Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our Letter To Rocco Girlanda, Parliamentarian For Gubbio In Umbria, Concerning His Amanda Knox Book

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters


[Above: the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies in the Italian Parliament of which Mr Girlanda is a junior member]


Original by hard copy in English with a hard copy in Italian to follow

Mr. Rocco Girlanda
Parliamentarian for Gubbio in Umbria
Chamber of Deputies
Parliament of Italy
Rome, Italy


Dear Mr. Girlanda:

Questions Concerning Your Hurtful Behavior Toward The Family and Friends Of Meredith Kercher
And Also Concerning Your Ethics, Your Politics, Your Legal Behavior, And Your Personal Behavior

Your book Take Me With You ““ Talks With Amanda Knox In Prison” is leaving readers with a number of disturbing questions as to your motives, timing and interests in writing the book and publishing it at this time.

These questions concern whether your book - or at least its publication right now, directly before the important first level of appeal - is in fact very unethical, and they also concern the appropriateness of the nature of your relationship with Miss Knox.

In order to put these these questions to rest, we are sure that you will be eager to know what they are, and to respond to them in your best way possible. We’d be pleased if you would reply to us through our return address, or - given the public nature of this discussion - email it for posting directly on the TJMK website.

Here are the questions we have assembled. Again, we thank you in advance for your replies:

  • Do you believe in the separation of the executive, parliamentary and judicial branches of government? Since you are a parliamentarian (and, in particular, a member of the judiciary committee), do you think that the publishing of your book at this time could be seen as being inappropriate, given the calendar of Amanda’s appeal for her murder conviction, as well as the ongoing trial for slander (for having accused the Perugian police of hitting her during questioning)?

  • When you visit prisons in your role as a parliamentarian, what is your main objective: perform an independent check and control over prison conditions, or befriend prisoners? After how many visits to Capanne prison did you realise that you had established a friendship with Miss Knox? How often do you visit prisons in Italy? Which other prisons have you recently visited? Do you visit men’s prisons? Do you regularly give gifts to prisoners, like the books or the computer you gave to Amanda? If you consider that the computer was not a personal gift but rather from the Italy-USA Foundation of which you are president, which other American prisoners in Italian prisons have received such gifts? Which criteria does the Foundation follow in deciding who receives gifts? (for example, prisoners who have expressed repentance, or prisoners who have to use free legal aid due to financial penury, or prisoners who contribute to awareness programs to help others avoid similar crimes in the future ....).

  • As president of the Italy-USA Foundation, you have expressed concern that this case has strained relations between the two countries. Have you spoken with the US Embassy in Rome about your concern?  Within the framework of Italian-US relations, are there any other issues which you think come close to your-perceived significance of Amanda’s involvement in murdering Meredith Kercher? (for example:  Italy’s middle east policy concerning talks with Palestinian organisations, or discussions about the acceptance by Italy of Guantanamo inmates, or the ongoing state of Fiat-Chrysler relations and investments, or the rooting out of organised crime, or even Berlusconi’s joke about Obama being handsome and suntanned?)


[Above: the historic small township of Gubbio north-east of Perugia which Mr Girlanda currently represents]

  • In your over 20 parliamentary privilege meetings with Amanda Knox, did she ever act in a bizarre manner, like performing cartwheels for you? Why didn’t you ever ask her about her murdered roommate, Meredith Kercher or in general about the crime? Can your book really be of any interest to anyone if it only contains bits and pieces of poetry and banal conversation, without linking Amanda to the case which has put her into jail? How can your book come close to one of its supposed objectives - that of trying to understand how a young person could be involved in a violent crime such as that of Meredith Kercher’s murder - it you make no reference to the crime?

  • You have stated that you have daughters similar to Amanda Knox. In what ways are your daughters comparable to Amanda? Studies? Personal life and use of drugs, or social habits with the opposite sex? Some other way?

  • Amanda wrote you a letter (amongst others) on 7 August 2010, where she tells you in Italian, “The only thing I can show you is my gratitude for your friendship and your support.” What is the extent and what are the characteristics of this friendship and support? Is Amanda’s gratitude one-sided, from the perspective of an emotionally weak prisoner who becomes dependent on any stranger who shows her the slightest kindness, or do you mutually share this friendship which she describes, between the two of you? Do you know if Amanda’s Italian legal team are aware of the extent of your friendship? Do you think that your friendship may actually somehow complicate her legal situation and strategy?

