Archive for September, 2017

It’s over for Raffaele Sollecito as court throws out his claim

September 27, 2017

cluedo ak rs rg#Raffaele Sollecito has been denied any compensation for the four years he spent in prison, one year on remand, and three years until the final Supreme Court Appeal decision in March 2015.

The problem is, although acquitted, it was on the grounds of ‘insufficient evidence’ and not a straightforward exoneration.

 After having to wait six months for the written reasons, in Sept 2015, Sollecito then had the way clear to put in a claim for compensation, which Italian law allows for.

Wrongful imprisonment

However, the statute that allows compensation for wrongful imprisonment specifically excludes defendants who lie to the police, described as ‘gross misconduct’.

In other words, the Florence Appeal Court in January this year dismissed Sollecito’s claim for this reason. It deemed that Sollecito had committed ‘willful misconduct’ or ‘at the very least, gravely negligent or imprudent.’

It found it ‘implausible’ that he could not account for the movements of his then-girlfriend, #Amanda Knox. It states that both he and Amanda Knox lied many times and that it was an ‘indisputable fact of absolute certainty’ that Knox was at the murder scene ‘when the young Meredith Kercher was murdered’.

Sollecito through his lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno immediately appealed to the Supreme Court, citing the fact of Rudy Guede’s shoeprint being mistaken for his. However, this was never the point of law for which Sollecito was refused his demand for the maximum €517,000 compensation.

The Florence 10 Feb 2017 written reasons state:

On 6 November 2007 Sollecito was placed under arrest by the PM [Prosecutor], and on 8
November 2007 at the interrogation by the GIP of the Perugia Court regarding preventive
detention, he changed yet again his version of his and Knox’ movements on the evening
and night of 1-2 November 2007, saying he had stayed with her, in her house, until 18:00,
he had gone with her into the city centre until 20:00-20:30, after which they had both gone
to his house where they had eaten together, even though he didn’t recall in detail, and
then she “as it was Thursday had to go to work at Le Chic…<snip>
 He then went on to recount details of a broken sink pipe, to have been
helped by Knox to mop up the spill, and then they had both gone to bed, but he didn’t
remember at what time. He said that “For sure I worked on the computer” but when
asked what he had been working at he said “I really can’t remember because everyday I
am on the computer. I don’t remember what I did that day”. In addition he said “I
received a phone call from my father because he phones me every night before he goes to bed…I don’t remember if he phoned the landline or the cell phone that evening” (but the
judge already knew, on that occasion, that no calls to either the landline nor the cell phone
had been made). <snip>
To further questions asked by his defence, finally, he
repeated that Knox might have gone out and returned but “It could have happened but I
don’t remember this exactly” and that he had remained at his computer until about

In addition, it notes:

On the other hand, given the certainty of the presence of Knox in that house, it is hardly
credible that he was not with her.” (Page 49 of the decision) If therefore the fact that Knox
was in the house 7 Via della Pergola at the time when young Meredith Kercher was killed
constitutes a fact of absolute and indisputable certainty; it is evident that the statements
made by Sollecito that she was with him all evening on 1 November 2007 are false, and
that one cannot believe his statements that he couldn’t remember what he and Knox were
doing from the evening of 1 November 2007 until the following morning.
It is logical to assume that she, returning to her boyfriend immediately after having helped someone she knew (Guede) and others murder her flatmate, would have been greatly distraught, a circumstance which would have allowed Sollecito to remember well what happened that night even if he had never set foot in the house where the serious crime had happened.
[Masi, Favi, Martuscelli 10 Feb 2017 Florence Appeal Court Motivational Report]

What the Florence Court of Appeal Found 10 February 2017

It’s primary finding was that Sollecito had a fake alibi.  In addition, even if he was at home, as he claimed he was and ‘Amanda came home 01:00’ as he told police in a statement 6 Nov 2007, then he ought to have told them what state she was in when she returned.

QA Around 16:00 Meredith left in a hurry without saying where she was going. Amanda and I stayed home until about 17:30-18:00.
QA We left the house, we went into town, but I don’t remember what we did.
QA We stayed there from 18:00 until 20:30/21:00. At 21:00 I went home alone because Amanda told me that she was going to go to the pub Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends.
QA At this point we said goodbye and I headed home while she headed towards the center.
QA I went home alone, sat at the computer and rolled myself a spliff. Surely I had dinner but I don’t remember what I ate. Around 23:00 my father called at my home number 075.9660789. During that time I remember Amanda had not come back yet.
QA I browsed at my computer for another two hours after my father’s phone call and only stopped when Amanda came back presumably around 1:00.

[Excerpt Police Statement 6 Nov 2007]

Instead, he refused to elaborate any further on his statement.  He has never retracted, modified, nor corrected his claim.

He claimed he had been sitting in front of the computer all evening,’smoking a spliff’, yet forensic IT investigators, and his own ISP provider, Fastweb, could find no trace of any interactive activity between 21:10 on the night of the murder and 5:32 next morning.

Crini at the Nencini appeal argued that a fake alibi is incriminating evidence in itself.

The Final Legal Position, as ruled by the Supreme Court (Cassazione)

The Supreme Court of 28 June 2017 agree, and write, in their written reasons for their final verdict, rejecting Sollecito’s compensation claim for ‘wrongful imprisonment’:

That the assertion that he had
worked on the computer
during the evening and
until midnight had been
denied by the analysis of
the processor, remained on
to download files, but on
which there had been no
human interaction between
9:10 and 05:32 hours;

That at 05:32 the computer had
been activated to listen to
music, and the phone of
the reminder turned on at
6.00, and therefore it was
not true that the two
young, unique present in
the house, had slept all
night until 10.00;

That, contrary to the other
statement, the examination
of the printouts of the
father was not received
either on his fixed user or
on the mobile phone after
the PM. 2040.

It will be recalled that both Knox and Sollecito turned off their phones for the night between 18:45 and 5:32, as well as no interactions being recorded on their computers.


The provably deliberate and active fake alibi, together with Marasca-Bruno’s finding that Knox was ‘certainly‘ at the scene of the crime when young Ms Kercher was killed, and Sollecito, almost certainly, that she did wash off the victim’s blood from her hands and did cover up for Rudy Guede, shows that the pair are far from the ‘exonerees’ they are now claiming to be.

SourcesThe Murder of Meredith Kercher

True Justice for Meredith Kercher



The Nencini Files

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 11

Day 11, 30 January 2014

It hit me like a train” – Amanda Knox

“It was completely unexpected, it was devastating” – Raffaele Sollecito

Today is the big day of the verdict.  Knox is said to be camped out at her parents’ home in Seattle.  Sollecito arrives in court with his father.

Carlo Dall Vedova is next to present his rebuttals on behalf of Knox.  Her rights were violated by the Perugian police, he says.  She was in a state of shock when she accused Patrick.

You cannot put two innocent people in jail to cover up for the mistakes of the judicial system.”

He finishes by saying Rudy Guede is the only murderer, and asks for an acquittal.

