Category: Amanda Knox

Friday, October 09, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #2 The Strange Two Unrelated Tracks Approach

Posted by catnip



The Bruno demon in the cage…

Initial impressions of the legal reasoning

A closer reading, or later pages, may reveal a change in opinion might be required. If so, those changes in the post will be noted. Based on experience, the likelihood is that, how a thing starts, is how it will tend to continue. Changing horses in mid-stream, though theoretically possible, is not an everyday occurrence.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: A European Court of Human Rights decision in Amanda’s favour won’t affect the calunnia conviction, since the accusations were repeated to the Prosecutor (such interviews are institutionally immune to psychological pressure), and she confirmed them again when writing in her note, signed by her, in a moment when she was alone with herself and her conscience. (2.2)

COMMENT: To the defence allegation that it was police pressure that caused Amanda to falsely claim that Patrick was the murderer, the obvious and common sense response that the claim was repeated in situations where no pressure was possible, deflates the allegation.

However, note Bruno’s implicit assumption, that Amanda was behaving rationally, that is, not affected by drugs, impaired mental states, or delusional or incorrect beliefs, is not raised, let alone examined and a factual finding made. (Not that it is in the Court of Cassation’s general remit to make findings of fact, but that is another matter.

And Bruno specifically addresses that point later, so he is not unaware of it.)  This way of treating assumptions forms a characteristic pattern, and has implications later. Note that while the murder charges were dismissed, the calunnia conviction was confirmed. This would not be a matter that any PR push for Raffaele would need to be concerned about, as we indeed find.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The request is refused to have the Grand Chamber consider the probative value of evidence collected in breach of international forensic standards; witness statements made under a strong media spotlight; and the admissibility of accusatory statements made in the judgment of another court and received into evidence. (2.3)

COMMENT: Bruno can handle the forensics methodology question, Alessi’s bag-of-hot-air statements, and the legal implications of the explicit accusations made in the judgment reasons confirming Rudy’s conviction.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The appeal court did not follow Cassation’s ruling on the principles of law involved, namely that the court is not to rely on the original (annulled) reasoning, the court must not trespass into the merits of the case, the court retains the original scope of enquiry, all the facts must be looked at, and the action to take depends upon the type of annulment because there can be errors of law, and errors of logic. (3)

COMMENT: The Florence Court of Appeal did not follow the instructions set down for it by Cassation. This aspect of the rules of law and procedure will take some detail to examine fully, but suffice to say here that Bruno’s own methodology is not automatically immune from the same defects he is accusing Florence of having, merely because it is him saying so. How well does Bruno himself follow the rules?, in other words. Verbal gymnastics and semantic yoga poses are presaged.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: There were glaring errors. (3.1)

COMMENT: This becomes his leitmotiv, and he actually uses that word when talking of others.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: There is only one irrefutable certainty in this case: Amanda’s guilt as regards her criminal calumny (calunnia) against Patrick Lumumba; the investigator’s glaring errors and omissions ““ the intrinsically contradictory complex of evidence is anything but beyond a reasonable doubt (4).

COMMENT: Amanda’s crime against Patrick remains; the evidence is intricate and, due to errors, incomplete, therefore the standard of “˜beyond a reasonable doubt’ has not been met. How it is that the investigator’s actions were in actual error is not established: the implication is that the defence appeal claims are simply being taken on copy-paste trust.

A fair assessment would entail examining the basis of claims that there was forensic error, hearing any counter-arguments, weighing the significance and importance of any such error if it were found to exist, and deciding if it has a bearing and impact on the legal question to be decided ““ this is all trial-court matter.

People being driven by the media spotlight is another leitmotiv of Bruno’s. It’s almost as if he is embodying what he is saying that others have done.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The absurd and incomprehensible death of Meredith Kercher in mysterious circumstances and the international media spotlight forced an increase in the pace of the investigation and a knee-jerk search for someone guilty to display to the international media, and lack of regard for international protocols about possible contamination, led to hurried, incomplete and incorrect investigative activity. The lack of repeatability, breaking one of the most fundamental requirements of the scientific method as established by Galileo, was a flaw. (4.1)

COMMENT: Here is the first clue that the search for a rational motive is not going to be successful: the murder was senseless. The media spotlight provides the logical underpinning, the motive if you will, of why the police made errors: they needed a quick result, and so therefore cut corners. The “˜international standards’ (which are never named explicitly) provide the yardstick against which these cut corners can be measured.

(Which leads to a circular-logic paradox scenario: At the scriptwriters’ workshop for Detectives 101: Writer A: “I’ve got them on the scene now, ready to decide what to do. So how do I get them to cut corners? What are the corners, the international standards?” Writer B: “I don’t know. Make “˜em up. Or download something official-looking off the Internet.” Writer A: “What are their guidelines in real life, though? Surely they don’t go about breaching guidelines on every callout. How did they know about putting on gloves, for instance?” Writer B: “.”)

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The media and its associated “noise” (in it computer science sense) induced a mythomane seeking to break the long grey day of an incarceration regime, at least for a day; and Rudy the half-truth teller is key: definite traces of him were found in the room and on the victim. (4.2)

COMMENT: Alessi, believed to be a full-truth teller, wanted some fresh air for a couple of hours, so a trip to the courtroom was organised. The media’s fault. Rudy, the known half-truth teller, knows more, because actual traces of him were found in what can be referred to as the “˜murder zone’. Notwithstanding that a person’s traces can be found on a victim, and the person is not a murderer. Bruno is also performing some literary yoga poses in this passage.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s finalised, definitive, judgment, and his statements, attract questions of admissibility. (4.3)

COMMENT: This is the crux of the legal use of the inferences available in terms of Bruno’s reasoning. Rudy’s trial and conviction are being treated by Bruno as separate and distinct from the trial of Amanda and Raffaele, rather than logically interlinked: if the forensics against Amanda and Raffaele are flawed, then those against Rudy are not, because his conviction has become definitive. That is an artificial way of looking at it. Inferences can go both ways: if Raffaele’s DNA is the result of contamination, then so could Rudy’s be, for exactly the same reasons; if a person has the victim’s blood on their hands, then that does not make them the (or a) murderer.

Indeed, Rudy explicitly stated he got blood on him while trying to help Meredith (implicitly, this must be the untrue part of one of Rudy’s half-truths). So then Rudy’s conviction becomes a legal fiction, not a representation of what actually happened, and Rudy’s definitive judgment voids itself into nothingness. Bruno avoids discussing this line of thought, for some reason. He also, conveniently, has somehow forgotten about the phrase “acting in company with” in the Criminal Code, again, for some reason (presumably).

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s judgment: The search for a motive for the murder has yielded nothing, in proportion to what has been conjectured: mere disagreement among flatmates, sexual desires (an at least initial consensual act cannot be excluded); and even less for an unknown burglar who graduates from theft, to uncontrollable sexual assault, to gratuitous homicide with such brutal ferocity, unless there was a serial killer in action, which there is no evidence of in the documents that in Perugia, at that time, other homicides of other young women in identical circumstances were being committed. (4.3.1)

COMMENT: This counts as a straw man within a straw man. The Perugian Serial Killer angle almost qualifies as a laughable joke. And what are the chances of finding a traditional rational motive for an irrational (“senseless and absurd”) act? Close to zero, would be the statistician’s answer. The key word is “gratuitous”. Although, the lone-burglar scenario defence gambit gets a drubbing.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Rudy’s statements—made in the absence of the people whose rights are affected (a denial of rights), not always coherent and constant (a denial of logic), and somehow involving Amanda (but never Raffaele explicitly), while continuing to maintain his innocence notwithstanding his forensic presence at the scene and on the victim ““ can only be rejected as inadmissible, and in breach of the requirements for a fair trial. In fact, Rudy as a witness violates his right not to testify after finalisation of his sentence or undergo cross-examination. (4.3.2)

COMMENT: There’s legal yoga posing in this section. The interlinked nature of the trials works both ways: accusations made by the Amanda and Raffaele defence against Rudy in his absence can’t be responded to and cross-examined by him. The bit about “˜not always coherent and constant’ also applies to Amanda and Raffaele. And the bit about Rudy never mentioning Raffaele being on site and present does not sound like it came from Amanda’s defence. On the plus side, Bruno, as editor, did manage to condense the 600-and-more pages of the (Bongiorno) defence appeal down to a couple of dozen paragraphs.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The procedural rules were violated when the defence request to re-open argument was refused. The term “relevant”, as in relevant evidence as mentioned in the Code, is mere linguistic decoration (4.4)

COMMENT: There might be some merit in the idea that witnesses are recalled and argument re-opened only when it’s relevant, and not otherwise. The assertion of procedural violation remains just that, though, an assertion. In any case, opposing views are not examined. So how did Bruno reach his decision? A set of reasons without the actual reasons being given ““ is that what we are looking at?

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The charge relating to unlawful transport of a knife has exceeded the time limit set by the statute of limitations. (5)

COMMENT: The limitations period expiry gambit is a widely-used defence strategy. Lots of people, including very many in the media spotlight, have taken advantage of it and benefitted from it.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: The judgment appealed from, the subject of multiple censures by the parties, exhibits mistakes, incongruities and errors of law. (6)

COMMENT: The prosecution are strangely absent from all of this. Did Bruno only have the transcript of the second day’s hearing, after misplacing the prosecution’s or leaving it at the bus stop? In any case, he does not give any indication that he has read it.

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: In first place, the affirmation that determining the motive is substantively irrelevant is an error. Automatically transferring Rudy’s sexual motive to the others doesn’t hold up; the erotic game scenario finds no corroboration; extending a shared and definite set of interpersonal relationships amongst the co-participants is also a species of transfer.

The love-story between Amanda and Raffaele is obvious and even if it appears certain that she somehow, somewhen, knew Rudy, there is no evidence that Raffaele knew him or ever visited him. If Laura and Filomena didn’t know Rudy and are ruled out as murderers, not to do the same with Raffaele is illogical and irrational. (6.1)

COMMENT: The other judges got it wrong about the importance of motive. If motive is essential, then no motive means no crime. And if one person had motive, it doesn’t mean the others must have had the same motive. The love-story appears obvious, but appearing so doesn’t make it so. Calling it a love-story is an interpretation, in any case. How was the conclusion reached and alternative hypotheses rejected? And how does not knowing Rudy socially (beforehand) have a bearing on anything (even motives)? A straw straw-man being invoked?

Cassation (Bruno) ““ gist: Holding that the exact time of death was irrelevant was also an error. From the phone records, it emerges that the time of death can be set between 21:30 and 22:13. (6.2)

COMMENT: The exact time is needed for a fair trial so the accused can supply an alibi. The prosecution method of picking the middle of the estimated time range is “˜mere’ arithmetic, not science (including gastric).  Perhaps Bruno read along the line underneath by mistake on the phone call log printout (if he actually read anything)? Perhaps he just accepted the defence claim at their word? Who can tell?

Pause here and re-energize, before we continue in another post. Bruno’s pattern seems to be shaping up as:

Make assertions as if they are conclusions; show no reasoning for them; exhibit a predilection and fondness for posing (of which more, when we get to the detail); and embody what he alleges the prosecution (and Alessi) have done, namely hastening under pressure and influence of the media spotlight and not following international standards, in this case, of legal reasoning and fairness (plus the implicit backhanders to all those who “got it wrong”).

It’s almost as if this case has provided him with the opportunity of at least a small break from long grey days of unproductive solitude. If so, it’s no wonder his sympathy with Raffaele’s situation of watching mould growing on his cell wall shines through so brightly.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Overview Of The Series

Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries
Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six
Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope
Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims
Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts
Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless
Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

2. Overview Of The Post

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are about 3/4 of the way through the judgment and here Marasca and Bruno push aside both some of Knox’s and Sollecito’s grounds of appeal and also Judge Nencini’s chosen scope.

This is done in a manner remarked on by Catnip as curiously pedantic and dogmatic. It is based largely on innuendo and a noticeably weak grasp of the real facts - for example the jailbirds Alessi and Aviello were DEFENSE witnesses and hardly a weakness of the prosecution case.

The evidence discussed is cherrypicked and the bar for “beyond a reasonable doubt” is set way higher than judges who normally handle murder cases (as the Fifth Chambers and these particular judges do not) would ever espouse. The exhaustive six-step review process prior to the 2009 trial is totally ignored.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.

3. Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope

Our further critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts. Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

CONSIDERED THAT

1. Logical and exposition reasons call for an immediate examination of the preliminary matters advanced by the defenses.

In fact, these are issues of prejudicial relevance, since they are potentially capable of influencing the subsequent developments of decisions which, even if devoid of substantial definitiveness, could nevertheless have a decisive effect, at least in relation to the remand back to the lower court and postponement of the present consideration.

First of all, we will address the issue of constitutional legitimacy of the combined provisions of articles 627 par. 3, and 628 par. 2 of the code of criminal procedure, for supposed violation of the principle of reasonable length of the judicial process in light of article 111 of the Constitution; also the request to delay judgment until the decision of the European Court for Human Rights, subjected to an appeal submitted by the defense of Amanda Knox complaining about coercive treatment to which the aforementioned was supposed to have been exposed by the investigators during the preliminary investigations; also to the multiple requests of Raffaele Sollecito’s defense to refer examinations to the United Sections of this Supreme Court [a panel of all Chambers] about matters of particular relevance to their capability to generate interpretative alternatives in the case law of this Court.

2. All the requests are clearly unfounded.

2.1. Unfounded, first of all, is the restated issue of constitutional legitimacy of the laws that rule judgment by the courts after Supreme Court remand. And in fact, the motivating report of the previous [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.], who, with the preliminary court order dated 30 September 2013, has considered the matter as clearly unfounded, is irreproachable. To the arguments brought forward [by the judge] in relation to the first matter ““ an illustration of how the dynamics of the relationship between a judgment of annulment on legitimacy grounds, and a replacement judgment by the lower judge after remand, are guided by a progressive narrowing of the thema decidendum [matter], which, serves to preclude an extension ad infinitum of the trial process ““ this can be added: the effect of the progressive delimitation of the res iudicanda is followed by the judiciary as a possible result not only of the rescinding [annulling] judgment, but also of the requirements of article 628, par. 2, of the procedural code, according to which in all cases the sentence of the appellate judge can be challenged only in relation to reasons not concerning points already decided the Court of Cassation, or for failure to abide with the requirements of article 627, chapter 4 , of the code of criminal procedure, according to which “the appellate judgment by the court following Supreme Court remand cannot reopen the issue of nullity, even absolute, or inadmissibility, decided during previous trials or during preliminary investigations.”

Thus legitimacy jurisprudence is prohibited to extend as far as non-usability, since it is considered as an expression of a general principle of the decree which tends to confer definitive status to the decisions of the Court of Cassation (Section 5, n. 10624 dated on 12 February 2009, Barbara, Rv. 242980; Section 5, n. 36769 dated on 03 September 2006, Caruso, Rv 235015; Section 1, n. 22023 of the 18 April 2006,  Marine, Rv. 235274; and, about preliminary judicial review, Section 6, n. 47564 of the 14 November 2013, Tuccillo, Rv. 257470; contra, Section 3, n. 15828 of the 26 November 2014, Rv. 263343).

It is thus perfectly acceptable to affirm that the legislative [parliament] has designed a procedural module with a progressive foundation (principle of so-called “progressive ruling”), which can be viewed ““ in a slice of time ““ as “concentric circles”.

Furthermore, the previous court ““ in the instances described in the appeal document signed by the lawyers Ghirga and Della Vedova ““ had already had the opportunity to take care of this matter, declaring it inadmissible on the basis of argumentations that the current defensive explanations doesn’t seem capable of rebutting, since they do not proffer arguments that could possibly promote a different deciding conclusion.

It cannot be ignored that the criminal trial is, constitutionally, aimed at the acknowledgement of the material truth by means of a cognitive progression, excluding possible errors in procedendo or in iudicando, medio tempore occurring, to reach its final purpose, in terms of approximation as close as possible to that objective, [20] rendering back to the community a result commonly intended as “judicial truth”, that means truth found procedurally (rectius, the one which has been possible to verify by means of the ordinary gnostic and inferential instruments at disposal of the judge). All of this, within the ineluctible contexts of the procedural formalities, which represent, obviously, the maximum expression of juridical civility and the prestigious spirit of a centuries old process of advancement of procedural knowledge typical of the Italian juridical culture.

And when one deals with, as in this case, matters of particular evidence in absence of direct proof, or of reliable technical-scientific contribution, or of pertinent and usable declarative contributions ““ the judicial truth, detached from factual reality, ends up being a mere fictio iuris, considering the limits and the ordinary subjectivity of the instruments of human knowledge, commonly depending on a reconstructive and re-elaborative process a posteriori.

So, it is precisely in this circumstances that the respect of standards is most necessary, representing an unswerving parameter ““ objective and privileged ““ for the verification of correctness and adequacy of the cognitive process of the judge during the pragmatic approach to the material truth.

And the Judge of the legitimacy is, in fact, called to attend to the aforementioned verification with cognitive powers only ab extrinseco, meaning that they are limited to a mere external check of the formal correctness, congruency and logical coherence of the set of explanations justifying that cognitive progression, without any possibility to observe the real demonstrative importance of the evidential elements used in it.

And furthermore, such pursue of finalization will have to comply with the constitutional principle under article 111 of the Constitution about reasonable length of a trial process intended to develop through phases and predetermined sequenced articulations.

The pursue of that ultimate purpose (seeking of the material truth) ““ particularly in trials of particular delicacy like the one examined here, of such difficulty in carrying out of procedural activities, and technical investigations of particular complexity ““ has therefore to be related to the necessity of a judicial reply of a length as short as possible, for the obvious necessity of respect for the value of the subjects involved and of the ineluctible claim for justice both of the victims and the community.

2.2. The request of Amanda Knox’s defense aimed at the postponing of the present trial to wait for the decision of the European Court of Justice [sic] has no merit, due to the definitive status of the guilty verdict for the crime of calunnia, now protected as a partial final status, against a denouncement of arbitrary and coercive treatments allegedly carried out by the investigators against the accused to the point of coercing her will and damaging her moral freedom in violation of article 188 of penal procedure code. [21]

And also, a possible decision of the European Court in favor of Ms. Knox, in the sense of a desired recognition of non-orthodox treatment of her by investigators, could not in any way affect the final verdict, not even in the event of a possible review of the verdict, considering the slanderous accusations that the accused produced against Lumumba consequent to the asserted coercions, and confirmed by her before the Public Prosecutor during the subsequent session, in a context which, institutionally, is immune from anomalous psychological pressures; and also confirmed in her memoriale, at a moment when the same accuser was alone with herself and her conscience in conditions of objective peacefulness, sheltered from environmental influence; and were even restated, after some time, during the validation of the arrest of Lumumba, before the investigating judge in charge.

2.3. Finally, denied also is the request from Sollecito’s defense seeking to obtain referral to the United Sections of this Court of matters related to the evidential value of scientific results acquired in violation of international protocols which contain specific prescriptions meant to assure the genuineness of the sampling and the analysis; also related to the standards of evaluation of expert testimony during the trial process under strong media exposure; also related to the usability of accusative declarations reported in the verdict that had been acquired according to article 238”“bis of the procedure code.

These are, clearly, matters of particular weight, of some agreed relevance for purposes of defining the present judgment, but of dubious capacity to generate potential jurisprudential contrasts. Anyway, interpretative tangles are checked out here which this Court could not ignore, with the pertinent conclusion having binding effectiveness within the purpose of defining the present proceeding.

3. Having thus stated, the main topic of the present proceeding can now be approached, the leitmotiv of the claims of the contestants, revolving around a prejudicial claim of inobservance, on the part of the [Florence] appeal judge, of the dictum of the [2013] annulment ruling by this Court and the principle of law established within it.

The investigation requested to this Court is only apparently simple, considered that the ratio decidendi of the annulment ruling is founded on the finding of a manifest illogicality of the rationale supporting the appealed judgement; a finding which consists ““ and specifies itself ““ in the observation of a violation of the principles of completeness and of non-contradiction.

It is an established jurisprudential rule that, in presence of such reasoning for an annulment, derived from a deficit in the reasoning, the new appeal judge [giudice di rinvio] is tasked with the comprehension of the whole body of evidence, which he is expected to revisit [22] in full freedom of conviction, without any bound, being only supposed to produce, as a result, a reasoning deprived of those flaws of manifest illogicality or manifest contradiction which caused the annulment of the first appeal verdict. In the case law of this Court of Cassation there is, in fact, the recurrent statement “following an annulment for incorrect reasoning, the new appeal judge is prohibited from basing the new decision on the same arguments considered illogic or inconsistent by the Court of Cassation, but he is however free to reach, on the basis of different argumentations from the ones claimed in the Supreme Court therefore integrating and completing the ones already issued, the same judicial result of the annulled ruling. This because it is an exclusive task of the courts of merit to reconstruct the resulting facts from the trial findings, and to assess the signification and value of the relative sources of evidence”. (among others, Sect 4, n. 30422 of 21 June 2005, Poggi, Rv. 232019; Section 4, n. 48352 of 29 April 2009, Savoretti, Rv 245775).

A problem ““ suggested with appreciable discretion within the new reasons [of appeal] in favor of Knox ““ appears when, as in this case, the Court of Cassation has entered in the merits, going beyond the institutional limits assigned to it, such as when for example it offers a range of causal alternatives for the murder and assigns to the judge the task of picking, within that predetermined numerous clausus, the one most appropriate to the case at bar. There’s no doubt, in the opinion of this panel, that in such peculiar event the new appellate court cannot consider itself either bound or influenced, because of the aforementioned clear problem of this institutional kind, that, for what was stated before, exists between cognizance of legitimacy and cognizance of the fact, the latter being the exclusive prerogative of the judge of merit. In this regard the Supreme Court has already given its contribution, stating that the new appellate judge cannot be influenced “by evaluations possibly over-stated by the Court of Cassation in its argumentations, since the spheres within which the respective evaluation are carried out are different, and it is not the task of the Court of Cassation to put its conviction before the judge of merits in regards to those matters. After all, in those cases where the Supreme Court possibly focus its attention over some specific aspects from which the lack or the contradiction of reasoning emerges, this doesn’t mean that the new appellate judge would be tasked with a new judgment only on the specified points, because the judge retains the same powers which originally belonged to him as a judge of merits in relation to the identification and evaluation of the trial data, regarding the point of the verdict affected by annulment” (Section 4 n.30422/2005 cit.). In the same sense it was stated that “”¦ possible factual elements and assessments contained in the annulment ruling are not binding for the new appellate judge, but are considered exclusively as a reference point in order to position the complained-about error or errors, [23] and therefore not as data imposed for the decision requested of him; moreover, there’s no doubt that, after the ruling of annulment for incorrect reasoning through the indication of specific points of deficiency or contradiction, the powers of the new appellate judge cannot be restrained to the examination of the single specified points, as if they were isolated from the rest of the evidential material, but he must also carry out other acts of evidence-finding on which results his decision has to be based, providing the reason for this within the judgment report” (Section 4, n. 44644 of 18 October 2011, defendant F., Rv. 251660; Section 5, n. 41085 of 3 July 2009, defendant L., Rv. 245389; Section 1, n. 1397 of 10 December 1997 dep. 1998, Pace, Rv. 209692).

All of this is the background to a reiterated doctrine of this Court of Cassation, consolidated to the point of constituting a ius receptum, according to which “the powers of the new appeals judge are different depending on if the annulment has been ruled for violation or erroneous application of the criminal code, or for absence of manifested illogicality of reasoning, since, while, in the first hypothesis, the judge is bound to the law principle expressed by the Court, without changing the evaluation of the facts as they were found by the appealed verdict, in the second hypothesis, a new examination of the evidential compendium can be carried out, without repeating the same incorrect reasoning of the annulled order. (among the others, Section 3, n. 7882 of 10 January 2012, Montali, Rv. 252333).

3.1. As we will see, the appeals judge [Nencini] was influenced on many points by the suppositions of factual aspects emerging within the annulment judgment, as if the convincing and analytic evaluations of the Supreme Court were unavoidably converging in the direction of affirmation of guilt of the two defendants. Being misled by this error, the same judge encounters clear logic inconsistencies and obvious errors in iudicando, which need to be challenged here.

4. Meanwhile, it can’t be ignored, on a first summary overview, that the history of these proceedings is characterized by a troubled and intrinsically contradictory path, with the only fact of irrefutable certainty being the guilt of Amanda Knox regarding the slanderous accusations against Patrick Lumumba. On the concern of the murder of Kercher, the declaration of guilt of Knox and Sollecito, in first instance, was followed by a ruling of acquittal from the appeal Court of Assizes of Perugia, consequent to an articulated evidential integration [the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ed.]; the annulment by this Supreme Court, First Criminal Section; and finally the judgment, on appeal, of the Court of assizes of Florence, today considered under a new Cassation appeal.

An objectively wavering process, the oscillations of which are the result of glaring failures or investigative “amnesias” and of culpable omissions in [24] investigating activities, which, had they been carried out, would have, probably, allowed from the start the outline a framework, if not of certainty, at least of reassuring reliability, in direction of either the guilt or the non-involvement of the current appellants. Such scenario, intrinsically contradictory, constitutes a first, eloquent, representation of an evidential set of anything but “beyond reasonable doubt”.

4.1. Surely, an unusual media fuss about the crime, caused not just by the dramatic modalities of the death of a 22-year old woman, so absurd and incomprehensible in its genesis, but also by the nationality of the persons involved (a USA citizen, Knox, accused of participating in the murder of her housemate who was sharing a foreign study experience with her; an English citizen, Meredith Kercher, killed in mysterious circumstances in the place where she likely used to feel most safe, her home, and additionally the international implications of the case itself, prompted the investigation to suffer from a sudden acceleration, which, in the spasmodic search for one or more culprits to be delivered to international public opinion,  surely didn’t help the search for substantial truth, which, in complex murder cases like the one examined here, has an ineluctible requirement both for accurate timing, and also the completeness and accuracy of the investigation activity. Not only that, but also, when ““ as in this case ““ the result of the search is greatly based on the results of scientific examinations, the antiseptic sampling of all the elements useful to the investigation ““ in an environment provided of the appropriate sterilization, so to shield it from possible contaminations ““ constitutes, normally, the first cautionary strategy, itself the vital prelude to a correct analysis and “reading” of the retrieved samples. And if the key part of the activity of technical-scientific research consists in specific genetic investigations, whose contribution in the investigative activity emerges as more and more relevant, the reliable parameter of correctness can only be the respect of standards imposed by the international protocols which outline the fundamental rules of procedure of the scientific community, on the basis of statistic and epistemological observation.

The rigorous respect for such methodological standards provides a reliability, conventionally acceptable, in the assembled results, firstly related to their repeatability ““ that is the possibility that those findings, and those alone, would be reproduced by an identical investigative procedure 0in identical conditions, according to the fundamental laws of the empiric method and, more generally, of experimental science, that since Galileo has been based on the application of a “scientific method” (typical procedure meant to obtain knowledge of “objective” reality, reliable, verifiable and sharable; by common knowledge this consists, on one hand, in the collection of empiric data in relation to the hypothesis and theories to be confirmed; on the other hand, in the mathematical and rigorous analysis of such data, that is associating ““ as stated for the first time by aforementioned Galileo ““ “sensible experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” that is the experimentation with mathematics.

4.2. As we will see, all of this is basically missing in the current judgment.

Not only that but, the media attention, besides not helping the search for the truth, has produced further prejudicial feedback in terms of “procedural diseconomy”, generating undue “noise” (in the IT meaning) , not so much from the delay of the availability of witness testimony from certain persons (considering that from this point of view it is anyway just a matter of verifying the reliability of the corresponding declarative contributions), but because of the introduction into the trial of extemporary declarations by certain detained subjects, of solid criminal caliber [defense witnesses Alessi and Aviello], surely intent on self-serving mythomania and judicial attention-seeking behavior capable of assuring them a media stage, including on TV, so breaking at least for one day the grayness of their prison regime. And by the way this was a common instance of claims from “fetchers” of truths collecting within the prison environment unworthy confidences between co-inmates during the routine yard time. Clearly not commendable situations, which, also, had had the outcome of assuring ““ for the first time during the appeal ““ the active participation in this case of Rudy Guede (when he was summoned during the first instance judgment, he invoked his right to not respond; p. 3): [he’s] a key element in this case, even if unshakably reticent (and has never confessed), a bringer of half-truths differing from time to time.

Rudy Guede is the Ivorian citizen who was also himself involved in the Kercher case. Tried separately with a separate judgment, as a co-participant to the murder, he was sentenced, at the end of an abbreviated trial, to the penalty of thirty years imprisonment, reduced on appeal to sixteen years.

Our mention of him is to make it worth introducing the second, irrefutable, certainty of this trial (after the one concerning the responsibility of Knox for the crime of calunnia), that is the guilt now under irrevocable ruling, of the Ivorian as the author ““ participating with others ““ of the murder of the young English woman.

The finding of guilt of the aforementioned was reached on the basis of genetic traces, definitely attributable to him, collected in the house in via della Pergola, on the victim’s body and inside the room where the murder was committed.

4.3. The same reference [to Guede] also raises two relevant points of law, highlighted by the defense: one concerning the usability and the value of the aforementioned irrevocable verdict in this proceeding; the other related to the usability of the declarations - in terms less than coherent and constant ““ produced by Guede within his own trial, which may involve the current appellants in some way.


Friday, October 02, 2015

The Marasca/Bruno Report, A Dissection In Four Parts: #1 The Strange “Dogmatic Assertions” Approach

Posted by catnip



General Garofano founded Carabinieri labs, has long argued DNA evidence in this case very strong

1. Overview Of This Post

These analyses will be interspersed with the final posts of the Marasca/Bruno report. 

A person holding themselves out to be a “˜creation scientist’ may easily make a statement (in the form of a short sentence in an article or of a soundbite on TV).

At which point, it may take a whole book of effort, to examine the background and field(s) of scientific learning and expertise that are involved and to follow the lines of reasoning used (if any), in order to come to a satisfactory assessment of the accuracy and reliability of that statement.

Likewise with the Fifth Criminal Chamber Cassation judgment penned by Bruno. It seems to be full of assertions. And that’s it.

Take, as one example, the international standards that the forensics personnel are supposed to have breached.

2. Example: “˜International standards’

Much has been made of what have been called “˜international forensic standards’, and whether they have been met and what significance the evidence would have had if they hadn’t.

There is also a subtext of what forensic procedure the Italian Scientific Police were actually following and why a breach of those guidelines did not ground a submission by the defence that there had been contamination and therefore that the evidence was unusable.

(Plus also, disposable gloves are called “˜monouso’, that is “single use”, in Italian, and that name seems to have sown some confusion in the minds of the defence lawyers about how such gloves are to be used in actual cases.)

In Italian, there’s a recent textbook, with international contributors:

Donatella Curtotti and Luigi Saravo (eds), Manuale delle investigazioni sulla scena del crimine: Norme, techniche, scienze, (2013) [Giappichelli, 2013] (Crime Scene Investigation Manual: Guidelines, techniques, science)

ISBN 9788834829004

A perusal of the contents shows that its coverage is extensive in terms of subject matter, and not superficial, at over a thousand pages:

Introduction

D Curtotti, BAJ Fisher, MM Houck and G Spangher, “Diritto e sceinza: Un rapporto in continua evoluzione”,  pp 1-36 (Law and Science: A relationship in continuous evolution)

The legal picture

D Curtotti, “I rilievi e gli accertamenti sul locus commissi delicti nelle evoluzioni del codice di procedura penale”,  pp 37-118 (Collection and tests at the scene of the crime in the developments of the Criminal Procedure Code)

D Curtotti, “L’inadeguatezza delle norme al cospetto della nuova realta’ investigativa e le soluzioni giuridiche percorribili”,  pp 119-146 (Legal inadequacy in the face of the new investigative reality and feasible judicial solutions)

F Giunchedi, “Le consulenze techniche tra accertamenti irripetibili e incidente probatorio”,  pp 147-176 (Technical consultants between unrepeatable tests and preliminary hearing)

A Procaccino, “Le selezione del consulenti technici e la tracciabilita’ dell’expertise: Profili interni e comparatistici”,  pp 177-218 (The selection of technical consultants and the audit trail of expertise: Internal and comparative profiles)

D Curtotti, “Il sopralluogo della difesa”,  pp 219-234 (The defence crime scene search)

D Curtotti and L Saravo, “L’errore technico-scientifico sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 235-253 (Technical and scientific error at the scene of the crime)

E Cataldi, M Vaira and A Iasillo, “La scena del crimine vist dai protagonisti del processo”,  pp 255-300 (The scene of the crime as seen by the protagonists in the trial)

The technical-scientific picture: the new investigative paradigm

L Saravo, “Il nuovo paradigma investigativo sulla scena del crimine”,  pp 301-312 (The new investigative paradigm at the crime scene)

L Rockwell and L Saravo, “L’analisi logica della tracce”,  pp 313-342 (The logical analysis of traces)

L Garofano and L Saravo, “Il primo intervento”,  pp 343-364 (First intervention)

L Saravo, “CSI: Il metodo di ricerca e valutazione delle tracce”,  pp 365-414 (CSI: Trace search and evaluation method)

The technical-scientific picture: technique, technology and science on the traces of crime

R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces)

A Galassi, D Gaudio, P Martini, L Saravo, M Sgrenaroli and G Vassena, “La rappresentazione della scena del crimine: Dalla descrizione narrative ai rilievi tridimenionali”,  pp 467-558 (Representation of the crime scene: From narrative to 3D)

R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA)

G Arcudi and GL Marella, “Il cadavere e la scena del crimine: Un binomio inscindibile”,  pp 645-671 (The body and the crime scene: An inseparable pairing)

The technical-scientific picture: new techniques

TP Sutton, “L’analisi della macchie di sangue (BPA)”,  pp 672-706 (Blood pattern analysis)

M Mattiucci, “Le indagini sui repertiinvisibili: High Tech Crime”,  pp 707-718 (Analysis of invisible evidence: High Tech Crime)

P Magni and E Di Luise, “Gli insetti nelle scienze forensi”,  pp 719-742 (Insects in the forensic sciences)

P Magni and E Di Luise, “Le tracce orfane: Botanica, micologia, zoologia, microbiologica, e geoscience nel mondo forense”,  pp 743-791 (Orphan traces: Botany, mycology, zoology, microbiology and geoscience in the world of forensics)

B F Carillo, U Fornari, G L Giovanni and L P Luini, “La scena del crimine vista con gli occhi della criminologia”,  pp 791-872 (Looking at the crime scene through the eyes of the criminologist)

The technical-scientific picture: complex investigations

D Gaudio, D Salsarola, P Poppa, A Galassi, R Sala, D Gibelli and C Cattaneo, “L’archeologia forense: Il corretti recupero dei resti umani”,  pp 873-896 (Forensic archaeology: The correct recovery of human remains)

S Scolaro, P Magni and E Di Luise, “La scena criminis in ambiente acquatico”,  pp 897-926 (The crime scene in aquatic environments)

B Cristini and F Notaro, “Lo scenario incendiario”,  pp 927-982 (The incendiary scenario)

A Boncio, Ecataldi, R Mugavero, G Peluso and L Saravo, “Lo scenario terroristico”,  pp 983-1062 (The terrorist scenario)

D O’Loughlin and L Saravo, “I disastri di massa”,  pp 1063-1086 (Mass disasters)

In all the above, the name of Garofano can be seen (a well-known and highly regarded forensics expert), and the Australian contribution (the last chapter) relates to learnings from the Black Saturday bushfires.

“fictional events can gain currency in the real world”  “”  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], p 25 (talking about movie scenes showing the effect of an injection of adrenalin into a person’s heart).  [ISBN 9780199558056]

The defence aim was to reduce the significance of Raffaele’s DNA being found on the torn-off or cut-off clasp of Meredith’s bra, which clasp was collected on a second, later, occasion from a different location in Meredith’s room a pace or so distant from that in which it had been found originally (beneath a pillow under her body).

The video of the scene showed the clasp being handled by various gloved personnel before being bagged.

One strand of the defence attacked the gloves, arguing that they should have been changed.

What are the actual recommendations on gloves?

