Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Thirteenth Appeal Session:  It Looks Like The Defenses Have A Real Friend in Court - Judge Hellman

Posted by Peter Quennell

1. Context Of Overt Hellman Bias

Do you recall this fraught post?

“Corruption Of Appeal: Angry Top Criminal Judge Chiari Is Blatantly Forced Aside”

Umbria’s highly qualified top criminal judge had been yanked from the case by Umbria’s Chief Judge (and avid mason) De Nunzio, who has seemingly been gotten-to by the Sollecito family or their defense team.

Conjectures in Perugia abound. Maybe money was involved, or mafia ties, or masonic ties. 

In the period since the prosecution seems to be winning every shot at the hard facts. And yet Hellman intermittently seems to show major bias in his pro-defense rulings.

Hellman’s opening remarks back in 2010 favored the defense. So did his defined scope of the appeal, which has been illegally expanded into a mini-trial.

Contrary to appeal law, Hellman has accepted a total of FIVE new defense witnesses! None of whom relate closely to trial substance.

Two clearly biased and competent “independent” DNA experts were appointed to review some of the DNA. But why? The Carabinieri labs are meant for this purpose.

And whereas the defenses have been granted everything they ever wanted, time and again Judge Hellman has ruled against the prosecution.

And it happened again today.

Astoundingly, Hellman ruled that a confession on 27 July under oath by Luciano Aviello in front of Prosecutor Comodi making serious accusations against the Sollecito family and their defense team was not accepted for court follow-up!

Roll on Supreme Court. That is where Umbria Prosecutor General Galati recently transferred from and he has told the prosecution they will prevail for sure at that level.

2. Today In Abbreviated Court Session

There is a strike in Perugia so court could only meet for a half of a day. The Italian reporting today conveys a picture of more of the same tough prosecution rebuttal that we were seeing yesterday.

It emerged that the DNA that was remaining on both the bra clasp AND the knife might have been re-tested if Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti had not come up with some contentious quibbles for not proceeding.

The prosecution may now call for those tests to actually be done, by a new set of independent experts. Let us see if Judge Hellman will allow them.

Amanda Knox looked increasingly down today as she absorbed the trend in the testimony, and at one point she slumped on the table seemingly asleep. Serial over-promising by her suffocating entourage hasn’t done her any good.

Mr Mignini believes that at several points Amanda Knox wanted to confess and to pay her dues. Surely better this than a Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson situation with their attendant huge overtones of illegitimacy.


So ... no new tests and no Luciano Aviello again.

Posted by ncountryside on 09/07/11 at 02:53 PM | #

And next hearing Sept 23.

Posted by ncountryside on 09/07/11 at 02:59 PM | #

Thanks ncountryside. That will come as two big reliefs for the hard-pressed defenses.

More tests would presumably have rubbed home the main thrust of the testimony of the past two days on the real competence and carefulness of the Rome laboratories.

And Aviello back on ths stand would presumably have rubbed home his claim that the Sollecito family bribed him.

The two new 80,000 pound gorillas here are what the defenses are NOT asking for.

1) Any new review of the other forensic evidence in the house and in particular the damning mixed blood traces.

2) Knox and Sollecito to get upon the stand and explain in concert what they did that night. Their two versions STILL do not coincide.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/07/11 at 03:46 PM | #

So, a decision in October? Sounds right.

Posted by Ergon on 09/07/11 at 04:08 PM | #

After these “experts’” poor show, glad to be graduated in Milan.

Posted by ncountryside on 09/07/11 at 04:20 PM | #

Hi everyone
        I just noticed the article in the Daily Mail On Line which stated that the prosecutor Manuela Comodi said that due to the court having decided no more testing of the DNA that Knox would go free.


Then I looked at who wrote the article and got a good laugh. None other than Nick Pisa who has provided hours of fun on both sides of the Atlantic. I hear he’s invented a new board game, the purpose of which is to take a solid statement and offer a counter view. The person coming up with the most ridiculous one wins. Roll On
Cheers G

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/07/11 at 04:21 PM | #

Oh forgot to mention the name of the new Nick Pisa game is ‘Stupidity’

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/07/11 at 04:53 PM | #


I have just read an article on sky news that apparently Ms Comodi and said that she predicts that AK and RS will be acquitted! Has anyone else heard this? The trial has be adjourned until 23rd September, apparently….

Surely this isn’t possible given the wealth of evidence against them?

I don’t know how to post the link otherwise I would.


Posted by distemper on 09/07/11 at 05:23 PM | #

Oops, maybe I should have read the comments first before jumping to conclusions about what I had read. I have just checked and the article on Sky News is also by Nick Pisa… Sorry 😊

Seriously though I really hope this is just another piece of fabricated rubbish by some pro knoxer. I don’t have a TV so I don’t really get to watch the news..