Then comes Luciano Ghirga for Knox.  His theme is ‘Reasonable Doubt’.  He argues for a single aggressor saying that the bruise at the back of Merediths head was compatible with a frontal attack.  Judge Micheli, in Guede’s trial determined that the bruise was due to Meredith falling onto her back into a supine position.  Massei ruled Meredith had her head banged against a wall.  He pleads with the court to acquit – as he has to, otherwise the court has no power to – but in the event of a conviction to reject the call for no mitigation and the precautionary measures.

The judges then retire, saying to expect the verdict not before 5:00pm

The deliberations take over twelve hours, into Day 12, 31 January 2014.

The judges and the lay judges reconvene and without further ado, and remaining standing, Nencini announces that the convictions are upheld.  Knox is given 28 years, including 3 years for simple calunnia (rather than aggravated as requested by Crini) and Sollecito 25 years.  His passport is to be confiscated.

Over in Seattle, neighbours report hearing anguished screams coming from the Knox family home.  Knox is quoted by The Independent as saying she hadn’t seen it coming.  Sollecito is later seen near the Austrian border , arrested and his passport confiscated.  He denies he was trying to flee.  He, too, claimed the verdict was, ‘totally unexpected’.

Both parties have an automatic appeal to the Supreme Court.  Extradition requests and detainment of Sollecito will be deferred until then.

The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 10

Day 10, 20 January 2014

A pranknoun

  1. 1.

a practical joke or mischievous act.

“the tapestry was stolen as part of a drunken student prank”

synonyms: practical joke, trick, mischievous act, piece of mischief, joke, escapade, stunt, caper, jape, game, hoax, antic;


Amanda Knox has made a startling confession during in the eleven-day interim since the last session.  She has written a blog boasting that she once staged a break-in.

“She admitted that the hazing prank, played on her flat-mates at the University of Washington, involved messing up the flat and hiding things to make it appear as if items had been stolen.

She says she caused ‘distress’ to the victim and was ‘forced to apologise’.

There is still a closing submission due from Sollecito’s other lawyer, Luca Maori.  Present is Sollecito.  Absent are Bongiorno and Lumumba, a civil party.  9:30 sharp and “No-Nonsense Nencini” (Niente Sciocchezzi Nencini) runs a tight ship, conscious of time and good order.

Maori claims the murder weapon is not the so-called Double DNA knife as the wounds are not compatible with it.  In addition, Sollecito’s boxcutter knife that he always carries with him, is not, either.

Meredith was killed at 9:00 pm, whilst he or Knox provably was at home at that time.  The bathmat footprint is not Sollecito’s.  One by one he refutes all of the prosecution’s evidence:  the window shutters were open, the intrusion through the window was not staged, the stone was thrown from the outside, and his key note is “Rudy is the sole assassin”.

He argues the computer evidence is wrong and that Sollecto manually download the Naruto film at 21:26, after putting the film ‘Amélie’ into a folder at 21:10.  The forensic IT experts had claimed the download was a file sharing peer-to-peer which needed no human interaction at Sollecito’s end.

He attacked witnesses Curatalo and Quintavalle as ‘unreliable’, as well as Giofredi ,who had claimed to have seen Meredith with the three others, in a group of four.

At 11:30 Bongiorno arrives with her three assistants.  In the meantime, Maori attacks the ‘changing motives’.  The only things certain are the presence of Rudy guide in the house that night, and the death of Meredith Kercher.

After a break, it is time for Prosecutor Crini to make his rebuttals.  He sets out Sollecito’s sidetracking of the investigation.  He affirms that Postal Police Officer Battistelli arrives ten minutes before his car, on foot, at 12:35.  This is the time he recorded on his report, lodged the same day at the police station.  Sollecito’s phone calls, to his sister and the police at 12:51 and 12:54, respectively, were ‘too late’.  He denied the CCTV time was seven minutes slow, as claimed by the defense.

About Guede’s knife wounds to the hand, Crini says there was no sign of any of Guede’s blood at the crime scene, and in any case, as he knew the house, having visited more than once, he would have made a more logical entry.

He states that Boemia and Rinaldi used compatibility measurements, whereas Vinci was ‘just conjecture’.  The former were objective as they identified the footprint thought to have been Sollecito’s to Guede.

He refutes Maori’s ‘alibi theory’ regarding Curatalo, failing to quote his testimony that refuted Sollecito’s alibi.  He cited the expert computer witnesses of 14 Mar 2009 and December 2010 who found no computer activity, as claimed.

There was no contamination at the scene and he was pleased the defence no longer claimed contamination in the laboratories.  Professor Novelli had ruled out tertiary transfer of DNA in situ.  Arguments about Low Copy Number DNA were rendered obsolete by the RIS.  He turns to the Conti-Vecchiotti reports and points out straw man use of ‘only’ and their reasoning  à priori, they failed to look at X- and Y-haplotypes together.


Vecchiotti admitted there was a scratch on the blade of the imputed murder weapon.


Bongiorno had said the crime scene was ‘flooded’ with Guede’s DNA.  Crini points out that the indications were Guede had free hands and no weapon.  He objected to Vinci’s claims about the small footprint, which Boemia had attributed to a ‘ladies size 36 – 37’, as being Guede’s footprint on a folded part of the pillow case.  The print was ‘too small’ to be Guede’s.


No fight wounds, no defence wounds, no material under the fingernails.  Forced restraint, evidence of two knives.  Compatibility with Sollecito’s footprint on bathmat and between the knife outline on the sheet and Sollecito’s kitchen knife.


He says a lack of motive does not mean proof of innocence.


Bongiorno had called all the English girls ‘unreliable’ because they were English and had been coached by the lawyers.  This, Crini avers, is a weak claim by the defence as it is well-documented elsewhere that there were tensions in the cottage.  John Kercher backed up a claim Meredith told him she had an argument about Knox’ lack of cleanliness.


He finished by urging the court to convict the pair and to take precautionary measures to ensure they serve their sentence, such as the removal of Sollecito’s passport, house arrest or immediate detention.


Next up is Pacelli again for Lumumba. “There was no idyllic relationship between Amanda and Meredith, they could not stand each other”


He claims Knox named Lumumba as a substitute for Guede.  Nencini cut him short, advising him he was only there to talk about the calunnia, and not the murder.  Pacelli promised to finish in five minutes.  His client had still not received the €22K ordered against Knox. He ends by urging the court to convict, calling her, ‘Amanda Knox the liar, the diabolical slanderer.’

Next, is the turn of the Kercher’s civil lawyers, Fabiani for Meredith’s brother, Perna for her sister and Maresca for the family, reaffirming what they said earlier in the hearing.


Maresca makes headline news by averring that Perugians were angry with Hellmann’s acquittal because it was ‘scandalous’ and ‘had been decided in advance’.


Next it is the turn of Sollecito’s sub-lawyer, who is reprimanded by Nencini for straying into bringing up new issues when the topic was rebuttals.  Sollecito did not lie to the police as it was true the crime was committed by Guede, who broke the glass and climbed in.  The scene was contaminated, there was no Kercher DNA on the bra clasp with Sollecito’s.  Nencini booms, ‘No!’ when the junior lawyer tries to introduce the topic of wiretapping of Sollecito’s family.