Disposable gloves should be “˜changed frequently’:

“The evidence collector must handle all body fluids and biologically stained materials with a minimum amount of personal contact. All body fluids must be assumed to be infectious; hence, wearing disposable latex gloves while handling the evidence is required. Latex gloves also significantly reduce the possibility that the evidence collector will contaminate the evidence. These gloves should be changed frequently during the evidence-collection phase of the investigation. Safety considerations and avoidance of contamination also call for the wearing of face masks, shoe covers, and possibly coveralls.”  “”  Richard Saferstein, Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science, 10th edition, (2011) [Pearson, 2011], p 286, Collection of biological evidence. ISBN 9780132545792

Gloves should be changed for each new item of evidence:

“One key concern during the collection of a DNA-containing specimen is contamination. Contamination can occur by introducing foreign DNA through coughing or sneezing onto a stain during the collection process, or there can be a transfer of DNA when items of evidence are incorrectly placed in contact with each other during packaging. Fortunately, an examination of DNA band patterns in the laboratory readily reveals the presence of contamination. “¦ Crime-scene investigators can take some relatively simple steps to minimize contamination of biological evidence: 1. Change gloves before handling each new piece of evidence. 2. “¦ 3. “¦ 4. “¦”  “”  Richard Saferstein, p 288.

Myths about contamination

“There are many myths and misunderstandings about contamination”¦ The first is that all scenes are examined using the highest standard of anti-contamination precautions (suits, overshoes, mob caps, gloves, etc.), which is not the case. “¦ Secondly, the belief that contamination can be completely prevented by wearing the kinds of protection described above and by controlling a scene is unfounded. If you accept Locard’s principle, then you have to accept that any examination of a scene is likely to disturb it and to “˜contaminate’ it in some way. Finally, the assumption that because someone has failed (for whatever reason) to follow recommended operating procedures with regard to contamination does not mean that contamination will necessarily result and have an impact.”  “”  Jim Fraser, Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction, (2010) [Oxford University Press, 2010], pp 19-20.

ISBN 9780199558056

What does the Italian crime scene manual say?

Personal protective gear and single-use equipment mitigates the risk of contamination.  “”  R Gennari and L Saravo, “Rilievi edaccertamenti sulle tracce: Dalle impronte al DNA”,  pp 559-644 (Collection and tests on traces: From prints to DNA), p 626.

The main references to contamination are in R Gennari and L Saravo, “Le tracce”,  pp 415-466 (Traces), where they say:

“In the strictest sense, the term “˜contamination’ refers to the introduction into the scene (and even onto an item of evidence originating there) of spurious information corrupting its original nature or state.”  (p 449).

“It must be noted, though, that the contaminated item of evidence is not necessarily unusable [emphasis in original]. It is only an item of evidence which has lost its original state: its own characteristics have undergone modification and it has been enriched with other, indeterminate, information. It is necessary to know how to evaluate the impact that this could have had in the question posed or on the information that will be needed to be revealed to reconstruct the crime.”  (p 450).

“It is not enough just to wear the personal protection gear to reduce the risk of contamination; it is necessary that this gear be employed in the correct manner [emphasis in the original].

Not changing gloves before touching a new surface is, for example, a source of contamination: DNA, once touched a first time, transfers itself to all the various surfaces touched successively by the same gloves.”  (p 451).

And, not to forget, protective gear is worn for the protection of forensic personnel against infection and chemicals (p 452).

So, in summary:

Gloves reduce and minimise the risk of contamination - they do not remove it altogether; contamination cannot be completely prevented. Searching a scene changes it from its original state.

Changing gloves “frequently”, or “each time” a new piece of evidence, or a new surface, is touched.

After putting on the gloves, what counts as a new piece of evidence or new surface in this list?:

bedcover, victim, pillow, bra-clasp, carpet/floor

Coughing or sneezing on the evidence: means the forensic officer’s DNA contaminates the item, not the accused’s DNA.

Following the procedure does not guarantee that the evidence is uncontaminated; following procedure just reduces the potential risk of contamination.

Likewise, not following procedure does not mean the evidence is automatically contaminated.

And even if the item were contaminated, that does not make it unusable.

In Raffaele’s case, if his DNA were transferred via the latex forensic gloves, how did his DNA get there on the glove when it was found definitively nowhere else in the room? Did he spit on his hand and then shake hands with the forensic officer? Now, that would indeed be a breach of protocols, anywhere in the world.

To say that, because it’s the accused’s DNA, therefore it’s contamination, is circular reasoning.

All of the above should have been (and was) examined at trial, and double-checked on appeal (eventually).

So why is Bruno taking up the invitation to rehash it all again?

3. Further Reading On DNA

See our previous 50 or so previous posts on DNA.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



“Justice and Peace” by Corrado Giaquinto 1762. Click here to go straight to Comments.

1. Overview Of The Series

Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries
Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six
Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope
Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims
Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts
Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless
Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

2. Overview Of The Post

The purpose of the series was summarised in Post #1.

With this post we are 2/5 of the way through the judgment and summaries of the appeal grounds still continue. These are new grounds by Knox’s and Sollecito’s teams.

As previously, Sollecito’s team throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Knox’s new grounds are about 1/4 of that length, and mainly request that Knox’s appeal to ECHR Strasbourg be awaited before this verdict comes down.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report.  Our own critiques will be posted separately in Comments and other posts.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

1. Further Knox Appeal Grounds

4.1. In favor of Knox, two further reasons were submitted.

In the first one, objected to is the violation of article 606 lett. a), b) e) of the code of criminal procedure, criticizing the entire reasoning process of the appealed verdict, which exceeded the fixed standard of the - already exorbitant - annulment ruling , with violation of articles 627 par. 3, and 623 of the code of procedure. Criticized, particularly, is the anomalous examination of the merits within the annulment ruling.

In the second reason, objected to is the contradiction and manifest illogicality in the rationale according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.

And at the end, a delay of the judgment is proposed while waiting for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, following the presentation to the international judicial body on the appeal of 11.22.2013, for alleged violation of the right to an equal trial, according to the article 6 par. 3 lett. a/c ECHR; for alleged violation of defense rights, according to the article 48 par. 2 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; and for the violation of the prohibition on torturing, according to the articles 3 ECHR and 4 of the Chart of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2. Further Sollecito Appeal Grounds

4.2 Also Sollecito’s defense proposed new reasons, listed as follows.

The first new reason challenges the incorrect reasoning on the time of Kercher’s death. As defense has stated a careful examination of objective elements would have allowed the setting the time of death in a period of time between 9-9:29 and 10:13 PM.

The exact determination of the time of death [exitus] was fundamental to proving the actual presence of the accused at the crime scene, at the time of the aggression.

In particularl the examination carried out on the victim’s cell phone revealed subsequent contacts between 9 and 9:13 PM, as reported in the Pellero report on the SMS and the aforementioned cellular phone. This would have allowed acquiring ““ if not the certainty of the young English woman being alive until 10:13 PM, considering the possibility of accidental phone connections ““ at least useful information in this regard.

More precisely, the following contacts took place during the considered period of time:

1) a first call, at 8:56, to her home number, in England, remained unanswered and not followed by a new call, strange considered the habits of the girl, who was used to calling her family every day;

2) another contact, maybe accidental, at 9:50 PM, on a voice mail, lasted a few seconds, without waiting for an answer;

3) a contact, at 10PM, with the English bank Abbey, which failed obviously because it was not preceded by the international prefix;

4) at 10:13, an SMS was received by the cellular phone, in the place where it was abandoned, in via Sperandio.

On the other hand, the examination carried out on Sollecito’s computer registered an interaction at 9:20 PM and a subsequent one at 9:26 PM, not found by the postal police, but discovered by the defense expert D’Ambrosio by means of a different operative system application (MAC), for the watching of an animated cartoon (Naruto) of the length of 20 minutes, demonstrating that Sollecito was at home until 9:46.

This helps to demonstrates the non-involvement of the accused, also evident from the Skype contact occurred between Guede and his friend Benedetti.

To be sure, a new IT analysis by judge-appointed experts would have been necessary, as requested in vain by the defense.

The previous [a quo] judge, then, also committed an obvious misrepresentation in the evaluation of Curatolo’s testimony, not realizing that the declarations of the witness were, actually, in favor of the accused, especially in the part where he states to have seen the couple in piazza Grimana at 21:30 PM until 12:00 AM. Therefore, there was an internal contradiction of the judging: it wasn’t true what was stated at p. 50 concerning the supposed absence of extrinsic elements confirming that the two accused, from 9:30 PM to 12:30 PM of the next day,  would have been in a different place than the one where the homicide took place.

Within the reconstruction of the crime, then, it was not taken in account that witnesses Capezzalie and Monachia located the harrowing scream that they heard at a time around 11 ““ 11.30 PM. However, Ms. Capezzali was contradicted by other witnesses, residents of the area, who declared they didn’t hear anything.

Furthermore, not examined was the video clip captured by the camera placed near the parking lot which had filmed the passing by of a person similar, in features and clothes, to Guede. The time of filming was 7:41 PM, though 7:39 PM effectively because of a clock error of 12 or 13 minutes.

Also the autopsy, in observing the gastric situation, allowed the fixation of the hour of death between 9:30 and 10 PM. Furthermore, during the cross-examination hearing, the forensic pathologist Dr. Lalli rectified an error contained in his technical report, pointing out that the time of death would have had to be set not at “not less than 2-3 hours from the last meal (that took place around 6 PM, with the English friends)” but at “not more than 2-3 hours from the last meal”.

Considered this uncertain conclusion, a new analysis by judge-appointed experts [perizia] was requested in vain, in the new reasons for appeal, dated 29 July 2013.[17]

So, in the light of the trial data, as stated by the defense, the time of death of the young English woman would have had to be approximately set between 9 and 10:13 PM.

The second new reason challenges the failure to order a judge appointed experts review [perizia] in order to verify or otherwise the possibility of a selective cleaning of the crime scene which would have removed only the traces referable to the two accused, leaving only Guede’s ones. In fact, in Kercher’s room multiple traces of Guede were found but none of Sollecito.

Incorrect reasoning is also suggested on the supposed alteration of the crime scene by the accused. It was not, however, considered that Sollecito had no interest in polluting [the scene].

The third reason challenges a flaw in rationale regarding the plantar imprints presumed as female footprints (size 37 EU) demonstrating a participation of more than one person in the crime.

With reference to the imprints, there was an obvious error in the judgment, also present in the judgment of annullment of Cassation (p. 21), considering that the only imprint retrieved in Kercher’s room belonged to Guede.

The fourth reason again claims violation of the law, with reference to the article 606 lett. c) and e) regarding the evidence on the participation to the crime and the violation of the articles 111 Const, 238, 513 and 526 of the code of penal procedure on the usability of the interrogation of Guede and the observance of the evaluation standards on a charge of complicity.

The fifth reason claims misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality, related to the results of the genetic investigation on the knife (item 36) and also on the supposed “non-incompatibility” of the instrument with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. Claimed further is the violation of the evaluation standards of evidence according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure.

The sixth reason claims lack of rationale, because there was no consideration of the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and examination of traces of small entity and the interpretation of the results. Also claimed is misrepresentation of the evidence and manifest illogicality of reasoning on the results of the genetic examinations carried out on the kitchen knife and also violation of the proof evaluation standards, according to the article 192 of the code of procedure.

The seventh reason claims incorrect reasoning with reference to the violation of the international recommendations on the sampling and analysis related to the genetic examinations carried out on the brassiere hook (item 165 B) and the objected-to contamination of the item, after the inspections carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department.

The eighth reason challenges the violation of articles 192 and 533 of the code of criminal procedure on the interpretation of the genetic examination on the item 165 B and lack of rationale on the objected violation of the international recommendations in matter of interpretation of mixed DNA.[18]

The ninth reason challenges a violation of article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and manifest illogicality of evidence for misrepresentation of the scientific investigation, considering the failure of the DNA proof in this case.

The tenth reason challenges a manifest illogicality in the motivation in the luminol evidence related to the supposed presence of blood imprints in areas of the house of via della Pergola and also on the bathmat, and manifest illogicality of rationale related to the mixed traces of Knox and Kercher and the evaluation of the circumstantial evidence in relation to the participation of more than one person to the crime.

The eleventh reason challenges a manifest illogicality or contradictory nature in the motivations related to the evaluation of the motive of the murder.

The twelfth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning and misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call.

The thirteenth reason argues the same incorrect reasoning in relation with the alibi and the supposed tentative of Sollecito to cover for the supposed co-perpetrator Amanda Knox.

The fourteenth reason challenges the violation of the law principles stated by Cassation and the violation of the judicial standards of “beyond reasonable doubt” according to article 533 of the code of criminal procedure.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

TJMK/Wiki Translation Of The Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



More judicial artwork in the Supreme Court. Click to go straight to Comments.

1. Overview Of The Series

Marasca/Bruno Report #1 Of 7: The Four Opening Summaries
Marasca/Bruno Report #2 Of 7: Summaries Five And Six
Marasca/Bruno Report #3 Of 7: Dismissal Of Appeal Claims, Nencini Scope
Marasca/Bruno Report #4 Of 7: Continuing Dismissal Of Various Claims
Marasca/Bruno Report #5 Of 7: Some “Incongruencies” By Previous Courts
Marasca/Bruno Report #6 Of 7: Why The DNA Evidence Was All Useless
Marasca/Bruno Report #7 Of 7: Attempt At Why Court Blinked At Guilt

2. Overview Of The Post

This is about one-quarter of the report. These sections summarize the crime against Meredith, the legal process, and the appeals Knox and Sollecito filed with Cassation in 2014.

This is our second translation post after this one which showed that Knox and Sollecito were NOT found innocent, far from it.

They were in fact confirmed as being at the scene of the crime, as were Guede and a presumed two others, and lying about it, though for supposed reasons not even the defenses had ever argued.

Translation was by a professional translator with extensive finalization by Machiavelli with some help from the Wiki team of the judicial terms used and the accuracy of the English relative to what is in the report. Resisted was any attempt to employ more fluent English because the Italian itself is far from fluent or coherent.

We’ll post critiques separately in Comments and other posts except for this one.

Notable for its absence is any attempt to explain why the Fifth Chambers pushed aside the First Chambers to handle this murder case, and why in that process at least two laws (bedrock articles of the judicial code) seem to have been broken.

They seem to have been tasked only to assess whether the appeal should be handled by a joint arrangement of all Supreme Court Chambers because of claims by defenses that the unusual amount of publicity and supposed legal complexity required that.

Please consider this pre-final. Suggestions for improved translation are welcome. The PDF version to go on the Wiki will be the final. 

2. The Four Opening Summaries

1. Summary Of The Crimes Against Meredith

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the prosecution.

1. Raffaele Sollecito and the United States citizen Amanda Marie Knox were called to account, before the Perugia Court of assize, for the following crimes:

A) within the meaning of Articles 110, 575, 576, first clause , number 5, in relation to the crime sub C) and 577, first clause number 4, in relation to article 61 n. 1 and 5 of the penal code, to have, in conjunction between them and with Guede Rudi Hermann, killed Kercher Meredith, by means of choking and subsequent breaking of the hyoid bone and profound lesion on the left anterolateral and right lateral neck region, caused by a piercing and cutting weapon mentioned in section B), and meta-hemorrhagic shock with observable asphyxical subsequent to the bleeding (caused by the puncture and cutting wounds present on the left anterolateral and right lateral region of the neck and the contextual aspiration of hematic material), and taking advantage of the nocturnal hour and the isolated location of the apartment inhabited by Kercher and the same Knox, as well by two other Italian girls (Romanelli Filomena and Mezzetti Laura), an apartment located in Perugia, in via della Pergola number 7, committing the act for futile reasons, while Guede, with the conjunction of the others, committed the crime of sexual violence;

B) within the meaning of Article 110 of the penal code and 4 law number 110/1975 to have, in conjunction between themselves, brought out of the house of Sollecito, without a justified reason, a big puncture and cutting knife with a total length of 31 cm (seized from Sollecito the 6th of November 2007, exhibit 36);

C) within the meaning of Article 110, 609 bis and ter no. 2 of the penal code to have, in conjunction between themselves and with Guede Rudi Hermann (Guede as material executioner, in conjunction with the co-accused) forced Kercher Meredith to endure sexual acts, with manual and/or genital penetration, by means of violence and threast, resulting in constraining maneuvers which produced lesions, particularly on the upper and lower limbs and on the vulvar region (ecchymotic suffusions on the fore side of the left thigh, lesions on the vestibular-vulvar area and ecchymotic areas on the fore side of the medial third of the right leg) as well as the use of the knife described in point B; 

D) within the meaning of Article 110, 624 of the penal code, acting together, acquiring an unjust profit, in the circumstances of time and place described in point A) and C), took possession of the sum of approximately € 300.00, two credit cards, of Abbey Bank and Nationwide, both from United Kingdom, and two cellular phones owned by Kercher Meredith, stolen from the aforementioned; fact to be qualified within the meaning of article 624 bis of the penal code,  the place of execution of the crime cited in point A) referred to here.;

E) within the meaning of article 110, 367 and 61 n. 2 of the penal code to have, acting together, simulated the attempted burglary and entering of the room of the apartment in via della Pergola, inhabited by Romanelli Filomena, breaking the window glass with a stone found in the vicinity of the house and subsequently dropped in the room, near the window, all of this to obtain impunity from the crimes of homicide and sexual violence, trying to ascribe them to unknown persons who broke in, for this purpose, into the apartment;

All this took place in Perugia, during the night between the 1st and 2nd of November 2007.

Knox only, furthermore, regarding the crime mentioned in point F), within the meaning of article 81 cpv, 368, clause 2, and 61 n. 2 of the penal code, because, with multiple actions within the same criminal plan, knowing that he was innocent, with statements filed during declaration to the Flying Squad and the Police of Perugia on the 6th of November 2007, she falsely blamed Diya Lumumba called “Patrick” for the murder of the young Meredith Kercher, all of this to obtain impunity for everyone and particularly for Guede Rudi Hermann, colored as is Lumumba; in Perugia, during the night between the 5th and the 6th of November 2007.

2. Summary of The Legal Process 2009-2014

This is the original language of Marasca and Bruno. It is their take on the 2009 trial, the 2011 Hellmann appeal, the 2013 Supreme Court appeal, and the 2013 Nencini appeal.

By judgment of 4-5 December 2009, the Court of assize declared Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty for the crimes mentioned in point A) ““ this including the crime mentioned in point C) ““ also in B) and D), regarding the cellular phones, and E) and, for what concerns Knox, also the crime mentioned in F); crimes which fulfill the prerequisite of continuity and, excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 577 and 61 n.5 of the penal code, conceded to both extenuating circumstances equivalent to the remaining aggravation circumstances, condemned them to the sentence of twenty-six years of prison for Knox and twenty-five years of prison for Sollecito, plus other consequential terms;

condemned, also, the same accused, jointly, to pay compensation for damages to the civil parties John Leslie Kercher, Arline Carol Lara Kercher, Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher, damages to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 1,000,000.00 € each in favor of John Leslie Kercher and Arline Carol Lara Kercher and 800,000.00 € each in favor of Lyle Kercher John, Ashley Kercher and Stephanie Arline Lara Kercher;

condemned, also, Amanda Marie Knox to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Patrik Lumumba, to be compensated at a separate session, with the immediate payment of the amount of 10,000.00 €, plus other consequential terms.

condemned, finally, the aforementioned Knox and Raffaele Sollecito to pay compensation for damages to the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli (owner of the apartment in via della Pergola), to be compensated at a separate session, and for Lyle Kercher, John Ashley Kercher and Stepanie Arline Lara Kercher, with immediate payment.

Regarding the appeals proposed by the accused, the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, by judgment of 3 October 2011, declared Knox Amanda Marie guilty for the crimes referenced in point F), excluding the aggravating factor mentioned in article 61 n.2 of the penal code and excluded the general extenuating circumstances equivalent to the aggravating factors within the means of article 368 of the penal code ““ condemned her to the sentence of three years of prison; confirming strictly for this sentence the civil damages.

absolved the accused from the crimes previously accredited to them on point A), B) and D), to have not committed the act, and from the crime described in point E) because there is no case to answer, rejecting the damages proposed against them by the civil party Aldalia Tattanelli.

regarding the appeals proposed by the Perugia prosecutor-general, by the accused Amanda Marie Knox and the civil parties, this Court of Cassation,  First Criminal Division, with sentence of 25 March 2013, cancelled the disputed sentence referring to the crimes mentioned in point A) ““ incorporated in point C) ““ B), D) and E) and the aggravating factor within article 61 n.2 of the penal code concerning point F) and referred the appeals to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Florence for new examination.; denying Knox’s appeal, with subsequent circumstances.

During the review the Court of Assizes of Florence, with the trial sentence indicated above, confirming the exisistence of the aggravating factor within the meaning of article 61 n.2 of the penal code, with reference to the crime within the meaning of article 368, second paragraph of the penal code, point F), revises the sentence against Amanda Marie Knox to be twenty-eight years and six months of prison; confirming the trial sentence, with the consequential damages in favor of the constituted civil parties.

Against the aforementioned ruling, the accused’s defendants had proposed different Court of Cassation appeals, each one subject to the following critical reasons.

3. Summary of Amanda Knox appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Knox lawyers Dalla Vedova and Ghirga.

The appeal in favor of Amanda Marie Knox, before the presentation of the multiple reasons of which it was constituted, was preceded by a long premise which, on the one hand, anticipated the direction of the entire appeal and, on the other hand, proposed once again the same set of problems already discussed in the original grounds for appeal, such as the constitutional legitimacy issue of the conjunction of articles 627 chapter 3 and 628 chapter 2, regarding the application of a possible “indefinite repetitiveness” of an order of remand by the Cassation and corresponding options of indefinitely appealing a rescission order.

In first arguments the basis for contesting of the entire appeal was presented, represented by the pretentious avoidance of the dictum of the rescission order of this legitimacy Court and the divergent interpretation of the same probative material by two different courts of assizes, Perugia and Firenze, the last, however , based on mere paperwork exam.

Then, it continued into the analytical analysis of the procedural factual circumstances or evidences, which wouldn’t have been validly examined or, illegitimately, perceived in a partitioned way and not from a global and unitary perspective.

Taking into account this, various reasons for the appeal were deduced and reasons summarily presented, according to the terms of article 173, chapter 1, disp. att. code of penal procedure, that is in the terms strictly necessary to the decision.

The first reason challenged the violation and inobservance of the criminal law, according to article 606 lett. b) and c) of the code of criminal procedure and also the incorrect reasoning, according to the same article let. e), about the decisive matter of the asserted reason, of Knox for the commitment of the crime, in violation of article 110 of the penal code.

Contested, in this regard, was what previously assumed in the judgments as to the merits, regarding some claimed disagreements between the aforementioned Knox and Kercher, despite the occurred absolution, with definitive decision, of the finding for theft of the sum of three hundred euros and the collected depositions, including the one provided by Marco Zaroli, regarding the “idyllic” relationship between the two girls. From the records of proceedings there had not emerged any reason that could have induced Knox to mindfully concur in the murder act and, contrarily to the assumption of the judge, the verification of motive during the evidentiary process was absolutely necessary. In this regard, no indications have been offered by the [First Chambers] review judge, despite the specific indication of the rescission order, which had notified a triple possibility: 1) genetic acknowledgement on the death option; 2) changing of an initial program which only included the involvement of the English girl in a not shared sexual game; 3) mere forcing of an erotic group game.

Also, in a scenario of absolute uncertainty the review judges had elaborated an abnormal type of collusion in a crime, the fruit of a singular mixture of different impulses and reasons of the participants: Mr. Guede driven by a sexual motive; Ms. Knox by resentment towards the English woman; Mr. Sollecito by unknown intent.

The second reason highlights a problem of great relevance in the circumstance of the present judgment, that is the right interpretation of the scientific examination results from a perspective of respect of the evaluation standards according to article 192 of the criminal procedural code and the relevance of the genetic evaluation in the absence of repeatable amplification, as a consequence of the minimal amount of the sample and, more generally, the reliability coefficient of investigations carried out without following the regulations dictated by the international protocols, both during the collecting phase and the analysis.

Particularly, anomalies were challenged in the retrieval of the knife (item 36) and the victim’s brassiere hook, which do not exclude the possibility of contamination, as correctly outlined in the Conti-Vecchiotti report, ordered by the Perugian Court of assizes, which also notified the unreliability of the scientific data, precisely because it was not subject to a further examination.

It was also denied that the retrieved knife would have been the crime weapon.

The third reason challenged the law violation and incorrect reasoning, according to article 606 lett. b) and e), regarding the teleological nexus between the crime of calunnia and the homicide. In this regard, the psychological conditions of the accused during the issue of the calumnious declarations dated 11.06.2007 are outlined, her declarations were considered unusable by this Court (with ruling number 990/80); also challenged was a violation of article 188 of the code of criminal procedure, for infringement of the declarer’s moral freedom during the assumption of evidence.

The fourth reason challenged incorrect reasoning regarding the relevant circumstances of the happening, with reference to, firstly, the asserted simulation of theft in Romanelli’s room, without considering that Guede, at the moment of his arrest, presented wounds on his right hand compatible with the hypothesis of a previous breaking of the window’s glass and subsequent climb in order to enter the room, with shards of glass on the windowsill, also in the same way not considered was the criminal record of Guede, who wasn’t new to stealing in apartments, with identical modalities. Moreover, not considered was that not a single genetic imprint of the accused had being retrieved in the room of the murder, while fourteen imprints referable to Guede were retrieved in the same room.

The argument was totally illogical of a purported selective cleaning of the environment carried out by the accused, being almost impossible to remove specific genetic traces, leaving others intact.

The fifth reason denounces the incorrect reasoning in the evaluation of the Curatolo’s and Quintavalle’s declarations, non-adequately interpreted during the examination of the evidence. Also the illogical relevance given to the SMS received by Patrik Lumumba, due to uncertain of the site of the reception, and considering the well-known unreliability of localizations based on the triangulation of telephone cells.

The sixth reason challenged the law violation, in relation to the use of statements considered unusable by this Court, with particular reference to the declarations of the accused contra se at 5:45 AM of 11.6.2007.

Also, it was not considered that the defense report submitted by Knox suffered from the unstable psychological conditions in which she found herself, also from the stress consequent to the violation of her defense rights.

The seventh reason denounces the violation of articles 111 Cost., chapter 2 and 238 of the criminal procedure code, with reference to the irrevocable sentence issued against Guede and the inappropriate interpretation of the declarations produced by the aforementioned, via Skype, to his friend Giacomo Benedetti.

The eighth reason denounces the lack of assumption of decisive evidence, according to article 606 lett. d) of the criminal procedure code and in relation to articles 111 chapter 2 and 238 bis of the criminal procedure code, for failure to re-open court hearing evidentiary phase, denied with order of 09.30.2013, in order to examine Guede, after his accusations against the indicted woman.

The ninth reason signals inconsistency and contradictory nature of motivation and also great inaccuracy, such as the declaration at page 321 about the presence of genetic traces of Sollecito and Kercher on the retrieved knife.

It is argued, also, that the place where the cellular phones of the victim had been retrieved was compatible with Guede’s itinerary towards his house, situated in via del Canerino n. 26.

Inadequate, moreover, was the evaluation of the results of the report provided by Massimo Bernaschi about the computer damage, by suspected electric shock.

The tenth reason denounces the inobservance or erroneous application of articles 627 and 603 of the criminal procedure code referring to the preliminary order of 09.30.13 and 04.17.14.

Requested, also, is the correction of the material error presented in the order dated 04.17.13, referring to the erroneous indication of the place of birth of the accused, who was born in Seattle and not in Washington.

The eleventh reason denounces the violation and inobservance of article 606 lett b), in relation to the quantification of the punishment in point of aggravating circumstance according to article 61 n.2 of the penal code for the crime of calunnia placed on the accused assuming a teleological nexus.

The remand judge [Nencini] had considered the generic mitigating circumstances of minor value, previously considered equivalent, despite the final status of judgment [giudicato] on the point.

4. Summary of Raffaele Sollecito appeal

This is Marasca and Bruno summarising the submission of Sollecito lawyers Bongiorno and Maori.

3. The appeal on behalf of Raffaele Sollecito is explained in terms of twenty-two reasons, which will be also systematically summarised according to the requirements of article 173, chapter 1, of the code of penal procedure.

To this summary explanation has to be added the reference to the introductory part, containing specific requests.

The first concerns the ruling for referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel [Sezioni Unite] on matters asserted of being of maximum relevance and, potentially, capable of generating interpretative contrast:

a) Probative or evidential value of the results of the scientific evidence in case of violation of scientific community international protocols regarding the collection and reading of the data;

b) Usability of declarations produced by Guede during the appeal process. In relation to this, it is inappropriate to relate the review of this appealed sentence to what he has stated during interrogation, reported in the appealed sentence according to article 238 bis; if those declarations were usable, it would be a consent to include in the trial, in violation of the same procedural disposition, declarations produced in absence of cross-examination.

c) Range of explanation of the principle of beyond reasonable doubt, which, from what is stated by the current defense, would be violated in this specific case by the erroneous statement by the remand judge, according to which the lack of procedural collaboration of the accused has exempted the judge from analyzing the alternative hypothesis emerged from the trial papers or the defense perspectives.

d) Reliability limits in witnesses’ declarations (such as the ones from Dramis, Monacchia, Quintavalle and Curatolo), produced some time after the facts, after being solicited by journalists. The question is about the verification of the reliability of witnesses during the procedures who created strong media impact, with particular reference to Gioffredi and Kokomani claims and to the declaration of the former offender Luciano Aviello, who did not hesitate to produce slanderous declarations towards the prosecutor, the defence attorney, and Raffaele Sollecito’s father.

The intervention of the supreme jurisdictional assembly was necessary in order to fix the evaluation standards of oral evidence during trials with strong media exposure, aiming to preserve the credibility of the trial, protecting it from mythomaniac or judicial attention-seeking behavior.

In the introductive part also thoroughly examined is the position of Amanda Knox regarding the erroneous evaluation of the evidence against her, which had reflected negative effects also on the position of Sollecito, with the distorted conviction that the two substantial positions would be linked by an indissoluble bond, almost like a unique communication vessels system or an abnormal “mutual” extension of responsibility.  All of this in order to denounce the erroneous methodological position consisting in the lack of an “identifying” evaluation of the appellant’s role in the tragic happening subject to judgment. And the aforementioned assumption gave headway to a further denouncement of legitimacy, consisting in the remand judge avoiding the dictum of the cancellation judgment, which gave to the remand judge the task of “highlight the subjective position of Guede’s contestants in the light of all the supposable circumstances”, all specifically enunciated.

It is also pointed out that Ms. Knox had never placed, even in her noon report (erroneously considered of confessional nature), Sollecito at the crime scene. On the contrary, from the aforementioned report, it was possible to deduce that the foretold was not present in the house of via della Pergola.

In fact, no trace of Sollecito was found in the room of the murder. The only element of proof against him was represented by the DNA trace retrieved on the brassiere hook of the victim; trace of which relation with the indicted was actually denied by the Vecchiotti-Conti report, which, in this regard, had accepted the observations of the defense advisor Professor Tagliabracci, world-renowned geneticist.

Once this is considered, it is possible to proceed with a brief listing of the reasons for the appeal.

1) The first articulated reason challenged the violation of articles 627, chapter 3 and 628 of the code of criminal procedure for the nonobservance of the principles enounced in those articles, particularly referring to the necessity: a) to ascertain the presence of the suspects on the crime scene; 2) to outline the subjective positions of the Rudy Guede’s assumed co-attackers; 3) to establish the motive of Raffaele Sollecito in relation to the one asserted for Guede.

In strict connection with the aforementioned appeal, also, further reasons of complaint are advanced, specifically contexted within the logic of incorrect reasoning, with regard to the meaning of article 606 lett e) of the code of criminal procedure, connected with the challenged avoidance.

  • The first concerns the appealed denial of the evidentiary phase re-opening, also expressed in the order dated on 30th September 2013, also appealed. The request procedurally proposed by the defense (based on the new reasons of the 29th June 2013 and the minutes of the hearing dated 30th September 2013) was aimed to acknowledge the actual presence of the accused on the crime scene and the role carried out by each one of them on the occasion. It is advanced also:

  • the omitted evaluation of decisive elements regarding Sollecito’s alibi, with particular reference to the results of the integrative report submitted by the technical expert for one of the parties, D’Ambrosio, which demonstrates the interaction of the indicted with his computer;

  • manifest illogicality of the reason in relation to what is expressed by article 522 of the code of criminal procedure; in the absence of motivations capable to exceed the limit of beyond reasonable doubt with regards to supposed participation of Sollecito to the criminal act of murder and to the role he carried out in the crime;

  • lack of reasoning in the motivations report, in relation with articles 192 and 238 bis, with regards to the content of the irrevocable sentence against Guede in order to identify a reason for the murder.

The requested re-opening of the evidentiary phase, aimed to demonstrate the absence of the indicted on the crime scene and the inexistence of any reason,  was illogically denied, especially since the appealed sentence had already asserted an autonomous reason, of sexual nature, against Guede.

Furthermore, the denial of the re-opening of evidentiary phase also includes a law violation in regard to article 627, second paragraph, in accordance to which “if the appeal sentence is annulled and the parties issue a request, the judge orders the re-activation of the evidentiary phase in relation to the assumption of evidence found relevant for the decision”

Even if is not intended to follow the case law orientation in line with the renewing of the appealed preliminary hearing, as for the right to evidence, the appeal judge was, however, obliged to give reason for the denial of the request of re-opening of evidentiary discussion in a rational manner and consistent with the evidentiary framework.

It was, among other things, requested a genetic perizia [examination/investigation by judge-appointed experts] in relation to the stain (apparently of spermatic nature) present on the victim’s pillowcase, in order to verify its nature and possible attribution to an unknown third party; a perizia aimed to acknowledge the effective possibility to carry out a selective cleaning in order to remove only the traces connectable with the current appellants, inside the victim’s room, without removing the ones retrieved and correctly attributed to Mr. Guede; the carrying out of exams on the item 165 B, with previous acquisition from the criminal laboratory department, of the residual DNA sample extracted from the brassiere hook and further genetic exams on the same item, ordering for such purpose a supplementary investigation in order to cancel every reason of doubt on the matter; [11] exams on the stone retrieved inside Ms. Romanelli’s room, in order to identify the presence of DNA on the stone surface; audiometric test [perizia] aimed to acknowledge the possibility of hearing the supposed heart-rending scream coming from the house in via della Pergola and the footsteps with the windows closed, of the witness Capezzali; IT investigation [perizia] on Sollecito’s computer, in order to verify the existence of human interactions during the night between the 1st and 2nd November 2007; anthropometric perizia in relation to the build, height, gait and somatic features of the subject filmed by the parking facility camera, to be compared with the physical features of Guede and his clothes at the moment of the arrest; examination according to the ex-article 197 bis of Guede in regards to the facts happened the night of the murder.

The rejection of the aforementioned evidentiary discussion requests has been motivated by the appeal judge by illogical and off-topic reasoning.

2) Violation of article 606 lett. e), with reference to the wrong reading and interpretation of the content of Knox’s report.

3) Another incorrect reasoning has been deduced with reference to the considered irrelevance of the exact determination of the hour of death of Meredith Kercher (which according to the defense should have been placed between 9 and 10 PM, 10:15 PM at most), with special reference to the exam carried out on Ms. Kercher’s phone records.

4) The same flaw has been challenged regarding the supposed incompatibility of Mr. Curatolo’s declarations with the time of the scream, and the asserted irrelevance of [scientific] exams on the precise hour of death of the young English woman.

5) Also distorted was the interpretation of Capezzali’s declarations, of which has been attached the relative transcription.

6) In regards to flawed reasoning, interpreted according to the new wording of article 606 lett. e) of the code of criminal proceeding, the erroneous interpretation of Mr. Curatolo’s witness declarations is challenged.

7) The same for Mr. Quintavalle’s testimony and the omitted examination of the evidential contribution of inspector Volturno, who submitted the service note according to which the aforementioned Quintavalle had told of having seen Mr. Sollecito and Amanda always together.

8) With reference to the combined provisions of articles 606 lett. e) and 192 of the procedure code it is, then, challenged the erroneous evaluation of the proof in relation to the supposed participation of persons in the crime, with particular reference to the contested examination of the footprints and traces highlighted by luminol.[12]

9) Also challenged is the misrepresentation of the evidence related to the time of the 112 call, also based on the supposed error of the timer of the camera situated near the parking lot.

