Headsup: Several more analyses of Dr Mignini's book in Italian still to come, but much more when it is published in English later this year.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

The District With By Far The Highest GDP In Europe? It’s In Italy. In Milan.

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

A 15-minute walking tour of Porta Nuova in Milan.

This is the richest single district within any city in the European Union. With a GDP of over 400 billion euro, and the City of London no longer in the club, no other single district in any city in Europe comes close

It is also right now the most sustainable neighborhood in the entire world.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 01/14/23 at 02:32 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (3)

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Dr Mignini’s Book On How The Supreme Court Got Meredith’s Case So Wrong In 2015

Posted by KrissyG




1. The Fifth Chambers Reports

Dr Mignini’s legal observations on the Fifth Chambers’ written report on Knox’s & Sollecito’s final appeal fill a big information gap in this controversial legal area.

He had already written very damningly back in 2015 shortly after the Marasca court presented its oral report back in March.

That was some months prior to the written report (which was published almost three months after the official deadline). This is his first written comment on the full report. 

2. The Contamination Contention

With Meredith’s body having been discovered, the pathologist Dr. Lalli, and the Scientific Police, headed by Dr Stefanoni, arrives.

Dr Mignini, the prosecutor leading the investigation, deems that it more important to preserve on-scene evidence at this point than to determine exact time of death, so priority is given to collecting samples with the body still in situ.  Mignini states:

“I did not know, at that time, that, for the judges of the [2011] Perugia appeal and the [2015] Fifth Chamber of Cassation, the one that intervened after the final annulment of the judgment of the Perugia Appeals Court and the judgment of the [2014] Florentine referring court, as well as for the official defense counsel and for those “unofficial” intervenors such as Peter Gill and others, the abstract possibility of contamination and the reality of contamination could be the same thing.

That is absurd, I know, but that was exactly what was being been said.  p.34”

After the 2009 trial of Knox and Sollecito, with the Massei finding a ‘guilty’ verdict, the 2011 appeal court, called-for by the defendants, of Hellmann & Zanetti, appoints its own ‘experts’, Vecchiotti and Conti. They argue that contamination is an abstract possibility, but fail to explain how such contamination could have occurred, as would be expected in a trial court.

This is on top of Zanetti opening proceedings in 2011 by asserting that ‘the only certainty is the death of Meredith Kercher’, and not least, by Hellman failing to explain his rationale – as excoriated in 2014 by the follow-up Supreme Court I of Chieffi – of why Hellmann had appointed his own experts, as is required.

The scientific illiteracy of Hellmann (a business judge) was compounded only by his ignorance of criminal law and of how criminal evidence should be weighed up.

In getting Hellmann to agree to the defence demand for ‘independent experts’ – which Prosecutor Comodi argued against, saying there were many experts for both sides already - Hellmann argues that a judge does not have sufficient expertise to evaluate the experts’ opinions.

Having achieved the appointment of Conti & Vecchiotti, the paired delivered the coup de grace: international standards were not met, contamination could not be ruled out and the DNA profile of Meredith Kercher on the knife could not be reliable.

This faulty reasoning was reversed by the 2014 Chieffi Supreme Court (Chamber I). And yet the final Marasca-Bruno Court returns to it, notwithstanding the intervening Nencini Court (with Prosecutor Crini) upholding Massei’s and thus Stefanoni’s treatment of scientific evidence as legally sound. 

3. The Sample Size Contention

As Dr Mignini explains.

“Marasca of the Fifth Chamber seems not to understand the difference between ‘identity’ and ‘compatibility’ (the latter is a statistical standard which should be used in court), demanding the former and rejecting Novelli’s, to the astonishment of Stefanoni.

Likewise, claiming that the Kercher sample size on the knife was too small showed him seemingly unaware of the penal code: ‘unrepeatable findings’ is provided for in Article 103 EC. 360 cp, similar to rules for the autopsy inspection. p 279

If, on the other hand, the finding must be reproducible, as the Fifth Chamber claims, then I could have carried it out without any contradiction, in accordance with Article 108 EC 359 CPP.

The Italian Criminal Code CPP 360 allows for an otherwise minute sample size to be tested once, on the grounds that the testing itself will destroy the sample – as often happens in an autopsy, for example - with the proviso that the defense must be allowed to send its own experts to witness the testing event.

Sollecito’s witness was Valter Patumi, with Francesca Torricelli for the Kercher family. There was no Knox witness there.

Article 360 “Non-repeatable technical ascertainment

1. If the ascertainment provided for in Article 359 involves persons, objects or places which are subject to change, the Public Prosecutor shall inform, without delay, the suspect, the victim and the lawyers of the day, time and place set for the assignment of the non-repeatable technical ascertainment and of the right to appoint technical consultants.”  Cpp 360 Italian-Code-of-Criminal-Procedure-CanestriniLex

Clearly, Hellmann and Marasca-Bruno, along with Vecchiotti and Conti, do not know their own criminal code when they complain the sample was ‘too small’ or ‘unrepeatable’. Mignini says:

“if it were true that the genetic test must be repeatable but it is quite clear that it is not, if only because, regardless of its quantity, there is a risk that, pending any judgment, the genetic material will be altered.

That is precisely why the Code provides for a non-repetitive finding and the Court cannot claim that, in accordance with highly questionable scientific considerations, a procedural rule provided for by the law can be eliminated.”



Ex Judge Marasca

4. The Typographical Error Contention

Mignini’s frustrations are compounded by Marasca-Bruno’s inability to spot a simple typographical error.

In typing up its late-2014 motivational report, Nencini’s Appeal Court upholding the guilty verdicts inadvertently attributes a Y-chromosome (obviously male) to a female.

Such a proof-reading error requires a simple correction, an appeal is not necessary.  However, Marasca choose to create a big scandal out of it:

“There are even obvious material errors, i.e. oversights, which can frequently be found in an elaborate report, such as the attribution to Sollecito as well as Meredith, of genetic traces in the famous knife referred to in the finding n. 36 contained in the Florentine judgment.

It is clear that the author of this crime report inadvertently wrote “Sollecito” instead of “Knox”. It was a simple clerical error, but the Fifth Chambers, in an attempt to dramatize the negativity of the sentence of Judge Nencini, presented it as one of several flagrant errors in the “motivational fabric”. p 280

5. The International Protocols Contention

Mignini makes similar criticisms about Marasca’s treatment of so-called ‘international’ protocols:

‘Genetic investigations were acquired in breach of the rules established by international protocols’, the Court expresses with the logical characteristic of ‘circular reasoning’ in p. 33 of the judgment, where it also adds that the obsolete principle of ‘judex peritus peritorum’* should be revised.

If this is not a “break” in the substance, regardless of the objectionability of the assumption, then it can no longer be understood how it can be said of “legitimacy”, whose assessment is left to the Supreme Court, and “merit” instead to the judges, specifically “of the merits”.

And what are these international protocols? This is the penalty, you have to be precise, you can’t be vague, as the fifth section are. p 277

*[“The judge is the expert of experts “. The judge, in fact, is not bound by the result of the expert’s report, since he can deviate from or completely disregard the conclusions reached by the expert. Legal Wiki]


6. The Inadequate Evidence Contention

Mignini explains how it is not the legal prerogative of the Supreme Court of Cassation to set aside evidence found by lower courts.

“Thus, the profile relating to the assessment of evidence for the purposes of the decision is not known by the Court of Cassation.

It is legally concerned only with the fairness or otherwise of the process which led to the verdict and, if it finds, in particular, a defect or defects of a logical nature which vitiated the decision, it must set aside the defective judgment, and refer the substance of the case back down to the referring court.” p 272

Mignini states wryly of Marasca-Bruno:

“Never has the definition of the limits of the Court’s knowledge of legality been more correct in the preamble, and so much disregarded with the same determination in the body of the reasoning of the judgment that has in no way sustained that correct premise.” P272

If you look at the Marasca-Bruno report you can see its faulty reasoning in respect of repeatability or replicability of genetic sampling (compare and contrast it with the aforesaid Italian Criminal Code 360):

“Also, the traces observed on the two items, which the analysis of has produced outcomes that will be discussed further, were very small (Low Copy Number; with reference to the hook CFR.Ff222 and 248), so little that it didn’t allow a repetition of the amplification¸ that is the procedure aimed to “highlight the genetic traces of interest in the sample” (f. 238) and attribute the biological trace to a determined genetic profile.