  • You describe an affectionate hug between you and Knox: “I blush. She holds me, I hold her. It’s a never ending embrace, without a word. If I said I didn’t feel any emotion I would be lying. Maybe my face reveals that.” is what was quoted in the Daily Mail. Have you ever told a priest, psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, drinking buddy or your wife about your physical contact with Amanda and your nocturnal dreams which involve her? If so, what advice have they given you?

  • Did you attend any of the Knox-Sollecito trial sessions over the course of the year that it was held? (it would have been easy: you could have taken advantage of visits to your parliamentary constituency, just as you have found it easy to visit Amanda in jail). Are you familiar with the evidence? Are you aware that there are two other persons convicted for the same crime together with Amanda? Do you know if - like her - they write poetry and want to be parents when they are freed from prison (a number of years from now)? Do such desires for life under regained freedom make any convicted prisoner less guilty of the crimes they have committed?

  • Do you feel that there were any specific errors or problems with the investigation in this case which you believe may contribute to an incorrect verdict and sentence for the three suspects? Did Amanda get a fair trial compared to any other similar crime investigation and legal process in Italy?

  • Are you able to offer an explanation as to why not once have the Kerchers and their lawyer, Francesco Maresca, ever been worried about the trial outcome? After three years, why is it that Francesco Maresca still has no worries and is confident that the convicted will lose their appeals?


[Above: Mr Girlanda with images of herself by Amanda Knox released about simultaneously with his book]

  • Do you believe that any of the investigation or judicial officials involved in this case are corrupt, or that any type of corruption played a role in their activities? Don’t be shy, please identify those who did wrong amongst Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, Judge Claudia Matteini, Judge Paolo Micheli, Judge Giancarlo Massei, Judge Beatrice Cristiani, the six lay judges, Appeals Judge Emanuele Medoro, Homicide Chief Monica Napoleoni, Inspector Rita Ficarrra, DNA expert Patrizia Stefanoni, or any other person involved in this complex case. Was there a conspiracy of corrupt officials who directed an evil campaign against an obviously innocent girl with no real evidence against her?

  • As a followup to the prior question, do you know that not one credible international attorney or professor of comparative criminal law and procedure has taken the defense of Amanda Knox, claiming injustice in the Italian judicial system? Do you agree that the Italian criminal system is fair, balanced and completely pro-defendant?

  • Do you know that Italian citizens constantly complain of their relaxed criminal laws and that criminals are constantly set free even after being sentenced on appeal while waiting for the confirmation of the Cassation Court? For example, little Tommy would still be alive if Mario Alessi had been kept in prison after being convicted on appeal for raping a minor. As a politician, don’t you think the law should be changed by keeping violent criminals in jail after being convicted on appeal, in order to guarantee the security of the citizens of the country you represent?

  • Do you know that the Italian attorneys of Amanda Knox don’t approve of this media propaganda perpetuated by the Knox-Mellas clan, that seems intent on spreading falsehoods and misinformation, while at the same time blaming an entire country (the one you represent in parliament) for an alleged “wrongful conviction”?

  • In promoting your book, you have stated that during your more than 20 meetings with convicted murderer Amanda Knox, a “friendship” has grown. Would you classify that as a friendship of convenience or a friendship based on caring for the interests of the other? We ask that because it truly shocks us that Knox’s Italian legal team was humiliated, and Knox herself was deprived professional legal advice and support through the publication of your book without it being vetted by her lawyers.  “She is very worried,” said Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga, declining to comment on the book which he said he has not seen. “She is not at her best. She is very worried” ahead of the appeal, he added. Although the book will likely change little in Knox’s legal predicament, I would have thought that a “friend” who was also a law-maker would realise the importance of consulting the other friend’s lawyers concerning the possible fallout of a personal literary initiative such as yours.

  • Do you know that the American Embassy has followed this case from day one and reported to the State Department? Do you know that the Embassy stated that the trial was fair? Do you know that the State Department never expressed concerns about the outcome of the trial?

