Monday, March 18, 2013

One Week From Today The Rulings Of The Supreme Court of Cassation Should Be Announced

Posted by Our Main Posters

The Supreme Court received the Galati appeal and the Knox appeal over a year ago - the full documents - and began considering them in depth some months ago.

The appeals are being handled by the Court’s elite First Section which has a reputation for taking the kind of precedent-setting jurisprudence issues the Galati report raises very seriously. This looks like it could be bad news for RS and AK.

The Italian judiciary has had more than enough of the harassment of the Knox campaign, and the name of the lead judge has deliberately not been announced so that no attempts to reach them or distract or vilify them can be made.

Similarly the investigation into whether Sollecito in his book is in contempt of court for attempting to undermine an ongoing legal process has also been taken behind the scenes. If Knox’s book comes out before the legal process ends she too may be investigated for contempt of court.

The Court of Cassation may entertain some oral arguments from the prosecution and defenses next monday and will then announce their decisions on the two appeals on monday or tuesday. Written versions should follow a few days later.

If they decline to change both the Hellmann-Zanetti verdicts, Knox would remain a felon for life for framing Patrick, but otherwise RS and AK would walk free. If they accept Knox’s appeal but not Galati’s, RS and AK would both walk free, and her felony record would be erased.

Any other outcome would result in the cases being punted back down to the lower courts, this time around to get it right.

Betting in Rome and Perugia is that there is probably going to be a complete rejection of the H-Z outcomes as being of illegally wide scope (that stands out a mile) and RS and AK would be back to where they were at the end of the Massei trial, only worse off because of Sollecito’s book.

This betting is based in part on Hellmann having been edged out by the Council of Magistrates, rumor has it for embarrassing his peers with slipshod work. Any repeat of the appeal (second level) could take place quite fast, and maybe in Florence with a new prosecution team.

It would not be stretched out for illegal DNA consultancies or illegally try to second-guess all of the trial evidence in absence of trial experts and trial witnesses who originally presented it, or be in session only on occasional saturdays for the convenience of Bongiorno and her baby.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 03/18/13 at 05:22 PM in Appeals 2009-2015Cassation 2013

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Cassation will also decide this week on an appeal to sustain the MOF/Narducci investigation.

The mood generally in Italy is pro the Giuttari and Mignini Monster of Florence supposition, for which there is firm proof (and anti the hairbrained Spezi and Preston supposition, for which there is none) but continued investigation was stymied by perverse actions of Florence prosecutors which Cassation a few weeks ago ruled to be illegal.  The judge who found Giuttari and Mignini guilty (Francesco Maradei) is now up to his ears in his own trouble for bending court outcomes, seemingly due to pressures and bribes.

This is very complicated, but with luck we’ll figure out how to post on it all with clarity. Uncanny how Preston’s and Spezi’s corrupt friends are being taken down one by one.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/18/13 at 06:23 PM | #

[By Chami in a previous thread] Can you please explain a bit more? Will there be presentations, arguments, hearings? Will defense and/or prosecutor be there?

Do you mean that the judges have been reading the file and have already decided? Does it mean that AK and RS also have filed their counters? We of course do not know what is there in the affidavits of AK /RS.

I was thinking that it is going to be a high-octane drama!


Sorry Chami!

The captive anglo media may swoon and cry foul. But they simply haven’t done their homework. Take a look at the list of things in the next comment below (which I posted on PMF recently) all of which we have reported on but which western reporting has not yet got around to.

The Supreme Court is like the US Supreme Court, they dont run trials and appeal trials, that is for the lower courts to do. Most of what goes on is behind the scenes, reading and consulting, and next monday various panels of judges may announce several dozen decisions in unrelated cases.

If the appeal gets sent back to Perugia or (more likely) to Florence to get it away from the taint of Hellmann, then the defenses must start over to try to knock down a guilty conviction.

They will probably make the same expansive bids to the new judges for re-examinations as they did to Hellmann early in 2011 and probably most of what they ask will be knocked back (Hellmann & Zanetti actually knocked back most of what they asked for - and then unilaterally expanded the scope anyway.)

Any good Italian lawyer (even the defenses here) could tell that H&Z had got things seriously wrong as soon as their sentencing report came out early in 2012. Only the FOA nitwits here thought it was superb and they actually exulted in its broad scope!

DNA might be out this time around. Remember it appears THREE things were wrong with the C&V consultancy; (1) it shouldnt even have happened; (2) it actually proved nothing, except that American state of the art which it reflected (thanks Hampikian) is behind European state of the art; and (3) even turning a blind eye to the above, the request of the prosecution for retesting of Stefanoni’s other sample should not have been refused.

