Sollecito Book - Chapter 4 Justice

Posted by Peter Quennell

+ ME FROM ##

Chapter 4 Justice

1. As Raffaele’s judicial processes advanced, he states in the “Justice” chapter of his book: “I knew I was doing the right thing by sticking to my guns and telling the truth.”

This statement is laughable, because following his arrest (prior to which he left Amanda Knox with no alibi as to her whereabouts on the night of Meredith’s murder), Raffaele has never made any explicit contribution to advancing the investigation and trials.

He has kept his mouth shut, clammed up. He has not been “telling the truth”, because his lawyers probably told him to stop telling so many divergent and contradictory truths.

I find it hard to believe that - outside of the legal process - his lawyers may have approved of Raffaele writing and publishing and promoting this book.

Posted by Kermit on 09/29/12 at 11:00 AM | #

2. “ The crime, I could have told Maresca and Mignini, was brutal but not complicated. Guede broke in through Filomena’s window, started looking for the rent money, then went to the kitchen to help himself from the refrigerator. (He left forensic traces of all this, and his history indicated that he liked to make himself at home in the places he broke into.) He detoured to the bathroom when he developed an urge to go and sat there while Meredith came in through the front door and slipped into her room. He appears to have been startled by her entry, and did not flush to avoid tipping her off to his presence.”

Untrue. Guede left NO forensic traces of all this other than his poop in the toilet. And how would Guede have known that there was rent money lying around?


Added by Peter Quennell

That arrogant “I could have told Maresca and Mignini” doesnt help him at all.  The pathetic little “victim” barely said a word for four years, and had every opportunity to get up on the stand.

There was no trace of Guede outside Filomena’s window or in her room. The only forensic evidence in there was KNOX’s mixed with Meredith’s blood.

Nobody came close to climbing in that window in the defense’s famous attempts during trial. And there are FOUR other easier routes into the house all of which Guede would have known.

The easiest one by far takes less than a minute in complete privacy - up and onto the balcony at the back an into the kitchen or the passage by Knox’s door. It was used TWICE by burglars in 2008.

And the defenses didn’t even try, ever, to pin it all on Rudy Guede. Sollecito really should ask his lawyers Bongiorno and Maori why. Their certain answer:

“Because it is overwhelmingly obvious that from the autopsy and crime scene recreation that THREE people attacked Meredith; and the Supreme Court (in confirming Guede’s sentence) agreed with that.”

“We could not find any other possible attackers even though one of our own witnesses said we waived around bribes.”

Posted by James Raper on 10/01/12 at 12:55 PM | #

3. About Judge Massei’s report, he says “he went on a mean-spirited tear against Amanda and me over the tiniest details”

Doesn’t he realize that this is a murder trial, someone lost their life, and even the tiniest details matter?

He says that Massei asked questions - why Amanda did not take a change of clothes to his house, why did they sleep late when she was a morning person and moreover, they had plans to go out, why did they take a mop to his house when he already had cleaning supplies etc ““ just to judge them morally.

Hasn’t it occurred to him that Massei did not ask those questions to judge them morally or otherwise, but because they defy logic. Instead of taking a moral high stand, why doesn’t he attempt to answer them properly?

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:41 AM | #

4.  Reconstructing the crime scene, he says “Guede broke in through Filomena’s window, started looking for rent money, then went to the kitchen to help himself from the refrigerator”.

How on earth would Guede know that the rent money is in Filomena’s room? Why would he look for it particularly? Wouldn’t he just grab anything he would see?

As such, Filomena testified that nothing was taken from her room even though her laptop, jewelry, camera, designer sunglasses etc were all easily accessible.

Which thief breaks into a house with an intention of stealing some particular kind of money?

Did Guede take all the trouble to break into a house, risk being caught, just to take a dump and be on his way (if he did not find the rent money), when according to Raffaele’s own words Guede’s own flat was just a few minutes away?

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:41 AM | #

5.Continuing with the reconstruction of crime scene, he says that Guede “left forensic traces of all this” (all this implying his break in, search for rent money in Filomena’s room, raiding the refrigerator etc)

As James Raper mentioned above, Guede left no trace of himself in Filomena’s room, forensic or otherwise. This, in fact, is one of the main arguments against the break-in theory.

