Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fast Forwarding And Minimalizing Demanded By Cassation Could See Appeal Conclude This Year

Posted by Peter Quennell

[Above: the interior atrium of the new Florence Palace of Justice]

We posted below on Florence’s probable new chief prosecutor, the formidable Dr Spataro.

The new attorney general for Tuscany, Dr Tindari Baglione, is also said to be formidably unbending. He will select the prosecutors for the appeal. The selection of judges is unlikely to follow the murky precedent of Perugia’s humiliated Chief Judge Di Nunzio in appointing what Cassation considered to be two incompetents.

One of the many dirty tricks involved Giulia Bongiorno’s new baby. She asked for plenty of time to attend to it, which humanized her, and the 2011 appeal court met on average only every 3-4 weeks. This allowed the PR to build to a crescendo over the better part of a year.

Also it placed the Kerchers at a huge disadvantage as they get no financial help to attend. The 2011 jury saw them just once face to face - after the verdict had been “decided”.

We wont see a replay of that farce in Florence. Weekly meetings of the court are expected, and with this fast-forwarding and the instructions of Cassation to minimize the scope, the verdict should be arrived at by the end of this year, or only very shortly thereafter.

Cassation could endorse the final outcome as soon as next spring or summer.

Well prior to this playing out, the investigations into the contempt of court by RS and AK in their ill-advised books will be completed, and new charges against both of them and their publishers and key capos in their entourages seem rather certain, as well as against Oggi.

If RS and AK fail to attend the opening session of the appeal court they would not neccessarily be charged additionally, but they could be ordered back to prison for the duration of the appeal and arrest warrants could be issued,

If there is a real case to be made for either of them not attending we have not seen it. But their books pretty well rule out any exposure to cross-examination on the stand.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/11/13 at 07:14 AM in Appeals 2009-2015Florence 2014+


Talking of hapless defenses, Giulia Bongiorno seems to be in a number of different fixes. Not least was Cassation’s tart remarking that Aviello should have been fully heard out and his main claim investigated.

His main claim was that the Sollecito defense forces floated the notion of rewards for testimony helpful to Sollecito in Aviello’s prison, which was near Turin. (He was later released, and quickly found himself in a whole quagmire of new trouble.)

Aviello’s claim is for Florence to choose to investigate, and it is hard to see how Bongiorno stays on RS’s team if they do with a cloud hanging over her like that.

She is the only lawyer in the defense teams to have had a previous case before Cassation. She lost, so an excuse to leave this sinking ship might be a blessing in disguise.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/11/13 at 07:45 AM | #

Aviello and tests on the knife.  I posted recently at PMF in reply to someone who wondered what had been successfully appealed.

I think this appeal may widen much of the investigation.

On a personal level, I understand Bongiorno’s feelings for her child but I likewise feel sorrow, dismay, and anger for that child having been deployed as a public relations tool.

Posted by Stilicho on 07/11/13 at 09:40 AM | #

Sincerely hope it does, Peter.

You know, I’ve read every word here and most of PMF.  The number of times people here and I too have tried to nut it out, tried to come to terms with why ...

And in the end, I think it may well have been as simple as Meredith crossing AK.

That’s all it takes with the modern girl.

Casey Anthony
Jodi Arias
Julia Merfeld
Clara Schwartz
Rachel Shoaf
Sheila Eddy

It’s to do with too much scope and power too young, to much acceleration, the sick culture, dysfunctional families - it’s all been mentioned.

The upshot is that that could well be a 2 year old in that 20 year old’s head.  How on earth could a court come to terms with something like that?

Posted by James Higham on 07/11/13 at 01:17 PM | #

Hi James

Interesting list. It could be said that the defenses misplayed the whole issue of motivation. By the start of 2009 an almost insanely hard line had set in on the PR front which erupted so publicly at a Knox fundraiser at Salty’s in West Seattle.

The Knox defense openly (to their credit) distanced themselves from this demonization by the likes of Preston and Ciolino and Bremner and Heavey (Moore and Fischer only came along much later, and swallowed all this stuff uncomprehendingly).

But the defenses were seemingly not allowed to meet in the middle with the prosecution which was offering a scenario of a hazing against Meredith that escalated out of control - mainly in the jealous rage of Knox who both Micheli and Massei concluded delivered the final thrust of the knife that killed Meredith.

That exactly fits with the real persona of Knox who for most of her first month in Perugia was shedding potential friends and was finally reduced to only her soulmate in hell Sollecito having any time for her - and even he finding her quite a handful.

Had Knox lived at home for the two years she was at UW in Seattle instead of hitting the drug scene there, she might never have been allowed to head out with such unstructured plans and such weak funding. She really was a loose canon before she ever left Seattle and events in Germany and her first weeks in Perugia proved that.

