Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Diffamazione Trial Will Resume In Perugia 30 March.

Posted by Jools

First, here is an explanation of diffamazione.

The charge of calunnia (art. 368) has been commonly translated as “slander” in the English/US media. This translation is incorrect, however, as calunnia is a crime with no direct equivalent in the respective legal systems.

The equivalent of “criminal slander” is diffamazione, which is an attack on someone”Ÿs reputation. Calunnia is the crime of making false criminal accusations against someone whom the accuser knows to be innocent, or to simulate/fabricate false evidence, independently of the credibility/admissibility of the accusation or evidence.

The charges of calunnia and diffamazione are subject to very different jurisprudence. Diffamazione is public and explicit, and is a more minor offence, usually resulting in a fine and only prosecuted if the victim files a complaint, while calunnia can be secret or known only to the authorities. It may consist only of the simulation of clues, and is automatically prosecuted by the judiciary.

The crimes of calunnia and diffamazione are located in different sections of the criminal code: while diffamazione is in the chapter entitled “crimes against honour” in the section of the Code protecting personal liberties, calunnia is discussed in the chapter entitled “crimes against the administration of justice”, in a section that protects public powers.

The suit against Curt Knox and Edda Mellas will commence in earnest on 30 March.

That is two days after the scheduled start of the Sollecito family trial in Bari for alleged subversion of justice, and about six weeks after the prosecution lodges its grounds for appeal with the Supreme Court against the appeal verdict on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

The defamation charges were lodged not by the Perugia prosecutors’ office but by those who considered themselves to have been defamed. Under their rules they are required to do that to safeguard the system.

Amanda Knox is quoted as saying how much she likes Italy and how she would like to be at that trial.

Amanda Knox “loves Italy and likes Perugia”.

She wants to return as a tourist but, if necessary, she’ll do so to testify in the trial against her parents”. To say as much was one of the defenders of the American [female], lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova. Words came in the space of the proceedings for defamation against the parents of the student from Seattle, which is taking place in Perugia.

The name of Amanda Knox was included in the list of trial witnesses that the defence for Kurt Knox and Edda Mellas, lawyers Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga intend to call to testify in court. “Both are accused of libel through the press in an interview which appeared in 2009 on the website of The Sunday Times” in which they spoke of alleged abuses on her daughter at the police headquarters during the questioning for the investigation into the murder of Meredith Kercher. For which crime Knox was provisionally acquitted on appeal.

In the meantime today the single judge Giuseppe Noviello has rejected an instance by the defence in relation to the territorial incompetence of the Perugian judiciary in dealing with the court proceedings.

“Amanda - said Dalla Vedova - is very interested” in the trial hearings against her parents and to which she is accused of calunnia, also against the flying squad police agents”. With her lawyers she maintains a correspondence by e-mail and every now and then they speak on the phone. “We have not seen her again ““ explains Dalla Vedova - since she was acquitted and went back to the United States. At Christmas though we exchanged greetings and yesterday she sent me an email asking for information on today’s hearing. Tonight I will tell her how it went”.

For the record the hearing in question was then postponed to March 30. On that date the witness for the prosecution will be heard. Then will be the turn for defence witnesses.


Maybe saying AK wants to be at trial is a PR shell game - now you see her, now you dont. If she actually goes I’ll be seriously surprised.

This case is a real minefield for her. Put her on the stand under oath to face prosecution cross-examination and she will be cooked.

She served three years for falsely fingering Patrick so even Hellman thinks she just made her charges up.

On the stand during her trial she admitted she was treated during the interrogation very well. Her own lawyers have never filed any complaint.

Curt and Edda knew all of this, and it is widely believed in officaldom in Perugia that they knew all along that AK was involved. The Supreme Court even noted that they shushed AK at Capanne when she seemed to be about to come out with a confession (“I was there”).

AK has her own Calunnia trial coming up. With the Sollecito trial in Bari this shows strong signs of starting to unwind.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/25/12 at 06:18 PM | #

On May 18, 2011 journalist Andrea Vogt wrote an excellent investigative piece that included Freedom of Information Act records pertaining to Amanda Knox. Andrea Vogt’s investigation
exposed publicly in the Seattlepi, on PDF, those damning diplomatic cables of Amanda Knox which revealed no mistreatment of Amanda Knox had ever taken place. Will Curt Knox and Edda Mellas and their lawyers attempt to sweep Amanda Knox’s formal diplomatic cables under the rug at their calunia trial?


