Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear Ken Jautz Of CNN: Full CNN Interview With Mignini That CNN SHOULD Have Reflected #3

Posted by Skeptical Bystander

The previous post is here.

CNN’s report is downloadable here. The first hour is here and the second hour here..  Our translators were PMF posters Clander, Yummi, Jools, Thoughtful, TomM and Catnip.

0’28’’ CNN: you certainly made no secret about intimidating Preston and Mario Spezi

0’49’’ Mignini: Well, I do not understand what intimidation. So, well look. For starters, this proceeding near Florence has nothing to do with this issue. So this is a non-issue. So, as for Mario Spezi, and I’ll come to Preston later, Mario Spezi was subjected to an investigation that, in relation to this matter is not closed yet since it is still pending, and following [in relazione a] this investigation, a precautionary measure was requested, which the investigating judge granted. Then the re-examination Court [Tribunale del Riesame] instead reversed the decision. While, in Amanda’s case, [the precautionary measure] was confirmed. As you can see, in Spezi’s case, the re-examination Court [Tribunale del Riesame] canceled the precautionary measure on grounds of default. In the Court’s view, there were not enough serious indications of guilt on the subjective aspect [of the crime].There were [indications of guilt] on the objective aspect of the crime of calunnia [false accusation], the crime for which he was being prosecuted. On the subjective aspect, i.e. the bad faith, there were not. And thus the court, the re-examination Court, reversed this measure.

But during the investigation, even before a measure against Spezi had been requested, a relationship between this writer, Douglas Preston, and Mario Spezi had emerged. And Preston, a writer, was summoned as a “person informed about the facts”, I do not remember, I think it was February 2006. And he was, just like many other people “informed about the facts”, he was interrogated by me. During the interrogation, this time he was questioned by me as if he were, let’s say, a witness, during the examination as a person informed about the facts, evidence of guilt emerged against Preston. And, in particular, Preston’s answers were not consistent. They appeared to me, in that moment, they did not appear to be true. So at that point I stopped the examination. Look, the examination lasted approximately twenty minutes, not more. I met Preston only on that occasion. About twenty minutes ... I told him: “I must suspend this examination.” Just like the Police did with Amanda, always according to art. 63. “I must suspend your hearing because evidence of guilt has emerged in relation to the crime under art. 371 bis of the Penal Code”. Now, pay close attention to this [missing words]. “And thus you must appoint a lawyer”.

He signed. Present in my office, which was not the one you saw this morning but it was another one, also on that floor, were my assistant, the clerk, Dr. Daniela Severi, there was the captain of the Carabinieri, Antonio Morra, there was a police [woman] officer from Florence, and I think there was a magistrate in training that I think was training with me, I do not remember this now. However, there was the captain, a police officer and the clerk. He signed [the statement]. I accompanied him to the door and to try to explain to him, he had told me that he spoke Italian but, in my opinion, but he did not [missing word] Italian. He believed he could speak Italian but he did not fully understand this procedural aspect. I told him, I remember we were by the door, “you must now appoint an attorney. This process that I am now opening against you for making false statements to the prosecutor, Article 371-bis, will remain suspended by the law, because the law provides that this offense, if one makes false statements to the prosecutor in a criminal case, this process that has been opened for false declarations will remain suspended until the main proceeding in which these statements were made is defined”. He did not understand this detail and he, I was really surprised and amazed by this fact, he thought that I was encouraging him, and he then said that I had encouraged him to flee, that I would arrest him. I never said such a thing because this charge does not provide for arrest. And that’s all.

Then I followed what he said throughout this matter which is completely [..missing word.. ] .. completely misrepresenting what happened, and then I dismissed the case because there was no… I decided to terminate the proceeding and there was nothing else. It’s all there, the Preston matter ends there.

07’37’’ CNN: I interviewed Preston and, according to him, this is not true. He said the interrogation lasted two hours. And (reading what Preston said): “I started to sweat, the prosecutor began to ask again the same questions, worded in a different way” he insisted with his secretary for [having her] repeat what he had said, which is the truth? “I started to feel that I was looking like a liar by the way my voice was trembling”. He had to write a statement in Italian, he had to do it several times because the person who was writing it did not understand well. Is he lying?

09’20’‘Mignini: Well, you have listened to Preston, I had the assistants, I did not think to bring them with me, but they can tell you everything. I do not remember now how long the interview was, I think about twenty minutes, perhaps half an hour, perhaps, perhaps, I do not know, an hour or so, I do not know, I have to look at the record.

However, what is certain is that when you make a statement, a few things are asked and the person must tell the truth and I challenged some of the things he said. I do not remember now in detail because it is of no [word missing], I have had other things to deal with [and] I do not even remember it. I challenged some of the things he said, I remember that I made him listen to a few phone calls that had been intercepted, phone calls in which he was speaking with Spezi, and what he was saying was not credible, it did not seem to be credible to me. I put it on record, because I had to dictate the statement to the assistant, who wrote the statement, and Mr. Preston signed [it] and he therefore recognized the validity of the statement, because he signed it, he did not refuse to sign it. Therefore an interrogation was made and a few statements were challenged.