So we dont see any strong grounds for a defense appeal any more. Remember it was American lawyer Ted Simon of Knox’s team who argued way back in late 2008 on NBC that the evidence is far too broad to be disposed of by whack-a-mole techniques - by whacking the points one by one - and only a complete alternative scenario will see them home free.

Sollecito’s book which stupidly slimes the authorities and Italian system and adds a whole lot of new claims which even his own lawyers never made (for example they never exclusively blamed Guede) gave a complete alternative scenario his best shot - and it’s proving a total disaster. 

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Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/18/13 at 09:59 PM | #

Western reporters in Italy are few and far between though thankfully John Follain has moved back there and Andrea Vogt and Barbie Nadeau are still there. Right now they have a lot to cover with the change of popes and governments and economies.

So we dont fault anyone for not reporting yet on the following though we DO fault western media for making things up as they still incessantly do.

Ii is unreported in the media outside Italy that the Republic of Italy shows signs of winning against the Sollecito-Knox forces in Rome, Florence and Perugia on many, many fronts. No non-Italian reporter is reporting this. Not one.

It is unreported that the HellmannZanetti report is a crock. It was was never properly translated or analysed in any depth by anyone except for the folks here.

It is unreported that the Galatii appeal is an unusually formidable argument in several different layers which in Italian legal circles has won universal respect. It was never properly translated or analysed except by folks here.

It is unreported that seemingly nobody who really followed the Massei trial and was often in the court found it other than a wholly convincing case. It is unreported that the defence then floundered, and several times paused for days.

It is unreported that the Massei jury saw images from Meredith’s autopsy, in closed session, and were extremely affected and knew the cruelty of the crime, whereas the Helllmann jury was never led through them with all the implications (though they were in the evidence file).

It is unreported that the recreation video shown in trial summations was highly effective from the point of view of jdges and jury and the defenses had no comeback.

It is unreported that the Hellmann court (illegally) adopted the same scope as the trial, but with everything back to front, the defense first presenting its case, and the prosecution constrained to what the defense and Hellmann and Zanetti wanted in.

It is unreported that neither Hellmann nor Zanetti were criminal judges, and their couple of criminal cases many years in the past also produced outcomes of complete farce. It is unreported that both have been edged out, Hellmann to early retirement and Zanetti to a small court elsewhere.

It is unreported that there is a perception that Judge Chiari should have retained the job of lead appeal judge (he was appointed and then bumped) or failing that, the appeal should have been punted to good criminal judges in a court in Florence.

It is unreported that Umbria’s chief judge has himself come down a few pegs in Italian legal circles for his never-fully-explained Hellmann-Zanetti selection, and that he has really offered no comeback.

It is unreported that the elite first section of the Supreme Court has been assigned the appeals by the prosecution and Amanda Knox, and it has not been reported that Dr Galati was a former deputy chief prosecutor there and is really trusted and knows the ropes.

It is unreported that Cassation knows the difference between a good second level (appeal) report and a truly terrible and highly embarrassing trial report which ignores countless guidelines which is precisely what the Hellmann & Zanetti report looks like.

It is unreported that the one small element in the Florence prosecution office that had been gunning for Mignini and Giuttari was squashed like a bug and the trumped up case killed by Cassation two weeks ago (see Yummi’s post saturday on TJMK).

It is unreported that two weeks ago Dalla Vedova acted very foolish in asking for Knox’s calunnia trial to be punted to Florence in the hope she’d find a sweeter court there. She wont, Florence will refuse it, it will be punted back to Perugia - and any sympathy for Knox will only be less.

It is unreported that the Florence Chief Prosecutor is investigating very serious new charges against Sollecito for what are claimed to be many contempts of court in his book; or that these charges will be known to the Supreme Court.

It is unreported that Sollecito in his book created a new scenario that in some vital ways differs whom what his team worked with in court. It is unreported that Sollecito tried to pin ALL the blame on Guede though neither defense team EVER argued that.

It is unreported that Sollecito’s own father hung him out to dry on national Italian TV in rejecting his claim that the prosecution offered a deal if he would roll over on Amanda as having been totally made up.

It is unreported that Michele Giuttari is suing Mario Spezi (and by proxy Doug Preston) for defamation in may jurisdictions and winning again and again and again.

It is unreported that Frank Sforza will probably face two trials and possibly a third if his ranting claims against judges and prosecutors and police comes to be considered contempt of court. It is unreported what Frank Sforza got up to in Seattle, Hawaii, and British Columbia and that an arrest warant is out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/18/13 at 10:08 PM | #

Pete, thanks for your Summary, and the Simon Interview Video, with the silly “demonic motive” speculation, which was not submitted by the prosecution. I liked the “whack-a-mole” expression for isolating each piece of evidence.