” Records show a consular officer visited Knox on Nov.12, a day before her father did. The cables do not reveal any details from the conversation between Knox and the consular officer, nor do they mention at any time concern about her treatment during interrogation or detention.”

Posted by True North on 01/26/12 at 05:30 AM | #


Italian courts are usually criminal-friendly. Most likely the judge will decide that the accused was wrongly informed but acted in good faith and no serious and irreversible damage to the reputation has been done.  They will be fined some modest amount and let go.

Her lawyers are quite good- they will ensure that no inconvenient questions are asked.

AK now realises the seriousness of her actions- she was insulated for a long time and she has acted like a school bully for too long a time. The judges will be all full of kindness- after all they all have a daughter like her!

@True North

They will never write in the cables the full details and if they wrote anyway, they will not be declassified. Of course the embassy played a very big role in the whole drama but the actors and the actresses shall remain behind the curtain!

absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence

Posted by chami on 01/26/12 at 07:18 AM | #


Please excuse my ignorance but I don’t understand this piece:

“In the mean time today the single judge Giuseppe Noviello has rejected an instance by the defence in relation to the territorial incompetence of the Perugian judiciary in dealing with the court proceedings.”

Regards M

Posted by Melanie on 01/26/12 at 02:23 PM | #

Very good question. Judge Noviello is saying that Italian courts and Perugia’s in particular have jurisdiction over criminal defamation that shows up on the internet even if it was perpetrated in another country (in this case England). This is part of a worldwide legal trend.

Before Ted Simon came along and tried to apply some brakes, the PR campaign and people like Steve Moore and Bruce Fischer and Doug Preston and Nina Burleigh and Paul Ciolino thought they could say what they liked - so long as it was not said in Italy. They thought they had a free pass.

Mr Mignini threatened to sue the West Seattle Herald by way of the US court system, but under this concept he could also have done the same in London or Italy.

The Sollecitos have said they would fight the Lifetime movie in New York, and the the Knoxes are trying to do so in Perugia. Either Perugia or London would right now be the better bet, although US courts are coming down harder and harder on internet defamation, and already some defamers are in prison.

All of those Knox acolytes that I named above and some others seem to risk prison under this concept if the Perugia people they appear to have defamed could be bothered. Take a look at this, which is very ominous for them:

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/12 at 02:56 PM | #


In this case there is not a jury but the Court is composed by a single magistrate, in italian “giudice monocratico”, this is established by law. The defence likely tried to move the trial to another town far from Perugia, usually claiming technical details, but failed in this attempt.

Posted by ncountryside on 01/26/12 at 03:00 PM | #

Hi ncountryside. Thanks. We overlapped in replying but we are essentially saying the same thing.

The lawyers for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas said the trial should be moved to London. The judge said no way.

More of the fine unblinking Italian justice system on display (well, unblinking except for Mr Hellman.)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/26/12 at 03:08 PM | #

@Peter Quennell Just as well it’s not coming to London. The air is polluted enough without adding to it.

Posted by nopassingby on 01/27/12 at 12:21 AM | #

Is it really true that BA gave them (I do not know how many) complimentary first class tickets for their journey back home?

Or they usually travel first class?

Asking the trial to be moved to London was quite smart. Denying it was smarter.

The drama is becoming entertaining!

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Posted by chami on 01/27/12 at 05:26 PM | #

Does the appeal approach ? …. And the defence opens fire.….shtml$plit/C_2_documento_123_file.pdf

Posted by ncountryside on 01/27/12 at 07:23 PM | #

Not quite on topic but

Just now stumbled across portions of a diary written by the younger of two psychopathic males who broke into a doctor’s home & ended by killing wife & two daughters (beating doctor with a bat.)

Gives a revealing & candid glimpse of what has gone on in such a mind.  Maybe appropriate in the Knox/Sollecito/Guede rape & murder.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 01/28/12 at 06:15 PM | #

I know we’ve argued the death penalty issue numerous times.
After reading the article Ernest linked to above, it would take me two seconds to sentence both of those sick bastards to death. what do they have to live for?

