Monday, September 07, 2015

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

Posted by Our 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


Not that this will swing the trial, which as usual will be based on hard facts with Knox herself presumably most welcome to testify (right Ghirga and DV?) as she is her only witness here.

But this is Knox’s ongoing context/brand problem in a nutshell: Italy knows the real Knox brand better than almost everyone in the US, and it is not because of Italian media, Italians again and again got to hear directly from Knox herself.

The Knox brand the US saw courtesy of a million-dollar PR campaign: Smart, diligent, loyal, very naive, very hard working, achieves a lot, avoids drugs and sex, a good friend to everyone, wouldnt hurt a fly.

The Knox brand that Italy saw and still sees, courtesy of Knox herself: Lazy, brash, often dishonest, a self-absorbed narcissist, a druggie and sexaholic, often smelly and unhygienic, callous, flippant, wears out welcomes fast.

Knox’s own family seems to have pressured her into <a href=“”>broadcasting her brand<a> against good legal advice to basically shut up, and like a train on tracks, brand two won out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/15 at 02:53 PM | #

Napoleoni was mostly with Sollecito elsewhere on 5-6 Nov and did not talk to or hear from Knox direct.

Zugarini sat with Knox throughout the list-building session with Rita Ficarra, even longer than interpreter Anna Donnino.

Her translated testimony is here:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/15 at 03:36 PM | #

Article today in the Guardian (UK) re the legal reasoning behind the aqcuittals of Knox and Sollecito.

Posted by gabster1971 on 09/07/15 at 04:22 PM | #

Thanks gabster1971

Very similar to the Italian media report linked to at top which also said something about the ECHR. No mention of the calunnia trial or any explanation of all this:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/15 at 04:29 PM | #

Interestingly, Inspector Zugarini states in the prior testimony, as you referenced in the comment above:

LZ:  I went down[stairs]. In the meantime, however, I noted that Amanda, while she was there, was an extremely relaxed person, and I even felt very upset/ill because at a certain point she suddenly did the splits there in the corridor.

Being laid back is a typical sociopath trait.  Most people would have been respectful in a questura, even slightly nervous.

Her witnessed condition of being “very relaxed”, contradicts her own claim of being intimidated and confused.

Posted by Slow Jane on 09/07/15 at 04:32 PM | #

This in an email from Yummi seems to suggest muchos trouble down the road as numerous prosecutors and past judges react.

According to news, Cassazione says there’s reasonable doubt, but no doubt on Knox’s guilt of calunnia, says the calunnia conviction is safe even in the (remote) event that ECHR finds a violation of Knox’s rights.

The Cassazione puts the blame for doubt on the investigators, but the shocking thing seems that it appears to link to false allegations from the defence recourse, not to facts.

Says the computer HD were not recoverable, for example, which is false. It is also false that Knox’s computer could be decisive evidence.

Another incredible fact is that it links it to the Hellmann acquittal, which mat be a very disruptive to defence if Hellmann is investigated for corruption.

For our record the Breaking News box at noon NYC time reads thus:

Breaking news: the Fifth Chamber sentencing report is published. Still breaks two laws. Fifth Chambers does not normally handle murder cases, this organized by defence. Report contains obvious errors of fact, eg on hard drives. Links approvingly to disproven Hellmann and defense claims.  Blames Guede, media and police. Talks about lack of evidence in the room, no mention of all this. May have been rushed out to beat guilty verdict in Knox calunnia trial, cause of which is ignored.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/15 at 04:44 PM | #

I was disappointed with the Guardian article, although curious about the report and the reasoning acrobatics it must include.  But then I saw it was written by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, who seems to cover little else and has systematically demonstrated a poor understanding of this case.

I have no idea why the Guardian is still accepting her contributions when they have a number of young reporters who have proven themselves time and time again covering Europe stories and providing some excellent insights at the same time.

Posted by Vivianna on 09/07/15 at 04:53 PM | #

“Nelle motivazioni della Cassazione si fa riferimento anche a come è stata trattata la vicenda sui media: “L’inusitato clamore mediatico” del delitto Kercher e i “riflessi internazionali” non hanno “certamente giovato alla ricerca della verità” provocando una “improvvisa accelerazione” delle indagini “nella spasmodica ricerca” di colpevoli “da consegnare all’opinione pubblica internazionale”

I find the above absolutely shocking by the ISC. The report looks to have been written by Bruce Fischer and his cohorts. It basically translates as that the pressure from the media made it so that there was an insistence in finding them guilty at all costs

Posted by Sarah Phillips on 09/07/15 at 05:10 PM | #

I guess Boner Hound is licking his chops.  Wrongful conviction; false imprisonment.