This rare very loose mode of study travel freaked out many American universities after Meredith was murdered. Had Knox headed out now she would have a strong either/or choice: accept supervision and rules of behavior, or travel with no connection whatever to her home university.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/11/13 at 04:02 PM | #

Hi Stilicho.

Agreed. Judges Hellmann and Zanetti (who probably wrote the sentencing report) accepted only a few narrow points for examination in the hearings but then illegally expanded their conjectures to misconstrue most of the evidence and witness statements.

Cassation brought them down hard on this mismatch which would not have happened with the kind of experienced criminal judges we will see presiding in Florence.

It’s a cliffhanger what demands the hard-pressed defenses and the Florence prosecution will advance though Cassation must have the defenses wishing their strategy back in 2008-2009 had been allowed to be different and they had not all played roles in those two pesky books.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/11/13 at 04:14 PM | #

Hi Pete.

It’s the first time I have heard they ‘could be ordered back to prison’ if they don"t show up for first ciurt date. Could you clarify why that would be so? I thought they were ok until or unless they are finally adjudged to be guilty.

Posted by thundering on 07/11/13 at 10:27 PM | #

@James Higham:

I agree with you. Meredith must have crossed Amanda. Is it such a modern phenomenon though? I think this is a reaction as old as humanity.

Posted by thundering on 07/11/13 at 10:33 PM | #

Can the court order them held even if they show for the first day?

Posted by Bettina on 07/12/13 at 12:20 AM | #

I was just reading the Galati report on Bongiornos involvement with bribes and also Rafs sister was mentioned as being involved with the process to get Aviello $$, but he had no one to funnel it thru? Either way, it sounds unethical.

Posted by Bettina on 07/12/13 at 05:40 AM | #

@ James Higham
@ Peter Quennall

I agree Knox acted in a jealous rage.Who can really understand why ? However given Knox’s narcissistic personality disorder (lack of empathy, need for the admiration of all, arrogant to the core, impulsive, sensation-seeking and ability to manipulate weak me) then it could be that Meredith really simply outshone her in connecting with others and caring for her friends.

The probable row over Meredith’s missing money may have been a cause for confrontation, but Knox could not tolerate being seen to be insignificant in the lives of those she wanted desperately to like her. This is speculation I know but I feel that Meredith did not do anything to cross Knox.

If Knox fails to appear at the appeal in Florence is it likely that she could be arrested and imprisoned in the USA pending the appeal courts decision to confirm the original conviction?

Thankfully Italy has now given Sollecito and Knox the birthday presents they both deserve. May Meredith’s family find some truth in Floerence.

Posted by Olliebear on 07/13/13 at 01:48 AM | #

Raffaele’s 15,000 plus Facebook supporters have just 80 days to raise his $500,000 ‘to fight this injustice’ before the appeal starts 30 September.

The current total is $15,480 raised in 23 days.

Posted by thundering on 07/13/13 at 02:42 AM | #

@James Higham

And in the end, I think it may well have been as simple as Meredith crossing AK. I too think the same. Although the details will probably never be known fully, the final result must be what you say. MK was also probably somewhat “hard-headed”, did not see or believe what is coming.

But I wonder whether this is a symptom of the modern times. Boys and girls come in all types and characters and we had them in primitive times too. What I would say that they resist classifications.

But then I have often asked about a world without bad boys and bad girls. A sterile world, you bet!

Posted by chami on 07/13/13 at 03:32 PM | #

@James Higham
@ James Higham
@ Peter Quennall

I think the fundamental reason for the attack is contained in the pages that were ripped out of AKs diary.

Posted by starsdad on 07/13/13 at 05:09 PM | #

@James Higham

I agree regarding MK crossing AK.

Like Luciano Garofano I don’t believe the rape scenario - that was part of the staged lone burglar set-up.

More likely it was a fight that spiralled out of control - and I go along with Garafano’s deeply satisfying idea that in self-defence MK hit AK pretty damn hard (from karate she would know how to do that)- thus the drops of Knox’s blood at the crime scene, consistent with a nose bleed.

In all likelihood our love-birds derived some twisted justification, after the event, of MK getting her deserts for (a)asserting herself (rightly)and criticising her flatmates inconsiderate behaviour and (b) for defending herself so valiantly when push came to shove and the knives came out. In other words they probably saw it (and still see it) just as a fight which they “won”. Is there an unconscious hint of this in AK’s otherwise strange and bald assertion “it could have been me”?

Posted by Odysseus on 07/13/13 at 05:20 PM | #

Hi Odysseus,

There is no question that Rudy Guede sexually assaulted Meredith. His DNA was found on a vaginal swab and on Meredith’s bra.