The court is adjourned at 6:00 pm.  The next hearing is listed for 30 January 2013, when Knox; lawyer will put his closing rebuttals, followed by the two appointed judges and six lay judges retiring to make their deliberations.


Media reaction from The Daily Beast has the following reaction:


Conventional wisdom in Italy, based on how presiding judge Alessandro Nencini has been ruling so far and how the high court ruled on the acquittal, is that Knox and Sollecito stand a good chance of having their murder convictions upheld.



The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 9

Day 9, 9 January 2014


Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy. Sun Tzu

There is a lot of media attention today.  Christmas and New Year has been and gone and the public are hungry for the next instalment of the appeal.  We see Sollecito arriving at the court with his father.  Franscesco is ebullient and effusive.  He is his son’s bodyguard, waving away the reporters.  Sollecito cuts a stiff, dark, lonely figure.  He looks withdrawn, staring straight ahead and mute, and wears dark glasses.

Ahead of the hearing Knox was asked by REPPUBLICA what she would do if the verdict went against her.  She said, ‘”In that case I will become a fugitive.”

Against this background, Avv. Bongiorno has her work cut out.  Knox having undermined her own lawyers by upstaging them at her defence submissions in December with her email, makes for an uphill struggle.

Bongiorno commences by asserting that her client was the subject of police persecution.  She uses the French Revolution as a parallel, claiming Sollecito has been chased by the ‘sans-cullottes’.  This is possibly a reference to his middle-class status.

The sans-culottes (French: literally “without breeches”) were the common people of the lower classes in late 18th century France, a great many of whom became radical and militant partisans of the French Revolution in response to their poor quality of life under the Ancien Régime.

The irony is not lost that few people can afford Bongiorno’s fees.  She is, or was, a member of Berlusconi’s cabinet thus useful for lobbying on behalf of her clients.  It seems unlikely a defendant is at a disadvantage being a doctor’s son, but okaaay.

She claims that because Police Chief Gubbio called a press conference and said, ‘casa chiusa’ on arresting the pair four days after the body was found, it proves undue haste caused by public pressure to solve the case.  She claims Knox was suspected because she acted like a liberated woman sexually and because she had the keys to the apartment.  Sollecito because of the initial footprints found and because he was Knox’ boyfriend.

Bongiorno puts forth an alternative footprint analysis to forensic police officers Boemia and Rinaldi, and shows a presentation by Prof Vinci who uses a different approach, to show that it is Guede’s footprint rather than Sollecito’s.

She is tired of her client being seen as ‘half a character’ to that of Knox.

The calunnia committed by Knox does not prove she is a murderer.  Nencini points out that the Supreme Court ruled the interrogation transcript was not permissible.

Bongiorno launches into a scathing attack on police interpreter Anna Donnino, who had suggested to Knox in the initial police interview that perhaps she had amnesia from having suffered a trauma.  She calls Donnino more of a ‘psychic’ or a ‘medium’ who induced Knox into ‘raving’ a confession.  ‘Where is Raffaele mentioned in Knox’ confession?’ asks Bongiorno.

Interestingly Knox did seize on the ‘amnesia’ suggestion and claimed to have lost her memory as to what she did that night until mid-November 2007, when she records in her Prison Diary it all came flooding back to her after seeing a prison nun.  She was asleep during the time of the murder, she tells the reader, and she is so happy she cries.

In my cell I was waiting for an answer to come to my head, when a sister arrived at my door.  She told me to be patient because God knows everything and would help me remember the answer.  I nodded along and after a while the sister left, wishing me good luck.  Perhaps a minute later, I sat down to write and try to remember and then it hit me.  Everything came back like a flood, one detail after another until the moment my head hit my pillow and I was asleep the night Meredith was murdered.  I cried, I was so happy.  I wrote everything I could remember and an explanation for my confession previously.  And this is what happened since I have been here.  Just a spaghetti.

Back to Bongiorno.  Here we see the first hint of a separation strategy.  Later, she will publicly seek to distance her client from Knox.

She complains that Sollecito’s family were wiretapped by the police ‘as though they were murderers’ and called insulting names by Napoleoni and Zugarini.

Bongiorno is a colourful character in court in full amateur dramatics mode.  She gesticulates wildly, she raises her voice, she loses her temper she slams down her papers onto the desk as though in a rage.  Bongiorno has wheeled her lawyers trolley into the court and pulls out of the briefcase-on-wheels two kitchen knives which she brandishes about with flourish, startling Nencini somewhat, as she turns to Guede and his supposed knives.. Macchiavelli tweets from the court room:

  1. Details the “plausibility” of an intrusion through the window. Glass shards etc. arguments already seen.
  2. “Cogne” is a famous Supreme Court ruling saying guilt can be found “by logical exclusion” on sheer “a contrario” arguments.
  3. After brandishing two knifes before the court, talking about footprint, makes an emphatic comment “We are not in Cogne”.
  4. Bongiorno has ended the ninja-knife-rotating phase.

She claims the police conjured up Kokomani ‘like a genie from Aladdin’s Lamp’ in order to create a link between Sollecito and Guede.  She says the prosecution changed the motive as they had no choice, and even if it was an argument about hygiene, would someone who had only known Knox nine days rush in to help a murder?

She says the court didn’t give enough attention to later DNA analysis, such as that which came out in the Hellmann Court with Conti and Vecchiotti’s report.  She played a video of the car park CCTV to demonstrate the arrival time of the postale police was wrong.  It was slow, not fast, and this proved Sollecito called the police before they arrived.

She turns to the DNA issue and claims the collection of it was ‘the mother of all mistakes’, and produced photos taken by the defence of the forensic police collecting evidence at the crime scene.  One particular photo is magnified to show a speck on Stefanoni’s latex gloves holding the piece of fabric containing the bra clasp on which Sollecito’s strong DNA profile was imprinted.  She says this speck is dark, but could just as easily have been a pixel effect or a light shadow, or even a speck on the camera lens.  It is not clear what the speck has to do with the DNA.

Turning to the Double DNA knife, she again brandishes a large kitchen knife and asks how likely is it her client would bring a knife from his kitchen, and then put it back in the drawer?  She claims it is incompatible with the size of the wound and produces a penknife which she claims would be the right size, instead and that it fit with the sheet stain outline.

The kitchen knife is 17 cms long and the wound 8 cm.  Dr Umani Ronchi had argued that it had met resistance at the hyoid bone, which is about 8cms away from the entry point, and showed some serration marks where it was broken by the presumed knife.  Bongiorno asserts the knife would have been plunged in all the way.  The bruises at the entry point is believed by the prosecution to match the digits of the hand that brutally suppressed Meredith’s scream, over her lower face, because of their number, shape and that they fit such a hand placed there.  The defence claim the bruising is caused by the effect of a knife hilt.