Although we must, logically, recognize the possibility of H/Z prevailing, that seems almost totally improbable as you indicate.

Aren’t the defence’s calunnia-games just delay-tactics?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 03/19/13 at 12:35 AM | #

Hi Cardiol. Well, you practiced whack-a-mole on hellmann and Zanetti’s report and in that case it worked out just fine and James Raper also joined in. (So did Fly By Night and The Machine.)

[All your posts]



The calunnia charges need to be understood in the context of how the Italian system actually works. It is a long and tedious process to bring a case to trial and so holding actions are often launched and left to dangle a while.

The calunnia charges against Edda Mellas, Curt Knox, and Amanda Knox were brought by those the seemingly impugned - accused of crimes in the course of official duties. It seemed to shut them up.

However the foolish Sollecito has poured gasoline on the fire with his book, and with her book Amanda Knox may soon do the same.

The Sollecito book is NOT the subject of calunnia claims by those Sollecito unwisely accused of crimes. It is the subject of a contempt of court investigation, which is a higher level of seriousness - and that is being fast-tracked now.

“When you are in a deep hole stop digging” doesnt seem to sink into the brains of these people.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/13 at 01:51 AM | #

OK, have just read all and Peter’s reply on the other post.  It’s clear. 

As Cardiol said, we have to admit that H-Z might be upheld.  We were all pretty convinced there’d be a rejection by H-Z of the appeal and look what happened.  I know this is a different lot of justices at a different level, doing different things and the momentum does appear to be for rejecting H-Z, at least on some legal grounds.

What if they reject it on, say, five grounds but uphold H-Z on the others?  Where does that leave the prosecution?

Will there be a retrial?  And what of K-S being present?

Posted by James Higham on 03/19/13 at 04:51 AM | #

Hi James

Actually there were warning signs put out most especially by Prosecutor Comodi that the ill-qualified H&Z were going rogue, though even she may have miscalculated just how rogue. Its doubtful that a single Italian prosecutor or judge took their side.

The one thing that did fool everybody there and here was H&Z’s refusal of the prosecution request to test Stefanoni’s remaining DNA sample. That looked like they were going to accept it was Meredith’s DNA. Nobody then realised just how silly they were capable of acting, as that by itself would virtually require a rerun of the appeal. 

As Yummi showed in his August 2012 analysis the Galati appeal is not so much divided vertically into the various grounds you describe, as it is divided horizontally into half a dozen layers.

The top layers are the toughest for the justices to simply dig down beyond, because they address issues of entire scope, logic and jurisprudence. Most betting seems to be that they wont need or bother to dissect the whole thing before punting it back down to do over.

We dont rule out surprises. But there is no recent precedent for what H&Z came out with, whereas the above scenario is absolutely in the mainstream of the process the Rome Cassation and its provincial arms go through many times a year.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/13 at 05:55 AM | #

Who appointed Hellman and Zanetti and why?

Posted by DF2K on 03/19/13 at 11:30 AM | #

From the exulting and back-patting that went on over Hellmann’s and Zanetti’s appointments (we got several jeering anonymous emails) we have suspicions that attempts may have been made from several different directions to see maverick judges head the appeal.

The scenario that seems odds-on is hinted at in the list of unreported issues above: that Umbria’s prospective chief judge had good reason not to see Judge Chiari (who was originally in line as lead judge, and angry when he was yanked away) dominate the spotlight so much. Also Bongiorno who lost the most important case of her career to then-prosecutor Chiari presumably had no desire to again face him.

If this is right then Judges H&Z could still have sided with Massei and it was seemingly mainly because of bad luck (with some behind the scenes help) and bad criminal-law grounding that their outcome was such a surprise.

Important Italian cases tend to be in three acts, and Cassation keeps a sharp eye out for strange and unexplained flips at the first appeal level. The ill-advised Knox-Sollecito PR can look like meddling, and a steep price might be paid for it now.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/19/13 at 12:00 PM | #

Excellent summaries, Pete, and all very logical indeed.  Common sense says that the SC should accept Galati’s appeal.

I just hope that Common Sense WILL in fact prevail and that we don’t have a second miscarriage of justice.

There has been a suggestion that there are SC judges of a similar philosophical persuasion as Hellmann and Zanetti and that the fact that they may be heading the third level appeal is a) known to the Defense and b) the reason why A&S and their groupies are very relaxed about it all.

