Will Savive On Amanda Knox On The Witness Stand On The Morning of June 12 2009
Posted by Peter Quennell
Unlike Sollecito, who has exercised his right to silence, Amanda Knox had volunteered to take the stand. As we have seen, the Italian justice system has several differences from that of the United States Justice system. One of those differences is that in an Italian trial witnesses must swear to tell the truth. However, defendants do not.
Defendants can also interrupt the questioning at anytime or even choose not to answer certain questions, in theory of course, though in practice it would be a bad move (incriminating) if a defendant chose not to answer. One of Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, told reporters a week earlier that Knox would be answering all of the prosecution’s questions.
Knox’s defense team, however, would offer-up objection after objection on even the simplest questions, and this came on the day that was scheduled just for defense questioning (aside from Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer). Every time Knox was caught in a contradiction, a fight would break-out between defense and prosecution. Knox’s vague answers along with her lawyer’s objections distracted lawyers and made it very hard for them to extract anything substantial out of her.
It was apparent early on that this was going to be a long drawn-out examination with nothing substantial provided toward her defense. Not only was Knox vague, but she seemed annoyed and not necessarily eager to tell her story; even using sarcasm on a few occasions and snapping at prosecutors. In the end, her testimony hurt her more than it helped her, because it did not help clear up her whereabouts at the time of the murder, and it lent to the notion that she was lying….
The schedule for the day was going to be questioning from her own defense team, along with questioning from Patrick Lumumba’s lawyer, Carlo Pacelli. Knox entered the courtroom with her hair tied back with a light-blue scrunchy, a white short sleeve collared top, pale trousers, and what appeared to be a large cold sore on her upper lip. She looked tired and pale as she took her seat, and looked around nervously as reporters jockeyed for position at the back of the courtroom.
The beginning of the session was held up a bit as Judge Massei discussed with lawyers whether to allow cameras in the courtroom. The final decision was to exclude cameras, allowing cameras to roll during only the first 20 minutes of Knox’s testimony. Questioning began with Carlo Pacelli, who would get the first crack at Knox as part of Lumumba’s civil lawsuit. Seated immediately to Knox’s left was a heavy-set, brunette interpreter. Knox understood most questions that were thrown at her and the interpreter mostly translated to the court what Knox was saying as opposed to what Knox was being asked by Italian litigators.
Mr. Pacelli started by asking Knox if she knew Rudy Guede. Knox admitted meeting Guede before the murder, claiming that she met him while she was mingling with the boys that lived in the apartment underneath her. Knox said that they were in the center, near the church, when the boys introduced her to Guede. On that occasion, Knox says that she spent most of her time with Meredith, as they all (including Guede) went back to the cottage and had a party on the first floor. This party apparently took place in mid-October of 2007, a little more than a month before the murder. Knox also admitted seeing Guede at Le Chic (Lumumba’s restaurant) at least once.
Knox said that at the party she and others smoked a “spinello” (“marijuana joint”). Pacelli then focused on Knox’s relationship with Lumumba. Knox testified that Lumumba never mistreated her, always treated her with respect, their relationship was good, and she was not scared of him. Mr. Pacelli then brought Knox back to the night of the murder, asking her if she knew what time it was when Lumumba sent her the first text message on 1 November 2007. Knox said “around 8:15-8:30p.m.”
When asked, “When you answered Patrick’s message, where were you?”
Knox replied, “In the apartment of Raffaele, I think, yes.” Pacelli indicated that Knox answered the message 25 minutes later from another location. “It seems from cell pings that you were out of the house when you answered, in the center. Where were you?” asked Pacelli. This question was met by a stream of objections and a heated discussion between defense and prosecution. When the dust cleared Knox stated that she was at Sollecito’s apartment when she responded to the message.
Knox had deleted all received text messages on her cell phone at some point after receiving the last message from Lumumba. Knox claimed that this was because she had limited space on her cell. When asked why she did not delete the text messages that she sent, she answered very sarcastically, “I’m not a technical genius, so I only know how to delete the ones that I receive when I get them.” Knox told the court that she didn’t have an appointment to meet Lumumba at the basketball court on the night of the murder.