  • Do you know that the only American politician that once spoke out regarding this trial was Mrs. Maria Cantwell from Seattle when she asked Mrs. Clinton to verify if Italy is a third-world country with a barbarian criminal system and if Amanda Knox was sentenced only because she is an American citizen?

  • How did you and your associate Corrado Maria Daclon prepare his list of contacts that he met with in his trip to Seattle when you were writing your book? Did some person or persons arrange for meeting with these contacts? Was this person associated with the Knox-Mellas Entourage?

  • Have you ever read the 430-page Sentence Motivation Report (“Dispositivo Della Sentenza Di Condanna”) written by Judge Massei who presided over the Knox-Sollecito trial?  Do you know that there is overwhelming evidence against Amanda Knox and that the information spread out by the expensive PR team, hired by the Knox family, is neither a complete nor trustworthy story?


[Above: Giulia Bongiorno. Concern that Rocco Girlanda has gone way beyond what is appropriate to his parliamentary privilege to visit prisons “to inspect conditions” is further inflamed by his presence on the Italian parliament’s Judicial Committee. This committee, amazingly, is presided over by Raffaele Sollecito’s lead defense lawyer: Giulia Bongiorno. Is Giulia Bongiorno turning a blind eye to Mr Girlanda’s extraordinary number of visits, which seem highly abusive of his privilege, and exceed the quota of any family member?]

  • Do you know that the vast majority of Americans have no idea of who Amanda Knox is? For example, if you look at the number of hits on videos posted by the Knox clan on YouTube, you would discover that few hundred people have visited the site. Also, do you know that the vast majority of Americans that have heard about this case think she’s guilty?

  • Do you know who Steve Moore is? As President of the of the Italy-USA Foundation, do you, Mr. Girlanda, approve the insulting assertions of Mr. Moore when he says that the Italian police questioning of Amanda is typical of a “third world country”? That is was “something close to water-boarding”? Do you know that Steve Moore said that Amanda’s accusation of Patrick Lumumba, an innocent man, was “recanted by Amanda as soon as she had gotten some food”? Do you know that this weird individual said that “the court of final appeal is going to be the press. It’s going to be the public”?

  • Have you ever read or seen Steve Moore on American national television? Do you know that he has been interview by all major American television news stations, spreading falsehoods and misinformation? Do you know that Mr. Moore has been accusing Italy as a whole as been responsible for what he calls a “wrongful conviction”, in a “railroad job” by a “psychopathic prosecutor”? Do you agree with him?

  • Of the crime scene, Steve Moore said that “there was blood everywhere. There were foot prints, fingerprints, palm prints, hair, fluid samples, DNA of just one person: Rudy Guede”. Do you know that Rudy Guede left very little evidence for someone who has admitted been there and touching everything? Do you know that Guede left no hairs, no saliva, no sweat, no blood, and no other bodily fluid at the scene of the crime? Do you know that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito left plenty of DNA evidence and footprints all over the crime scene? Do you know that Steve Moore is telling falsehoods? Do you know that the motivation report clearly explains, without a minimal doubt, that more than one person was present during the murder of poor Meredith? (Please do read Judge Massei’s report)

  • Steve Moore says that the interrogation of Amanda Knox at the police station “was the most coercive interrogation I have ever seen admitted into a court in the last 20 years”. Do you know that the interrogation at the police station on the evening of November 5, 2007, before the arrival of the prosecutor, was just 1 hour and 45 minutes and that Amanda was treated like any other witness that had just been caught lying?

  • Have you ever visited Raffaele Sollecito or Rudy Guede in jail and are you planning to write a book on them as well?

  • We have just heard that the bound edition of your Amanda Knox book has been pushed by the conservative publisher at least as far away as next spring. Could this be cold feet on the part of your publisher, who may not want to be associated with the public relations campaign of a convicted killer? Or of a disaster in terms of predicted sales? Your agent Patrick King seems in a furious rush now to get the book out one way or another for Christmas .... who on earth would want to give a Christmas gift to a friend or loved one which is composed of bizarre sweet talk with a convicted murderess?