Posted by thundering on 03/20/13 at 04:14 PM | #

Thundering - the suggestion doesn’t astonish, but it does alarm. Any specifics?

Posted by Cardiol MD on 03/20/13 at 08:21 PM | #

Hi Thundering.

It ain’t so. The lead judge for the appeal is not a mason, and if they knew who it is (as they obviously dont) the groupies would have real reason to be worried.

Remember that the masonic groupie Judge Hellmann has been FORCED OUT. And the meddlesome masonic network just took another big hit FROM CASSATION when they terminated forever the fraudulent case against Mignini several weeks ago.

It looks for now like nobody of consequence is prepared to stick their necks out to illegally tilt things towards Sollecito or Knox.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/13 at 12:33 AM | #

Looking forward to hearing from the court next week.  It might be interesting for commenters to search the NYTimes site for columns by Timothy Egan and just scan through the comments.  Many NYTimes commenters noted that Egan’s highly pro-Knox columns and especially the comments where he sympathized with Knox simply because she reminded him of his daughter were completely out of line.

No one can know for certain what will happen next week, but I encourage journalists to really pay attention to the court documents and the evidence.  Read the original Massei report.  Follow the cell phone evidence, the evidence of a coverup, the shifting and conflicting alibis, the false accusals, the lamp inside the locked bedroom, and the DNA results with an open mind, forgetting everything else you’ve read in American media.  And then remember all the times someone has done something crazily violent and the neighbors all say, “But she seemed like such a nice person….”

Posted by Media Watcher on 03/21/13 at 06:29 AM | #

Great points Media Watcher.

Our perception is that media could be much more willing to dig deeper this time around. For one things the Galati appeal is so tough and detailed and so persuasive that Massei got it right and Hellmann got it wrong.

Timothy Egan of the NY Times website certainly let his emotions frazzle his brain. He sounded very like Heavey and Steve Moore and Rocco Girlanda and Peter Van Sant at CBS 48 Hours and Tom Wright, the guy who gave all the money to Knox’s old school.

Here are our posts on each with Egan first. As you’ll see it’s still pretty stunning what some of them claimed.





Van Sant


Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/13 at 07:49 PM | #

Peter, forgive a longish comment & delete as you may please, but as we tense up awaiting Cassation’s decision—God knows!—I thought it would be interesting to put the question of an outcome to the I Ching.

Those unfamiliar with this ancient Chinese oracle need only to know that a diagram of six lines is obtained by a process of dividing a bundle of dried yarrow stalks, a fairly elaborate process requiring 18 divisions of roughly 50 stalks, leading to different number values. A fairly elaborate process to obtain a chance result.

One has to concede that use of the I Ching smacks of superstition, but never mind that. I have put the question: What will happen?  Will Amanda Knox be called back for another trial?  Or will she be let go free?

Now please! I am an old fellow of 81, a long-retired minister (first Lutheran, then Unitarian) who began a strict Lutheran training at the ripe age of 13.  I don’t joke or trifle or deceive in matters like this, agnostic though I am.

Notwithstanding this chance procedure, my 18 division of yarrow stalks has produced a pertinent answer which is distinctive & surprising: For the answer is

DELIVERANCE (or, in other terms & translations, Release, or Setting Free (Die Befreiung, auf Deutsch) or Letting Loose.

Associated with its judgment is an intepretation of the six line figure, which (in a seemingly haphazard Chinese manner) associates thunder & rain for the image of a thunderstorm which releases one from tension. And this added statement emphasizes the passing over of mistakes & the forgiveness of wrongs.

The reality of a misdeed is not denied but the tendency is toward forgiveness.
Favoring Peter, however, one line of the oracle may seem to contradict all that.  It reads: “This one hunts down three foxes in the fields, obtaining a yellow arrow.”  Or in the definitive Wilhelm/Baynes translation: “One kills three foxes in the field & receives a yellow arrow.”  Favorable symbols signifying action taken according to the Golden Mean along with “straightness.”

Peter’s iron conviction concerning the outcome receives support from this line. Nevertheless, in the case I report (undertaken this morning, March 21) there are three lines, of the six, which receive a special emphasis because of the associated number values.  The cited line above is the first of three—which happen to be three in a row.

Because of these emphases we shift, in ancient usage, to yet another hexagram: Keeping Still (or Stopping.)  One keeps still here because (Wilhelm) “the movement has come to its normal end.”

All very interesting so far (but by no means infallible or necessarily true) but here’s the big surprise.

