Monday, February 09, 2009

Trial: Highlights Of The Testimony On 6 February And 7 February

Posted by Peter Quennell


These seem to have been the most significant and dramatic happenings in the courtroom on Friday and Saturday.

This was the first part of the prosecution’s case to be presented, and so the first of the prosecution witnesses were testifying and were being cross-examined by the defense lawyers.

In the defense part of the trial coming up, the defense counsel will present their own witnesses to try to rebut this testimony, and then the prosecutors will cross-examine their witnesses.

So none of this can be considered cast in stone, then. But it looks quite a tough case so far. The defenses seem to have their work cut out for them.

Reports in the Italian media were considerably more detailed than in the UK media, though coverage there was good too. It looked in both countries to be pretty objective.

Americans are as usual the most ill-informed or mis-informed on this tragic case. With one or two fine exceptions, the US media continues to fall short.

Translations here from Italian to English are mostly by our own team. 

  • Judge Massei admitted into evidence the uncoerced written admission of Amanda Knox that she was present at the scene during the murder of Meredith.

  • In a surprise statement to the court, Sollecito claimed that “I barely knew Meredith, I didn’t know Guede at all” and that he began a close relationship with Knox only on 24 October, days before the murder.

  • The communication police testified on the lines of the Micheli report on how Meredith’s two mobile phones were found in Signora Lana’s garden and retained at the police station.

  • Mr Bartolozzi, whose agency oversees internet activity in Italy, said an examination of Sollecito’s computer had indicated that contrary to his claim there had been no activity on it between 9.10pm and 5.32am.

  • The communication police seem to have found Knox and Sollecito embarrassed and surprised when they arrived, and they were apparently encountered with a bucket and a mop.

  • Sollecito’s claim to have already called the Carabinieri to come to the house when the communication police officers arrived seems to have been misleading.

  • The communication police noticed that there was a washing machine in operation and they could hear the noise of the centrifuge. Soon after, the mobile-squad police found that the machine had finished its work a few minutes earlier, and the clothes were still warm.

  • Filomena testified that the washing machine was still warm when she returned to the cottage and that it contained some of Meredith’s clothes.

  • Filomena said of Knox “She told me: ‘It’s very odd. I’ve just come back to the house and the door is open. I had a shower but there’s blood everywhere. I’m going to get Raff. Meredith is nowhere to be seen. Oh God, maybe something’s happened to her, something tragic’.”

  • Filomena said she replied “But Amanda. I don’t understand. Explain to me, because there’s something odd. The door’s open. You take a shower. There’s blood. But where’s Meredith?... The door’s open. I go in. There’s blood. I take a shower? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t think that that’s normal.”

  • To the communication police, the break-in via Filomena’s bedroom window appeared to have been faked, as there was window glass on top of some disarrayed clothes, valuable items had been left in the room, and luminol had revealed Knox-sized and Sollecito-sized footprints on the floor.
  • Filomena testified that her first instinct on returning to the apartment had been to go to her room. Her clothes were on the floor and her cupboard was open, but none of her jewellery was missing, nor were her designer sunglasses and handbags.

  • Filomena said there was glass on top of the pile of clothes. Her laptop was among the clothes.“I remember that in lifting the computer I realised that I was picking up bits of glass because there were bits of glass on top and it was all covered with glass.”

  • Filomena testified that the relationship between Amanda and Meredith started off well and they bonded immediately.  “They were of the same age, they had interests in common, and both spoke English.” Then the relationship seemed to deteriorate.

  • Filomena said that Kercher was involved with a “very kind” young man, Giacomo Silenzi, who lived in an apartment downstairs and who she said “courted her very sweetly…. Meredith never brought men home – the only people who came to the house were two of her English girlfriends.”

  • Filomena contradicted Knox on whether Meredith was in the habit of locking herself in her bedroom, according to Filomena, Meredith never did, whether inside or outside.

  • Filomena testified that Knox and Sollecito just cuddled at the scene while everyone else was in tears and she said she was bewildered by Knox’s behavior. Another witness testified that Knox may have cried.