Posted by distemper on 09/07/11 at 05:50 PM | #

Hi distemper
        No TV Eh! You’re not missing anything believe me.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/07/11 at 06:07 PM | #

If we take Nick Pisa’s quoting of Manuela Comodi as accurate (always a possibility), what interpretation?

ncountryside, who furnishes the Italian news (above) makes some of Comodi’s (attributed) remarks irrelevant.  No review & no return of one felon, Luciano Aviello, who is said to have promised to recant false testimony, a recantation which would serve the prosecution.

But when Comodi is quoted as having said, publicly, that this judge & his assistant are clearly against the prosecution, I have to question the accuracy of this quotation.  If it BE accurate, Comodi herself is misreading the situation.

Not surprising if Judge Hellman gives every public impression of heeding the criticisms of the court-appointed academic experts.  It is to show the world that this court will hear both sides of the story, including differing views on the validity of the evidence.

As for recent quoted remarks by Curt Knox (in these Daily Mail reports), read carefully they are yet further efforts in “spin” but offered with just barely discernible misgivings.  Peter is surely right, above, in characterizing a rumor that the judge will free Knox as a “PR-instilled rumor.”

Judge Hellman & the jurors are well aware of the abundance of evidence going far beyond this last-minute dust up concerning the murder weapon & bra clasp.

Personally, I have not the least doubt that these tests were valid & revealing & that the police procedures were done in a reasonably conscientious manner by experienced officers.  The academics stuck their heads in the clouds & resorted to abstractions—but who knows if at bottom they themselves were only “trying” to show that the Italian courts were fair-minded & scrupulous to the last degree?  I think it possible.

Amanda Knox will not be freed.  Conceivably, the sentences of the guilty pair will be reduced to correspond to Rudy Guede’s shortened sentence. I say it with confidence that she will not be freed: it is impossible for me seriously to consider the alternative, which would be stunning, absolutely.  And would be wrong.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/07/11 at 06:12 PM | #

Hey Grahame;

I have been without for 2 yrs now and just find alternative things to occupy my self with 😊

Have you or anyone else heard anymore about Manuela Comodi"s supposed comments by any chance? Or is there any more unbiased information available yet? Thanks


Posted by distemper on 09/07/11 at 06:17 PM | #

Otherwise there are even pro journalists in court who miss a lot! (Let’s say: essential parts)

BLN:” looks like ak will walk”.
BLN:“The story is changing. I stay objective”.

Sure, the story is changing, Aviello is a turncoat, the planet is turning, books are getting old news. Ak herself changed a lot of stories time after time. Ted has made a change.

“I stay objective” sounds like “you all change so just ask me”.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/07/11 at 06:28 PM | #


Your not having a tv inspired me to give myself a new restriction. From now on I will not follow BLN tweets anymore.

Anyone suggestions for reliable source (except this site of course!)

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/07/11 at 06:42 PM | #

Dear distemper
          Comodi’s comments have of course been twisted by another twisted mind. The statement was made that there would be no more testing of the DNA results, ie So what! My take on this is that the original DNA results will be brought in as evidence while both sides will be presented to the jury. As in most cases if there is any counter view it’s left up to the jury anyway, win or lose it makes no difference since the weight of the damning evidence has never been contested by the defense. I don’t wish to wax mysterious since that’s not my style but the hyteria and outright lies and the hate exibited towards the family of Meredith just shows you how much sickness is in this world. Nick Pisa is and obvious example of this who will get hold of any innocuous remark and twist it in order to make headlines. OR to quote Carlos Castaneda’s ‘Don Juan teachings’ “Just because people look like humans doesn’t mean they are.”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 09/07/11 at 06:45 PM | #

For Ernest Werner.

From “Umbria 24”

«Se la nomina di un perito è volta all’accertamento della verità – ha detto la Comodi – questo tentativo è doveroso che sia fatto». Per il pm «i periti non hanno risposto ai quesiti che la Corte aveva posto loro. Hanno lanciato dei dubbi dicendo che tutto è possibile. Il compito di un perito però – ha detto la Comodi – non è quello di insinuare dubbi, ma di dare ulteriori certezze a chi ha poi il compito di decidere». La Comodi ha poi parlato di «inadeguatezza e inaffidabilità» dei due esperti.

“If the appointment of an expert is intended to establish the truth - said Comodi - this attempt must be done.” For the prosecutor, “the experts did not respond to the Court’s questions. They put in doubt, saying that anything is possible. The task of an expert though - Comodi said - is not to imply doubt, but to give more certainty to those who went on to decide. ” Comodi then spoke of “inadequacy and unreliability” of the two experts.

From “Repubblica”

In brief Rudy Guede seems the only perpetrator.