What forensic evidence exactly did Guede leave that led Raffeale’s team to believe he was looking for rent money or that he went to the refrigerator to help himself?

And why would he abandon the search midway and suddenly decide to visit the refrigerator and then abandon that midway too and decide to take a dump instead?

Even assuming he did, how can anyone deduce all this from nonexistent forensic evidence.

Posted by Sara on 10/04/12 at 06:42 AM | #

6. Amanda enjoyed an outpouring of support from investigators and law enforcement veterans, and from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who thought they could do some good by intervening. [...] My first reaction to all this was, What about me? How come all the attention was on Amanda?  (p. 108).

While this bit doesn’t require a correction in itself, I think it summarizes the reasons why this book was written in the first place - Raffaele’s need for attention, and the fact that he felt upstaged by Amanda throughout this entire process.

Note to the publishers: “What about ME??!!!” would have been a more appropriate title for this pack of self-serving lies.

What about Meredith? And her death sentence that night?
Posted by Vivianna on 10/16/12 at 10:02 AM | #


finished below here - comments to #23

[23] Five and a half months after my release, I flew to Seattle and saw Amanda again. We were no longer criminal defendants stealing glances from each other across a crowded courtroom, but free people fully able to reflect on our experiences and the peculiar way fate had thrown us together.

Untrue. The Hellmann appeal was already known to have been bent. Prosecution had made that quite plain during the appeal, and this displaced judge Chiria (who resinged) did so soon after. And the prosecution had aready announced a Supreme Court appeal and explained the grounds.

[22] I was no longer the sweet, innocent, ordinary boy from Giovinazzo, but a scarred, more reflective ex-prisoner who could go nowhere without triggering some sort of conversation or expression of opinion.

He was never known to have been the sweet innocent ordinary boy from Giovinazzo. Even at home he was never the most liked in his small crowd. And in Perugia at his high school and college he was a loner who used drugs prolifically, had few if any friends, and was hooked on various forms of perversion.

[21] I wasn’t just nervous about setting eyes on her again. I felt I was suffering from some sort of associative disorder, in which it became difficult for me to focus on my genuine and continuing fondness for Amanda without being overwhelmed by an instinctive, involuntary revulsion at everything the courts and the media had thrown at us. Two different Amandas””the real one, and the distorted, she-devil version I had read about and seen on television nonstop for four years””seemed somehow blurred in my unconscious mind. I couldn’t think of the brief romance we had enjoyed, or the tenderness with which we had written and supported each other in prison, without also feeling deluged by the suffering and vulgar tabloid trash we had endured at the same time.

In fact he showed a coolness and lack of loyalty to Knox from late 2007 all through trial to the point where Knox, having written many love letters, publicly asked if she could meet with him alone.

[20] Amanda and I had been ripped away from our real selves and forced to play the part of killers so vicious they would strike for no reason except their own amusement. It was these alternate selves who had been imprisoned, tried, and sentenced in Judge Massei’s court. But of course it was the two of us, our flesh and blood, who had to bear the consequences.

That was never the scenario the prosecution set out. They portrayed (with a lot of circumstantial evidence) a 15 minute hazing attack on Meredith with the final stab (probably by Knox) only then. Tempers and adrenaline were probably extreme. 

[19] Fortunately, I had other reasons to go to Seattle, which were a welcome distraction from my anxiety. I had many supporters of my own there, and I wanted to meet them and thank them in person. I was also interested in Seattle the digital mecca and had a meeting lined up with a video-game manufacturer I’d been corresponding with.

No meeting for a software job ever happened. The alternative explanation put out by Chris Mellas was that he was meeting with Microsoft. But he was way too old and ill-qualified. He was always at the lower end of his class and at the age of nearly 30 still hast worked a consequential day in his life.

[18] Our legal troubles were largely behind us, but they were not over. Our acquittal would not become definitive until it had been endorsed by the Corte di Cassazione, so we had one more layer of justice to work through. Amanda faced not only the outstanding charge of calunnia””criminal slander””against Patrick, which the appeals court had upheld, but also a new trial for slandering the Perugia police while on the witness stand.