Posted by mimi on 01/29/12 at 03:56 AM | #

I felt sick reading the story. These two are walking animals (no offence meant to the animals; they lack any comparisons) but I am also against death penalty.

These are extremely sick people. AND these were known when they were in the school; you cannot hide your sickness for long.

Parallel lines never meet, unless you bend one or both of them.

Posted by chami on 01/29/12 at 05:27 PM | #

Thanks, chami. I made my last comment in haste, but it remains a topic over which I continue to agonise. I understand, at least from a civil viewpoint, why an evolved society should refrain from demanding “an eye for an eye”. Both of the men who perpetrated those horrors upon the Hawke-Petit family were well beyond the age of personality development and of coming to terms with who and what they were in the world (whereas, arguments might still be made, in the case of the Perugia 3, that their brains and social consciences were still post-pubescent, and, therefore, there is still a possibility for remorse to surface and a chance for redemption/ rehabilitation.) No man approaching middle age ( the “gentleman”, Hayes, who was said to be “always remorseful”, after each transgression in his criminal career) is going to magically transform into anything of value to society. No one, man or God, showed mercy to those two terrified girls, who were conscious, and bound while they were doused with petrol and set alight. And if either of the two convicted for that act can actually convince himself that by so doing they were sparing them from a life without their mother ( or any other twisted,’” well at least I spared her the indignity of rape” rationale) it should be plain to any compassionate being that there is no hope for them. Why should “Josh” be allowed to fantasise about an 11 year old girl whose final moments were an absolute nightmare because of his own incapacity for growth?

There was a Seattle case a few years ago, and I was amazed that the FOA didn’t jump all over it, because it involved a Lone-Wolf,
black male, who broke into the home of a lesbian couple. Over the course of several hours, holding them at knifepoint, he systematically and repeatedly raped and tortured them. It ended with the fatal stabbing of one of the women, though both had begged for their lives. The surviving partner, at her rapist’s trial, was able to look him in the eyes and say that she did not hate him. Maybe I’m too young, or too cynical, but I couldn’t imagine myself being able to forgive such a thing. The accused, a Mr Kalebu, formerly resident in my neighbourhood, had previous to the event attempted to burn his own aunt to death in her Tacoma apartment. Room for redemption? Rationale for maintaining his life? Because we are not savages, or the ultimate judges of another’s fate?

Posted by mimi on 01/30/12 at 10:46 PM | #

Mimi, the death penalty is not a punishment that should be administered here on earth. Imagine if you parked in the red zone and instead of giving you a fine, the officer shot you with a ray-gun that deducted one month from your life. Would that be fair? Would it deter crime better than a ticket? Would it even be a punishment, or is it more akin to allowing a prisoner cigarettes (the death penalty) versus not allowing cigarettes? Most importantly what are the chances of this devaluation of human life contributing to more killing, more repression, more wars? It’s not worth it.

Posted by brmull on 01/31/12 at 07:08 AM | #

Comment by Believing moved from another thread; its timing was an hour or two after Mimi’s at 4:446 pm]

There are some people who are simply a threat to humanity.  They have no positive purpose.  In the old days, when people lived in small villages or native clans, they certainly would have been driven out of the group or killed.  In today’s society, they often just spend the rest of their lives in prison and often act ‘good’ in order to get parole.  They then go and do some other horrible deed.  What is the answer?  I am also against the death penalty but in reading this horrific story, and finding no way to forgive such an act, I have to say I am for it.  Somehow these people are so twisted and evil that I can’t imagine any redemption.  The same for Joran Van Sloot.  It’s scary to imagine him out on parole.

Comment by Believing moved from another thread; its timing was an hour or two after Mimi’s at 4:446 pm]

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/31/12 at 02:23 PM | #


If you think that harsh punishment could deter crimes, then just think about the middle east countries. They have the most savage system of judgement but still crime does occur. US has the largest fraction of her population behind the bars, but the crime rate has not gone down. Somehow our modern civilisation has created more anti-socials than ever. I do not know why or how.

Just for comparison, crimes in tribal societies are less, very less. I do not have the reference right now, but the discipline and the well defined hierarchy and the local customs are the greatest deterrent to crimes.