10) Identical violation is challenged with reference to the supposed alteration of the crime scene carried out by the two suspects.

11) Other case of motivational deficit, a sub-type of evidence misrepresentation, and also contradiction or manifest motivational illogicality, is challenged, according to article 192 of the code of criminal procedure, regarding the supposed falsehood of the provided alibi and the related violation of the principle nemo tenetur se detegere.

Moreover, it should have been considered as a “failed” alibi, not “false”, and as such not suitable to sustain an “evidential conclusion”, otherwise it would be subject to inadmissible inversion of the burden of proof.

12) Also erroneous was the interpretation of the results of the genetic evidence on item 36) and on the supposed compatibility of the seized weapon with the most serious wound observed on the victim’s neck. With regards to this, it was clear the misrepresentation in which the judge was involved, given that on the knife’s blade was not observed any mixed Kercher-Sollecito DNA. On the same instrument had been retrieved traces of starch, proof that it was not true that it had been properly washed in order to remove incriminating traces. Furthermore, the starch, found in plants, has a well-known absorbing capability, so it should have absorbed the blood in case it was used for the commitment of the crime.

Hence, the motivated request to refer the trial papers to a United Sections of Cassation panel.

Furthermore the assumption that the most serious wound on the left side of the victim’s neck would have been inflicted with a single strike was denied by unambiguous emerging proofs, such as the results of the examination submitted by pathologist Cingolani, and also the conclusions of the party’s expert Introna.

13) The motivation of the appealed sentenced was objectionable also in relation to the asserted availability of the kitchen knife for Amanda Knox at the time of the aggression. In this regard, it was illogical to state that the kitchen knife, used for the homicide, wouldn’t have been hidden, considering that the furniture and instruments of the apartment rented by Sollecito were listed in inventory, so that the lack of the knife would have generated suspecion, and according to this it was replaced in its place subsequent to cleaning.

Also clearly illogical was the motivation related to the carrying of the knife on the part of Ms. Knox, with asserted use of the capacious purse in her possession, for supposed reasons of personal defense, for this purpose induced by Sollecito who was familiar with knives. It was not considered that to be true this explanation would exclude the hypothesis of joint concurrence, since it would admit that the suspect woman was alone [13] and not able to take advantage of, in case of aggression by strangers, the supposed defense by her boyfriend.

However, there was no evidence on the supposed concurrence of the appellant in [a charge of] unjustified carrying of thee knife.

14) Obvious also was the flawed reasoning on the results of the genetic investigations on the bra hook, for which a referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel is requested.

With regard to the possible contamination of the item, the appeal judges overlooked the photographic material placed before the court, which clearly demonstrated the possible contamination, regarding the way the hook was treated, with a “hand to hand” passage carried out by persons who wore dirty latex gloves.

Furthermore, a second amplification was not carried out on the hook despite the fact that half of the sample was still available, and remained unused.

Also, the hook, though observed during the first inspection carried out by the scientific police,  was left on the ground, on the floor, and there it remained for some time. It wasn’t true, also, that between the first access and the one during which the hook was finally collected, only two inspections by the investigators took place, in reality there were more and in such occasions everything was put in disarray.

With regard to this, the objections by the defense and the contrary conclusions of the defense adviser professor Tagliabracci, were not considered.

15) A misrepresentation of the evidence also took place in relation to the actual delivery of the progress reports [SAL] on the examinations carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, of the scientific police.

16) Another reason for complaint with regard to the judge’s motivations context is related to the supposed theft simulation in Romanelli’s room and the absence of motivation in the new reasoning presented in the report of 29th July 2013.

In this regard, it is argued that it was Sollecito who notified the postal police, their having arrived in via della Pergola for other reasons (the retrieval of Kercher’s cellular phones, one of them with the sim card in the name of Romanelli), about the strangeness of the fact that from the room of the housemate of Kercher and Knox, the computer and valuable items were not missing; that the testimony declaration of lawyer Paolo Brocchi and of Matteo Palazzoli, presented in the new submiessions, regarding acts of thievery carried out by Guede with modalities similar to the ones that were supposed to be used for the breaking-into the apartment in via della Pergola, were not considered; nor were properly considered the defense reports about the wounds on the palm of the hand palm of Guede at time of his arrest in Germany; nor that the evidence had been misrepresented with reference to the collocation of the glass shards, given that from the collected testimony declarations [14] it resulted that the shards of glass were placed both under and over the objects present in Romanelli’s room; that, also, a glass fragment was retrieved in Meredith’s room, indicating that whoever unlawfully entered the room had brought that fragment with him. Therefore, it was clear that the sentence under appeal was based on mere speculations, totally detached from the trial’s reality.

17) Challenged also is the violation of article 238 bis of code of criminal procedure, on the fact that through the acquisition [in the trial against Knox and Sollecito] of the irrevocable sentences issued against Guede, it was intended to make use of declarations released contra alios in a different procedural context, although those declarations were issued in absence of the blamed persons. Beyond this point, for which a referral to United Sections of Cassation was solicited,  Guede’s declarations were erroneously evaluated, in violation of the standards dictated by article 192 of the code of criminal procedure and the indications of this Court (p. 57). It was true that those declarations were adopted as a mere confirmation element, but they were still unusable declarations. The sentences about him, after all, also the Supreme Court ones, demonstrated the absolute unreliability of Mr. Guede.

18) Another violation of the article 238 bis of the code of criminal procedure was challenged with reference to the supposed binding effectiveness of external final verdicts [giudicato esterno].

19) Also related to the declarations of Guede, their use constituted a violation of articles 111 Const., 526 chapter 1 bis of the code of criminal procedure, and 6 of the European Convention. And also on this matter, referral to a United Sections of Cassation panel was requested.’

20) In the event that such legal approach is not shared [by the Supreme Court], a question of constitutional illegitimacy was advanced of those laws which allowed bypassing the regulatory prohibitions in regards to the usability of declarations incriminating third parties in the absence of the accused persons, by means of the mere acquisition of irrevocable judgments against the declarant and containing the relative propagations contra alios.

21) Incorrect reasoning was also challenged in relation to the supposed possibility of contamination of the evidence during the appeal, independently from the doubting of sufficient quantity expressed on the point.

22) There was also a lack of rationale also related to the aggravating circumstance of sexual violence.

23) The same also applies with regard to the supposed theft of the victim’s cellular phones. 

24) Clear also is the violation of the principle of the beyond reasonable doubt, because of the omission of the examination of alternative solutions.

Finally, a rationale was omitted on a possible downgrading of the charge from voluntary murder to the less serious charges of aiding a crime or manslaughter, and also the application of mitigating circumstances.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Supreme Court Final: All 3 At Murder Scene; All Lied; Verdict Vacated; No Exoneration

Posted by Machiavelli




1. Shocking Sentencing Report

Despite the public relations campaign this was by any standards a very strong case.

In contrast the language, logic and law of the Marasca/Bruno Report are about as weak as Rome lawyers have seen. The Fifth Chambers normally handles only appeals of verdicts for fraud, defamation, and other mundane non-violent personal and family injuries and they are forbidden from judging evidence. Their reports are almost invariably 1-3 pages long.

No finding by any experienced murder judge ever stretches logic and law and evidence as much as this. This grim situation for RS and AK still remains. 

    (1) The report very firmly places all three at the scene of the crime with extensive language on a long list of proofs; but though bizarrely it separates two from the crime itself.

    (2) The final verdict is not “assoluzione” meaning acquittal or innocence but simply “proscioglimento” which means a mere dropping of charges for now (not usually used in a court context, see the Translator’s Note on page 48) which can be subject to appeal and to suits for wrongful death.

    (3) The report does nothing to help Knox and Sollecito to get beyond their calunnia, villiipendio and diffamazione trials. It makes a win against either or both Knox and Sollecito in a wrongful-death suit more or less an assured thing. And it pre-emptively dismisses the frivolous appeal by Amanda Knox to ECHR Strasbourg.

If the appeal by Knox and Sollecito against the Nencini court findings and guilty sentences had been handled without chicanery, it is the First Chambers which deals with murder cases and which annulled most of the Hellmann appeal outcome in 2013 which would have got this appeal. Almost certainly those judges would have simply rejected the appeal, and sent Knox and Sollecito right back to jail.

The report makes lawyers question why Knox and Sollecito were not at minimum found guilty of being accessories to murder after the fact. Even the defense teams seem to have realised the risks in the shaky judgement

2. Passages Finding Knox And Sollecito Were There

In chapters 4, 9 and 10 the Marasca/Bruno report makes very clear that Knox and Sollecito were both at the house on the night. They find that the proof of that stands up. Highlighted in the translation below are passages amount to the firm conclusion that Knox definitely was there, with blood on her hands, and Sollecito logically also.

From Chapter 4

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.

Well, so the “fact” that was ascertained within that verdict, indisputably, is Guede’s participation in the murder “concurring with other people, who remain unknown”. The invoking of the procedural norms indicated means that the usability of such fact-finding is subordinate to [depends on] the double conditions [possibility] to reconcile such fact within the scope of the “object of proof” which is relevant to the current judgement, and on the existence of further pieces of evidence to confirm its reliability.

Such double verification, in the current case, has an abundantly positive outcome. In fact it is manifestly evident that such fact, which was ascertained elsewhere [aliunde], relates to the object of cognition of the current judgement. The [court’s] assessment of it, in accord with other trial findings which are valuable to confirm its reliability, is equally correct. We refer to the multiple elements, linked to the overall reconstruction of events, which rule out that Guede could have acted alone.

Firstly, testifying in this direction are the two main wounds (actually three) observed on the victim’s neck, on each side, with a diversified path and features, attributable most likely (even if the data is contested by the defense) to two different cutting weapons. And also, the lack of signs of resistance by the young woman, since no traces of the assailant were found under her nails, and there is no evidence elsewhere [aliunde] of any desperate attempt to oppose the aggressor; the bruises on her upper limbs and those on mandibular area and lips (likely the result of forcible hand action of constraint meant to keep the victim’s mouth shut) found during the cadaver examination, and above all, the appalling modalities of the murder, which were not adequately pointed out in the appealed ruling.

And in fact, the same ruling (p. 323 and 325) reports of abundant blood spatters found on the right door of the wardrobe located inside Kercher’s room, about 50 cm above the floor. Such occurrence, given the location and direction of the drops, could probably lead to the conclusion that the young woman had her throat literally “slashed” likely as she was kneeling, while her head was being forcibly held [hold] tilted towards the floor, at a close distance from the wardrobe, when she was hit by multiple stab wounds at her neck, one of which ““ the one inflicted on the left side of her neck ““ caused her death, due to asphyxia following [to] the massive bleeding, which also filled the breathing ways preventing breathing activity, a situation aggravated by the rupture of the hyoid bone ““ this also linkable to the blade action ““ with consequent dyspnoea” (p. 48).

Such a mechanical action is hardly attributable to the conduct of one person alone.

[Ed note: Firm settling on motive is not required in Italian law.] On the other hand such factual finding, when adequately valued, could have been not devoid of meaning as for researching the motive, given that [27] the extreme violence of the criminal action could have been seen ““ because of its abnormal disproportion ““ not compatible with any of the explanations given in the verdict, such as mere simple grudges with Ms. Knox (also denied by testimonies presented, [even] by the victim’s mother);  with sexual urges of any of the participants, or maybe even with the theory of a sex game gone wrong, of which, by the way, no mark was found on the victim’s body, besides the violation of her sexuality by a hand action of Mr. Guede, because of the DNA that could be linked to him found inside the vagina of Ms. Kercher, the consent of whom, however, during a preliminary phase of physical approach possibly consensual at the beginning, could not be ruled out. 

Such finding is even less compatible with the theory of the intrusion of an unknown thief inside the house, if we consider that, within the course of ordinary events, while it is possible that a thief is taken by an uncontrollable sexual urge leading him to assail a young woman when he sees her,  it’s rather unlikely that after a physical and sexual aggression he would also commit a gratuitous murder, especially not with the fierce brutality of this case, rather than running away quickly instead. Unless, obviously, we think about the disturbed personality of a serial killer, but there is no trace of that in the trial findings, since there are no records that any other killings of young women with the same modus operandi were committed in Perugia at that time.

From Chapter 9

9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.

We make reference in particular to those declarations that the current appellant [Knox] produced on 11. 6. 2007 (p.96) inside the State Police headquarters. On the other hand, in the slanderous declarations against Lumumba, which earned her a conviction, the status of which is now protected as final judgement [giudicato], [they] had themselves exactly that premise in the narrative, that is: the presence of the young American woman inside the house in via della Pergola, a circumstance which nobody at that time ““ except obviously the other people present inside the house ““ could have known (quote p. 96).

According to the slanderous statements of Ms. Knox, she had returned home in the company of Lumumba, who she had met by chance in Piazza Grimana, and when Ms. Kercher arrived in the house, Knox’s companion directed sexual attentions toward the young English woman, then he went together with her in her room, from which the harrowing scream came. So, it was Lumumba who killed Meredith and she could affirm this since she was on the scene of crime herself, albeit in another room.

Another element against her is the mixed DNA traces, her and the victim’s one, in the “small bathroom”, an eloquent proof that anyway she had come into contact with the blood of the latter, which she tried to wash away from herself (it was, it seems, diluted blood, while the biological traces belonging to her would be the consequence of epithelial rubbing).

(Ed: This next passages on hypotheticals shows how ignorant of murder jurisprudence Marasca & Bruno were, they had never handled a murder case before.]  The fact is very suspicious, but it’s not decisive, besides the known considerations about the sure nature and attribution of the traces in question. 

Nonetheless, even if we deem the attribution certain, the trial element would not be unequivocal, since it may show also a posthumous touching of that blood, during the probable attempt of removing the most visible traces of what had happened, maybe to help cover up for someone or to steer away suspicion from herself, but not contributing to full certainty about her direct involvement in the murderous action. Any further and more pertaining interpretation in fact would be anyway resisted by the circumstance ““ this is decisive indeed ““ that no trace linkable to her was found on the scene of crime or on the victim’s body, so it follows ““ if we concede everything ““ that her contact with the victim’s blood happened in a subsequent moment and in another room of the house.

Another element against her is certainly constituted by the false accusations [calunnia] against Mr. Lumumba, afore-mentioned above.

It is not understandable, in fact, what reason could have driven the young woman to produce such serious accusations. The theory that she did so in order to escape psychological pressure from detectives seems extremely fragile, given that the woman [47] could not fail to realize that such accusations directed against her boss would turn out to be false very soon, given that, as she knew very well, Mr. Lumumba had no relationship with Ms. Kercher nor with the Via della Pergola house. Furthermore, the ability to present an ironclad alibi would have allowed Lumumba to obtain release and subsequently the dropping of charges.

However, the said calunnia is another circumstantial element against the current appellant, insofar as it can be considered a strategy in order to cover up for Mr. Guede, whom she had an interest to protect because of fear of retaliatory accusations against her. This is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Lumumba, like Mr. Guede, is a man of colour, hence the indication of the first one would be safe in the event that the latter could have been seen by someone while entering or exiting the apartment. 

And moreover, the staging of a theft in Romanelli’s room, which she is accused of,  is also a relevant point within an incriminating picture, considering the elements of strong suspicion (location of glass shards ““ apparently resulting from the breaking of a glass window pane caused by the throwing of a rock from the outside ““ on top of, but also under clothes and furniture), a staging, which can be linked to someone who ““ as an author of the murder and a flatmate [titolare] with a formal [“qualified”] connection to the dwelling ““ had an interest to steer suspicion away from himself/herself, while a third murderer in contrast would be motivated by a very different urge after the killing, that is to leave the apartment as quickly as possible.

But also this element is substantially ambiguous, especially if we consider the fact that when the postal police arrived ““ they arrived in Via della Pergola for another reason: to search for Ms. Romanelli, the owner of the telephone SIM card found inside one of the phones retrieved in via Sperandio ““ the current appellants themselves, Sollecito specifically, were the ones who pointed out the anomalous situation to the officers, as nothing appeared to be stolen from Ms. Romanelli’s room. 

Elements of strong suspicion are also in the inconsistencies and lies which the suspect woman committed over the statements she released on various occasions, especially in the places where her narrative was contradicted by the telephone records showing different incoming SMS messages; by the testimonies of Antonio Curatolo about the presence of [the same] Amanda Knox in piazza Grimana in the company of Sollecito, and of Mario Quintavalle about her presence inside the supermarket the morning of the day after the murder, maybe to buy detergents.

Despite this, the features of intrinsic inconsistency and poor reliability of the witnesses, which were objected to many times during the trial, do not allow to attribute unconditional trust to their versions, in order to prove with reassuring certainty the failure, and so the falsehood, of the alibi presented by the suspect woman, who claimed to have been at her boyfriend’s home since the late afternoon of November 1st until the morning of the following day. Mr. Curatolo (an enigmatic character: a clochard, drug addicted and dealer) [48] besides the fact that his declarations were late and the fact that he was not foreign to judiciary showing-off in judicial cases with a strong media impact, he was also contradicted about his reference to young people waiting for public buses to leave in the direction of disco clubs in the area, since it was asserted that the night of the murder the bus service was not operational; and also the reference to masks and jokes, which he says he witnessed that evening, would lead to believe that it was on Halloween night, on October 31., and not on Nov. 1. instead.

The latter point apparently balances ““ still within a context of uncertainty and ambiguousness ““ the witness’ reference to (regarding the context where he reportedly noticed the two suspects together) the day before the one when he noticed (at an afternoon hour) an unusual movement of Police and Carabinieri, and in particular people wearing white suites and head covers (as if they were extra-terrestrials) entering the house in Via della Pergola (obviously on November 2., after the discovery of the body).

Mr. Quintavalle ““ apart from the lateness of his statements, initially reticent and generic ““ did not offer any contribute of certainty, not even about the goods bought by the young woman noticed on the morning subsequent to the murder, when he opened his store, while his recognizing Knox in the courtroom is not relevant, since her image had appeared on all newspapers and tv news.

Regarding the biological traces, signed with letters A and I (the latter analysed by the RIS) sampled from the knife seized in Sollecito’s house and yielding Knox’s genetic profile, they constitute a neutral element, given that the same suspect lived together with Mr. Sollecito in the same home in via Garibaldi, although she alternated with the via della Pergola home, and ““ as for what was said ““ the same instrument did not have blood traces from Ms. Kercher, a negative circumstance that contrasted the accusation hypotheses that it was the murder weapon.

On that point, it must be pointed out that ““ again following a disputable strategic choice by the scientific police genetic experts ““ it was decided that the investigation aimed at identifying the genetic profile should be privileged, rather than finding its biological nature, given that the quantity of the samples did not allow a double test: the quality test would in fact would have “used up” the sample or made it unusable for further tests. A very disputable option, since the detecting of blood traces, referable to Ms. Kercher, would have provided the trial with a datum of a formidable probative relevance, incontrovertibly certifying the use of the weapon for the committing of the crime.

The verified presence of the same weapon inside Sollecito’s house, where Ms. Knox was living together with him, would have allowed then any possible deduction in this respect. Instead, the verified identification of the traces with genetic profiles of Ms. Knox resolves itself in a not unequivocal and rather indifferent datum, given that the young American woman was living together with Mr. Sollecito, sharing time between his dwelling and [49] the Via della Pergola one. Not only that, but even if it was possible to attribute with certainty trace B to the genetic profile of Ms. Kercher, the trial datum would have been not decisive (since it’s not a blood trace), given the promiscuity or commonality of inter-personal relations typical of out-of-town students, which make it plausible that a kitchen knife or any other tool could be transported from one house to the other and thus, the seized knife could have been brought by Ms. Knox in Via della Pergola for domestic use, in occasion of convivial meetings or other events, and therefore be used by Ms. Kercher.

What is certain is, that on the knife no blood traces were found, a lack which cannot be referred to an accurate cleaning. As was accurately pointed out by the defence attorneys, the knife had traces of starch, a sign of ordinary home use and of a washing anything but accurate. Not only, but starch is, notoriously, a substance with remarkable absorbing property, thus it is very likely that in the event of a stabbing, blood elements would be retained by it.

It is completely implausible the accusative assumption on the point, that the young woman would be used to carrying the bulky item with her for a self-defence purpose, using ““ it is said ““ the large bag she had for that purpose.  It wouldn’t be actually understandable why the woman, if warned by her boyfriend to pay attention during her night time movements, was not in possession of one of the small pocket knives surely owned by Sollecito, who apparently had the hobby of that kind of weapon and was a collector of a number of them.

Finally, the matching with the current appellant woman of the footprints found in the place location of the murder is far from being certain.             

9.4.2 Also the evidential picture about Mr. Sollecito, emerging from the impugned verdict, appears marked by intrinsic and irreducible contradictions. His presence on the murder scene, and specifically inside the room where the murder was committed, is linked to only the biological trace found on the bra fastener hook (item 165/b), the attribution of which, however, cannot have any certainty, since such trace is insusceptible of a second amplification, given its scarce amount, for that it is ““ as we said ““ an element lacking of circumstantial evidentiary value.

There remains anyway the strong suspicion that he was actually in the Via della Pergola house the night of the murder, in a moment that, however, it was impossible to determine. On the other hand, since the presence of Ms. Knox inside the house is sure, it is hardly credible that he was not with her. 

And even following one of the versions released by the woman, that is the one in accord to which, returning home in the morning of November 2. after a night spent at her boyfriend’s place, she reports of having immediately noticed that something strange had happened (open door, blood traces everywhere); or even the other one, that she reports in her memorial, in accord to which she was present in the house at the time of the murder, but in a different room, not the one in which the violent aggression on Ms. Kercher was being committed, it is very strange that she did not call her boyfriend, since there is no record about a phone call from her, based on the phone records within the file. Even more if we consider that having being in Italy for a short time, she would be presumably uninformed about what to do in such emergency cases, therefore the first and maybe only person whom she could ask for help would have been her boyfriend himself, who lived only a few hundred meters away from her house. Not doing this signifies Sollecito was with her, unaffected, obviously, the procedural relevance of his mere presence in that house, in the absence of certain proof of his causal contribution to the murderous action. 

The defensive argument extending the computer interaction up to the visualization of a cartoon, downloaded from the internet, in a time that they claim compatible with the time of death of Ms. Kercher, is certainly not sufficient to dispel such strong suspicions. In fact, even following the reconstruction claimed by the defence and even if we assume as certain that the interaction was by Mr. Sollecito himself and that he watched the whole clip, still the time of ending of his computer activity wouldn’t be incompatible with his subsequent presence in Ms. Kercher’s house, given the short distance between the two houses, walkable in about ten [sic] minutes.

An element of strong suspicion, also, derives from his confirmation, during spontaneous declarations, the alibi presented by Ms. Knox about the presence of both inside the house of the current appellant the night of the murder,  a theory that is denied by the statements of Curatolo, who declared of having witnessed the two together from 21:30 until 24:00 in piazza Grimana; and by Quintavalle on the presence of a young woman, later identified as Ms. Knox, when he opened his store in the morning of November 2. But as it was previously noted, such witness statements appeared to have strong margins of ambiguity and approximation, so that could not reasonably constitute the foundation of any certainty, besides the problematic judgement of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge.

An umpteenth element of suspicion is the basic failure of the alibi linked to other, claimed human interactions in the computer of his belongings, albeit if we can’t talk about false alibi, since it’s more appropriate to speak about unsuccessful alibi. 

Finally, no certainty could be reached [was acquired] about the attribution to Mr. Sollecito of the footprints found in the via della Pergola house, about which the technical reports carried out have not gone beyond a judgement of “probable identity”, and not of certainty (p. 260/1).

9.4.3. It is simply the case to observe, that the declaration of the lacking of a probative framework, coherent and sufficient to support the accusatory hypothesis regarding the more serious case of the homicide, reverberates on the residual, accessory charges referred in point d) (theft of the phones) and e) (simulation of crime).

From Chapter 10

10. The intrinsic contradiction of probative elements emerging from the text of the appealed sentence, undermines in nuce the connecting tissue of the same sentence, causing the annulment of it.

And in fact, when facing a picture marked by such contradiction, the appeal judge was not supposed to issue a conviction but rather ““ as we observed above ““ they were compelled to issue a ruling of acquittal with reference to art. 530 paragraph 2 of penal procedure code. 

At this point the last question remains, about the annulment formula ““ that is, whether it should be annulled with remand or without remand. The solving of such question is obviously related to the objective possibility of further tests, which could resolve the aspects of uncertainty, maybe through new technical investigations. 

The answer is certainly negative, because the biological traces on the items relevant to the investigation are of scarce entity, as such they can’t undergo amplification, and thus they won’t render answers of absolute reliability, neither in terms of identity nor in terms of compatibility.

The computers belonging to Amanda Knox and to Ms. Kercher, which maybe could have provided information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by hazardous operations by investigators, which caused electric shock following a probable error of power source; and they can’t render any further information anymore, since it’s an irreversible damage. [Ed: unproven how damage occurred, all records were recovered.]

The set of court testimonies is exhaustive, given the accuracy and completeness of the evidentiary trial phase, which had re-openings both times in the instances of appeal [rinvio; sic].

Mr. Guede, who was sure a co-participant to the murder, has always refused to cooperate, and for the already stated reasons he can’t be compelled to testify.

The technical tests requested by the defence cannot grant any contribution of clarity, not only because a long time has passed, but also because they regard aspects of problematic examination (such as the possibility of selective cleaning) or of manifest irrelevance (technical analysis on Sollecito’s computer) given that is was possible, as said, for him to go to Kercher’s house whatever the length of his interaction with the computer (even if one concedes that such interaction exists), or they are manifestly unnecessary, given that some unexceptionable technical analysis carried out are exhaustive (such are for example the cadaver inspection and the following medico-legal examinations).   

Following the considerations above, it is obvious that a remand [rinvio] would be useless, hence the declaration of annulment without remand, based on art. 620 L) of the procedure code, thus we apply an acquittal [proscioglimento *] formula [see note just below] of dropping of charges which a further judge on remand would be anyway compelled to apply, to abide to the principles of law established in this current sentence.

[Translator’s note:  Under the Italian Procedure Code, the Italian word for “acquittal” is actually “assoluzione”; while the term “proscioglimento” instead, actually refers only to non-definitive preliminary judgements during the investigation phase, and it could be translated as “dropping of charges”. When applied to the investigation phase “proscioglimento” is normally meant as a not-binding decision, not subjected to double jeopardy, since it is not considered a judgement nor a court’s decision.]

The annulment of the verdict of conviction of Ms. Knox as for the crime written at letter A), implies the ruling out of the aggravation of teleological nexus as for the art. 61 par. 2 Penal Code. The ruling out of such aggravating circumstance makes it necessary to re-determine the penalty, which is to be quantified in the same length established by the Court of Appeals of Perugia, about the adequacy of which large and sufficient justification was given, based on determination parameters which are to be subscribed to entirely.

It is just worth to note that the outcome of the judgement allows to deem as absorbed, or implicitly ruled out, any other objection, deduction or request by the defences, while any other argumentative aspect among those not examined, should be deemed manifestly inadmissible since it obviously belongs to the merit.



3. Wrong Translation Circulated By Amanda Knox

This version was garbled apparently to try to show innocence.  (It is a crime to deliberately garble Italian legal documents.)


Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

4.3.1 As for the first question, the use of the [Guede’s] definitive verdict in the current judgement,  for any possible implication, is unexceptionable , since it abides with the provision of art. 238 bis of Penal Code [sic]. Based on such provision “(”¦) the verdicts [p. 26] that have become irrevocable can be accepted [acquired] by courts as pieces of evidence of facts that were ascertained within them and evaluated based on articles 187 and 192 par 3”.


Above: wrong Knox version. Correct translation again:

9.4.1 Given this, we now note, with respect to Amanda Knox, that her presence inside the house, the location of the murder, is a proven fact in the trial, in accord with her own admissions, also contained in the memoriale with her signature, in the part where she tells that, as she was in the kitchen, while the young English woman had retired inside the room of same Ms. Kercher together with another person for a sexual intercourse, she heard a harrowing scream from her friend, so piercing and unbearable that she let herself down squatting on the floor, covering her ears tight with her hands in order not to hear more of it.

About this, the judgment of reliability expressed by the lower [a quo] judge [Nencini, ed.] with reference to this part of the suspect’s narrative, [and] about the plausible implication from the fact herself was the first person mentioning for the first time [46] a possible sexual motive for the murder, at the time when the detectives still did not have the results from the cadaver examination, nor the autopsy report, nor the witnesses’ information, which was collected only subsequently, about the victim’s terrible scream and about the time when it was heard (witnesses Nara Capezzali, Antonella Monacchia and others), is certainly to be subscribed to.


Monday, September 07, 2015

Knox Calunnia Trial #2: Testimony In Florence Court Today By Some Accused By Amanda Knox Of Crimes

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




1. Overview Of This Post

The post is in 3 parts and was added to on the fly as new information flowed in.

Part 2 below summarizes what this trial is all about. It is not about Knox’s book, it is about her claims on the stand in mid 2009 of crimes committed by numerous investigators and the lead prosecutor.

Part 3 below is live reports from the court. Part 4 is about the Supreme Court sentencing report released today in Rome.

2. Background To Calunnia Trial

This trial focuses on the claims of Amanda Knox at trial in 2009. Charges for malicious claims in her book will fall to another court, probably also in Florence. Oggi is already on trial for republishing some of them.

There seems no parallel in US or UK legal history to this - to a defendant testifying prolifically for two days to crimes by investigators, in spite of even more days of prior testimony which all pointed the other way.

Seemingly under strong pressure from her own family Knox willingly took a huge legal risk which her own lawyers had warned her about again and again, sometimes publicly, over nearly two years.

They never ever lodged even one complaint. Nor did the US Embassy in Rome, which monitored all sessions in court, and often checked her out (as did Italian MP Rocco Girlanda) in prison at Capanne.

The Massei court and the watching audience in Italy (read here and here) bought none of it. Knox still served three years for framing Patrick. Not even Judge Hellmann bought into her claims. Certainly not the Supreme Court.

The current trial in Florence was preceded by an investigation by Florence prosecutors, who bring the charges and argue them because Knox impugned officers of the justice system in their official roles. 

Prior to today the prosecutors’ investigation report had only been released to Knox’s defense. So we don’t yet know if the charges extend beyond Knox’s claims of having been abused into a false “confession” on 5-6 November 2007.

Post #1 of our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series points toward what investigators testified to at trial.

Four months later Knox contradicted them at length as summarised in our two posts here and here: “The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About”

2. Machiavelli Reports From Calunnia Trial

1. Tweets from the Florence court:

16. Zugarini was present throughout the interrogation and described when #amandaknox started to cry, remembered her peculiar hand-ear gestures.

15. Napoleoni testified #amandaknox was brought a chamomille when she started crying at 01:45, the interrogation was immediately stopped.

14. Napoleoni and Zugarini said they “cuddled” Knox because she was a 20-year old girl.

13. Both Mignini and Zugarini described having had impression that #amandaknox was feeling “relieved of a burden” after accusing Lumumba.

12. Mignini said Knox was not clearly a suspect to him by the 05:45 interrogation.

11. Witnesses had inaccurate memory on some details, but were convergent on some peculiar details.

10. Napoleoni said she did not enter interrogation room, she called Rita Ficarra out to talk to her.

9. Zugarini said, as for her knowledge, Knox was not told that Sollecito withdrew her alibi.

8. Zugarini said called interpreter only to ask #amandaknox more precise questions about people in her phone contact list.

7. Zugarini said #amandaknox was able to explain herself in Italian. They called an interpreter to translate what police had to say.

6. Testimony of Mignini was descriptive and framed thing in law. Mostly talked at length explaining alone, prosecutor listened.

5. In today’s hearing, Mignini talked 2 hours, confirmed arrived at 3am, police interview was over, he asked no questions of AK.

4. Napoleoni was precise and synthetic. Zugarini longer and IMO more interesting on many details.

3. Mignini and Judge Boninsegna appeared irritated by Dalla Vedova’s remarks.

2. Long hearing of Mignini at trial against Amanda Knox for calunnia. Napoleoni & Gubbiotti followed, then Zugarini

1. Testimony of some of the investigators accused by Knox and the lead prosecutor Dr Mignini [image above] is being taken in court.

[Reporting from the Florence court sometimes requires a wait to get to a place where mobile phones can connect to the outside.]

2. Emailed report following day (8 September):

No Knox calunnia session required today as last Friday and yesterday both sides completed their witness list.

Amanda Knox and Curt Knox chose not to testify.

Now Judge Boninsegna has ordered each side to prepare their arguments within three months (7 December).

The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

4. Machiavelli On Cassazione Sentencing Report

4. The Cassazione sentence on the #meredithkercher case about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito is an offence to intelligence.

3. Cassazione repeats several times “strong suspicion” remains about #amandaknox and #raffaelesollecito

2. Cassazione says #amandaknox was in the apartment when murder was convicted, and it is “incontrovertible” that she committed calunnia.

1. INCREDIBLE: SC says *proven* fact that #amandaknox was in house when murder was committed. Agrees with court on this


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #2

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Angela Pietroiusti. Quick route to Comments here.

1. Most Bungling Team In Legal History?

There is NO WAY Knox and Sollecito would be out on the streets if the playing field had been level.

Knox’s lawyers and family and PR effort and publishers all bungled enormously and suffered an overwhelming loss at both Knox’s trials (murder and calunnia) when pre-trial concessions could have served them well.

To make up for this, they tilted the playing field.

Manipulation of the media and thus American (but not Italian) opinion and manipulation of the evidence and manipulation of judges and manipulation of court-appointed DNA experts and manipulation to prevent Italy from finding out what was in Knox’s and Sollecito’s horrific books.

You want to see manipulation in spades?

See here and here and the whole huge area of the DNA and of course the RS and AK books.

You want to see bungling in spades?

No better example than this one which could possibly cost Sollecito lawyer Luca Maori his career and has stopped the Fifth Chambers of Cassation dead in their tracks.

Also Knox’s and Sollecito’s foolish books involving dozens of others are coming back to haunt them in court. Also look here at how Chris Mellas dropped Knox in it.

Helping Sollecito cost his sister Vanessa her Carbinieri job. Sollecito’s father admitted to Panorama he tried political manipulation and was charged. Knox’s parents parroted Amanda Knox and were charged. “Helpful” investigator Paul Ciolino framed an innocent man in another case and was charged. Doug Preston ally Mario Spezi smeared investigators after the two tried framing an innocent man and blocking an investigation getting too near the truth and Spezi was charged.

Judge Heavey lied to national presidents everywhere and was reprimanded and soon retired. The defense arranged for Judge Hellmann to preside over the 2011 appeal; he was overturned and pushed out. Pepperdine University pushed out the besotted security guard Steve Moore. Frank Sforza, facing felony charges, took off like a rabbit out of America. Defense witness Aviello was charged. 

The defenses’ attempt to climb in Filomena’s window came up short. This bungled frame-up went nowhere. The pathetic Bruce Fischer team has gone nowhere.

2. Bungling In Knox’s Calunnia Case

Keeping Knox quiet for her own good was always a mighty struggle and the defense lawyers openly complained. It was an open secret in Perugia from 2007 to 2009 that Knox’s defense lawyers were struggling with Knox herself and with her family and her PR.

At least one defense lawyer was fired or walked off the job (as with the Sollecito team). This struggle broke out into the open at various times, for example see here.

Still. Knox’s defense team also did at least five things to help make matters worse for her in her calunnia trial now.

    1) They allowed Knox to interrupt prosecution witness Anna Donnino, the interpreter, during her testimony in March 2009 to claim she was hit, having repeatedly said previously that that was untrue. That set the legal reaction in motion.

    2) They put Knox on the stand seemingly unbriefed and allowed her to contradict both days and days of prosecution testimony and also prior declarations by herself.

    3) They put a presumably privileged letter from Knox to themselves in evidence (see previous post) knowing that it contained false claims.

    4) They applied to a Perugia judge for the transfer of the calunnia case from Perugia to Florence, thinking the Florence court was gunning for Dr Mignini when the truth is opposite.

    5) They applied to the same Perugia judge for the attachment of Dr Mignini’s name to the complaint though they knew he was not at the “interrogation” as even Knox said on the stand.

