Thursday, March 31, 2016

On April 26 Possible Sentences For Oggi For Publishing Defamations By Knox

Posted by Peter Quennell



Umberto Brindani, editor of Oggi, and Giangavino Sulas, veteran crime reporter

1. New Court Development In Italy

The Italian mafias have used three main weapons against the judiciary: bribes, slanders, and blowing them up.

As a result judges and prosecutors are protected in various ways. One is to make it a felony crime to maliciously defame them to try to throw trials off-course.

We are 1/3 of the way through Chimera’s elucidation of the 100 or so criminal felonies in Knox’s book, and the other two posts will follow next.

The first of what could be numerous trials of those who published them and repeated them is now approaching its climax.

This is the trial of Umberto Brindani, the editor of the weekly magazine Oggi, and Giangavino Sulas, a veteran crime reporter on his staff.

They have put up what amounts to zero defense, and on tuesday the chief prosecutor requested the judge to impose prison sentences of six years. Even if those sentences are minimised under Italian rules and no time will be served, each will still have a criminal record for life.

A guilty verdict bodes badly for Amanda Knox and her book agent Bob Barnett, her publishers, her lawyers, and her fellow-travelers, who could then all be easy targets for Italian prosecutors in future trials. 

The foolish and uncomprehending Joel Simon of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, who knows nothing about WHY Italian prosecutors are protected from criminal defamations, could also find himself in the crosshairs. 

Here below, from our posts of 12 May 2013, are Oggi’s paraphrasings of Knox’s claims (translation by Catnip) and our own rebuttals of those same claims.

2. Knox’s Defamatory Claims In Oggi

Amanda Knox: The American girl’s sensational story

Chilling. No other adjectives come to mind after having read Waiting to be Heard, finally released in the United States. An extremely detailed and very serious charge against the police and magistrates who conducted the investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Immediately after the crime, Amanda recounts, and for entire days and nights, they had interrogated the American girl and placed her under pressure to make her confess to a non-existent truth, without officially investigating her, denying her the assistance of a lawyer, telling her lies, even prohibiting her from going to the bathroom and giving her smacks so as to make her sign a confession clearly extorted with something similar to torture.

And now the situation is very simple. There are only two choices: either Amanda is writing lies, and as a consequence the police officers and magistrates are going to have to sue her for defamation; or else she is telling the truth, and so they are going to have to go, not without being sanctioned by the CSM [the magistrates’ governing body] and the top brass of the Police. The third possibility, which is to pretend that nothing has happened, would be shameful for the credibility of our judicial system.

Amanda Knox has written her Waiting to be Heard memoir with the sense of revulsion and of relief of someone who has escaped by a hair’s breadth from a legal disaster, but has got her sums wrong. Cassation has decided that the [appeal] proceedings have to be redone and the hearings should be (re)commencing in October before the Florence Court of Appeal.

In a USA Today interview, Ms Knox has not excluded the possibility of “returning to Italy to face this battle too”, but it would be a suicidal decision: it’s likely that the appeal will result in a conviction, and the Seattle girl will end up in the black hole from which she has already spent 1,427 days.

In this way Waiting to be Heard risks being the “film” on which Amanda’s last words are recorded about the Mystery of Perugia, her definitive version.

We have read a review copy. And we were dumbfounded. Waiting to be Heard is a diary that has the frenetic pace of a thriller, written in a dry prose (behind the scenes is the hand of Linda Kulman, a journalist at the Huffington Post), even “promoted” by Michiko Kakutani, long-time literary critic at the New York Times.

The most interesting part does not concern the Raffaele Sollecito love story (which Amanda reduces it to puppy love: “With the feeling, in hindsight, I knew that he… that we were still immature, more in love with love than with each other”), and whoever goes looking for salacious details about the three Italian boys Amanda had casual sex with, one night stands, will be frustrated (Ms Knox describes those enounters with the nonchalance of an entomologist disappointed with his experiments: “We undressed, we had sex, I got dressed again with a sense of emptiness”).