From “Corriere della Sera”

Secondo il pm i periti hanno ritenuto «inutilizzabile una traccia esigua ma utile». «Hanno omesso di riferire alla Corte - ha detto la Comodi - che ci sono macchinari in grado di leggere tracce di peso anche molto basso. Qui è possibile e un tentativo va fatto». «Il dovere del perito - ha sottolineato ancora il pm Comodi - è di aiutare la Corte ad accertare la verità. Questi non lo hanno fatto. I periti non hanno risposto ai quesiti, hanno lanciato dubbi, detto che tutto è possibile. Periti inadeguati a procedere ad ulteriori analisi. Per questo chiediamo che la Corte nomini nuovi periti».

According to the prosecutors the experts considered “unusable a small but useful track .” “They failed to report to the Court – Comodi said - that there are machines that can read traces of even very low weight. Here this is possible and an attempt must be made. ” “Expert’s duty - said the prosecutor Comodi - is to help the Court to ascertain the truth. They have not done so. The experts did not respond to the questions, casting doubts, saying that anything is possible. Inadequate experts to conduct further analysis. Thus, we ask that the Court appoint new experts. “

From “Il Giornale”

Il sostituto procuratore Manuela Comodi, chiedendo una nuova perizia, ha parlato di “dati oggettivi” che rendono “irremediabilmente lacunoso” il lavoro svolto dagli esperti nominati dalla Corte. Ha quindi chiesto che vengano analizzate con kit di ultima generazione le tracce trovate sul coltello, ritenute inutilizzabili dai periti, e venga svolta un’analisi biostatistica. Secondo il pm i periti hanno ritenuto “inutilizzabile una traccia esigua ma utile”. “Hanno omesso di riferire alla Corte - ha detto la Comodi - che ci sono macchinari in grado di leggere tracce di peso anche molto basso. Qui è possibile e un tentativo va fatto”. “Il dovere del perito - ha sottolineato ancora il pm Comodi - è di aiutare la Corte ad accertare la verità. Questi non lo hanno fatto. I periti non hanno risposto ai quesiti, hanno lanciato dubbi, detto che tutto è possibile. Periti inadeguati a procedere ad ulteriori analisi. Per questo chiediamo che la Corte nomini nuovi periti”. Di perizia “oggettivamente inadeguata e viziata da assoluta parzialita” ha parlato l’avvocato Francesco Maresca, legale della famiglia Kercher associandosi alla richiesta del pm. La procura generale ha chiesto anche di risentire l’ex pentito Luciano Aviello.

The Prosecutor Manuela Comodi, asking for new tests, spoke about “objective data” that make “irretrievably flawed” the work of the experts appointed by the Court. She asked for an analysis by means of latest generation kit the traces found on the knife, deemed unusable by the experts, and requested for a biostatistic analysis.  According to the prosecutor the experts considered “unusable track small but useful.” “They failed to report to the Court - said Comodi - there are machines that can read traces of even very low weight. Here it is possible and an attempt should be made.” “The duty of the expert - prosecutor Comodi said - is to help the Court to ascertain the truth. They have not done so. The experts did not respond to questions, doubts were cast, saying that anything is possible. Experts inadequate to conduct further analysis. Thus, we ask that the Court appoint new experts. About “Expertise “objectively improper and vitiated by absolute partiality” spoke the lawyer Francesco Maresca, Kercher family lawyer. The [general] prosecutor also asked to hear again Luciano Aviello.

Posted by ncountryside on 09/07/11 at 07:19 PM | #

Hi Helder;

I can’t find anything that is even mentioning the prosecutions defence of the testing of the LCN DNA yesterday! All I can find is how the independent experts slammed the initial testing saying it was contaminated & it was to small blah, blah….

When I read that Judge Hellman refused the further testing, my interpretation of this was that he felt that it was unnecessary as the results from the first test produced an adequate result… However the Knox Camp seem to think this means something else? But then I guess they would!

Thanks to everyone, for all your hard work getting the information out to us, much appreciated.


Posted by distemper on 09/07/11 at 08:15 PM | #

Good day for the defense today (sept 7), however, this reminds me of the optimism that Knox followers showed this time in the original trial.

Posted by willsavive on 09/07/11 at 09:57 PM | #


Beautiful, beautiful!

I have struggled through the Italian with my rusty school-book Latin but that’s hopeless.  Your translations are invaluable.

One sees from your presentation two things, immediately.  (a) Certain leading Italian newspapers have reported factually the vigorous & intelligent responses of Manuela Comodi.  (b) Mr. Nick Pisa’s articles in the Daily Mail are, therefore, warped by bias & dishonesty.

I have replied to those articles in the Mail but so far (& maybe never) none of that has appeared.