The person, Preston, made a few statements that were not [missing word], that did not appear to be at all credible to me. I made him listen to, to prove that according to me he was not telling the truth, a few intercepted phone calls and I do not recall seeing him particularly [missing word]. Then if he was in a state of mind that a person is in when interrogated by a magistrate, if he felt troubled, I do not know. If that were to be the case, I am sorry but I’m afraid that it is like this in my line of work. Interrogations are made, one must hear [missing word], the person must tell the truth. And if [a person] does not tell the truth then objections must be raised. What is clear is that I challenged these facts, we put [everything] on record. Others were present: the assistant, the clerk, the Carabinieri captain, the police woman, therefore there is no point in discussing this, there is nothing more than what has emerged, than what came out in the statement. Preston signed the statement.

12’02’’ Then, the thing that struck me is that I subsequently received a few requests asking me, and I read this on a few Internet websites as well, if certain statements had been made. I really do not wish to comment on those statements because I do not wish to get into an argument here. I would like to try to explain that, if he had come back, because he had to flee because he would have been arrested if he had come back to Italy: this is a pure fiction, a total fabrication, non-existent. Furthermore, I dismissed his case and therefore I do not see how [missing words]. While the other proceedings, the proceedings against Spezi, are still pending.

13’00’’ This is the situation, I remember that I [missing words], subsequently he [Preston?] even asked me for an interview, to which I, to this request, did not respond.

14’16’’ CNN: it sounds very similar to what Amanda Knox described.

14’22’’ Mignini: It is completely different because I interrogated Preston [while] Amanda was interrogated by the Police. In Amanda’s case, her interrogation was halted by the Police. In Preston’s case, his interrogation was stopped by me. Preston was not arrested, Amanda was [arrested]. The two things are completely different. They have absolutely nothing in common apart from the fact that I was the prosecutor in both cases. But this is all. Just like in many other proceedings. There is not the slightest element in common.

15’23’’ CNN: you have just said that your job is to make sure that a witness tells the truth but at the same time you did not verify what was said by the homeless man and by the two neighbors”¦

Mignini: A person tells me that he saw her, he tells me that he saw what they did, he tells me the times, and he tells me things that no one has denied. If Mrs. Capezzali, Capezzali I think, relates what she heard and the thing is confirmed by another witness who lived below her and no one denies this. And that’s not all”¦ there are two Calabrian girls who lived in [missing words], almost where the metal staircase ended, the one that was presumably used by one of the young people. These two girls as well say that they heard running. Therefore, there is the scream, heard by two people, the repeated footsteps that were heard, the scream and the footsteps that were heard by Capezzali and by these two Calabrian girls.

Whereas in Preston’s case there were the telephone calls that contradicted his statements. In that moment I had the telephone calls and if someone says something [missing words], this is contradicted by these telephone calls. I do not remember now in detail because I did not, I do not remember in detail these aspects but they were documented. In that case, I therefore had the elements to say: “you are telling me things which are not true”. In the other case, there were never any [contradictory elements]. The homeless man, the two Calabrian girls, Mrs. Capezzali and the teacher Monacchia were heard, they were subject to examination and cross-examination and they confirmed everything. This means that their statements became evidence, witness evidence. Whereas Preston made those statements that were contradicted by the intercepted telephone calls and I challenged those statements. It emerged immediately there, I objected, it’s very clear. There is no [missing word].

18’41’’ CNN: In your opinion, do you believe that Narducci was involved in the Monster of Florence murders?

18’50’’ Mignini: This matter was the subject of a criminal proceeding, proceeding number 1845 0821, which was dismissed, for those were investigated, due to lack of evidence [formula dubitativa] in the case of the murder and due to the statute of limitations for the other crimes. This means that the crimes had been committed, they had been attributed to certain people but too much time had gone by and the offences had become statute-barred. In this proceeding, the GIP fully sustained the Prosecutor’s (that was me) request, which was: the three fundamental points were that Narducci had been murdered because the autopsy that was performed demonstrated that there was a fracture of the left superior cornu of the thyroid cartilage which cannot be caused by accidental impacts but it can only be caused by a restricted, localized and increasing pressure because it is [in] a protected location and the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation; the GIP acknowledged that the body pulled out of the water, which had been officially established as being that of Narducci, was not Narducci after all; and that Narducci was involved, the GIP said, in the case of the double homicide murders of the couples. This order was appealed by Narducci’s relatives, not by his wife but by his relatives. However the Supreme Court of Cassation rejected the appeal as inadmissible. Therefore, the matter is now closed at this point.

20’48’’ CNN: Yes, but the question is if you think”¦

20’50’’ Mignini: It is what I maintained. I maintained it and the GIP acknowledged it. He accepted these aspects. Then, regarding the whole matter, since there is another pending proceeding, it will not add anything more. I will only say that this aspect was the subject of a proceeding in which I maintained these things and the GIP acknowledged them. He accepted the whole accusatorial framework [impianto accusatorio].

