Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Prospects In Favor Of A Possible Fugitive Amanda Knox Take Yet Another Hit

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above and at bottom: Panama, where the fugitive Robert Lady was setting himself up to be untouchable]

The former CIA operative Robert Seldon Lady is on the lam from Italian law.

He is now a worldwide fugitive - with fewer governments stepping forward with offers for him than for the other famous fugitive Edward Snowden. We posted briefly on the case here and here and two weeks ago Barbie Nadeau posted a good update here.

Robert Lady was the leader of the team that kidnapped the supposed Egyptian radical Abu Omar in Milan in 2003. Then he escorted Abu Omar to Egypt and he was apparently present for some months while Abu Omar was tortured.

The Milan court put online in English this 210-page summary of the case against Robert Lady and another 18 Americans who were involved. Amazing reading. What absolute buffoons. In total 25 Americans and 9 Italians were accused, though not all were put on trial, and as Barbie Nadeau explains, all of the others received Italian leniency.

Robert Lady didnt, though, and after he was convicted in absentia in Milan he took off out of the United States for central America. The CIA might have continued to help him there, though there were signs that the State Department and Rome Embassy, who have many other important dealings with Italy, were pretty ticked.

One CIA operative even sued State for diplomatic immunity (none of them were granted it).

When it became known that Robert Lady was living in Panama (a country without an extradition treaty with Italy) and close to citizenship, Italy through Interpol issued a worldwide arrest warrant, and requested that Panama round him up.

A few days ago, Robert Lady sought to move to the next country, Costa Rica, and was briefly detained.

What happened next is very murky. But it seems that Robert Lady was headed for the US by air, with possible help from some arm of the federal government - and then he just suddenly disappeared.

Last week, the Panamanians picked him up. It was the real world equivalent of a magician’s trick. He was nowhere, then suddenly in custody and in the news, and then””poof again!””he wasn’t. Just 24 hours after the retired CIA official found himself under lock and key, he was flown out of Panama, evidently under the protection of Washington, and in mid-air, heading back to the United States, vanished a second time.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters on July 19th, “It’s my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States.” So there he was, possibly in mid-air heading for the homeland and, as far as we know, as far as reporting goes, nothing more. Consider it the CIA version of a miracle. Instead of landing, he just evaporated….

Having vanished in mid-air, he has managed so far not to reappear anywhere in the US press. What followed was no further news, editorial silence, and utter indifference to an act of protection that might otherwise have seemed to define illegality on an international level.

There was no talk in the media, in Congress, or anywhere else about the US handing over a convicted criminal to Italy, just about how the Russians must return a man [Snowden] Washington considers a criminal to justice.

Nevertheless, a thorn in the flesh of American-Italian relations has been disappeared, suggesting that the pro-friends-with-Italy State Department line is dominant. Having lost everything , the former US officlal Robert Lady is now a world-wide fugitive and further US help if any is likely to be very furtive.

Confessed druggie and convicted felon Amanda Knox, a private citizen, can hardly expect any more official deference.

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I followed this story for sometime and them somewhere I got lost. Lady was certainly lucky! His multimillion dollar villa in the Italian Riviera was confiscated and sold but the US insurance fully reimbursed the cost.

I read somewhere that the US somehow managed the interpol so that his name does not appear in the common list and he was not in the no-fly list.

If you do not show some respect for the judiciary you do not expect to get any respect back. Of course there are black sheeps in every profession but you must have some respect for the system.

Now I am not so sure about Amanda Knox. Who knows what kind of string she can pull! I certainly do not.

Posted by chami on 07/31/13 at 10:48 AM | #

Interesting insights Chami.

If one goes on the lam one needs to be pretty well funded. Many who did so finally gave up because they were being reduced to a life of poverty. Some who fled to foreign countries became very lonely, and came back home to serve some sort of term and be in touch with friends and family.

Robert Lady obviously had some money in Panama (as Chami says, even though the Italian court seized his mansion in Piedmont he seems to have got the insurance) but his remaining years wont be comfortable wherever he holes up.

There are a number of new commentaries on this (including Italian already translated into English) very critical of how Robert Lady was seemingly officially helped to escape especially in light of the US wanting the Russians to hand over Snowden, still in the Moscow airport.

Some give details of Abu Omar’s torture (he proved not a terrorist) by Mubarak’s men (which was so horrific it helped Obama to put a worldwide stop to it). Missing in those pieces though is the split between State and the CIA, which we know on good authority exists. Hard to see State doing anything to help Knox go on the lam, there is no paper trail in her favor over five years, and many Italian-Americans in Congress want the sliming of Italy by Curt Knox’s thugs to stop. 

