Monday, July 25, 2011

Tenth Appeal Court Session: Italian Reporting So Far Good, First English-Language Reports Misleading

Posted by Peter Quennell

Italian media are reporting flatly and evenly that the court session has begun. Some have asked to use quotes from our posts on the suspect report.

First English language reports are less impressive. Peter Popham of the UK Independent which has been a major propagator of false facts in the past has already posted this:

There has never been any forensic evidence placing Amanda Knox at the scene of Ms Kercher’s murder.

Actually there has been. Plenty. Various mixed-blood traces in the bathroom, corridor and Filomena’s bedroom, and several footprints in blood. All these the defenses generally keep well away from, as there simply seems no innocent way to explain them.. 

More misreporting can be presumed and we will add any additional examples here or in comments below.

Francesco Maresca, the lawyer for the victim and her family, made a strong statement before the start of the court session. Here it is from TGCom in part:

The family of Meredith Kercher, the British student murdered in Perugia, is feeling “a lot of concern” about the latest developments in the appeal process. This was conveyed by their lawyer Francesco Maresca.

The new findings are considered “slight, but perhaps still too much, given the wild atmosphere in which they have been advanced, in contrast to the evidence that was seriously and carefully developed and presented by prosecution forensic scientists.”

“As to the objections of the new experts, they are familiar. We know them by heart and they have already been presented… The Kercher family is surprised at the categorical nature of Conti and Vecchiotti’s assessment.”

He added that “there is much other proof that shows the guilt of the two accused parties.”

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Peter Popham eh! Typical and not surprising in the slightest. I am reminded of the Joseph Goebbles quote when he said “If you must tell a lie then tell a big lie so that some dirt may stick.” Or something along those lines.

The closer we get to the final verdict the more harsh, strident and just plain silly these claims will the vast majority of which are from ( to quote my son) “The United States of Avarice.”  I even read a news story that “All the DNA in this case was in fact animal fat from cooking.”

Thank God this is in Italy where the jury is for the most part cut off from these stupid attempts to discredit the evidence. This of course is the only avenue the defence has. Hopefully it will make the prosecution dig its heels in even further.

Sincerely Grahame Rhodes

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/25/11 at 06:15 PM | #

It’s only the first day, and the American mdeia’s doing what it does best.
No wonder some call it “The Excited States of America” 😊

Posted by Ergon on 07/25/11 at 06:44 PM | #


Posted by mojo on 07/25/11 at 06:44 PM | #

Hi Mojo. Okay perhaps Italian reporting can also be misleading!

At least one defense expert was present when Dr Stefanoni tested the DNA material at the tip of the knife and the DNA profile for Meredith emerged right in front of them. We already knew no sample was left on the knife.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/25/11 at 07:10 PM | #

What is really stupid is that the original DNA findings proved without any doubt whatsoever that the mixed blood confirmed all three bleeding at the same time. Therefore this report will do little, if any damage to the prosecution at all. The only reason for the newspaper reports plus CNN et-al is to provide higher ratings and sell stuff.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/25/11 at 07:26 PM | #

I’m not finding ANY decent report on today’s court activity….anyone???

Posted by mojo on 07/25/11 at 08:33 PM | #

BBC Amanda Knox: DNA evidence may be contaminated

Perhaps Saturday will give a more balanced view of what’s really going on!

Posted by mojo on 07/25/11 at 08:36 PM | #

CNN paints a very sorry picture…Nick Pisa, but :(

Experts slam forensics used to convict Amanda Knox, ex-boyfriend

.....There were gasps from the public gallery as the two officers were seen picking up the clasp, passing it from hand to hand, dropping it, picking it up, and then placing it on the floor again.

Posted by mojo on 07/25/11 at 09:13 PM | #

Hi Mojo. We have looked at lots of court reports and don’t see anything being made of this elsewhere. No Italian report mentions it.

By CNN? Hmmm! You read our recent posts on CNN and what drives their ardent pro-Knox position? Extreme risk of falling off a cliff. They need all the hyperbole they can get.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/25/11 at 10:24 PM | #

Sounds like something right out of the Murdoch play book.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/25/11 at 10:53 PM | #

‘Gasps from the court’?

Edda Mellas hyperventilating.

Posted by Ergon on 07/25/11 at 11:14 PM | #

This really is breaking news. I’ve never heard of any claim of contamination since day one of this case. /sarc off.

I’m of course with Maresca on this one (re his statement above) but astonished at how fickle the media reporting on this case seems to be. Even Barbie appears to be being swept away by the paid for media spin.