Due to failed defense efforts Knox has already served three years and is a felon for life, and she now could face another six plus more penalties for her book. She is still not off the hook for murder as Fifth Chambers judges broke two laws and had fishy friends in their pasts.

So, good luck, Amanda Knox. GREAT TEAM!

3. Day Two Of Knox’s Testimony

These are excerpts related to the “interrogation” of 5-6 Nov. Important: we dont yet know what else the prosecutors will include in their charges as much of Knox’s testimony was on other things about which she also lied.

Excerpts in both posts are from the full transcript on the Case Wiki, and all transcription and translation into English (a massive task) was by the PMF Team.

Cross Examination By Prosecutor Mignini

GM:  In your preceding declarations, on Nov 2 at 15:30, on Nov 3 at 14:45, then, there was another one, Nov 4, 14:45, and then there’s Nov 6, 1:45. Only in these declarations, and then in the following spontaneous declarations, did you mention the name of Patrick. Why hadn’t you ever mentioned him before?
AK:  Because that was the one where they suggested Patrick’s name to me.
GM:  All right, now is the time for you to make this precise and specific. At this point I will take…no, I’ll come back to it later. You need to explain this. You have stated: “The name of Patrick was suggested to me. I was hit, pressured.”
AK:  Yes.
GM:  Now you have to tell me in a completely detailed way, you have to remember for real, you have to explain step by step, who, how, when, was the name of Patrick suggested to you, and what had been done before that point. The name of Patrick didn’t just come up like a mushroom; there was a preceding situation. Who put pressure on you, what do you mean by the word “pressure”, who hit you? You said: “They hit me”, and at the request of the lawyer Ghirga, yesterday, you described two little blows, two cuffs.
AK:  Yes.
GM:  So that would be what you meant by being hit?
AK:  Yes.
GM:  Or something else? Tell me if there was something else. You can tell us.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  So, you are—[Interruptions] The question is—[Interruptions] Escuse me. Excuse me. The question is quite clear. He is repeating this in order to give the accused a chance to add something to these events that were explained by the accused yesterday. The pubblico ministero is asking to return to these events mentioned yesterday in order to obtain more detail about exactly what happened and who did it. Please be as precise as possible.
GM:  So you were in front of—
GCM:  The question is clear.
GM:  All right, so tell us.
GCM:  Yes, it’s clear.
AK:  All right. Okay.
GCM:  If you could give more detail, be more precise, exactly what was suggested to you, about the cuffs, all that.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  And who did all this, if you can.
AK:  Okay. Fine. So, when I got to the Questura, they placed me to the side, near the elevator, where I was waiting for Raffaele. I had taken my homework, and was starting to do my homework, but a policeman came in, in fact there were I don’t know, three of them or something, and they wanted to go on talking to me. They asked me again—
GM:  Excuse me, excuse me—
AK:  [coldly] Can I tell the story?
GM:  Excuse me for interrupting you otherwise we’ll forget—
CDV:  Presidente, I object to this way of doing things. The question was asked—[Yelling, interruptions]—we should wait for the answer.
GM:  It’s impossible to go on like this, no, no.
CDV:  If a question is asked, she has to be able to answer.
GCM:  Please, please. That’s correct. There is a rule that was introduced, which says that we should absolutely avoid interruptions from anyone.
CDV:  I want to ask that she be allowed to finish her answer. She has the right, no?
GCM:  Please, please, pubblico ministero. It’s impossible to go on this way.
GM:  I would like to, I can—
GCM:  No no no, no one can. We have to make sure that while someone is speaking, there are never any superimposed voices. And since the accused is undergoing examination, she has the right to be allowed to answer in the calmest possible way. Interruptions and talking at the same time don’t help her, and they can’t be written down in the minutes, which obliges the courts to suspend the audience and start it again at a calmer and more tranquil moment.
GM:  Presidente—
GCM:  No, no, no! Interruptions are absolutely not allowed! Not between the parties, nor when the Court, the President is speaking. So, interruptions are not allowed. Now, the accused is speaking, and when she is finished, we can return to her answers—
GM:  Presidente.
GCM:  Excuse me, please! But at the moment she is speaking, we have to avoid interrupting her. But—I don’t know if this is what was wanted—but while you are speaking, if you could tell us when. For instance, you say you were doing homework, but you didn’t tell us when. We need to know when, on what day, the 2nd of November, the 3rd, what time it was. While you are talking, you need to be more detailed, as detailed as you can with respect to the date and the time.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  And we must avoid interruptions, but when you have finished, we can discuss your answer.
AK:  Thank you. So, here is…how I understood the question, I’m answering about what happened to me on the night of the 5th and the morning of the 6th of November 2007, and when we got to the Questura, I think it was around 10:30 or nearer 11, but I’m sorry, I don’t know the times very precisely, above all during that interrogation. The more the confusion grew, the more I lost the sense of time. But I didn’t do my homework for a very long time. I was probably just reading the first paragraph of what I had to read, when these policemen came to sit near me, to ask me to help them by telling them who had ever entered in our house. So I told them, okay, well there was this girlfriend of mine and they said no no no, they only wanted to know about men. So I said okay, here are the names of the people I know, but really I don’t know, and they said, names of anyone you saw nearby, so I said, there are some people that are friends of the boys, or of the girls, whom I don’t know very well, and it went on like this, I kept on answering these questions, and finally at one point, while I was talking to them, they said “Okay, we’ll take you into this other room.” So I said okay and went with them, and they started asking me to talk about what I had been doing that evening. At least, they kept asking about the last time I saw Meredith, and then about everything that happened the next morning, and we had to repeat again and again everything about what I did. Okay, so I told them, but they always kept wanting times and schedules, and time segments: “What did you do between 7 and 8?” “And from 8 to 9? And from 9 to 10?” I said look, I can’t be this precise, I can tell you the flow of events, I played the guitar, I went to the house, I looked at my e-mails, I read a book, and I was going on like this. There were a lot people coming in and going out all the time, and there was one policeman always in front of me, who kept going on about this. Then at one point an interpreter arrived, and the interpreter kept on telling me, try to remember the times, try to remember the times, times, times, times, and I kept saying “I don’t know. I remember the movie, I remember the dinner, I remember what I ate,” and she kept saying “How can you you remember this thing but not that thing?” or “How can you not remember how you were dressed?” because I was thinking, I had jeans, but were they dark or light, I just can’t remember. And then she said “Well, someone is telling us that you were not at Raffaele’s house. Raffaele is saying that at these times you were not home.” And I said, but what is he saying, that I wasn’t there? I was there! Maybe I can’t say exactly what I was doing every second, every minute, because I didn’t look at the time. I know that I saw the movie, I ate dinner. And she would say “No no no, you saw the film at this time, and then after that time you went out of the house. You ate dinner with Raffaele, and then there is this time where you did nothing, and this time where you were out of the house.” And I said, no, that’s not how it was. I was always in Raffaele’s apartment.
GCM:  [taking advantage of a tiny pause to slip in without exactly interrupting] Excuse me, excuse me, the pubblico ministero wants to hear precise details about the suggestions about what to say, and also about the cuffs, who gave them to you.
AK:  All right. What it was, was a continuous crescendo of these discussions and arguments, because while I was discussing with them, in the end they started to little by little and then more and more these remarks about “We’re not convinced by you, because you seem to be able to remember one thing but not remember another thing. We don’t understand how you could take a shower without seeing…” And then, they kept on asking me “Are you sure of what you’re saying? Are you sure? Are you sure? If you’re not sure, we’ll take you in front of a judge, and you’ll go to prison, if you’re not telling the truth.” Then they told me this thing about how Raffaele was saying that I had gone out of the house. I said look, it’s impossible. I don’t know if he’s really saying that or not, but look, I didn’t go out of the house. And they said “No, you’re telling a lie. You’d better remember what you did for real, because otherwise you’re going to prison for 30 years because you’re a liar.” I said no, I’m not a liar. And they said “Are you sure you’re not protecting someone?” I said no, I’m not protecting anyone. And they said “We’re sure you’re protecting someone.” Who, who, who, who did you meet when you went out of Raffaele’s house?” I didn’t go out. “Yes, you did go out. Who were you with?” I don’t know. I didn’t do anything. “Why didn’t you go to work?” Because my boss told me I didn’t have to go to work. “Let’s see your telephone to see if you have that message.” Sure, take it. “All right.” So one policeman took it, and started looking in it, while the others kept on yelling “We know you met someone, somehow, but why did you meet someone?” But I kept saying no, no, I didn’t go out, I’m not pro-pro-pro—-
GCM:  [taking advantage of her stammer] Excuse me, okay, we understand that there was a continuous crescendo.
AK:  Yes.
GCM:  As you said earlier. But if we could now get to the questions of the pubblico ministero, otherwise it will really be impossible to avoid some interruptions. If you want to be able to continue as tranquilly, as continuously as possible…
AK:  Okay, I’m sorry.
GCM:  So, if you could get to the questions about exactly when, exactly who… these suggestions, exactly what did they consist in? It seems to me…
AK:  Okay. Fine. So, they had my telephone, and at one point they said “Okay, we have this message that you sent to Patrick”, and I said I don’t think I did, and they yelled “Liar! Look! This is your telephone, and here’s your message saying you wanted to meet him!” And I didn’t even remember that I had written him a message. But okay, I must have done it. And they were saying that the message said I wanted to meet him. That was one thing. Then there was the fact that there was this interpreter next to me, and she was telling me “Okay, either you are an incredibly stupid liar, or you’re not able to remember anything you’ve done.” So I said, how could that be? And she said, “Maybe you saw something so tragic, so terrible that you can’t remember it. Because I had a terrible accident once where I broke my leg…”
GCM:  The interpreter said this to you?
AK:  The interpreter, yes.
GCM:  I also wanted to ask you because it isn’t clear to me: only the interpreter spoke to you, or the others also?
AK:  All the others also.
GCM:  Everyone was talking to you, all the others, but were they speaking in English?
AK:  No, in Italian.
GCM:  In Italian. And you answered in Italian?
AK:  In Italian, in English…
GCM:  And what was said to you in Italian, did it get translated to you in English?
AK:  A bit yes, a bit no, there was so much confusion, there were so many people all talking at the same time, one saying “Maybe it was like this, maybe you don’t remember,” another saying “No, she’s a stupid liar,” like that…
GCM:  But everything was eventually translated, or you understood some of it and answered right away?
AK:  It wasn’t like an interrogation, like what we’re doing now, where one person asks me a question and I answer. No. There were so many people talking, asking, waiting, and I answered a bit here and there.
GCM:  All right. You were telling us that the interpreter was telling you about something that had happened to her. [Interruption by Mignini.] But you need to get back to the questions asked by the pubblico ministero. This isn’t a spontaneous declaration now. This is an examination. That means the pubblico ministero has asked you a question, always the same question, and we still haven’t really heard the answer to it.
AK:  Yes, sorry.
GCM:  Right, so you were saying that there was this continuous crescendo.
AK:  It’s difficult for me to say that one specific person said one specific thing. It was the fact that there were all these little suggestions, and someone was saying that there was the telephone, then there was the fact that… then more than anything what made me try to imagine something was someone saying to me “Maybe you’re confused, maybe you’re confused and you should try to remember something different. Try to find these memories that obviously you have somehow lost. You have to try to remember them. So I was there thinking, but what could I have forgotten? And I was thinking, what have I forgotten? what have I forgotten? and they were shouting “Come on, come on, come on, remember, remember, remember,” and boom! on my head. [Amanda slaps herself on the back of the head: End of video segment] “Remember!” And I was like—Mamma Mia! and then boom! [slaps head again] “Remember!”
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please, excuse me…
AK:  Those were the cuffs.
GCM:  So, the pubblico ministero asked you, and is still asking you, who is the person that gave you these two blows that you just showed us on yourself?
AK:  It was a policewoman, but I didn’t know their names.
GM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
GM:  So, now, I asked you a question, and I did not get an answer. You ... [interruptions]!
LG or CDV:  I object to that remark! That is a personal evaluation! Presidente! That is very suggestive. He is making an unacceptable conclusion. He can ask a question, but this is a personal opinion. It seems to me that she did answer. She answered for a good five minutes.
GCM:  Sorry, but I said that we were supposed to avoid interruptions, that we weren’t supposed to interrupt when someone was speaking—
LG or CDV:  But—
GCM:  Wait—avvocato, excuse me, please, let’s try to avoid these moments which don’t help anybody and probably harm the person undergoing the examination because they create tension in the court—
GM:  When I am doing the cross-examination I would like—
GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero. This is another recommendation: let’s avoid analyses. Let’s take the answers as they come, later the right moment will come to say that from this examination, you did not obtain the answer that you expected, that the accused did not answer the questions. That is a later phase. At this moment, let’s stay with the answers that we have, even if they are not exhaustive, and return to the question, but avoiding personal evaluations of their value. Go ahead, publicco ministero, go ahead.
GM:  I would like to—
GCM:  Yes, yes, go ahead, return to your question. And then you can come back to it with more details.
GM:  The central point of that interrogation was the moment when the name of Patrick emerged. You spoke of suggestions, you spoke of pressure, you spoke of being hit, I asked you to give me a precise description of who gave you the blows, you need to describe this person. Was it a woman or a man? Who asked you the questions? Who was asking you the questions? There was the interpreter, who was the person who was translating. But the exam, the interrogation, who was doing it? Apart from the people who were going in and out. You must have understood that there was a murder, and this was a police station, and the investigation was hot, and what I am asking you is, who was actually conducting the interrogation?
GCM:  The pubblico ministero is asking you, you said that the two blows were given to me by someone whose name I don’t know. The pubblico ministero is asking you firstly if you can give a description of the person who hit you, if you saw her, and if you can give us a description. The second question—
AK:  So, when I—the person who was conducting the interrogation—
GCM:  That was the second question! You’re starting with the second question, that’s fine, go ahead, go ahead.
AK:  Oh, sorry…
GCM:  Go on, go on. The person who was conducting the interrogation…
AK:  Well, there were lots and lots of people who were asking me questions, but the person who had started talking with me was a policewoman with long hair, chestnut brown hair, but I don’t know her. Then in the circle of people who were around me, certain people asked me questions, for example there was a man who was holding my telephone, and who was literally shoving the telephone into my face, shouting “Look at this telephone! Who is this? Who did you want to meet?” Then there were others, for instance this woman who was leading, was the same person who at one point was standing behind me, because they kept moving, they were really surrounding me and on top of me. I was on a chair, then the interpreter was also sitting on a chair, and everyone else was standing around me, so I didn’t see who gave me the first blow because it was someone behind me, but then I turned around and saw that woman, and she gave me another blow to the head.
GCM:  This was the same woman with the long hair?
AK:  Yes, the same one.
GCM:  All right. Are you finished? Tell me if you have something to add.
AK:  Well, I already answered.
GCM:  Fine, fine, all right. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
GM:  I’ll go on with the questions. In the minutes it mentions three people, plus the interpreter. Now, you first said that they suggested things to you. What exactly do you mean by the word “suggestion”, because from your description, I don’t see any suggestion. I mean, what is meant by the Italian word “suggerimento”, I don’t find it.
GCM:  [quelling them] Excuse me, excuse me, please, please, excuse me, excuse me! Listen, the pubblico ministero is asking you: “suggestions”, you also mentioned words that were “put in your mouth”, versions, things to say, circumstances to describe.
The pubblico ministero is asking two things: who made the suggestions, and what exactly were you told to say? }}
AK:  All right. It seems to me that the thoughts of the people standing around me, there were so many people, and they suggested things to me in the sense that they would ask questions like: “Okay, you met someone!” No, I didn’t. They would say “Yes you did, because we have this telephone here, that says that you wanted to meet someone. You wanted to meet him.” No, I don’t remember that. “Well, you’d better remember, because if not we’ll put you in prison for 30 years.” But I don’t remember! “Maybe it was him that you met? Or him? You can’t remember?” It was this kind of suggestion.
GCM:  When you say they said “Maybe you met him?”, did they specify names?
AK:  Well, the important fact was this message to Patrick, they were very excited about it. So they wanted to know if I had received a message from him—
[Interruptions]
GCM:  Please, please!
[Interruptions, multiple voices]
CDV:  It’s not possible to go on this way! [Mignini yells something at dalla Vedova]
GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me!
??:  I’m going to ask to suspend the audience! I demand a suspension of five minutes!
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me! Please!
CDV:  Viva Dio, Presidente!
GM:  Presidente, I’m trying to do a cross-examination, and I must have the conditions that allow me to do it! The defense keeps interrupting.
??:  That’s true!
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me, please—
GM:  We’re asking for a suspension!
GCM:  Just a moment, excuse me. I’ve heard all the demands and suggestions, now the Court will decide. So.
[Several moments of silence, during which Amanda murmurs in a very tiny voice: “Scusa.”]
GCM:  I want to point out that the accused offers answers to every question. She could always refuse to respond. She is answering, and that doesn’t mean she has to be asked about the same circumstances again and again. She is not a witness. The accused goes under different rules. We have to accept the answers—
??:  But—
GCM:  Please, please! We have to accept the answers given by the accused. She can stop answering at any time. At some point we simply have to move on to different questions. One circumstance is being asked again, the accused answered. The regularly, the tranquillity, the rituality of the court, of the process, has to be respected. The pubblico ministero was asking about suggestions. [To Amanda] If you want a suspension we can do it right away.
AK:  No, I’m fine.
GCM:  So the pubblico ministero was asking about the suggestions. All right?
AK:  Sure.
GCM:  So, you were the one who gave the first indication, introducing this generic pronoun “him”? This “him”, did they say who it could be?
AK:  It was because of the fact that they were saying that I apparently had met someone and they said this because of the message, and they were saying “Are you sure you don’t remember meeting THIS person, because you wrote this message.”
GCM:  In this message, was there the name of the person it was meant for?
AK:  No, it was the message I wrote to my boss. The one that said “Va bene. Ci vediamo piu tardi. Buona serata.”
GCM:  But it could have been a message to anyone. Could you see from the message to whom it was written?
AK:  Actually, I don’t know if that information is in the telephone. But I told them that I had received a message from Patrick, and they looked for it in the telephone, but they couldn’t find it, but they found the one I sent to him.
GCM:  I also wanted to ask you for the pubblico ministero, you wrote this message in Italian. I wanted to ask you, since you are an English speaker, what do you do when you wrote in Italian? Do you first think in English, and then translate into Italian, or do you manage to think directly in Italian?
AK:  No, at that time, I first thought in English, then I would translate, and then write.
GCM:  So that clarifies that phrase. Go ahead, pubblico ministero, but I think we’ve exhausted the question.
GM:  Yes, yes. I just wanted one concept to be clear: that in the Italian language, “suggerire” means “indicate”, someone who “suggests” a name actually says the name and the other person adopts it. That is what “suggerimento” is, and I…so my question is, did the police first pronounce the name of Patrick, or was it you? And was it pronounced after having seen the message in the phone, or just like that, before that message was seen?
??:  Objection! Objection!
GM:  On page 95, I read—
CDV:  Before the objection, what was the question?
GM:  The question was: the question that was objected was about the term “suggerimento”. Because I interpret that word this way: the police say “Was it Patrick?” and she confirms that it was Patrick. This is suggestion in the Italian language.
GCM:  Excuse me, please, excuse me. Let’s return to the accused. What was the suggestion, because I thought I had understood that the suggestion consisted in the fact that Patrick Lumumba, to whom the message was addressed, had been identified, they talked about “him, him, him”. In what terms exactly did they talk about this “him”? What did they say to you?
AK:  So, there was this thing that they wanted a name. And the message—
GCM:  You mean, they wanted a name relative to what?
AK:  To the person I had written to, precisely. And they told me that I knew, and that I didn’t want to tell. And that I didn’t want to tell because I didn’t remember or because I was a stupid liar. Then they kept on about this message, that they were literally shoving in my face saying “Look what a stupid liar you are, you don’t even remember this!” At first, I didn’t even remember writing that message. But there was this interpreter next to me who kept saying “Maybe you don’t remember, maybe you don’t remember, but try,” and other people were saying “Try, try, try to remember that you met someone, and I was there hearing “Remember, remember, remember,” and then there was this person behind me who—it’s not that she actually really physically hurt me, but she frightened me…
GCM:  “Remember!” is not a suggestion. It is a strong solicitation of your memory. Suggestion is rather…
AK:  But it was always “Remember” following this same idea, that…
GCM:  But they didn’t literally say that it was him!
AK:  No. They didn’t say it was him, but they said “We know who it is, we know who it is. You were with him, you met him.”
GCM:  So, these were the suggestions.
AK:  Yes.
GCM:  Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
GM:  I object here on the dynamics, because here there’s a contrast…well… per carita—[Brief interruption from GCM]—From Amanda’s answer, it emerges that there was this cell phone and this message and this “Answer, answer,” whereas in the minutes of the Dec 17 interrogation, page 95, we find: The police could not have suggested—[Arguing, everyone speaking, Maresca, Pacelli etc., some saying that they need to know the exact page, it’s different in their version. ]
GCM:  While the pubblico ministero is talking, let’s avoid interrupting him. It’s true that the pages are different, but still, if you can’t find the page, ask for a moment’s pause, don’t interrupt the reading.
GM:  So, on line number one, two, three, four…
GCM:  Pubblico ministero, don’t worry about the lines, please read.
GM:  [reading] She said: “I accused Patrick and no one else because they were continually talking about Patrick.” Suggesting, to use Amanda’s words. I asked: “The police, the police could not suggest? And the interpreter, was she shouting the name of Patrick? Sorry, but what was the police saying?” Knox: “The police were saying, ‘We know that you were in the house. We know you were in the house.’ And one moment before I said Patrick’s name, someone was showing me the message I had sent him.” This is the objection. There is a precise moment. The police were showing her the message, they didn’t know who it was—
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me pubblico ministero [talking at the same time] excuse me, excuse me, the objection consists in the following: [to Amanda], when there are contrasts or a lack of coincidence with previous statements, be careful to explain them.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  Do you confirm the declarations that the pubblico ministero read out?
AK:  I explained it better now.
GCM:  You explained it better now. All right pubblico ministero. Go ahead.
GM:  So, let’s move forward.
AK:  Okay.
GM:  Now, what happened next? You, confronted with the message, gave the name of Patrick. What did you say?
AK:  Well, first I started to cry. And all the policemen, together, started saying to me, you have to tell us why, what happened? They wanted all these details that I couldn’t tell them, because in the end, what happened was this: when I said the name of “Patrick”, I suddenly started imagining a kind of scene, but always using this idea: images that didn’t agree, that maybe could give some kind of explanation of the situation. I saw Patrick’s face, then Piazza Grimana, then my house, then something green that they told me might be the sofa. Then, following this, they wanted details, they wanted to know everything I had done. But I didn’t know how to say. So they started talking to me, saying, “Okay, so you went out of the house, okay, fine, so you met Patrick, where did you meet Patrick?” I don’t know, maybe in Piazza Grimana, maybe near it. Because I had this image of Piazza Grimana. “Okay, fine, so you went with him to your house. Okay, fine. How did you open the door?” Well, with my key. “So you opened the house”. Okay, yes. “And what did you do then?” I don’t know. “But was she already there?” I don’t know. “Did she arrive or was she already there?” Okay. “Who was there with you?” I don’t know. “Was it just Patrick, or was Raffaele there too?” I don’t know. It was the same when the pubblico ministero came, because he asked me: “Excuse me, I don’t understand. Did you hear the sound of a scream?” No. “But how could you not have heard the scream?”. I don’t know, maybe my ears were covered. I kept on and on saying I don’t know, maybe, imagining…
GCM:  [Stopping her gently] Okay, okay. Go ahead, pubblico ministero.
CDV?:  I’d like to ask a question, I’d like to make an objection about—
GCM?:  All right, so—
GM:  Is it a question or an objection? [crossing, arguing voices]
GCM:  Please, no interruptions.
CDV?:  [stronger] I said, I am asking a question and making an objection—
GCM:  But, excuse me, let’s stay with essentials. Let’s hear what the pubblico ministero has to say, and then we’ll see. That’s a premise.
GM:  I appeal to the court that this is making the examination impossible.
GCM:  Please, please, sorry. Go ahead.
GM:  I am trying to understand. In the interro—[he breaks off in mid-word, I think dalla Vedova must have stood up again.]
GCM:  But it’s not possible to hinder things this way, avvocato. Excuse me. Why?
CDV?:  [hard to hear because he’s speaking at the same time as GCM] The defense would like to formally ask for a break [?]
GCM:  We haven’t even heard what he is trying to say yet. You can’t make preventive objections! I’m sorry, avvocato.
CDV?:  I’m not making an objection—
GCM:  [really trying to stop him but not succeeding, CDV goes on talking at the same time] Please, please avvocato, no no no no, the pubblico ministero is speaking. [GM also says some words] Excuse me, excuse me.
CDV?:  The suggestions of the PM before asking the question are inopportune, because he is suggesting and making suggestive…
GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, excuse me! [He really, really needs a gavel to bang!]
GM:  [some words]
GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero! We are creating useless moments—
GM:  [some words]
GCM:  [much louder] Please, pubblico ministero! Please! Now, excuse me.
GM or CDV:  Please explain this concept to me.
GCM:  Please, please! [He finally obtains silence] I understand that when these interruption happens, the tone gets a bit louder, but that is not helpful. [Interruption] Please, please—but we are getting the impression that the objections are preventive. So while the pubblico ministero is speaking, which he has every right to do in this phase, and the defense already had their chance to do it, and they weren’t interrupted yesterday, so we ask for equal treatment today, at the present moment of the examination of the accused. And the tone should always remain cordial without giving the impression of a—
CDV:  Yes, yes, no, no. But it’s just that, I am asking that—
GCM:  Please, avvocato. There’s no reason. We are trying to reconcile the interests of all parties, we are gathering circumstances on which the different parties are called to make analyses and the Court to decide. This will be helpful for everyone. Go ahead.
GM:  The question is this: You say, you just told me a little while ago, that… the police—I’m trying to—well, I have to give a little introduction so she understands my question. You said “they found this message and they asked me whom it was to, if it was true or not true.” And you answered. Then the police obviously goes forward with their questions. “So, tell us”. And you…you just told me, I can’t read it, obviously I don’t have the transcription right here, but, I might be making a mistake, I don’t know, but you were saying that you remembered Piazza Grimana. Did you really say that?
AK:  Yes.
GCM:  Please, please, excuse me, there, now what the accused is saying is: “On the basis of these elements, I tried to reconstruct a scene that could be verified.” In these terms, not because she… She mentally elaborated, with her imagination: this is what I understood, how the scene could be realized, containing those elements that had come up.
AK:  Certainly.
GCM:  But she wasn’t speaking of an effective memory of circumstances that had effectively occurred in her perception. That is the meaning of the response of the accused.
AK:  Certo.
GM:  But you said that you remembered Piazza Grimana.
AK:  I had an image of Piazza Grimana.
GM:  An image of Piazza Grimana, that’s right. Now listen, in the interrogation, page 95, the same interrogation, but the same expression turns up in other places, I can give references if necessary…

[Start of 6:54 minute video segment] ...I asked this question: Why did you throw out an accusation of this type? In the confrontations with Mr. Lumumba (I was continuing and you answered right away): “I was trying, I had the possibility of explaining the message in my phone. He had told me not to come to work.” Perfectly normal things. So, faced with a perfectly normal circumstance, “My boss texted me to tell me not to come to work and I answered him,” you could have just stated that. End of response. Instead, faced with the message, and the questions of the police, you threw out this accusation. So I am asking you, why start accusing him when you could calmly explain the exchange of messages? Why did you think those things could be true? }}
AK:  I was confused.
GM:  You have repeated that many times. But what does it mean? Either something is true, or it isn’t true. Right now, for instance, you’re here at the audience, you couldn’t be somewhere else. You couldn’t say “I am at the station.” You are right here, right now.
AK:  Certainly. [Some noise]
GCM:  The question is clear.
AK:  Can I answer?
GCM:  [quelling noise] Excuse me, excuse me! Please, go ahead.
AK:  My confusion was because firstly, I couldn’t understand why the police was treating me this way, and then because when I explained that I had spent the whole time with Raffaele, they said “No, you’re a liar”. It was always this thing that either I didn’t remember or I was lying. The fact that I kept on and on repeating my story and they kept saying “No, you’re going to prison right now if you don’t tell the truth,” and I said “But I’ve told the truth,” “No, you’re a liar, now you’re going to prison for 30 years because either you’re a stupid liar or you forgot. And if it’s because you forgot, then you’d better remember what happened for real, right now.” This is why I was confused. Because I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand anything any more. I was so scared and impressed by all this that at some point I thought What the heck, maybe they’re right, maybe I forgot.
GM:  So, and then, you accused Lumumba of murder. This is the conclusion.

GM:  I wanted to spend a moment on one last question, maybe the last but I don’t know, about the morning of the 6th.
AK:  Okay.
GM:  There’s another thing I didn’t understand. You said pressure was put on you, and there were suggestions, you explained today exactly what those consisted in, to say the name of Patrick and to accuse Patrick. Then you wrote a memorandum in which you confirm everything. And you weren’t under pressure right then. Why didn’t you just say: “I falsely accused someone.” Someone who was in prison, who was put in prison, maybe for a long time. Can you explain this to me?
AK:  Certo.
CDV?:  Can I make an objection? Very, very calmly and without animosity?
GCM:  Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you [for the calm, no doubt]. Thank you.
CDV?:  It seems to me that the pubblico ministero, in presenting his questions, always makes references which go as far as actually suggesting the answers, and also—
GM:  Well it is a cross-examination.
GCM:  Please, please let’s avoid interruptions and let each person express what he has to say. Go ahead, avvocato.
CDV?:  In the question he just asked, he mentions the memorandum and says it confirms. Now, this might be a specific question, but it should not be an assertion on the part of the pubblico ministero, followed by another question. If we look in the minutes, we find a series of unilateral declarations which all go to show what interests the pubblico ministero. To my mind, this mentality goes against our way of examining the accused. I just want to make this clear.
GCM:  All right, taking into account these remarks, the pubblico ministero’s question remains. It could be rephrased like this: during the 5th and the 6th, you said there were pressures, and the name of Patrick Lumumba emerged as also being involved in these events. But as the pubblico ministero notes, you then you wrote the memorandum spontaneously. We heard that you yourself asked for paper to be able to write it.
AK:  Certainly.
GCM:  And writing with this liberty, you even referred to it as a gift, these elements which had already emerged, you reasserted them, and this involvement of Patrick Lumumba. What the pubblico ministero is asking is: how did you—this question was already asked yesterday—in these different circumstances, you weren’t in the room any more, there wasn’t any pressure, why didn’t the truth somehow get stabilized?
AK:  Yes, yes. In fact, what happened is that I had literally been led to believe that somehow, I had forgotten something real, and so with this idea that I must have forgotten, I was practically convinced myself that I really had forgotten. And these images, that I was actually forcing myself to imagine, were really lost memories. So, I wasn’t sure if those images were reality or not, but explaining this to the police, they didn’t want to listen to the fact that I wasn’t sure. They treated me as though I had now remembered everything and everything was fine and I could now make a declaration in the tribunal against someone, to accuse someone. I didn’t feel sure about that. I didn’t feel—
GCM:  Excuse me, but in the memorandum, do you remember what you wrote about Patrick? Because maybe it wasn’t precise…
GM:  [Interrupting] I want—I want—I want to contest this point. Two points in the memorandum. If I’m not mistaken, you weren’t a witness right then. You had been the object of an arrest warrant. You had been arrested. You know the difference between a suspect and a witness. You weren’t a witness. Not any longer. So in the memorandum—
CDV?:  One moment—[hard to hear] Does she know the difference?
GM:  Can I continue? Sorry, avvocato, but I’m asking questions! Can I continue? He’s continually—
GCM:  Sorry, sorry, go ahead.
GM:  This is impossible!
GCM:  Please, pubblico ministero, go ahead, go ahead.
GM:  I am interrogating. I am interrogating. Now I’m distracted. Now, the difference between a suspect and a witness—a person informed of the facts. You said: “I made these declarations so that I could leave, so I could be—” but instead, you were arrested. And you wrote the memorandum after you had been arrested. And you wrote two sentences: I’ll read them. “I stand by my statements that I made last night about events that events that could have taken place in my home with Patrick.” [In Italian: “I confirm…”] Do you know what the word “confirm” means in Italian? “In the flashbacks that I’m having, I see Patrick as the murderer.” There wasn’t any policeman with you when you wrote that. No one. You wrote that in complete liberty. Do you know how to explain to me why? And this is even more decisive than what you said some hours earlier. Can you explain this?
AK:  I couldn’t even explain to myself why I had these images in my head, because I didn’t know if they were memories or not. And I want to say that if I made these declarations, that they asked me to sign and everything, I did it, but I wanted in the memorandum to explain my doubt, this fact that I wasn’t sure about it, because no one ever wanted to listen when I said listen, I don’t know.
GCM?:  Effectively the memorandum was correcting what had been said, and these doubts arose.
GM:  Do you have lapses of memory? At that time did you ever have lapses of memory?
AK:  Did I have what?
GM:  Lapses of memory.
AK:  Oh, lapses of memory.
GM:  Lapses of memory. Moments where you couldn’t remember things that you had done. “What did I do yesterday? I don’t know.”
AK:  [Laughing] I’ve had that problem all my life.
GM:  What?
AK:  I’ve had that problem all my life. I can’t remember where I put my keys.
GM:  So it happened to you at other times? Explain it to me. You previously mixed up things, didn’t know whether you had dreamed things or they were real?
AK:  No, not that part about the imagination! I would forget for example what I ate yesterday for dinner, yes, that happened to me, but not to actually imagine things.
GM:  To imagine something that hadn’t really happened, that never happened to you.
AK:  No. I never had that problem, but then, I had never been interrogated like that before.
GM:  Okay, so when you had this flashback, you saw Patrick as the murderer. What was this flashback?
AK:  The flashback consisted in this image of Patrick’s actual face, not that I imagined an actual act, I imagined his face. Then I had this image of Piazza Grimana, then an image of Patrick’s face, then I always had this idea that they wanted to say: these images explain the fact that you met him, and you brought him home, and maybe you heard something and covered your ears, and it was always like this, not that I actually imagined having seen Meredith’s death. It was these images that came by themselves, to explain…
GM:  I see. All right. I take note of what you’re saying. Now, let’s talk about your memorandum from the 7th, still written in total autonomy, without anyone around you. You wrote: “I didn’t lie when I said that I thought the murderer was Patrick. At that moment I was very stressed and I really did think that it was Patrick.” Then you add “But now I know that I can’t know who the murderer is, because I remember that I didn’t go home.” Can you explain these concept to me?
AK:  Yes, because I was convinced that I somehow could have forgotten. So in that moment, I—
GM:  So what you had said might have actually been true?
AK:  Yes.
AK:  Yes, it could have been true, but at that moment. But then, when I was able to rethink the facts, it became clearer and clearer that it didn’t make sense, that it was absolutely ridiculous that I could have thought that or imagined it.
GM:  But didn’t you feel the need to intervene to get an innocent person out of prison? You didn’t feel the need?
AK:  But the police had already called me a liar, and I didn’t feel they were listening to me. Also because in the Questura—
GM:  But you were in prison!
AK:  But in the Questura, I had already told them: Look, I’m not sure about this, and they didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to listen, because they said to me “No, you’ll remember it later. You just need a little time to really remember these facts.” I told them no, I don’t think it’s like that, but they didn’t want to listen.
GM:  They didn’t believe you. But you, once you said that you remembered, [snaps fingers?] you could have just made a declaration or sent me another memorandum saying “No, I didn’t say the truth. Patrick is innocent.”
GCM:  Excuse me, we already had explanations about this.


The Amanda Knox Calunnia Trial In Florence: What It Is All About #1

Posted by Peter Quennell



Above: Florence Prosecutor Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo. Quick route to Comments here.

1. Arrangements For Knox Trial In Florence

Knox’s second trial for aggravated calunnia will take place later this week and early next week in Florence.

For the record the sentence for a repeat calunnia offense can be six years and the statute of limitations cuts in at 11 year and three months which in this case will be late in AD 2020.

The real drama if any will be next week, when witnesses are to be called starting on Monday. We should have some court reporting from Main Poster Machiavelli. There is the possibility of a closed court and a verdict on Tuesday.