21’55’’ CNN: The body in the lake was not Narducci’s?

22’00’’ Mignini: let me explain. The coroner who performed the autopsy is Prof. Giovanni Pierucci of the University of Pavia, head of the Forensic Medicine department at the University of Pavia, and other consultants, among them Brigadier General Luciano Garofano, who determined, from different points of view, the following things: the corpse that was pulled out of the lake on October 13, 1985, was that of a person who was almost bald, size 60, which means that it was in a state of bloating decomposition, was wearing specific clothing and was in such a state that the coroner, before he opened the coffin, thought he would be in the presence of a corpse that could no longer be effectively examined. Conversely, once he opened the coffin, he found Narducci’s body, with thick hair and it was wearing size 48/small belted pants. Around the waist the body was in excellent cadaver condition. In particular, the encephalon did not contain any diatoms which would have been present in a drowning case.

Therefore, the consultant who performed the autopsy stated that this situation, the dimensions of the corpse, the different clothing and the different state of cadaver preservation, indicated that the correspondence between the corpse that had been at the time recovered from the lake, as described by witnesses, and Narducci’s body was at best uncertain. To further ascertain whether or not the body recovered from the lake was Narducci’s, an anthropometric examination was conducted by a Pavia Forensic Medicine assistant, Dr. Cristina Carlesi, and then by the Parma RIS Commander, General Garofano, at that time a colonel. [The examination] confirmed that the corpse [recovered from the lake] had dimensional characteristics that made it incompatible with Narducci’s body examined [rinvenuto] during the autopsy. These aspects have been subject to multiple tests.

25’39’’ CNN: Dr. Mignini, do you like a good conspiracy theory?

25’42’’ Mignini: AHA! Here comes the conspiracy”¦ Listen, there is no conspiracy here, I do not know what that means. A size 60 person does not fit in a pair of size 48/small pants. There is no conspiracy here!

26’08’’ Mignini: There is not a conspiracy. This is reality. Fairy tales are another matter but this is reality. The reality is that one must examine the reality. Unfortunately, the reality is that when I started these investigations, which are different from the ones we discussed now, I did not have, I said: “let’s see what there is”. And the medical examiner told me these things. A corpse that has been under water for five days and that is in an advanced state of decomposition is in the emphysematous phase when it surfaces again which means that there is also abdominal bloating and a pair of size 48 pants cannot fit. And this one had hair, the other one did not. The point is that [missing words] if one drowns, you have diatoms but this one did not have any. And then there is the matter of the hyoid bone fracture”¦ This is not a conspiracy. I do not know what you mean by conspiracy.

27’16’’ CNN: Or rather a very imaginative reconstruction, one says, sorry, let me be clearer: in English one uses a lot [missing words]

27’31’’ Mignini: Look, there would have been a conspiracy if I had led with this idea. But I did not start off with this idea. I took note of, I always say this, take note of what is reality, of what can be touched, of what can be seen. That is, I cannot make up reality. If reality tells me that that person is wearing a pair of size 48 pants and it is preserved in perfect condition, eh! Forensics tell us that there is something that does not make sense.

0’11” Mignini: Pardon, if I might add, it’s the exact opposite of what he said. It is exactly because I take notice of the outcomes, I don’t have a predetermined idea. And so I take notice of what is there. And so if they say, “˜Look, that can’t be so’, his wife tells me, “˜he was wearing other clothes when I saw him leave for the last time. I’ve never seen these clothes before that I can see here in the photo of the recovered body’. Ah, so there is no conspiracy, it’s reality and it needs to be taken note of.

1’03” CNN: You’ve never said that Meredith’s death was a satanic rite?

1’08” Mignini: I have never said that. I have never understood who has and continues to say that. I read, there was a reporter, ““ I don’t know his name, I mention it because I noticed it, ““ who continues to repeat this claim that, perhaps, knowing full well that it’s not like that. I have never said that there might have been a satanic rite. I’ve never said it, so I would like to know who made it up. This is a conspiracy, a fantasy, to my detriment though, to my detriment. Simply a sexual act. And maybe I have always said, I maintained this in the first-instance trial, there was a relationship which deteriorated between the two girls. I’ve always maintained that. I’ll tell you this because”¦

2’54” CNN: The discussion of the news that came out yesterday, of the non-DNA that they found on the knife”¦

3’03” Mignini: Well, then I’ve said that I would prefer not to speak about the current phase of the case. Although I’ll tell you this, that when the tests were carried out by Forensics at the time, Forensics used, with cross-checking of the parties involved, all the genetic material present on the knife and the [bra-]clasp. That is, on the clasp there was a lot of it, so a part of it was used, but on the knife all the material that was there was used. It was an unrepeatable test, that exactly why it was unrepeatable [was] because all the material was used, because, taking all of it, a more reliable finding could be made, unable to be repeated. And so it came to be done with cross-checking of the parties involved. If this material was collected up three and a half years ago, what could have remained of this material? Nothing. The material on the clasp turned out then, I believe, to have deteriorated due to the presence of rust. And the rust could not have been prevented because, if one uses an anti-rust product, it would have burned the genetic material that remained. So I, I won’t enter into the merits of this discussion although, the test that was done at the time, was a definitive test, unrepeatable. The Court ruled that it was admissible to try and see if there was the possibility, to see if there were some material, some portion of material remaining. Probably there’s none left because it was used to do the tests at the time. That’s it. So it’s quite simple.