On the basis of the protocols of the matter, the repetition of the analysis (“at least for two times” testimony of Major CC Dr Andrea Berti, an expert nominated by the Appeal Court, f. 228; “three times” according to Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, technical adviser for Sollecito’s defense, f.126) is absolutely necessary for a reliable analysis result, in order to marginalize the risk of “false positive” within the statistical limits of insignificant relevance.” Marasca-Bruno

This is the Chamber V reasoning – if you can call it that - despite CPP 360 allowing a one-off testing, and Taggliabracci’s claims of the evidence testing being ‘suspect-centric’ twice being dismissed in the lower courts, both by Massei and again by Nencini.

When PCR testing is carried out, the analysis is by computer.  Stefanoni could not possibly have known in advance whose DNA profile or what effluorescant peaks (RFU’s) the machine readings will throw out.



Ex Judge Bruno

7. The Use Of “Compatibility” Contention

Likewise, the term ‘compatible’ to or with - or otherwise - is used in all criminal jurisdictions and is based on statistical probability as the scientific method assesses the probability of getting any particular scientific result by chance.

Hence, Nencini states the probability of the genetic profile 165B not being Sollecito’s and as calculated by Prof. Novelli, as:

“The probability that a random individual from the population would also be compatible (the inclusion probability) [245] was calculated, and came out to be equal to 3.05592 x 10^-6, which is about 1 in 327 thousand.

This computation is considered to be extremely conservative, since all of the allelic components are taken into consideration together with their frequency in the reference population.”

(Pages 15-17 of the technical report submitted at the 6 September 2011 hearing before the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia)”

Yet Marasca-Bruno appear completely ignorant of this convention, and write: “the outcomes of the analysis don’t arrive at a firm identity result, but merely a compatibility one.”

8. The Limits of Jurisdiction Contention

Mignini further notes of the (final) Fifth Chamber:

“Another disconcerting aspect was the fact that the Court, although only dealing with the Florentine judgment [Nencini] under appeal, wanted to revisit the whole process, even and perhaps above all those aspects that were now definitively covered by the judgment of the First Chamber, as well as the investigations on which the Court of Legality, in the doubly terminating seat moreover, could not say anything, also because it did not have the relevant acts….

“in p. 23 of the judgment, the V Chamber speaks of an “objectively wavering course” of the trial…” p 273

“[It was] anything but wavering. In a system of three sets of proceedings, the Kercher process indeed had an absolutely uniform decision-making content, with the exception of the Perugian appeal [Hellmann] and the last judgment. [Marasca-Bruno]” p 274

“The First Chamber [Chieffi] for its part had rightly taken into account the actions of the experts Conti and Vecchiotti, criticizing them with embarrassing expressions. And the decision of the First Chamber [Chieffi] was final and unassailable.

On the other hand, the Fifth Chamber, which intervened only after the order for reference, considered that it should reconsider everything, and “objectively” disprove even the judgment, which was also final, of the First Chambers.

The vulnus [wounding] of the judgment of the First Chamber is perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of the final judgment.” p 274


9. The Rudy Guede Contention

As well as the issues with the genetic testing, contamination and compatibility, Mignini explains how Marasca-Bruno gets it wrong about Guede in the following passage:

“In p. 28 of the judgment, the Court states that, in the course of the Peruvian appeal, Guede failed to be examined by the defendants.

But at the hearing on 27 June 2011, this was not the case, because although it is true that Guede did not at first intend to answer the questions of the advocate Bongiorno, Sollecito’s defender, on the murder of Kercher (see pp. 18 and 19 of the minutes of the hearing of 27.06.11 before the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia), however then he faced the questions addressed to him by the lawyer.

From Guede’s own memorandum:

‘…finally I hope that sooner or later the Judges will realize my total estrangement from what was a horrible murder of a wonderful girl such as Meredith by Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. Signed. Rudy’. P 276.

At the Hellman appeal session, Rudy specifically confirmed this letter and its contents!

10. The Referral-Back-Down Contention

Dr Mignini holds that Guede’s claim alone makes it a legal imperative that the case should be referred back down to a merits court, even if the Knox-Sollecito appeal is upheld, as it was.

[Coming soon: another post, on Mignini’s view of the press and the media.]

Posted by KrissyG on 12/29/22 at 12:32 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (6)

Saturday, December 17, 2022

My Contexting Of Dr Giuliano Mignini’s Spectacularly Eye-Opening Book

Posted by KrissyG




1. Advent Of The Book

Italy finally gets to see the Italian version of this highly anticipated book, by one of the two trial prosecutors, Dr Guiliano Mignini, on the Meredith Kercher Murder case.

He can finally write much more freely, if not yet entirely, as he now works at the national level with official bodies unrelated to the case. The English-language edition might spell out details much more, as Italians had the advantages of watching most court sessions on TV and of reading key documents as soon as uploaded. 

The book reads almost like a novel, insofar as characters are rounded out by a few descriptive brush strokes, though without losing the clear logic and precision of the dry codified Italian Penal Code and procedural protocols.

2. Trial Persona, Observed

Mignini’s fine observational skills become apparent from page 1, in his natural ability to appraise everyone he meets at a glance, whether by accent, appearance, ethnicity, or even from which part of the world or specific region of Italy they are from.

Meredith Kercher is described thus.

The girl had dark hair and complexion, while her eyes were of medium intensity hazelnut. […] It was understood that she had “exotic” and extra-European blood in her veins, while there was an Anglo-Saxon origin of the other of her parents. It was as if that maiden expressed the great wealth and linguistic ethnic diversity of the British Commonwealth. p34

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are described thus.

[…] typically Anglo-Saxon face, with very light skin, with eyes of an intense blue color and reddish blond hair, not very tall, dressed in a blue vest with fur liner inside and jeans, and a normo-type boy, with light hair and eyes, with a pair of goggles, a showy yellow scarf at the neck on a blue pullover and jeans. p26

Rudy Guede’s judge Micheli is described thus.

The magistrate was the well-known Paolo Micheli, whom I would have dubbed “Zaratustra”, younger than me of some years, of “Sabina” origin, in particular, a creature surrounded by a halo of fame and respectability, among lawyers in particular. p116

Guilia Bongiorno, Sollecito’s counsel, is described thus:

...a brilliant lawyer from the “copana” school.

Carlo Dalla Vedova, Knox’s counsel, is described thus.

...who was very close to the U.S. Embassy and would easily be mistaken for an American because of his appearance, resembling that of a U.S. Army officer. p119

Dr. Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, 2011 Court of Appeal, is described thus.

The surname Hellmann, added to Pratillo, denoted German ties which I would not know […] well-known in Spoleto but not in Perugia and coming from the [court’s] business welfare section. p 183

For something on Hellman’s background please see my footnote.




3. Media Persona, Observed

A key section of the book describes the various journalists surrounding the courts in person, including:

There, I met envoys from various news agencies and television broadcasters, especially American ones, such as “CBS”, “ABC”, “NBC”, “Associated Press” and “CNN” or other media outlets, such as Barbie Nadeau, Andrea Vogt, Ann Wise, Sabina Castelfranco, Phoebe Nathanson and others. I also remember the Britons, Tom Kington of “The Guardian,” Nick Squires of “The Telegraph,” Nick Pisa of “Sky News”, John Follain of “The [London] Times” as well as a very nice old journalist, Richard Owen of “The [London] Times.” p124 on Massei Court.

Dr Mignini early on in the case sees very clear factions, differentiating the largely hostile US press, often depicted as purveying disinformation, although some, such as Barbie Nadeau, Peggy Ganong and Andrea Vogt are perceived as truer to their profession. 

Throughout the book, Mignini conveys an exasperated sense of frustration at some of the ‘reporters’ identifying as pro-Amanda Knox advocates, and these come across as stock comedy figures.

There is the hapless Doug Preston, who is one of the most vicious of the protagonists in his attacks on the prosecutor.  Mignini clearly and patiently explains how Preston completely misunderstands Italian Criminal law, mistaking it for US-style adversarial, and thus not realizing that a lawyer was not required to be present at the stage he was interviewed by Mignini in the Monster of Florence case.  Preston is mentioned here because he is key in initiating the destructive campaign against Mignini from the USA.