Thank you ncountryside.  We need the Italian, oh yes, but we need it in English.

On the basis of what you have shown here I remain confident in my belief:  Amanda’s case is lost. She will not be set free.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/07/11 at 10:35 PM | #

Distemper, here is the article by Nick Pisa, scroll down to the 4th paragraph:

I think it was unwise for Comodi to speak out publically at this stage; can’t do anything to help the case…so why not just keep quiet? I think she let her emotions get the best of her and spoke out rashly. The ebbs and flows of a trial are always up and down, one day it’s the prosecution that looks good, the next it’s the defense. If anything, these are the same witnesses that said the same thing in the original trial, and we saw what happened then. At the end of the day, the only real new info is the indy experts (over 2 pieces of DNA) and the fuzziness of Curatolo’s testimony, and we won’t know their affect on the jury until verdict. Don’t let the media be a barometer for what is really going on here.

Posted by willsavive on 09/08/11 at 03:14 AM | #


Pisa’s quotes are very specific so I assume they’re not something he picked up second hand. But like others have observed, it’s weird that these strong remarks are nowhere to be found in the Italian media, or anywhere else in the English media. Perhaps Comodi talked to Pisa privately?

Posted by brmull on 09/08/11 at 04:04 AM | #

As expert-opinion witnesses, Carla Vecchioti and Stefano Conti, have now lost their credibility; they have also lost their employability, probably permanently.

The FsOAK and the MSM deceive themselves re the significance of the recent Hellman rulings

I will be stunned if the Hellman Jury does not confirm the guilt of Knox & Sollecito.

Posted by Cardiol MD on 09/08/11 at 04:19 AM | #

ABC ( ) is also reporting that they spoke to Comodi after the session and it is a big difference than what Pisa wrote. In fact, it is ABC who has claimed that they interviewed her. According to ABC, Comodi informed them that there is “a possibility” that Knox and Sollecito could win the appeal. There is also a possibility that the sun will fall from the sky, so it is all in the context and translation of how she said it. Then ABC quoted her as saying, “I would find it very serious if they were set free.”

FOX News also reported Comodi speaking out. Sheppard Smith put Comodi’s alleged quote on the screen and it read word for word what Pisa wrote. FOX has been decent, in my opinion, thus far on reporting on the case, but Sheppard and his two cronies today were amateur at best and clearly not educated on the case.

It is very likely that Pisa twisted her quote to fit his agenda and make news; I wouldn’t be surprised!


The Seattle Times has the best piece on it I think”

In their article they write the interview as going like this:

COMODI: We did our job. I am convinced by what I have said. I am fully convinced of their guilt and I would find it very serious if they were set free. Today’s decision could lead one to think that there is more of a possibility that they be set freed.

So in essence, she never said that there is a possibility, in her opinion. She said that the hearing today “could lead one to think that there is more of a possibility that they be set freed.” It seems as though only Pisa is reporting it the way he did.

Posted by willsavive on 09/08/11 at 08:52 AM | #

“It seems as though only Pisa is reporting it the way he did.”

. . . does it all the time . . . .

I remember Pisa anyway as the first one talking about “walk in september” since the asking of the defense for two experts. It’s his own self hypnotizing line.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/08/11 at 09:22 AM | #

OT, but about “turning out to be” (this morning in the news):

A prominent and highly respected professor of Social Sience here did falsify data for his science research. It was about to proof meat eaters are more likely morons than vegetarians.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/08/11 at 09:36 AM | #

It is probably more accurate for me to say: apparently this quote originated with Pisa and no one else heard this for themselves. I am not one for name calling, but he truly is a very, very sad man with no conscience!

Posted by willsavive on 09/08/11 at 09:43 AM | #

Nick Pisa’s article is also 100% copied in Dutch news. (In Belgium, Dutch language).

But . . . those propaganda mechanisms won’t work.

Posted by Helder Licht on 09/08/11 at 09:53 AM | #


Looks to me as if Seattle Times has taken these quotes from ABC (which I’ve just read, thanks to your reference.)

Slight mistranslation in these versions when Comodi says, “I am convinced by what I have said.”  Should rather be “convinced of.”

And Comodi’s saying that the hearing today “could lead one to think that there is more of a possibility that they be set free” (as you quote) anticipates the possibility that such thoughts might arise &, in effect, heads them off. Very much the opposite of the meaning conveyed in Nick Pisa’s article & showing no weakening of confidence or resolution.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 09/08/11 at 12:47 PM | #

My personal feeling is that the judge is going in hard on the prosecution, so nobody can say they weren’t challenged and tested. It’s standard procedure, for decent judges, the world over: they give a hard time to the ‘side’ towards whom they are leaning.

Posted by Janus on 09/08/11 at 02:58 PM | #

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