5’48’’ Help me to understand how is it possible that there was none found (DNA) in the room?

5’57’’ Mignini: How is it possible? It is possible, to begin with on the knife. The knife was in the room, means it was used. If the knife is the murder weapon, the knife was in the room. If that genetic material [is] like Dr. Stefanoni said, the genetic material of the victim on the blade and that of Amanda on the handle was in the room. The bra clasp contains the genetic material of Sollecito, and it was in the room. It was moved by one meter, because police can’t…. this can happen when there are so many items in these checks, but the bra clasp was in the room. There was genetic material of Sollecito there, of Rudy, and of the victim. So it is not true that there was no genetic material in the room, there was genetic material belonging to Sollecito, for example. And then if the knife is the murder weapon, as we found in the investigation process, the knife was on the scene of crime.

7’04’‘And then, anyway at one meter [distant] from the scene of the crime, in the corridor and in the small bathroom, there was: the mixed blood of Amanda… how is that possible? And so now I put the question to you, I return the question: how is it possible that there is mixed blood of Amanda, that mixed blood of Amanda and the victim was the small bathroom, which is very near, next to the murder room? That in the bathroom there is a footprint on the little mat dirty with blood, which is attributed to Sollecito? That in the corridor in front of the door of the crime room there are bloodied footprints attributed to Sollecito and Amanda? How is it possible to find these elements if they were not there? [That is a] question. I would like an answer from you but I’ll tell you.

Only a question ““ but I would like an answer to that ““ I ask you this:

08’52” Mignini: but that blood”¦., Amanda says that she did not see it on the night of the first; she saw it in the morning [of the 2nd] when she says she went into the room. How is it possible, if they stayed the night in Sollecito’s house, they spent the night in Sollecito’s house, that there can be mixed blood victim/Amanda in the little bathroom?

Sollecito’s blood-stained footprint on the bath mat? And the prints of Amanda and Sollecito in the corridor? Eh eh, we always come back to that?

09’42” Mignini: In any case, the law is not an exact science, as you can see, because it is capable of being appraised, the pieces of evidence are capable of being evaluated in various ways. The day there is a centralized computer, we will have fewer trials, we will feed the data into the computer and it will give an answer. Although it is clear that there are differing evaluations because the facts can be evaluated in different ways, the testifying, this happens in all trials.

10’40’’ CNN: is it possible for a prosecutor, who is facing problems on his own, to take this opportunity, of a so sensational case…

10’58’’ Mignini: I have not taken any opportunity, since that day I was [on duty] on my shift. We have a one-week long shift, so I have not taken this opportunity. I had been on duty since the previous Monday, and my shift would end on the following Monday, which was the 5th. I think, and since the crime was discovered on the 2nd it was me who had to intervene. Then if you tell me: how is it that there is a procedure of this type, in which there is an acquittal which I would like to be talked about, because, I notice, that nobody speaks about this acquittal. And instead the whole truth must be told, because [in] this procedure against us which, let me tell you the whole truth, this as a process is a bit strange, anyway there is an acquittal. A full acquittal of which no one has spoken. The conviction instead is temporary and is undergoing appeal.

Now, the Italian procedure provides that whenever there is a disciplinary proceeding against a magistrate, when disciplinary action would be, as in this case, merely related to a criminal proceeding, i.e., you have a criminal proceeding, there is automatically disciplinary procedure, the disciplinary procedure is suspended until the determination of the criminal proceeding. So, for one part there was a full acquittal, not “doubtful acquittal” [insufficient proof] but full, ascertained objectively. For another part there is an ongoing appeal, in which we have objected to the jurisdiction of the court of Florence. That is, the court of Florence shall not judge in this process because prosecutors in Florence were involved in the case in various ways. They could not deal with the proceeding in Florence because you can’t have a trial in your own home.

13’53’’ Mignini: after that I would like to add one more thing, if it helps. During the trial, I never [*avoided questioning], I have always undergone examination. That is, I said: ‘just put questions, I have no problem’. Because I have no problem about this case, I have done the investigations that were needed to be done. So, there was no attitude of intimidation, in the most absolute way, because, among other things, I explain to you, you can’t put pressure on a person by performing activities that will remain secret for that person, even a child understands this. Maybe my children [little girls], even the smaller ones would understand this. So I cannot intimidate a person if I try to put pressure on that person through an activity that the person knows nothing about; I am not intimidating anyone, you see, this thing is just unrealistic. Thus I never [*avoided] I have always undergone questioning and I have the utmost confidence in [*justice] because I always had the utmost confidence in the judiciary activity. I was always ready to undergo examination, I said ‘ask me what you want’, I have put all the acts at their disposal.