  • Are you even slightly aware of the deep hurt which you have caused to the Kercher family and Meredith’s many friends with your book? Do you know that some persons with great sympathy for them have words for you like “a pretty cruel heartless bastard”?

Finally, Mr. Girlanda - and we thank you for your patience in responding to these questions, which many concerned Americans and non-Americans have helped us compile - you have indicated that the proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the U.S.A.-Italy Foundation of which you are president.

If this budget injection is not used to make gifts of additional computers for more American prisoners in Italian jails beyond Amanda Knox, would you please consider applying part of the book proceeds to the new scholarship that the Perugia city council has established together with the University for Foreigners, in memory of Meredith Kercher?

It would be a wonderful gesture which would respond positively to those many Americans and non-Americans who are concerned that Amanda Knox’s conviction for the murder of Meredith should not be spinned into a money-grubbing show-business performance, where the only victim of this case - Meredith - is forgotten, and instead through some sort of twisted publicity campaign, one of the guilty parties is converted into a sympathetic Mother Theresa who escapes fully responding for her crimes.

The original of this letter in English and Italian has been emailed and sent in hard copy to your office in Rome. We greatly look forward to your various responses and will be happy to post them in Italian and English here. 


Very many thanks in advance from people all over the world who are seeking true justice for Meredith

Signed in the original for the Main Posters Of TJMK
Who include a number of American and Italian lawyers




Comments

I am speechless (almost) with admiration for this post. I don’t see how he can comfortably answer any of these questions, without making more of a fool of himself. I await his response, although the chance of that happening are slim to none. And that because the only answers he has to give, would have to be false. No way can he give a true account to any one of these questions. BTW, The photos are just great!! Very well done, regular posters.

Posted by capealadin on 11/10/10 at 10:26 AM | #

Right, Kermit. Why avv. Ghirga is still there?

Posted by ncountryside on 11/10/10 at 03:52 PM | #

Below the picture of Gubbio we can read: “…the historic small township of Gubbio north-east of Perugia which Mr Girlanda currently represents…”

Sorry, but no.

From the Constitution, art. 67.

“ Ogni membro del Parlamento rappresenta la Nazione ed esercita le sue funzioni senza vincolo di mandato. “

“Every member of Parliament represents the Nation and carries out her/his duties without a binding mandate. “

Mr. Girlanda represents now the entire Italy not only Gubbio Perugia.

An important detail in Italy.

Posted by ncountryside on 11/10/10 at 04:06 PM | #

Wow, great job posters! This is very well done. I especially liked the suggestion of donating the book profits to the scholarship in memory of Meredith Kercher.

The only reason anyone has heard of Amanda Knox is because of her crime against Meredith.

Girlanda is using the murderer’s notoriety to sell his book and promote her as some sort of “Madonna.” This is very sick.

Posted by bedelia on 11/10/10 at 04:52 PM | #

Interesting point ncountryside. What is the history of that? To make each politician more caring of and responsible for the whole?

It would seem to imply that anything that skirts the fringes of the law as Girlanda did diminishes the interests of the nation rather than just the folks back home.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/10/10 at 05:43 PM | #

Precisely.

Posted by ncountryside on 11/10/10 at 05:56 PM | #

Absolutely outstanding list of questions for Parliamentarian Girlanda.

Girlanda has unabashedly sullied his own as well as the reputation of his office, his peers, and the very legislative body whose privileges he ever so blatantly and wantonly defiled and abused.

Based on his shamelessly self described taxicab dreams about Amanda and his hoped for camping encounter on her romantic mountain, one has to conclude he was more motivated by aberrant distorted desires of his flesh rather than the reasoning powers of his mind.

Posted by bahia ben on 11/10/10 at 06:20 PM | #

Why do I think that Mr. Girlanda won’t respond to this letter?

Perhaps the letter should be published in an editorial page of Mr. Girlanda’s hometown paper…and other relevant Italian publications.

Posted by giustizia on 11/10/10 at 07:26 PM | #

Hi Giustizia. This and a lot more will happen when the Italian version goes out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/10/10 at 08:01 PM | #

This letter is just perfect! I guess he will not respond to it willingtly, but he probably will have to once the Italian version will circulate. Well, all the questions are very pertinent, and should generate a chorus!