Crimes are our own gift to ourselves. Many of you here are lawyers and have better first hand knowledge and experience, but we have to live with these people. There is no solution.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Posted by chami on 01/31/12 at 07:45 PM | #

In that case I’d like some of them to stay locked up in prison!  One recent American case involved a 20 year old maintenance man who lured a little 7 year old inside with the intention to sexually molest her but then decided to kill her instead and stuff her into a trash compactor.  It’s incredible what some twisted persons can do.  Oh by the way, it was found that he smoke marijuana on that morning.  Anything to do with it?  No one knows.  Luckily he committed suicide soon after arriving in prison.  Some think that the other prisoners killed him.

Posted by believing on 02/02/12 at 12:44 AM | #

The existence of prisons doesn’t appear to deter crimes, either. As I said, I have agonised about the subject of the death penalty. And I don’t believe that the execution of “Josh” and his sicko pal (who slaughtered the two Canadian girls, after extorting $ 15,000 from, raping and strangling their mother) would necessarily deter anyone else from committing a similar crime. Strictly on a case by case basis, with absolute identification of the perpetrator and no possible call for self-defense on their part ( as in, the 11 year old girl, tied to her bed, shot poisonous rays at him from her eyeballs),I view it as a means of removing unremorseful, twisted filth from our midsts.

I’ve mentioned it before (and I don’t wish to keep making this so personal, but…) I am, ethnically, Middle Eastern. My father’s parents left Iran shortly before the Shah’s ouster. They were “Westernised” enough to see the danger signs ahead. Islamic extremism, like any form of totalitarianism, is dangerous. I followed the case of Sarah Shourd (and the other 2 American hikers held in Evin Prison for wandering across Iraq’s border into Iran.) I did not expect them to get out alive. They were released, but are still considered guilty. Where was Donald Trump’s vociferous boycott of Iraq? Honour killing is a way of justifying misogyny.
My Grandfather was a Persian scientist. My uncle was a geologist, who worked for BP. My father is a physicist. If they had stayed in Iran, perhaps my father would now be an enemy of the US (and Israel), or perhaps he would be the dead physicist who was “taken out” recently. I would never know, because, had they remained in Iran, I would not exist. I would never have been born.

Guns? In the streets? I have seen them. I have heard them being fired, in my neighbourhood, in West Seattle. (There are bulletholes in the front of the house I live in.) I know people who own them. My mother ended her own life with one. Would I ever want to use one? No.
We can’t take ourselves out of the equation. We vote based upon our own experiences. I’m sorry, chami, but I don’t believe we should “have to live with these people”.

Posted by mimi on 02/03/12 at 10:12 PM | #

Sorry mimi, my intention was not to offend anyone, but just to express some opinion. Sometimes I wish I am dead wrong in my opinion and I would be most happy to admit that.

When I visited the US for the first time (it was long ago in early 70), I visited NIH to give a lecture. I also wanted to see Washington DC but on that day the Shah was having his lunch in the WH and there were thousands of students protesting the visit. They stopped me and asked me to join in their protest march (I did not; I was having very little time). I asked a simple and very direct question to that girl: Do you really believe that things will improve if the Shah goes? Do you think that there is only a single crook in the whole country? She gave a long reply (which I have forgotten) but I remember that she did not answer my question.

Several months back I visited Turkey and a young girl (a student of the university) exclaimed: See we are getting modern: Arab spring has arrived. I told her: You appear to be too modern already. You do not have any more scope for getting more modern. And about Arab spring, one swallow does not make a summer. You have to wait and see. Perhaps the next generation will be grateful for everything you have done. She did not feel happy with my answer.

Mimi, you did not suggest any alternative. Let me explain (I can only try) what I meant.

You start with a population with a mixture of good and bad people. As you want to get rid of the bad people, you make two cities, one for the good and the other for a bad people. As they are both isolated from each other, both will slowly come to some form of equilibrium and you will soon find that in the good cities there are bad people and in the bad cities there are good people. So you keep on transferring people from one city to the other. Soon you will get exhausted and discover that you do not have enough energy (national resources) to carry on this duty and it is best to concentrate on saving yourself from the mob of bad people.