There are no scoops about the night of the murder and even the many vicissitudes endured during the 34,248 hours spent in Capanne prison – the [claimed] sexual molestations suffered under two guards, the unexpected kiss planted by a bisexual cellmate, the threats made by another two prisoners – remain on the backdrop, like colourful notations.

Because what is striking and upsetting, in the book, is the minute descriptions, based on her own diaries, on the case documents and on a prodigious memory, of how Ms Knox had been incriminated (or “nailed”).

COME IN KAFKA. A Kafkian account in which the extraordinary naivety of Amanda (the word naïve, ingénue, is the one which recurs most often in the 457 pages of the book) mixes with the strepitous wickedness of the investigators decided on “following a cold and irrational trail because they had nothing better in hand”.

Devour the first 14 chapters and ask yourself: is it possible that the Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth? You place yourself in her situation and you scare yourself: If it happened to me? You’re in two minds: is it a likely accusation, or a squalid calumny, the version of Amanda?

Because in reading it you discover that in the four days following the discovery of Meredith Kercher’s body (on 2 November 2007), Amanda was interrogated continuously, and without the least of procedural guarantees [=due process].

She changes status from witness to suspect without being aware of it.” No one had told me my rights, no one had told me that I could remain silent”, she writes. When she asked if she had the right to a lawyer, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, had responded like this: “No, no, that will only worsen things: it would mean that you don’t want to help us”. Thus, the Public Prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini.

For a long period of time, Ms Knox, who at the time spoke and understood hardly any Italian at all, mistook him for the Mayor of Perugia, come to the police station to help her.

Then, with the passage of time and of the pages, the assessment changes: Mignini is a prosecutor “with a bizarre past”, investigated for abuse of office (he was convicted at first instance, but Cassation annulled the verdict on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction: the case will be held in Torino – ndr) and with the hunger to fabricate “strange stories to solve his cases”.

Mignini “is a madman who considers his career more important than my liberty or the truth about the killing of Meredith”. On the phone, the Perugian prosecutor reacts with aplomb: “First I will read the book and then I will consider it. Certainly, if it really calls me ‘mad’ or worse, I think I will file suit”.

BEING IN PRISON IS LIKE CAMPING Amanda goes looking. When the officers mysteriously bring her along to the crime scene inspection of the apartment below the one in which she and Meredith were living in, Ms Knox put on the shoe protectors and the white forensics gloves and called out Ta-dah! spreading her arms “as if I was at the start of a musical: I wanted to appear helpful”.

When they dragged her in handcuffs into Capanne Prison, she believed what the Police would have told her, and that was they would hide her for a couple of days to protect her (from the true killer, one presumes) and for unspecified bureaucratic reasons. “In my head I was camping: ‘This won’t last more than a week in the mountains’, I told myself,” writes Amanda.

They take her money off her, and her credit cards, licence and passport, and she draws strength from repeating to herself that “surely they’re not going to give me a uniform, seeing that I’m a special case and that I’ll be here for only a little while”.

But it’s the account of the notorious interrogation that takes the breath away. Around ten in the evening on her last day of freedom, Ms Knox accompanies Raffaele to the police station (he was called in, also without a lawyer, by the Police) and is thrown into a nightmare which she populates with many faces: there is Officer Rita Ficcara, who gives her two cuffs on the head (“To help you remember,” she would say); there’s another officer who advises her: “If you don’t help us, you’ll end up in prison for 30 years”; Mignini arrives and advises her not to call a lawyer; super-policewoman Monica Napoleoni dives in and bluffs: “Sollecito has dropped your alibi: he says that on the night of the murder you had left his apartment and that you had told him to lie to ‘cover you’”.

And a crescendo of yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45 in the morning. Seven hours “produce” two confessions that, exactly because they are made without a defence lawyer, cannot be used in the proceedings, but forever after “stain” the image of the accused Knox: Amanda places herself at the scene of the crime and accuses Patrick Lumumba.