You are right on target, thanks!

Posted by Patou on 11/10/10 at 08:44 PM | #

11/10/10

Speaking of Moore, has he had a religious split with his family? Does he see Knox as symbol of Scottish Presbyterians versus Catholic persecution? Pepperdine is Church of Christ. The Protestant-Catholic divide is still immense. Italy certainly represents the latter. What of Michelle Moore’s religious background versus Mr. Moore’s own?

Seems a top cop who takes job at a conservative Christian college thinks to align himself with the church’s power. What powerful body does he turn to after leaving FBI? but being Type A action addict he might not truly believe the church has any power. Maybe he resents the power the church has over conscience so he picks a quarrel and sues to derail their power over his inner life.

Maybe he’s got what he wanted, a lawsuit to busy himself and make money while thwarting a church symbol. He has a ‘background in law’, now use it, despite the fact the Scriptures beg believers to forego lawsuits against each other.

Denominational differences are very heated. Mrs. Moore saying God is so totally on the side of Amanda, this is naive and immature. God is on the side of truth, wherever it’s found. In an unrelated case, it made me sick to see some very sincere Christian believers speaking up for an obviously hardened liar and murderer who had been convicted by an American court. On TV these gentle loving people were appealing to his parole board asking for this con artist to be released. He had blinded their loving hearts.

Their faith is real, but their wisdom is imperfect. Thank goodness they were turned down. Wishful thinking is not truth. It recalls the saying that you can have 9 people in a room and 10 opinions. Make that, 9 true Christian believers in a room and 10 opinions, that’s life. It doesn’t mean any of those persons lacks saving faith. The intellects will differ. It’s not our minds that are saved.

I was once very narrowminded like Mrs. Moore and understand where she’s coming from. I trust we will wise up with age.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/10/10 at 11:26 PM | #

As Earthling eloquently wrote in her Oct. 31, 2010, post below for the sad third anniversary of Meredith Kercher’s death,

” Those who have never allowed themselves to feel any strong grief seem the most likely to heap scorn on those who have.

In particular, those who vociferously support the murderess in this sad case seem to me to be people who have long-buried pain and grief that they cannot acknowledge.

So they belittle the Kerchers’ pain and support those who caused it.”

Like Amanda Knox, the only grief that Steve Moore has shown has been for himself after he was fired from Pepperdine University for lobbying on behalf of a convicted killer.

Could Rocco Girlanda discover that he too may find himself grieving next should he lose his job?

Posted by True North on 11/11/10 at 01:50 AM | #

These are the questions that need to be asked of this person.

Unfortunately, I don’t think he will respond as he is on record as saying “I don’t care what they think”.

This is very disturbing coming from a politician.

Posted by Black Dog on 11/11/10 at 03:06 AM | #

Hi Black Dog. Asking them is more than half the battle. You know that. They are out there now in the public arena and zero answer can look a lot worse than ones that at least try to explain. Well over half the media could ask some of these same questions soon - he can stonewall us but can he stonewall all of them?

Also his political opponent will ask some of these questions in the election in the next six months. We have good reason to think, based on things we have heard from Italy, that this letter might be the thin edge of the wedge in terms of threatening Girlanda’s res-election and his anti-Italian “Italian-American Association”.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/11/10 at 04:44 AM | #

I find Girlanda’s approach bizarre and distasteful. It’s as if he is blind to the fact that he is very publicly displaying his teenage crush on a convicted murderer, revealing and reveling in his adolescent/midlife crisis erotic dreams about her.

As he is a middle aged, married man and father that’s creepy enough but since he is using his position of power as a springboard for publicity and one would assume influence, that’s just too much.

I really don’t understand what he thinks he will gain from this - since his dreams are not about to come true. Is this just a public love letter to Knox? A psychosis?

It’s very common, apparently, for convicted killers to get attention from members of the public who “fall in love” with them. I think even British child-killer Ian Huntley has a “girlfriend”. So Girlanda is not unusual. Just the way he is misusing his position to impress his crush is.