If the Florence appeal does conclude that Judge Massei got it right at the 2009 trial, and Knox doesnt attend, she will look a fool for failing to help her defense team and maybe even getting up on the stand to face cross examination. Plus she will be named as a fugitive worldwide, and the blood-money accruing from her book will be made over to the victim’s family.

My own hunch is she will show up. Same with Sollecito, who has no other place to go. If their defenses hadnt illegally bent Hellmann’s appeal they wouldnt be going through all this. Nor if they had sought lesser charges and a short-form trial in 2008 based on their dysfunctional psychologies and the use of hard and possibly psychotic drugs on the night.

Justice for Meredith seems pretty remorseless. The Italy-baiting which in reaction helps drive many of us was just plain dumb.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/31/13 at 10:50 AM | #

Thanks Peter for the comments.

Italian prison system (perhaps I can include the Scandinavians here too) is so homely that it can hardly be called a prison! I have sometimes joked that I want to come and commit something so that I can live in luxury in the Italian prisons. Yes, just compare to some of the stories on the internet about the American prisons.

I really believe that AK is given bad advice.

Posted by chami on 07/31/13 at 02:15 PM | #

Thanks Pete!

Posted by Cardiol MD on 07/31/13 at 05:20 PM | #

If ‘many Italian-Americans in Congress want the sliming of Italy by Curt Knox and his thugs to stop’ why hasn’t anything been done to stop him?

Posted by thundering on 08/01/13 at 12:37 AM | #

Hi Thundering

Moves are afoot. It was hard for them to know what was what before Cassation spoke out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/01/13 at 02:43 AM | #

That is certainly good news, Pete. I will be curious to know what it is and when it will happen.

Posted by thundering on 08/01/13 at 05:35 PM | #

Sorry about changing the subject, but as I was gathering up the magazines I bought for translations, posts, etc.
Three Oggi and one Giallo ( sounds like the title of a bad novel) to throw them away. The one that was not used the Hellmann, Zanetti article on the Cassazione report, was still opened to the page, since I had just given it a quick read I reread it. It kind of funny, not in a ha-ha way (but even that) more in a pathetic way. Both judges claim not to have read the report,Zanetti says he can’t comment, but comments anyway, so why give an interview?

What in the hell does the Republica Veneta, have to do with anything? Took me awhile to figure that one out, my knowledge of history is not what it used to be. Newsflash to Hellmann and Oggi the Republica Veneta doesn’t exist anymore! There is the Italian Republic, though. I hope the poor readers were as curious as I was on that, or they are still probably scratching their heads.

“the desire to take the boulders from his shoes.” What? Since when is that phrase used in Italian? “Take a stone from his shoe”, take some stones from his shoes,” but boulders? No. Oggi tries to build them up as two heroic judges but they come off as two whiny sore losers.
I hope to have time to translate it, I would love to hear everybodies take on it, or maybe just for a laugh!

Posted by Miriam on 08/02/13 at 01:44 AM | #

Thanks Miriam…it’s very helpful, you being over there, ‘on the spot’.
‘Fraid my Italian is too rusty now….but they must know. It is so obvious, really.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/02/13 at 09:18 AM | #

I think AK will be in illustrious company in the Italian prison. He will not be missing Mubarak’s grand daughter!

Posted by chami on 08/02/13 at 12:32 PM | #

Unlike Amanda Knox - who was closely monitored by the United States government after her arrest and throughout her trial, the US does aid its nationals in a foreign country when it is deemed justified.

On October 25, 2011, while helping to educate African children in Somalia, US citizen Jessica Buchanan was kidnapped at gunpoint and held ransom by a band of Somali pirates.

After being held hostage for 93 days President Barack Obama sent Navy SEAL Team Six to rescue Jessica.

On January 25, 2012, the team of 24 SEALS killed all 9 of her heavily armed captors and Jessica Buchanan was quickly airlifted out on a US military helicopter.

Posted by True North on 08/02/13 at 03:43 PM | #

Knox is probably planning her life on the lam as we speak. I agree with Peter, it will get lonely and very difficult. If Interpol puts her on their wanted list, maybe impossible.

She stashed away some of the book money for this eventuality of fleeing, my guess. She may be getting some fake I.D.‘s made now for later use. She may be planning to fly to South America (or elsewhere) while her passport’s still good before the Italian Supreme Court convicts her of murder. Time’s awasting.

I thought she might be secretly planning to sneak into Canada (redolent of Jennifer Lopez movie, “Enough”, J.Lo melts into an illegal aliens community of Muslims in Chicago? who help her travel to escape domestic violence).

In Canada Knox could speak English and perhaps from there to Ireland or slip back into the States to see her family on rare occasions if she’s thinking of a lifetime exile, but she hates cold weather. That’s partly why she went to sunny Italy. She may hope Laura her cellmate in South America could be a first stop and stepping stone once she travels that far south.