There is a large gaggle of these trouble-making characters. Example here:

Among these journalists, there was a strange character, completely uninformed in procedural matters, but who managed to credit himself as a kind of freelancer, self-styled as “persecuted” by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and in particular by me.

Frank Sfarzo (pseudonym of Francesco Sforza) was an individual with dark and thin hair, almost Maghrebi-looking, who lived with his mother and also it seems to me with his sister, with whom he was anything but on good terms, in an apartment of Via Fonti Coverte.

I do not know what he did in life, probably nothing until he was “electrocuted” on the “way to Damascus” by Amanda Knox whose innocence he “wedded with” immediately and tenaciously, without knowing anything about the trial. p127

Another, more concerning figure is the formerly friendly investigative journalist Bob Graham, turned Friend of Knox, who late in trial in 2009 wrote an especially misleading report in the UK Daily Express.

As with any evolving plot, Mignini becomes aware of a key turning point in the Hellmann Appeal, when his suspicions of collaboration by Vecchiotti and Conti with the defence are confirmed.  He and Manuela Comodi were joint trial co-prosecutors, and it is with grim amusement that Mignini relates how the Americans refer to himself as ‘Chief Prosecutor’ and Comodi as some kind of assistant.

Vecchiotti really annoys him in the Hellmann appeal by insisting on referring to Comodi as ‘Lawyer’ instead of ‘Prosecutor’.  Mignini points out that, contrary to US belief there were altogether four prosecutors in the case, himself and Comodi (2009), Giancarlo Costagliola (2011) and Crini (2013-14). Plus assigned judges in 2013 and 2015 at Cassation.

The other main troublesome characters are swathes of US armchair scientists, DNA experts, and lawyers, who see themselves as Knox’s proxy US attorneys, conducting her defence from afar. 

It seems to me that that period was the turn of a fat and somewhat ridiculous character who presented himself as a great investigator and demanded to give lessons to all the Italian investigators.

But also there were the more skilled who acted either as private jurists of the Knox family in the parallel fiction trial or who acted in a “reserved” way in the service of the “pro Amanda” lobby: the lawyer Theodore Simon, the geneticist Bruce Budowle, director of the Institute of Genetic Investigations, who among other things authored a letter addressed to the Court of Assizes of Appeal of Perugia, at the request of the lawyers Ted Simon, Carlo Dalla Vedova, and Carla Del Grosso, in which he challenged the validity of the scientific analysis, while technically lacking the credentials to be a Knox consultant in the judicial process.

Another was Greg Hampikian, professor of genetics at the Boise State University in Idaho […] For all these characters, who felt free to teach the Italian Scientific Police some lessons, the official work especially on DNA carried out by investigators was kind of shameful, and this judgment would be reflected by the [2011 appeal] “independent” experts, as the Americans called them. p 151

Again, few made even the slightest effort to grasp Italian law and legal processes, and several materially contributed to the Hellman verdict’s annulment. 



Courthouses: 2008 hard right, 2009 and 2011 top of hill

4. The Judicial Narrative 2007-15

The book is written in logical chronological order, commencing with Mignini who was on duty then being called in to investigate the murder of the young British student, Meredith Kercher.

As he arrives at the house, he takes in everything of the scene, noting that the window to Filomena Romanelli’s room (which is broken) showed no signs of scuff marks on the wall under the window, its aspect towards a busy road and its sheer height, whilst musing that there is nothing wrong with using circumstantial evidence.  One doesn’t need to wait weeks for a sample to be tested.

He describes how an unfortunate press conference by the then chief of the Perugia police, after he had arranged the arrest of Sollecito, Knox and Lumumba as of 6 Nov 2007, was to become a portent of the final Supreme Court Fifth Chambers’ erroneous reasoning to come, some seven-plus years later.

...the attribution to me of the unexpected and startling words of Perugia Police Chief Arturo De Felice, who on the morning of 6 November 2007, that of the arrest, said that the case had been resolved with unparalleled speed.

This attracted heated criticisms of myself and of officers of the Mobile Police. This was one of the foundation lies of the Friends Of Amanda lobby, and in particular of the self-proclaimed “insightful” (former) FBI agent Moore and his unruly wife Michelle, who repeated them over and over again. p274

De Felice was technically mistaken, and was not even a member of the judicial team. And yet the Marasca/Bruno Supreme Court Chamber used his announcement as an example of an error in our own investigation.

With respect to Knox’s arrest, Mignini explains and proves that neither the police nor he himself suggested the name ‘Lumumba’ or ‘Patrick’ to Knox.

This also later becomes an error repeated in the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court and 2015 Marasca/Bruno Supreme Court, when they fail to add the ‘aggravated’ part onto the calunnia conviction wording, on the grounds that there was no link between Lumumba and Kercher (which there clearly was).

In the book’s later section dealing with the ECHR Knox judgment, Mignini with flawless logic shows that it is erroneous to claim or rule that under Italian law Knox needed a lawyer, as it was an act not of self-incrimination but one of accusing a third party (Lumumba).

He shows quite elegantly by way of court transcripts that, contrary to common Friends of Amanda beliefs, nobody suggested the name Lumumba to Knox.

Mignini takes us chapter by chapter through the 2009 Massei Trial Court (see one of the next posts), and then through the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court.

Here he has a lot to say about outside interference and something decidedly fishy going on. Right at the start, Mignini realises the two main judges are duds.  Zanetti is described as a contrary character. Again a harbinger of things to come, and in hindsight, he avidly wishes he had demanded a recuse.

In the third line of the report, Dr. Zanetti [Hellman’s #2] wrongly claims [because this was an appeal court]: “it is necessary to start from the only objective and really certain and undisputed fact: on 2.11.2007, shortly after 13.00,  the body of the English student Meredith Kercher… was found in the building of Via della Pergola 7, in Perugia”.

This claim [by an appeal court] is incredible and denotes the inexperience of the magistrate in criminal matters.

I still seem to experience all over again when I listened scandalized to this clumsy expression that should have deserved immediate recusal, of Zanetti, and also of President Pratillo Hellman, who had allowed such a claim, because he could not fail to know the expression was an overreach transgression.

But the decision to recuse wasn’t taken by our colleague Costagliola, who was from the Prosecutor General’s Office, while we were at appeal. p 183

Mignini explains clearly and concisely the proceedings and the errors found in Hellman’s annulled ruling by the 2013 Supreme Court First Chambers – and directly links to those same errors repeated again in the 2015 Fifth Chambers Marasca/Bruno report.

For example piecemeal treatment of evidence, which leads to Curatalo’s fine testimony being excluded by them despite proof that party buses were indeed running on Thursday night 2nd Nov 2007. Thus belying the concept of “quae singula non probant simul unitant probant” as Mignini puts it. 

The 2013 Chieffi Supreme Court, and Nencini’s 2014 Appeal Court in Florence to which they referred back down the appeal, is dealt with in rather less detail than that found in earlier chapters, possibly because the prosecutor dealing with it is now Alessandro Crini, and all seems to go well and as expected.

However, disaster had already struck at the end of the 2011 Hellmann Appeal Court, for Hellman had erroneously freed the two defendants, and Knox had fled Italy to the USA, never soon to return.

We are then moved onto the final 2015 Marasca Supreme Court appeal, dealt with in detail. There is hard language about the American administration and its interference at this point which will reverberate both in the Italian media and in judicial circles in Rome. 

There are so many errors made, unusual logic, and a bizarre reversion back to the largely expunged 2011 Hellmann appeal.  This is quite detailed, so I will include the major points in a separate review.

Mignini goes into quite a lot of detail as to why the Marasca-Bruno report is an illegal curve ball, explaining with his usual clear logic why it is, and this is a chapter that will likely most interest the legally-minded as to the reasoning behind the overturned guilty verdict.

The book ends with chapters on the Knox appeal to ECHR, long before the Italians process was done, and the highly misleading Netflix production “Amanda Knox” in which Mignini is cast (and later ridiculed by the American Friends Of Amanda) as seeing himself as Sherlock Holmes, not revealing the Netflix producers from Knox PR had specifically asked him a question – not seen by viewers - about his preferences in sleuths.