Posted by lilly on 11/11/10 at 08:26 AM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Some very difficult questions there, I’m sure you are right Peter, getting the questions out into the public arena is the hardest part: other people will stop and think and eventually these difficult questions will be asked of Mr. Girlanda in a time and place where he has to provide an answer.  As you indicate, it may not be today but, with an election in the offing….

One thing I think that is seriously lacking here is common sense.  Whether or not an action such as paying multiple visits to one prisoner collecting poems and conversations for a book is ethical for a politician is one thing; but common sense would tell you that the public perception of such action would not be positive, common sense would tell you that releasing a book a few weeks before the appeal hearings for the subject of the book is highly inappropriate.

To pick up on Kermit’s comment above, Knox’s legal team must surely be extremely frustrated with having to deal with everything going on outside of the legal sphere of her defence; it must be like trying to do a very important piece of intricate work whilst watching your children playing ball in a room lined with the family’s best china and glass out of the corner of your eye - probably a bad analogy, but it is the best description of how I think they must be feeling I can come up with. 

I wonder how much Knox is even aware of all the “goings on” - her view is probably filtered by those who visit her.  I’m not sure how much access she gets to the media etc, but it is clear from her lawyer’s words that she is worried about this book.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 11/11/10 at 10:47 AM | #

Innai, Rocco Girlanda as Fiorenza Sarzanini ?

Posted by ncountryside on 11/11/10 at 11:45 AM | #

Interesting comment ncountryside. Fiorenza Sarzanini was the tough and much respected journalist that put out a book late in 2008 on a prison diary Amanda Knox was keeping.

We posted on it here and if you click on the image you can read a Corriere excerpt in Google English.

It seemed an accurate reflection of Knox’s state of mind - it was her diary after all - and it is still out there in the bookstores and has sold in the tens of thousands.

However the book was considered undermining and a net negative to Knox’s defense, and it became the subject of a suit by the Knox team - which failed to suppress it.

Perhaps the Knox team should start start suing Rocco Girlanda? Put an end to his smirking anticipation of 26 years of publicity all for free?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/11/10 at 03:04 PM | #

You are right, Innai, every White Knight and sock puppet intervention has proved sooner or later to be a net negative. But then again, the entire campaign has so far done her no good.

It’s brought in zillions from secret supporters, we believe, and her parents may never ever need to hold serious day-jobs again. Nice for them.

But it has also painted knox into a hard-line corner which provides no relief for the Kerchers and wins her no points from the only people in the process who really matter: the prosecutors, the judges, and the juries.

And it seems to be psychologically taking a very big toll. Are Curt and Edda living very well while the Kerchers hurt and their incarcerated daughter is slowly driven nuts?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 11/11/10 at 06:12 PM | #

Corriere della Sera – Sette 11/11/2010 pages 56-57.
....
Lawyers of Italy-USA Foundation – secretary Corrado Daclon explained - requested to ‘The Sun’ of remove from their website Ms. Knox’s drawings….

Posted by ncountryside on 11/11/10 at 10:14 PM | #

Sig. Girlanda, I have one question for you, and I quote from the above:

“Have you ever read the 430-page Sentence Motivation Report (“Dispositivo Della Sentenza Di Condanna”) written by Judge Massei who presided over the Knox-Sollecito trial?”

Please, let us know. Yes or no. Thank you.

Posted by Earthling on 11/11/10 at 11:28 PM | #

It would be disappointing if indeed it is the case that Knox’s parents have gained “zillions from secret supporters”, to the extent that not only have they had their legal/PR/travel expenses met, but have gained financially to the extent they do not now have to work.  Given that they are still apparently maintaining the same lifestyle, on top of everything else, I did wonder whether they had any support from rich backers, even after the guilty verdict.  Although the fundraising events have continued, albeit with low levels of attendance, maybe this is to give the impression that the family are in genuine hardship/debt and still in need of support and donations.  How unfortunate and inappropriate if they have indeed profitted financially from all of this.

Posted by Lola on 11/12/10 at 09:53 PM | #


Make a comment

Smileys



Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry The Sad Case Of Sonia Marra #10: The Chief Suspect Sonia’s Boyfriend Now Certain To Stand Trial

Or to previous entry A Perugian Media Report (Neutral As Usual) In Italian On Knox’s Calunnia Hearing