Those are investigations that require you to understand them, because they are complex investigations and a judicial authority that didn’t do these investigations won’t understand them. So much that I had a confirmation - now I won’t say much about this, I won’ explain in detail this aspect - I had a confirmation that, about this case that I dealt with, the magistrates who have dealt with did not grasp the range of it, and they assessed that these acts were acts unrelated to this case. I may add to this, since this is for the purpose of explaining the picture the Italian legal system [ .?. ]: ‘the crime of abuse of office’ [...] I’ve seen many times when they were explaining “convicted” [repeats “convict” in English] I think, of “abuse of power” [in English in text]. It is not abuse of power.

The “abuse of office” is a misdemeanor in Italy, that is, before the 1997 reform, it was a very indeterminate crime, and then one could even, giving a wrong interpretation, even configure a charge of this type. Today, in order to configure a charge of abuse of office, conditions are required such that the charge is unlikely to be configured because it requires a breach of the law in real time ... that is a law that has to be immediately “preceptive”, which means not a procedural violation, such as those that have been charged against me. This violation must have resulted in unjust harm as a direct result of that violation of the law. And the subject who committed the violation must have accomplished this action with willful malice. That is, they must have done it primarily in order to harm another person. But I cannot harm or intimidate someone by performing an activity that will remain unknown to the person. This I… it is just logic, not a matter of [ .?.]

18’16’’ CNN: Don’t you have even the slightest doubt that perhaps you accused two people who maybe are innocent?

18’32’’ Mignini: Look, I want to make you a [ .?. ], I want to be, I am very sincere, so, I’m very, very fair and very sincere when talking. I have the [.?. *certainty?], since I made some requests I had the absolute certainty that they were responsible. Thus, otherwise, if I had a doubt, this is my assessment, I would have asked for an acquittal with dubitative formula. I tell you another thing, though I was told this, I have not seen the movie, I do not know [if] this movie will be aired in Italy, about how is that one of the Life Time movie like… I was told that in that film the actor who plays me was smiling when Amanda was convicted. I was told that, I haven’t seen it, I don’t know if it’s true. Is it true, did you see it?

CNN: No.

Mignini: I was told that the actor smiles. I did not smile instead because it was a duty to make this request, but a judge who makes a request of conviction does not do it, let’s say, lightly, far from that. Because they are two young people whose families I can see and hence the suffering of these families. But I do it because it is my duty, I deemed to do it, so I did not have the slightest doubt. But it’s not true that I was happy. I mean that I was [not] like the actor that I was told about who smiles, because asking for the sentencing of two youths who could be my children, in short, is not something that makes you happy. This I would like to make it clear. That is I did it because I was sure, I did it but .... These are weighty matters. Because the judge who asks for a conviction does it with a, how to say it, a feeling of necessity It is a duty, but it’s not that one is happy about it. This is, I would like to make this clear. (...)

22’45’’ CNN: But at the same time, can you sleep at night thinking you did the right thing?

22’53’’ Mignini: I have a clear conscience, yes. You, I remember you were present when I made the request for conviction, the sentencing request, I have ... I explained it, it happened to me because I was the most senior judge, that was not the colleague, my colleague had carried out her work, her scope: the matter relating to genetic testing, cells phones, computer investigation. I had to do the investigative part, let’s say that by the event, the part dealing with the evidence collection. And then at the end I had to make the final request, I tell you, I have four daughters, so I know what it means, I am”¦ I have a clear conscience because I asked, and I did, what I deemed [it had to] be done. I asked what I deemed and this is my assessment, I am ... who knows me knows that there is a way to persuade me: to convince me rationally. I am ... and those who know me know it, one who, when faced with a rational assessment, I often happened to concede that the person who has proven it to me was right. But I must be convinced. If I am not convinced, I am not convinced and I have my position. My position [is one] that I draw from the analysis of the elements, never by a preconceived or conspiracy-oriented assessment, anyway from the facts, from facts alone absolutely.

25’32’’ Mignini: I hope that, I do not know if it’s over, think it’s over, I hope that there was a [..?.. *question] ..., there is one, a lot of different views, including the interpretation of events that occurred, that are very different. I tried, I didn’t have means because the judge is not allowed to speak much, and not much freely. I had read many times, I also received messages that were not exactly pleasant. Then also I read a lot of things that were totally unfounded and I hope I made a contribution. That means, you can have different opinions. I [think]”¦ Sure, you can have different opinions, I, as the magistrate who works as a prosecutor; it was me in the investigation at the first instance trial and now as an assistant on appeal. You can have different opinions, I respect opinions but I expect that you do not put into question the good faith and intellectual honesty of the investigators, because there are no [*prejudices? reasons?] towards those young people who were totally unknown.