RAFFAELE CONFIRMS THE ACCUSATIONS An account of the horror is confirmed by Sollecito in his memoir, Honor Bound, Raffaele writes of having heard “the police yelling at Amanda and then the cries and sobs of my girl, who was yelling ‘Help!’ in Italian in the other room”, and of having being threatened in his turn (“If you try to get up and go, I’ll punch you till you’ll bleed and I’ll kill you. I’ll leave you in a pool of blood”, another officer had whispered to him).

Published lines which have passed right under the radar of the Perugian investigators: “No legal action [against the interrogators] has been notified to us,” Franco Sollecito, Raffaele’s dad, tell us. For having recounted the sourness of her interrogation in court, Amanda was investigated for calunnia: the trial will take place in Florence. This one, too, will be a circumstantial case: it’s the word of two young people against that of the public prosecutor and the police.

The recording of the interrogation would have unveiled which side the truth stands on. But it has gone missing.


3. Our Rebuttals Of Knox’s Claims

  • Knox was NOT interrogated for days and nights. She was put under no pressure in her brief witness interviews except possibly by Sollecito who had just called their latest alibi “a pack of lies”.

  • Knox WAS officially investigated in depth, after she surprisingly “confessed” and placed herself and Patrick at the scene. Prior to that she’d been interviewed less than various others, who each had one consistent alibi.

  • Knox herself pushed to make all three statements without a lawyer on the night of 5-6 November 2007 in which she claimed she went out from Sollecito’s house, met Patrick, and witnessed him killing Meredith.

  • Far from Knox being denied a lawyer, discussions were stopped before the first statement and not resumed, in the later hearing she was formally warned she needed one; she signed a confirmation of this in front of witnesses.

  • Prosecutor Mignini who Knox accuses of telling her a lawyer would hurt her prospects when she claims she asked for one was not even in the police station at that interview; he was at home.

  • She was not prohibited from going to the bathroom. At trial, she testified she was treated well and was frequently offered refreshments. Her lawyers confirmed this was so.

  • She was not given smacks by anyone. Over a dozen witnesses testified that she was treated well, broke into a conniption spontaneously, and thereafter was hard to stop talking.

  • There is no evidence whatsoever that Knox was subject to “something similar to torture” and as mentioned above only Sollecito applied any pressure, not any of the police.

  • There is nothing “suicidal” about returning to Italy to defend herself at the new appeal. Sollecito did. She risks an international arrest warrant and extradition if she doesn’t.

  • There is no proof except for her own claims of sexual molestations in prison; she is a known serial liar; and she stands out for an extreme willingness to talk and write about sex.

  • Many people have testified she was treated well in prison: her own lawyers, a member of parliament, and visitors from the US Embassy were among them; she herself wrote that it was okay.

  • She may have based her account on her diaries and “prodigious memory” but the obviously false accusation against the prosecutor suggests that much of the book was made up.

  • The investigators had a great deal of evidence against Knox in hand, not nothing, and they were not ever faulted for any action; they helped to put on a formidable case at trial in 2009.

  • “Police and Italian justice work with such incompetence, ferocity, and disdain for the truth” is contradicted by a very complete record prior to trial which was praised by the Supreme Court.

  • Mr Mignini has NO bizarre past at all. He is widely known to be careful and fair. He would not have been just promoted to first Deputy Prosecutor General of Umbria otherwise.

  • He was put on trial by a rogue prosecutor desperate to protect his own back from Mignini’s investigations; the Supreme Court has killed the trumped up case dead.

  • There was nothing “mysterious” about Knox being taken to the crime scene to see if any knives were gone, but her wailing panic when she saw the knives was really “mysterious”.

  • Knox never thought she was in prison for her own protection; she had signed an agreement at the 5:00 am interview confirming she did know why she was being held.

