Thursday, April 07, 2011

Sollecito Family Trial: On The Component About Their Alleged Attempt At Political Interference

Posted by Jools

Almost nothing is showing up in the English language media on the court case Raffaele Solecito’s family are facing for allegedly trying to throw the murder investigation.

In the Italian media (as so often in this case) the reporting on this is franker, fuller, and on the whole way more honest. I previously posted articles that focussed mainly on the Telenorba TV video component of the trial.

This now is a translation of a June 2008 writeup of official wiretaps on a police association website of the political-influence component of the trial. The police association would be interested because it was some of their members allegedly being impugned. 

Perugia Flying Squad: other interceptions published.

The role of Carabinieri lieutenant, Vanessa Sollecito, becomes stronger from the latest interceptions published by the daily newspaper LIBERO”¦


The relatives are accused of manipulating the investigation. The sister a lieutenant: “I break a finger and I move to the civilian personnel this is how I’ll get him out”

Murder in Perugia. This is the sister of Raffale Sollecito, the student from Giovinazzo charged with the murder of the young English girl Meredith Kercher, who in a telephone call to her father Francesco tells him that she is prepared to break a finger just to transition into a civilian role in the carabinieri and succeed like this to pursue an “illicit” scheme to get her little brother out of prison and help him to get out of this sh**”¦ country.

Vanessa Sollecito is 31 years old and she is a lieutenant of the Carabinieri armed forces in the Lazio Region. She too, like her father and the rest of the relatives (uncle/aunt, a brother in law, cousins, dad’s second wife), try to gain favors from well known “excellent” people in order to exonerate Raffy and to remove the “real culprits”. These (“real culprits”) would be the police officers that have placed him under investigation and the magistrates who don’t want to know about freeing him.

The Sollecito “clan” (this is how who’s investigating the murder of Via Della Pergola defines Raffaele’s family) is written in the logbook register on the occasion of a second line of police investigation on the murder of November 2 last. The alleged offences are: defamation, invasion of privacy, and publication of arbitrary acts of a criminal case.

The time is 18:20 hours March 3 last [2008] when Vanessa phones her father (a well-known cardiologist [sic] in Puglia) and announces: “I’ve met a man, he is from the penitentiary police who works at the Ministry of Justice. He says that a union leader has explained to him that there is one way for transitioning into the carabinieri civilian staff role, although it is not very legal. And that is for me to break a finger, if things were to go down badly for Raffy, in order to lose the (fit to serve) eligibility” and move to the authority in control of civil service roles.

Francesco Sollecito gets very angry. Not about his daughter breaking a finger, but because he knows that his phone is being intercepted, and screaming he says: “You mustn’t speak on this phone, it is intercepted.” And Vanessa says: “Yours might be intercepted, but not mine!”

Two weeks later, it’s the morning of March 17 - at 10:59, Vanessa tries to phone the “˜Idv’ party - Senator Domenico Formisano - in order to go to meet him. And conveys to her father “He is our friend. He asked me a favor for a young man who must stay in Rome. He’ll be in his office Wednesday at 12:30, I hope to please him so afterwards I make use of the favor owed and will help Raffaele. He is the number two to Di Pietro.”

It’s [a date in] May at 10:23 and aunt Sara Achille (wife of Francesco Sollecito’s brother, Giuseppe) says: “Listen Francesco, Senator Domenico Nania told me to call him to arrange for a meeting in Rome. You know, it’s always better to have a nice… And Sara wanted to involve in the affair even the honorable Renato Schifani.”

Three days before, at four in the afternoon, Vanessa also spoke to her father in a “sarcastic” tone: “That lot are still going to take the foot prints”¦ Colonel De Fulvio, who is the one from RiS, says that they are still at this point”¦ and he’s offered himself to meet up with lawyer Bongiorno in terms of friendship, to see the scientific police material”¦”

[Her father Francesco] Sollecito interrupts her: “About these things you must not speak on this telephone, THIS ONE IS BEING MONITORED! Call me later.”

Uncle Giuseppe Sollecito, on July 30, utters offensive phrases toward the magistrates in Perugia because they haven’t gone in-depth into investigating the trail of the junkie found covered in blood near the victim’s house the day of the murder… “and this is just on purpose to keep Raffaele in prison”. His brother Francesco responds: “I’ll skin them alive those… and they’ll hear from me as well.”

Raffaele’s stepmother Mara Papagni, puts her complete trust in lawyer Giulia Bongiorno: That one “Ms Thirtyballs” will fix everyone”¦ She knows how to behave on certain occasions.