Posted by The Machine on 07/13/13 at 05:40 PM | #

Hi The Machine

Maybe I didn’t express it well, what I meant was I doubt there was an “agreed plan” to satisfy “sexual instincts”, as per Micheli, though I can imagine the sexual assault as part of the overall,  spiralling assault and fight.

Attempts were certainly made to make it look like a rape ( bra removal after the killing).I can’t find a reference so perhaps you can clarify if that was semen DNA on the vaginal swab or was that other skin DNA indicating what I believe is termed “manual rape”?

Posted by Odysseus on 07/13/13 at 06:55 PM | #

@ James. Your Summary is invincible:

“...And in the end, I think it may well have been as simple as Meredith crossing AK

…It’s to do with too much scope and power too young…The upshot is that that could well be a 2 year old in that 20 year old’s head…”

Posted by Cardiol MD on 07/13/13 at 07:14 PM | #

@The Machine

I think many will agree that AK has some raw primitive attraction (some call it beauty) that traps men for quite some time: the classic dear-in-the-headlight effect.

In fact, she takes pride in her power to control and enslave men: even if it is for a short time only. RG was one of these victims. Even RS was a puppy in her hands. Did I say “was”?

I can guess AK shouting out instructions to the two slaves: RS to do this and that and RG to do this and that.


I doubt a ” pretty damn hard” hit on the nose can be easily hidden. Remember the stolen makeup item from the Filomena’s kit? It must have been a “almost” missed hit.

Most of these trainings in “self-defense courses” are just that- they are trained for self-defense and not for attack. They are only marginally useful in most serious cases of attack. Just my personal opinion and nothing more.

Posted by chami on 07/13/13 at 09:21 PM | #

Hi Chami

Absolutely - who knows (apart from the trio)?

I think you may be agreeing with me to some extent when you mention the stolen make-up, so even if it was a “missed hit” it was still an attempt at a hit that required cosmetic cover?

Karate - I agree. From my very limited knowledge it might be no real defence against three losers with knives. That’s not the point - MK would have used what she knew. Enough to give her attacker a nose-bleed but, given her constraint by the other two, not enough to actually break the nose. Unfortunately.  A broken nose would have been the ultimate damning evidence!

Roll on justice for Meredith.

Posted by Odysseus on 07/14/13 at 12:48 AM | #

@ Chami [and the other guys and gals of course]:

MK was also probably somewhat “hard-headed”, did not see or believe what is coming.

Absolutely.  Meredith was straight down the line.  Such an open person, annoyed by things she sees, says something but does not understand she’s signed her death warrant with someone completely unused to being gainsaid.

Shudder just to think of it.  Please, please let this thing be over soon and some sort of peace come to the Kerchers.

Posted by James Higham on 07/14/13 at 09:09 AM | #

When (Not If) Knox is indited to appear I can just see a tremendous ground swell of cheap indignation from the P/R bunch. This can be countermanded by “Well if she is innocent then what’s all the noise about so why not?” They will trot out the usual “Italian Jurisprudence is not to be trusted etc:”
Which will only dig themselves in deeper. I remember a quote by John Stewart on his show when he pointed out that Knox never said “I’m Innocent.”
But said she wanted the “truth to come out” Interesting turn if phrase since she knows she is as guilty as hell.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/14/13 at 11:02 PM | #

Posted by Miriam on 07/15/13 at 12:49 AM | #

Hi Miriam

Thanks for the link. “... will be the Deputy Attorney General of Florence Alessandro Horsehair”. What an interesting name. Suggests he may be tough?!

Posted by Odysseus on 07/15/13 at 11:27 AM | #


Just realised - his name is Alessandro Crini, which Google translates into English as Alessandro Horsehair!

Posted by Odysseus on 07/15/13 at 12:23 PM | #

On the streets it’s not unusual for someone to be killed for “disrespecting” someone with a high opinion of themselves. This is all part of the gang culture that has been the mainstay of the music industry for over a decade.  Plus, the mix of cocaine and alcohol or any kind of chemical stimulant and alcohol can turn anyone (perhaps not anyone but you get my gist) into a killer in the wrong circumstances. I think AK was furious with Meredith for nicking her job, or perhaps being more popular/clever, or maybe even being rejected her on Halloween.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t weed she was on that night.  Being an ex rock chick I’ve seen normally placid people become raving lunatics when fueled by coke and alcohol.

Posted by Earthdog on 07/15/13 at 03:45 PM | #

Hi Thundering and Olliebear

You ask about the possibility of early arrest.

Given that the Supreme Court has eliminated the possibility of a not guilty outcome in the new appeal unless an IDENTIFIED two others are shown to have been with Guede on the night, the coming reactions of the Knox-Mellas and Sollecito teams are the most fascinating aspects of the case.

Cassation annulled the Hellmann outcome except for Knox’s prison sentence, so the legal state of play is essentially back to where Massei left things, which was with the two locked up.