  • Monica Napoleoni did not “bluff” that Sollecito had just trashed their joint alibi; he actually did so, because his phone records incriminated him; he agreed to that in writing.

  • There was no crescendo of “yelling and intimidations that lasts from 11 at night until 5.45”. There were two relatively brief sessions. Knox did most of the talking, named seven possible perps, and drew maps.

  • There was zero legal requirement to record the recap/summary interview, no recording has “gone missing” and many officers present testified to a single “truth” about what happened.



Comments

Awesome article, Peter.  Thanks!

Posted by all4justice on 03/31/16 at 01:44 PM | #

Peter, what are your thoughts on whether there will be further legal actions to try obKnoxious for her false published claims, given that she got off (acquitted) on false claims about the police in that trial? (The one where the verdict came down in fall 2016, if I recall correctly.)

Posted by all4justice on 03/31/16 at 02:05 PM | #

Hi all4justice

That was the prosecution for what Knox claimed on the stand in 2009. The hitting by “interrogators” and so on. There was always some question as to whether it mattered any more, as Knox was found guilty of calunnia anyway, against Patrick, and served three years, with all courts including Hellmann’s saying that was right on the merits.

There was also a certain daffiness to it. In her testimony she did not really name names. She was not under oath and some of our own lawyers did not like the case - they see American perps claim worse about the cops every day. Knox’s lawyers did not ever confirm anything she said, there had been no official complaint of hitting in 20 months, and in February through April there had been days and days of testimony (which we translated for our Interrogation Hoax series) saying the exact opposite of Knox.

In the book, see the quotes above, and subsequently in her email to Judge Nencini and so on, Knox DOES name names especially Mignini’s and claimed to have been tortured, in effect piling on 10 times worse. The whole Knox book is now in Italian and so Italians finally can read it. Knox was said by Judges Marasca and Bruno to have been at the scene of the crime. Sollecito and Guede have separated from her a lot. Theres a feeling she’s dangerous and will remain so for life. Mignini explained how the Fifth Chambers broke the law twice.

So there’s a sense of unfinished business and various investigations and political moves continue to bubble away. Meanwhile Knox seems very isolated from her own family and the wild-eyed team, and that will grow if any of them get charged for putting their necks on the line for Knox.

Her main hired help for the book were Bob Barnett and Linda Kulman and the publishers - let’s see if they stand by Knox when they are rudely woken up. We ourselves will be doing that shortly.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/31/16 at 02:51 PM | #

It’s all starting to get interesting again Pete. Nice post.

Knox has hoisted herself by her own petard on numerous occasions as you and some of the regular posters have often deftly pointed out.

She is utterly damned by her own words when you compare her trial testimony, her many interviews on YouTube and her tawdry little book. The inconsistencies are legion.

I’ve long held a dream that Knox could be persuaded to do one last all encompassing interview where Pete or Cardiol or such like could ask her anything, armed as they would be with pages of pointed questions that would truly expose her to one and all.

Sadly, even an intellectually challenged scrubber with a messiah complex like Knox would be unlikely to fall into such a trap these days.

We’ll have to make do with the current trial, and hopefully many more to come, safe in the knowledge that she’s following every moment of it and shrivelling further in her inevitable downward spiral.

I often wonder if she now wishes she had come clean, shown some contrition and looked forward to release sometime in her thirties with most of her life still to look forward to.

She’s in a prison of her own making now and maintaining such an enormous lie for the rest of her miserable, hopefully short, life will eventually cause a serious mental and physical breakdown. I truly hope it’s painful.

Even her unhinged best friend Mad Pax seems to have deserted her, or at least she no longer publicly advocates on Knox’s behalf. Perhaps Madison has had a gradual awakening, much like Robert Kardashian did with “the Juice”.

Posted by davidmulhern on 04/01/16 at 07:33 AM | #

Knox stated that she was at Sollecito’s apartment continuously from about 17.00.00 on Meredith’s murder-night, 11/1-2/2007.