The strategy of Sollecito’s relatives appears to be clear in other wiretappings: they want to put pressure on the judges of the Supreme Court of Cassation so that they’ll agree to accept the appeal presented by the defenders of the young man, they prefer that some investigators whom they regard as inconvenient be removed from the investigation.

In their targets above all are Commissioner Monica Napoleoni, head of the [Perugia] Homicide Section, and Giacinto Profazio, head of the Flying Squad. In their phone calls, the Sollecitos call them bastards, pigs, sons of whores. And they all agree: “We must find someone to intervene at any rate. As written in the logbooks: Its necessary to stop police from doing other vileness.”

The “clan” accuses them of falsifying evidence to frame Raffy. And for this reason they contact journalists and television networks to supply documents and images for broadcasting (such as those depicting the tortured body of poor Mez after the murder and aired by a local television in Puglia).

They wanted to demonstrate that the scientific police played dirty to frame Raffaele.  Now the Sollecitos’ and their respective wives are under investigation.


The next hearing in this trial in Perugia is on 29 April. Altogether in the dock are five Sollecitos and two media managers.

1) Father: Francesco Sollecito
2) Stepmother: Mara Papagni
3) Sister: Vanessa Sollecito
4) Uncle: Giuseppe Sollecito
5)  Aunt: Sara Achille
6) ‘Telenorba’ TV director
7) “Panorama’ magazine editor

The Kercher family are a civil party to the trial as it concerns in part the desecration of Meredith on TV. Civil damages could be awarded if the defendants are found guilty.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/07/11 at 06:44 PM | #

As I previously noted, I try not to hate anyone. But if the trial shows that these four members of Sollecito’s family did indeed traduce the memory of Meredith with an appalling and self-serving act, I shall hate them forever.

Posted by Janus on 04/07/11 at 07:26 PM | #

Just a question, I believe that I read somewhere, very long ago that Vanessa was the first female pilot in the Italian air force, is this true?

Posted by John on 04/07/11 at 08:43 PM | #

Yes. A “first pilot” of some kind for sure. The folks on PMF discussed this a few days ago. We’ll gather what we can and have it up here. Thanks John.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/07/11 at 09:52 PM | #

Hi Jools,

Thank you for your excellent translation and post outlining the details pertaining to the Sollecito family’s alleged attempt to interfere in Meredith Kercher’s murder investigation.

Many followers of this case are aware of Raffaele Sollecito’s father, Francesco who obtained the forensic video and the Italian TV station Telenorba which aired it. However, few of us know about the details surrounding Raffaele’s sister, Vanessa’s termination from her Carabinieri job.

Whether in Italian or English, the exposure of these developments directly related to Meredith Kercher’s murder, furthers the heavy weight of evidence against Raffaele Sollecito who was convicted in her murder.

Posted by True North on 04/07/11 at 09:57 PM | #

Vanessa doesn’t come across as a very bright person. If she wouldn’t have insisted discussing her scheme on the (monitored) phone, they wouldn’t be in so much trouble right now. She should have known better.

Posted by Nell on 04/08/11 at 01:00 AM | #

Email from Jools to tell us that there is no hard evidence that Vanessa was a pilot, and the misunderstanding probable comes from a very poor Google translation by Candace Dempsey or a similar groupie of an interview Vanessa gave to a Carabinieri magazine summer 2010.

Here is Jools’ accurate translation:

Q) Before, you used to be an officer serving with the Air Force, passed through a competitive entrance examination to the Carabinieri armed force. What differences (between forces) have you found?

A) I did pass a regular entrance exam and so I became an officer pilot of the Academy in regular classes. Afterwards I decided to do the entrance exam for the Carabinieri Armed Force. I have about 10 years of active service rendered in the Italian Armed Forces. The Air Force, which was chronologically established last in comparison to the other forces, is also more open-minded. This same flexibility I have not found in the Carabinieri Force. Perhaps also because of the different tasks and functions that distinguish both, it requires a greater strength for action and intervention…

Jools thinks she maybe never actually piloted any aircraft at all. It seems from some research that she was a petty officer in the Italian Air Force and took some regular course that the Academy probably encourages its officers to take, passing the regular classes becoming an officer pilot. That doesn’t mean that she actually did pilot any aircraft and certainly doesn’t mean, nor does she claim, that she was the “first female pilot” in any force.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 04/08/11 at 05:03 AM | #

Nell,I agree - Doctor Sollecito has two stupid kids. Someone in the police force should know better. Not to mention her father warning her TWICE on recorded calls and I bet a dozen times in person! Then there is his son, who took away Amanda’s alibi quickly landing them both in the hot seat!