When asked why she wrote in her statement to police that she met him at the court that night, Knox responded, “It was a complicated situation. I can explain it if you want me to go into it.” Knox then proceeded to explain her version of what occurred and why she wrote what she did in the spontaneous letter to police after her arrest. She proceeded to explain what she claimed was a long grueling interrogation where police began asking the same questions over and over.
Then, in a long, drawn-out, drab tone that only an American could understand (due to the prosodic — rhythmic, intonational aspect of human speech — nature of the tone), Knox said that they kept asking her questions such as “w-h-o k-i-l-l-e-d M-e-r-e-d-i-t-h,” that sounded as if she was down-playing the question, because she had heard it so many times. Knox began to show several glimpses into the bizarre behavior that was previously testified to by others.
Although it may sound trivial, the response was strange; and coupled with the multiple accounts her of odd behavior, it only added to the quandary. During this monologue, Knox stated that police called her a “stupid liar,” several times when she asserted that she had been at Sollecito’s flat all night. Knox then quoted her interpreter during the interrogation, claiming that she had said that Knox was “traumatized and couldn’t remember the truth.”
Knox then continued with her confusing explanation of what happened during her interrogation/arrest:
So what ended up happening was that they told me to try to remember what I apparently, according to them, had forgotten. Under the amount of pressure of everyone yelling at me, and having them tell me that they were going to put me in prison for protecting somebody, that I wasn’t protecting, that I couldn’t remember, I tried to imagine that in some way they must have had, it was very difficult, because when I was there, at a certain point, I just, I couldn’t understand why they were so sure that I was the one who knew everything.
And so, in my confusion, I started to imagine that maybe I was traumatized, like what they said. They continued to say that I had met somebody, and they continued to put so much emphasis on this message that I had received from Patrick, and so I almost was convinced that I had met him. But I was confused.
The next few questions were met with objections by Knox’s lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, and banter between he, the judge, and Pacelli. More objections came when Pacelli asked Knox why she claimed to hear Meredith scream, with now several different lawyers arguing and trying to plead to the judge their reasons why the question should or should not be answered. The argument centered on what was and was not admissible according to the Supreme Court decision at the beginning of trial. Judge Massei then declared that they would take a short recess and he would consult with the lawyers in private on the matter.
When they returned, Judge Massei overruled the objections and stated that the question is permitted because it comes from Knox’s spontaneous statement, which was ruled as admissible during the first week of trial. Knox then switched to speaking Italian upon Judge Massei’s approval. Finally, Knox was able to answer the question, which she replied, “No,” I did not hear Meredith scream.
The following sequence occurred next:
Carlo Pacelli: In the interrogation of November 6, 2007, at 5:45, you declared that before she died, you heard Meredith scream. How could you know that Meredith screamed before she was killed? Who told you?
Knox: So when I was with the police, they asked if I heard Meredith’s scream. I said no. They said “But if you were there, how could you not hear her scream? If you were there?” I said “Look, I don’t know, maybe I had my ears covered.” So they said “Fine, we’ll write that down. Fine.”
Carlo Pacelli: [louder] But I can tell you that on November 6, the police did not know that Meredith screamed before she died, so why would they suggest it to you?
Knox: I imagine that maybe they were imagining how it might have been.
Knox asserted that police were not telling her what to say but suggesting paths of thought. “I kept following their suggestions,” Knox stated. “They asked me if I was in her room when she was killed. I said no. They said but where were you? I said I don’t know. They said, maybe you were in the kitchen. I said, fine.”
Knox testified that she went to the police station with Sollecito the night that they were arrested because she was scared and didn’t want to be alone. She verified that she was not called-into the station that night. Knox also confirmed that the spontaneous statement that she made was her idea, and not the result of pressure from police. Knox said that she asked for a piece of paper and a pen, and that she wrote it to explain her confusion to the police.
Knox then said several times that while at the police station after her arrest she “really wasn’t sure” what had happened on the night of Kercher’s murder. Knox told the court that she gave the written statement to the police freely, voluntarily, and that police did not suggest the content nor pressure her into writing the statement.
The following sequence occurred next:
Carlo Pacelli: Listen, in this memorandum, you say that you confirm the declarations you made the night before about what might have happened at your house with Patrick. Why did you freely and spontaneously confirm these declarations?