Of the bathmat, Bongiorno says it could not be Sollecito’s imprint as his big toe does not balance on a dystal phalanx.  However, Sollecito does have a ‘hammer toe’ and this is highlighted on the two luminol prints in the hallway identified as his, the other two Knox, and one unclear.  The one facing Meredith’s door is identified as Sollecito’s.

Bongiorno finishes by pleading that both defendants be acquitted and to judge Sollecito for what he is, and not on half-truths.

Nencini it is noted by some observers, barely looks at Bongiorno’s video and photos.  He has now listed the rebuttals for 20 January and deliberations in chambers for 30 January 2014.

Once again, press interest centres on the ‘personality’ aspect.  They look for a motive for the police prosecuting the pair.   AP releases a report which is taken up by the nationals with a typical ‘police hounded the kids to keep the calm’ slant.  For example, SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE.

There is some light relief.

“The relationship between Amanda and Raffaele was tender, just bloomed, and it had nothing to do with a 50s-something’s searching for thrills,” Bongiorno said.

The two, she said, liked to cuddle and rub noses like Eskimo kisses, which she called “unca nunca.”

At this point, Nencini leaned forward and said, ‘I’m sorry, I am over 50.  You’ll have to tell me what unca nunca means.’

“Unca nunca has nothing to do with bunga bunga,” Bongiorno said, eliciting a rare moment of laughter in a long day of arguments with a reference to former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s infamous parties with scantily clad women.’







The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 8

Day 8, 17 December 2013

Master of puppets I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
Just call my name, ‘cause I’ll hear you scream

Today sees the closing submissions of the Knox defence.

In the meantime, our master of puppets, Knox, has been busy, for an email arrives, via her counsel,  Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, dated 15 December 2013, Seattle, addressed to Florence Court of Appeal, to be read out in court,.  He reluctantly allows it, making it clear it has little value as the witness is not there in person.  ‘If you want to speak, come to the hearing’.

Ever eager to control the narrative, Knox forces her words into the mouth of the irascible Nencini rattles through the missive  perfunctionarily.  It could be she intended her attorney to read it out loud for her with suitable studied meaning.  One wonders what the court thought of the Italian grammar.  Several commentators have noted the English version Knox released to the press is different from the one in court.  The lawyers today are careful to not say anything about police brutality.

The emails can be read in full here on TMOMK

KNOX: I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I am not a thief or a plotter or an instigator. I did not kill Meredith or take part in her murder or have any prior or special knowledge of what occurred that night. I was not there and had nothing to do with it.

I am not present in the courtroom because I am afraid. I am afraid that the prosecution’s vehemence will leave an impression on you, that their smoke and mirrors will blind you. I’m afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction. This is not for lack of faith in your powers of discernment, but because the prosecution has succeeded before in convincing a perfectly sound court of concerned and discerning adults to convict innocent people— Raffaele and me.

Ever the rhetorician, Knox believes her words to have magical powers.  She uses them as though they can cast a spell on the reader or the listener.  Her ‘mask of the assassin’ performance at the Massei trial comes to mind.  What is magic after all, but a play on the emotions, and these can be extremely powerful.

In her opening paragraphs, Knox wants the hearer to note her compassionate nature of doing this because she is afraid of the universal problem of wrongful conviction.  Already she is in a psychological negotiation with the Innocence Projects which proliferate across the USA.  One reason for this – aside from the much harsher sentencing in the USA and finality of the first trial –  is that lawyers and law students are obliged by their professional bodies to undertake a certain amount of pro bono work, and what better way, than having a captive audience on Death Row or in a penitentiary of correction.  Good deed done for the CPD.  In Knox’ opening lines, she is offering a subtle bribe: ‘I am supporting you, so now it’s your turn to embrace me as one of yours.’

There is a childlike quality in Knox’ naïve belief that if she says a thing, it becomes so.  She reassures these sharp legal eagles present that it’s not that she doesn’t respect them, but, hey, I actually have no respect for the guys who found me guilty.  Why?  Because, ‘Raffaele and I are innocent’.

It is reverse psychology; she and Sollecito have woven a strategy of exactly smoke and mirrors, throwing in their own dreamlike qualities of ‘fish blood’, ‘blurry green images’, and ‘sitting in front of the computer with a spliff ‘.  Now it is Mignini and the prosecution who are the pied pipers enticing us to follow their merry dance into the black heart of a mountain to be eaten by the minotaur.  Knox wants to charm us.  She lets us know she is with us in spirit, controlling the narrative, writing the script, developing the storyline.  JK Rowling has nothing on Knox when to comes to invoking magic spells, drama, hallucinations and haunting dreams.

She tells us she knows who the killer is:

KNOX: Meredith’s murderer left ample evidence of his presence in the brutal scenario: handprints, footprints, shoe prints in Meredith’s blood; DNA in her purse, on her clothing, in her body.

Knox shows us that she believes a court is merely a debating society, divorced from the real world.  The email continues:

KNOX: Experience, case studies, and the law recognize that one may be coerced into giving a false “confession” because of psychological torture.

This is a universal problem. According to the National Registry of Exoneration, in the United States 78% of wrongful murder convictions that are eventually overturned because of exonerating forensic evidence involved false “confessions.” Almost 8 in 10 wrongfully convicted persons were coerced by police into implicating themselves and others in murder. I am not alone. And exonerating forensic evidence is often as simple as no trace of the wrongfully convicted person at the scene of the crime, but rather the genetic and forensic traces of a different guilty party—just like every piece of forensic evidence identifies not me, but Rudy Guede.

Then comes Knox’ latest theme :

KNOX  In the brief time Meredith and I were roommates and friends we never fought.

Meredith was my friend. She was kind to me, helpful, generous, fun. She never criticized me. She never gave me so much as a dirty look.

Here is a fascinating insight into Knox psyche.  She doesn’t tell us, ‘I was Meredith’s friend.  I was kind to her, helpful, generous, fun.  I never criticised her.  I never gave her so much as a dirty look.’

In Knox’ mind Meredith is answerable to her, not the other way round.  Taking the rule of thumb that when Knox says a thing, she means the opposite, what Knox is really telling this High Court of law with Italy’s best minds and wisest elders is:

‘Meredith and I were roommates for quite an appreciable length of time, about a month, but we weren’t friends and we fought.  She wasn’t kind to me or helpful, generous or fun.  She was always criticising me.  She gave me dirty looks.’

Amongst the mish-mash of faux indignation at being arrested and convicted, which reads like the kind of thing friends and family would have said to her:  ‘Of course you are innocent, it is outrageous how they treated you, etc.,’ we are made aware of Knox’ hurt – or is it pride – at her infamy.

KNOXI am not a psychopath.

There is no short list to the malicious and unfounded slanders I have suffered over the course of this legal process. In trial I have been called no less than:

“Conniving; manipulating; man—eater; narcissist; enchantress; duplicitous; adulterer; drug addict; an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol; dirty; witch; murderer; slanderer; demon; depraved; imposter; promiscuous; succubus; evil; dead inside; pervert; dissolute; psychopath; a wolf in sheep’s clothing; rapist; thief; reeking of sex; Judas; she—devil; Luciferina…”

I have never demonstrated anti-social, aggressive, violent, or psychotic behavior. I am not addicted to sex or drugs. Upon my arrest I was tested for drugs and the results were negative. I am not a split-personality psychopath. One does not adopt psychotic behavior spontaneously.