A newcomer to this case would think the two lovebirds have been convicted on the knife and bra clasp alone and that the orgy of other damning evidence against them just isnt part of this case and quite simply doesn’t exist.

One would also believe the staged break in in Filomenas room never ocurred (which in my opinion points a very dirty finger directly and squarely at Amanda Knox) and the mixed traces of Knox’s blood and Meredith found in the same room also doesn’t exist.

Then of couse we have the mixed traces in the bathroom (again undisputed by the defence) Sollecito’s footprint in Merediths blood on the bathmat, the numerous conflicting alibis and lies to investigators (proven as such by phone and computer activity records) bloody footprints of Knox and Sollecito in the hallway and bizarre and biligerent behaviour witnessed by police and friends and flatmates of Meredith at the police station.
Not to mention the supreme court ruling that Guede never acted alone.
There is of course more but I dont think I need to go on.
Dont worry people - because if you are you are being taken in by paid media spin just like other people are at the moment.
Justice will be done for Meredith, for that I am sure.
R.I.P. Meredith Kercher.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 07/25/11 at 11:26 PM | #

It’s getting so that just claiming contamination was “possible” is enough to get otherwise rational people to claim that the evidence is “rubbish.”

Witness the OJ Simpson trial.

The same thing for investigative incompetence. Witness the OJ Simpson trial as well as the Casey Anthony trial.

In reality, no investigation runs completely smoothly. Just as in all of life, there are always bumps along the road. But having multiple circumstantial evidence points which all point directly to Knox and Sollecito is one thing that the US reports usually roundly ignore.

As Vincent Bugliosi explains in his book on OJ, the more things that “coincidentally” point to one person’s guilt in a murder, the less likely is any of those circumstances to actually be a coincidence.

The evidence is overwhelming that Knox and Sollecito were there that night and participated in the murder of Ms. Kercher. I sure hope the Italian system gets it more right than the US system did in the OJ and Anthony cases, and maintains the convictions of the two defendants.

Posted by Earthling on 07/26/11 at 12:04 AM | #

Murdock, CNN agendas aside, Barbie Nadeau reporting similarly….I’m not liking this at all. Hopefully, something more will come out OR the rebuttal on Saturday will lay this to rest, but pictures are worth 1000 words and if there is video evidence of sloppy evidence gathering, it throws the other evidence into question IMO. It’s extremely difficult to judge this on media reports alone, but all of them seem to tell a similar tale. I’ve always thought Knox and Sollecito were “good for this” crime, but as we have seen all too recently even the obviously guilty can walk.

Posted by mojo on 07/26/11 at 12:18 AM | #

Hi Mojo. There were only a very few reporters in the courtroom so the reports are bound to sound similar. The same video was shown at the trial. How do you presume today’s testimony really helped Knox?

Sollecito maybe because of the bra clasp but he might now consider separation and maybe getting on the stand to say he was not there (though there is the footrpint on the bathmat) or came by later.

We’‘ll know a lot more after the two days of rebuttal coming up. That is going to be tough for the independent consultants to handle.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/26/11 at 01:19 AM | #

I hadn’t seen the video before. Without the sound it appears like they’re just playing with the clasp. But they were presumably discussing something. Furthermore the “drop” looks like they were planning to place it back in that spot anyway. I think the prosecution can explain this. As long as the evidence doesn’t get thrown out, no one has been able to offer a plausible theory for how Sollecito’s DNA could have gotten there, short of the Vast Elusive Italian Conspiracy.

Posted by brmull on 07/26/11 at 01:37 AM | #

Exactly brmull; the ‘drop’ in reality is the clasp just being placed back where it was found.  There still doesn’t seem to be an explanation of HOW Sollecito’s DNA got on the clasp in the context of ‘possible contamination’.  Must say Nick Pisa’s reports on the bra clasp and knife appear to be slightly misleading and incomplete, unless they have been heavily edited and censored by the newspapers concerned.  Why doesn’t he challenge the tired refrain relating to the 46 days.  DNA lasts for years, not days. Vargas and Popham’s reports predictably misleading and incomplete, but come on Nick!

Posted by Lola on 07/26/11 at 02:26 AM | #

I predict that eventually Knox and Sollecito will have separate trials. Sollecito will be found less culpable while Knox will take the full blame as she should. Due process will show that she was the ringleader who struck the fatal blow. Sollecito was, and still is, a child who due to virginity plus drugs plus comic books was in no way a leader here just a follower. Also the picking of Lamumba and Guede is an indication. White supremacy is rampant in Seattle and I suspect the Sollecito family. This is what Knox grew up with anyway. i,e blame the black guy. After all it has always worked in the past Susan Smith for example. “Some black guy in a hoody.”