Knox: Because I was no longer sure what was my imagination and what was real. So I wanted to say that I was confused, and that I couldn’t know. But at the same time, I knew I had signed those declarations. So I wanted to say that I knew I had made those declarations, but I was confused and not sure.
Carlo Pacelli: But in fact, you were sure that Patrick was innocent?
Knox: No, I wasn’t sure.
Carlo Pacelli: Why?
Knox: Because I was confused! I imagined that it might have happened. I was confused.
Then the questioning turned to when Knox realized that Patrick Lumumba was innocent. Several fights and objections broke out over this line of questioning. The defense seemed to know that Pacelli was onto something and they were trying at all ends to block him or throw him off. Pacelli explained that in Knox’s 7 November 2007, memorandum, Knox wrote, “I didn’t lie when I said the murderer might be Patrick.”
However, Pacelli said that during a phone call with her mother on November 10th (three days later) Knox stated that she felt horrible because she (Knox) got him [Lumumba] put in prison and she knew he was innocent. Knox, then speaking like a politician, led Pacelli -and even the judge - around in circles; not giving a straight answer to the question: when did you inform police that Patrick Lumumba was not the killer?
Pacelli was trying to show that Knox had written that Lumumba was the killer on the 7th, told her mother that Lumumba was innocent on the 10th, but never informed the police at anytime after the 10th that Lumumba was innocent. He was subsequently released three weeks after his arrest, and at no time during the three weeks did Knox inform police that she falsely accused Lumumba. Knox’s final reply on the matter was, “I had explained the situation to my lawyers, and I had told them what I knew, which was that I didn’t know who the murderer was.”
So, Knox never really did answer the question why she never informed anyone - besides her mother on November 10th - that Patrick Lumumba was not the murderer. This was important because Pacelli already knew what Knox’s mother had told investigators about the call and what the basis of her testimony would be. Pacelli knew that her mother’s testimony was coming up the following week, and he wanted to get Amanda’s version on the record knowing that her mother would clarify and contradict - or at least not help - her (Amanda’s) story. Knox also revealed that she never actually said she was sorry to Patrick for her false accusations that put him behind bars for three weeks.
With that, Carlo Pacelli ended his questioning. Judge Massei then announced a break in the action and that the court would reconvene at 1:30p.m.
From The Study Abroad Murder by Will Savive
[Below: Falsely accused Patrick Lumumba and his lawyer Carlo Pacelli]
Thanks, Will! Another detailed account. You bring out Knox’s attitude on the stand very clearly. I recently watched all the You Tube clips in both English and Italian and was genuinely shocked at the way she responded to the lawyers - with sarcasm and disdain.
I think what puzzles me is why the lawyers are allowed to try to prevent the questions. Of course I know this is the case in any legal system but it seems that here they are able to prevent the questions from being put forward clearly. So, as you wrote, the court never really got any further with the story and, as you say again, Pacelli seemed not to succeed in establishing the contradiction re AK and EM not telling the police that they knew Patrick was innocent.
Why didn’t the court question her methodically with cross examination? She really seems to have got away without being made to explain herself.
What on earth do her lawyers think? They can see the inconsistencies - I wonder what they say to AK when they meet with her? Surely they want to see true justice for the victim, Meredith Kercher - a victim of a truly heinous crime. Surely they would want to try to coax AK to come clean - if only for her own rehabilitation?
By the way, there is a slight mistake at the beginning in paragraph 7:
“This party apparently took place in mid-October of 2007, a little more than a month before the murder.”
Mid-October would really be a little ‘less’ than a month before the murder.
Why did the judge need to agree to her switching to Italian?
Well, I do look forward to reading your book in full!
I just received the book and am excited to start an unbiased version of this murder. Its too bad the pr machine of ak can’t be forced to read it. They have been spoon fed hogwash and dung for almost four years now and don’t really want to know the truth.
Will Savive recalls Amanda’s scoffing tone when she tries to imitate police hounding her with the question, “Who killed Meredith?” The withering voice she used to inflect the words “killed Meredith” was dripping with contempt.
She used a voice full of anger and mockery to impersonate the police when they asked, “Who killed Meredith?”—as if the question bored her to tears.
What came out? Her who-cares attitude about Meredith, her resentment of police and a general impatience. The effect was to corroborate the jury’s worst suspicions.