We believe the judge will be Dr Giampaolo Boninsegna. We presume that Knox will not attend (perhaps a weak move, perhaps not).

Two prosecutors have developed the case which was sparked by complaints from investigators in the Perugia central police station. They are Dr Leopoldo Di Girolamo (image above) and Dr Angela Pietroiusti. We could see either or both of them in action.

It appears now that knox’s lawyers will again be Ghirga and Dalla Vedova, who some lawyers criticise for dropping her in it at trial with an ill-judged stint on the stand after 20 months of trying to stop Knox dropping herself in it.

2. Why Knox Was On The Stand in 2009

Knox’s team primarily primarily intended that Knox’s two days on the stand should serve to explain why she framed Patrick and then allowed him to languish in prison.

Both publicly to the media and at the Micheli hearings in late 2008 Knox’s lawyers had denied she was ill-treated or forced into a “confession”. So why was Knox put on the stand?

Probably in part because Knox absolutely insisted on it, given her considerable track record of written and spoken explanations and her interrogation in December 2007 by Dr Mignini. Each time a fail, but perhaps she had in mind the movie Groundhog Day.

And probably in part because the prosecution portion of the trial had been pretty damning. There had been stacks of evidence and numerous witnesses whose testimony fitted together pretty seamlessly.

Contrast this with the defense portion of the trial, from late summer onward, which was often awkward and hesitant, often did not fill complete court days, and really gained no ground back.

3. The Knox Defense Team’s Uphill Task Here

Bizarrely, Knox AND her lawyers AND her family had already sat through days and days of testimony earlier in the trial from various investigators who were present on 5-6 November when Knox explosively fingered Patrick.

Knox’s testimony was like night and day compared to that, as if none of that previous testimony had even happened. This was probably unique in Italian legal history and quite possibly in US legal history also.

Our ongoing Interrogation Hoax series, still far from complete, which has included a lot of new translation, showed what a very consistent picture of events on 5-6 Nov all these witnesses testified to.

Testimony led by Knox’s team (see below) was quite extensive but it tellingly wandered far from the main point and was very pussyfooting about 5-6 Nov even though Knox was not under oath and prosecutor cross-examination was circumscribed. It really won no points for Knox at all and didnt avoid her serving three years.

To consider the target testimony below against the picture the court had already developed, please read at least Part One of the series.

Look below as you read for all the numerous claims by Knox of illegal pressure and illegal abuse and illegal insistence of scenarios and names given to her by the cops.

According to the prior testimony of all those officers Knox is impugning, none of these claims of illegality seemingly designed to hurt careers had any truth at all to them.

4. Day One of Knox’s Testimony

Day two’s testimony will follow in our next post. Excerpts in both posts are from the full transcript on the Case Wiki, and all transcription and translation into English (a massive task) was by the PMF Team.

Relevant Questions By Lumumba Lawyer Pacelli

Here AK is Knox, CP is Pacelli, and GCM is Judge Massei.

CP:  Listen, let’s get to the evening of November 1. On the evening of November 1, 2007, did you have an appointment with Patrick near the basketball court?
GCM:  (Interrupting the interpreter who is putting this question into English for Amanda) Excuse me, excuse me. Also for the interpreter, also the English translation, everything is for everyone, this is not a dialogue between two people.
CP:  I’ll ask a simpler question, Presidente.
GCM:  No no, we heard it. Please, go ahead. (The interpreter translates the question)
AK:  No, I didn’t.
CP:  So, on the evening of November 1, you didn’t meet Patrick?
AK:  No.
CP:  You didn’t meet him at the basketball court?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then why did you say you met him at the basketball court during your interrogation of November 6, 2007, at 1:45 in the morning in front of the judicial police?
AK:  It was a complicated situation. I can explain it if you want me to go into it.
CP:  Yes, yes, later.
AK:  Okay.
CP:  You had the keys of the apartment in via della Pergola?
GCM:  Excuse me, avvocato, she was saying something.
CP:  Sorry. Please, go ahead.
GCM:  She was adding something. Please go ahead. You can answer…
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  ...with all the time and the precision that you need.
AK:  Okay.
GCM:  (addressing the interpreter) Tell her that if she wants to add something, as it seemed she did, she can do it, and we will listen. (Interpreter puts this into English)
AK:  Yes. Um, the interrogation process was very long and difficult. Arriving in the police office, I didn’t expect to be interrogated at all. When I got there, I was sitting on my own doing my homework, when a couple of police officers came to sit with me. They began to ask me the same questions that they had been asking me days…all these days ever since it happened. For instance, who could I imagine could be the person who killed Meredith, and I said I still didn’t know, and so what they did is, they brought me into another interrogation room. Once I was in there, they asked me to repeat everything that I had said before, for instance what I did that night. They asked me to see my phone, which I gave to them, and they were looking through my phone, which is when they found the message. When they found the message, they asked me if I had sent a message back, which I didn’t remember doing. That’s when they started being very hard with me. They called me a stupid liar, and they said that I was trying to protect someone. (Sigh) So I was there, and they told me that I was trying to protect someone, but I wasn’t trying to protect anyone, and so I didn’t know how to respond to them. They said that I had left Raffaele’s house, which wasn’t true, which I denied, but they continued to call me a stupid liar. They were putting this telephone in front of my face going “Look, look, your message, you were going to meet someone”. And when I denied that, they continued to call me a stupid liar. And then, from that point on, I was very very scared, because they were treating me so badly and I didn’t understand why. (Sigh) While I was there, there was an interpreter who explained to me an experience of hers, where she had gone through a traumatic experience that she could not remember at all, and she suggested that I was traumatized, and that I couldn’t remember the truth. This at first seemed ridiculous to me, because I remembered being at Raffaele’s house. For sure. I remembered doing things at Raffaele’s house. I checked my e-mails before, then we watched a movie. We had eaten dinner together, we had talked together, and during that time I hadn’t left his apartment. But they were insisting upon putting everything into hourly segments, and since I never look at the clock, I wasn’t able to tell them what time exactly I did everything. They insisted that I had left the apartment for a certain period of time to meet somebody, which for me I didn’t remember, but the interpreter said I probably had forgotten. (Sigh)...
AK:  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 (Start of 15:19 minute video segment) 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.
CP:  But—did you really meet him at the basketball court?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then how could you be convinced that you had met him?
AK:  I was confused.
CP:  When you said this, how many police inspectors were present?
AK:  I don’t know how many were police officers or inspectors, but there were lots.
CP:  Listen, but you were accompanied to the bar, they offered you a cappuccino over the night? They assisted you through the night?
AK:  I was offered tea after I had made declarations.
CP:  So they treated you well.
AK:  No!

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.
AK:  Ha. They also were pressuring me.
CP:  I understand, but were they telling you to say that, too, or did you say it of your own free will.
AK:  They were suggesting paths of thought. They were suggesting the path of thought. They suggested the journey. So the first thing I said, “Okay, Patrick”. And then they said “Okay, where did you meet him? Did you meet him at your house? Did you meet him near your house?” “Euh, near my house, I don’t know.” Then my memories got mixed up. From other days, I remembered having met Patrick, at Piazza Grimana, so I said “Okay, Piazza Grimana.” It wasn’t as if I said “Oh, this is how it went.”

GCM:  Please go ahead, avvocato.
CP: —which is the object of both declarations, the one at 1:45 and the one at 5:45. (Crossing voices.)
GCM:  It was about facts, though?
CP:  All right, I’ll reformulate the question. Meredith, before she was killed, did she have sex?
AK:  I don’t know.
CP:  Then why, in the interrogation of Nov 6 at 1:45, did you say that Meredith had sex before she died?
AK:  Under pressure, I imagined lots of different things, also because during the days that I was being questioned by the police, they suggested to me that she had been raped.
CP:  And the police suggested to you to say this?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  And to make you say this, did they hit you?
AK:  Yes.

CP:  When you wrote the memorandum, were you hit by police?
AK:  When?
CP:  When you wrote the memorandum. Were you hit by police?
AK:  No.
CP:  Mistreated?
AK:  No.
CP:  Did the police suggest the contents?
AK:  No.
CP:  You gave it to them freely?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  Voluntarily?
AK:  Yes.
CP:  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?
AK:  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.
CP:  But in fact, you were sure that Patrick was innocent?
AK:  No, I wasn’t sure.
CP:  Why?
AK:  Because I was confused! I imagined that it might have happened. I was confused.

CP:  Did you see Patrick on November 1, yes or no?
AK:  No.
CP:  Did you meet him?
AK:  No.
CP:  Then why did you say that you saw him, met him, and walked home with him?
AK:  Because the police and the interpreter told me that maybe I just wasn’t remembering these things, but I had to try to remember. It didn’t matter if I thought I was imagining it. I would remember it with time. So, the fact that I actually remembered something else was confusing to me. Because I remembered one thing, but under the pressure of the police, I forced myself to imagine another. I was confused. I was trying to explain this confusion, because they were making me accuse someone I didn’t want to accuse.

Relevant Questions By Knox Lawyer Ghirga

CP:  I’ll repeat my question. On the 10th, you said to your mother: “It’s my fault that he’s here. I feel terrible.” Why didn’t you say this to the pubblico ministero?
LG?:  I object! He’s already asked this question. And it was answered.
GCM:  Yes. It was already asked.
CP:  Yes, but she hasn’t answered!
LG?:  Yes, she HAS answered!
CP:  Can she answer? I didn’t understand.
GCM:  Excuse me, excuse me. Please.
CP:  I didn’t understand her answer, President. Can you explain?
GCM:  So, the question was asked and has been asked again because—
CP:  (speaking over him) Because I didn’t understand the answer!
GCM: —the defense lawyer has not understood why—in what regards the police, the accused has said that when they came to bring her paper, they said “Oh, another truth,” so her relations with them were such that she did not feel that she could tell them this circumstance. It remains to ask why she did not tell the pubblico ministero. This is what the lawyer is asking. For what concerns the police, we have heard her position and her answer. We’re talking about the period after the 10th of November, when this conversation with the mother was recorded. In what concerns the pubblico ministero, the lawyer is asking you why you didn’t feel the necessity, like with your mother, of telling him that Patrick Lumumba, as far as you were concerned, had nothing to do with all this.
AK:  We are talking about when I was in front of the judge?
GCM:  After the 10th of November.
AK:  Frankly, I didn’t have good relations with the police after that period, nor with the pubblico ministero, because he also had suggested declarations that got written down in the declarations. I didn’t know where to turn. I felt better talking to my defense than to the police.

LG:  All right, I’ve exhausted this topic. Now, I said we were just coming to the evening when you were called in, or rather when Raffaele was called in to the Questura on Nov 5. Where did you come from? Were you having dinner somewhere? Do you remember?
AK:  We were at the apartment of a friend of his, who lived near his house, and we were having dinner with them, trying, I don’t know, to feel a bit of normality, when Raffaele was called by the police.
LG:  Okay. So you went with him in the car, and you came in and they settled you somewhere, and later you were heard.
AK:  Yes. What happened is that they weren’t expecting me to come. I went somewhere a bit outside near the elevator, and I had taken my homework with me, so I started to do my homework, and then I needed to do some “stretching”, so I did some “stretching”, and that’s when one policeman said something about my flexibility. A comment.
LG:  Okay. Then you were interrogated, let’s say interrogated, it was just for information. So you were interrogated.
AK:  Mm.
LG:  During the interrogation, there were several people in the room, did someone come who was involved in Raffaele Sollecito’s interrogation? He was being interrogated in one place, you in another.
AK:  So, there were lots and lots of people who came in and went out, and after one had come in and gone out, another policewoman told me that Raffaele said that I went out of the apartment—at least, Raffaele apparently said that I (stammering) had gone out of his house.
LG:  Okay. And the episode of the text message came later? After this person came in and said that? You don’t remember?
AK:  Yes, yes. I think it happened after they told me that.
LG:  Now what interests me is that you should be precise about the term “hit”, because being hit is something…was it a cuff on the head, two cuffs on the head? How precise can you be about this “hitting”?
AK:  So, during the interrogation, people were standing all around me, in front of me, behind me, one person was screaming at me from here, another person was shouting “No no no, maybe you just don’t remember” from over there, other people were yelling other things, and a policewoman behind me did this to me (you hear the sound of her giving two very little whacks).
LG:  Once, twice?
AK:  Twice. The first time I did this, I turned around to her, and she did it again.
LG:  I wanted to know this precise detail.
AK:  Yes.
LG:  After all that, that whole conversation, that you told us about, and you had a crying crisis, did they bring you some tea, coffee, some cakes, something? When was that exactly?
AK:  They brought me things only after I had made some declarations. So, I was there, they were all screaming at me, I only wanted to leave because I was thinking that my mother was arriving, and I said look, can I have my telephone, because I want to call my mom. They said no, and there was this big mess with them shouting at me, threatening me, and it was only after I made declarations that they started saying “No, no, don’t worry, we’ll protect you,” and that’s how it happened.
LG:  Then you stayed in the Questura?
AK:  Yes.
LG:  Then, at midday, or one o’clock, we don’t know exactly, they brought you a paper called an arrest warrant. When they served you this warrant, it must have been around twelve, one o’clock. Do you remember?
AK:  So, all papers they brought me to sign, at that point, they were all the same to me, so I can’t even say what I had to sign, arrest warrant, declarations, whatever, because at a certain point, I just wanted to sign and go home.
LG:  Right. But instead?
AK:  Instead, no. After a while they told me I had to stay in the Questura, so I had to stay, and I rolled up in a fetal position to try to sleep, on a chair, and I fell asleep, then I woke up, and I was there thinking and some people were going in and out, and during this period of time, I was telling them: “Look, I am really confused, these things don’t seem like what I remember, I remember something else.” And they said “No no no no no, you just stay quiet, you will remember it all later. So just stay quiet and wait, wait, wait, because we have to check some things.” And at that point I just didn’t understand anything. I even lost my sense of time.
LG:  And I wanted to ask you after how long they took you to prison. At some point there was a car, a police wagon that took you to prison. After how much time was that? You don’t know?
AK:  Well, I can’t say, but what I can say is that I stayed a while in the Questura, and during that time I kept trying to explain to the police that what I had said was not certain, and they took my shoes during that time and they took some pictures, they undressed me to take the pictures, and so it seemed like a long time.
LG:  So it was between this time and the time you went to prison that you wrote the memorial?
AK:  Yes. I wrote it there because, I asked to do it because I was telling them “Listen, you’re not hearing me, give me a piece of paper, and I’ll write this down in English to be sure you understand what I’m saying.” But I couldn’t really say that. I just said “Look, I’ll give you a present.” (Laughs.) It was because I wasn’t really able to speak or understand then. So I wrote that, but after I wrote the first pages, I was in the middle of writing this memorandum, they suddenly said “Hurry up, hurry up, finish because we have to take you to prison.” I stayed there like…I didn’t expect to go to prison, I thought maybe I hadn’t understood. I asked the policemen, the people who were around me, there, “But Why? I haven’t done anything.” And they said “No, it’s just bureaucracy. At least that’s what I understood.
LG:  All right Amanda, okay. Thank you. So you went to prison and spent the night. When did you write the second memorial?
AK:  So in prison I again asked for paper, because that’s how I’m used to expressing myself, the way I succeed best, also to organize my thoughts, I needed to write them down. I needed to reorganize all my thoughts, because at that point I was still confused, I still had these images in my memory that finally I understood were a mixture of real images in my memory from other days mixed with imagination. So I needed those pieces of paper, so I could take everything and put it in order.
LG:  All right, I’ve finished the subject of the night in the Questura. When you made your first declaration, it was without the pubblico ministero. Then he came. Can you tell us if there was some discussion about a lawyer? If you remember, and whatever you remember.
AK:  So, before they asked me to make further declarations—I really can’t tell you what time it was, I was lost after hours and hours of the same thing—but at one point I asked if I shouldn’t have a lawyer? I thought that, well, I didn’t know, but I’ve seen things like this on television. When people do things like this they have lawyer. They told me, at least one of them told me that it would be worse for me because it would prove that I didn’t want to collaborate with the police. So they told me no.

Amanda Knox’s first letter of Nov 9, 2007

This letter was entered in testimony by Knox’s lawyers on the first day. It was written by Knox to her lawyers around noon on Friday, Nov., 9, three days after her arrest and one day after the Matteini Hearing. Words that are missing from the scan are shown in square brackets.

Presumably intended to help Knox, it has now become part of her problem.

Per I Miei Avvocati

- Amanda Knox (Friday, Nov. 9, 2007)

Buon giorno Signore Ghirga e Signore Vedova. I’m sorry, but I must write in english to make sure I express myself (cl)early. Please excuse my handicap. I trust you are well, though probably very busy with my case and for this I thank you. What I want to provide for you now is help, because I know my position (is) a little confusing. I want to write for you everything I know as best I can and I especially want to tell you about this so-called “confession” that the police received from me. I want to begin with this “confession” because I know it is the most confusing, and so I will begin with that night.

The night of Monday, November 5th, 2007, and the following early morning of Tuesday, November 6th, 2007, was one of the worst experiences of my life, perhaps the worst. Around 10:30pm or 11pm Raffaele and I arrived at the police station after eating dinner at the apartment of one of Raffaele’s friends. It was Raffaele who the police called, not me, but I came with him to the Questura anyway while he was to be questioned for support, as he had done for me many times. When we arrived he was taken inside and I waited by the elevator and looked through my books while I waited. Not long aftwerward one of the police came and sat by me, wanting to talk with me, supposedly to pass the time. He didn’t tell me he was a police officer. In fact, he said I could tell him whatever I wanted because it wouldn’t matter. At the time I was frustrated and told him so. I thought it was ridiculaous that the police called us in at ridiculous hours of the night and kept us at the police station for hours on end with only vending maschine (sic) food to sustain us, especially since we (wer)e all doing our best to help the police. I had been asked twice to reenter the home of my neighbors and mine, first to witness the blood in the neighbors’ apartment and then to look through (k)nives in mine. I really feared the place. Inside my own home I broke down crying because I couldn’t stand to be inside. These were the reasons for my frustration and I told him so.

He then wanted to discuss who I thought the murderer could be, but as I had already told them before, since I wasn’t there at my home, I couldn’t have any idea, but (deleted words) he wasn’t satisfied with my answer. Who did I think it was? How would I know? I didn’t know anyone dangerous. Soon I was joined by other police people who only wanted to “talk” but who interrogated me again with the same questions. What males had ever been in my house? Who knew Meredith? Did I have any phone numbers? I gave them all the information I could. Names, phone numbers, descriptions. But it was all giving me a headache. I had already answered these questions before and I was confused as to why the police wanted so much to talk to me. Why me? Why did they keep asking me who I thought the murderer was when I already told them I had no idea?

And then they brought me inside, because it was “warmer”. I (asked) where Raffaele was and they told me he would be done soon (but) in the meantime they wanted to talk to me. The interrogation process started rather quickley (sic). One minute I was just (tal?)king and the next they were asking me where I was between (?):30pm and 1:30am between November (1st) and 2nd. I told them I was with my boyfriend, like I had already said. They asked me what I had done during this time period and I found that I couldn’t remember a lot. I told them (we) watched the movie Amelie together, that we ate dinner (tog)ether, that after dinner Raffaele washed the dishes and spilled water on the floor when the pipes came loose. I told them that (we) smoked hash somewhere in that time but I couldn’t remember (mo)re. They told me I was lying. They told me they knew I had (not) been with Raffaele. They told me they knew I met someone that night. They told me they had proof I was at my house that night. This really confused me. I told them I wasn’t lying and (the)y began to get angry. Stop telling lies, they told me. We know (you) were there! But this didn’t make sense. I was frightened, because I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I did during the time (the)y were asking me. What were you doing?! Where did you go?! We (kno)w you were at your house!! Who did you meet?! But this all (did)n’t make any sense. How could they have proof that I was at my (hou)se when I wasn’t? Why did they think these things? Why me? They told me Raffaele had finally told the truth and that he had no (rea)son to lie. They told me that they knew I had told Raffaele to (lie?) and I told them this wasn’t true. I had never told him any (suc)h thing. We talked about the message I received from Patrik (and) I told them yes, I received a message from Patrik, he told me (not) to go into work that night because there was no one there. I (did)n’t remember if I had sent a message back, so I said no, but they (had) taken my phone and showed me the message I forgot I sent: (ending?) with the words, “Ci vediamo. Buona serata.” They called me a (stu)pid lier. They said I was protecting someone, who was it?! (The)y stuck pieces of paper in front of me, to write down the name (of) the murder, but I didn’t know. And I still couldn’t remember (wha)t me and Raffaele had been doing at his house. I had nothing to (say?) to answer their questions and it was terrifying me. Why couldn’t (I r)emember. The interpretor told me that one time she experienced (a ho)rrible car accident and couldn’t remember what had happened (unt)il a year later. She told me perhaps I had seen something (horr)ible and I couldn’t remember. Since I couldn’t remember (wha)t I had been doing at Raffaele’s house I started to think what (...?) was true? What if I had seen something and I didn’t (rem)ember? But it didn’t make sense. I remembered being (at) Raffaele’s the whole night. But in the meantime the police were (...?) or they were going to put me in jail for (...?) (p)rotecting the killer. They told me they had already caught the killer (a)nd they just wanted me to say his name, but I knew nothing. My (m)ind was a blank slate. Now, now, now!!! They were yelling at me. One (p)olice officer hit me on the back of my head twice. My head was (s)earching for any answer. I was really confused. I thought I was at my boyfriend’s house, but what if it wasn’t true? What if I couldn’t remember? I tried and tried and tried, but I couldn’t remember anything until all of the police officers left the room except one. He (to)ld me he was the only one who could save me from spending the (n)ext 30 years in jail and I told him I couldn’t remember. I asked to see the message on my phone to see if I remembered sending that (an)d when I saw the message my mind thought of Patrik. It was all I could think of, Patrik. I imagined meeting him by the basketball (cou)rts, I imagined him in front of my house, I imagined covering my ears to stop the sound of Meredith’s screaming, and so I said (Pa)trik. I said Patrik and I regret every second of it because now I (k)now that what I have said has done someone harm that I have no idea whether he was involved or not.

After I said his name I was hysterical. I was weeping, (s)cared of what could have happened to me. I honestly thought (t)his could have been the answer. I was so confused. They told me that they had to write all of this down but I told them I wasn’t (s)ure. So they told me just to say what I had said, that I had seen (Pat)rik. That I had heard Meredith screaming. I told them I was (c)onfused, unsure, but they weren’t interested. While they were writing my so-called “confession”, which the didn’t call it (t)o me, they asked me to say if it was okay to write certain things. I (d)dn’t explain, but just said yes or no according to what these (im)ages of Patrik were showing me, but I always told them I wasn’t (su)re, these things didn’t seem real. They asked me why he had done (thi)s and I didn’t know why. Why would anyone kill another person? I told them he must be crazy. They asked me if I feared him and I (sa)id yes. I was so confused and the idea that he would kill someone (fr)ightened me. But I had never been frightened of him before, he has (al)ways been kind to me. After all of this I was allowed to sleep, (fi)nally. The whole thing was going through my head and I felt (aw)ful, to even think I could have been involved. But the more (confu)sed I became, the more sure I was that these ideas about Patrik (w)eren’t true, but I still couldn’t remember what I had been (do)ing at my boyfriend’s house after dinner.

I seriously started to doubt when the police told me what my boyfriend had said. (1) First, that when I received the message from (Pat)rik, that I had told him I had to leave to go to work. This I (k)new, even then, wasn’t true. I remembered and still do specifically (th)at I had told him I _didn’t_ have to work and I kissed him and (...)

(...) said, “Yay!” (2) I also never told him to lie for me. Why would he lie? Could he have lied about me not being there too? I was especially troubled by this because even though I had thought of Patrik, I still remembered being at Raffaele’s house. I told the police of my doubts but they said not to worry, little by little, I would remember. So I waited.

I tried writing what I could remember for the police, because I’ve always been better at thinking when I was writing. They gave me time to do this. In this message I wrote about my doubts, my questions, and what I knew to be true.

(Deleted words) During this time I was checked out by medics (and?) had my picture taken as well as more copies of my fingerprints. They took my shoes and my phone. I wanted to go home but they told me to wait and then eventually that I was to be arrested. Then I was taken here, to the prison, in the last car of three who carried Patrik, then Raffaele, and then me to prison.

I hope this clears up some confusion for you and I’m sorry again that it is in English. I hope you are in contact with my mother and if you are, could you please tell her I love her, that I miss her, that I’m okay, and that I hope to see her soon.

I also just received the order of arrest and it says I must remain here in prison for one year. I’m assuming this means only if they can prove I did it or not. So I’m not sad, I just have to wait until they prove I’m not guilty, and that I wasn’t there.

I want to write another message for you which describes my version of events that at this time I remember very well. This I will do on a different piece of paper and a little later because I’m very tired.

Good luck and thanks,
Amanda Knox
quasi mezzogiorno
Venerdi, Novembre 9, 2007


Part 2 (Day Two) in our next post.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Knox Book Phenomenon: PR Reaction Way Too Strident & Only Grows Suspicion She DID Do It

Posted by Nick van der Leek



Reporters, crime-book writers, and photojournalists, Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson


Overkill. A Sure sign of bad PR. As someone once said “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”

What’s interesting for Lisa Wilson and myself as True Crime authors and wrieters of Dark Matter and Deceit is that there are not only always two sides to every story, but two factions as well. 

When the one faction believes us not to belong to theirs, well, then there is war.  Mudslinging, slander, insults ““ everything except a genuine discussion of the case.

From where Lisa Wilson and I stand, which is hopefully in the middle and on the side of Lady Justice [who is blind, or blindfolded] both factions are mirror-images of each other.  Both sides are throwing stones, like the protagonists in the Middle East conflict, both have their grievances, and plenty of stones to throw. 

And like the Middle East, the two factions in the Amanda Knox case have been in a war of mostly words for years.  Who has won?  Amanda Knox seems to have eeked out some sort of victory, but though recently engaged, shows no signs of getting married, and it’s possible the wedding is off.

All is not always what it seems.

Before highlighting a few of our haters, I want to touch on a quick incident that happened on twitter literally in the last day.  We had one of our followers enthusiastically report on one of the books she’d read [on Jodi Arias] and promise to give a review the same day.  We get bad reviews and we get good reviews, and especially when a book is new, reviews matter.  When I followed up with a tweet and then a second tweet, our enthusiastic reader said she felt pressured and obligated and then blocked me on twitter.

What I’m trying to illustrate here is that even those you agree with our work aren’t necessarily above board themselves.  What we’re trying to achieve with our books isn’t merely justice in the court of public opinion, but we also want to encourage people to go out and live their lives in an honest, genuine and hopefully happily-ever-after way.  One of the ways we interrogate these cases is we try to fathom the underlying psychology of the criminals, and we try to understand these crimes as cautionary tales that we can learn from, and hopefully avoid spiralling into ourselves.

Which is why Lisa and I find the constant lobbing of stones and jibes a little unfortunate.  When I confronted one of our supporters with their constant ping pong [block, reporting, badmouthing etc especially on twitter], the response was:  but didn’t that debate suit you when we were reviewing your books.






We’ve love our reviewers to be honest, even when they disagree, especially when they disagree.  We’d hate our books to be part of a sort of football that is kicked about to score personal points for either side.  Our narrative isn’t intended to score points for either team, it’s intended to solve “˜the mystery’ of Meredith’s death.  Lisa and I see very little debate on that.  Maybe that’s fair given the time since Meredith’s death, but for me this is a crying shame.

I came into this investigation unsure of whom to believe.  When you see ““ as you see in the Middle East conflict ““ two sides engaged in a tit for tat battle, it’s hard to come away with a sense that either side is right.  It’s even harder to trust that either side is going to even be able to be unbiased and fair in their assessment of things.  Does that make sense?

Of the 30-odd books I’ve written and co-written with Lisa Wilson, DOUBT [on Amanda Knox] was the first to face accusations of plagiarism.  It became a lightning rod for haters and Pro Justice folk, and to date is my most reviewed book on Amazon by far.  To be honest, Amanda Knox’s fans are by far the most vindictive and malicious of the folk we’ve encountered through the course of nearly 20 True Crime books.  To be honest these people and their underhanded behaviour, even their language, don’t reflect well on their patron at all.

They descend on any criticism of Amanda in organised groups that tag team each other.  Do these people not have day jobs?  Because it’s hard to believe such tactical and practised viciousness isn’t bought and paid for.  Such frenzied attacks inspire responses, and there’s been a lot in the comments section under various reviews ““ good and bad ““ of DECEIT. Does that mean people actually read the narrative or are debating it?  In a few cases they are, and in a few cases people have contacted us and let us know where they have learnt something or where they disagree, and this is tremendously useful and helpful. 

But what about the plagiarism accusation?  It was at one time the most popular “˜agreed on’ review when DOUBT was published, so does that mean the plagiarism accusation was actually valid? Or was the accusation a cynical attempt by one side to throw a stone at another side because they didn’t agree with something.  Shoot the messenger in other words, forget the message. 

Why would someone ignore a message, ignore a narrative unless there’s an implied threat that it could be true? 

If it wasn’t true, would anyone really care?  But in the context of justice denied, the stakes are rather higher when truth and facts are obscured from the public view.  And then it seems, in order to defend the indefensible, one resorts to dirty tricks, like suppression of freedom of speech, and slander.  The biggest ironies are the accusations that we are profiting from the tragedy.

Or that we’re slandering someone in our books [that’s the real crime]. It’s ironic when a murder suspect and her boyfriend together earned $5 million for their books, and have numerous and very real slander charges they have faced. In Knox’s case she’s already been found guilty of her false incrimination of Lumumba.  Lumumba never got off because Knox said, “Oh, hang on, that’s not right, sorry I made a mistake, it wasn’t him.”  Lumumba got off because he had an alibi and someone from the bar came forward to vouch for him.  In Sollecito’s case he must still defend allegations of police conduct made in his book [and so must Knox’s parents.

Since Knox was found guilty of slander she served a few years for that.  She hasn’t paid restitution to Lumumba [who lost his job and moved to Poland] to date.  If Knox is innocent, why isn’t she suing the Italian authorities for wrongful imprisonment?  Lumumba did and got a hefty pay-out, so why doesn’t Amanda? Why aren’t we talking about that? But no, we ““ those of us writing books about the trial ““ we are the real criminals, we’re the slanderers, we’re profiting out of the loss of the poor victim [no not Kercher, Knox].  This is a crazy inversion of the facts, and only the intellectually weak actually fall for it.






Coming back to Pruett’s plagiarism accusation:  was it an exaggeration, was it a lie?  Was it based on real plagiarism?  Within a few days ““ subsequent to a phone call to Karen Pruett, and a lawyer’s letter delivered by overnight courier to her work address [she’s a hairdresser in Seattle]”“ DOUBT was once again available online.  We elected to remove any references we made to Pruett’s work ourselves [credited in every instance] and repackage the narrative without including references to Pruett’s timeline in a new book, DECEIT.  Of course then the accusation is that our views, since we haven’t referred to Pro Knoxers, is biased and unbalanced.  Interesting isn’t it: you quote them and they accuse you of plagiarism, you don’t quote them and they accuse you of being biased.

I only subsequently saw Pruett is endorsed on Amanda Knox’s own website, and was probably paid to research the timeline she produced for Ground Report, which is itself a site facing shutdown due to financial difficulties.  The first 80% of her research seemed fairly solid and reasonably unbiased, much of it did reference court testimony, but the last 20% [relating to the crucial timeline of the crime itself] became increasingly dodgy, and part of the original DOUBT narrative highlighted this. 

If Pruett had received a hefty payment for her timeline and someone had come along and analysed all of it only to find sections of it to be”¦.well”¦wanting, well, no wonder she wanted herself excised out of her book.  No wonder she wanted the book blocked.  So was it really about plagiarism then [because I referenced all quotes to Pruett, and all her quotes were italicised] or was it about Pruett protecting Pruett?

In the end the blocking of the book [for a few hours, perhaps a day or two] by haters created curiosity amongst the Pro Justice folk, and this was invaluable PR for us. Upwards of 40 people asked for a PDF of the original DOUBT manuscript to be sent to them, and at least half sent through carefully considered reviews and feedback.  As a result of these reviews and the endorsement of Meredith’s supporters, when DOUBT returned as DECEIT it immediately sold like hot cakes.

Right now it’s currently in the top 20 in Amazon’s “˜Criminal Procedure’ category, and the interest in that book has encouraged us to write a second [DARK MATTER, #15 on Amazon] , and in two weeks we begin with a third [UNDER SUSPICION].  We plan on writing around a dozen more books on this case, and we hope by around midway we will have galvanised a real conversation, not around “˜libellous wankers’ or “˜plagiarism’ or “˜removing Jesus from the Last Supper’ but the most legitimate questions of all:

1. Did Amanda Knox get away with murder?
2. Can the courts in Italy [or the USA or SA] be trusted, even when the world is watching?
3. Is justice up for sale, is it a PR game? 
4. If it is, what can we do as the Court of Public Opinion?
 
As someone sympathetic to Meredith Kercher wisely pointed out in a recent review, the biggest mystery in this case is that it is a mystery at all. My suggestion is we do something more constructive than throw stones at each other.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Amazon Reviews: Are Knox PR’s 1000 Dishonest Paid Reviews Losing Traction?

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters





Amazon reader reviews may or may not dictate how the sales of a book make out.

Sales of the Sollecito and Knox books have been way below expectations despite dozens of glowing reviews - and by the way numerous repeats of the hoaxes and defamations.

At the same time sales of objective books on the facts of the case and the psychologies have been meeting expectations despite the absence of advertising or a paid-for PR campaign.

Here are some of the spontaneous review for the two books “Deceit” and “Dark Matter” by Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson.

By atlantic 1 “atlantic1” on June 3, 2015

This is an exceptionally-well-written, complex (but lucid and fast-paced) account of the murder of Meredith Kercher (a British exchange student) in Perugia, Italy, and the unconvincing behavior and at times multiple stories of the main suspects: Amanda Knox (the American roommate), Raffaele Sollecito (Knox’s Italian boyfriend at the time of the murder), and Rudy Guede (Ivory Coast native adopted by an Italian family, currently the only one serving time in Italy for the murder).

Other characters are prominently featured, along with a lot of background information from reputable sources.

What I really liked about the book is that many links throughout the text (in the Kindle edition that I purchased) send the reader to outside documents (e.g., photographs) that would otherwise take a while to research (warning: some visuals are pretty disturbing, but one always has the option of not clicking on the link).

The book has a fluid style and is absolutely engrossing, I highly recommend it.

By Leigh on June 8, 2015

Nick has done a superb job in ‘Deceit’ of reviewing, combining, comparing, and contrasting vast amounts of information from many different sources on Meredith Kercher’s case. As someone who has followed anything and everything of substance I could find on the case since 2007—I appreciate his massive effort, and certainly agree, some amount of speculation is required. What is especially effective about Nick’s speculations is that they are based on confirmed ‘knowns’ about the case from genuine sources such as investigations, witness testimony, interviews with Meredith’s friends, housemates, and others who knew AK (rarely spell out AK’s name since I hold extreme animus for that wrongly acquitted psychopath!).

While I don’t agree with every speculation of Nick’s—I have many of my own—I do appreciate that he examines what’s real. For everyone trying to follow the case, it’s been difficult to sift through the exhaustive amount of subterfuge, deceit, and duplicity from rabid AK fan club members, a professional ‘damage-control’ PR / media manipulation machine, lazy mainstream US media lapdogs, and AK’s lying family—people and organizations who clearly would stop at nothing to defend their favorite two murderers. The worst of them always show up to deliberately hurl their vile insults and spew hatred at anyone who doesn’t howl about the great Italian conspiracy perpetrated against the murderer AK, or who don’t constantly drool like a fool over AK’s beauty and brilliance. The AK jerks are certainly out in force at trying to bring down this book—they try and destroy anyone who seeks to get the truth out about Meredith’s murder and AK’s direct involvement in her death.

By S. Gleason on June 7, 2015

Thank you for reminding people of the truth Nick. Wonderful book. A breath of fresh air. Please don’t listen to propaganda being posted here in the reviews. Listen to the abundant case evidence against all three. Justice for Meredith and her family.