For in these six-line figures, four overlapping trigrams are involved.  Each trigram is associated with its own set of meanings &, as happens here, the two inner trigrams obtained by the changing lines repeat the original Judgement: Deliverance.  No joke: & that does strike me as somehow impressive.

But I submit these results in all modestly.  I am not trying to win an argument (what argument?) or prove a case—nothing is proven here.

Nothing proven but what value, therefore, except consideration of another point of view.  We all hope that Peter Quennell is right in his own expectation.  We all (here) believe that he is right in his beliefs concerning guilt & responsibility.  That is not in question here. Only the outcome is in question.

Until we know for sure, we keep an open mind.  (Best wishes to all!)

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/21/13 at 10:48 PM | #

Dear Ernest.  You said:  “The reality of a misdeed is not denied but the tendency is toward forgiveness.”

Actually it still is very strongly denied, by many, not only the presumned perps, and many fine people have been impugned. So what, so far, is there to forgive?

Isnt this a recipe for leaving victims’ families high and dry and for letting perps off the hook?! My suggestion? Now is not the best time to blink.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/21/13 at 11:35 PM | #

Everybody please read the top comment above. This has now come to pass - the Umbria Prosecutor-General’s submission of the request to re-open the Narducci case to Cassation today. The submission was stronger than we expcted and our lawyers dont expect Cassation to say no. The response could come tonight or tomorrow. Preston and Spezi take yet another fall.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 03/22/13 at 12:16 AM | #

Random thoughts on the titles by Knox and Sollecito: “Waiting to Be Heard” or is it Waiting to Be Hurt
Waiting Two Pea Erred
Waiting to be Erred
Wading to be Hurt
Weighting Dooby Hurt

Gee, with Amanda we have the ears again. Being heard, I see an ear, hands over the ears.

There’s also a modern book of war survivor stories called Waiting to Be Heard about Polish refugees who suffered under the Nazis and Russians.
Maybe Amanda sees her sufferings on such a scale.

Raffaele aims for grander connections with his echo of Dante’s Divine Comedy. “Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox”. Or is it to hell in back with Amanda. Seems Knoxie-poo was his poet Virgil and lover Beatrice escorting him through the circles of hell. At least Raf got somewhere, perhaps in his Audi, while Amanda in passsive-aggressive fashion sits and waits to pee heard. Or to be hard. Or to be her.

Sorry for the levity, I feel Spamalot and a fit of hysteria approaching, need Milkduds.

Posted by Hopeful on 03/22/13 at 12:36 AM | #

A possible interpretation of your I-ching Ernest:

Maybe the Deliverance, the setting free, the forgiveness and the release pertain to Meredith and her family. Maybe Meredith will be set free and her family will be delivered from their state of limbo. Maybe they will be able to forgive now that there is the hope at least of culpability. Now that there is a sense that reason and logic may prevail. After all, I would imagine that the PR garbage has denied that poor family of their ability to reach any kind of forgiveness.

Just a thought. Since these things are all about interpretation 😊

Posted by carlos on 03/22/13 at 12:36 AM | #

Hopeful: how about
“Waiting to be Herded Back into Court” ?

Posted by mimi on 03/22/13 at 04:29 AM | #

Hi Cardiol,

It was a suggestion made on PMF but seems to have been speculation.

Posted by thundering on 03/22/13 at 04:16 PM | #

Carlos, yes.

“These things are all about interpretation.”
Beyond that (as you imply) What the I Ching gives us is not knowledge.

What’s curious is that it gives us “meanings” which may yet involve coincidence. And a “meaningful coincidence” is Jung’s definition of Synchronicity.

Today’s NY Times reports on quantum computing where we read that subatomic particles may occupy both a one & a zero position at once, or anything in between.  Already long ago the I Ching has anticipated this by the kinds of answers it gives us.

Thanks also to Peter for his reply, which I appreciate.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 03/22/13 at 05:14 PM | #

Hi Ernest and Carlos,

The essential problem is our style of communication. Or, rather the inadequecy of the language. Knowledge is a form of transcendental realization and is not portable or communicable.

On the other hand, language is a powerful tool when you have to deal with the “meaning” and all linguists, just like lawyers, can continue the debate for their lifetime. Both Indians and Chinese excel in such debate.

What I am trying to say that deliverance may mean several things depending on the focus. Why you focus on AK alone? Has MK been really forgotten?

I, for one, have never believed in the eye-for-an-eye doctrine. But justice is more than that. Justice is about us- our perception and the restoration of the faith.

The strange spirit that makes us stand tall- and makes us a man.

My language is poor but I hope you can still get the idea.

Posted by chami on 03/22/13 at 06:04 PM | #

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