Sollecito stated that Knox was not at his apartment continuously from about 17.00.00 on Meredith’s murder-night, 11/1-2/ 2007, that he lied at her insistence that she was-there continuously, but that she did go out.

In previous TJMK posts, corroboration of Sollecito’s statement has been convincingly demonstrated:

“Remember that mobile-phones are equivalent to convicts’ ankle-monitor bracelets, their use creates with Certainty a record of the Times of cell-phone activities, the Location of the corresponding transmitter-cell, and hence the general location of the mobile-phone, especially Ruling-Out particular Locations e.g. Proving whether the carrier of the phone was in or out of the range of their home transmitter-cell. Call Verbal-Content is not publicly available.
Here the mobile-phone Record proves that”...Ed: [the carrier of]...“Knox’s mobile-phone was Certainly-Not in Sollecito’s lodging-house at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007:
At the time of reception, Knox’s phone connected to the cell on Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3, whose signal does not reach Raffaele Sollecito’s house. Amanda Knox’s mobile phone, and therefore Knox herself, was therefore far [i.e. absent] from Corso Garibaldi 30 when the SMS reached her, as she was walking in an area which was shown to be served by the Via dell’Aquila 5-Torre dell’Acquedotto sector 3 cell.
This point of her route could correspond to Via U. Rocchi, to Piazza Cavallotti, to Piazza IV Novembre, bearing in mind that Lumumba’s pub is located in Via Alessi, and that Amanda Knox would have had to travel along the above-mentioned roads and the piazza in order to reach the pub.

Knox was therefore Certainly Not at Sollecito’s Corso Garibaldi Lodging at that time, contrary to the allegation that she was, and Knox Certainly-Could have been at her Cottage.”

Although it is logically-possible that someone other than Knox, including Sollecito himself, was the carrier of Knox’s phone, it is beyond reasonable-doubt that Knox was the carrier of her own phone at 20:18:12 on Nov.1st, 2007, and that she has persistently lied as to her whereabouts at that time.

At 20.35.48 Amanda sent an SMS in reply to Patrick, at No. 338-7195723, and her recall-time location was in Corso Garibaldi 30 or its immediate neighbourhood. The cell used, was that of Via Berardi sector 7, consistent with this reply coming from Sollecito’s flat, 17 minutes and 36 seconds after receiving Patrick’s call at a location that was Not Sollecito’s flat.

Later, Knox admitted that she was present that evening in the women’s apartment at the time of Meredith’s murder, but both Knox and Sollecito denied participation both in the murder,in it’s clear-up, and in it’s cover-up.
Knox’s lie about her whereabouts at the time of Lumumba’s call was probably-made to evade evidence incriminating her of a role in the theft of Meredith’s rent-money.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 04/03/16 at 11:34 AM | #

I would like to see Foxy and all her liars on the DO NOT FLY list for TSA. They need to be grounded so they won’t be set free after they murder innocent people and cover up for each other. Italy surely should arrest them if they arrive. Both should have HAD their passports taken away. Bad juju. A hard rain is gonna fall one day on these two but it does not bring justice to Meredith Kercher or her family. Thanks, Pete.

Posted by Professor Snape on 04/03/16 at 05:13 PM | #

Mobile-Phone-Call Verbal-Content is usually not Publicly-Available but:

Although Verbal-Content Is-Recorded on the receiving cell-phone Verbal-Content CAN BE DELETED, as-did Knox on the evening of Nov.1st, 2007.

EVEN IF VERBAL-CONTENT IS DELETED The record of the Times of cell-phone activities, the Location of the corresponding transmitter-cell, and hence the general location of the mobile-phone at the time the message was received still remains.

If We, thousands of miles away from Italy, can determine WITH CERTAINTY INCRIMINATING-FACTS such as those revealing Knox’s whereabouts between 20:18:12 and 20.35.48 on Nov.1st, 2007, so can SCC in Italy.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 04/04/16 at 01:34 AM | #


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