5. The Book’s Final Overview

All in all, Mignini has no doubts at all about the original guilty verdict.  There is a whole chapter devoted to what Mignini thinks happened on the night of the murder, which I will not spoil here (you need to read the book!).

In closing, Mignini has the following remarks to make about the three ex-defendants:

Three suspects were in due course found: the Ivorian Rudi Hermann Guede, the Apulian Raffaele Sollecito, and the American from Seattle, Amanda Knox.

Rudi has never shown signs of influencing the judicial process in any way and has always respected Italian jurisdiction over the matter.

Sollecito was and is, in my opinion, the most enigmatic, indecipherable character of the three and who had suffered most in his life, especially for the death of his mother.[…]

[Key about] the girl from Seattle is that she was and is actually a normal girl of the far west American, very extroverted and extremely curious, this is a very important aspect of her, very open to the dialogue, but also extremely narcissistic, and very firm in her own convictions which, however, she tends to simplify, often excessively. p 311

The family circles and the rivalries of Sollecito and Knox, well-known in Italy, are not a main focus of this edition. 

In all, a logically set out, easy to read, flowing and relatable account, albeit slightly repetitive in parts, of a now retired, successful prosecutor disappointed by the failure to achieve justice for Meredith Kercher’s family thanks to the nefarious interference of outside forces, of shady characters with little understanding of how Italian criminal law works.

A recurring theme is Mignini’s astonishment at the utter ignorance of too many American writers, especially Nina Burleigh, and more recently Jessica Bennett of the NY Times, with their near-childish belief in the ‘bad prosecutor’ versus the innocent-because-I-can-sense-it Knox supporters.

In the context of the article, the journalist Jessica Bennett argued that, during the trial, I had presented Amanda as a “sex demon” who wanted to take revenge on her roommate and that I had charged her only because the blanket that had been placed on Meredith’s corpse must have been laid by a woman and this woman should have been her.

I am appalled, once again, by the proverbial ease and superficiality of certain Americans, in particular Bennett, who is the author of this report for which condemnation is deserved. p306


6. For Now An Interim Take

As you can see, this book helps clear up issues that have puzzled many for years. More contexting is still to come.

The book ends with an intriguing revelation that Knox had requested to meet him in person, and after all of the vilification Mignini has been put through by her and her supporters as the ‘wicked prosecutor’ he has clear reservations about this.  For the moment, they kept in touch via WhatsApp.

*[author’s note: [Hellmann is from Padua. In Veneto. The name Hellmann comes from the name that the illustrious Venetian lady (the widow of Renier) acquired from his second husband, who was an officer of the Austrian army (at the time Venice was part of the Austrian Empire). The officer, Mr. Hellmann, had a status significantly lower in prestige than the noble Mr. Renier and his wife, therefore the really “important” person was the Lady, who is also remembered for having donated an art collection to the city]

Posted by KrissyG on 12/17/22 at 12:00 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (7)

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 • Permalink for this post • Archived in Hoaxes Sollecito etcComments here (3)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Dr Mignini’s 360-Page Blockbuster Book Due To Be Released in One Month

Posted by Our Main Posters


1. Re The Book

Dr Mignini’s book will be released before Christmas by the University Of Perugia Press.

An English edition of the ultra-serious 360-page opus is in the works. We have not seen it yet, but we do understand that it closely mirrors and takes much further the general thrust of this page.

It follows hard on the heels of the Rudy Guede book which has just hammmered home that:

(1) all courts ruled that it had to have been a three-person attack (this was largely based on autopsy and situational evidence and a whole-day reconstruction PRESENTED IN CLOSED COURT);

(2) Knox & Sollecito were definitely at the scene of the crime; there was not a single scrap of evidence that anyone else was.

Not something unknown to every single Italian, but a useful time for it to be hammered home.

2. Re The Case

It seems all Italy is heartily sick of being globally impugned for a fine and fair legal process which was repeatedly illegally undermined. Sollecito’s appeal for damages was caustically shot down; tellingly, Knox did not even apply. 

The 2015 Supreme Court findings and verdict were nonsense, probably deliberately so to hint at pressures applied. In their report, the Fifth Chambers made clear that new evidence could render their verdict null and void.

The new evidence is of course the small mountain which the Fifth Chambers chose to ignore.

The President of the Republic and the Italian Supreme Court can each order a reopening of the case and a repeat of the final appeal.

The initiative is said to already have support within Parliament, Cassation, the Ministry of Justice, and the Council of Magistrates.

It is clearly likely to be huge, and could ripple on for years. Knox & Sollecito, their parents, their lawyers, their PR, and others in Italy could find themselves caught up in the net.

Maybe even more in the US: Preston, Ciolino, Moore, Fischer, Heavey, Burleigh, Hampikian, and a dozen others might find diffamazione targets on their backs.

Sollecito and his shadow writer Gumbel already lost a diffamazione trial, in Florence, that cost them big fines, and Knox lost a calunnia trial in Perugia, which cost her three years and huge damages owed to Patrick (still unpaid).

It’s strongly recommended that you check out the 2015 Cassation critiques in our right column and especially (in this order) the critiques of the Prosecution, of Machiavelli, and of James Raper, who may all be having a very nice day.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 11/23/22 at 12:42 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Monday, October 31, 2022

More Systems Crashes: Media Here Doing The Right Things

Posted by Peter Quennell



Over 150 died in this tiny space

1. Global Media Context

Many countries have media awards, the Pulitzers being the main ones in the US.

But there dont seem to be any that specifically reward reporting on systems and how they performed. 

Typically when things go wrong the mainstream media will tend to find someone (like Guede and Dr Mignini) on whom to heap all blame.

They ignore root causes, barely mention systems, get things wrong, fail to correct… and nothing improves. In the Perugia case there was a massive systems failure - by foreign media itself.

2. India & Korea Crashes

The whole world saw the aftermaths of two systems crashes last weekend. A combined total of over 300 died.

Perhaps under the influence of YouTube, which is becoming Systems Central these days, in the footbridge collapse in India and the crowd crush in Seoul, Korea, the systems are getting a public look.

It is already reported that the footbridge in India, after six months of closure for an overhaul, had just been reopened under pressure from MANAGERS for Diwali Day before ENGINEERS and INSPECTORS had signed off.

And in Seoul, exactly where the police were deployed that night, and what kind of police, doing what, is under the media microscope.

Only 130 or so cops, mainly instructed to look for drugs, were in the area where over 100,000 were expected to come. In sharp contrast, over 7,000 cops were deployed in another area because of a hint of violence, where the crowd was to be much less.

Here is the Associated Press report. Ignore the headline and the occasional simplistic “let’s blame the police”. The reporting in boldface on which systems broke or could work is pretty good. 

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Seoul police assigned 137 officers to manage a crowd of Halloween revelers anticipated to number more than 100,000 over the weekend — a decision that has come under intense criticism following the deaths of more than 150 people when the group surged.

By comparison, nearly 7,000 police officers were sent to another part of the South Korean capital on Saturday to monitor dueling protests that drew tens of thousands but still fewer people than flocked to the popular nightlife district of Itaewon the same night.

Even the task force created to investigate why the crowd surged, with 475 members, is more three times larger than the detail assigned to crowd control…

The national government has insisted there was no way to predict the crowd would get out of control.

Experts disagree. Deploying so few police officers, they said, showed officials were poorly prepared despite knowing ahead of time that there would be a huge gathering following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in recent months.

On top of assigning more personnel, police and officials in the Yongsan district, which governs Itaewon, should have banned cars from some streets and taken other measures to ease the crowding in narrow lanes like the one where the deaths occurred, experts said.

Instead, the 137 officers in Itaewon were assigned to monitor crime, with a particular focus on narcotics use, meaning that for all practical purposes “no one was looking after pedestrian safety,” said Kong Ha-song, a disaster prevention professor at South Korea’s Woosuk University…

Emergency workers were so overwhelmed by the number of people lying motionless on the ground that they asked pedestrians to help them with CPR. But Choi Sukjae, an emergency medicine specialist and chief spokesperson of the Korean Emergency Medical Association, said CPR, which ideally should be administered within a handful of minutes, wouldn’t have made much of a difference in many cases since the paramedics were delayed getting to the scene because the area was so packed.