Posted by Giselle on 04/08/11 at 08:00 AM | #

@Nell and @ Giselle,

Both of you sound to me like crime story readers. For me it is very ok to live in a world, where bad people are not bright.
The ¨Sollecito language¨is very agressive and shines a light on RS´s early circumstances. It might sound esoteric, but to me the Sollecito family tries to get in a sort of swing with RS, getting themselves in a lower position, together with the boy. Maybe Lilly might step in and give some thoughts about this.

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/08/11 at 10:26 AM | #

No, no swing.
A vortex in a drain.

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/08/11 at 10:33 AM | #

Hi Helder

No, I dont indulge in reading crime stories. It not that bad people are not bright - its the irony that the father, Dr. Sollecito (I assume an intelligent man given his profession and his reputation in his field) has ended up with two stupid kids; his son committed a heinous crime for no reason and was stupid in his attempt to cover his a** and shift the blame (not only in withdrawing his alibi, but accepting that Meredith’s DNA would be on his kitchen knife) - until his daddy’s lawyers came to help (since then he pretty much keeps his mouth shut). Then there is his daughter who cannot follow simple instructions.

Dont get me wrong - its great that they are not intelligent - I was merely smirking at the thought of the father’s frustration with them.

Posted by Giselle on 04/08/11 at 11:25 AM | #


You sound reasonable . . . . .
You can´t be bad 😉

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/08/11 at 11:46 AM | #

I wouldnt be too sure about that Helder!

Posted by Giselle on 04/08/11 at 12:46 PM | #

Maybe I drive too far off topic now, but people in medical professions (we do all need them as the garbage man) are not the intellectuals pur sang. (no sarcasm intended!)

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/08/11 at 02:41 PM | #

Vannessa’s answer to her father that his phone might be intercepted, but not hers, is simply stupid. If her father’s phone is intercepted and she practically acknowledges that even if that were the case, it wouldn’t matter, because hers is not. Simply stupid. I had to read that dialog twice to understand she actually said that - being a carabinieri police officer!

As Giselle already pointed out, Raffaele’s acts speak for themselves. He tried to shift the blame to Amanda alone and by withdrawing her alibi, he also withdrew his and made him look bad. Since then he has never spoken again to clarify the circumstances about that fateful night. An innocent person certainly would.

Vanessa and Raffaele should have known better. I am not sure if it is ignorance or arrogance or maybe both.

Doctor Sollecito knew that his phone was intercepted and that this conversation would be recorded. He could foresee the consequences talking over the phone (his phone) about the subject. Vanessa obviously did not. She supposedly should have known more about the interception of calls and how it works compared to her father - garbage man in your mind.

Posted by Nell on 04/09/11 at 02:57 AM | #

This tells me that at heart the Sollicito Family believe that Raphael Sollicito is guilty. Why else try to have various judges removed? This then is another strike against Knox and the more desperate the case the louder Seattle will scream

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 04/09/11 at 08:41 AM | #


I know my english is bad. I meant to say: doctors in general are like garbage men in general, we all need them. No more, no less. I´ve met doctors, which were fine intellectuals and also intelligent garbage men. Just my observation.

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/09/11 at 03:27 PM | #

@ Nell

“Vanessa and Raffaele should have known better. I am not sure if it is ignorance or arrogance or maybe both.”

It’s both.

They’re either ignarrogant or arrignorant whichever comes first.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 04/09/11 at 04:06 PM | #

@Nell: I didn’t understand that conversation either, but I think you’re right! Oh the stupid!

What I find ironic is that if the FOA were right that Italy was this horribly corrupt place, then the Sollecitos would have succeeded in derailing the investigation, and Raff would be out of prison.

The fact that instead, the Sollecitos are being prosecuted for interference is, to my mind, the greatest proof that Italy is NOT the corrupt cesspool the FOA claims.

Thank God it isn’t! For Meredith’s sake, especially.

Posted by Earthling on 04/09/11 at 08:24 PM | #

Earthling, even if Italy were corrupt - and no doubt any country in the world has some level of corruption - the FOA offer no reason why so many judges, scientists and police officers should get involved in such a large scale conspiracy to frame some youngsters. None of the involved were politically, financially or otherwise significant (purely objective and no offense to the memory of the victim intended).

Then comes the claim that Mignini was trying to save his career. Ok. This still fails to explain why everyone else put their necks on the line to help this prosecutor get ahead. The whole thing is an oxymoron! It makes no sense!

Its like their contamination cries. Fair point I say- but contamination needs to be proven by the defense. I have heard no mention of where the defense suggest contamination occurred? (In official documents of course and not Moore’s high-school power point presentation).