Amanda made a huge mistake bringing Patrick into things. It was obvious to police the minute his alibi was confirmed that she pulled him like a rabbit out of a hat to deflect suspicion from herself. She made a second mistake by telling her mother she knew without a doubt Patrick was innocent and in verity of this she felt bad about implicating him.
Now her insider knowledge of who clearly was NOT at the crime scene (how in the world could she know? unless she was there!), destroys all her claims of uninvolvement. The pretense is over. Instead of Patrick shielding her, he shone the light on her at the crime scene.
Toying with Patrick threw her into the spotlight as having guilty knowledge. Great post, Will Savive. Thanks.
Thanks Will for highlighting some of Amanda Knox’s June 12, 2009 trial testimony.
Amanda Knox’s trial testimony which has been transcribed in English text and audio is available at, http://perugiamurderfile.org/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=165
After having spent nearly two years incarcerated in Capanne Prison, the lack of remorse that Amanda Knox continued to display for her false accusation she made against Patrick Lumumba, was evidenced right up to the end of Carlo Pacelli’s questioning of her during the civil trial - end of audio #4:
CP: Did you ever make any proposal to give Patrick money?
AK: Me? Personally?
CP: Yes, or through your lawyers?
AK: Me no [laughs] I don’t remember that.
On December 4, 2009, the Italian jurors in Perugia, justly handed down an additional one year sentence to Amanda Knox’s twenty-five year Meredith Kercher murder conviction, for the false accusation she had made against Patrick Lumumba.
Today, four years later one wonders if from behind her prison cell bars at Capanne Prison, Amanda Knox is still laughing?
“What do her lawyers think? Surely they want to see true justice for the victim, Meredith Kercher.”
Her lawyers probably think that she is as guilty as hell, but if defence lawyers were to conduct their clients’ defence with a presupposition of guilt, then a lot of innocent people might go to jail. Neither you nor I would want a lawyer like that. Nor would I want to be a lawyer like that.
And I wouldn’t get many clients either!
I rather like the american system of fining lawyers on the spot for their persistent transgressions, such as we saw in the OJ case, though the fines were peanuts compared to their massive retainers.
I get the impression that Massei allowed too much bickering between these lawyers instead of taking a firm hand and ensuring that if they had something to say it should be addressed to him as the presiding judge.
He is certainly no fool but maybe a bit feeble. That’s just my take.
Hi True North,
It’s also worth noting that Amanda Knox falsely claimed that Mignini had suggested what she should say when she made her 1.45am witness statement:
CP: On November 6, 2007, at 1:45, you said that you went to the house in via della Pergola with Patrick. Did you go?
AK: The declarations were taken against my will. And so, everything that I said, was said in confusion and under pressure, and, because they were suggested by the public minister.
CP: Excuse me, but at 1:45, the pubblico ministero was not there, there was only the judicial police.
Thanks to Will for another excerpt… I’m waiting for this book to hit the Kindle store!
That’s interesting - I always wondered how defence lawyers dealt with clients they felt were guilty. It must be tough in emotional cases like this one! But admirable to ensure that everyone gets a fair trial.
It would be interesting to hear an Italian lawyer’s take on what you said about Massei.
What you say about Knox and her tone of voice when she was questioned is spot on…
The discussion below took place in the “comment” section of my blog today… http://willsavive.blogspot.com/2011/03/knox-supporters-confident-media.html?showComment=1302467830796#c1541423717958588986
“Will, It is apparent that you are locked into the True Justice/PMF mindset. You mention that your book offers different opinions than your blog. I would suggest putting the same opinion forward on both. It doesn’t serve you well to have differing opinions. Now that I have clarified that you are locked in with Peter Quennell, I really have no urgency to debate you. Your views are clearly written in stone. Well I guess it all depends on whether one reads your blog or your book. Either way, you are entitled to your opinion.
Massei is not the expert of all things. If the judge’s report was always accurate, appeals would be non existent.
Just one more thing, please provide proof that Amanda’s blood was mixed with Meredith’s blood anywhere in the cottage. Please show me the scientific test results that prove that point. If you can do that for me, I will promote your book on the front page of my website.”
