Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Take On The Case For The Prosecution: #5 Defendants’ Claims Shown To Be A Mass Of Contradictions

Posted by The Machine



[Above: Perugia’s central police station]

Preamble

This series is a summary of the prosecution’s case in about ten parts, with a commentary on matters of key significance.

The material has been reordered so that evidence presented at several points in the trial can be described in one post here. Sources used are the many published reports, some transcripts made of the testimony and the mobile phone records of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

The first four posts were on the DNA evidence, the luminol-enhanced footprint evidence, and Raffaele Sollecito’s and Amanda Knox’s various conflicting alibis.

Now we look at the many contradictory statements of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito brought out by the prosecution.

The prosecution showed that not only are they contradicted by one another. They are contradicted by telephone and computer records, by closed-circuit TV footage, and by the corroborated testimony of several witnesses.

One question that Judge Massei and Judge Cristiana and the six members of the jury will now be asking themselves is: if Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent and had nothing to hide, why did they lie so repeatedly?

Knox’s and Sollecito’s lawyers have had the unenviable task of trying to explain all their contradictions away.

Sollecito’s lawyers have argued that he lied out of confusion and fear. Knox’s lawyers have argued that she dramatically changed her version of events because she was hit and mistreated by the police on 5 November 2007.  Neither of these claims stood up to close scrutiny.

And the prosecution made it overwhelmingly apparent to the judges and the jury that Knox and Sollecito each lied deliberately and repeatedly to various people even before they were suspects and even before Knox was questioned on 5 November.

It was made intensely obvious that Knox and Sollecito’s versions of what they did on 1 November had very little in common with each other, especially in that part of the evening when they both claim they couldn’t remember very much because they were suffering from cannabis-induced amnesia.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that shows that cannabis can cause such dramatic amnesia. Skunk cannabis can cause extreme psychotic episodes and murders have occurred as a result. Long term use of cannabis can affect short-term memory and users might have difficulty recalling a telephone number. But wipe out whole chunks of an evening from anyone’s memory banks? The proof simply isn’t there.

1-A) The afternoon of 1 November 2007 according to Raffaele Sollecito

Sollecito told investigators that Knox and he had left the cottage on Via della Pergola at 6.00pm and that they went for a walk downtown. They passed through Piazza Grimana, Piazza Morlacchi and the main fountain in Corso Vannucci.

1-B) The afternoon of 1 November 2007 according to Amanda Knox

Knox told investigators it was an hour earlier at 5.00pm and that they went straight to Sollecito’s apartment.

2-A) The evening of 1 November 2007 according to Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito first claimed in an interview with Kate Mansey from the Sunday Mirror that he and Amanda Knox were at a friend’s party on the night of the murder.

Sollecito said that he downloaded and watched the film Amelie during the night. However, computer expert Mr Trotta said that the film had actually been watched at around 6.30 pm.

On 5 November Sollecito told police that Knox went to meet friends at Le Chic at around 9pm and that she didn’t return until about 1am:

“At 9pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner.”

Sollecito claimed that he had spoken to his father at 11pm. Phone records show that there was no telephone conversation at this time. Sollecito’s father had called him a couple of hours earlier at 8.40pm.

Sollecito claimed that he was alone and surfing the Internet from 11pm to 1am. No technical evidence of this was introduced. computer specialists have testified that his computer was not used for an eight-hour period on the night of Meredith’s murder

The Kercher’s lawyer, Franco Maresca, pointed out that credible witnesses had really shattered all of Sollecito’s alibi for the night of the murder.

2-B) The evening of 1 November according to Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox told the police that she hadn’t replied to Diya Lumumba’s text message. The police knew full well that this wasn’t true because they already had her mobile phone records that proved that she had texted him.

“After that [finding out she wasn’t required at Le Chic] I believe we relaxed in his room together, perhaps I checked my email.” But no internet activity at all was proven at Sollecito’s apartment beyond the early evening.

“One thing I do remember is that I took a shower with Raffaele and this might explain how we passed the time. In truth, I do not remember exactly what day it was, but I do remember that we had a shower and we washed ourselves for a long time. He cleaned my ears, he dried and combed my hair.”

But Sollecito made no mention of taking a shower with Amanda Knox on the night of the murder.

In Amanda Knox’s handwritten note to the police she claimed that she and Sollecito ate around 11.00pm:

“One of the things I am sure that definitely happened the night on which Meredith was murdered was that Raffaele and I ate fairly late, I think around 11 in the evening”

But Knox testified at the trial that she and Sollecito ate around 9.30pm.  “After we ate Raffaele washed the dishes but the pipes under his sink broke and water flooded the floor.”