Kong, the disaster prevention professor, said more police and government workers should have been called on to monitor potential bottleneck points. He suggested that the crush may have been prevented if authorities had enforced one-way walking lanes, blocked entry to some narrow pathways, and temporarily closed Itaewon’s subway station to prevent an excessive number of people moving in the same direction.

Officials could have also temporarily closed Itaewon’s main road to cars, as they did during the annual Itaewon Global Village Festival earlier in October, thereby giving people more room to spread out, Kong said.

Lee, the urban planning professor, criticized Interior and Safety Minister Lee Sang-min, who claimed, without elaborating, that having more police and fire department personnel on the ground wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy.

When asked about the number of officers assigned, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said 137 was still more than it sent in 2020 and 2021, excluding units specifically assigned to virus control measures. Police and government officials have acknowledged this year’s crowd was bigger — but it was not clear by how much.

Kong added that the lack of a central organizer on Saturday — when young people flocked to bars and night clubs to celebrate Halloween but there was not one specific event promoted — may have contributed to the tragedy.

“Our country usually does a good job in following the manual and maintaining crowd control at events where there’s a specific organizer,” he said. “But officials are often unsure what to do or even don’t care about events that aren’t created by a specific organizer … although it’s those events that usually require a closer watch.”

Hong Ki-hyeon, a senior official with the national police agency, acknowledged that problem during a news conference Monday, saying police do not have an established way to deal with such gatherings.

“In events like festivals that have a specific organizer, discussions are made between related municipalities, police, fire departments and medical experts who prepare and cooperate under different roles,” Hong said. “That is what we lacked regarding this accident”...

In the two previous years, the district’s preparations for the Halloween festivities were focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 among partygoers...

South Korea has a long history of deadly crowd crushes and stampedes, although none as deadly as Saturday’s…

Disaster managers around the world can benefit from this. And many who might otherwise have lost their lives.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/22 at 10:23 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Thursday, October 27, 2022

What The New UK PM Might Want To Do About This Elephant In The Room #2

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

The other timely FT report, on what is really the parent elephant.

The #1 answer to “why slow growth” which predated and helped cause BREXIT. Messing no end with UK and US systems including justice systems - see the UK parliament moves happening fast now.

Cause of the UK and US becoming the nations with the world’s greatest wealth disparities. Cause of the value of the UK pound falling fast ever since 2016.

Using the toothless Word Economic Forum (WEF) as a bright shiny object to scare and distract the UK masses.

Channeled in the UK in part through London’s Tufton Street think tanks, puppet masters of Liz Truss and other naive or knowing “supply side” warriors.

Believed to include official and oligarch Russian and Chinese and mafia money in there. Not nice people.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/27/22 at 11:01 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (4)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

What The New UK PM Might Want To Do About This Elephant In The Room #1

Posted by Peter Quennell

See 10,000-plus comments here

Context

Remarkably frank and useful Financial Times report.

Very timely too! Perhaps sensing that PM candidates could be busy listing their promises as soon as today.

Consider this stark warning above all in the report.

In most economies, something like 75% of all the economic value is created by only around 25% of the capacity. Typically the majority of that 25% will consist of innovating and expansive smaller enterprises.

All economies really, really need those guys. Absent them, corrupting large enterprises with stale low-value technologies will dominate, and growth will drop by at least half. 

This Financial Times report shows how, courtesy of all the new barriers, their vast destruction is really gathering steam. Broken systems (including our main interest: legal systems) are the direct cause, and a decade of zero growth is in the cards.

Supply-side or trickle-down “economics” which Liz Truss initially tried (with no mandate) to impose is exactly the worst policy to turn this vast systems problem of the UK’s small enterprises around.

It puts vast sums in precisely the wrong hands: those of wealthy people who, in a world economy where TRILLIONS of dollars are already available for any good new systems that appear, already have all the capital they can possibly put to good use.

Innovation - risk-taking - is not any longer their thing. So the tax-cuts all end up in a bank offshore. Or in another economy already at its peak.

And if they are heading mature enterprises, they have very possibly been promoting cost CUTTING and job LAYOFFS for years (that is how vulture capitalist Rishi Sunak made his mint: in the name of “efficiency” he destroyed jobs, innovation, and long-term growth.)

In fact, this is not an incentives problem at all. Whichever PM candidate has a sense of the vital need for enhancing systems on a grand scale (systems klutz Boris Johnson would be at the bottom of any such list) could make some long-overdue right moves.

Perhaps networked with the systems-smart Irish and the Swiss? Their GDPs per capita are each now TWICE that of the UK.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/20/22 at 10:25 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (11)

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Correctly Framing Queen Elizabeth’s Excellent If Partial Development Model #2

Posted by Peter Quennell


Queen’s Three Not-So-Secret Weapons

Did the Queen save her best act for last?

Some four billion are said to have watched her final events, at least in part. It seems a fair bet that the personal situations of a big majority of them had been enhanced by her activist presence over the years.

The Queen used in particular three development skills, weapons or techniques, all hiding in plain sight.

1. On a daily basis the Queen drew popular attention to good systems - she was surely nose-to-nose with more systems than anyone who has ever lived, and she made a beeline for all of the best, and put the spotlight on them and their originators and development teams.

Democratic and/or administrative & legal and/or scientific systems of UK origin are in play in every country in the world, and via the dazzling funeral planning she had guided in part she showed just how good the Brits still can be.

2. The Queen was remorselessly nice. She exuded kindness. At the Westminster Abbey service, the various bishops gave christian values a strong pat on the back, as if that was it, as if it all began there.

But kindness as a vital ingredient of homo sapiens’ sustained development success, over a dozen other flavors of humans, has just now been proven to go back hundreds of thousands of years.

1. There are more human species than we ever imagined

Species such as Homo Longi have only been identified as recently as 2018. There are now 21 known species of human.

In the last few years we have realised that our Homo sapiens ancestors may have met as many as eight of these different types of human, from robust and stocky species including Neanderthals and their close relatives Denisovans, to the short (less than 5ft tall) and small-brained humans such as Homo naledi.

But Homo sapiens weren’t the inevitable evolutionary destination. Nor do they fit into any simple linear progression or ladder of progress. Homo naledi‘s brain may have been smaller than that of a chimpanzee but there is evidence they were culturally complex and mourned their dead.

Neanderthals created symbolic art but they weren’t the same as us. Neanderthals had many different biological adaptations, which may have included hibernation.

***

5. Kindness is an evolutionary advantage

Research has uncovered new reasons to feel hopeful about future human societies. Scientists used to believe the violent parts of human nature gave us a leg up the evolution ladder.

But evidence has emerged of the caring side of human nature and its contribution to our success. Ancient skeletons show remarkable signs of survival from illness and injuries, which would have been difficult if not impossible without help.

The trail of human compassion extends back one and a half million years ago. Scientist have traced medical knowledge to at least the time of the Neanderthals.

Altruism has many important survival benefits. It enabled older community members to pass on important knowledge. And medical care kept skilled hunters alive.

3. Process skills. It surely mattered that Elizabeth was a woman. In a key respect, they have the edge. Women are now well proven to be more skilled and successful than men in process management, in being inclusive, building bridges, getting results from teams. Bottom-up. Leading from behind.

All in all, a dazzling show, though not yet widely understood. Did her elected governments in the UK learn anything? Seemingly, no. Not yet.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/09/22 at 08:04 AM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (1)

Sunday, October 02, 2022

Correctly Framing Queen Elizabeth’s Excellent If Partial Development Model #1

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

The Queen experienced the key deflection point shown here in 1944-45.

From then-on, with the companionship of King George VI through 1952, and PM Churchill in 1945 and again in 1952, and the Duke of Edinburgh for the next 75 years, she was energized to play a major role in making a better world.   

The Queen was nothing if not enigmatic. She never gave an in-depth interview about her strategic intent, and she never wrote a book. The myriad well-meaning takes on her impact that we saw aired in the past several weeks are all over the map.

These several posts are an attempt to connect up the dots, given what we know about development now.

Of relevance to Meredith’s case? Yes, sure. Long ago, Meredith’s father John concurred with us that it was systems in Italy and to some extent UK that had let Meredith down, and that her legacy should be to push to correct some of those.