By M Thomson “Elizabeth” on June 2, 2015

This book is a interesting and fast paced read. Suspicion builds naturally as the author follows the two defendants in the hours before and the murder. Their actions and changing alibis are well documented here. Amanda Knox falsely accused Patrick Lumumba in a very short time just after learning Sollecito said she went out that night. I wonder if the one star reviewers would rather you not know this.

By Margaret Ganong on May 25, 2015

The author has a good grasp of the facts and makes a case that is far more convincing than the two recently and bafflingly acquitted Knox and Sollecito have ever been able to do. Indeed, one of the most compelling reasons to read this book is for its effort to set the written accounts of Knox and Sollecito side by side, revealing the many ways they don’t add up and are at odds with one another.

By Amazon Customer on May 25, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I cannot wait for the next one in the series. There HAD to be more to this murder ... and I am now sure that there was more than one person involved. Poor Meredith ’ s family having to live with this. I just love the narrative that makes Nick’s books SO enjoyable.

By kris arnason on May 26, 2015

Nick van der Leek has written an extremely cohesive narrative about the tragic Meredith Kercher case. The author takes you through what likely happened that horrific night, and why Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito’s stories don’t add up, all the while providing the reader with hundreds and hundreds of hyperlinked images, news reports, and audio clips, etc. that have been consolidated, collected and embedded in this one narrative. Everything sourced, right at your fingertips. A must read for people like me who have followed this case from the beginning and folks just getting interested and want to learn all they can. Thanks Nick! Looking forward to more from you about this case!

By Caroline on July 5, 2015

I bought this book because of the reviews! I’ve never done that before but I’m so intrigued by the almost angry tone to all of these one star reviews. It just makes me wonder if a nerve was hit. Somebody’s hiding something maybe? Anyway, I just have to read it now. Will come back with full review when I’m done.

By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2015

Finally! An honest book of what really happened to Meredith Kercher! Can Nick interview AK & RS on TV in the USA? I am sure he would ask REAL questions!

By Jeff “jeffski” on May 26, 2015

It is a disgrace that Amazon allows these Amanda Knox trolls a platform to spread hate and abuse people simply because they write a review for a book that these people disagree with. Amazon must act on these known frauds/cyber bullies who suppress and insult/abuse people on forums/Comments section and social media.

This book is a excellent read and obviously hits a nerve with Knox’s followers as the negative comments and abuse/insults aimed at author prove. Please look beyond the rent a hate mob and read the book and come to your own conclusion.

By Columbo on May 25, 2015

This is an excellent true crime story with highly accurate and precise detail of how Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede all killed Meredith Kercher. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know the truth of this case in a very revealing and fast page turning account of what really happened in this case.

By Michela on May 30, 2015

Excellent read.

By Maria Chinnapan on May 26, 2015

A great read!, very down to earth appraisal of what may have happened. No nonsense and to the point

By MCD on May 31, 2015

Again this formidable true crime writer has come up trumps with an incredibly well researched interrogation of a crime that continues to baffle the world. The detailed sequence of events is painstakingly pieced together. I had only superficially followed this case when the news initially broke so have been fascinated by this book which has filled in many gaps and highlighted the inconsistencies in the behaviour of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, who said what, who lied about what, etc.

In addition to the bare bones of the case, the author’s classic approach is the use true crime as a melting pot of evil and the extremes of human nature. He asks unsettling questions about human behaviour, herd mentality, apathy and our place in society - a society where a crime like this one can and does take place and despite all the investigation, the waters are still muddied in the deeper pools.

For those who appreciate that truth is stranger than fiction and like to delve deeper into these cases, the author brings it all together for you, with a dollop of enriching ‘food for thought’.

By Truth Seeker on May 26, 2015

It is the behavioural evidence which has always bothered me about this case, and it has always seemed that everything said/done by the ex defendants had to be explained away or justified. The author has cross referenced the two versions written by them in their memorials, and needless to say, there are major discrepancies.

Unless we expose the inconsistencies, then the two will have literally got away with murder. Legally this may be the case, but analysis provided by this book goes some way to keeping the memory of Meredith honoured, and ensuring that there are some still fighting for justice for her. Do buy the book- it has none of the obfuscation and image management that we have been subject to in the past years.

By Ipsos Maati on May 30, 2015

Why is Amanda Knox panicked about this book, and why did she try to have it banned?

Deceit shines light on the truth about the murder of Meredith Kercher, and the dishonest effort to free her.

Exonerated does not mean “innocent”.

By elizabeth on May 26, 2015

Deceit is a fascinating read no matter where you stand on the recent verdict. Fast paced but manages to bring a cohesive dialogue to days before and after the murder

By A. Futo “911 coincidence analyst” on May 26, 2015

Well written book by author Nick van der Leek, with all new research and links to original reporting and publicly available information about the murder Of Meredith Kercher.

Is Amanda Knox, the main suspect in the case, guilty of murdering her room mate as many believe, or was she railroaded by the prosecution, as claimed by her friends and family?

The author skilfully navigates the questions of motive, means, and evidence, starting with the premise that this is a case that begins with and is marked by many layers of deceit, as Knox first accuses an innocent man, Patrick Lumumba, then must lie and keep on lying to distance herself from the crime she implicates herself with by admitting to her presence at the scene.

Her co-accused, Raffaele Sollecito withdraws then confirm her alibi, and the other person evidence shows was involved in the sexual assault that preceded the murder, Rudy Guede, also tries to distance himself by running away then denying her involvement, then accusing the two of them in a letter to the media.

The author’s hypothesis of what happened is based on a finely rendered psychological evaluation of Amanda Knox. No matter what the final decision will be, this is a case that will be discussed for many years to come. I look forward to his next book of the series.

By Leigh on June 25, 2015

After more than 7 years of following Meredith Kercher’s murder case closely as the saga has wound through the arcane Italian justice system, I am completely convinced that AK & RS are her two other murderers who have ultimately escaped justice. Their final acquittal has not changed anything for me. Yet I’ve been asked by others who have more than a slight interest as to why is it I’m so certain, what’s your 3-minute elevator speech? Well, an elevator speech doesn’t exist, but in ‘Dark Matter’ and its prequel, ‘Deceit’ and I hope, in more follow-up e-books on this case, a reader can get as close as possible to a comprehensive full-view, what-happened, tell-me-everything explanation without having to slog through over 1,000 pages of trial documents translated from original Italian and endless arguments from two deeply entrenched opposing sides. Trying to read through it all could easily take most of an interested person’s discretionary time for a lengthy period of their lives. And who needs that, right?

What’s special about ‘Dark Matter’ is how easy it is to read, how well the authors guide readers through crucial evidence while using a technique borrowed from Socrates—keep asking yourself common sense questions as you’re reading. ‘Dark Matter’ examines the early case from a big picture view—the most prominent evidence, the investigation, what happened in days before, and after Meredith’s murder, and what was the behavior like of those near Meredith? Then go further, examine what AK & RS wrote in their own books about the murder. Do they agree with each other or give themselves away by not agreeing in crucial areas? ‘Dark Matter’ creates these scenes while assisting readers in finding their own answers.

‘Dark Matter’ examines what is important to know, then asks readers to consider: ‘does it make sense?’ or ‘were these actions meant to deceive and lead investigators astray?’ ‘is there an innocent explanation?’ ‘does unusual behavior indicate guilt, youthful carelessness, or something else?’ ‘Dark Matter’ lays out salient evidence found during investigations, and continues to encourage readers to question its importance: ‘where does this evidence naturally lead?’ ‘can we tie the evidence and the behavior together to draw conclusions, and how do we do that?’

‘Dark Matter’ is exactly how I’d want someone to guide me through an enormous case if didn’t know much about it. Don’t tell me what to think, don’t try to persuade me towards your view—show me what is important to know—and I’ll decide for myself; in this, both authors excel.

One area where I completely disagree with the authors is their, what appears to be, complete acceptance of nonsense created by AK’s professional Seattle-based propaganda machine and American author Douglas Preston—these two parties had their own reasons to intentionally malign and destroy Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini. Their agendas were obvious to truth seekers—one sought to do ‘damage control and create a villain to take attention away from AK,’ the other, to leverage the murder to create interest in his own book.

Unfortunately this propaganda proved to be extremely effective, and was picked up by most US media outlets that then ran with the deception. Those who know the case from the pro-justice side are keenly aware of how this vicious, deceitful campaign against the prosecutor convinced tens of millions of Americans AK was an innocent who was framed. I hope the authors make an effort to learn how completely they have been deceived and correct these mistakes in future books in this series.

By JJ on July 3, 2005

Great book!! Highly recommended

By Sarah Breen on June 30, 2015

Research and writing are top notch! True investigative journalism into this controversial subject.

By Nicole church on June 27, 2015

I loved your book-you guys definitely did your research and systematically take the reader though some of the most damning evidence in this case. I was impressed at how you tied it all in with the theme of dark matter- very well done and thought provoking.

No need to apologize for your narrative;yes there are some f bombs but it made me respect you more for being authentic and your sarcasm is justified when it comes to this case. Like you both said it would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. You do a great job calling bulls*** on both murderers using example after example from their own words(in court,interviews,diaries,etc)

I am sure this book has the murderers supporters all in a tizzy- it is easy to spot their attempts to sabotage your deservedly 5 star reviews with their 1 stars. Just look for lots of exclamation points and words in all caps then move right along to the honest reviews that will really help you decide if this book is worth reading- and it certainly is.

Looking forward to your next book and thank you for being the stars that shine light on the truth 😊

By Columbo on June 26, 2015

Another really great book by Lisa Wilson and Nick van der Leek. In this easy to read and compelling book the key events, character aspects of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede and the most significant evidence against them are all objectively weighed and analyzed. Additionally, in a very balanced view, the case for Amanda Knox as promoted by her supporters is also reviewed so readers can make up their own minds. But there is only one conclusion: all three killers murdered Meredith Kercher (RIP). I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know even more about this case.

By kris arnason on July 5, 2015

Dark Matter is a must read for everyone wanting to know more about the murder of Meredith Kercher. Those who believed in the lies & cover up of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s multi million dollar PR campaigns will have their eyes opened after reading this excellent book.

By JJ “jj0388” on July 3, 2015

great book!! highly recommended

By A. Futo “911 coincidence analyst”
I read many crime books, and this is one of the really good ones on the case. Amanda Knox’s strange behavior and lies, accusing Patrick Lumumba, her relationship with Meredith, all reflected in the “Dark Matter” of her psychology.

She simply is not very believable in her book, and her media appearances have been disasters which is why she’s withdrawn in hiding. Her father hired a PR firm to manage her image, and in the process influenced many sad, gullible people who still try to negate any criticism. Even though Amanda Knox has ‘won’ her case, why are they still posting nonsensical, abusive reviews of a book they never read?

One example, but this is important to me. Her father said that Meredith gained advanced three levels in karate and would not have gone without a struggle. A testimony to her character, but a reviewer writes “that’s an orange belt, beginner’s level”. Sorry, but the people who loved her say she would have fought to the end. So why the lack of defensive wounds, if she was being restrained by only one person?

In the struggle, she managed to injure Amanda Knox, who left her blood behind in the crime scene. (A bloody nose, ear stud pulled out? Left her lamp behind in the room to assist cleaning?) She was photographed with a scrape on her neck, and the police photograph taken on arrest shows the long scratch which she only partially covered with makeup on November 02. Her adoring fans call that a “hickey”, lol. Perhaps Lisa Wilson can collect these reviews as insight into their “Dark Matter” as well?

By GH2006 on June 22, 2015

This book is a perceptive analysis of the evidence in the murder case of Meredith Kercher. Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson take you through the court documents, statements made by the suspects as well as the DNA evidence among other things, which reveal the many lies and obfuscations by the public relations firm hired by the defendants as well as the ob-knox-ious murder-supporters who attack anyone who writes about the truth of this crime. (Shown by the flock of 1 star comments with long venomous attacks by haters who haven’t even read the book.)

Written with the same interesting, insightful, and at times entertaining way van der Leek and Wilson hook the reader in from beginning to end. I couldn’t pull myself away from this book that Nick generously gifted to me because this is not about making a profit for them but in getting the truth out there! (In stark contrast to the defendants who made millions selling their version of the crime.) Oh! And this book also shines a light on the way Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito obscure the truth in their own books. That was very interesting as well! I also enjoyed the first book DECEIT and looking forward to the next book! TY

By Bibliophile on June 21, 2015

Awesome humdinger of a book. This book will tell you the truth!


Friday, June 26, 2015

What No-Show Amanda Knox SHOULD Have Emailed Judge Nencini As Truthful Testimony in December 2013

Posted by Chimera



As the real thing really didnt work any better for Knox…


As is well known, Amanda Knox refused to attend her own appeal in Florence in 2013/2014.

This was a defence appeal by Knox herself and Sollecito against the 2009 conviction by Judge Giancarlo Massei’s trial court.  It was not a new trial, or a retrial, or even a prosecution appeal. It was an appeal DEMANDED by Knox and Sollecito.

While Knox refused to attend, she did send a long, rambling email to Lead Judge Nencini.  Judge Nencini tartly read out the email in court, and remarked that she could have delivered this in person and answered questions if she wanted it credibly on the record - after all, Sollecito was sitting right there and not scared out of his wits.

Kudos to fellow main posters Finn MacCool and SeekingUnderstanding for their original and well done posts on this ‘‘submission’‘

With a bit of fact checking, Knox’s email could have looked to the court and the media more like this.  Enjoy.

Court of Appeals of Florence section II Assise Proc. Pen, 11113

Letter sent to attorneys Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga via email Seattle, 15 December 2013

Attn: Honorable Court of Appeals of Florence

1. I have no doubt that my lawyers have explained and demonstrated the important facts of this case that prove my innocence and discredit the unjustified accusations of the prosecution and civil parties. I seek not to supplant their work; rather, even though I am not present to take part in this current phase of the judicial process, I feel compelled to share my own perspective as a six””year-long defendant and causation of Meredith’s injustice.

2. The Court has access to my previous declarations, and please disregard that whole ‘‘aggravated calunnia’’ in which Cassation says i framed Patrick to divert attention, or that pending calunnia charge claiming I falsely accused the police to sabotage the court proceedings.  I trust you will not be blinded by these things to come to this verdict.  I must repeat: I am innocent.  Because repeating it will help dissuade you from studying my lies too carefully.

3. According to my lawyers: I am not a murderer, I am not a rapist, I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator, at least not until Cassation signs off on it. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night, (other than screaming, slit throat, and that the body was moved). I was not there for part of the time, and had nothing to do with it.

4. I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. Frederico Martini is probably still pissed that I gave him up; the court and jail officials don’t like my book; and I think there is still an open warrant on me for calunnia.  Also, without any employment or housing references, staying here may be tricky.  I have faith in your judgement, but am worried you are so poor a judge you will be blinded my the Prosecution’s vehemence.  I remember Judge Micheli: he was the wise Judge who found Guede guilty; he was the idiot Judge who ordered Raffaele and I to stand trial as accomplices.

5. My life being on the line, at least until I get parole, and having with others already suffered too much, I’ve rehearsed this story and attentively followed this process and gleaned the following facts that have emerged from the development of this case that I beg you not to dismiss when making your judgement:

6. No physical evidence places me in Meredith “˜s bedroom, the scene of the crime, because I define only that as the crime scene.  My DNA mixed with Meredith’s was in the bathroom and Filomena’s room, not Meredith’s.  Those bloody footprints cleaned away were in the hallway, not Meredith’s room.  Raffaele had one knife, and this other was at his flat, neither of which is Meredith’s room.  My lamp on Meredith’s floor had no fingerprints on it, and does not implicate me.  That DNA on Merdith’s bra, and bloody footprint on the bathmat only implicates my alibi witness (who refuses to be questioned), not me.  Those false alibis, false accusations, details I know about the crime, and phone records are not physical evidence, and did not happen in Meredith’s bedroom. Those ‘‘eyewitnesses’’ the Prosecution produced are not forensic evidence, and do not place me in Meredith’s room.

7. Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario, we made sure of that.  Heck, the police couldn’t even find my fingerprints in my own bedroom.

8. No evidence places me in the same brutal scenario, again, which I restrict to Meredith’s bedroom, and only actual physical evidence.  The prosecution has failed to explain how—with these restrictions—I could have participated in the aggression and murder””to have been the one to fatally wound Meredith””without leaving any genetic trace of myself. Just because i spend a lot of time talking about it, and am a C.S.I. fan, doesn’t mean I know how to remove evidence.  That is because it is impossible. It is impossible to identify and destroy all genetic traces of myself in a crime scene and retain all genetic traces of another individual, or so C.S.I. has taught me. Either I was there, or I wasn’t. My analysis of the crime scene answers this question: I wasn’t there.

9. My interrogation was illegal and produced a false “confession” that demonstrated my non-knowledge of the crime- The subsequent memoriali, for which I was wrongfully found guilty of slander, did not further accuse but rather recanted that false “confession.” Yes, I wrote out a false ‘‘confession’’ that accuses someone else.  Just as I testified to the prosecutor in prison and to my family members in prison when our conversations were being recorded without my knowledge. Dammit, give me some privacy.

10. My behavior after the discovery of the murder indicates my innocence, if you think creatively enough. I did not flee Italy when I had the chance, because (in my November 4th email), the police wouldn’t let me leave.  I stayed in Perugia and was at the police’s beck and call trying to think of answers for over 50 hours in four days, convinced that I could help them find the murderer, or at least someone who was ‘‘close enough’‘.  I never thought or imagined that repeatedly changing my story would fuel their suspicions. I did not hide myself or my feelings: when I needed sex, Rafael ‘‘embraced’’ me; when I was scared of being exposed, I cried; when I was angry that it wasn’t working, I swore and made insensitive remarks; when I was shocked, I paced or sat in silence, at least until I could find a new ‘‘best truth’‘; when I was trying to help, I evaded questions, consoled Meredith’s friends, especially her male friends, and tried to keep a positive attitude that this would blow over.

11. Upon entering the questura I had no understanding of my legal position, accompanying Raffaele to a witness summary session which I was not invited to. 20””years old and alone in a foreign country, I was, legally speaking, innocent and never expected to be suspected and subjugated to torture, and I wasn’t. I was told I was a witness, then after I placed myself at the crime scene I was told I was a suspect. I was questioned for a prolonged period in the middle of the night and in Italian, a language I barely knew, and that questioning includes the time I was sleeping or getting tea.  I denied legal counsel- still The Court of Cassation deemed the interrogation and the statements produced from it was inadmissible. In my memoir, WTBH; I was lied to, yelled at, threatened, slapped twice on the back of the head. I told myself I had witnessed the murder and was suffering from amnesia. I told myself that if I didn’t succeed in ‘‘remembering’’ what happened to Meredith that night, I would never see my family again. I browbeat myself into confusion and despair, to sell to the media at a later date. When you berate, intimidate, lie to, threaten, confuse, and coerce someone in believing they are wrong, you are not going to find the truth, but again, that is not what happened here.

12. The police used tea and kindness to coerce me into signing a false “confession” that was without sense and should never have been considered a legitimate investigative lead. In this fragmentary and confused statement the police identified Patrick Lumumba as the murderer because we had exchanged text messages, the meaning of which I let the police wrongfully interpret (”˜Civediamo piu tardi. Buona serata’). The statement lacked a clear sequence of events, corroboration with any physical evidence, and fundamental information like: how and why the murder took place, if anyone else was present or involved, what happened afterward””it supplied partial, contradictory information and as the investigators would discover a little later, when Patrick Lumumba’s defense lawyer produced proof of him incontestable alibi, it was obviously inaccurate and unreliable.  After over 50 hours of rehearsing the questioning over four days, I was mentally exhausted and I was confused.

13. This coerced and illegitimate statement, which I dreamed up, was used by the police to arrest and detain a clearly innocent man with an iron-clad alibi with whom I had a friendly professional relationship, (at least until I destroyed his life). This coerced and illegitimate statement was used to convict me of slander.  Judge Hellmann saw that this statement was coerced, and threw out my calunnia conviction .... I mean he increased the sentence .... never mind.The prosecution and civil parties are accusing and blaming me, a result of their own overreaching.

14. Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false"confession” because of torture.  I’m not sure why this applies to my case, but damn, it sure sounds impressive.

15. This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone: Susan Smith and Casey Anthony ‘‘falsely confessed’’ that other people did it too.  And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party””just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guide.

16. In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.  Roommates, not friends.

17. Meredith was my friend, not that I was her friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun, and in retrospect, I should have been more of the same.  She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look, even as I left the place a mess, and even when I flirted with her boyfriend, or she took my job at the bar.

18. But the prosecution claims that a rift was created between Meredith and I because of cleanliness. This is a distortion of the facts. Please refer to the testimonies of my housemaster and Meredith’s British friends. None of them ever witnessed or heard about Meredith and I fighting, arguing, disliking each other. None of them ever claimed Meredith was a confrontational clean-freak, or I a confrontational slob. Laura Masotho testified that both Meredith and I only occasionally cleaned, whereas she and Filomena Romanelli were more concerned with cleanliness. Meredith’s British friends testified that Meredith had once told them that she felt a little uncomfortable about finding the right words to kindly talk tome, her new roommate, about cleanliness in the bathroom we shared. The prosecution would have you believe this is motivation for murder. But this is a terrifying distortion of the facts, as proving motive it not necessary—anywhere.

19. I did not carry around Rafael’s kitchen knife.  That’s what men are for, to do the lifting for me.

20. This claim by the prosecution, crucial to their theory, is uncorroborated by any physical evidence or witness testimony. I didn’t fear the streets of Perugia and didn’t need to carry around with me a large, cumbersome weapon which would have ripped my cloth book bag to shreds. My book bag showed no signs of having carried a bloody weapon. The claim that he would have insisted I carry a large chef’s knife is not just senseless, but a disturbing indication of how willing the prosecution is to defy objectivity and reason in order to sustain a mistaken and disproven theory.  Yes, i can positively disprove a theory I know nothing about.

21. It is yet another piece of invented “evidence”, another circumstance of theory fabricated to order, because having discovered nothing else, the prosecution could only invent: phone records, false alibis, false statements, false accusations.

22. I had no Contact with Rudy Guide, even though I mention in my book having seen him twice, and a third time in the next paragraph.

23. Like many youth in Perugia, I had once crossed paths with Rudy Guide. He played basketball with the young men who lived in the apartment below us. Meredith and I had been introduced to him together. Perhaps I had seen him amongst the swarms of students who crowded the Perugian streets and pubs in the evenings, but that was it. We didn’t have each other’s phone number, we didn’t meet in private, we weren’t acquaintances. I never bought drugs from Rudy Guide or anyone else. I was having sex with Federico for drugs, which isn’t the same thing.  The phone records show no connection. There are no witnesses who place us together, except my statement here. The prosecution claims I convinced Rudy Guide to commit rape and murder, completely ignoring the fact that we didn’t even speak the same language. He has lived in Perguia for 15 years, and I am a student of Italian. Once again, the prosecution is relying upon a disturbing and unacceptable pattern of distortion of the objective evidence.

24. I am not a psychopath.  That evaluation in 2008 was unfair, as I didn’t get a chance to prepare my spontaneous answers.

25. There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have enjoyed over the course of this legal process. In trial, in the media I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man””eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she-devil;

26. I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or behavior. Throwing rocks at cars, writing rape stories, and staging break ins are not violent or anti-social.  I am not addicted to sex or drugs.  In fact, Federico Martini hasn’t given me any since I was arrested.  Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality One does not adopt behavior spontaneously.

27. This is a fantasy. This is uncorroborated by any objective evidence or testimony. The prosecution and civil parties created and pursued this character assassination because they have nothing else to show you. They have neither proof, nor logic, nor the facts on their side. They only have their ‘‘evidence’’ against me, and my personal opinions about them. They want you to think I’m a monster because I am telling you they think I am a monster.  it is easy to condemn a monster. It is easy to dismiss a monster’s defense as deception. But the prosecution and civil parties think I’m both severely mistaken and wrong. I have condemned them without proof of wrongdoing, and I seek to convince you to condemn them without proof of wrongdoing.

28. If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. Never mind that this is my own appeal, and I ‘‘should’’ be demonstrating why the 2009 trial verdict is unjust.  If I had a case, there would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the mountains of physical evidence against me. But because this evidence exists that proves my guilt, I would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer (yet), I would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me as an innocent until proven guilty, but not as a monster.

29. The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against the Kerchers because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake, namely, that the murder was premeditated. Again, it is my own appeal, but they are persecuting me.

30. The Court has seen that the prosecution and civil parties will not hear criticism of their mistakes, by people who won’t attend their appeal.

31. The Court has seen that the prosecution jumped to conclusions at the very start of their investigation: they interrogated and arrested innocent people and claimed “Case Closed"before any evidence could be analyzed, before bothering to check alibis.  As proof of this, they called Raffaele to the police station (at his leisure), to clear up discrepencies in his alibi.  Then when he claimed I lied, Rita Ficarra then asked me for an explanation.  Those brutes!  Then they hauled in Patrick just because in ‘‘confessed’’ several times that he did it.

32. The prosecutor and investigators were under tremendous pressure to solve the mystery of what happened to Meredith as soon as possible. The local and International media was breathing down the necks of these detectives. Their reputations and careers were to be made or broken. In spite of that, they still saw my mistakes. Under pressure, they admitted to as few mistakes as possible and committed themselves to a theory founded upon disproving my mistakes.

33. Had they not jumped to conclusions based on nothing but Raffaele’s changing alibi and my false accusations, they would have discovered definitive and undeniable evidence of not Patrick Lumumba, but of Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito, and Amanda Knox. We would not be here over six years later debating clues my lawyers claim are inconclusive and unreliable.  Had we plead guilty we would have been spared the cost, anguish and suffering, not only of Raffaele’s and my family, but especially of Meredith’s family as well.

34. My accusations are unworthy of judicial or public confidence. In over six years I have failed to provide a consistent, evidence-driven, corroborated theory of the crime, but would nevertheless argue that you should not take my life away. I beg you to see through the ‘‘facts’’ and ‘‘reason’’ of what I say. I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent. Meredith and her family deserve the ‘‘truth’‘. Please put an end to this great and prolonged injustice for them.

in faith,

Amanda Marie Knox

 


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #4

Posted by Cardiol MD




1. SERIES OVERVIEW

This post continues a response to the March 27th, 2015 announcement of Cassation’s Fifth Chamber that it had decided that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were Not Guilty of the November 2007 Murder in Perugia of Meredith Kercher.

The Fifth Chamber’s Reporting Judge Antonio Paolo Bruno, was reported to have said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted”.

In fact Judge Bruno was wrong.

Post #1 and Post #2 and Post #3 reported dozens of Certainties contained in “the trials”.

As previously noted, the Existence, Timings, Durations, and General-Locations of all the telephone calls are a very fertile source of Certains, or Certainly-Nots. This is because civil telephone time-keeping all over the Earth’s surface, including in Italy, the U.S. and the U.K, use, and specifically did use in November 2007’s Perugia, the Coordinated Universal Time Protocol (CUT).

Coordinated time-keeping assures that the time assigned to a telephone event is accurate and very precise, independent of where it occurs.  It’s almost as if these November, 2007’s Perugia “˜phone users were wearing criminal-offender’s ankle bracelets. CUT records enable decisive challenge to the credibility of a false witness (impeachment).

(Uncoordinated Time-keeping could have resulted in wrong times being assigned to a telephone event)

2. MORE SUCH CERTAINTIES


(A) SOLLECITO’S PHONE

43. IT IS CERTAIN THAT SOLLECITO’S PHONE WAS EITHER AFFIRMATIVELY SWITCHED-ON, OR HAD-BEEN-MOVED, AT 6:02:59 AM, 2 NOVEMBER 2007

Therefore, contrary to the Defense “reasoning”, cited below, there is Certain proof that Sollecito’s phone was switched on or had been moved at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007, and that Sollecito &/or Knox were awake at that time, contrary to their assertions, which are Certainly false:

Nencini Page 158:

“If in fact one can agree with the Defense reasoning by which there is no certain proof that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 Raffaele Sollecito’s phone was switched on (by himself or by Amanda Marie Knox, the only two present in the apartment) allowing [142] reception of the SMS sent to him by his father a good six hours earlier, the only logical alternative is that someone obviously moved the phone inside the apartment from the location in which it was positioned, and where it was not receiving the “signal”, to a different location in the apartment, where the “signal” was received.What matters, and what the Court finds proved, is that at 6:02:59 am on 2 November 2007 in the apartment at 130 Via Garibaldi, they were not in fact asleep, as the defendants claim, but rather the occupants were well awake, so much as to switch on or move the phones.”

More in this case:

(B) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

Antonio Curatolo had testified at the Massei Trial that he had seen Amanda Marie Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, from 9:30pm to around midnight of 1 November 2007 in Piazza Grimana”

However, the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had rejected the reliability of Curatolo’s Testimony.

The SCC Panel, Annulling the Hellmann Court of Appeal’s motivazione had, in turn rejected and annulled Hellman’s Analysis of Curatolo’s Testimony, stating on pp 67-69:

“The Hellmann Court of Appeal rejected the reliability of the testimony of Antonio Curatolo which, in the reconstruction of the First Instance Court, had been taken as a basis of proof that the negative alibi offered by the two accused was false,  and which constituted one of the tesserae of the mosaic which led to their being held to have been present at the scene of the crime.  Incidentally,  it is worth recalling that the First Instance Court held, via reasoning that was correct from both a legal and logical point of view, that the false alibi must be considered as evidence against [the accused],  to be placed in relation to the other elements of proof in the context of the entire body of evidence.

This method of analysing the testimony, as observed by the Prosecutor General submitting the appeal,  is absolutely subject to censure in that it displays a lack of the prerequisite thorough examination of the facts and circumstances,  so that the conclusion that was reached [by the Hellman Court of Appeal] ““ that in indicating the two accused students as having been present in Piazza Grimana, he confused the evening of 31 October and the evening of 1 November ““ clashes with ascertained facts that seriously contradict such an absolutely certain assumption,  so as to shed full light on the well”foundedness of the charge that the justifying discourse is contradictory and thus manifestly lacking in logic (it was in fact proven by other facts that on the evening of 31 October that neither Knox nor Sollecito,  who were both occupied,  the former at Lumumba’s pub where she was preparing for the normal activity associated with the Halloween festival,  the latter at a graduation party,  could have been present in Piazza Grimana at around 11 PM).

The assertion that the sighting of the two young people by the witness should be shifted to 31 October (page 50 of the sentencing report)  because the context described was more suitable to that day than the next day,  since [the latter]  did precede the arrival of the Scientific Police but [50] [was] taken out of context,  is a manifestly illogical assertion, not only because it contradicts facts which unequivocally demonstrate that the two were not in the piazza on the evening of 31 October (a fact of fundamental importance in the context of the evaluations) and thus the impossibility of squaring the circle in the sense proposed, but also because it follows an utterly weak inferential rule.

Starting from the need to undo the knot of contradiction presented by the testimony (he saw the two young people the evening before the investigation of the Scientific Police and he saw them in the context of the Halloween festival),  the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  after having heard the witness testify a second time and after having verified that he erroneously placed Halloween on the night of 1”2 November, they heard the witness reiterate that his temporal placement of the fact was anchored to the described presence of people who were all dressed in white and that, after midday on the day after he saw the two young people, he caught sight of the men in white in via della Pergola (a fact with a very high level of certainty, more than any other) together with the police: this notwithstanding, the Court reached the conclusion that his testimony could not be accepted due to the man’s deteriorating intellectual faculties and due to his lifestyle, since he was a detainee for drug dealing when he testified the second time and was a habitual heroin user.

Once again,  the progression of the argument emerges as obviously illogical,  in that the evaluation of the testimony should have been correlated (regardless of the conclusions, this being a discussion of evaluation methods)  to the unique objective fact of absolute reliability (the presence of individuals wearing the white suits, the day after the sighting of the two in the piazza, at a time earlier than 11 PM”midnight) because that is a fact whose existence is certain, which was a unique identifying circumstance, which could not but remain imprinted on the mind more than any other; while instead, once again, character issues were considered and asserted, furthermore, without any scientific examination that could ascertain whether the man’s intellectual faculties had deteriorated.  Moreover, Curatolo showed up when called upon to testify,  in both the first and second instance trials and, even well after the fact, he never had any difficulty recognizing the two accused as those whom he had seen in Piazza Grimana the evening before he noticed the men dressed in white (whom he called “extra”terrestrials”) and the police in via della Pergola.

The fact that he had been a homeless man who spent all day in the piazza was not a reason for dismissing him as an unreliable witness out of hand, at the cost of colliding with the accepted principles on the matter of the reliability of testimony.  In conclusion,  [51]  a contribution [that was]  expressed with certainty and noted in the trial transcripts of the witness, and again during his second testimony (“as certain as I’m sitting here” he said of having seen the two accused the evening before the day in which he saw the men in white suits and the police), cannot be circumvented by merely referring to the character of the author of the contribution; this would have required a process of evaluation through facts with equally strong probative evidence.

Moreover,  the opinion must be annulled and remanded, since the explanations of the reliability of the witness Curatolo are incomplete (as they did not take into consideration the facts that contradicted the conclusion reached by the Court), vitiated by an incorrect application of the laws governing the matter. The “˜precise and serious’ nature of the evidence provided by the testimony was dismissed in the [Appeal] opinion without testing its concordance with other evidence, on the basis of a conjecture (that the witness superimposed the evening of 31 October onto that of 1 November) that was not even confronted with the facts contradicting its conclusions”

In summary, this SCC Panel ruled that Hellmann’s Motivazione “must be annulled and remanded” because it ignored facts contradicting Hellmann’s conclusion, and incorrectly applied “the laws governing the matter”, “without testing its concordance with other evidence”, not even confronting Curatolo “with the facts contradicting (Hellmann’s) conclusions”.

Therefore:

44. IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO WAS PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV. 1st, 2007
45.  IT IS CERTAIN THAT CURATOLO TESTIFIED THAT HE SAW MEN IN WHITE SUITS, AND POLICE PRESENT IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE MORNING AFTER HIS SIGHTING OF AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANI.


3. AND MORE BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBTS


(A) WITNESS ANTONIO CURATOLO

The SCC Chamber’s reasons, given above, for Annulling And Remanding Hellmann’s conclusions re Curatelo’s misremembering the Date, in spite of his specifically remembering that it was the evening before he saw the Official Commotions relating to Meredith’s murder, justify the Conclusion that:

8. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT CURATOLO SAW AMANDA KNOX AND RAFFAELE SOLLECITO IN PIAZZA GRIMANA ON THE EVENING OF NOV.1st, 2007 ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. A FEW YARDS FROM THE COTTAGE AT NO. 7, VIA DELLA PERGOLA, WHERE, IN THE SAME SPAN OF TIME, THE MURDER TOOK PLACE.


WITNESS MARCO QUINTAVALLE

Nencini p 156:

“Amanda Marie Knox went to Marco Quintavalle’s Conad shop around 7:45am on 2 November 2007, obviously in search of something to buy that she could not find. She was noticed by Mr. Quintavalle who, at the trial, identified her with certainty in the courtroom. So we are able to affirm that Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

Having already been proven false by witness testimony, the alibi given by the accused is also proven false by comparing it with objective data, which tallies with the witness testimony referred to above.”

SCC. Annulling H/Z p 50

“In this case,  [the Defence argues that]  a re”evaluation of the witness is not allowed,  given that his testimony was correctly examined by the Hellmann Court of Appeal,  knowing the lapse of time after which he offered his contribution to investigators. The witness’s statements were,  for the rest,  compared with those of his co”workers, who referred to the doubts expressed by Quintavalle on the exactitude of his identification. There is therefore no lack of logic in the reasoning,  since the lack of logic must be manifestly perceived,  whereas minimal inconsistencies must have no influence”

SCC ANNULLING H/Z p 70-71

“In reality,  the notice taken of the witness’s statements, as pointed out by the Prosecutor General, is absolutely biased, since the sighting out of the corner of the eye referred to the girl’s exit from the shop, whereas the witness specified having seen her at a close distance (between 70”80 centimetres), adding that she remained imprinted on his mind “because of her very light blue eyes”,  her “extremely pale face”,  and “a very tired expression”.

Moreover,  the witness clarified in his testimony that he became convinced that the girl who appeared in the newspapers was the one he saw in the early morning of 2 November 2007, given that the colour of her eyes could not be ascertained from the photo, but that he became certain once that he saw the girl in the courtroom. The selection made from the pool of information was absolutely one”sided, which distorted the evidence to the point of making it appear uncertain, whereas the witness explained the reasons for his perplexity and the development of his conviction in terms of certainty.