This then is Knox’ defence in lieu of an alibi or a legal refutation of the evidence.  ‘I did not…’  ‘I am not…’

She winds up with, ‘If the prosecution truly had a case against me, there would be no need for these theatrics. There would be no need for smoke and mirrors to distract you from the lack of physical evidence against me. But because no evidence exists that proves my guilt, the prosecution would seek to deceive you with these impassioned, but completely inaccurate and unjustified pronouncements. Because I am not a murderer, they would seek to mislead you into convicting me by charging your emotions, by painting me not as an innocent until proven guilty, but as a monster.

The prosecution and civil parties are committing injustices against me because they cannot bring themselves to admit, even to themselves, that they’ve made a terrible mistake.’

Translated: ‘I cannot bring myself to admit, even to myself that I have made a terrible mistake’, perhaps?

The email, as planned, grabs the news headlines.  Knox has become a media junkie.  The English-speaking media dance to her narrative.  She is the master of puppets.

Ghirga addresses the court.  He begins by criticising the forensic methodlogy.  He claims there were insufficient amplifications of the LCN DNA samples.  For example, Dr Stefanoni carried out a ‘make or break’ run on one sample.  He disputes that the imputed double DNA knife is the murder weapon.

GHIRGA: And the material on the blade? Is it blood or not blood? We see the analysis, the Combur test was done. Negative. There is no blood.  Yet there is starch, right here (holding up knife) on this trace. What does that mean? That the knife was not subject to cleaning. It was in domestic use.

He seizes on Crini’s change of motive from Massei’s, understandably, in my view, as it undermines the prosecution case.

GHIRGA:  The prosecution’s alleged motive for the homicide keeps changing. Evil for evil’s sake. No. Money? No? lack of cleanliness? No.  The flush? No. She killed her without motive? No. No, It was necessary to have a motive.  You need a motive.

Under Italian law, unfortunately, the courts are obliged to construct a motive.  Whilst it maybe simplest to say, ‘It was a row that escalated’ over a domestic dispute, it doesn’t ring true to me.  Who gets a kitchen knife and tortures another over a piece of crap in the toilet pan, or even a theft.  Personally, I think Massei’s ‘futile motive’ nearer the mark, a completely meaningless one; a teenage style thrill kill, no doubt predicated on festering jealousies and resentments and social rejection.  It doesn’t help that Crini changed it.

Ghirga says a few more words about his scepticism that this was the murder knife and that his client was not present at the murder scene.

Next, Dalla Vedova makes his submissions.   He, too, makes a simple refutation of the evidence similar to that of Ghirga, and discredits the prosecution witnesses.  Dalla Vedova launches into a long spiel about how Knox HIV results were supposedly ‘leaked’.  Nencini expresses impatience and asks if there is any paper trail that proves his claims, that a prison doctor falsely told her she was HIV positive out of malice.  Dalla Vedova concurs it is just a theory.  Truth is, Knox’ Prison Dairy was offered to the press by Knox’ own circle, in exchange for selectively positive media reports.

‘Skeptical Bystander’ of Perugia Murder, a forum that is now defunct, claimed that she had been offered this diary and she turned it down.  As Knox herself states, in her Prison Diary, that the doctor told her not to worry, as it was probably a false negative.  It seems to me, nobody forced her to reveal her sex partners.  Knox’ list was her own idle doodling, in the full knowledge, of course, prison officers would read whatever she writes.  It’s interesting to see what is missing from the list.

Dalla Vedova claims the laptop hard drives were ‘fried’ by forensic police.  Curatolo is deemed an unreliable witness because his mind is ‘confused’.  He accuses Guede of using his letters and writings as a form of ‘judicial strategy’.  The time of death is a problem:

DALLA VEDOVA: The fact that there is no certain time of death is problematic, as it is a fairly easy piece of data to analyze today. At 21:10 Raffaele and Amanda finish watching Amelie. At 22:13 Meredith’s cell connects to a cell tower at Parco Sant Angelo. 50 minutes is simply too little time for all of the scenario to unfold that the prosecution alleged.

The defence claim that Meredith was dead shortly after arriving home, just after 21:00 is also problematic, as it means Guede hung around the cottage for over an hour, until at least 22:13, which seems unlikely, if he was just there to burgle and rape.

Finally, Dall Vedova’s last point:

DALLA VEDOVA When we first saw the bra clasp on Nov. 2 it was white. 40 days later it is gray.

When there is a doubt, when there is uncertainty, we have to stop. We have to raise our hands and say the trial has failed. We have to acquit.          

In short, the defence says there is no motive, it is obvious that it was a crime perpetrated by Guede alone.  There is no trace of Knox in the murder room.  The entire investigation is incompetent.  Stefanoni’s results are unreliable.

There was a rush to judgment.

Bongiorno is not here today for Sollecito.  The next hearing is set for 9th for Bongiorno’s defence of her client and 10th January for rebuttals and deliberations.






The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 7

Day 7, 16 December 2013

If I have to pick one story that most influenced ‘The Hunger Games,’ it would be the Greek myth of Theseus, which I read when I was about 8 years old. In punishment for past deeds, Athens periodically had to send seven youths and seven maidens to a labyrinth. In the maze was this Minotaur, and it would eat them. Suzanne Collins


Today continues the submissions for the remaining civil parties.  It is quiet today; Andrea Vogt from her observes there are few journalists present, Bongiorno is away and there plenty of empty seats in the public gallery.

First up, is Vieri Fabiani for the Kercher family.  Stephanie Kercher has her own barrister, Serena Perna, who will follow.  Then there is Franscesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s criminal barrister who will finish for the day.

From the general lack of public interest in the civil case of the Kerchers, we can see the world’s eye is focussed on Knox and Sollecito, with the American media and the Knox PR campaign in full swing.  Any interest there is hangs on what will be the effect for Knox.

Vogt provides a useful translation of the court transcript.  Fabiani begs the court to put aside all sentiment.

FABIANI: Do not judge with your heart, but rather judge with your head, and with logic.The contamination is nonexistent. It is not proven, nor in the case files. And regarding the DNA on the blade, there is the possibility of 1 in 1 billion and 300 million that it does not belong to Meredith.

Knox knows that the violence was done by someone of color, that’s why she blamed someone of color. She knows the victim screamed. She knows she was killed having her throat slit.  The DNA and scientific evidence remains, but it becomes just an additional element.

The crime, avers Fabiani, does not require a motive to prove guilt.  Guilt is proven.  It was an escalation of violence because of alcohol, drugs, fatigue and stress.

Serena Perna gets straight to the point.