On a larger scale, the Queen was trying to do the same.

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/02/22 at 04:25 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (1)

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Those Myriad Spectacular Systems: Some Of The Rehearsals

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

In rehearsal here (in the dark!) is a fraction of the myriad systems just activated over some 12 days.

The ceremonial military. Part of one of the most complex peacetime mobilizations of systems in history. All at rather short notice. Brushed up and extensively added-to since the transfer-of-power playbook was dusted off at Queen Elizabeth’s prompting back in 2008.

Simply listing all of them in main areas (like transport and communications) and their various subgroups could fill a book or two. And who was in charge? They were largely invisible, though we did see some of Queen Elizabeth’s formidable team of ladies-in-waiting in the cathedral.

In its own way, quite an encouraging shocker, as so many have been saying.

This suggests much promising potential for the UK in its overdue next wave of development. Maybe also far beyond: the Commonwealth countries already share many such systems like those of the Common Law.  More pointers to come.

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/20/22 at 03:02 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (0)

Monday, September 12, 2022

Impressive Monarch’s Legal Accession System In UK Gives Charles III The Nod

Posted by Peter Quennell


Some Takes

At first glance, this ceremony Saturday morning might not seem like much.

And most UK and US media aired short versions or brief excerpts, often with commentators talking over the goings-on.

But watched carefully, it is rather impressive stuff.

1. This was the first accession ceremony since 1952 and the first ever to be shown on TV.

2. The only person here in 2022 who might have been present in 1952 was Charles, who was then four; his free-spirited “mum” was then 26.

3. Charles had been up in Scotland the day before and had had little time to rehearse where to walk or to write a compelling speech. 

4. The complex 70-minute business meeting of sorts, some of it ancient and some of it a bit arcane, was impeccably planned.

5. Under a confident new Cabinet appointee, Penny Mordaunt, the process moved flawlessly, without a single hitch. Some key decisions were ratified.

6. Normally the organizing of that audience is like herding cats; here even Boris formed part of a quiet, observant common front.

7. The gilded surroundings looked great. The first time those rooms at St James Palace (200 yards from the front of Buckingham Palace, off to the left) have been shown on TV.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 09/12/22 at 01:03 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (5)

Monday, August 29, 2022

Alert! Serial Misrepresenter Of MK Case Now Misrepresenting Under New Name

Posted by Peter Quennell


1. Overview

Two heavily promoted and wildly inaccurate new reports have appeared.

In both, a whiny I’m-the-real-victim Sollecito reprises his recent Der Spiegel rant in German which we took apart here. 

One is a two-part report on the new Paramount Plus video-streaming channel, and the other is a Kate Mansey story in the Online Daily Mail.

We’ll also be taking each of them apart next. First, some wider context here.

2. Wider Media Context

Netflix entered the internet-based video-streaming business first and has generally grown very fast. Today it is global, and still huge.

Back in 2016 Netflix took a huge stock hit, when a so-called real-crime report turned out to be in part fake.

On-line streamers have generally tried to be above board in their relatively few cautious true-crime productions since. 

Paramount Global with all its subsidiaries, including Showtime and CBS, is worth in total only about 10 percent of what Netflix is worth. William Cohan in Puck News explained Paramount Global’s overall fit.

Paramount Global is a minnow among sharks. With a market value of around $23 billion [now down to $16 billion] it is the smallest of the group of companies that aspire to Hollywood hegemony. Netflix, even after its recent plunge, still has a market value of about $157 billion. Comcast [NBC] is valued at around $206 billion. Disney [ABC] has a market value of more than $250 billion. [Content provider Amazon is at $1.3 trillion, Apple at $2.54 trillion, and Alphabet/Google/YouTube at #1.42 trillion.]

In this distinctly precarious situation, where misrepresenting true crime could be a real mistake, minnow Paramount Global’s video-streaming service Paramount Plus was launched a year ago in the US.

Paramount Plus was also launched a few weeks ago in parts of Europe including the UK (but not Italy) with its flagship promotional vehicle… an anti-Italy Sollecito whine?!

3. Demonizing Italy Context

Paramount Global under its old names (first Viacom and CBS, and then Viacom/CBS) has long been the most misleading and dishonest of all of the exploiters of the case among the main media in the US.

It had no reporters in the Italian courts (in fact none to our knowledge anywhere in Italy) and it has done zero translations of key reports.

Nevertheless it has historically taken a large number of cracks at Italian justice with help from a group of Seattle money-grubbers and members of Knox’s PR. See this partial list of posts below. 

Click for Post:  Why CBS Should Report Better - Way Better - On This Case

Click for Post:  CBS Attempts To Trash Another Witness, Lies To Its Audience

Click for Post:  Rumors In Manhattan About Ludicrously Bad CBS Report

Click for Post:  CBS Reporter’s Bizarre Claims About Prosecutor And Reporters

Click for Post:  CBS Report Sets New Record For Trashing Of Meredith, Xenophobia, Multi-Inaccuracies, Possible Libels

Click for Post:  Plight Of CBS Network: Anti Justice For Meredith Is Increasingly Bad Business

Click for Post:  We Now Examine The Compelling Evidence For The REAL Railroading From Hell

Click for Post:  Producer Of CBS Reports On The Case “Crazy, Desperate, Stupid, And/Or Unscrupulous” ?

Click for Post:  CBS Producer of Most Biased Perugia-Case Reports Pleads Guilty To An Unrelated Crime

Click for Post:  Emmy Nomination For CBS Producer For Xenophobic And Wildly Inaccurate Reports On Meredith’s Case?!

Click for Post:  The Very Appropriate Casting Of CBS’s Doug Preston As The Fredo Corleone Wannabe

Click for Post:  That Supposed Tsunami Of Leaks That Supposedly Hurt The Alleged Perps: Who REALLY Leaked?

Click for Post:  CBS’s Paul Ciolino Hit With A $40 Million Suit For Real Railroad Job From Hell

4. Context Of Daily Mail

The Daily Mail has had no fixed positions on the case, and mainly dabbles in it sensationally now and then, often to the discomfort of Knox.

Kate Mansey is a main editor of the paper, and her crackpot report mainly summarizes and promotes the streaming Paramount Plus report which mainly has Sollecito whining in misleading terms yet again.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/29/22 at 01:35 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (5)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Georgia Meloni Likely To Become Italy’s First Woman Prime Minister Next Month

Posted by Our Main Posters


Context

Georgia Meloni is the leader of the Brothers Of Italy Party.

Her party is now ahead in the polls. She has uploaded similar statements in excellent Spanish and French.

The party is widely labeled ultra-conservative and does seem to include adherents who have taken some very hard lines. The UK’s Observer newspaper has published this cautionary report. 

So here for an international audience she sets out to compare her own positions as being more akin to those of Liz Truss and the conservatives in the UK.

What of Italian justice? Typically, it goes its own way, politically unaffected, because of all the checks and balances built in - nice, but hard to execute even the few reforms it really could use.

Posted by Our Main Posters on 08/16/22 at 01:44 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (3)

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Reacting To Rampant Conspiracy Theories? Unusually, An FBI Search Warrant May Be Unsealed

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

This unusual move was announced mid afternoon. Many YouTubes are already up.

Donald Trump actually has a copy of the warrant okayed by a judge for Monday’s FBI search of his Florida place. But he has not released it, and so conspiracy theories are running rampant - such as that the house has been extensively bugged.

A judge will now decide whether we get to be put in the picture. Big nail-biter is whether Trump’s lawyers will fight the warrant’s release.

The director of the FBI is not only a lifelong Republican but was also installed by Trump in 2017. It seems the judge who signed the search warrant was also appointed by Trump.

Buzz around New York is that the papers seized by the FBI Monday may relate to extensive dealings with Vladimir Putin. But with the US as Global Ground Zero for conspiracy theories, keep your powder dry!

See YouTube watchers comments here (scroll down)

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/11/22 at 05:32 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (4)

Friday, August 05, 2022

Another Legal Hoaxer Takes The First Of An Expected Many Hits

Posted by Peter Quennell


Overview

Bad day for legal hoaxers as the American justice system delivers another body-blow. 

The Texas jury has now awarded PUNITIVE damages of $45.2m against the money-grubbing far-right radio host Alex Jones. This is on top of $4.1m awarded against him yesterday in COMPENSATORY damages.