Likewise Bruce, it appears that you are locked into the Knox supporter mindset, and you are as well certainly entitled to your opinion. I appreciate your suggestion, but I have my own course to follow and I am not currently looking for advisors. I have not offered you any suggestions on how you should approach the material. And I’m only locked into what I believe after extensive research on the subject and gravitate towards those I believe to be in line with my thinking on the case, just as you have gravitated towards Knox’s family and the Knox supporters. As I said, I have read your website as well, and I think you did good work; although, I don’t agree with many of your ideologies and interpretations of the evidence.
You are correct, Massei is not an expert on all things and I am assuming neither are you—and I certainly do not claim to be, I have worked hard in this field in my studies to be able to provide my analysis, that’s the best I can do—and I make no apologies for that.
It is certainly not my responsibility to provide proof—other than Massei’s report detailing Dr. Stefanoni’s findings—of the mixed blood. Moreover, I believe it is you that would need to provide the proof of your assertions—that there “was no mixed blood”—in light of that fact that this is what you stated, and Massei’s report and Dr. Stefanoni’s testimony indicated otherwise. The question then remains—since you know where my findings come from—where did your results come from on the “lack-of” mixed blood?
NOTE: The first part of my conversation with Bruce can be read in the “comments” section of the previous post on this page (TJMK - post before this one).
I find it so predictable that when ever the pro Knox bunch are painted into a corner of their own making they always ask the same questions ie “Where did you get the proof” etc;etc; Point being that they collectively refuse to even admit that anything other than their viewpoint even exists. They use the old dodge of answering a question with a question. Fisher (Incorporated TM whatever) of course is far to much of a coward to try and look it up for himself/themselves.
Hi Thundering. You lamented that Amanda Knox was not interrogated harder. This was one of the civil portions of the trial and Knox was only on the stand to try to defend against implicating Lumumba.
Even so it lasted two days and Knox did herself plenty of harm (see here and here) and Mignini got in some sharp questions. The lawyers were tussling so much because of the prior agreement as to the grounds on which she would testify and be interrogated. We think in that agreement the judge had no role.
This is why we are so very keen (who isn’t!) to see Amanda Knox get back up on the stand - and this time, with no holds barred. She doesn’t have to but read our recent posts: does she really have anything else going for her?
Peter, thanks for excerpting Savive’s factual book. He holds his own in debate with Fisher, too.
The red curtain photo on recent post has stayed in my mind, yes, who is behind the curtain? The curtain conceals and tantalizes like the lies of a liar. Who will appear on stage next? Will it be a known liar jailsnitch, a man considered unreliable by his own Camorra brothers? It seems doublecrosses between them and him landed him in jail to become a brief cellmate of dear Raffaele.
Will he strut and fret his hour upon the stage to abuse us with more lies? Is he hoping to gain from the Sollecito family? Or maybe next onstage will come another well known liar, Amanda Marie Pace Knox, who might add to her circular drivel a third or fourth language, to spice up her recipe of confusion. Maybe she will be the sword swallower. She has not perfected the disappearing act.
Pacelli had Amanda wriggling with the simple question, why after time to reflect did she sit down with clear head, no pressure, and confirm the false accusation against Lumumba. Again she claims: I was confused! and continues to lean on that fraud, asking people to believe that all is a swirl of real and unreal in her kaliedoscope mind. She, an honors student, cannot tell truth from fiction.
See the many colors of her naked self-portrait done in magic markers showing the viewer her hindquarters, a lovely reprise of “Ciao, suckers.” The many colors of confusion, made in stained glass to add another jarring element as always. I should ask her for a recipe for garlic milkshake.
Traumatized? “maybe I was traumatized” Amanda states. She grabbed onto a poor life preserver with that, because what would account for the trauma? It surely wasn’t watching the movie Amelie at Raf’s apartment. Is she suggesting that the police interrogation alone caused the trauma that led to a flood of fantasy and falsehoods and maybe “I imagined”, “I was confused”, “In my head it seemed like….”
She was quick to accept that she had been traumatized. She thought the diagnosis of trauma would be a blanket excuse for her squirrelings and misdirections, the contradictions. Wrong. Traumatized? that leads to the real question, what trauma had happened to her? What was so terrifying about a cozy night spent at her boyfriend’s quiet apartment snuggling?
“Maybe I was traumatized…”
Thank you for the clarifications about the defense lawyers. Yes, a hard role indeed and especially in this case. AK’s lawyers come across as caring human beings so it must be very difficult indeed.