Most observers would say at that point of writing that Raffaele’s “legal troubles” were FAR from largely behind him.  Prosecutor Galati had ALREADY launched a very serious, very documented, very structured and logical appeal to the case. Amanda may feel slightly more comfortable due to the distance and bureaucracy involved in an extradition.

[17] My family was still working through some minor lawsuits of its own.

They were not minor at all and the trial processes for the Sollecito family except for one (leaking of a video showing Meredith’s naked body to Telenorba) are far from over. Vanessa Sollecito lost her internal Carabinieri trial and appeal and then permanently lost her job.

[16] I was sick of the whole judicial circus and couldn’t wait to put it definitively behind me. But the nature of the Italian system meant that it would probably be years before my family or I could stop thinking about the ghastly mess or talking to lawyers on a regular basis.

The process was extensive for two reasons. The appeals are automatic if requested, and the defenses had a role in bending the Hellmann appeal outcome that was annulled.

[15] Judge Hellmann’s sentencing report was magnificent: 143 pages of close argument that knocked down every piece of evidence against us and sided with our experts on just about every technical issue. It lambasted both the prosecution and the lower court for relying on conjecture and subjective notions of probability instead of solid evidence. And it launched a particularly harsh attack on Mignini for casting aspersions on the very concept of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Mignini had dismissed it in one of his court presentations as a self-defining piece of linguistic trickery. Hellmann pointed out that reasonable doubt was now””belatedly””part of the Italian criminal code. A case built on probability alone, he said, was not sufficient and must necessarily lead to the acquittal of the defendant or defendants.

The Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann appeal sentencing report in more scathing terms than it has used for years. It was particularly critical of Helmmann’s faulty logic and confirmed that Dr Mignini (misconstrued here) got the law exactly right.

[14] The prosecution’s rebuttal of the sentencing report, filed a couple of months later, was little short of astonishing. It accused Hellmann of indulging in circular arguments, the old rhetorical fallacy known to the ancients as petitio principii””essentially, starting with the desired conclusion and working backward. The criticism applied much more accurately to what the prosecution and Judge Massei had done themselves; everything, even the absence of evidence, had been a pretext for them to argue for our guilt. But the author of the prosecution document, Giovanni Galati, chose not to dwell on such ironies. Instead, he attacked Hellmann””I wish I were joking about this””for resorting to deductive reasoning. Making yet more allusions to grand rhetorical principles, Galati said he had a problem with the appeals court taking the available evidence and seeking to make each piece follow on logically from the last. I take it he is not a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

Again, the Supreme Court annulled the Hellmann appeal sentencing report in more scathing terms than it has used for years. It was particularly critical of Helmmann’s faulty logic and confirmed that the prosecutiongot the law exactly right. Who wrote this? Clearly not any Italian lawyer

[13] Galati seemed incensed that Hellmann had found the “superwitnesses” unreliable. He argued that Hellmann’s problem with Antonio Curatolo, the heroin addict in Piazza Grimana, was not his failure to be consistent about the details of when and where he had supposedly seen us but rather Hellmann’s own “unwarranted prejudice against the witness’s lifestyle.” Galati even dared to embrace Curatolo’s argument that heroin is not a hallucinogen to insist he must have been telling the truth.

Points the late Antonio Curatolo made hung together despite this ad hominem attack and were confirmed by other witnesses - movement of buses, police arriving at the house, the weather. His time line fitted with other time lines for example the timing of the scream. 

[12] These arguments, to me, made a mockery of civilized discourse. I don’t honestly know how else to characterize them. From my experience, I also know they are the bread and butter of the Italian legal system, the peculiar language in which arguments and counterarguments are formed every day. Not only do innocents go to prison with shocking regularity, while guilty people, equally often, win reprieve or acquittal; magistrates and judges who make the most howling errors rarely pay for their mistakes.

That is exactly NOT what happens under the Italian system which is perhaps the most cautious, most pro-defendant in the world. Career prosecutors and judges are not elected and are closely monitored and at the end of most trials have to write out their reasoning at length.