PERNA: Aside from the fatal wounds, Meredith had many minor wounds. The cut on her left cheek is believed to be the first wound that was inflicted, and was that of a threatening gesture. There are 10 other bruises and lesions to the mouth and nose, done with the bare hand, as part of the process of suffocation process. Then there were three other major stab wounds on the neck.

She spells out  Meredith’s lack of defence wounds, with a mere two small cuts on her right hand, and one on her left finger.  She asks, how can there be so many lesions in so many different places, by bare hands and knives and yet argue Guede did it alone.  ‘Even Rudy Guede only has two hands.’

Next is the turn of the influential Maresca, aware that journalists will be hanging onto his every word.  He does not disappoint and holds forth at length.  He begins with a pointed dig:

MARESCA ‘…forget the controversy stirred up by the Americans, and the media, the enormous criticism of the police and scientific police and of the prosecutors of Perugia.

This of course, has the effect of bringing it all immediately to mind.  He makes bitter comments about Sollecito deigning to return from his vacation in Santa Domingo to attend court and how Knox became famous and now has a multi-million dollar book deal, thanks to this case.  He reveals that she has her own website on which, alongside a plea for public donations towards her defence, is also asking for donations for the victim, Meredith: ‘something  insupportable for the Kercher familyShe…who is the murder suspect!

The American journalists’ attention span stops right there and soon, hot off the presses are the headlines, from Associated Press, such as CBS News about ‘The prosecutor [he is not] blasts Amanda Knox for soliciting funds via her website’.

Knox’s lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said after the hearing that she was doing so out of the friendship she felt for Kercher, and that the criticism of her actions was irrelevant to the case.

Thus, the new Knox strategy is to emphasise that ‘Meredith was my friend’, and by extension, that she, too, is the victim.

But we digress.  Back in the court room, Maresca continues to address the bench on the specific issues of evidence.  He says the issue of contamination is shut, yet it continues to be brought up.  The defence has singularly failed to identify where specifically the contamination arises.

He asks, why was Amanda, of all the girls questioned, ‘the only one stressed out by the behaviour of the police?

MARESCA: And regarding her imagination, the defense’s own consultant, Prof. Caltagirone, testified that false memories were possible, even though Knox had no cognitive problems. Yet the famous statement she wrote on November 6 came at a time she had slept and was not under duress.

Review the Knox’s Nov. 6, 2007 statement. The email to 25 persons she wrote Nov. 4.  The times she asks “Why did Raffaele lie?”  The intercepted prison conversations of Nov. 17 when Knox says “I was there.”  Review Knox’s own testimony June  16, when she said there was no blood in the bathroom when she left the day before.

Why was Amanda’s black lamp found near the bed of the scene of the crime?  Why did she call her mother in the middle of the night in Seattle before the body had been discovered?

Maresca states the ‘two pillars’ of the crime are the staged burglary and rape, and the calunnia of Patrick Lumumba.  He covers the unflushed toilet.  ‘If Guede had simulated the theft, would he not have flushed away his “signature”?

He mentions the details of a clean-up.  The pair have no alibi for the whole night.  There is the lack of any actual burglary.  Of Meredith’s two missing phones:

MARESCA: The phones were taken to delay the discovery of the body, to try to eliminate the immediate possibility that someone could hear the telephone ringing in Meredith’s room, without Meredith’s response.

He asks, does DNA fly?  The bathmat:

MARESCA: The material left by Sollecito’s foot is abundant, otherwise it would not have been stamped so clearly. On this point the cassation sentence is crystal clear. There was a cleanup.

He criticises the defence expert Professor Vinci’s attempts to photoshop the footprint to make it fit Guede’s.

MARESCA: 9 May 2009, when we talk of a metric and morphological match of Sollecito’s foot to the print on the bathmat.  We know the Robbin’s grid is used to align the footprint. But defense consultant Vinci (he is a bit of a “tutto fare”) chooses a different point of departure for the measurement. He uses a program called “blended stretch.”  The name says it all. Prof. Vinci in that way showed images purporting to show a compatibility with Guede’s foot.  But there is no question that the footprint is compatible with Sollecito. The
stamp” of the foot in Meredith’s blood (not ink) on the bathmat is Sollecito’s and it nails him to the scene of the crime.

He turns to the DNA samples found in the small bathroom, on the light switch, the cotton bud box, the bidet, the sink and the tap.

MARESCA: Knox says when she left Via della Pergola 1 November it was clean. But the trace on the light switch is just blood of Meredith. It is only when the person rubs their hands in the sink that her DNA is shed and shows up along with the blood of Meredith. Knox washes her hands in the sink and then uses the bidet to wash her feet.

He urges the court to extend the crime scene to the rest of the apartment. For example in Filomena’s room.

MARESCA: 176 has just the profile of the victim and 177 which has profile of both Knox and Kercher, plus  178, 179, 180 with just profile of Knox and 184, in the corridor, latent prints which also had a mixed profile of Kercher and Knox.  What I am telling you is that the crime scene is extended. The staging of the theft happened after the murder. That’s why we find Meredith’s blood there.

If this had ever been the work of a single assassin, why would he have tracked blood back into the room of the break in? Rudy’s tracks are clear. They go from the body to the door. The other tracks lead to and from the staging of the break in.

It is interesting that these key evidence points are ignored by the press, in favour of the ‘all they have to go on is the double DNA knife’.

To wind up, Maresca echoes Crini, in a stinging attack on the Hellmann appointed ‘experts’, Conti and Vecchiotti:

MARESCA: The independent experts Vecchiotti and Conti were incomplete and incompetent. They have had problems in other Italian trials, including Via Poma and the Consenza court (a judge rejected Vecchiotti’s expert opinion, which was challenged by others who found DNA evidence she had overlooked, changing outcome of the case).  Their work was “fatiscente.”

We are informed that the Kerchers are expected to attend the 14 January 2014 hearing for the verdict.

My grateful thanks to Andrea Vogt  for providing almost the only available transcript of today’s hearing.




The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 6

Day 6, 26 November 2013

Get away, you beast, for this man

does not come tutored by your sister;

he comes to view your punishments.

                                    Inferno, Canto XII, lines 18–20 Dante


If the Minotaur is the monstrous beast in the dark heart of the Labyrinth, then Crini could perhaps be Theseus sent to confront and slay it.

The court reconvenes.  Sollecito is absent today,   Patrick Lumumba will be here.

Today Crini will finish his submission.  He begins with housekeeping technicalities.

  • Crini heavily criticises Conti & Vecchiotti in their methodology and failing to give any credit to the prosecution forensic experts, Professors Novelli and Torrecelli, one of the reasons the appeal was sent back down by the Chieffi Supreme Court.
  • He defends Dr. Stefanoni against criticisms of procedural flaws.
  • He refers to Vecchiotti’s brushes with authorities over her professional methods.
  • He mentions the fridges in her own laboratories do not even have a thermometer.

There is a lot to go through and to sum up, the main difference between Crini’s submissions and Massei’s findings are:

  • It was not a ‘sex game gone wrong’ but a simple domestic dispute that escalated
  • Massei gave the initator of the aggression as Guede. Crini says it could have been Meredith who was the trigger, annoyed by the unwelcome guests when she was tired and wanted an early night.
  • Whilst he gives no credence to Guede’s testimonies, he considers Guede’s claim Amanda and Meredith had a fight when Meredith confronted her about her missing rent money.