We did what we deemed [was right] doing, what we found, which one may not subscribe to. I respect all opinions, but the ones who were responsible for conducting the investigation and supporting what is called the accusation, that anyway, let’s repeat it, is not an accusation but an organ of justice, [those ones] are us. And we took the responsibility for doing what we asked for. There is a colleague who worked with me, she was very useful because she helped me on some issues, from a biological standpoint, she is a colleague with whom we work together in the executive council of the National Association of Magistrates. So I hope that, I don’t know, but I wish, just hope, that at least I have been able to help in clarifying [the matter]. That is, that at least something could be said [missing words] that is not exactly what we thought. This is what I would like, at least I hope.

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Thanks to the team for translating this epic interview.  Mignini sounds like a nice normal professional chap going about his daily business who is getting unfair abuse from a crowd of peope who really don’t have a clue. Harold Camping has more credibility than the Seattle clowns trying to defend Amanda in the media.  Mignini shouldn’t have to put up with the media assault and he has my sympathy.

That said.

He probably should leave the case if possible.  The FOA & Doug Preston have made him into an unintended sideshow.  His own trial and the perceived problems over the MoF case is a reason for the press to say “Amanda’s trial wasn’t fair”.  Sadly, perception is reality and the perception of Mignini is that he is corrupt.  He isn’t but the way he’s been framed by the press, he’s not a great front man anymore.  The next thing he should do is sue the arse off the journo that first printed the Satanic rite theory to prove he never said it.  Remove Mignini and you take a huge chuck of the criticism away from the legal process and make the FOA look even more petty (if that is even possible). It might mean that a few of them stop banging the “Italian justice is rubbish” gong and start actually looking at the evidence.  I really feel sorry for Mignini, it’s not fair that he should have to leave the case but I do think that in the long run it will be better for all involved.

Posted by daisysteiner on 05/24/11 at 03:31 PM | #

Hi Daisy. You don’t think that his leaving the case would look like capitulation and in fact encourage the campaign to bark on that there is no smoke without fire?

We have habitually taken the other tack here: get the FULL story out about Mignini and let people who care to read decide. Many media people read here, and the BBC and other media sites periodically link. This BBC report was one result and we believe there will soon be others.

If he leaves the case under a cloud, Preston and the other demonizers in effect win, his story will never more be explored, and the perps could be out in short order.

Mignini is actually very marginally involved now and rarely appears in court and then with no speaking role. He didn’t look to be involved in the appeal - he was ordered to by a judge because of the extreme complexity of the case.

This is the third Mignini interview we have posted and each time he comes across better. The others are here and here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/24/11 at 04:58 PM | #

Interesting to see that Mignini says he has read a few websites. I don’t expect that his grasp of english amounts to much so presumably italian websites mostly, but if he has visited TJMK one of his daughters or someone else might have been able to translate!

Posted by James Raper on 05/24/11 at 05:43 PM | #

The daughters would have been shocked after having seen their father barbecueing at work (photo 4) !

Posted by Helder Licht on 05/24/11 at 06:04 PM | #

Hi Pete

I just think that by taking away the focus of their moans, the FOA case looks more and more pathetic.  Removing Mignini removes Doug Preston’s horse in the race and prevents the media from latching onto the idea that this prosecution is one man’s crusade against the poor little victim, Amanda Knox.  I agree that Mignini has been quiet and is letting Comodi take the lead, this is a good thing.  I also think that the translation is a brilliant move as it allows the English speaking nations to understand where he is coming from and get full picture of and from the man himself.  I don’t see it as capitulation, I see it as the FOA winning a skirmish which is completely irrelevant (irrelevant because if you remove Mignini, the case won’t go away like many of them seem to think it will as they really do view it as one man’s crusade against Amanda & America) before they get wiped out in the final verdict.  Sadly, I just don’t think that supporters of Amanda Knox are clever or broadminded enough to read the Mignini interview and change their view.

Posted by daisysteiner on 05/24/11 at 06:13 PM | #

Hi James. Yes that is interesting for sure. We know that Mignini has someone watching the sites and his daughter speaks excellent English.  The original Italian version of this translation will be up very soon on our Italian-language page - CNN’s report of course was aired only in English, par for the course for big media “fairly reporting” the details of this case.

Accidentally and unintended here, CNN may have done Mignini a real favor.  Before this is all over, we hope to have our own video interviews to fill in any gaps. His very precise answers here sure go a long way. As Hopeful implied in a previous comment, this is not a guy that ever waffles.

Skeptical Bystander labeled the CNN report a hatchet job. Is the interview presenting you with any surprises in light of your close study of the report?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/24/11 at 06:30 PM | #

Hi Daisy. Our intent is not to change the views of AK supporters, a sysephean task for sure. It is to get Mignini’s full story out in English in particular for a hard-pressed media with limited resources for good coverage.

And Knox supporters are trying to assign blame to Mignini for things he did three years ago, not now, and the idea that their demonization would just stop if he somehow left against a judge’s orders does seem a little, ah, quaint. They demonized him all through 2010 when it was then presumed his role was done.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/24/11 at 06:39 PM | #

What a difference 2 years has made in CNN’s reporting on the Meredith Kercher murder case!