The headlines shout “contamination” & “corruption” - but there is no debt to these titles. Never a valid analysis, never a logical argument.

Posted by Giselle on 04/09/11 at 10:04 PM | #

From my earlier comment:

¨Maybe Lilly might step in and give some thoughts about this¨

I do appreciate Lilly´s comments, but I had Hopeful in mind, when I asked for thoughts.

Whatever may be, I´m interested in the subject.

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/11/11 at 09:17 PM | #


@Helder Licht,

It’s nice of you to ask my thoughts on Sollecito family, I fear I may disappoint.

You said you see Sollecito family as wanting to lower themselves to Raffaele’s level, to get in a swing with him and swing lower, or go down the drain in a vortex with him, getting sucked lower. This has been the outcome, whether they desired it or not I can’t say. They certainly have ALLOWED Raffaele’s disaster to trigger their worst instincts in trying to protect him. Whether they wanted to descend to this dog eat dog level driven by some deep psychological need to dabble with the squalid affairs of the lower classes, or crime in all its horror, I don’t know. I see your point that some people may secretly want to live a life on the seamy side despite years of living and working in a higher social bracket. Oh, yes, it happens. However, it does seem odd that a medical doctor (and I agree with you, Helder Licht, some doctors are intellectuals and others are just worker bees trying to get rich, rolling up their sleeves and striving and not devoted to ideals in the least) I was saying, it seems odd that a medical doctor would want to tangle with the law, risk lawsuits to eat up his hard earned money, and become a shadowy figure trying to bribe and cajole lawmakers or people in sensitive positions to show favoritism to his son. Maybe this is common in Italy and he knows it is the only way to get justice. Vanessa’s comment about getting out of this “sh@#!*” country makes it sound like they have generalized about Italian justice and condemned the entire system, but I think this is a response to their great fear of seeing Raffaele locked up for 25 years or even 15. They have panicked.

It certainly seems odd that a lieutenant in the Carabinieri would want to fight against her former comrades.  Sollecitos justify themselves by thinking even illegal activity is worth it to save Raffaele and they have lost their good judgment. They needed to remain bastions of rectitude and discretion and to work carefully within the system, doing only good and being patient. These virtues would have bought more favors than money, in the long run. I’m sorry they feel so threatened and frightened, it’s strictly their son who has caused this, not a fanatical plot against him by Perugian police. They may see it that way. They seem paranoid in the extreme, and are listening to bad counsel. They need to be attending mass constantly, pouring out offerings and tithes to the Church, begging the priests for prayer, and laying their needs before God, the judge of all. He can move the hands of the king. Fear has taken hold of them and it is not a good leader.

They overplayed their hand, overreached their rightful authority, and the wiretap phone calls show a very aggressive campaign on their part to rig the system based on their suspicions against people, even at Supreme Court level. Their hatred for Monica Napoleoni and Profazio of Flying Squad, wild surmises that wrong is being done in the investigation on purpose to spite Raffaele perhaps because of class distinctions, jealousy of a doctor’s son, this kind of paranoia may have some slight base in fact from intimate knowledge they have of personalities in Perugia but it seems closer to the truth that they are desperate and are seeing a devil behind every bush.

I’m afraid my thoughts may disappoint. The Sollecito family is a very unusual family to me and I have no clue what they are really like as people. In fact, I cannot say half of what I truly believe because it might be too harsh. Luckily we don’t have to say everything we think.

Mara the new blonde wife seems particularly foolish as revealed by her outburst in court after the verdict, and now she is placing too much trust in Biongiorno who has done nothing for Raffaele’s defense in my opinion. Sollecitos are going with the philosophy “you get what you pay for”. Bongiorno has a big price tag. But there’s such a thing as “throwing good money after bad”. I guess Sollecitos know Italian reaction to high priced attorneys and big names, so they are wagering huge sums on Bongiorno. Maybe she has done more for Raf’s defense than I understand. In some ways her hands were tied with the dual defense. It’s not that she’s not a great lawyer, but maybe not a good “fit” for Raffaele or this case.

Posted by Hopeful on 04/12/11 at 01:06 AM | #

@ Hopeful,

I am greatful for your answer/comment and it is not disappointing at all. There are a lot finesses to those mechanisms and it is still not clear, how things work for them.

You are a wise person and just reminded me not to say and write everything I think . . . . .

Posted by Helder Licht on 04/12/11 at 09:14 AM | #

Raffaele might have overcome his drug addiction and his classic ´weakling framed by´ position. His family setting might have been resetted eventually . . . . He might have overcome the strange ambivalent family support.

Posted by Helder Licht on 06/10/11 at 10:43 AM | #
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