The Sollecito Trial For “Honor Bound” #1: History Of How This Ill-Fated Saga Began
Posted by The TJMK Main Posters
1. The Latest Legal Developments
A new phase of the Florence trial of Raffaele Sollecito and Andrew Gumbel is scheduled to start on Thursday of next week.
Why is this the iceberg in the Titanic’s path? Because Sollecito and later Knox made numerous demonstrably false and damaging claims that so many others then made, most usually worse.
See Sollecito go down here, or withdraw his claims, for lack of any proof, and the legal liabilities of all those others stretch to the horizon and beyond.
This trial puts Knox herself and her parents with her wild book and their wild claims at more risk.
For reasons explained below, the investigation of the myriad claims by an Italian, beamed only at Americans, of official crimes and alternative “facts” couched in a jeering, sneering anti-Italy tone was taken behind the scenes by the Florence prosecution early in 2013.
The charges and target defamatory passages selected out of numerous passages falsely describing facts of the case and falsely accusing officials of crimes have not been formally reported even in Italy yet, except for a website update last October by the indefatigable journalist Andrea Vogt.
2. Chronology 2009-2011: The Trial And Appeal
In 2011 what is widely known in Italy to have been a bent Hellmann appeal court ran a cartoonish and illegal retrial of Sollecito and AK.
This illegal retrial, mostly annulled by the Supreme Court in March 2013, was lacking a few things. Such as most evidence, most witnesses, and all of the 2009 prosecution case and the compelling prosecution summations at the end. An illegal DNA consultancy which should never have occurred at appeal is also believed to have been bent.
3. Various Flashing Warning Lights
On 3 October 2011 Judge Hellmann told RS and AK they were free to go, despite the fact that no legal process for murder and some other crimes is considered final in Italy until no party pursues any further appeals or the Supreme Court signs off. Most still accused of serious crimes (as in the UK and US) remain locked up. Hellmann, pathetically trying to justify this fiasco ever since, was firmly edged out and still the target of a possible charge.
Other flashing warnings should have made Sollecito’s family and legal team and book writers very wary. They included the immediate strong warning of a tough prosecution appeal to the Supreme Court. They also included the pending calunnia trials of Knox and her parents, the pending trial of the Sollecitos for attempting to use politics to subvert justice, the pending trials of Spezi, Aviello, and Sforza, and so on.
A major flashing warning was right there in Italian law. Trials are meant to be conducted in the courtroom and attempts to poison public opinion are illegal. They can be illegal in the US and UK too but, for historical reasons to do with the mafias and crooked politicians, Italian laws in this area are among the world’s toughest. So mid-process, normally no books are ever published
4. Chronology 2012-2013 The United States Track
Knox quickly headed back to the US West Coast and Sollecito soon came after her there.
After three-plus years of Sollecito and his camp being very iffy about Knox he suddenly - to his father’s open frustration - could not get enough of her.
Very quickly Sollecito found a book agent, Sharlene Martin, who lives just a couple of miles from the Mellases and Knoxes, and she lined up a shadow writer, Andrew Gumbel, who lives in LA and had been based in Italy in the 1990s.
Sollecito’s Italian lawyers seemingly did not have a clue what was going on on this book front - lately an angry Giulia Bongiorno made that plain enough.
Sollecito’s father and sister did have growing concerns (among much fallout in Italy of their own such as Vanessa losing a plum Carabinieri job) and in March they hopped on a flight to Seattle to try to ditch Knox and presumably the book and drag Sollecito home.
Even Knox at times seemed to want the clingy nuisance gone, and she produced a claimed new love-interest to help to keep him at bay.
Throughout 2012 the hubris of the Knox camp within which Sollecito had embedded himself was immense. David Marriott and Bruce Fischer both posted that it was their efforts that had got the two released, making no mention of a court the defenses had bent.
On 18 September Honor Bound hit the shelves. If Sharlene Martin or Andrew Gumbel or Simon & Schuster had done any due diligence on the book, such as reading court documents, or even run it in final draft in Italian past Sollecito’s lawyers in Italy, that due diligence sure did not show. (A legal case for the Sollecito family to pursue?)
Seemingly irresponsible or incompetent and not caring who in Italy they hurt, Sharlene Martin and Andrew Gumbel then assisted Sollecito in a triumphalist but mostly unconvincing sweep of the US crime shows.
The flagship interview was with Katie Couric on ABC right before the book came out. It really hurt. She had an advance copy and had done her homework. See our suggested questions and report and posts and Kermit’s great spoof here , here , here , here , and here. The book promotion tour ended in Seattle thus..
Sharlene Martin later set up a panel of the useful idiots Michael Heavey and John Douglas and Steve Moore in a Congressional room for hire, an odd role for an agent of a book, which nobody of importance attended. Just as well. Truth was scarce.
Sollecito repeatedly visited the United States (and the Caribbean) though he was provisionally a convicted felon, not least in a desperate, cynical and hurtful attempt, after the sharp rebuff by Amanda Knox, to find an American wife.
You can read the rest of Sollecito’s US saga in the top posts here. His last visit to the United States was in late 2013.
5. Chronology 2012-2013 The Italy Track
The book was written and published only in English; Francesco Sollecito said no Italian publisher would touch it (surprise, surprise).
In Italy Sollecito’s wildly inaccurate and hyper-aggressive book has already set himself up for two kinds of trouble
The Gumbel and Sollecito book was released in English on 18 September 2012 and within ten days all of Italy knew that the book was a crock.