The RS and AK books each highly disrespect the Italian system and officers of the court; and if the two dont show on Day One that is in effect more contempt of the court.

The Italian system is extremely mild but no-shows could well be a bridge too far.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/15/13 at 04:52 PM | #

Ah I see.  Thank you.

Posted by thundering on 07/15/13 at 05:48 PM | #


Blimey, thanks for your last post. That really is encouraging (for us, grim for AK and RS).

I didn’t realise it comes down to having to find two identified others…

Posted by Odysseus on 07/15/13 at 06:39 PM | #

@Peter Quennell

Thanks for the clarification Peter. Yes it is good news that both Knox and Sollecito regardless of any PR hype will have to put up a defence against a clear guilty verdict. It was an Alan Dershowitz comment I think that suggested that Knox may serve time stateside. When the verdict is announced would
Knox be arrested and imprisoned untill the third and final legal act is decided? And in the meantime would a possible extradition order be put in place to return her to Cappanne.

Can not believe the not guilty verdict on the Trayvon Martin case.

Posted by Olliebear on 07/16/13 at 12:59 AM | #

Hi Olliebear,

It’s not the first time a defendant in a high-profile case in America has been surprisingly acquitted. OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony were also found not guilty.

Posted by The Machine on 07/16/13 at 01:43 AM | #

I want to thank Peter Quennell for his SERVICE JOURNALISM.
Timing is everything. Maybe the faster pace will put things in sharper perspective. Fewer delays aid memory and recall. I hope things conclude by the end of 2013. Meanwhile it has given me time to look back at Will Savive’s book and John Follain’s.

Amanda in her love of acting using the Questura as a stage to play mindgames with poor Sophie and Samantha and her captive audience in the waiting room, may have let the cat out of the bag from the very beginning. See quote from page 92 of John Follain:

“Amanda was the first to have her fingerprints taken and came back complaining that her hands were dirty. She was calmly rubbing them together in an effort to clean them.”

“Soon afterwards, while Samantha was comforting Sophie, Amanda suddenly raised her eyes to the ceiling and shouted vehemently: ‘Those f&*#ing

“Sophie and Samantha stared at each other, bewildered. They thought Amanda must mean the murderers, because she then started to talk about what could have happened to Meredith. She repeated, ‘Why? Why? Why?’”

“Sophie and Samantha had assumed there was only one murderer.”
But it seems Amanda assumed there was MORE than one murderer. She says as much in the police station. Amanda said too much. She said the word, “bastards”, plural. So she knew that more than one person killed Meredith. Hamlet she is and she isn’t.

Then Aviello was put on the stand to claim that the “more than one person” who killed Meredith was none other than his own brother, Antonio, who had long disappeared (how convenient) and an Albanian named Florio. Aviello said these two had been commissioned to steal a valuable painting but had burgled the wrong house. They had been spotted by “a woman in a dressing gown” (couldn’t have been Meredith, she was wearing jeans) whom they stabbed to death.

Maresca made short shrift of Alessi by holding up photos of baby Onofri that Alessi had hit in the head with a shovel and killed yet still lied about.

Maresca pointed out that Aviello had been convicted of slander no fewer than 9 times. Aviello’s credibility was further decimated by police and fellow prisoners, his whole story a tissue of lies.

“Death in Perugia” by John Follain, p.396-400

Posted by Hopeful on 07/16/13 at 02:00 AM | #

@ the Machine
@ Hopeful.

I can only second the Thanks Hopeful gives to Peter.This site is one of the more positive sides of technology. The abysmal reporting on this case in the media has been more than well countered by the depth of reporting here. God alone knows what despicable action the Knox camp and FOA have been spinning in Peters direction. The Italian judicial system is robust,fair and thorough.In contrast the handling of the Trayvon Martin case only highlights how skewed justice in the american system actually is. Yes no surprise…the stand your ground rule meant it was not even going to be investigated at first. so even getting to trial was something. Amanda Knox appears to behave in a way that somehow puts her above the law. Sollecito’s family also sunk to beyond despicable in putting Aviello on the stand…Thank you again Peter.Meredith deserves justice and hopefully her family will have some clarity and true justice in Florence.

Posted by Olliebear on 07/16/13 at 09:50 AM | #

Yes Me too. Peter is an inspiration. In this world of salacious lying slander (Read Ground Report here) This site with it’s quiet introspection and collection/correlation of the fact in this case stands as a beacon of good sense and truth. Way to go Peter.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/16/13 at 04:38 PM | #

I’d like to second Grahame Rhodes, and add my gratitude to Peter.
A real example of how an on-line site can be run with integrity.

Posted by SeekingUnderstanding on 07/16/13 at 09:21 PM | #
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