Posted by whatswisdom on 09/07/15 at 05:14 PM | #

Hi whatswisdom

He may jeer but Bongiorno will know this is a sloppy easy-to-shoot-down report which wont paint him lily-white, or head off future days in court, or stop the mafia angle continuing to emerge.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/15 at 06:34 PM | #

Thanks for the (I hope) reality check, Peter.  The Guardian piece reads like tabloid throwaway junk.  Oh what I’d give for an NYT in depth investigative.  I’ve tried contacting them with links to here to no avail.

Posted by whatswisdom on 09/07/15 at 07:09 PM | #

“And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,  And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,  Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn’d   As, buried once, Men want dug up again”

Omar Khyyam

Money is a wonderful thing- who invented money?

Posted by chami on 09/07/15 at 07:36 PM | #

Machiavelli—am I reading this right?

SC says (1) Knox was in the house; that (2) Knox did commit calunnia; that (3) Strong suspicions remain about AK/RS .... yet they not only cancel Nencini, but throw the case out entirely?  Quite right, this makes absolutely no sense.

Thanks for the court postings.

Posted by Chimera on 09/07/15 at 10:18 PM | #

Barbie Nadeau has written an article about the Supreme Court report:

“In the opinion of the Supreme Court, if it were not for the weak investigation and if the investigation had not been affected by guilty omissions, the court would, in all likelihood, be allowed right now to outline a framework, if not on absolute certainty at least of tranquil reliability, in view of the guilt of Knox and Sollecito for the charge of killing the British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia on Nov. 1, 2007.”

In other words, the Supreme Court judges think Knox and Sollecito are guilty, but they can’t find them guilty because the police made errors in their investigation.

Posted by The Machine on 09/07/15 at 10:20 PM | #

Just stunned by this “blurb” on the BBC.  Wow!  Where do we go from here?

Posted by whatswisdom on 09/07/15 at 10:46 PM | #

I thought Cassazione were not supposed to decide on the evidence, but on process? And I don’t think anyone can say that the judicial process was “rushed”.

Otherwise, they seem to have used soundbites from the FOA playbook.

If Carlo Dalla Vedova is right about the verdict “great censure, a note of solemn censure of all the investigators”, I can see a lot of people involved in the process will not be at all happy about that. It effectively says most of the lower courts, the police, and prosecutors were all incompetent.

Certain criminal groups will be quite happy about that - serious repercussions from this?

Posted by bobc on 09/07/15 at 10:51 PM | #

“A panel of judges at the court of cassation in Rome found that the state’s case against the pair, who were definitively cleared of murder in March, lacked enough evidence to prove their wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt, and cited a complete lack of “biological traces” in connection to the crime.”

So, Judge Bruno, and the other 5 members of the Marasca SCC-Panel, have finally pronounced their “Reasoning”.

No “biological traces”?

Their’s is the very model of “expert” cherry picking by non-experts:

Not Sollecito’s DNA on Meredith’s bra-strap 40 days after it was cut-off?

How come the English experts could identify Richard III’s DNA 400 Years after his life was cut-off?

Not Meredith’s DNA on a knife found at a location in-which-Meredith-had-never-been-according-to-AK?

Not Meredith’s DNA on that knife?

That knife is not the killing-knife?


Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/07/15 at 11:57 PM | #

The issue is that there are [at least] two Supreme Courts - the one which prevailed in the trial, the one in First Chambers and the one in Appeal 1:2.

Against this was Appeal 1:1 and the Fifth Chambers. There are two different bodies of Supreme Court people and are diametrically opposed to each other.

Therefore, for the media to say: “The Supreme Court said,” the immediate question is: “Which Supreme Court?”  The media who do not explore these things, happy to just take the media line, might be excused for thinking there is one unified voice of the SC.

By definition, this thing is far from over and I’m surprised by the dismayed tone of some of the good people commenting here.  There is only one way this thing can go.