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/26/11 at 02:42 AM | #

Peter, I presume nothing - guilty parties have walked free on less. Right now, I await what the prosecution has to say.

Posted by mojo on 07/26/11 at 11:06 AM | #

I feel for the Kercher family. This situation must be so difficult to deal with. They are certainly worried that the people who killed their daughter might walk, because of a (deliberately) misleading report from so called “independent experts”. It is obvious what has been going on here. The Melloxes are not really clever either, I remind you that they have been publishing the results of the independent experts report before it was even deposited in court. I wonder how that could happen.

I trust Maresca. Justice will prevail.

Posted by Nell on 07/26/11 at 01:54 PM | #

Hi Mojo. True in the UK and American system but much less-so in main trial or on appeal in Italy, where there is the painstaking process to consider ,and at appeal level the whole body of evidence and the judges’ report to explain.

Alan Dershowitz in effect drew attention to this after Casey Anthony walked free - that systems other than the common law ones tend to be more accurate (his term) and fine-tuned.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/26/11 at 02:37 PM | #

One thing is absolutaly certain. Given the American penchant for the thirty second sound bite while not examining all the pro’s and con’s
of said statement. It is an absolute certainty that todays glaring headlines will be forgotten by next week and a new variation will be upon us.

Posted by Grahame Rhodes on 07/26/11 at 04:02 PM | #

Mr. Dershowitz and I agree re Civil vs Common law and of course the quality of jurors is higher so there is less likely to be some red herring that sways their judgement. I do find this latest development unsettling and hope that Sr. Maresca is up to the task of throwing this out the window.

Posted by mojo on 07/26/11 at 05:19 PM | #

Twice have I scrutinized Barbie Nadeau’s latest on the two experts’ report.  She’s trimming her sails for a shift in the wind.

Already on Huffpost & today on Drudge Report we see evidence of her discernment. Clicking on Drudge gives us a tabloid version on the Mail where a photo shows four white-clad investigators outside the cottage in which Meredith was slain.  A fifth stands near the door wearing a blue police jacket. Caption: ‘Incompetent.’

With journalistic license the caption quotes reports, but yet no final judgment on the truth of those reports. However, there’s nothing at all in the photo to suggest, even remotely, incompetence.

Point is that a gullible public is here invited to “perceive” the photographed investigators as incompetent—merely on sight. Curt Knox must be rolling in his grave!

As for poor Barbie Nadeau, she’s taken a big step down toward tabloid journalism by trimming her sails for this most recent turn, but the implication is that the media storm over DNA evidence won’t soon be over.

Our high-minded professors reaching for standards obtainable in Heaven (while delivering a low blow to the Italian scientific police) have thrown a monkey wrench into the works.

Dr. Stefanoni I am sure will defend herself ably in court & should present her sober finds anew. Here’s hoping she doesn’t lose her temper.

Amanda Knox is guilty of conspiracy in premeditated rape & murder. It is she who lured Sollecito & Guede into acting on the deed. She has not been convicted of every aspect of her crime (not, therefore, of premeditation) but she stands convicted of the result, nonetheless.

No tide of publicity can cover up a crime on her part at once so cowardly & vile.  Her conviction must stand.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 07/26/11 at 05:31 PM | #

One thing people need to be reminded of concerning the appeal: while the defense might want to portray it as all about the DNA, the court will STILL have to consider what part it played in the Massei judgment before it can overturn it, and will also have to prove how irrelevant the main reasons for the original conviction were.

Which, if I am reading Massei correctly, are:
The staged break in
Mixed Blood evidence and Raffaele’s foot print
Multiple alibis, conflicting statements and cell phone records
And yes, Rafaelle’s DNA on the bra clasp.

So, I hope justice will be done in Judge Hellman’s court.

Posted by Ergon on 07/27/11 at 07:27 PM | #

Hopefully these recent admission(s) of lying at the behest of the defence will swing things back in favour of justice.

Posted by Spencer on 07/28/11 at 01:44 AM | #

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Where next:

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Or to next entry Tenth Appeal Court Session: Might Today’s Testimony Give Sollecito More Of An Advantage Than Knox?

Or to previous entry Is the Conti-Vecchiotti DNA Review Defamatory? Stefanoni Believes So and May Sue