The king found the world too dirty. So the ministers proposed to cover the earth with carpet or sweep away all the dirt. Then the old wise man came with the solution: why not just cover your own feet?

I do not see any other option. I am not an American but I can still give my opinion, right?

Sorry if I am also getting too personal.

If practice makes perfect, and nobody’s perfect, why practice?

Posted by chami on 02/04/12 at 11:32 AM | #


Thank you for your recent post (2/3/12) & for its moving disclosures offered with modesty. I agree with your conclusion.

Exceptions ought to be made whenever possible or called for. Amanda Knox’s inconceivable spite & the barbaric cruelty with which she & the others carried out her evil fantasy—does this, as such, require the death penalty?

I say, Not in this case. They ought rather to be judged openly as guilty (on evidence) for what they have manifestly done. As such they are fit to be released. Amanda is not overtly a psychopath despite the Devil inside her. Simply being known as guilty would set these felons a task.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/04/12 at 07:38 PM | #

@Ernest Werner,

I feel secretly happy with your judgement. I feel terrible about the crime that has been committed but your judgement is both modern (means civilised) and humane.

One single good person can make the world more liveable.

I see people braying for blood on the internet but your sane voice must not get drowned in the noise.

It does not mean that I am supporting the crime or the criminals. I feel we all must not shake away our collective responsibility.

If she is found guilty, she may be permitted to serve her sentence at home, self supervised and do some community work.

Crimes are aberrations of the soul and spirit.

These are my personal opinions.

Justice, n.: A decision in your favor.

Posted by chami on 02/05/12 at 09:14 PM | #

Sorry but I don’t agree with this utopian idea that psychopaths can be left to serve out a sentence at home, properly supervised.  Just who do you think would do this supervision and how?

If she really did commit this murder, a barbaric most likely pre-planned to a certain extent, cruel murder in which her young roommate was left to die painfully with her door locked and her cell phone taken away so that she could not possibly get help??? then AK is truly scarily mentally ill and should be locked up.

I don’t know if there is enough evidence to convict her but I think this idea of being kind and allowing murderers of this sort to just live out a life of peace is wrong because time and time again they go on to kill someone else.  However I have to say I’m not totally convinced of her role in the murder if at all and in that case I can’t say she should be locked up for good.

If she were ugly, old, a man, evil looking, scary looking, I am sure most people would have a different opinion of her rather than a sweet looking all American university student.  And why is our focus always on her and not on Raphael?  I don’t know why we do the same thing on this webiste of constantly focusing on AK rather than the two of them together, because if they committed the crime together they are equally twisted and equally guilty, no matter who influenced whom.

It’s a very strange case and I must say I am still puzzled by it.  I can’t say that I see the true evil and the twisted mind and the horrible childhood that many of you see.  I see a girl who grew up in a typical difficult divorced situation, with a neglectful egotistical father, and a devoted but stressed mother who did the best she could.  I don’t see her behavior in high school university and at her place in Italy as anything out of the ordinary for an American college student, except perhaps more than average drinking and smoking of dope, but all of those students were smoking dope including MK and the boys downstairs.

Certainly her actions in the house were not considered so erratic and strange that her roommates wanted her to leave right away.  Having condoms and a vibrator in a visible bag are stupid and inconsiderate but don’t make her a pervert.  Some one night stands don’t either.  How many guys do the same thing all the time?  I really can’t seem to get my head around the motivation she would have to kill MK.  I also don’t see the motivation for either RG or RS to do it either.  I can only imagine it as a strange fantasy drug motivated night, where all three ganged up on MK for some unknown reason, but I still can’t really get my head around it.

I guess that was the trouble for the jury in the second appeal too.  I could only go on real facts and if the DNA had proven her presence without any doubt in the second appeal it would have been a shut case.  If they can find other DNA evidence which everyone agrees upon then it will be more clear as to what happened.  Like Joran Van Sloot, I think whoever did it is a threat to society and needs to be in prison.  It’s either one of them or all three of them and this website did a good job of convincing me that RG could not have done it alone and that the other two were involved.

It could be that certain murderers don’t murder again, if out of prison, but how to be sure?  If it was a case of self-defense that would be different, or an accident.  But it wasn’t.

Posted by believing on 02/06/12 at 05:11 AM | #
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