  • Filomena examined the knife found in Sollecito’s apartment and said she had never seen that knife in Via della Pergola. She was unaware of any dinner or lunch that Meredith had attended at Sollecito’s apartment which could explain her DNA on that knife.

  • Filomena said she saw Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox exchanging a note at the police station.

  • Luca Altieri said “With the police we decided to break into the room - I don’t know exactly where Amanda and Raffaele were at that time, but I can tell you, they were not in a position to see inside the room.”

  • Inspector Bastianelli described having made everyone exit the house after the door to Meredith’s room had been opened. And of then having stood for about half a minute at the door of the room, facing into the room without entering it, and concluding that Meredith was already dead.

  • But according to Luca Altieri, Inspector Bastianelli seemed to enter into Meredith’s room a little and incline toward Meredith on the floor [this has been modified, as Italian reports say he did not claim the inspector touched the duvet.]

  • Paola Grande confirmed not having seen the inspector entering the room, but hearing him subsequently confirm that the person under the bedcover was dead, that there was a lot of blood, and that the victim had struggled because there were bloodied prints on the wall.

  • The police were curious as to why Knox’s lamp was in Meredith’s room, especially as there was no other light source in Knox’s room.



This next Friday, Meredith’s English friends will be heard in court. And Meredith’s former boyfriend Giacomo Silenzi is expected to tell the court about his relationship with Meredith.

And now rescheduled for next Saturday are Giacomo Silenzi, Stefano Bonassi and Daniele Ceppitelli.




Comments

Very nice summary and a lot of information for two days work.  I’m not clear on how each witness is being questioned and whether there is cross-examination of each witness by either or both defense teams.  In other words, “Have all the facts presented been challenged by the defense or is that yet to come?” 

Also, with regard to the mop that AK&RS;were holding when the Police arrived, was this a new mop and bucket or had they already been used in the house?  If it was used, one might assume it could be a source of forensic evidence.

Posted by Arnold_Layne on 02/09/09 at 10:49 PM | #

In effect there are five to seven passes over each witness and each piece of evidence.

1) Prosecution witness examination
2) Defense #1 cross-examination
3) Defense #2 cross-examination
4) Defense #1 witness examination
5) Prosecution cross-examination
6) Defense #2 witness examination
7) Prosecution cross-examination

And when defense witnesses take the stand, the other defense can cross-examine them too which could make a total of nine passes.

Believed to be not a new mop and bucket. Believed to be soggy and recently used and with possible evidence of bleach and forensic material. That phase of course is still to come.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/10/09 at 02:32 AM | #

I have a thought about the lamp from Amanda’s room ending up in Meredith’s. While the scene was being staged, they didn’t want to draw attention to the flat or the room from outside by turning on the brighter overhead light?

I’ve seen the contents of the washing machine described elsewhere as “towels” Has anyone seen that?

Posted by bucketoftea on 02/21/09 at 12:41 PM | #

Bucketof tea,

Good point on the lamp, after the recent breakin the candle was also found on the kitchen floor, presumably also to prevent anyone outside seeing it (the electric was turned off by then anyway).

We are going to hear more about the towels according to Rudy’s lawyer.

Rudy claimed that he used 3 towels to try to stem the flow of blood from Meredith’s neck, before fleeing the house. Only one towel was found, if remember correctly, certainly not three.

His lawyer, last week, said that he won’t give evidence against AK and RS ... ‘they’ll beleive me if I give evidence against AK and RS, but not if I say I am innocent’. Rudy will take his chances on appeal.

His lawyer said ‘what happened to the towels ? did they fly?’

Posted by Kevin on 02/21/09 at 06:09 PM | #


Make a comment

If you are reading this please log in to post a comment.

Smileys



Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Knox PR Campaign: Have The Dishonest Talking Points Now Become A Trap?

Or to previous entry Meredith’s Perugia #5: A Very Nice Old City In The Mist