In December 5, 2009 CNN reported this story after Amanda Knox’s and Raffaele Sollecito’s convictions for having murdered Meredith Kercher. The title of this December 5, 2009 article says,



Some excerpts from CNN’s own article published 2 years ago that CNN really should re-read.

“Public prosecutor Giulliano Mignini told CNN he feels he presented a strong case. He said about 20 magistrates worked alongside police during the investigation. However, he said that in the planned appeals, clearly the conviction is not final.

People who disagree with the verdict should at least respect it, because so many professionals were involved in the investigation, Mignini said.”

Posted by True North on 05/25/11 at 01:24 AM | #

The great British politician Tony Benn, when he is asked to do an interview, always checks how much time the producer wishes to fill, and then he grants them EXACTLY that time, not a minute more. That way, he can be certain his words will not be misused and misconstrued. The way CNN twisted Mr. Mignini’s words in such an unfair manner is proof that this approach is very sensible, and I hope it is something Mr. Mignini adopts in future.

Posted by Janus on 05/25/11 at 03:27 AM | #

Thank you to all the translators for all their work to get the truth out there. This man is clearly a very intelligent, calm, professional who has a very logical mind based in reality. I was very impressed to read this interview.

@ Daisy - I believe their are two kinds of Amanda Knox supporters - those close to her and her family who know the truth and are doing whatever it takes and those simply brainwashed by the media. Oh, wait, I forgot, those who wish to cash in on these tragedy and simply don’t care what the truth is.

Posted by bedelia on 05/25/11 at 03:47 AM | #

@Pete & former bad girl

I take your point.  I tip my hat to Mignini for having the balls to do this interview, it must have taken some serious thought before he agreed to do it.  I just feel that the Mignini talk is a distraction but then I suppose that the people who are using him and his past as a reason to get Amanda off are the desperate ones who are clinging to anything to take the focus off the mountain of real tangible evidence.  Quite honestly, if I can I hear the magic word “guilty” twice more for Knox & Sollecito I really don’t care who is the prosecutor.

Posted by daisysteiner on 05/25/11 at 04:05 PM | #

Right by the bedroom door where Meredith was killed, “there are bloodied footprints attributed to Sollecito and Amanda”, says Mignini. (7’04”)

“...we always come back to that.”  (8’52”)

Irrefutable logic reveals that these two young people walked in Meredith’s blood and therefore did the crime.

Mignini took no pleasure in pronouncing a guilty verdict.  He felt grief because he saw young lives marred forever and their suffering families who were innocent having to suffer, too.

His courage outweighed his emotions. That must always be the case with a judge. He acted from DUTY, not desire. He had a DUTY to decide rationally based on all the facts, and DUTY is a hard thing. Only a fraction of the population is capable of real courage and fidelity to standards. Most people waver and crack under the pressure of other human beings.

Emotion is a crueler mistress than duty in the final analysis, because duty lines up with what is right, not what feels good. The conscience is clear when one follows what is right. Though painful at the moment, one actually feels better in the long run than if he capitulates to expediency. I haven’t mastered this. New courage is called for every day.

Mignini relies on intellect, not emotion, yet he balances this with a knowledge of human nature. It’s the rare ability of a judge. He must have strong people skills but an undeviating intellect and the wisdom of Solomon. He must not be susceptible to the influence of self-interested parties who flatter or manipulate or ingratiate themselves in some very irresistible way by appealing to his vanity or hope of gain or advancement. There are few he can “trust”. He must be gentle but powerful. He must through his own intrinsic nature and demeanor be able to command respect. There are very few people like this. I believe they are born, not made.

A judge must be very strong to not let power corrupt him. He must be able to suffer a lot of sad things and not lose his strength, like a good nurse. They see so much misery, so much ugliness. It would be easy to despair and flee the job to curtain off the negativity. Yet he remains to help, to cure society even when problems seem to be gaining the upper hand.

A good judge is a rare man. “He who is of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” Don’t underestimate the intellectual ability it takes to sift through so much data and remember it. A judge needs a good mind and a big heart, well-integrated.

“bloodied footprints…Sollecito and Amanda”  The facts speak for themselves.

“bloodied footprints”  This is the evidence the FOA has bludgeoned with the hammer of doubt for years because they know it is the strongest proof against Knox and Raffaele.

It was Mignini’s DUTY as the prosecutor for the citizens of Perugia to act and defend them against proven murderers. This is not a pleasant job, but a vital one.

La Rochefoucald (sp?) I believe said, ‘Courage is the only security’. Yes, Amanda was right that the court does require courage of its own to follow through with sad tasks. I think a lot of people are looking for more courage.

Posted by Hopeful on 05/25/11 at 04:49 PM | #

Nice capture Hopeful. Reporters who have actually sat with Mignini have told me the very same things. One brave moral dedicated guy.