I hadn’t realised this was part of a different process which does explain the rather unusual way in which the hearing was conducted.
I suppose I would still like to understand why, in the normal course of the trial itself, she isn’t cross-examined more thoroughly. It would seem that she is being handled with kid gloves. I imagine she would not have received such careful handling in the US system. The victim, Meredith Kercher, deserves at the very least that a clear account be extracted from the accused.
Like all of you I wait with bated breath to see if she does have to take the stand during this appeal - but I won’t hold it for too long.
For me, as I have said, the staged break in is the smoking gun in this case.
There is no need to re-iterate the reasons already advanced for concluding that a break in through Filomena’s window is just fanciful thinking. Massei, who visited the cottage, destroyed the notion of a break in with a tour de force section in the Motivation Report.
However pro-Knox campaigners still cling desperately to a break in as an article of faith. They have to. The reason is clear.
No one but Amanda had an interest in staging a break in. The AK defence and campaigners have had over three years to come up with a half decent hypothesis as to why anybody else would stage a break in. Never mind half decent. They have not even attempted it!
At the Seattle University seminar Steve Moore made a laughable and inept attempt to convince the audience that the break in was genuine that was only notable for what he omitted to mention.
He did not mention anything from the Motivation Report. His approach was straight out of the Ron Hendry manual of how EASY it is to investigate a crime scene.
Ron Hendry’s technique is as follows …..”to study photos …the most relevant is a set of photos of the accident scene….to study those photos intensely…..analyse and interpret the physical evidence and review how it corresponds with witness accounts. I never start with witness accounts in any analysis.”
The trouble with Hendry is that here he excludes the relevance of witness statements altogether and makes assumptions which have not been tested in practice. Any objective review is entirely missing from any of his analyses which are posited entirely on the photos he has studied and the conclusion he wants to reach. The results are his superficial reconstructions (which at first sight seem to have some merit) of what he says actually happened.
For instance in his detailed analysis of the break in, he states that Guede could have stood on the concrete planter box at the front at the junction of the two walls and then leaned across and prised Filomena’s nearest shutter open. This then enables him to throw the rock at the exposed glass (from the parking lot). He then scales the wall and using the other shutter for a grip and as leverage he hoists himself up on to the window ledge. Meredith has not yet come home. Sounds credible and it dispenses with the Massei scenario of a burglar having to climb the wall twice.
But just how credible is it?
First impressions may depend on what photos you are looking at. Try a face -on shot of Filomena’s window and then compare with an angled view including the covered entrance.
I think that in any event photos can be misleading as to any sense of scale and proportion and I wonder what reference Hendry is using. There is no substitute for actually being at the scene itself.
Consider Filomena’s testimony. She left the cottage on the 1st November. She said that as it had been raining on Halloween and the shutters were old and swollen she pulled them in …. the shutters rubbing against the sill.. …as far as they would go. They were not latched but Guede would probably not have known this.
Now consider Hendry’s scenario again.
How safe would Guede have been standing on the edge of the planter plot and, with his left hand, could he have reached and got any sort of proper grip on a shutter slat ( which slants from the inside out making a good grip problematic)? Let alone planted his fingers between the two shutters? Assuming he managed either he then has to pull or jerk the shutter away from the sill to which it is held by the swollen wood.
What is Guede holding on to with his right hand whilst he performs this dangerous manoeuvre? I have studied the photos “intensely”. Had he been holding on to the brick column supporting the roof overhang he would have got nowhere near the shutter. Had he not been then he would have no hold at all that I can see from a photo and he might well have fallen in to the gully. The effort and the risk would have been considerable.
No wonder that those who inspected the cottage do not appear to have even considered this as a realistic option.
Furthermore had he succeeded would he have the used the other unlatched shutter as leverage for his body weight? Was this conveniently tighter against the sill than the other? Suppose it was the other way round. One can see him coming a cropper for the second time.
Finally on the charitable assumption that some of this might be possible why have the defence teams not pulled off a successful demonstration?
So we come back to the staged break in again.
I’m already on page 114 and have to remind myself to slow down because after the the 288 pages I can’t enjoy it anymore. This book has clarity and excellent explanations that even someone from Seattle could understand it.