CRINI: So then … and then for a problem of money. He apparently from the thief puts the money problem on the fact that Knox had stolen them from Meredith. There is no emergency in this matter, though there were some money Meredith had already prepared for, because he had to pay for the rent, and in short, as a little girl, it seemed to be diligent, had already been taken into account … he had already put money for the day 05. So … and when she declares this to the Mezzetti, Knox is present. … But the problem remains that a problem of money actually, , it is related to the fact that the cleanliness had an implication, because it was problematic to manage the cleaning in the apartment

  • Massei allowed the defence argument that Sollecito’s call to the police was before the Postale Police arrived, Crini resets the time to ‘after’ they arrive.
  • Massei fixed the time of death as 23:00 or thereabouts. Crini favours an earlier time of 22:30, after the last phone signal on Meredith’s phone.
  • He says the identification of the sample 36-I as Knox is incriminating to Knox as it is just below the hilt.

CRINI: in addition to the genetic profile, “a good profile”, this was also the word used by Professor Vecchiotti, “A good profile” by Knox Amanda at a point on the handle most projected on the side of the blade, it is also interesting to note that there is another profile, more complex to read, but the experts have wonderfully identified, which is the the profile of the same Knox Amanda, at the point of junction between the blade and the handle.

[Later] But let’s say that at the point where DNA is found, there in that particular position, certainly is a point that is much more significant at the level of improper use than the DNA found on the handle, because that is not a point of normal contact, is a point where DNA is hiding, so to speak, as well as Meredith’s DNA hidden in the striata, it’s a place to hide after obviously there was a wash. And which DNA can be hiding there after washing? You have understood what I mean. That’s why I say that this element, of the knife compared to the Knox, is a significant analysis, because there Knox has a close relationship with this knife, very strong. 

a serious wash, but it leaves more DNA in the part that holds it and less DNA in the least part of it. Indeed, the blade was destined to have no trace of it, if the DNA did not get embedded at the point where it was concealed, in that striata of the blade, fortunately for us and unfortunately for the defendants.

  • The knife is outlined perfectly by a blood stain on the sheet and fits the large neck wound.
  • The bruises and marks around Meredith’s lower face indicates an attempt to cover her mouth to stop her screaming.

CRINI But this scenario is conterminous with the presence of other traumas inside the mouth, which is a strong constraint because there are internal lacerations at Meredith’s mouth – understand? – and these lacerations are not part of things that are derived from a knife. No. It is purely and simply the very intent to keep this girl’s mouth shut, to stab her in the neck and to stop her from obviously doing what…? What she did, was to explode in a formidable scream.

  • Crini believes it is not important to explain why the knife was brought from Sollecito’s abode to the cottage.

Both parties turned off their phones for the night, before 21:00, and Knox was pinged as being in the vicinity the cottage, so transporting it there in her bag, as Massei suggested does conjure up a suspicion of a sinister quest that night.  Against the backdrop of the totally inane and harmless movie ‘Amélie’ which was to be their alibi, it takes on the surreal undertones of a horror movie.  A children’s musical box tinkling way in the soundtrack, with something evil happening in the foreground in front of a blinking doll and a laughing clown ragdoll…

CRINI: let’s say we do a photography of the story because the photograph of the affair certainly does not belong to a process in which those who are supposed to be present, starting with Guede, tells of different things, in the sense two do not say anything about, except that one – as we have seen – explains in short having dreamlike memories of this story, this is one. 

So we have a silent defendant, who says he was in his house smoking a spliffs in front of the computer; another who says she has dream memories and accuses a person of which he is well aware is innocent; and then the third one who tells the things you know, that is, to say “I came home” … etc.

  • As the charge is ‘aggravated murder’ (= US ‘First Degree) because of the sexual assault element, there was no onus for the prosecution to prove premeditation.

To my mind the sexual assault and sexual posing of the body does indicate a sexual motive on some level.  However, Crini believes it sufficient to keep the matter simple and the motive a simple heated row over hygiene, housekeeping, money and manners.

  • He affirms Meredith was fully sober and awake. Knox, Guede and Sollecito were high on drugs.
  • He believes Guede restrained Meredith with both hands. Crini believes Guede was intent on sexually assaulting her, whilst the other two tormented her with knives. There were almost no defence wounds, aside from three small nicks on her fingers, when normally in a knife crime, injuries to the hand can be severe from the victim grabbing the blade.
  • He details how her body was moved away from its original position, with just a t-shirt and vest pulled up over her breasts, her jeans and blue sweater removed and her legs splayed.

Interestingly, both Knox and Sollecito mention in separate statements Meredith wearing her ex-boyfriend’s jeans earlier that afternoon.  We see that the jeans were at the forefront of the pair’s minds immediately after the murder.

  • He avers that Meredith’s bra was cut multiple times by a very sharp small knife and this is how Sollecito’s DNA became deposited there.

CRINI  let’s say, if one wants to cut it right, a few inches away, making a sharp cut, it’s where it is held, so it’s significant that there is that DNA, because it is exactly where the hook is to be held. And there’s this Kercher-Solicited DNA in reconstruction, that’s not Rudy Guede’s DNA at that point, that is Kercher-Sollecito’s Mixed DNA.

…[…]… in the words of Amanda Knox, who speaking not in general, but speaking with reference to a question, [from her father], said, ” Raffaele always carries a knife with him, Knox tells him, so it’s a matter of fact that Knox knew this at the house.

  • Crini reintroduces the ladies size 37 clear footprint found on the pillow in the victim’s blood as evidence of Knox’ involvement.

CRINI …the famous pillowcase – famous because this piece of sliver, let’s say, became the element from which the identification of Guede was made – on the famous pillowcase that contains the handprint and even the footprint of a shoe, the right, if not the wrong, of the Guede, – a pillow that is right in the middle of the crime, is like the centre of gravity of the crime scene.. The Bureau of Police Science, the Central Office of the Scientific Police, tells us the presence of a shoe and gives us this indication of a foot shoe,  feminine, like that  ‘Exalted by Luminol yesterday. 

And this… “For such considerations the size of the shoe that produced the footprint could be varied from the number 36 to the number 38”. It seems to me the same numbers of the imprints found with Luminol in those other areas of the house. Here, then there was a female foot that had – so to speak – pounded, which was imprinted, a female shoe that was imprinted on this pillowcase. 

  • He focuses on how Amanda’s blood is on the bathroom tap, yet her claim not to remember bleeding is unconvincing.
  • Mignini in the Massei trial believed the mixed DNA of Amanda and Meredith in the small bathroom was the most incriminating of all as it appeared they were both bleeding at the same time, for it to comingle.