She’s probably bought a short black wig, very large sunglasses, colored contact lenses and self-tanner lotion. She could learn Spanish mighty fast if she knows Italian, both Latin based languages. Main thing on her side in a fleeing scenario is her youth. She has strength and physical stamina and ease of retention with new information. She is extremely flexible at this age and has no child nor husband to leave behind.

She might have her family’s blessing leaving the U.S. this time as they might see it as her only choice to avoid prison. She left them once, this time she has all the more reason. I doubt she will ever return to Italy to face trial again unless forced.

Her dad Curt is probably figuring out how to get money to her untraced or perhaps she has already set up bank accounts she can tap. Maybe Steve Moore’s interest in Jason Puracal turned her eyes to South America. He may have advised her on many things just this side of legal or not. Wasn’t he Mr. Undercover Cop for awhile?

With internet and cellphones in every backwoods village, the world is getting smaller. Look at Eric Rudolph. He finally crawled out of his hiding hole in the woods. He foxed the sharpest pursuers because he had planned his escape in advance, but after a few years of lonely suffering he was caught because of his longing for human companionship, pizza, and a video rental. Eric Rudolph was a tough customer, tougher than Knox will ever be, plus he’s a man.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/02/13 at 11:10 PM | #

i am new to TJMK, but a hungry reader for so many hours. Since three days i am very activ posting at the german amazon page for AK book. I gave her only 1 star and heavyly recomendet better to get informed on TJMK. The reatction was heavy, but i was well prepeard with arguments^^
Puh, but now i hope she will show up for the trail in florence. So many german people believe AK would never be exradidet.

Posted by AgentJasonBrowning on 08/03/13 at 12:31 AM | #

Goodness Hopeful. You’ve blown her cover!

I am not so sure but it is clear she isn’t keen on doing more time however I think that is her best option in the end.

The Italian system is, as has been pointed out, quite offender-friendly.

Her sentence will likely be shortened for good behaviour etc. as they often are.

She can then re-build a meaningful life.

The problem is she has made it more difficult for herself (or her parents have) by thrusting herself into the limelight. She will have to swallow her pride and all those who have believed in her will be disappointed and even shocked when they see the Truth.

Of course this was necessary as I believe they want to use any support gained through the publicity to lobby the US against extradition playing on their ignorance re double jeopardy. That’s what I think. That process could take some time.

What a mess her life is in - such a waste.

Posted by thundering on 08/03/13 at 02:12 AM | #


Welcome and keep reading! I found TJMK when, during the appeal, I started to think a dreadful miscarriage of justice had taken place. The convicted AK was so different to the woman at her original trial. I read both sides, I read books and every possible source of information connected to the crime.

The appeal resulted in a terrible miscarriage of justice. Like many, I hope justice will find Meredith again; that her family find peace and that the truth will come out. I know not if AK delivered the final, fatal blow, nor if she was the ring leader. But I know that she was there (the bathroom and the clean up tell us that as starters) and has lied and lied again. If you’ve nothing to hide, why lie?

Welcome to TJMK. May our days on this site be numbered.

Posted by TruthWillOut on 08/03/13 at 10:25 AM | #

Ps, before this disappears from easy access, James Raper contributed this powerful post of the crime scene itself. It takes several reads to digest and appreciate:

Posted by TruthWillOut on 08/03/13 at 10:30 AM | #

Personally I don’t think Knox will go and “lay doggo for a while” as Lord Lucan did.
For sure not in some South American Pueblo.

She has her narcissistic and attention seeking nature to deal with, which is massive. She will stick out like a sore thumb and be easily found.
It is not in her nature to be quiet and blend in - she will hate it.

The only reason she is being relatively quiet now is that she has a large team of minders virtually walking her around on a leash and muzzling her in case she opens her mouth and blabs something stupid (the truth).

Then there is the ever present chaperone, her mom.
She is not capable of doing anything without her mom.
Also Knox needs her team around her and is lost without them and the whole shooting party will be easy to locate.
Imagine Edda in South America. Her grating voice will be detectable from a mile away.

Perhaps her drug dealing friend Laura has something in mind for her,who knows.
There will be the added pressure of being hounded and found and having to look over her shoulder all the time.

I think if left on her own it will get to her in the end and she will give herself up, if of course the stress of her situation doesn’t cause her to stab anyone else to death beforehand.

No it’s deservedly not good for Knox, the best thing she could do is attend court and face the music. It may be a cathartic experience for her - if she can get away from the influence of her family and minders that is.

Posted by DF2K on 08/03/13 at 04:51 PM | #

Yes, I was thinking that - re your second paragraph. There seems to be an overweening need to be liked and admired.

I actually find AK to be quite a weak person in many ways, and I don’t see that she would have the strength to cope in such a scenario .