Sollecito’s own father and own lawyer Maori have already been forced to admit the book contains serious lies. Prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges
Sollecito’s own father Francesco was made to concede by the host and all other guests on the popular Porta a Porta TV show last week that Sollecito lied in claiming that the prosecution had sought a deal under which Sollecito would frame Amanda.
Such a deal would be illegal so Sollecito was falsely accusing prosecutors of a very serious crime. Francesco Sollecito backed down even more in some interviews later. One of Sollecito’s own lawyers, Luca Maori, also had to deny in frustration that the offer of any deal either way ever happened.
Now the prosecution has announced that they are weighing whether there should be new charges lodged against Sollecito.
Sollecito has suddenly claimed in the book, nearly five years after he said it happened, in face of vast evidence including his own writings to the contrary, that police interrogated him over 10 hours, and abused and threatened him.
But he was demonstrably not ever interrogated over 10 hours, and he folded fast when they showed him his phone records, which contradicted his earlier alibis, and so he promptly laid the blame on Amanda.
Prosecutors and police have all already stated that he simply lied here too, and again prosecutors are considering whether there should be new charges
Thereafter we posted a number of times about false claims others and we ourselves identified in the book - one of three (with Preston’s and Knox’s) probably the most defamatory ever written about any justice system or justice officials anywhere. Our next posts will pick up that thread.
5. Italy Officially Reacts
Finally for now, we posted on 18 February 2013 on a formal move against the book by the Florence Courts, with a Breaking News addendum that (very unusually) the prosecution and supervising magistrate had taken the investigation behind closed doors.
That secrecy order to counter the toxic PR still persists, right up to now, and it will only be next Thursday that the results of the investigation and the charges against Sollecito and Gumbel become widely know.
Next post: selected examples of Sollecito’s and Gumbel’s false claims.
I’ve read both ‘‘Honor Bound’’ and ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘. A few things stick out.
1. Knox is American, a native English speaker, and a ‘creative writing’ graduate. Sollecito is Italian, and almost incoherent in English. Both books were published in English.
Yet, HB (pesky lies notwithstanding), is quite well written, while the quality of WTBH is total cr@@.
2. Even if the claim of a ‘‘prosecution deal’’ were true, think how screwed up it is. What kind of idiot would risk his life to protect his fuck buddy of one week? Especially one doing other guys for drugs?
No rational guy would do it ... unless to cover up his own involvement.
3. Perhaps the title means something far worse. ‘‘Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox’’ Going through hell wasn’t the jail time and scrutiny, it was his ‘arrangement’ with Knox.
Knox claimed she was a witness while Lumumba killed Meredith, when she really meant Guede.
Sollecito spoke of an attempted deal to frame someone to get himself off the hook. Maybe he meant Guede instead of Amanda.
4. Even if Marriott were 100% right, that PR did free Knox ... it would have a chilling effect on the integrity of the courts. Did he ever think of that?
5. Shopping for an American wife to get away from the Italian Courts. Very noble.
6. Ignoring the wise advice of dad to protect Amanda ... is honourable the new term for idiot?
7. The whole book reads as some fairy tale. Only no happily ever after
The RS book was a fasttrack job, seven months ahead of Knox’s, and there was no publshing auction, Simon & Schuster picked it up right away, with no known checking to see if it was a big lie.
The book gave RS fast cash to help pay his lawyers and keep going. How much Gumbel made we dont know; he barked at the Nencini outcome but hasnt spoken up since, and may realise now he did a highly unprofessional job and there really is guilt. This could be very hurtful to him.
Francesco Sollecito on Porta a Porta 10 days after the book came out, and then RS in later interviews, were both obviously sideswiped by some of the questions and seemed to have only a dim knowledge of what had been said for Rs in the book. Later Bongiorno the lead lawyer seemed to have no knowledge at all of what was said.
Honor Bound as a title can be read at least two ways. He claimed to have denied any offer of a deal for rolling over on Knox and claimed honor for that.
But he also implies that Knox’s guilt was strong and RS’s weak or zero, and yet he stuck with her - actually untrue, he never supported her latest alibi of choice in court and evidence against him too is very strong. Especially his footprint on the mat.
I reckon two things mattered a lot around the time of their arrest.
1, Their “love affair” was not continuing to hit new peaks, it was already on the way down. Knox was out with other men and talking of heading to China to meet with her guy from Seattle.
2. Knox was on the phone with the drug wholesaler and sleeping with him and appearing on-and-off high on drugs right through to where she was locked up.
Both of these occurred in the face of RS never having had any other sex… Easy to see a frantic RS as part of a Knox-led attack-gang, trying with his own ferocity to win her back.
Some of the comments on Knox home blog are indeed laughable. There are supposed quotes concerning evidence that was not produced until 2008 (That’s the DNA of course) All well and good but upon the question I posed “If that is the case then why didn’t the defense use it?” There is a vast silence.
Indeed some of the very basic questions promoted by the FOA are ridiculous in the extreme. All the have is louder and louder screams on “innocent” which will become ever louder and desperate as the date approaches.
‘Their “love affair” was not continuing to hit new peaks’- I object.
It was simply raw animal sex attraction, nothing more. Amanda was the professional expert here and in some sense, she used him. He was the “puppy”.
The basic technology in sex has not changed in the last 1000 years and it is tough to find new peaks.
I somehow think that Amanda used her “charm” on Guede too.
If newspaper reports to be believed, drugs and sex always go together well. After all, the pleasure centres are all in the old brain!
Where next:Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page
Or to previous entry Justice System Comparisons #1: Had Meredith’s Murder Taken Place In Canada