3) The early hours of 2 November

Both Knox and Sollecito claim that they woke up late on 2 November. However, their mobile phone records show the mobiles were turned on at approximately 6.02am. Sollecito also used his computer at 5.32am. The Italian Supreme Court remarked that his night must have been “sleepless” to say the least.

4) The afternoon of 2 November

At 1208pm, Amanda Knox called Filomena and said she was worried about the front door being open and blood stains in the small bathroom. Knox claims that she made this call from Sollecito’s apartment.

However, in his prison diary, Raffaele describes the same conversation as taking place at the cottage.

Knox claimed that when she called Meredith’s Italian phone it “just kept ringing, no answer”.

Her mobile phone records show this call lasted just three seconds, and the call to the UK phone lasted just four seconds. (Meredith’s WeAnswer Call service, which prides itself on how quickly it answers its customers’ calls, boasts that their average speed-of-answer is 5.5 seconds. There were no messages left.)

At 12.34pm Amanda and Filomena again spoke on their phones. Filomena said, “We spoke to each other for the third time and she told me that the window in my room was broken and that my room was in a mess. At this point I asked her to call the police and she told me that she already had.”

The prosecution introduced records to show that Knox and Sollecito didn’t actually call the police until 12.51pm.

In her email to friends in Seattle on 4 November, Amanda Knox says she called Meredith’s phones after speaking to Filomena. Knox’s mobile phone records prove that this was untrue.

In the email, Amanda also claims that she called Filomena back three quarters of an hour later – after Raffaele finished calling the police at 12:55pm. But cellphone records show that Knox never ever called Filomena back at all.

Sollecito and Knox both claimed they had called the police before the postal police had turned up at the cottage and were waiting for them. Sollecito later admitted that this was not true, and that he had lied because he had believed Amanda Knox’s version of what had happened.

He said he went outside “to see if I could climb up to Meredith’s window” but could not. “I tried to force the door but couldn’t, and at that point I decided to call my sister for advice because she is a Carabinieri officer. She told me to dial 112 (the Italian emergency number) but at that moment the postal police arrived.

He added: “In my former statement I told you a load of rubbish because I believed Amanda’s version of what happened and did not think about the inconsistencies.” (The Times, 7 November, 2007).

The CCTV cameras in the car park record the arrival of the postal police at 12.25pm which corroborates Sollecito’s admission that he had spoken rubbish.

Knox’s email to friends in Seattle describes the decision to call the police as something implemented by herself and Sollecito, after she had tried to see through Meredith’s window, and after Raffaele had tried to break down Meredith’s door.

Knox’s mobile phone records show that she called her mother at 12:47pm, but she makes no mention of this call in her email. (This call was very extensively analysed by fellow poster Finn MacCool and he showed a fascinating progression in both Amanda’s and her mother’s recollection of that call.) 

Edda Mellas claims that she told Amanda to hang up and call the police – but Amanda made no mention of this advice from her mother in describing their decision to call the police.

Amanda Knox testified that she couldn’t even remember phoning her mother, which will be very difficult for the court to believe. Phoning her mother when it is well after midnight in Seattle to tell her mother that she thought somebody had broken into her home and that her housemate was missing seems an unlikely thing to forget.

Amanda Knox told the postal police that Meredith always kept her door locked. Filomena strongly disagreed with her, and told the postal police the opposite was true.

The prosecution also made it obvious to the court that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, like Rudy Guede, changed their stories to fit new facts as they became known:

When Sollecito was confronted with the mobile phone records on 5 November, he immediately admitted that they hadn’t called 112 before the postal police arrived.

After initially denying it, Knox readily admitted that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed when she found out that Sollecito had stopped providing her with an alibi.

Despite this changing of their stories to take into account the latest known facts, Knox’s and Sollecito’s versions still contained numerous contradictions. Sollecito’s final alibi contains several apparent lies, and Amanda Knox accused Diya Lumumba of killing Meredith while making no mention of Rudy Guede. 

In Conclusion

The reasons Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers have given for them lying - namely false memories, confusion and fear – seem very unlikely to fly with the court.

Repeated evidence was introduced to show that Meredith’s other flatmates and friends all behaved radically differently, and told what were obvious truths that matched up repeatedly and resulted in not a single major contradiction. All were checked out in this careful fashion and then allowed to go on their way.

Only the defendants’ claims failed to coincide or match with everything else.

Again, and again, and again.