Suing were just the first two of a possible 50 parents and teachers’ relatives that Jones had demonized daily for years in his false claims that a real bloodbath at a Connecticut school was a hoax to drive gun-control legislation.

Evidence that his own staff knew that it was a moneygrubbing hoax was presented. Alex Jones’s legal troubles have barely begun. He already faces a second trial in Connecticut next week.

Also Jones egged on the 6 January mob. thousands of recent text messages to Donald Trump etc etc that were handed over to the court by his own lawyer are headed for the Justice Department and Congress. This could result in criminal charges down the road.

For the many anti-Jones comments under the video (scroll down) please click here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/05/22 at 06:55 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (3)

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Back In The News: UK’s Suzy Lamplugh Case, Maybe Most Obsessed-Over Anywhere

Posted by Peter Quennell




The History

Suzy Lamplugh disappeared in West London exactly thirty-six years ago today.

A real-estate broker, she had headed out alone to show a “Mr Kipper” a house, and she has never been seen since. No body. No hard proof of murder. Articles still pour out ceaselessly. There are so many YouTubes that it seems best that you take your pick.

The national frustration in England in part results from the fact that there are TWO suspects, both serial killers, the probable John Cannan whose car showed traces of Suzy’s DNA; and the possible Steve Wright, the Ipswich Killer, who Suzy’s family want interviewed - his own father labels him a possibility.

They have each spent years in prison and have divulged details of other crimes. So if either is guilty, why not do the same for this one?

Especially the one called John Cannan, locked up in Yorkshire, who is said to be on the point of dying. On 31 October 2018 our main poster James Raper kindly posted this tip about him.

I see that the police have started excavating the back garden of John Cannan’s mother’s back garden in the hope of, at long last, finding the remains of Suzy Lamplugh. Suzy was an attractive young estate agent who disappeared some 32 years ago after she had gone to meet a certain Mr Kipper at one of the properties on the agency’s books.

I rather doubt that they will find her there but if they do it will bring closure to Suzy’s remaining family. Her parents died a few years ago. Cannan can also then be charged with her murder.

The police never had anyone else in the frame. At the time of her disappearance Cannon was staying at a bail hostel nearby where he was called Mr Kipper because of his love of fishing and always being asleep. He was, it has to be said, rather a handsome man (though with rather strange, staring eyes) but he was also a sexual predator whose MOD with women was to portray himself as a successful businessman.

I bring this up because I was practicing law in Bristol when he was arrested and convicted for the murder of the newly-wed Shirley Banks. He had tried to abduct another woman only the day before Shirley disappeared. He is currently doing life.

It also transpired that he was having an affair with a Bristol solicitor whom I remember from my days there. IIRC she was representing him on some marital issue. She was married to a Bristol barrister though I never did work out who that was. Anyway, a narrow escape for her, and I didn’t see her around after that.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/28/22 at 01:37 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (6)

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Mainstream Media Woes: NBC Takes Heat For Blatantly One-Sided Report

Posted by Peter Quennell

NBC originated a live feed from the court. Now NBC slams those who actually watched?!

Below: 5 minutes. Comments here.

Below: 37 minutes. Comments here.

Below: 120 minutes. Comments here.

Below: 120 minutes. Comments here.

Below: 46 minutes. Comments here.

Below: 120 minutes. Comments here.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/20/22 at 12:12 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (4)

Thursday, July 14, 2022

More Proof That Mainstream Media Does NOT Accurately Report On Trials

Posted by Peter Quennell


Context

Main-media’s slow suicide by another name?

We recently quoted from some very ill-informed mainstream-media op-eds on the Depp-Heard case.

The NY Times’s and Washington Post’s OWN READERS in online comments below the op-eds almost universally said the opinion writers had NOT WATCHED THE CASE.

There are now literally thousands of comments under the numerous YouTube videos on the case arguing that social media did NOT affect the jury. It was hard facts that did.

Social media in fact simply reflected what many millions saw (except seemingly any mainstream media reporters) on the 20 or so live feeds from the court.

This video of a wildly biased NBC “news report” that aired last night was uploaded just a few hours ago.

Click through to the (at present 2600) comments here (scroll down) in effect almost all saying that, once again, mainstream media is lying to all of us on a grand scale.

Shades of the Meredith Kercher case and Danielle Redlick cases? You can find similar comments to these below under those biased media reports too. We have a lot of like-minded friends out there.

Betsy Packard 1 hour ago

Social Media did NOT determine this case. We watched Amber get caught lying time after time.

Jack White 7 hours ago

Wow NBC, this is how you treat information? Twist it to your will, you know as the public we see what you are doing and you are just loosing viewers.

Ashley Jordan 6 hours ago

This right here is why I refuse to watch MSM! They clearly did not watch the entire trial like most of us with common sense!

Matt Davis 10 hours ago

Really upsetting to see a big news media video like this completely disregard 90% of the trial and give a narrow, biased view on the trial discrediting the court and jury’s verdict, and humiliating Johnny depp, a surviver of amber heard. Both had huge evidence suppressed, Johnny couldn’t play the audio she admits to cutting his finger off.She was proven to be the abuser in a 6 week trial, and to watch this video is disgusting- this would not be happening had the roles been reversed

Gina Simmons 10 hours ago (edited)

I have never seen anything so biased in all my life. I watched the trial ! With an unbiased opinion and the truth slowly unfolded   that Amber Heard was the abuser,  based purely on fact.
I am a woman, and for my own reasons have always side with women about abuse - but this this trial changed my perspective- that men can be victims of abuse too. It sickened me that a woman could go to the depths she went to, to destroy a man that could no longer suffer her abuse.
It is saddening that something like this could be put together in such a way to discredit the verdict. I am sick of being called a Depp fan - I am a fan of truth and justice - something you have left out of this, people who know right from wrong - not fans. Though the right verdict was reached, you have tried to smear it and social media who have been far more truthful about the trial evidence than the MSM.
And as for Elaine Bredahoft- shameful, as she herself knows the lies her client has told and is still pushing them, she even told a few herself, I witnessed that - she should be disbarred.
Shameful that you have put a handful of people together so speedily who obviously never watched the whole trial,  trying to sway the audience to believe a person who constantly perjured herself and covered it over with theatrics - was the victim and treated unjustly.
Amber Heard is the calculating, manipulative,  narcissistic, physical and mental abuser of her former huband - why do you try to paint it as though this fact is not true - and because I have come to this conclusion after seeing it with my own eyes - I am described as Johnny Depp fan?
These are two people, the whole world is not split into two categories - either fans of Depp or Heard. Like me, as I said , just a fan of the truth and justice - for women and for men.

Kris 1 hour ago

This is actually appalling and insulting to everyone who watched this trial live. Insulting to all the fantastic Lawyers and law-workers commenting on this and cases similar to this for years to be smeared by wanna-be journalists who blatantly lie about them again and again. To give this stuff such a stage is unbelievable. Unquestioned biased opinions being presented as “facts”. As i can still see the dislikes this is getting rationed and rightfully so. When will the media finally get the message that they can NOT lie to their viewers any more? Its over. And imagine they would not have allowed cameras in there? News cannot be trusted, so called “experts” cannot be trusted. Thats what i learned from it. Because they lied to my face about stuff i was able to see first hand. This is just another idiotic try to change the “court of public opinion”.

barbde65 3 hours ago

And y’all at NBC and all other MSM’s wonder why we are all turned off? I recall the day she went and played the victim and the fallout… how I was so disappointed and had to believe her…then here comes this trial and I found a new community to follow and these attorneys didn’t believe he could win, the law was on her side… then JD puts on his part and I began to wonder… then AH takes the stand and I was angry… she showed herself as a liar and was fake…the way she kept trying to stare down the jury, the way she told stories that weren’t the same as her “witnesses”…then during both rebuttals, I changed my mind and realized how she’d used the metoo movement, women wanting to believe any claimant and the media to cancel JD… while he’s been all the things he said he was, I mean come on we all knew of his drinking and drug usage way back to the Viper Room and River Phoenix… but the way she described certain alleged abuses? She’d have needed IMMEDIATE treatment for sliced and bleeding feet and in Australia had he really committed SV with a “broken bottle” he would still be there in jail… you all owe JD the actual and fair truth which I highly doubt anyone of you has the decency to report… you’re nothing better than TMZ at this point! Shame on you for not reporting the ACTUAL facts and how disgusting she is as a person…

Randy Moog 3 hours ago (edited)

Three things.
1) NBC was caught replacing audio in the middle of the sentences Amber Heard was saying during their big interview.  They replaced words mid sentence because it was pointed out when the first teasers came out she was obviously lying about facts, and it was easy to prove she was lying.  So NBC removed parts of the video, and edited words mid sentence to make audio clips that were never said, but didn’t have the lies in them.  There are a number of videos that show the teaser clips versus the final clips where this is clear.
2) The trial influences social media, not the other way around.  People mocked AH lying and bizarre behavior AFTER they watched the trial, not the other way around.  People watched the trial with open minds and it was the trial that made them then go to social media and talk about what they saw. 
3) With social media it is easy to comment and fact check in real time.  It is harder with MSM like NBC.  NBC tries very hard to control the narrative and blocks and fact checking.  Luckily this is posted on YouTube were people can comment - something you CANNOT do on NBC’s sites.  And after watching them edit audio and change what people said, you can see why.