His reputation in Umbria is considerable, and if he had to run for office, he would be a real shoo-in. Real pity about that turf war with Florence, in terms of guts and steadfastness he puts at least one of their prosecutors to shame.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 05/25/11 at 09:14 PM | #

Even though the reporter was baiting Mignini, the wise magistrate kept his cool. He was very effective in answering the worn-out “no evidence in the room” question by stating that the murder weapon and the bra clasp were both in the room during the murder.  He also brought up the bloodied footprints and the mixed blood in the nearby bathroom. Mignini also gave a clear explanation of why all of Meredith’s DNA on the knife was used for an “unrepeatable” test.  I’m hoping that the prosecutors in the appeal will be bold in explaining to the new judges the powerful evidence of guilt that led to the unanimous convictions.

Posted by Sailor on 05/25/11 at 10:46 PM | #

No Barry, you nailed it in simple terms. There is a mountain of evidence and it seems implausible to the other side partly because the stupity of these 3 murderers is hard to believe. The Italians got it right the first time and lets hope her sentence increases for the slander of these police. I really believe that ak is a serious danger to society and the longer she sits in prison society remains safe from her.

Posted by friar fudd on 05/26/11 at 10:38 AM | #

Hi Barry,

You are right. This case is not that complex at all.

Not for a professional investigator - not even, at the outset, for an amateur sleuth.

There were so many signposts for an investigator just in the first few days of the investigation.

And then there was the detailed and time consuming investigative work - the witness statements, the luminol identifying unseen traces of evidence, the collection and DNA analysis of samples, the computer and cellphone analysis, the taped conversations and the diaries etc - all methodical work which simply served to corroborate the signposting.

The investigation was effectively over within 2-3 months although Mignini took longer to present the findings.

How many murders are solved within that time scale?

The speed and ease of the investigation surprised many people. Some are disturbed by it and for these people the rush to judgement nonsense and the interfering tabloid sensationalism have some resonance.

Then we have the lengthy court case itself within which time, with the assistance of pro-Amanda campaigners, to nitpick over every single item of evidence. And so we get, with the help of Massei, in to the explanation of the DNA, computer and cellphone evidence, which is of course complex by it’s nature.

But the case itself is not complex and in some measure we, and ironically Meredith as well, are indebted to Amanda and Raffaele for that!

Posted by James Raper on 05/26/11 at 12:04 PM | #

i’m glad i’m not the only one who has found this case less than complex. the aggravation of the sturm und drang by the FOA has made what should have been a simple trial into a media circus, but one suspects that was the goal. i’ll be glad when this appeal is over, the last barely credible witness for the defense has been heard to the conviction can be upheld and the kerchers can draw a line under this horrific ordeal…as if losing their daughter was not horrific enough.

all of this nonsense lies squarely at the feet of ms. knox and her repugnant supporters and family. all of them are beneath contempt imho.

Posted by mojo on 05/26/11 at 07:01 PM | #

Hi mojo,

There is nothing complex about the case at all. Knox and Sollecito both lied repeatedly to the police and gave multiple conflicting alibis. They are both implicated by several pieces of DNA and forensic evidence. Knox repeatedly stated that she was at the cottage when Meredith was killed, she voluntarily admitted that she was involved in Meredith’s murder and accused an innocent man of murder despite the fact she knew he was completely innocent. There is no doubt that the break-in was staged.

Posted by The Machine on 05/26/11 at 09:33 PM | #

So far, I’ve noticed a pattern with the pro knox crowd. They stick to two main ideas:

1) Rudy did the whole crime himself

2) This was some frame up job

I’ve seen others. One guy tried to claim that Raphael’s cousin came in to the crime scene and picked up the bra strap..which is why his DNA is there.

I’ve also noticed that the “footprints tested negative for blood” argument is brought up pretty frequently, and a google search proves that finding information on this is tough, and the only things I found on that were from Fox News, Oregonlive, and Seattle PI. It’s not that I nessesarily believe that, but I’m interested in what they have to say. I find the theory of fruit juice being the reason for the prints to be a bit ludicrous.

I think she was guilty at first because of her lies, her strange behavior, and the fact that she tried to frame her boss. Then as I read on I learned that she knew details of the victim that no one else did, The staged break in, and the obviousness of the fact that it would be impossible, or at least higly unlikely, of Rudy scaling a 14 foot wall to gain entry when there were at least one window on the ground level that would have made breaking into the apartment 100% easier. Anyway, I’m probably rambling as all you people know this stuff anyway.

The only thing I dont really believe is that there was a sex game that gone wrong. I think it was a gang upon by three people, sparked by an argument over stolen money. It seems a little more plausable to me.


Is there any evidence that Amanda was a cocaine addict by this time, or is this speculation? I’ve heard that she got into meth as well. Again, might just be speculation.

Finaly, I agree with Mojo abouot her supporters. The ones that really get me going are the ones who think they know more than the family. I would post an example, but I probably shouldnt. I suppose discussion with these people are fruitless, but I enjoy a good debate..maybe I should have been a lawyer…

Posted by Barry on 05/26/11 at 11:32 PM | #

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