Comments

again, excellent analysis, Machine. this points out all too clearly why the defense is trying to hang onto the possibility of contaminated evidence, insufficient DNA and “independent” analysis. the attitude, behavior and continuous lying of their clients makes the glaringly obvious conclusion all too unavoidable.

Posted by mojo on 10/12/09 at 06:21 AM | #

Well done to The Machine for a well constructed overview.

If AK and RS are found guilty, then it will be interesting to see what arguments they put forward to the court to consider leniency before sentencing. Perhaps they may be too arrogant to ask. I suppose they will probably appeal. (I wonder if they can do both or does the former jeopordise the latter?).

Does anyone have any views on why Rudy did not originally turn State’s Witness and negotiate a lessor sentence? If the State didn’t need him for their case against AK and RS, then the State was obviously very sure that the evidence that they have is more than enough to secure conviction. (Indeed it seems as if the evidence is overwhelming, if one studies second-hand what happened in court.)

Alas, the follies of youth. Devastating in this case. So many many lives destroyed.

Posted by Terence on 10/12/09 at 11:38 AM | #

It’s almost as if the 3 of them are engaged in a Mexican standoff with no-one wanting to incriminate another for fear of revealing their own part in the crime. The court’s decision this w/e not to allow further analysis of the dna evidence does appear to bode ill for AK and RS.

They have proclaimed their malefactions;
For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.”
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2.2

“The devil hath power
To assume a pleasing shape.”
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 2.2

Posted by pensky on 10/12/09 at 12:18 PM | #

10/12/09

Great shot of Perugia police station!

The Machine lines it up. Quite a task, to follow the crooked trail of AK and RS. Very tricky case, thanks.

Contradictions and lies, that’s all Amanda and Sollecito have. She wrote, “...lies are all I have to be afraid of.” Edit out the last 4 words, and you get the truth.

Strange AK and RS wouldn’t have concocted a careful alibi when they were together after the crime. They seem smart enough to have done so. They had too much else to do, like roll-up-your-sleeves labor, cleaning, filling the washing machine, mopping, moving things, watching their footsteps, gagging at blood, rinsing shoes in the bidet, double-checking they hadn’t left evidence, stepping around Meredith’s body. They cleaned and were in the bathroom a long time, but I doubt they showered there. Maybe quarrels erupted with both of them trying to clean and restore order to Amanda’s apartment, knowing it was a life or death situation. Raffaele was in a strange apartment working together for the first time, out of his depth in many ways, not only with newfound girlfriend but on such an ugly project. Fear alone drove them on.

Time ran out. Under police interrogation, they wandered down liars’ lane alone rather than with an unbreakable story or an airtight alibi. That’s the destructive power of stress on the intellect. Blame it on the hash and booze? As if…


Maybe Amanda left Raf’s place strolling for Le Chic the evening of Nov. 1 in a perverse reaction. Patrick had just told her she wasn’t wanted there. So of course she had to go. The rebellious will leap into a fire to spite anyone telling them NOT to. It’s foolish to educate a rebel.

She’s socially ADHD, too. She probably needed more action after a quiet morning with Sollecito. I can see him washing dishes and chilling at his apartment, but she was restless.


Amanda makes a huge song and dance about her SHOWERS. “Out, out, damn spot.” I’m sure she and Raf had a lovewash several times while knowing each other, complete with ear washing, but NOT when she says they did. It does ring true, the tenderness new lovers enjoy, first explorations of each other’s body. She uses that truth to convince, then lies about the time.

Aside: (those ears again, another thing she uses to distract. She was possibly down on the floor in Meredith’s room with a lamp looking for a lost earring post. She wants to trivialize the prosecution’s blood evidence with talk of a bleeding ear. Van Gogh madness. Maybe Meredith did pull her earrings. Maybe the earrings mean nothing.

Whatever direction she points to, go the opposite. Just like the cartwheels, look at my crotch, the splits, look at my crotch, stay away from my head, it’s ready to explode under police pressure.)

Oh, yes, Amanda and Raf showered on Nov. 1, but not till after their dirty work was done. Whatever she harps on, that’s where the biggest lie is.

Video of the 2 lovebirds outside the cottage when police arrived, shows Raffaele caressing Amanda gently. He’s wearing a coat and a golden-yellow winter scarf. It’s wrapped tightly around his neck. Fashion, warmth, or not wanting to think of necks for awhile?

He was probably whispering to his little peach, “Don’t worry, I’ll get you out of this.” In reviewing the video after months of evidence, Amanda’s face and eyes show more fear and anxiety than I first realized.