[11] Paolo Micheli, the pretrial judge who didn’t let his obvious intelligence and sharp questioning of Patrizia Stefanoni get in the way of keeping us locked up until the end of the trials, now sits in the civil section of the Corte di Cassazione.

The two were kept locked up in 2008 and 2009 in large part because psychological testing in Capanne strongly suggested they could attack again, and witnesses needed to have peace of mind. Judge Matteini made no secret of the fact that they were considered a real risk.

[10] Giuliano Mignini, meanwhile, managed to have his conviction on abuse-of-office charges vacated on a technicality. He argued on appeal that Florence was not the appropriate trial venue because the judges there were too close to the Monster of Florence prosecutors. In theory, his case has now moved to La Spezia, the naval port halfway between Florence and Genoa, to be reheard from scratch. But in all likelihood Mignini will wait out the five-year statute of limitations and have the entire case thrown out by default. We may have beaten him, but in an important and deeply depressing sense he has emerged a winner too. At least so far.

The prosecution was advanced by a series of judges and a co-prosecutor. In the Italian system it is quite impossible for a prosecutor to force a false conviction through all levels of appeal. The system much praised by American lawyers who know it has less false convictions than any in the world.

These claims about Dr Mignini were highly out of date even when written in mid 2012. Dr Mignini’s conviction by a rogue prosecutor and rogue judge in Florence were decisively thrown out, the rogue prosecutor and judge have both been in a ton of trouble ever since, the Supreme Court reversed the conviction in scathing terms, and the respected and much liked Dr Mignini is now the Deputy Prosecutor General for Perugia’s region of Umbria. 

[09] Amanda and I steered clear of any legal discussion; we’d avoided talking about the case in prison, and we weren’t about to depress ourselves by starting now. Instead, we shared many of the normal, joyful things that had instinctively brought us together in the first place: our noisy, rambunctious, warmhearted families, and our love of friends, good food, and large gatherings.

These are also two highly disfunctional families with numerous issues that, had they been attended to, might have ensured Meredith would stay alive. Read about the problems of the Knox family here.

Read about the problems of the Sollecito family here.

In fact Sollecito continues, uncaring that he set so much strife in motion: “I was dismayed, if not surprised, to realize that my family was as volatile as ever. Vanessa was still boundlessly opinionated, only more depressed now that she was living back home, her career in tatters, and tending horses to make ends meet. My father would alternate between infinite patience and understanding, and explosions of indignation at the choices I was making and the company I kept.”

[08] I told her that when I was confronted with people haranguing me about the case, either to attack me or to presume more knowledge than they had, I ignored them. As a general rule, I tried to give as little weight as possible to the opinions of others. We had to focus on living our lives, I said, because nobody could live them for us. “If I had had that attitude,” I said, “if I’d allowed other people to dictate what I should do and think and feel, I wouldn’t be eating seafood here with you. I’d still be in prison.”

His sulky attitude helped him little at either trial or appeal and it certainly did not help Knox who quite publicly was showing she felt betrayed. it was frequently evident that Sollecito’s own lawyers were exasperated with him.

[07] She agreed, and as our conversation continued, she looked visibly moved. “I want only good things for you, Raffaele. I’m very glad you came.” She gave me a monster hug, the sort that only close friends or siblings give each other, people who share a special, unbreakable bond.

See just above. No unbreakable bond was ever in evidence from 2007 up to when this book was written. He betrayed her in many small ways and at times she lashed out against him. We have had various posts pointing out how each defense team more or less goes its own way. Early in 2013 in the Italian magazine Oggi, Knox lashed out at Sollecito for not sticking with her.

At the same time Knox showed little loyalty back. In both books it is obvious that by the time Meredith died their relationship was headed for the rocks. Sollecito was desperate to hang on to the first sex partner in his life, Knox was already out and about and probably sleeping with someone else. Also she was talking of heading to China to meet up with her Seattle mate.

[06] We are free today because of the support we were able to offer each other in our darkest moments. The romance that made headlines around the world was a fleeting thing, but that deeper trust, the inherent faith we had in each other even as others dragged us endlessly through the mud, defines us as human beings. It’s what kept us sane for four long years in prison. And, I am quite certain, it will endure.