Keyyyyzzzz 8 hours ago

I recall a time when both the media AND online commentary were overwhelmingly in support of Amber ... which gradually turned around to support Johnny after the public release of two things: (1) the footage of Amber’s testimony in the UK, and; (2) the many hours of audio recordings - largely Amber’s own. So, as a ‘liberal’ minded (Australian) lawyer I made a point of following the entire six week trial, while deliberately blocking all commentary (both online and traditional media). My verdict was virtually identical with that of the Virginia jury. Not only was Amber’s testimony very contradictory, but there was simply no credible evidence to support her DA claims: and the little that there was ultimately seemed to emanate from Amber herself.
I have to say I’m really surprised at the traditional ‘liberal’ media commentaries - like this one - which appear to have rejected this verdict on the grounds that it will have a suppressing effect on victims of DA! Not only have you clearly NOT followed the evidence presented in this case itself, but you are ignoring the fact that the jury DID vindicate the DA survivor in this case: ie, Johnny Depp. As even your own expert commentators make clear in this video: men are extremely reluctant to come forward as DA victims! Its pretty clear that Johnny would NEVER have come forward ... if it weren’t for the fact that his entire reputation and career were at jeopardy! And yet you’re prepared to disregard both the bulk of the evidence AND the verdict of the jury; simply because it doesn’t conform to your outdated notion of what a DA survivor must look like. It seems to me that the traditional US ‘liberal’ media stands in very real danger of losing relevance in the News environment; a sad and frightening prospect in my opinion ... and in the opinion of hundreds of millions of fair and reasonably minded people around the world.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/14/22 at 03:51 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (5)

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Unsavory Knox & Sollecito Chums Are Taking Quite A Beating Now

Posted by Peter Quennell

Fine Australian report praised by Italian viewers (scroll down)

1. Italian Developments

The video report on a mass trial in southern Italy could be good news.

That is if there is to be more exposure of the nefariousness in Meredith’s case. And of how way too much of the American media and the political administrations were led around by the nose, by these guys intent on taking Italian justice down a peg.

Not that Italian media have been exactly shy though. Few in Italy believe all was above board - in the selection of Judge Hellman and his “independent” consultants, in the final sentence issued in 2015 by the Supreme Court, and in Knox’s “not guilty” verdict in the Florence calunnia trial.

Everybody knows of the Sollecito family’s blood ties in the deep south and in Canada, though those have mostly dwindled since the assassination of Canadian mafia kingpin Uncle Rocco in Montreal in 2016.

Calabria is in the deep south of Italy, across the Strait of Messina from Sicily. Several thousand years ago, those were among the wealthiest areas in the world. Agriculture flourished back then, and the south was a major waypoint for cargo traffic making its way along the Mediterranean.

The remorseless decline of the deep south was first set in motion by climate change, and by piracy from bases in countries further to the east. Lawless gangs emerged after the 19th century uprisings against royalty.

The mafia big three families have long been considered Cosa Nostra (Sicily), Camorra (Naples) and Ndrangheta (Calabria). All three had connections with Meredith’s case.

The Ndrangheta was infiltrating the Perugia area around the time that Meredith died. Knox’s and Sollecito’s lead lawyers had represented mafia previously. Appeal judge Hellman was assigned in suspect circumstances. Sollecito was suspected of seeking help from the Canadian arm of the Ndrangheta. Both of the lead Supreme Court judges were from Naples and subjects of whispers. The judge in Knox’s second calunnia trial was transferred to Florence from the Ndrangheta area due to suspect friendships. A pro-prosecution witness had been a Camorra member. Perugia prosecutors and judges sometimes have a role in mafia cases. Perugia saw a mafia mass-arrest. One of the lead investigators transferred to Rome to head anti-mafia investigations.   

Sicily’s Cosa Nostra was mostly responsible for the assassination of over 100 judges, prosecutors and others in law enforcement through the 1990s, at which time the kingpin was put away and the first several of various mass trials put away additional hundreds. It then faded, and the Ndrangheta mushroomed.

The current Ndrangheta mass trial in western Calabria is of the Mancuso clan, the west-coast segment of the Ndrangheta, which because of a seaport built in the 1990s is definitely the most significant. The trial will conclude in a few months - many took the short-form trial (in effect they pleaded guilty) but over 300 didn’t. 

Does this suggest the last of the big Italian mafia families is finally on the ropes and of diminishing significance? Maybe; maybe not. As the Australian video explains, for many in the area, the Ndrangheta remains more popular than the government, because they make sure to provide more services.

But certainly by global standards they are not such big-fry. Russian, Japanese and Mexican crime families are estimated to be larger, both in membership and turnover. But the Ndrangheta is still big in European cocaine, and has bought a collection of conventional businesses.

Italian law enforcement has developed a number of admired and emulated techniques to diminish their crime families. One is to isolate members from one another and from other prisoners, in prison conditions that by Italian standards are not too nice.

Even at the peaks of these crime families, reported crime rates in Italy, murder or otherwise, have steadily remained below 1/5 of the American rates. Italian law enforcement is brave, and their systems are good models.

2. Canadian Developments

Mobster Dominico Scarfo has been on trial for the shooting of Rocco Sollecito at a traffic light in Montreal in May 2016, and for a related killing.

Rocco Sollecito had been the de facto head of the Rizutto crime family, which was very closely associated with the Italian Ndrangheta. Raffaele Sollecito met with him several times in 2012 and 2014 in a mob-controlled town at the east end of the Dominican Republic island.

Scarfo was found guilty of both killings in April. This is a report on the trial outcome from the Montreal Gazette.

The jury also found Scarfo, 49, guilty of conspiring to kill both men.

The trial began in late January, and the jury deliberated for 19 days — one of the longest deliberations in Canadian history — before reaching unanimous decisions on all four charges. The record for the longest deliberation is 28 days.

“In the name of us all, and in the name of the community you served as judges, I want to thank you for your services. All good things must have an end though,” Superior Court Justice Michel Pennou told the 10 jurors who remained on the panel at the trial’s end.

The prosecution faced an uphill battle as its key witness, an informant, initially refused to testify when he was first called to the stand in February.

“No. I won’t be answering any questions,” the informant told prosecutor Isabelle Poulin after she asked her first question.

“F—ing me over is f—ing everybody over. It ain’t happening,” the informant said back in February while complaining that his contract with the Sûreté du Québec was not being respected.

He eventually settled down and testified at length, despite several outbursts throughout.

With the first-degree murder verdicts, Scarfo automatically received a life sentence with a period of parole ineligibility fixed at 25 years. Pennou said he will hear sentencing arguments on the conspiracy charges at a later date….

Scarfo is said to have collaborated with, among others in the Canadian mob, a “deceased crime boss”.

Hmmm…  Rocco Sollecito’s predecessor Nicolo Rizutto was gunned down in his house by a long-distance sniper.

Rocco has been widely presumed to have been behind that, and although said to have been a guy quite easy to get along with, some in the mob may have remained loyal to the previous boss.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 07/05/22 at 08:08 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in • Comments here (20)

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