Friday, December 02, 2022

Mignini Unchained: Rollback Starts, Of Perhaps The World’s Greatest Legal Hoax

Posted by Peter Quennell




Context

“The Meredith Kercher Case”. Published by Morlacchi Press, the University of Perugia Press.

This preface is rather long for an excerpt, but we doubt that Dr Sagnotti will mind. It frames the book.

Dr Sagnotti is a Full Professor of Law & Philosophy at the University of Perugia. Where she also teaches Legal Computer Science, Legal Logic and Judicial Criminology; in addition to Epistemology and Criminal Evidence in the Course of Advanced Training in Criminological Sciences and Investigation Techniques. 

Preface By Simona C. Sagnotti

I have always maintained that the magistrate is a person, an individual, like anyone else. In his veins the blood flows, in his chest pulses a heart. But, in his head must lie a refined attitude of logical character.

This is precisely as the author of this volume, the Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, testifies about the account of the well-known legal case linked to the murder of Meredith Kercher. He finds himself a protagonist in a double role - as he himself says - of investigator and jurist.

From the reading of the pages of the book there immediately surfaces a special talent of Mignini: in the observation of the facts, on which only later the investigative hypotheses are grafted, and never vice versa.

There is no falling in love with a hypothesis. Always far from that.

We see it clearly when the author of the book recounts his arrival at the house of Via della Pergola, the scene of the tragic crime. At first Mignini analyzes the house from outside, noting that the window whose glass was broken (reason for which investigators were initially alerted) is not easily accessible except by climbing a few meters up the wall below it.

The Magistrate is immediately alert to the fact that that there is no sign, no corresponding evidence, on that wall to prove that any attacker had entered the house by that route. In addition, Mignini realizes, it would have been much easier to enter through other windows closer to the ground, and less visible to any passers-by.

Once inside, our investigator - it’s obvious to call him that at this point - also realizes that on the windowsill of the violated window there is glass shrapnel with which, if someone had passed through, he would inevitably have injured himself. But there was no blood trace, precisely to confirm that the rupture of that glass could only have been staged.

Here is what it means to act with method: first to observe, and only then to formulate hypotheses capable of forming a logical link between the facts observed and the hypothesis formulated in support of it.

A good investigator, a good magistrate can be recognized through this professional instinct - which the author of this book himself recognizes - to link facts or behaviors distant from one another in time or space. This attitude is the real luminous thread of the story that winds through the pages of this book.

And it is for this reason that, as a teacher, I recommend that students and young jurists who want to pursue a career in the judiciary also read it. This book, therefore, by Mignini is aimed not at an audience of experts alone.

On both the literary and judicial levels, the choice of chronology is a major lesson.  Not as they happened, but in the order in which they made themselves known to the Prosecutor himself. In this way the reader can relive with the author the feelings, impressions, knowledge, deductions in the order in which the investigating protagonist lived them.

The story told in this book also has the peculiarity of developing on different levels. While the history tells of a young victim of a heinous crime and three young people accused of that crime, the history also tells of politics, media, and unjustified attacks on the prosecution.

Regarding the political pressures, the book explicitly mentions them, along with criticisms from the highest institutions of the United States, which were addressed to both investigating magistrates and the Italian judicial system itself.

Systematic proof that the Americans were far from capturing both the letter and the spirit.

These politics pressures were amplified by an “innocentist” press overseas. The press is even now still silent about numerous circumstances of no secondary importance, such as the final sentence for criminal slander [calunnia] awarded to Amanda Knox.

This is a tale of badnesses narrated by Mignini in this volume.

Bad for the young age of the victim: Meredith, Mez for friends, as Mignini himself recalls. Bad for the young age of the defendants: Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox, Rudy Guede.

Bad for the “interference” in particular in the judicial process Knox and Sollecito were required to undergo.

Mignini, in this regard, refers in the concluding pages of his book to the conduct of Section V of Court of Cassation. This Chamber, contradicting many previous findings of the First Chamber of Court of Cassation, annulled the sentence of the defendants Knox and Sollecito by the Court of Assizes d’Appeals of Florence, and itself ordered itself the acquittal of the defendants.

Such a serious legal act is difficult to understand. The [2013-14 Nencini] Florence court only complied with the requirements of the First [“murder”] Chamber of the Court of Cassation. The Fifth Chamber, not being a judge on the substance of the case, had no legal right to convict or acquit any person.

Yet this is what happened and, I would add, this is precisely why, if the case is closed, it is still open and remains in the eyes of a large part of public opinion.

Lastly, I would like to turn to the literary nature of the text in question, as well as the legal case. In this sense, both the autobiographical digressions (childhood, the disappearance of the father…) and the historical digressions (from the Etruscan origins of the Italian places narrated to the suburb of Croydon, the place of origin of Meredith, evocative of a part of Spanish history linked to Francisco Franco) are unusual and pleasing for the reader. Geographical references are always present in the background, allowing the reader to better contextualize the whole.

As I hope to have shown in this preface, there are many reasons to go through the pages of this book and learn, perhaps for the first time, decisive details that have remained hidden from the general public.

Simona C. Sagnotti

In the next day or two there will a media presentation in Perugia’s Morlacchi Theater. A video will be uploaded to YouTube not too long after. Translations of key excerpts and Italian reviews are down the road. Good news for so many here who held the fort for so long.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/22 at 10:31 AM in Hoaxes Sollecito etc

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