. He has sure had a free pass on this.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/26/15 at 12:56 AM | #

Just to clarify Pete, I wasn’t trying to diminish the responsibility of RS and AK - just widening the net to include the families. No man (or woman) is an island, so to speak, which is sometimes easy to forget by focussing on individuals and forgetting the systems in which they are embedded.

There are certainly interesting times ahead with the various trials…

Posted by Odysseus on 05/26/15 at 02:53 PM | #

This article is good, albeit a little lamely written in places. The main thing is the author’s heart is clearly in the right place:

Posted by Odysseus on 05/27/15 at 05:27 PM | #

So, NOW Amanda Knox’s accomplice Raffaele Sollecito has announced to the press that he is going to Viterbo to endorse some stupid book or whatever:

But we all know that Rudy Guede is imprisoned in Viterbo Prison. So, without a doubt, Sollecito is going there to make another payment to Guede to shut him up before the motivations report is published next month. It’s a very sneaky and sly move on his part at this time.

Posted by Johnny Yen on 05/30/15 at 07:05 PM | #

Johnny Yen - Thank you for the warning about this.  It is completely absurd: Knox also coming out with a ‘‘new version’’ of her book as well, due June 9th.  The sales from both were awful, and both have current trials for those last books.  And of course 5th panel of Cassation can be overturned.

This is just like when Hellmann let them out.  Frightening, this Groundhog Day stuff.

Posted by Chimera on 05/31/15 at 06:52 PM | #
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