Did you see Macchiavelli’s little comment which the SC opened with? Yesterday was the start, a guilty in the calumny will add to that but let’s say it does not go that way.

The illegality of Fifth Chambers still stands and must be resolved.

Posted by James Higham on 09/08/15 at 07:29 AM | #

Hi James

Vital insight. Thanks a lot. The overarching issue.

Its far more important than how the Fifth Chambers placed bets on individual items of evidence which was not its business.

According to its own codes (530 and 628) the Fifth Chambers has overstepped in two ways.

It cannot overrule the Florence appeal court (2013-2014) on substance, and it cannot overrule the First Chambers at all.

Bongiorno appealed, and the (misguided) result was to stop the Florence outcome going back to the First Chambers.

So here we are. Posting more on this later today.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/08/15 at 11:19 AM | #

Hi BobC

“I thought Cassazione were not supposed to decide on the evidence, but on process?”

Yes. That is what Articles 530 and 628 clearly say.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/08/15 at 11:29 AM | #

Excellent post Machiavelli, many thanks.

The flame of hope begins to burn brightly and I’d imagine the sleep patterns of Knox and Sollecito are becoming more disturbed by the day. This is a very good thing.

Let’s see what happens when lawyers representing Guede enter the fray also as they surely must when all this dust has settled.

Oh what a tangled web we weave and all that….........

Posted by davidmulhern on 09/08/15 at 04:37 PM | #

Posted for Machiavelli.

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.

The verdict is likely to arrive in the New Year.

Posted by Chewie Bacca on 09/08/15 at 05:25 PM | #

I looked aghast at today’s Daily Mail headline which says Italian Supreme Court slammed the investigation. No biological proof of Knox or Sollecito at the murder, Cassation concludes.

This is mindboggling. After all the years of expert testimony about the bra clasp DNA of Raffaele, plus the knife from his kitchen that for some reason had Meredith’s DNA on it. Goodness knows the DNA formed only the tip of an iceberg of proof.

I guess several witnesses didn’t count, mixed DNA from Amanda in blood didn’t count, David Balding from Oxford didn’t count, General Garofano didn’t count.

The washed away footprints that showed a cleanup didn’t count. Knox’s selective forgetting about her lamp didn’t count, her pretense that fantasy seems to her the same as reality and her uncertainty as to where her own body was located on night of the murder, that obvious smokescreen didn’t count.

Raffaele’s words to police that he was lying for Knox didn’t count, his hammertoe bloody footprint didn’t count.

A staged burglary to throw off suspicion from a resident of the cottage didn’t count. Amanda’s mop and bucket tales, the inconsistent times of pipes leaking didn’t count. The computer activity that proved Knox and Raffaele lied about sleeping late after the murder didn’t count,  etc. etc. etc. The only important thing was that a knife was placed in a clean cardboard box by police. 

What a shambles, this reasoning with its vague lament that nothing firm was ever proven. Nencini found that guilt had been proven. He doesn’t count.

Perhaps this is Fifth Chambers going beyond its remit into the evidence minutiae and overriding all previous findings.

The motivations report seems to hint that investigators were pressured to color their results to satisfy prosecutors and that investigators were driven to sloppiness by media pressure, leaving Cassation no option but to assume the worst of the justice people and the best of the defendants. 

But hope springs eternal since some commenters speculate that this extremely cockeyed decision may spell its own doom, that the case is not necessarily fixed in cement even now.

One truth remains: Knox’s alibi has as many holes in it as a screen door.

Posted by Hopeful on 09/09/15 at 03:27 AM | #

Beautifully summed up @Hopeful.

Posted by davidmulhern on 09/09/15 at 10:24 PM | #

@ John Q - I can’t put this on the Post you referred from: “What is it All About #2” so I have to put it here.

The first “gurgling” ref. I can find was in Nina Burleigh’s - Fatal Gift of Beauty
Page 294 - Kindle Location 4870:

“... Listening to her (AK) make gurgling death sounds during her trial testimony was chilling….”

The second is in “What It Feels Like To Be Wrongly Accused” Could This Be Amanda Knox’s More Truthful First Draft?
Posted by Chimera on 05/18/15 at 12:10 AM:

“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.”

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/18/15 at 04:44 AM | #
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