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/03/13 at 05:35 PM | #

Good polemical piece by Chelsea Hoffman:

Strangely there are no angry comments (yet) by the usual groupies. Can it be they are losing heart? Surely not!

Posted by Odysseus on 08/03/13 at 06:41 PM | #

I agree, DF2K.

Being a fugitive is far too complex and elaborate a system to maintain.  You are right that she needs her family with her - or at least her mother - so would they move to South America with her?

Do these countries have an extradition treaty with the USA or with Italy?  We see cases such as Snowden and Assange offered asylum there but would they harbour a callous murderer? 

Nothing in it for them - no kudos or credit as potentially in the Snowden / Assange cases. 

Yet at the same time Ronnie Briggs managed to hide out in South America until his yearning for home became too great.

But there again there is some kind or warped street cred in a gangster-style heist robbery and jail escape….......

But a vicious slaying of an innocent beautiful young woman by a jealous woman?  Hmm.

I am certain that she wants to try the double jeopardy campaign.  She mentioned that the Italians would have to ‘show that what they are doing is not double jeopardy’ on The View with Barbara Walters when she was asked about extradition and Edda chimed in that the process will take years.

If Knox cannot persuade the USA to consider that the Italians are committing double jeopardy - which I am becoming increasingly convinced is unlikely although I am sure there is a lot of work already going in to the preparation of this campaign - it would be far too late to take off to South America as she would have to remove her ‘mask of innocence’ as presented to the American public. 

That would be a real climb down and she would then surely lose her fans. 

Really her only option is to face the consequences and try thereafter to re-build her life.

Her situation is hopeless.

Posted by thundering on 08/04/13 at 11:19 AM | #

I don’t think there are many similarities between Knox’ case and the CIA agents’ case.  Lady & Co. had the backing of the US government, which I’m sure worked hard to negotiate leniency for them.  I think it’s pretty obvious that Lady was extracted and taken to a safe house. I don’t know if he’ll be much use to the CIA from now on, but they can always find him a cushy job with a government contractor or give him early retirement.

Knox, on the other hand, is completely on her own.  She has zero political, strategic, or humanitarian value to any country in this world, so I don’t see anyone bending over backwards to protect her.  She’d be safer in Capanne and her family would have to suffer less if she just finished her sentence than if she went on the run.

Posted by Vivianna on 08/04/13 at 04:10 PM | #

Hello Peter
Reading some of the comments herein. One sentence really hit home for me and that is by you Peter. It’s short and to the point in that

“Justice for Meredith is rather remorseless.”

And that is correct of course. I am sure that the Knox forces of evil read this site and they must have a hard time ignoring all the salient points by everyone.
In other words they can’t dismiss it although some uneducated scribblers such as ‘Denver’ at Ground Report do their best by producing outright lies and distortions by the ton in the faint hope that writing page after page will change anything or the eventual outcome. Knox and Sollecito will never be free. They are done for the rest of their lives or to quote an old boxing term.

“You can run but you can’t hide”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 08/04/13 at 05:03 PM | #

@Grahame Rhodes

I agree. But justice is always for the sake of justice itself! It is blind and heartless.

I have a vague feeling, from the quality of their posts, that most of the FoA members are on hire- they just do a contract job. And you get what you pay for.

If you want to jump 10 feet, you do not get 10 people who can jump 1 foot each. Somehow FoA believes in the masses and if they can get enough people to make some random noise, they can invent truth.

Personally, I am enjoying RS tantrums. Nice free entertainment for the masses.

Posted by chami on 08/04/13 at 09:16 PM | #

I would have thought that false justice or injustice is blind and heartless.

True justice - to be just -  must surely include vision ( = understanding of the human condition) and compassion, in measure appropriate to intent and remorse?

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 08/04/13 at 09:40 PM | #

They sure grouped then with the right company.

Posted by Miriam on 08/04/13 at 10:26 PM | #

Welcome, AgentJasonBrowning. It’s always good to hear new insights, maybe your German perspective can reveal something new about Knox and Raf. Enjoy this website, you’ll learn so much.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/05/13 at 12:48 AM | #


Regarding the hired FOA members and other associated shills, they’ve gone awfully quiet recently haven’t they?

Barely a peep out of them since the last motivations report - which previously would have been jumped on and savaged like an unfortunate fox caught by a pack of hounds.

Perhaps the coffers are too far into the red now, the Knox book was a complete turkey and in more ways than one an absolute disaster for them despite Knox ‘on the hustings’ peddling it - which also turned out to be ill advised at best.

Methinks there’s not enough money to pay the salaries now and what little they do have is being directed at her September 30th appointment with destiny.

Posted by DF2K on 08/05/13 at 03:02 PM | #

Next posts: Just waiting on some confirmations we want for two posts, which are on Sollecito’s DNA and on a trial with explosive case-related possibilities just starting in Italy.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/13 at 08:02 PM | #

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