As noted by the Prosecutor General in the appeal documents filed,  this portion of the report assumed relevance within the framework of the reconstruction and required an explanation based on an examination of the entire testimony; instead, through a process of unacceptable selection, only some of the testimony was considered to be of value, indeed, only that portion considered to be consistent with a [specific] conclusion, one that in fact required rigorous demonstration.

The result,  once again,  is blatantly and manifestly illogical. What is at issue is not a re”evaluation of the evidence ““  which is obviously prohibited by this Court, as the Defence for the accused has justly pointed out ““ but rather the need to point out a glaringly evident flaw that consists of an intolerable chasm between what is stated by the witness and what is acknowledged in the justifying arguments, on a point of significant importance, since it concerns the foundation of the alibi.

On this point also, the new judgment will have to be conducted in light of the preceding observations.”

Given the above:

9. IT IS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT THAT MARCO QUINTAVALLE SAW AMANDA KNOX IN HIS CONAD SHOP AT AROUND 7:45 am ON 2 NOVEMBER 2007.

Amanda Marie Knox was lying when she claimed to have slept at Mr. Sollecito’s house in his company until 10am in the morning on 2 November 2007.

To be continued, though we may need to wait until the end of June 2015 when SCC’s Motivazione is due.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why This Offer Of Legal Funding To Amanda Knox May Not Be Such A Good Idea

Posted by Peter Quennell

Report on how hard it is in the US to get compensation - that could inspire a search for new markets


Wrongful convictions in Italy are extremely rare because of the multi-step process to final verdict mandated by law. 

In the United States and other countries they are more common. It is not a given though for those innocents who do get released to be given a payment by the state. See the case in the video above.

Cavalli Legal Finance is a large and respected group which helps people pay their legal bills.

Somebody on the staff - maybe Andrew Braithwaite - has issued this press release presumably aimed at a share of any proceeds. It does raises question in our minds about whether any due diligence was done, though it may be early days for that yet.

Press Release

Cavalli Legal Finance Reports a Possible Wrongful Imprisonment Lawsuit

This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

Hamilton, NJ—(ReleaseWire)—05/28/2015—Settlement loans are now made available and applicable to wrongful imprisonment cases through Cavalli Legal Finance.

The Italian lawyer of Amanda Knox said a lawsuit is possible to be filed, although not certain, against Italy due to the wrongful detention of Knox, following her 7-year-old legal battle in Meredith Kercher’s murder.

In an email, Knox’s attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova said a lawsuit is possible, but they are not interested to make such move at the moment, and that he and his client have no discussion about it. Their option for a settlement loan was not also disclosed.

Italy’s highest court exonerated Amanda Knox, along with her Italian, former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito in the November 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda’s British roommate.

Initially, both suspects were convicted in 2009. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, while Knox received 26 years. In 2011, the convictions were overturned and Amanda returned to Seattle immediately. Under the personal injury cases, Amanda can file for a compensation claim, if the lawsuit has a good merit to win such legal battle, considering the incurred damages such as pain and suffering.

In 2013, their acquittals were both overturned, and just last year, their convictions were reinstated by a Florence court. Knox’s sentence was increased to 28 and half years. The recent ruling to exonerate both suspects was the criminal case’s final decision. Thus, a settlement funding could be availed by the convicts if they wish to.

According to the lawyer, the Italian Supreme Court should issue a written motivation by June 27, and if Knox pursues a lawsuit, the Italian law could provide a maximum of 517,000 euros as compensation, which is equivalent to $556,317. Knox can avail a lawsuit funding to pursue with the case.

Fortunately, Cavalli Legal Finance provides these services so as to help plaintiffs reach settled cases and compensation claims such as Knox’s case. The firm supports not only simple case, but also complex litigation like construction accidents and large complex litigation cases.

As they seem to have been blown some smoke, here are a few comments on the summary above of Knox’s legal history which Cavalli Legal Finance may find of help.

(1) Knox was released possibly illegally as her process was not done yet late in 2011 after an appeal trial which the Supreme Court in 2013 pretty well said straight-out was bent. The lead appeal judge was edged out and an investigation process still goes on. 

(2) Knox was in prison for approximately four years. For three of those years she was imprisoned for the felony crime of calunnia for the false accusation of murder against Patrick Lumumba whose career she has pretty well destroyed. She still owes him approximately $100,000 in damages awarded him which she has still not paid.

(3) That sentence was signed-off on by ALL the courts - see the trial court ruling, the 2011 appeal court confirmation (which adjusted the sentence to three years), and the 2013 Supreme Court confirmation. End of the road. A felon for life. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling did not include this in its scope. No further route to appeal.

(4) That leaves one year in prison which in theory could be considered a candidate for a wrongful imprisonment suit. However the Italian Republic has a lot going for its side. For example, very careful process steps were followed and pre-trial Knox was given six opportunities to get the charges dropped. She failed at them all. The US Embassy in Rome had an observer in all courts and cables to Washington DC released reflect no complaints.

(5) The Italian Republic also has going for it that the terse Fifth Chambers verdict (which it still has to explain) actually can still be overturned if a fix was in or if it did not follow the law on what its role at final appeal should be. Questions about sufficient evidence are invariably referred back down to the appeal court; but that did not happen here. See explanations here and here.

(6) Knox is back on trial right now on a second calunnia charge which in theory, as a repeat offender, could carry a six-year term. This relates to her false accusations of crimes by interrogators which she made on the stand at trial in mid 2009 when trying to argue her way out of the first calunnia charge. Three court dates are in September of this year.

(7) Knox has a very dishonest book out in the US, and now Italy and the UK, for which she was said to have been paid millions, which is currently getting a very careful legal read in Italy. The book Waiting To Be Heard (an absurd title given how much she was heard - she has a long history of people trying to shut her up) actually repeats the same false accusations of crimes, with bells and whistles, which are the subject of the current calunnia trial #2. Excerpts from it in the Italian weekly Oggi already have that weekly publication on trial.

We could go on. After the Supreme Court ruling in March there was buzz, perhaps from the hard-pressed families, that lawsuits for false imprisonment would follow soon.

The Italian lawyers tamped that talk down fast, and Sollecito’s lawyers (one of whom is himself to go on trial)  pretty well ruled it out entirely. They are said to see it as a slippery slope, an aggressive action, which could bring the castle of cards down fast.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/11/15 at 04:45 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Defendants in courtAmanda KnoxHoaxers from 2007Knox-Marriott PRComments here (20)

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Why Desperation Sets In At The Pesky Similarities Between Amanda Knox And Jodi Arias

Posted by Chimera




1. The Incessant Comparisons

Google “Amanda Knox” along with “Jodi Arias” who was recently convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend and you will see what I mean.

Of comparisons between the two, there are many dozens. Some pieces damningly list the similarities, and then in numerous defensive comments the facts about the real Knox get mangled. Some pieces try to argue that there are differences, and in comments the writer’s numerous false claims get nailed.

To bring out quite forcefully the stark similarities, this post looks at the interrogations. At the time of this posting, Arias has been convicted of first degree murder, but sentenced to life without parole, since the jury would not hand down the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Knox has been provisionally found not guilty in a highly suspect Fifth Chambers action which might be overturned by an order of the President, or by a challenge by the Florence court, or by a challenge by another arm of the Supreme Court.

2. Similarities Under Interrogation

Below is all of Arias’s 2008 interrogation after her arrest (posted in 4 parts) with notes on some of the similarities. Knox was only ever interrogated once, on 17 December 2007 (at her own request), in a couple of hours, so I also draw on some of her other statements.

Most of what Jodi Arias says is just babbling and rambling, a trait common to Knox.  But unlike Knox, Arias doesn’t have a media campaign going on to release her, and Arias hasn’t been able to bend or corrupt any courts.

Part 1 (2 hours 40 minutes)

 

Part 2 (2 hours)

 

Part 3 (2 hours)

 

Part 4 (2 hours)

 

Assessment

My view from watching this: Arias is truly emotionally vulnerable here, but even so, her mind is constantly trying to get her out of this.

The problem is that she doesn’t seem to register just how much the contradictions ensnare her.  Arias, like Knox, thinks she can talks her way out of anything.  She seems stunned that her ‘‘little-girl routine’’ doesn’t win over the police.

Arias seems to think during the police questionings, she can simply make it all go away if she keeps denying.  Problem is, her interview is riddled with partial admissions.  Knox seems to think that she can win over the media if she keeps denying ‘‘she killed her friend’‘.

However, when Arias finally does testify, she is cold, sarcastic, and testy.  (Sound familiar?)

I imagine if Amanda Knox ‘‘had’’ been formally questioned without lawyers, it would have looked something like this.  Yes, it is segmented, but it would be mindnumbing to do a complete transcript.  However, there were many gems from this questioning.  It is chilling to watch, but if you can, do it, and ask yourself if that isn’t another ‘‘Knox’’ performing there.

Note these telling exchanges, all from Part 1

(5:46) Det. Flores: I travelled all the way up here to talk to you.  Because, I’ve been working on Travis’ case ever since it happened.  And I know exactly what happened, how he was killed.  I know a lot of details.  And just recently we found quite a bit of evidence, and I’ll discuss that with you.  The main thing that I’m looking for though is answers, on why certain things happened, and also to get your statement.

(6:25) Arias: Okay.

(6:35) Det Flores: A lot of details in this case haven’t been released to the public or even to Travis’ family yet.  And those details are known only to us, and to the person who did it.  And that’s why we’re here. I believe you know some of those details, and you can help us.

(6:51) Arias: I would love to help you in any way that I can

One of the most laughable statements ever made in the case.  8 hours later, she still won’t give them a straight answer.

(8:45) Arias: Should we record this?  (reaching for the remote).

Seriously?  Arias has been arrested for murder, and her first act is pretend to be ‘‘helping the police’‘.  A bit like Knox, who insisted she was helping the police, even after being charged with Meredith’s murder

(10:35) Arias: I know that people have been posting a lot of really nice things on Facebook, you know, memories, and I thought maybe I should do that.  And I realized looking back in it is sounded immature, more like a ‘‘Dear Travis’’ kind of letter, so I took it down…

(10:53) Det Flores: Personal?

(10:55) Arias: Yeah, some of it was personal, not too personal, nothing inappropriate.

At least least Arias isn’t emailing people questions about whether Travis likes anal, or what he uses vasoline for.  Give her some credit.

(12:00) Arias: I didn’t realize until I was speaking with Ryan Burns, the guy that’s in Utah.  We’ve been talking, we try not to talk about that, because it’s kinda like ... ugh (makes disgusted face).  And plus Travis is my ex-boyfriend, so, when you’re mourning your friend, how do you talk to to your new potential mating person?  .... So, it’s kind of a grey area.

Yes, Jodi thinks dead bodies are ‘‘yucky’‘, and that mourning an ex, while talking to a new potential partner is a ‘‘grey area’‘.  Did she go run off to buy any lingerie?

(12:15) Arias: I try not to talk about it too much, but he [Travis] comes up a lot

Your ex-boyfriend was stabbed 29 times and shot in the head.  Annoying, how often ‘‘he’’ comes up.

(12:20) Arias: And it was though him [Ryan] that he thought things were really weird, and some think that you had a hand in it.

Maybe because you find the topic of your ex so annoying when you try to spend time with new boyfriend….

(12:28) Det. Flores: I’ve talked to a lot of people.  And everyone is pointing the finger at you.

(12:35) Arias: I know.

(12:36) Det Flores: Everyone is saying - I don’t understand what happened to Travis.  I don’t know who killed him, but you need to look at Jodi.  And sometimes the simplest answers are the correct ones.

Something Knox found out (and soon Arias soon will), is that when you have suspicions about someone, you bring them up immediately.  You don’t wait until you become a supect yourself.

(13:30) Det. Flores: I know that you still had a relationship of convenience, even though you were not boyfriend/girlfriend anymore, that you two were still having sexual relations with ...

(13:45) Arias: Does his family know?  Just curious.

(13:50) Det. Flores: No, his family doesn’t know anything.

(13:54) Arias: I’m interested in protecting how he is remembered as well.

Another laughable claim.  Jodi would later accuse him of everything from being abusive and controlling to pedophilia.  Knox uses Meredith’s memory to cash in on a blood money book ‘‘Waiting to be Heard’‘, does dozens of interviews claiming to be a victim, and uses her website to raise money for her legal fees to get off on Meredith’s murder.

(16:10) Arias: Too much of my nightlife was about him [Travis].  He would text ‘‘hey I’m getting sleepy….. zzzz’‘.  That was his code for ‘‘coast is clear, come on over’‘.  (long, unrelated rambling).

Less than 3 minutes after saying she wants to protect how Travis is remembered, Jodi is already implying Travis is horny, and leaking unnecessary details.  An attempt to smear him?  Who else does that?

(19:20) Arias: I used to always joke, ‘‘that, regardless of what the Bible says, and yes I’m Christian, I just live my life by the 10 commandments, and that those are my rules,

‘’ .... so I always used to joke about that.

Your ‘‘friend’’ has been savagely stabbed to death, and after being arrested you are making jokes about fornication.  Who else would make such jokes after the loss of a close one?

For the next 15 minutes Arias babbles on about unrelated things.  Det. Flores has incredible patience, as most would have slit their wrists listening to her.  But finally he tries to pull Jodi back to the topic at hand. 

He makes several attempts, but Arias keeps trying to divert the topic away from Travis and his death.  After about 1/2 hour of Jodi talking nonsense, Detective Flores tries to get Jodi to give a timeline and direction of her travels.

(52:20) Det. Flores: So, you took this trip and you left on Monday the 2nd until Thursday?

(52:44) Arias: I think so.

(52:50) Det. Flores: So, we have here about 48 hours…. this trip would take you a little over 48 hours….  I have a problem with this trip.

(53:06) Arias:  Well I first went to ....

(53:30) Det. Flores: I’ve gone over this trip over and over in my mind.  There’s still 20-some odd hours, even if you pull over to sleep, a couple of times ....

(53:42) Arias:  Did I tell you I got stranded?

(53:46) Det. Flores: Yeah, you mentioned that.  If you slept for 10 hours, here and here (pointing on map), it would still leave 18 some odd hours, for something else.  This is the trip that people are focusing on.  People are saying that she left .... Travis was killed on Wednesday.

(54:22) Arias: I did not go near his house.

(54:27) Det Flores: I pulled your cell records.  Your cell phone was turned off, between here and here (indicates on map).  What does that show me?

(54:45) Arias: No, no, no.

(54:50) Det. Flores: Is there plenty of time for you to do this?  Yes.  And do I believe that you had come to visit Travis?  Yes.  Did you have the opportunity?  Yes, there were no other witnesses.

(55:10) Arias: Well, I didn’t turn it off physically, but it died.

(55:16) Det. Flores: And you magically found your charger here?  (pointing on map)

(55:20) Arias: It was under the passenger side of the front seat.

(55:23) Det. Flores: When you were lost, you couldn’t have pulled over and found it?

(55:41) Det. Flores: I’ve been focusing on why your phone turns off here, outside of Los Angeles ... because the [Highway] 15 goes through Las Vegas.  It never goes through Arizona.

Detective Flores zeroed in on a huge gap Arias’ timeline.  Why did a 48 hour trip take more than 3 days?  He also noted that her cell phone was not active for most of that trip.

In Peugia, the police had noted a discrepancy in Sollecito’s timeline.  He claimed to have reported the burglarly then waited outside for the police.  In fact phone records showed the Postal Police showed up about 15-20 minutes before he made the call.  It was later discovered that Knox and Sollecito had turned off their cell phones (something they never did), during the time of the murder.

(58:25) Det. Flores: Were you at Travis’ house on Wednesday?

(58:28) Arias: Absolutely not.  I was nowhere near Mesa.

She is very sure then, but with some more questioning, she will not only be there, but a witness to the actual murder.

(58:40) Det. Flores: What if I could show you proof you were?  Would that change your mind?

(58:45) Arias: I was not there.  (trying to look convincing)

(58:59) Det. Flores: You were at Travis’ house.  You had a sexual encounter.  Which, there’s pictures.  And I know you know there’s pictures, because I have them.  I will show them to you.  So, I am asking you to be honest with me.  I know you were there.

(59:30) Arias: Are you sure that those pictures aren’t from another time?

(59:35) Det. Flores: Absolutely positive.

(59:40) Arias: The last time I had any sexual contact with Travis was in May.

(59:55) Det Flores: You know how I told you about the camera? The camera was damaged.  Someone put it in the washing machine, ran it through a wash cycle, with some clothes of Travis’, but the card is intact.  You know how I told you the card was destroyed?  I didn’t want to tell you the truth, because I wanted to make sure the photos were accurate.  We can pull deleted photos, even from 6 months ago.  And I have pictures of you and Travis.

(1:01:00) Arias: Are you sure it was me?  Because I was not there.

(1:01:00) Det. Flores: Jodi, it’s you.

Arias is trying to look and sound convincing, but her denials come out weaker and weaker.  But the stunned look shows through.

(1:01:55) Arias: I didn’t hurt Travis.  He’s done so much for me.

But like your Seattle ‘‘colleague’’ you will soon trash the memory of the person you called a friend.

(1:02:00) Arias: I lived there.  I lived there for months and months.

Pretty much the excuse Knox used to explain her DNA being everywhere.

(1:02:15) Det. Flores: I know you took pictures in the shower just before he died.

(1:02:29) Arias: I don’t think he would allow that

Either you did, or you didn’t.

(1:05:30) Det. Flores: our record indicate you reported a gun stolen, a .25 auto, which just happens to be the same caliber used to kill Travis.

(1:06:10) Arias: A .25 auto was used to kill Travis?

Using a ‘‘drop piece’‘, reported stolen, brought to the murder scene.  Knox brought one of Raffaele’s knives.

(1:06:18) Det. Flores: Do you want to see pictures of him?

(1:06:25) Arias: Part of me does, part of me doesn’t.

(1:06:30) Det. Flores: Why, because you don’t want to remember?

(1:06:35) Arias: No, there’s a morbid curiosity.

Arias is curious to see photos of Travis.  In fact, she asks several times to see photos of him (after the fact).  The detectives wonder if it is to help her come up with a story, but it is possible she just wanted to see her handiwork

Knox had also made several public demands to visit Meredith’s grave.  Creepy as hell.

(1:06:50) Det. Flores: I can’t deny this evidence.  The trip you took doesn’t make any sense, the opportunity was there, the pictures on that date with him, your blood is in the house - mixed with his, not alongside, but mixed, your hair is there is blood, and your palm print is there, in blood.  Your image is not important, saving the rest of your life is.

(1:07:30) Arias: Listen, if I’m found guilty, I won’t have a life.  I’m not guilty.

To compare Det. Flores’ listings: Knox’s account of the night/morning made no sense; she had access and opportunity; she had 5 spots of mixed DNA with Meredith, and oddly, NO fingerprints were found in Knox’s own home.

Jodi’s denial is extremely weak, just like many of the ‘‘no evidence’’ denials that Knox makes.

(1:08:20) Arias: I’m not a murderer, but if I were to do something like that I’d wear gloves, or something.

Wow…. way to be convincing.

(1:09:35) Arias: Let’s say for a second that I did.  Suppose I say I did.  Why

(1:09:50) Det. Flores: The motive is there.  Anger, jealousy ....

Knox frequently argued along the lines of ‘‘there is no motive for me to do this’‘.

(1:29:30) Arias: If I was ever going to try to kill someone, I would use gloves.  I’ve got plenty of them.

This is the second time Jodi mentions this.  Like Amanda, she knows a little something about C.S.I.

(1:29:55) Det. Flores: Would they see your car, or did you park it down the street?

(1:30:05) Arias: No, they would see it, I drove an Infinite.

(1:31:42) Det. Flores: You know that all rental cars have GPS on them?  For us to use….

Oh, s**t.

(1:42:15) Arias: Is it possible that my memory card was in his camera, and they are interchangeable?

(1:43:30) Det Flores: You’re saying that someone took your pictures and your memory card and was framing you?

Knox has written before that she thinks Raffaele planted her fingerprints on the knife used to kill Meredith.  Everything is a conspiracy.

(2:01:00) Arias: I’m trying to put his death behind me.

So…. you just want to get on with your life?

3. Numerous Other Similarities

  • Arias had cuts on her fingers which she said was from ‘‘dropping glass’‘.  She claimed that happens regularly.  Police believed it was from the knife slipping in her hand.
  • Knox had a cut on her neck which she said was from a ‘‘hickey’‘.
  • Arias claimed her phone died while on the road and that she found her charger later
  • Knox claimed she turned her phone off so she would not receive a text in case Patrick wanted her to come in afterall.  She previously claimed that it was to preserve the charge for her Gubbio trip
  • Arias was asked if anyone else was present at the scene.  She invented a story about 2 masked intruders.
  • Knox was told Sollecito removed her alibi.  She invented a story about Lumumba doing the crime.
  • Arias has given prison interviews and basked in the limelight
  • Knox has given interviews since being released from prison and basked in the limelight.
  • Arias refused her own suggestion for a lie detector test since if it wouldn’t help her in court,
  • Knox says she will take a lie detector test, but never has.
  • Arias attempted to destroy evidence, including attempting to destroy a camera in the washing machine.
  • Knox attempted to selectively clean the crime scene, and pin it all on Rudy Guede
  • Arias had the foresight to clean her feet before, going to the washing machine to throw the camera in.
  • Knox (or Sollecito), had the foresight to clean his/her feet before going into Amanda’s room to grab the lamp.
  • Arias had the foresight to clean her hands before grabbing Clorex to put in the washing machine
  • Knox had the foresight to leave Meredith’s lamp, but use her own and wipe it for prints
  • Arias put her licence back on upside down (it was removed while at Travis’ house).
  • Knox put the bathmat (with Sollecito’s footprint), back upside down
  • Arias staged a prior break-in so she could report a gun stolen, which she would later use.
  • Knox staged a prior break in and later used some techniques on Meredith.
  • Arias planned it by using a ‘‘trip to Utah’’ as a way of explaining her time away.
  • Knox planned it by waiting for a time when no one else was home.
  • Arias tried to wash Travis’ body to destroy evidence.attempted to destroy evidence.
  • Knox (and Sollecito), stripped Meredith down to make it look like a rape.
  • Arias called Travis’ phone and left voicemails to make it look like she didn’t know he was dead.
  • Knox called Meredith’s phone to make it look like she was trying to reach her.
  • Arias had sex with Travis prior to killing him
  • Knox had sex with a drug dealer (Federico Martini), before and after killing Meredith.
  • Arias caused Travis to think she was dangerous and a stalker, leading to police suspicion after.
  • Knox caused Meredith and others to think she was pushy and weird, leading to police suspicion after
  • .
  • Arias rented a car, bought cans of gas (to avoid stopping at gas stations), reported her gun stolen (so suspicion wouldn’t be aroused), and turned off her phone.
  • Knox brought a knife from Raffaele’s flat, brought 2 ‘‘frame-able’’ accomplices, chose a night no one was home, and turned off her phone.
  • Arias attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Juan Martinez.
  • Knox attempted to rain hostility down on prosecutor Guiliano Mignini.
  • Arias flirted with the police who arrested her.
  • Knox flirted with court officers.
  • Arias went to her current boyfriend as if nothing happened.
  • Knox went back to her life, including missing Meredith’s memorial.
  • Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend.
  • Knox murdered her roommate.
  • Arias called Travis repeatedly just to hear his voicemail.  Stalker?
  • Knox texted Meredith repeatedly the day before.  Stalker?
  • Arias was born July 9, 1980.
  • Knox was born July 9, 1987.

Monday, May 18, 2015

“What It Feels Like To Be Wrongly Accused” Could This Be Your First Draft, Amanda Knox?

Posted by Chimera



Above: someone who unequivocally WAS wrongly accused - and still has seen no justice

What finally was published. You may decide if this was a scrapped first draft, with due caution!

I wanted to get it all out now, so I don’t have to keep explaining it a a hundred times, like I have been on CNN, ABC, NBC, Daybreak, or my memoir, or anyone else who would listen.

I have this dream in my head that when you accuse someone of a horrific act they didn’t do, they inevitably experience shock, disorientation, confusion.  They will likely get their name and photo in the paper, and forever be associated with a vile deed.  The emotional scars will remain, and their families and friends will abandon them or at least lose trust.  However, they did not suffer nearly as bad as you have, as some trauma, such as being slapped in the head, broke you down emotionally.

In all honesty, I know this is as strange to me as it is to everyone else.  Since most people don’t angrily deny false accusations, they just let the pressure squeeze their temples, and they let it become hard to concentrate.  But they are clearly acting suspiciously, if they don’t remember a fact correctly.  But even when they are locked up for that vicious crime, it has to be considered that they are still trying to help the police.

Truthfully, when you falsely accuse someone of murder, police strangely wonder why you did not bring this knowledge up before.  You try to keep a straight face, but there is tension in your right eyebrow, and below your right nostril and sometimes triggers you to twitch uncontrollably, making you self conscious about looking people in the face.  There’s a pinpoint knot that spasms between your heart making it hard to sit still, as your lies are crumbling around you.

But the truth is, this is still much easier than being outside a murder room with your hands over your ears, while your ‘‘friend’’ is being murdered.  After all, it could have been you.  The stress is causing you to vaguely remember things, about obscure texts, and to forget if your boyfriend is with you.  The stress causes you to smell, even after taking a shower, and to wake up first thing in the morning to buy bleach, as a sudden urge for housecleaning is therapeutic.

Honestly, it can be incredibly stressful to have to release this sudden burst of energy.  You yell, are anxious, and hit yourself in the head.  The police try to calm you down with food and drinks, but the visions and dreams are tormenting you, as you imagine that you have witnessed something horrific.  Yes, your friend let out a huge scream as she died, but you are not really lying when you tell the police who did it.  After all, your 2 hour police interview, or was is 14, 35 or 50? Or 150?... was tantamount to torture, and you should not have to be subjected to the stress of having to explain yourself a hundred times while the police investigate the murder of your friend.  You suffered too.

My best truth is that when people don’t trust you after making these false accusations, the anxiety arrives even at the most safe and casual of circumstances.  You’re hypersensitive to what people say, and how they say it.  They seem skeptical when you refer to things constantly as your best truth, or the truth you remember, or the truth you think is closest to the truth. There is an accumulation of primal anger and grief that can give no satisfactory expression when you start talking about visions you had, or how you vaguely remembered something happening. There is always this thought: how can you reconcile with significant parts of society whose trust you have abused?

I have nothing but lies to be afraid of.  But people take things out of context.  Saying someone had their f***ing throat slit is a way of explaining how a person died (even if I didn’t ‘‘officially’’ know it).  That person was my friend.  People can’t admit they were wrong when I make gurgling sounds and call blood ‘‘yucky’‘.  The can’t admit their mistakes when I say I only knew someone for a month, and want to get on with my life.  That person was my friend.  They find fault with everything when I say ‘‘shit happens’‘, and miss the memorial, because someone else made the decision for me.  That person was my friend.  They come up with speculation, and twist things around, and they are haters, when they complain about me wearing Beatles T-shirts in court.

In my head, the trauma felt by the victim of a wrongful accusation is foreign and unimaginable to the majority of people, that’s why I am here to help.  By that I mean write this story, not just make up (more) false accusations.

But, in the closest version of the truth, these are the questions that need answered: Why is the person I falsely accused angry with me?  Why is he not angry with the police for arresting him?  And why are the police now suspicious of me after making a false accusation?  Can they not see that I am a good person?  Why are people angry when I give interviews of get a million dollar book deal?  Can they not see I’ve suffered?  I mean, my friend (whose name I forget), was murdered, but it could just as easily have been me.  Why are people persecuting me? (loud sigh)

Honestly,  I am a victim here.  Why can you not see that?

Anyway, that’s all for now.  Just need to get on with my life.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Updates: Sollecito’s Trial For Vilipendio And Diffamazione, Knox’s Trial For Calunnia #2

Posted by Peter Quennell





Knox and Sollecito have each been indicted in Florence BY PROSECUTORS on charges that bear no resemblance to UK or US slander or libel cases.

They are each essentially charged for lying to poison public opinion against officials, and Sollecito against the system, to try to win themselves illegal breaks at their murder trial and appeals. Knox in court in 2009, and Sollecito in his book in 2012.

The weekly magazine Oggi is also on trial for jubilantly publishing some of Knox’s numerous lies. 

Yesterday in a Florence court a new court translation of the passages from Sollecito’s book fully quoted here were accepted by the presiding judge. They differed little if at all from what the prosecutor filed last year and brought the defenses no joy. Right now both the defenses seem stuck.

And on June 9th the calunnia trial against Knox will start in a Florence court. It would be smart for her to be there, as Sollecito usually is. As mentioned above, Knox is already indicted.

It is not clear who her lawyers will be. Sollecito had to field a new team. Ghirga and Dalla Vedova both helped Knox with her defamatory book and with her defamatory email to Judge Nencini in December 2013 in which Knox ludicrously claimed she had been tortured (for the mundane truth read here) and like Bongiorno and Maori they could feel they have conflicts here.

On June 16 Dr Mignini will testify in the Oggi trial in Bergamo north-east of Milan where Oggi is based against the editor Umberto Brindani and the reporter Giangavino Sulas for publishing illegal claims made in Knox’s 2013 book.

At that hearing Knox’s book may finally become the subject of charges on the same lines as Sollecito’s book. Italian legal opinion is not supportive of the pair or the sleazy moves that led to Cassation giving them a break

That break looks increasingly temporary now. Sollecito could face big fines and Knox could face up to six years. Brighter bulbs would have realized it is best not to confront Italian courts.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

A Shaky Castle Of Cards At Best: The Long-Term Fight For Legitimacy #2

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



RS and AK in New York a while back, the last time that they actually met


Gloom and doom have been dissipating for over a month now in Italy among those most invested in a just outcome, for the reasons given in this immediate-post-verdict post.

Note that the defense camps really want and need that legitimacy. They know the perverse judgment is not the end of the road. They have clamped down hard on what RS and AK can say.

In the Italian legal community the Fifth Chambers are getting some scathing commentary for their strange law and dismissiveness of the facts of the case which Cardiol in the post below this one once again underlined.

The Fifth Chambers’ sentencing report should be red meat, very tough for the hapless judges to write and a target from Day One and, under a new law in Italy which already overturned several Cassation verdicts, a very likely candidate for a legal suit.

The two book trials should slowly strip the emperors bare (remember those books are still very unread, even by many who read this site, and neither are in Italian yet), and could cost Knox more time inside and both of them fines and civil suits.

The psychologist SeekingUnderstanding has posted several times on how untreated troubled psychology rarely simply gets better with time. RS’s startling new crack at AK shows he has no inner calm, Knox’s delay in wedding plans and her incessant anger and vagueness maybe too.

Neither seem to have the big bucks they will need for their legal teams going forward, or the promise of successful careers. Sollecito still hasnt worked a day in his life and his preferred software area never sees successful entrants at his age. Knox’s only known area of interest - paid writing - is a fast-shrinking field.

Several tough books are already in the works. And the media loves conspiracy theories and hoaxes, and as all the real conspiracies and hoaxes have been on the defenses’ side, trends will also be against RS and AK there.

The only safe bets are that there will be various surprise happenings in the next six months - and that we’d rather be in our camp than in theirs.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Those Pesky Certainties Cassation’s Fifth Chamber May Or May Not Convincingly Contend With #2

Posted by Cardiol MD



The Italian Supreme Court is in the background

1. This Series’ Ominous Context

On Friday, 27th March, 2015 a Panel of five Court of Cassation judges of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court in Rome, found Amanda Knox, and Raffaelle Sollecito, Not Guilty of the Murder of Meredith Kercher.

The President Judge of the Fifth Criminal Chamber of this Supreme Court Panel is Gennaro Marasca, The Prosecutor General is Mario Pinelli, and the Reporting Judge for the Meredith Panel is Antonio Paolo Bruno.

Near the start of the above SCC hearings Judge Bruno was quoted as having said that the trials had “not many certainties beyond the girl’s death and one definitely convicted.”

We consider that to be flat-out wrong. Absurd in fact, as the hapless Hellmann & Zanetti could testify. So do numerous professionals well-briefed on the case in Italy. We expect soon articles in Italian similar to this one.

In fact if the forthcoming Marasca Sentencing Report attempts to brush the numerous real factual certainties under the table there is a near-certainty that the perverse verdict can be overturned by way of a lawsuit or a petition to the President of the Italian Republic. 

Post #1 of 10 April described some 26 of the factual headaches facing the SCC under the strict Italian Legal Requirements for classification of Evidence as Circumstantial-Evidence.

The fact that the trials actually had very many certainties was demonstrated in Post #1, and continues in this Post.

2. Note On Circumstantial Evidence

Defendants typically trivialize Circumstantial-Evidence as “Only Circumstantial-Evidence”.

Actually, Circumstantial-Evidence is often the most potent evidence leading Finders-of-Fact to their Verdict. This is even more true in Italian Law because its Circumstantial-Evidence classification-requirement provides that an evidentiary circumstance or fact must be true to the level of being a Certainty. Therefore, for example, the unverifiable RS/AK broken water-pipe story can not be classified as Circumstantial Evidence and cannot legally be admitted as Evidence at all.

Continuing the review of the Massei Motivazione, the Nencini Motivazione, and the several past SCC rulings, demonstrating the large number of Certainties:

3. Certainties 27 To 30

27. THE SIMULATED BURGLARY

:

This Subject has already been commented-upon in Pesky #1, under the Heading “13. Crimescene Meddling?”:
“Having accomplished the Phone-Dump, Meredith’s killers next re-model the crime-scene, minimising the evidences of their identities, cleaning-up the evidences that it was “˜an inside job’, and simulating the appearances that it was “˜an outside job’.”

According to the Massei Summary, Part 3:

“8. The staged break-in

The Massei Report examined the evidence surrounding the broken window and disarray in Filomena Romanelli’s bedroom in order to determine whether a real break-in had occurred or the appearance of one had been staged….....

The court concluded that the disorder in Romanelli’s room and the breaking of the window pane constituted an artificial representation created in order to misdirect the investigations towards a person who, not having the key to the front door, was supposed to have entered through the previously broken window and then effected the violent acts on Meredith which caused her death.”

So Massei, having carefully analysed all the Evidence, and the Arguments on both sides Concluded that there was No Burglary at all, and that Meredith’s killers had deliberately created the appearance of a Burglary, in order to misdirect the Investigators of Meredith’s death.

According to the Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel wrt the Simulated Burglary:

Page 56:

“The compartmentalisation of the single pieces of evidence thus weakened their value and their depth, since a piecemeal evaluation of their relationship and of the required synthesis inevitably followed, ignoring the increase in value that the pieces of the mosaic of circumstantial evidence assume when synergistically evaluated.”

The Panel begins its justification for Annulling Hellmann/Zanetti.

The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 66:

“.....the simulation of the burglary should have been evaluated in light of the investigative data collected immediately after the event,  such as Rudy’s shoeprints (along the path of his flight)  and the traces of the victim’s blood detected in many spots in the bathroom used by Ms Knox and [49] Ms Kercher, surely carried there by third parties present in the house after the murder.”

The Panel takes-for-granted that the “Burglary” was Simulated by the Perps, and focuses on its improper evaluation by H/Z.

The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 82-83:

“The Hellmann Court of Appeal preferred ““ in full agreement with the defence pleadings ““  to favour the information the unreliable Rudy Guede had conveyed in his chat with his friend Benedetti, i.e., that he was in via della Pergola around 9.00/9.30 PM on the first of November 2007;  this information was correlated with the victim’s telephone records which registered:

a)  an unanswered call at 8.56 PM
b)  the dialling of the number 901, corresponding to an answering service at 9.58 PM, immediately after which the call was blocked
c)  at 10.00 PM the dialling of the first number in the list of phone numbers for the Abbey bank, without however the dialling of the required dialling code
d) at 10.13 PM a GRPS connection of the length of nine seconds, most probably linkedto a multimedia message, without the necessity of human interaction.