Amanda’s not as clever as she thought. “Stupid liar” sums it up, she knows it. That’s what rankles. That’s why pad and pencil had to come out immediately after she was jailed. She was determined to replace a bad lie with a more plausible one. Big mistake on her part (and a huge victory for the truth). This written mess was admitted to court, unlike her verbal admissions done without lawyer.

If she’d kept silent, she might walk. No, she wanted to convince the police of “her truth”,  hubris. She didn’t realize she still wasn’t thinking straight. A natural born liar can’t understand that the truth has a thousand unseen nuts and bolts. That’s what makes it sturdy.

I ponder the mushroom piece found in Meredith’s throat, the fried mushrooms Amanda & Raffaele ate Nov. 1 at the cottage before all heck broke loose that night. The Last Supper. Amanda said the first thing she wanted to eat when she got out from behind bars, was “tagliatelle with mushrooms, but not ossa buco, because I’m a vegetarian.” Tagliatelle is a flat pasta noodle, from the word meaning, “to cut”.

Raffaele and Amanda just don’t do well on All Saints Day.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/12/09 at 02:40 PM | #

Riddikulus Amanda did not TEXT as usual but rather used the phone, which we all know we don’t answer - but send a text, you usually get your reply.

Great work, Machine. I appreciate this.

Hopeful - RS caressing scene reminded me of a baboon stroking an arm without feelings of any tenderness, just a nervousness action.  Animals do it all the time.

Posted by Professor Snape on 10/13/09 at 05:59 AM | #

That is so brilliant The Machine. Well written, lucid and illuminating. Thank you for your painstaking efforts.

Posted by pensky on 10/13/09 at 08:36 AM | #

Thank you The Machine.

Yet another well-constructed, clearly laid out piece that shows the defense DNA contamination theories - even if they were plausible, but which aren’t - cannot erase the mountain of lies, inconsistencies, and contradictions. The defense tries to concentrate on DNA in a bid to distract the jury, but I think they seriously underestimate the jury & people’s ability to remember what AK & RS have said, and the several lies they’ve told - and which you have succinctly summed up here. The prosecution has done an excellent job at showing the court how many times AK & RS have lied - this won’t be forgotten.

May justice be done soon so that the Kercher family can at least lay this aspect of it to rest. As to their loss - that beautiful innocent daughter which was so brutally murdered, and so suddenly and unjustly taken away from them - that grief can never be laid to rest, nor could any words describe it.

My thoughts are with the Kerchers, and I am convinced that the prosecution has done everything possible to see to it that justice is done. I am equally certain that the Italian Justice System will soon do the same.

Posted by Scooby on 10/13/09 at 02:24 PM | #

10/14/09

Lies to the judge, Judge Judy would not approve! Judge Mathis and Judge Joe Brown would both see through Amanda’s and Raffaele’s fog of fib. “I don’t remember that call.”

Edda Mellas has been a truth teller, despite the circumstances. She told the truth about Amanda’s first call to her in the wee hours, a call full of details about a door open, feces in the toilet, an intruder. “Call the police!” says frantic mom. Amanda says, “I don’t remember that call.”

Amanda, you are the White Rabbit and the March Hare and the Mat Hatter all in one. And the grinning Cheshire Cat. 

I feel sorry for Vanessa, Raffaele’s sister, maybe facing a conflict of loyalties between her brother’s freedom and what she knows. The high price of truth. A policeman’s nightmare.

Curt Knox, lucky he didn’t have inside info for the witness stand, unless his prison visits yielded sad truth. I doubt it, probably just lies and more lies.

A poster explained that a criminal will continue to withhold the truth as a power play, to save face, to fox people in hopes of repairing a ruined reputation.

Raffaele and Amanda lean on a spider’s web.

On PMF they mention Antony & Cleopatra. I can see Liz Taylor’s blue eyes playing queen of Egypt. A son of Italy embroiled in the wiles of a foreign female, sounds familiar.

Lies, conflicting testimony, imprecision of clocks, time zones, Tower of Babel language issues. An avalanche of confusion, that’s the defense.

Now it’s time for Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Amanda’s lies won’t fool the judge and jurors. It will melt like snow in the sun.

“I don’t remember that call.” It’s buried in the Sea of Truth, but not the sea of forgetfulness. The phone records revealed it. oooomph, there it is. It’s amazing what will wash up on the shore, and when. Just ask Tom Capano, and Scott Peterson.

Posted by Hopeful on 10/14/09 at 05:43 PM | #


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Or to previous entry Moved By Italian Justice: Doing The Very Best It Can For Meredith And Her Poor Family