Complete nonsense. See the rebuttal above.

[05] I would like to thank everyone who stood by me during my long and difficult journey. Many people’s lives were changed by the horrific miscarriage of justice that Amanda and I went through, and while we and our loved ones went through hell, the experience also led to many friendships and associations between people who might never have met otherwise.

The miscarriage of justice claim…

[04] I want to offer my deepest thanks to my family, who always stayed close to me in mind and heart and spirit, who fought for me and encouraged me never to give up hope. Foremost among them is my father, Francesco Sollecito, who always listened to me and fought from the beginning to stand by what I was saying, which was the truth.

This is ironic, given that Dr Francesco Sollecito, Raffaele’s father, has publicly disavowed the book. And in particular disavowed its not very indirect insinuations that the father had attempted to pervert the course of justice by negotiating through a third party with the Prosecutor office.

[03] Along the way I acquired many supporters who, over time and many exchanges of letters, have become true friends themselves. Among them: Gilbert Baumgartner, Michael Krom, Maria Luigia Alessandrini, Joe Santore, Jessica Nichols, Chris and Edda Mellas, Madison Paxton, Cassandra Knox, Deanna Knox, Elisabeth Huff, Shirley Anne Mather, J. Tappan Menard, Martin Speer, Jason Leznek, Eric Volz, Steve and Michelle Moore, Leslie Calixto, Laura Buchanan Kane, Larry Kells, Jerry and Sue Alexander, Steven David Bloomberg, Eve Applebaum-Dominick, Francisco di Gennaro and Anna Rella, and Nigel Scott. Other supporters I’d like to acknowledge include Angela Benn, Karen Pruett, Judge Michael Heavey…

Sunshine Tsalagi, Janet Burgess, Alexander Jackson, Maria Alamillo, Candace Dempsey, Paul Smyth, Patrick King, Joe Starr, Mario Spezi, Douglas Preston, Mark Waterbury, Bruce Fisher, David D. Kamanski, Jerry Morgan, Bruce Locke, Jodie Leah, Michael Scadron, Pawel Bukowski, Michael Smith, Jake Holmes, Michael Rabold, Bern Vogt, Joe Bishop, Kate Lee and Willie Grey, Diana Navaro Botero, June Easterly O’Brien, Margaret Ralf, Werner Gompertz, Anthony Giorgianni, Terrie Connell, Colin Connaughton, Dave Tupper, Dale Gridalt, Hayes Whitt, Hilde Conradi, Charlotte Olson, Rebecca Springer-Seeman, Raymond and Betty, L. Schwab, Jim and James Rocca, and Colleen Conroy.

More than a few are under close watch for obstruction of justice for their assaults on the Italian system,

[02] I was lucky to have a crack legal team who showed their devotion to the truth and, in some cases, did not even request payment. The team of lawyers and consultants included Adriano Tagliabracci, Francesco Vinci, Bruno Pellero, Francesco Introna, Giulia Bongiorno, Maurizio Parisi, Daniela Rocchi, Luca Maori, Donatella Donati, Marco Brusco, Aldo Poggioni, Delfo Berretti, Tiziano Tedeschi, and Antonio D’Ambrosio…. Giulia Bongiorno, Luca Maori, and Tiziano Tedeschi answered questions and made comments on parts of the manuscript.

The Italian defense lawyers for their seeming endorsement of the dishonest passages in the book may have their own kind of trouble coming up

[01] Sharlene Martin, the ever gracious Gail Ross, the boundlessly generous Steve and Michelle Moore, my favorite pugliese Anna D’Elia, Peter Popham, Robert Adams, and of course the rocking, super-talented team at Simon & Schuster/Gallery who were never less than a pleasure and kept me sane against a tight deadline. Thank you, Jen Bergstrom, for believing in this book from the get-go, thank you Lisa Rivlin and Alex Lewis, and thank you, Trish Boczkowski, for your brilliant editing and infectiously good company. That’s amore!

The agent and publishers for their lack of due diligence toward the dishonest passages in the book may have their own kind of trouble coming up.


Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/20/15 at 01:00 PM in

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