On the basis of these facts, the Hellmann Court reached the conclusion that Miss Kercher had not called her family again in the period of time between 8.56 and 11.00 PM,  since shortly after the first attempt an unexpected event may have occurred, such as for example the attack,  and the dialling of the number at 10.00 PM could have been done [61]  by another person, who was not familiar with that mobile phone, while attempting to silence it, a fact which would place the time of death at before 10.13 PM.

The reconstructive path is permeated with factual deductions deriving from a series of conjectures and baseless suppositions, without any reliable, demonstrative basis,  in spite of [other]  findings of significant value which conflict with those [deductions] and have a greater probative value,  which were reduced in their importance on the basis of an unsatisfactory reasoning,  which stands out because multiple passages contradict other passages of the statement of reasons, and because of manifest illogicality which must be rightfully censured in this venue. “

The Panel implicitly includes H/Z’s failure to recognize the “Burglary"as simulated, as part of its “unsatisfactory” and improperly “baseless” reasoning.

NENCINI Page 175:

“In the cottage at 7 Via Della Pergola, on the day of 2 November 2007, in the early hours of the day and up until approximately 12.00 pm, nobody had a shower, just as no burglar had gottenin through the window of Filomena Romanelli’s room; more simply the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined to this point gives us a plain picture of how the defendants put into action a clean-up of the traces of the murder committed and activity to “derail” the investigations that involved a series of actions, a number of which are still to be described.”

So, having stated at length “the totality of the circumstantial evidence examined” Nencini concludes, that the defendants (Knox and Sollecito) had faked the “Burglary” and,

Nencini Page 335:

“...we exclude, for the reasons already expressed, that the murder was committed by a burglar caught in the act of entering the flat after breaking Filomena Romanelli’s window…”

The Nencini Appellate Court Judges, presumably recognise that their conclusion Knox and Sollecito had faked a burglary didnot implicitly exclude the co-existence of a real burglar.

So now they explicitly “exclude” the conclusion that the murder was committed by any burglar.

What will the Marasca Panel make of that?

28: THE SCREAM

Amanda Knox is herself the very first person to refer to the Scream, in her voluntarily insistent Written-Note of November 6th, 2007.

This allegation is generally accepted to be so factually Certain that its factual existence has never been plausibly disputed.

Massei Pages 98-99:

“.....it can thus be held that, in fact, towards 23:30 pm on November 1, 2007 there was a loud, long scream from a woman which came from [91] the house at 7 Via della Pergola.
After this scream, Nara Capezzali heard running on the metal stairs located below her residence in the S. Antonio car park towards the section used as the exit for the cars, and straight afterwards she heard running on the path situated in front of the house in Via della Pergola.

The harrowing scream heard a little before must have caused a strong agitation in Mrs. Capezzali, who was rendered particularly sensitive and attentive to what might happen and who knows the area; therefore, it is to be held that she referred to noises on the metal steps and on the path because there actually were such noises and she was able to hear them.

Furthermore, the deposition of the witness Dramis, who referred to “šrunning steps”› heard about 23:30 pm on that same November 1st in Via del Melo, which is very close, almost a continuation of the path of the houseIp in Via della Pergola, could constitute some confirmation of this.

The running on the path in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola shortly after the heart-rending scream leads this Court to hold that the heart-rending scream came from the house at 7 Via della Pergola; likewise, whoever’s running steps were heard on the metal steps and whoever’s running steps were heard a little later on the gravel path and leaves in front of the house at 7 Via della Pergola lead the Court to hold that more than one person came out of that house.”

So Massei “held” as a specific “fact” that the scream, came from the 7 Via Della Pergola cottage, rented by Meredith Kercher and Amanda Knox, among others, at about 23:30 pm on November 1st, 2007.

However, Hellmann/Zanettii, and the miscellaneous FOA systematically trivialized the Scream, e.g.: the Police made AK invent it; the Police suggested it to AK; the Police tricked AK into writing it down; there are so many Screams-in-the-Perugia-Night that the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was not Meredith’s Scream; the scream the Witnesses testified to having heard was at some other time; and Meredith’s Scream was at yet another time. So-many imagined doubts were marshaled that Hellmann/Zanettii argued that there was too much Reasonable Doubt.

The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 86:

“Before concordant pieces of data convergent towards a time necessarily later than the one established by the court, back to which the heart”rending scream of the unfortunate Meredith needs to be tracked, the appeals court preferred to draw the threads from Guede’s presentation of facts, [which he] delivered in a context outside the court, and anyway absolutely false (given that the accused declared himself to be uninvolved in the murder).

The conclusions drawn appear even more jarring if one only considers that the heart”rending scream was mentioned even by Amanda herself in her handwritten letter when the fact was not yet in the public domain. Not only this, but the reconstruction made by the Hellmann Court of Appeal is not even in line with the relevant post-mortem findings, which indicated a time of death range from 6.50 PM to 4.50 AM on 2 November, thus at a time around 11.00 to 11.30 PM according to the calculated average, so as the First Instance Court had argued, with greater adherence to the available evidence.

Thus, the statement of reasons suffers from a grave lack of logic and from inconsistency with other available evidence also on this point, openly showing an obvious explanatory inadequacy to which the judge of remand will have to bring remedy.”

So this SCC Panel Excoriates Hellmann/Zanetti’s biased and illogical reasoning wrt the scream,  constructively ordering the judge of remand “to bring remedy”.

NENCINI stated on pages 117-118:

“.....from her very first statements, Amanda Marie Knox provides the picture that, at some point during the attack, Meredith was screaming. Indeed, it was only because of the poor girl’s scream [102] that the defendant imagined “what might have happened”. This scream, so excruciating that it caused her to move her hands to her ears to block it out, is introduced in the written statement on the same morning at the offices of the Perugia police. Significantly, this is the scream that was clearly heard by the witnesses Nara Capezzali and Antonella Monacchia. It was so “excruciating” that Nara Capezzali was beside herself, something that she told the First Instance Court hearing on 27 March 2009, having previously only spoken about it to the police, about a year after that night of November 2007.”

Thus does “the judge of remand” bring remedy, expressing no doubt that the scream Knox claims to have imagined “might have happened”, Certainly Did-Happen.

It will be interesting to see Bruno’s take if his SCC Panel submits its Motivazione.

29. THE KNIFE COLLECTED IN SOLLECITO’‘S FLAT

This Knife was mentioned in Post #1, in which the use of at least 2 knives in Meredith’s murder was established.

Massei Page 194:

“Seven samples were taken from the exhibit [reperto] acquired by the Flying Squad of Perugia (i.e, Exhibit [reperto] 36) and consisting of a large knife, 31 centimetres long; on the handle, from the trace indicated as “štrace A”›, the genetic profile of Amanda Knox was found and in a point on the blade, the genetic profile of the victim was found. All of the other samples gave negative results. “

Here, calling this knife Exhibit 36, Massei reports that Meredith’s DNA was found on this knife (In spite of the fact, corroborated by Knox herself, that Meredith had never been in Sollecito’s flat), as well as Knox’s DNA.

Massei Page 264:

“EXHIBIT 36 (THE DOUBLE-DNA KNIFE)

[282] On November 6, 2007, during the search carried out in the apartment in Perugia where Raffaele Sollecito lived, the 31cm-long knife was found.”

Here, Massei refers-back to when and where this knife was found.

Massei Pages 373-375:

“Of Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of carrying a pocket knife, Corrado De Candia also made reference, recalling that the blade of Raffaele Sollecito’s pocket knife had a length around 6-7cm and a width of 1cm or less.

In relation to the preceding (Raffaele Sollecito actively present at the scene of the murder, finding himself behind Meredith, pulling on the bra with violence, finally deciding to cut it), it must be affirmed that Raffaele Sollecito not only found himself at the scene of the murder and pursuing, with violence, the same objective as RudyGuede, but he is there with a well-sharpened knife (dangerous and thus capable of cutting a resistant material, such as that of a bra, [401] especially in the part that was cut, which may be seen in photos 117 and 119 in the second volume of photographic evidence) and having a blade probably around 4cm long, as De Martino and Binetti have referred to (the length of this, 4cm, appears more consonant with the type of pocket knife described, and Raffaele Sollecito’s habit of always carrying a pocket knife attached with a clip to his trousers, and therefore to be considered rather short and manageable, with respect to a blade of 6 or 7 cm, as indicated by Candia).

Elements which lead one to consider that the 4cm in depth wound was inflicted by Raffaele Sollecito with the pocket knife that he was always carrying around with him, and was inflicted immediately after having cut the bra, while Rudy penetrated the unfortunate victim ““ who had been almost completely stripped naked ““ probably with his fingers because the biological trace on the vaginal swab did not present anything of a spermatic nature.

That the knife used by Raffaele Sollecito on that occasion, according to what has been said, has not been found, is an irrelevant circumstance when it is a case of blade weapons [arma bianca] of easy availability and easy enough to conceal (cf. on this specific point, Cassation 30 June 2004, no 48349).

This progression of violence, from advances to gripping, from which derive the numerous bruises, to ultimately injuring the girl with a knife, finds a possible explanation in the fact that Meredith, it must be held, continued to put up the resistance that she could (there are in fact no signs of yielding, of any acquiescence occurring and, as a matter of fact, the scream that Nara Capezzali and Maria Ilaria

Dramis have declared to having heard confirm this behaviour of the young lady), and, to the end of completely subduing her, even to her will as well, probably, as an angry and almost punitive reaction against a girl continuing in this behaviour, there was the blow inflicted upon the neck producing the 4cm deep wound (corresponding to about the length of the blade described by Binetti and De Martino), a blow that, as observed above, is to be held to have been inflicted with the same pocket knife used to cut off the bra and therefore by the [402] same person who had sliced the bra itself and who had the use of this pocket knife, and this is Raffaele Sollecito.

The very loud scream (as described by Maria Ilaria Dramis) of pain and, at this point, also of terror, made by Meredith and of which it was said, not causing any repentance among the attackers, but the final definitive progression of violence, and while her already-cut bra was being removed (the bra that, coming into contact with the part of the body that had begun to be covered in blood from the wound in the neck, itself became partially stained with blood), the hand of one of the attackers sealed Meredith’s mouth, so that she could not scream again, and another of her attackers struck her again on the neck, but on the left side because, probably, they were on the other side with respect to the person who had inflicted the 4cm deep wound, causing [in their turn] a lesion 8cm deep. Meredith tried to withdraw the part of her body that was once again and more deeply attainted but, held by the hand of whoever was holding her mouth shut and countered by the presence of the one who had caused the 4cm-deep wound, she ended up being driven back towards the knife that still remained in the wound itself, and occasioned a second incision on the epiglottis, as has been seen, almost as if it were [a case of] a second blow being inflicted upon her.

This dynamic requires the presence of a second attacker, of a second knife. This Court holds that the second attacker is Amanda Knox and the second knife is Exhibit 36. The outcome of the genetic investigation with a quantity of DNA indicated as “štoo low”› was placed under censure and doubts about reliability. Equally, the incompatibility of this knife with the wounds suffered by Meredith was affirmed.

On these matters, the considerations already made must be recalled, which led this Court to evaluate the outcome of the genetic investigation as reliable, and this knife as absolutely compatible with the most serious wound. The inquiry elements allow, still, further observations.

This knife, which attracted the attention of Inspector Finzi during the search in Raffaele Sollecito’s house such that it was taken, unlike the other knives that were in the same drawer, must have presented itself as different from the others, with [403] its own individuality with respect to the other knives present in the Corso Garibaldi house. The owner of this house, were this knife not to be found in the Corso Garibaldi house, would have been able to remember its presence and note the absence of this utensil, and this circumstance would have been able to constitute a trace, an investigative hypothesis upon which Raffaele Sollecito may have been called in to supply an explanation for. In relation to this, it is to be held that Amanda and Raffaele would have evaluated as opportune to carry the knife back to the house from which it had been removed, considering also that its cleaning (it was in fact found extremely clean, as has been noted) would have ensured the non-traceability of the wounds suffered by Meredith to it itself.”

Massei here explains the sequence of events at the murder-scene, the knives used, who used them, the wounds inflicted, the scream, why there must have been at least one more attacker additional to Guede, and why it is Certain that 2 knives were used, one of which was Exhibit 36, and why the Court concludes the second attacker to be Amanda Knox and the killing-knife to be Exhibit 36.

Massei also discusses the transport, cleaning and return of Exhibit 36 to Sollecito’s rented flat.

The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Pages 88-90:8

“In the course of their investigation,  the appointed experts found a third trace on the blade of the knife taken from Sollecito’s flat (Exhibit 36), apart from the one attributed without objection to Knox and the one attributed with strong objections to the victim, right near the trace from which the DNA attributed to the victim was extracted. This [third]  trace was not submitted for genetic analysis due to a decision made unilaterally by one of the experts, Prof. Vecchiotti, without written authorisation from the Court, which had in fact precisely charged her with the task of attributing the DNA found on the knife and bra clasp,  because the previous traces] were deemed to be of insufficient quantity to yield a reliable result, being low copy number. Her decision was later approved by the [Hellmann Court of Appeal] on the assumption that the [new]  quantity was [also]  too small to permit the two amplifications needed to ensure reliability of the result (page 84 of the [appeal] judgment).

Therefore,  [65]  when the Prosecutor General and the Counsel for the Civil Partiessubmitted a request to complete the analysis on the basis of the scientific explanation provided by Prof. Novelli,  a geneticist of undisputed repute recognized by the [appeal] court itself (page 79 statement of reasons),  regarding the availability of instrumentscapable of reliably analysing quantities even smaller than ten picograms in diagnostic fields (such as embryology) in which the need for certainty is no less important than in thecourts,  the Hellmann Court of Appeal refused on the assumption that the methods mentioned by Prof.  Novelli were “in an experimental phase”  (page 84),  thereby freely interpreting and misrepresenting the testimony of the professor,  who on the contrary mentioned the use of such techniques in diagnostic domains in which the certainty of the Presult is essential.

All in all,  the modus operandi of the Hellmann Court of Appeal which,  unacceptably delegating its own function,  entrusted to the unquestioned evaluation of the expert the decision of whether or not to submit the new trace for analysis, is open to understandable and justified censure, considering that the test requested by the Court should have been done, lying as it did within the scope of the expert’s mission, subject to a discussion of the results if they were not deemed reliable.  In any case,  a member of the panel of experts could not assume responsibility for unilaterally narrowing the scope of the mission, which was to be carried out without hesitation or reservation, in full intellectual honesty, giving a complete account of the possible insufficiency of the material or unreliability of the result.

All the more so as the repeat of the genetic tests was requested in 2011, four years after the initial tests; a lapse of time during which significant progress had been made in the instruments and techniques of analysis, as Prof. Novelli, a consultant to the Prosecutor General, stressed. Precisely on receiving the information from this consultant, who spoke of cutting”edge techniques while under oath ““  the Court fell into another gross misinterpretation, in a significant argument concerning the reliability of the results of the analyses made, by assuming the impossibility of repeating the tests even on traces found at a later time, thereby affecting the logic of the statement of reasons (Section I, 25.6.2007, n. 24667).

The Hellmann Court of Appeal also completely ignored the authoritative points offered by Professor Torricelli,  who shed serious doubt on the fact that a very small quantity was found; she quantified the useful material in the new trace as 120 picograms (hearing of 6 September 2011, page 91 of transcript), which is sufficient to execute a double amplification,  and she opposed the methodology by which Prof. Vecchiotti reached the decision not to proceed, in a report obviously not endorsed by the Prosecutor General and the Civil Parties. The authoritative nature of the observations of the two consultants of the parties [66] would have required that the Court deal with their points, which irremediably conflicted with the assumptions of Prof. Vecchiotti,  whose points could indeed be accepted by the Court,  but only after evaluation of the opposing points, which were of equal scientific value.

It must be concluded that when it rejected the request of the Prosecutor General and of the Counsel to the Civil Parties to complete the expert investigations by analysing the new traces found on the blade of the knife collected in Sollecito’s flat, as initially mandated to the experts “” a request that was supported by more than adequate scientific knowledge “” the Court made a flawed decision, by reason of its failure to comply with the relevant laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence (article 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code), especially in an area in which the expert report (as a means of seeking evidence)  was requested by the Defence,  and was arranged,  but was not completed regarding the new trace, even though it demanded a response more than any other.”

The Panel Excoriates both Hellmann, and it’s appointed expert, Prof. Vecchiotti. The latter for not examining Exhibit 36 as ordered-to by Hellmann, and Hellmann for letting Vechiotti get away with her dis-obedience.

Finally the Panel Criticised Hellman for “failure to comply with the relevant laws”.(Referring specifically to “laws which mandate the safeguarding of all parties in their access to evidence”)

Nencini Pages 337-338 :

“The Court believes that the other blade, the one that caused the wound on the left side of the neck from which most of the blood came out and that caused the death of Meredith Kercher was held by Amanda Marie Knox. It is the knife that was seized from the flat of Raffaele Sollecito by the State Police and labeled as Exhibit 36, on which it is now appropriate to make some considerations.The knife with the blade of 31cm was seized by the State Police from Raffaele Sollecito’s flatduring the first search performed there. [321]The State Police officer who physically took it from the cutlery drawer declared in testimonygiven during the First Instance trial that his attention was caught by this knife, and not others in the drawer, as it was much cleaner than the rest of the cutlery, so as to imagine that it had beencarefully and recently washed. This circumstance, which might appear to be an irrelevantpersonal perception, brought important conclusions to the trial. The Scientific Police analyzedBthe knife and found, on the blade, inside a series of streaks almost invisible to the naked eye, themixed DNA of two contributors: Meredith Kercher and Raffaele Sollecito [sic].[see Footnote 28 below]

This evidence, strongly contested by the Defense, was analyzed by this Court in the section related to the genetic analyses and there is no reason to repeat those arguments. Surely it is an attribution that cannot be considered definite evidence, for the reasons reported above related to the failed repetition of the analysis of the trace, but it remains a strong piece of circumstantial evidence of the fact that this weapon is the second one used in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

On the knife there was a second different trace with sufficient DNA for an analysis, carried out by Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, who attributed this trace to the DNA of Amanda Marie Knox. This attribution was not challenged by the Defense and can be taken as conclusive evidence.

Furthermore, after having ordered in this remand trial an analysis of the trace (I) extracted during the course of the expert analysis performed at the behest of the Judges of the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, the Carabinieri of R.I.S. [Reparto Investigazioni Scientifiche, Scientific Investigative Unit] of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and alsoattributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.

[Footnote 28:This is certainly an oversight of the Court, as everywhere else in the report they mention the DNA of Meredith Kercher on the streaks, as is widely known. The DNA of Raffaele Sollecito on the knife is never mentioned anywhere else and is not part of the case documentationScientific Investigative Unit of Rome highlighted DNA that could be analyzed and also attributed it to Amanda Marie Knox, without any particular challenge.]

Both traces attributed to Amanda Marie Knox were extracted from the handle of the knife, from the part closer to the blade.

The evaluation of all the elements extracted from the seized knife leads this Court to believe that it is one of the two weapons used in the murder and that it was held by Amanda Marie Knox, who therefore struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck, thus causing the only mortal wound. “

Nencini rebuts the Defence arguments and concludes that Knox stabbed Meredith on the Left side of Meredith’s neck, using Knife Exhibit 36, causing Meredith’s death.

Nencini Page 339:

“...Whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of the neck with a stab that penetrated 8cm (the entire length of the cut) caused violent and abundant bleeding, as shown by the quantity of blood that came out and the splashes of blood on the furniture, so as to hide completely the surface of entry of the blade, thus making [323] impossible the reintroduction of the weapon in the same cut where it was introduced with the first blow.

It must be stated therefore that whoever struck Meredith Kercher on the left side of her neck did so only once, causing a devastating wound from which, pushed by arterial pressure, a great gush of blood came out, as shown by the splashes of blood on the furniture near the spot where the young woman was struck.

Thus, it must be concluded that the weapon seized is not incompatible with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, certainly a mortal wound, and that the finding of Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade of the knife is evidence fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”

Nencini summarizes-finally its conclusions, rejecting Defence arguments that the Knife, Exhibit 36, is “incompatible” with the wound on the left side of Meredith Kercher’s neck, but is certainly “fully compatible both with the nature of the weapon and with its use.”

Here is the Wiki Site opinion:

“Conclusion

Given there is no doubt that the profile discovered on the knife is Meredith Kercher’s profile and that both contamination and secondary transfer have been excluded the only possible conclusion is that the DNA got on the knife because it was used in the murder of Meredith. That Sollecito would so quickly fabricate a lie to explain why Meredith’s DNA would have been expected on the knife rather than protest that it is impossible just adds support to a position that needs no support. Sollecito’s knife was used to kill Meredith.”

30. THE ANALYSIS OF FOOTPRINTS AND OTHER TRACES

[Note the difference between Footprints/Soleprints and Shoeprints; this difference is crucial]

Micheli post-trial interview 2008, according to the Guardian:

“while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.”

Excellent example of how Facts may not indicate “Who?”, but Do indicate, with Certainty, “How Many” (“more than one”)°

Massei Pages 352-353 :

“Professor Vinci stressed the value of some particularly individualising details of the right foot of Raffaele Sollecito, revealed by the said examination, consisting of: the fact that his second toe does not touch the ground (the so-called “hammer” position of the distal phalange) connected to a slight case of valgus on the right big toe, and the fact that the distal phalange of the big toe also does not touch the ground, (meaning that there is a distinct separation between the print of the ball of the foot and the print of the big toe in the footprint of the accused). Given these two features which make Sollecito’s foot morphologically distinctive, Professor Vinci’s study basically arrives at the assertion that, while the second toe of Raffaele Sollecito’s right foot is entirely absent from the footprints known to be made by him, on the contrary the footprint on the bathmat does contain the imprint of the second toe. [378] Professor Vinci reached these conclusions based on a close examination of the weave of the bathmat, and also by varying the colours of the footprint, as shown in the photograph album of the Scientific Police, so that via the use of different filtres it could be viewed in black and white or in a more intense red colour which emphasised the traces of blood.

A morphological examination of the footprint alone led the professor to consider it as irreconcilable, due to its general shape and size, with the footprint taken directly from Sollecito’s right foot. Indeed, the consultant hypothesised that the measurement calculated by the Scientific Police of the width of the big toe of the bathmat footprint was to be reconsidered: he rejected the measurement of about 30mm in favour of a much smaller measurement of 24.8mm, which he obtained by detaching a mark of haematic substance which he did not consider to be a mark from the surface of the big toe, but from a separate body, namely the imprint of the second toe, which is totally absent from the print taken from Sollecito’s right foot.”

In standard English-Language medical terminology, Sollecito’s Right Foot has a distinctive “Hammer Toe”.

It is certain that None of the other suspects have this abnormality.

This Fact is key to the Certainty that Sollecito was barefoot-at-the-crime-scene!


Note missing 2nd toe-print on Sollecito’s Right Footprint:

The Hellmann-Annulling SCC Panel Page 96-98:

“13 ““ Analysis of footprints and other traces

The criticisms expressed on the subject of the obvious lack of logic of the reasoning Oconcerning the evaluation of the genetic evidence are well”founded.

The [appeal]  court evaluated two technical consultancies on the footprint in the victim’s blood left by a bare foot on the bathmat of the small bathroom of the flat where the crime was committed, with [identification] capacity limited to negative comparisons. As a matter of evaluation,  this in itself is not subject to censure, however the court of second degree has again fallen into [the error of making] a statement in open contradiction with the available evidence, ending by attributing the contested footprint to Guede, by making an assumption contrary to all the evidence that “after having left a print on the pillow”, he slipped out of his right shoe “in the course of the violent aggressive manoeuvres to which he subjected Ms Kercher” and stained his foot with blood, which he supposedly then washed in the small bathroom, since if it had not happened this way, his right shoe would have also left some bloody traces in the corridor (compare page 100 of the statement of reasons).

Not only is this assumption deeply implausible, considering that the print left by Guede on the pillow was made by his hand, which is easily explained by the dynamics of the event, but it is much harder to explain how he might have lost his Adidas sneaker, given a situation in which Guede, jointly with others, as stated in the verdict that convicted him, overpowered the young Englishwoman so as to immobilise her. Not only that, but the above assumption also clashes with the available evidence regarding the bloody shoe prints which indicate that he left the room where the crime was committed to proceed directly to the exit door of the flat.The fact that only the left shoe was stained does not that his right foot was unshod, since at most it proves that only his right (sic) shoe signify stepped in the pool of blood which formed due to the numerous wounds inflicted on the unfortunate victim, very probably with two knives.

Just as deficient is the logic adopted in a further step of the statement of reasons, relating to the discovery of the presence of traces revealed by luminol (not visible to the naked eye), which yielded Knox’s profile and the mixed profiles of Knox and Kercher, found in Romanelliʹs room, in Knoxʹs room and in the corridor. These traces could not be attributedto footprints left on other occasions, as the appeal court implausibly accepted [them to be], since luminol reveals traces of blood and it is not really conceivable that Knoxʹs feet might have been stained with Kercherʹs blood on some other occasion.

As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal,  no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas [71] the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible: it emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.

While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom,  then some trace of Sollecito would have been found, whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the traces of the victim’s blood.

The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which,  in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments. As pointed out by the party submitting the appeal, no justification is given for the coincidence of the presence of Knoxʹs DNA in every trace mixed with the blood of the victim, whereas [71] the hypothesis formulated by the judgment of first degree is much more plausible:

It emphasized the mixed nature of the traces (including those found in the small bathroom) which, via adequate inductive logic, led to the conclusion that with feet washed of the victimʹs blood but still bearing some residue, Knox went into her own room and Romanelliʹs room passing through the corridor during the staging operation as assumed in the initial reconstruction, which is based on the objective fact that only after midnight did the victim’s telephones stop connecting to the cell tower of via della Pergola and connect instead with the one on via Sperandio, where they were eventually found; this meant that only after midnight were they removed by unknown hands from the flat in via della Pergola.

While according to the prosecution’s hypothesis, the mixed traces found in the small bathroom suggested a cleaning activity by Knox, who transferred the victim’s blood from the crime room to various points in the small bathroom (on the sink faucet, on the cotton swabs box, the toilet seat, the bidet, the light switch, the bathroom door) where the traces were collected, the Hellmann Court of Appeal entrenched itself behind a position of absolute certainty, without acknowledging what the First Instance Court had observed in disagreement with the defence arguments espoused by the Hellmann Court of Appeal, which decided, in essence, that if the two defendants had remained in the flat of via della Pergola to clean themselves up from the victim’s blood traces, thus functioning as vehicles carrying blood to the small bathroom, then some trace of Sollecito would have been found,

Whereas in response to this objection the First Instance Court plausibly noted that Sollecito could have washed himself in the shower stall with an abundance of water, so as to eliminate traces, perhaps without even any rubbing, leaving to Knox the task of cleaning the sink and bidet with the in the moments immediately after the murdertraces of the victim’s blood.The alternative explanation offered in the first instance judgment to the Defence’s objections was not taken into consideration, and thus the Hellmann Court of Appeal fell into another error of reasoning, having neglected various circumstances which, in the course of their analysis, they should have examined and if necessary refuted with more weighty arguments.”

Hellmann’s Annulment is here not only fully justified, but is essential to avoid a gross miscarriage of justice.

Nencini Pages 328-329 :

“We know with certainty that, on the evening of 1 November 2007, Rudy Hermann Guede was present inside the Via della Pergola cottage, not only because he said so and it is reported in thefinal verdict that convicted him, but also on the basis of investigations and analyses carried out by the State Police inside the cottage contained in the case file. We also know with certainty that Rudy Hermann Guede could remain inside [312] the flat with absolute ease… [for] considerable time, as he left his “traces” in the large bathroom [of the flat].

We know with certainty, as this is shown by the evidence, that immediately after the homicide inside the Via della Pergola cottage three people were present, surely two men and a woman. This can be observed from the genetic investigations and the results of the traces highlighted using luminol. We can also say that one of the men who walked over Meredith’s blood left a very visible trace of his foot on a blue bathmat found inside the small bathroom of the flat. This footprint was attributed by investigators to the right bare foot of Raffaele Sollecito, with an analysis this Court finds correct on the basis of the considerations already made. One of the footprints detected using luminol was then attributed to a woman’s foot compatible, in size, to that of Amanda Marie Knox; in addition, mixed DNA traces found in the small bathroom of the flat (washbasin, bidet and cotton-swab box) were attributed to Amanda Marie Knox.

We have, in substance, pieces of circumstantial evidence of certain reliability, multiple and concordant, that place Rudy Hermann Guede, Amanda Marie Knox, and Raffaele Sollecito inside the Via della Pergola flat on the evening of the murder of Meredith Kercher, in the moments immediately after the murder, when the three left traces of their passage by depositing [marks in] the victim’s blood, abundantly released from wounds.”

Emphasizing the Certainty of its knowledge regarding “traces”, blood, luminol, genetic investigations, DNA, and footprints, Nencini rules Guede, Knox, and Sollecito to have been at the crime-scene “in the moments immediately after the murder” of Meredith Kercher.

4. Other Worries For Judge Marasca

However far-fetched the Motivazione of this SCC Panel turns-out to be, it can hardly have-been unaware of the facts that Sollecito is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 30th April, 2015, facing his first-set of charges in the Sollecito & Gumbel trial for diffamazione and vilipendio (slander of officials and of the system), nor that Knox is scheduled to be back in a Lower-Court in Florence on 9th June, 2015, facing her new, expanded-set of Calunnia charges.


This series continues here.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Knox Interrogation Hoax #18: Final Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters



Image of Judge Micheli who presided over the hearings that remanded Knox to trial.

1. Overview Of The Interrogation Hoax Series

In Post #1 there’s a long summary of what various courts concluded in sentencing Knox for calunnia to three years. 

All 17 posts prior to this one are linked-to there. The first twelve posts cover the key parts of the trial testimony and evidence from investigators for the events at Perugia’s central police station on 5-6 November 2007.

The next six including this show how Knox failed to convince numerous magistrates at many hearings that she was ever interrogated or abused or made to lie. For the most part in fact she did not even try. 

2. The Six Pre-Trial Opportunities Which Knox Flunked

The previous five posts and this one cover the six hearings from late 2007 to late 2008, any one of which was a big opportunity for Knox. She could have been released if the evidence was weaker and the arguments of herself and her legal team stronger.

Knox blew all six opportunities. The judges were Claudia Matteini, Massimo Ricciarelli and two others, Torquato Gemelli and four others, and Paolo Micheli (this post). A total of 10 judges, and Dr Mignini. After the first two, one of Knox’s lawyers walked off the job.

Those ignorant of the reports of these hearings (all but one newly translated for this series with the Micheli to come) often demonize the prosecutor, Dr Mignini, as somehow taking a harder line than all those judges.

Really?

Read all of the reports and in fact every one of those judges took a harder line than Dr Mignini who worked very hard to be fair. His early version of the attack on Meredith was of an almost accidental death with sexual humiliation in the course of a hazing.

This went out the window, and all of the judges without exception adopted a harder position - that Knox’s anger had spiraled over Meredith’s difficulties with her, and a barbaric 15-minute torture-attack resulted in Meredith’s death which may have been premeditated in a timespan between minutes and days.

Judge Matteini, Judge Ricciarelli, and Judge Micheli (see below) all flat-out warned that they considered RS and AK to be dangerous to others and that they needed to be kept locked up pending trial.  Judge Gemmelli and other Supreme Court judges endorsed this.

Typically Knox was constrained by her lawyers to say little or nothing.

They were already wrestling to try to wind back the three problematic statements she demanded to make on 5-6 November - mainly by changing the subject and aggressively attacking Guede. 

She was allowed to be questioned by Judge Ricciarelli and she herself volunteered to be questioned by Dr Mignini three times, but her performances were shaky and erratic and once she seemed to break down in tears.

There was little or no hint of the inflammatory claims which cost her three years which Knox came up with when she had to take the stand mid-2009 to try to defend her framing of Lumumba.

3. Micheli Hearings September and October 2008

This Sky News report describes how prior to the Micheli hearings Knox’s lawyers seemed pretty desperate to change the subject.

Valter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile said they wanted Guede’s trial to be separate from that of Knox and Sollecito because they feared a pact against their client. Mr Biscotti added: “We feel the urgent need to have our trial heard independently of the other two suspects.

In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defence teams and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing.  That’s why we have asked for a fast-track hearing just for our client and we want that hearing as quickly as possible.  At this hearing we will prove that our client has absolutely nothing to do with the tragic death of Meredith Kercher.”

On 16 Sept 2008 Judge Micheli accepted the Guede team’s request for a fast-track trial and as the rules require moved all of the hearings behind closed doors.

A fast-track proceeding is closed to the public, unlike a full trial. It will be held before the same judge, who is expected to issue the verdict at the time he decides whether to indict Knox and Sollecito. The rulings are expected next month.

Judge Micheli had mountains of investigative reports and physical evidence to plow through. He heard witnesses in four hearings (with Meredith’s family present at several) on the DNA collection, on the character of Rudy Guede, and also on the three defendants acting menacing outside their house, which he heavily discounted.

Late on 28 October Judge Micheli issued a 17-page ruling which includes almost no mention of Knox implicating Patrick. He convicted Guede of murder and sexual assault, and sentenced him to 30 years. He also ordered Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of murder and sexual assault.

As the UK Guardian and many other media reported, Judge Micheli assessed Knox and Sollecito as being dangerous. 

The suspected killers of Meredith Kercher were refused transfer from jail to house arrest last night while awaiting trial for her murder, because of the danger that they might flee and kill again.

After 12 hours’ deliberation in Perugia, the judge, Paolo Micheli, said there was a “concrete possibility” that Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito would run off if freed from prison.

In a written ruling to lawyers, he said he believed the murder of the British student was not premeditated, but the likely “absolute disregard” shown by Knox and Sollecito for the victim’s life meant they would be capable of murdering again….

Turning down their request for house arrest yesterday, Micheli agreed with prosecutors that more than one person took part in the sexual assault and murder, dismissing claims that the 47 bruises and knife wounds on Kercher’s body could have been made by a single attacker.

He upheld the testimony of a neighbour who heard more than one person fleeing Kercher’s house, adding that while footprints there might not definitely belong to Knox and Sollecito, they did indicate more than one attacker.

He stood by forensic evidence indicating Kercher’s and Knox’s DNA on a knife found at Sollecito’s house which investigators suspect is the murder weapon, and ruled Sollecito’s DNA on Kercher’s bra strap as reliable evidence.

On 30 October Judge Micheli was interviewed. No sign in this that any claim of unfairness to Knox was on his radar.

4. Apparent False Claim Of A Statement By Knox

Bearing in mind that these hearings were all behind closed doors, none of the Italian and English-language media reports including those of the New York Times make any mention at all of Knox testifying or answering questions. Nor do the books of Sollecito or John Follain.  We are still checking with Italy to make sure.

To jump the gun on the series a bit, a probable non-statement by Knox morphed in Knox’s 2013 book into this heated claim below, which we have already been told, based on court transcripts and Judge Micheli’s immediate 17 page report, was definitely not what was said, if anything, in court.

On October 28, the final day, I got to speak for myself. Since the judge understood English, I stood up without my interpreter and tried to explain what had happened during my interrogation. I told the judge that I hadn’t meant to name Patrick or to cause confusion but that the interrogation had been the most brutish, terrifying experience of my life. I’d been exhausted to begin with, and I had gotten so scared and confused that it was as though I went out of my mind. My interrogators told me that they had evidence I’d been at the villa, that Raffaele was no longer vouching for my whereabouts that night, that I had been through such a horrible trauma, I had amnesia. “I believed them! I’m innocent!” I cried.

Posts #1 to #12 have shown that Knox experienced no “brutish, terrifying experience”. Trauma was inflicted only by Sollecito and then by Knox on herself. With high confidence, we can conclude that as so often in her book Knox was simply making this up. So much for Linda Kulman’s fact checking.

5. The Micheli Sentencing Report Of January 2009

Finally three months later Judge Micheli issued a sentencing report of about 100 pages. While it has still not been fully translated we did summarise it in four posts here.

In the Italian original (which is equally firm to harsh on all three defendants) it is quite graphic about what the physical evidence says of the callous role of Knox and Sollecito in the torture-attack.

Judge Micheli does note how often Knox and Sollecito help to destroy one another’s stories which numerous witnesses confirmed helped to spark Knox’s conniption and framing of Patrick.

There is no mention at all of Knox taking exception to her “interrogation”.


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