CRINI: “Yes, I saw blood but I did not connect it with myself. ” But how not, dear, it, is your drip! How do you “do you not connect it with me”?  Explain why a drop of blood has fallen into the sink, right? It’s not what you say, “I saw blood, I did not connect it with myself.” No, you’re talking about your blood, not the blood of Meredith or Romanelli. Your blood, because it turns out to be yours. So if you’ve got a spill, it’s best to say. 

 I see the girl in possession of this knife, and a situation that maybe at the moment does not offer specific indications of injuries that she has suffered; the fact remains that Amanda Knox’s blood is in this bidet,  mixed with that of Meredith, and one present alone, to a sufficiently large extent, to which is not given … the slightest explanation. 

In the sense, she rightly evades the subject and says “well, I see blood but it does not make an impression”. But how? It’s your own. Is absurd. However, she says “it’s okay” … so. 

…[…]… The context is that we are here with a bloody, cruel, killing-killing person, in which anything can happen  I have to give this blood to Knox, who runs this into this bidet, some explanation, otherwise I cannot imagine it closely related to the bloody story that was consumed little by little. I can be happy to say “well, it’s Knox’s blood, but in short, let’s say it will come from a cut “? Maybe. The fact is that this element, too, is also corroborating, and that is precisely what we say is integrating; it indicates a clear presence at the scene of the offender but not as a resident , but as a cover. 

  • The calunnia of Patrick was part of Knox’ calculated strategy to subvert the investigation, together with the staging of the body and undressing it after the murder, set out yesterday, and he will make a submission on this.
  • Crini winds by demanding the maximum sentence of 30 years for Knox, and increase of one year to four years for ‘aggravated calunnia’ rather than simple calunnia in that her motive was as an extension to the murder.

CRINI: So, excluding the futile reason, I ask you to assert the criminal liability of both defendants, condemning each one to the sentence of twenty-six years of imprisonment. Thank you for your attention and I have finished. excluding the futile motive, I ask you to assert the criminal liability of both defendants, condemning each one to the penalty of twenty-six years of imprisonment. 

Crini’s testimony concludes at 14:15

It is a powerful submission which sends shock waves throughout the court and is sensational fodder for tomorrow’s papers, such as the New York Daily Times

A bird’s eye court circular can be seen on TJMK.

Back at 3:15, and so begins the conclusions of the civil parties.

First up is Pacelli for Lumumba.  He gives a colourful account of Knox’ sex life, bathroom habits, and clashes as described in the testimony of Meredith’s British friends.  For example, he quotes Sophie Purton:

PACELLI: “Meredith told us that Amanda had men at home, and that was something we did not do. Amanda was pretty open about her sex life, and left a beauty in the bathroom, with a vibrator and condoms. “

And so on, in that vein, including a long character assassination of Sollecito and his drug-taking habits.  He leads up to his memorable speech, oft quoted in the tabloids:

PACELLI  So, Mr President and Members of the Court, who is Amanda Knox? It’s that sweet, sweet, water-soaked face that you see in TV talk shows today, her most intimate English friends, Italian coinquilines, Italian roommates, your school friend, who describe you as lazy and drug-addicted and alcoholic? 

So, as I repeat, it is from court proceedings. I tell you, Amanda is one and the other. In her she lives a double soul: the angelic, good, compassionate, I have already had on other occasions to define the Santa Maria Goretti, tender, naive; and that luciferin, demonic, satanic, diabolical, which leads her to live extremist, borderline conduct and adopt disordered behaviors. 

And Amanda was the one on November 1, 2007. Amanda was a concentrate, an explosive mixture of sex, drugs and alcohol, at the time of the crime, not unmodified by a marked lack of hygiene. And it must be said in clear letters, Ladies of the Court: Amanda was a muddy girl outside because she was black inside.

He is, of course here, on behalf of Patrick Lumumba.  Pacelli articulates the outrage and fear felt by Patrick in being wrongly accused of rape and murder by Knox and imprisoned for two weeks.

PACELLI: But if no one knew it, neither the English girlfriends, the roommates nor the roommates downstairs, nor the same police, how could Amanda know that poor Meredith had sex just before she was killed, if not because Amanda was in the house of Via della Pergola on the crime scene at the time of the crime?

He refutes that Knox was under pressure by the police.

PACELLI: And I would like to conclude on this point with the testimony of Dr. Profazio, manager at the estimated time of the Mobile Team in Perugia: “Do you remember how Amanda was treated by the staff”? “Amanda was treated well.” “There have been acts of violence”? “Absolutely not. Amanda was given to drink several times, was brought hot chamomile, brought to the cafeteria bar to have breakfast and were given some brioches. It’s been treated well. ” “It was handled well” – he adds shortly afterwards – “obviously firmly, because we were not, in short, at the cinema or the circus, even though someone could think so, no firmly but with courtesy.”

He, too, fixes the scream as a key moment.

PACELLI: Therefore, the fact that Meredith before being assassinated shouted, shouted, is historically true and processively proven and demonstrated. And Amanda is so clever and clever that in the spontaneous statements at 5:45 am, she immediately notes, literally: “And I’m frightened, I plugged my ears.” 

This is an embellishment, a posting of a diabolical subtlety, because it makes a fact, in itself credible, certain. Turns the certainty into certainty. But the question I pose for the purposes I have set is as follows: But how could Amanda know that poor Meredith had yelled, if this was not yet public domain?

Then there was the issue of the frightening time Patrick spent in jail, suspected of a terrible crime.  Police intercepted conversations of Knox’ prison visit with her mother.

PACELLISo let’s see what happens in the next few days, when Amanda in her jails interview with her mother, speaking in English, in the belief that she is not heard, feels the irrepressible need to shake the weight of lies and the intolerable burden of her sobbing consumed, and under the feeling of iniquity committed against Patrick hastens, yes, she hastens to tell the truth to her mother. 

In the environmental interception of November 10, 2007, between Amanda and her mother, November 10, Edda Mellas, on page 4, is the following interview: “Have you told everything about your lawyers?” Amanda: “I told him everything that happened.” 

Always in this environmental interception in jail between Amanda and her mother, on November 10, 2007, Amanda states: “I feel bad because I put Patrick in a horrible situation, now he is in jail and it’s my fault, it’s my fault that he is here, I feel bad,” p 29

and adds,” I feel bad for Patrick, I do not know if I can look at him later this after all because I have to apologize. Here’s what I have to do. I have to go to him and tell him “I’m really sorry” “, page 33.

Environmental interception in jail between Amanda and her mother, November 13, 2007:” I’m so sorry for Patrick, I’m so sorry I ruined his life. I want to kneel every time I see him and tell him that I’m so sorry. I talked to him before he was arrested, he came to ask me if I wanted to be interviewed. I said no. And then he said, “Okay, good luck.” And I: “Thanks.” He’s a good guy. He does not frighten me. ” Amanda Review, June 12, 2009


After winding up, it is the turn of Magnini for Mrs Tattanelli, the cottage owner.

MAGNINI: This little cottage, which is no longer a small house, has now become Perugia’s “villa of horrors,” “the home of the crime,” and at best “the house of Meredith”

Mrs Tattanelli is a widow, aged 90, who had acquired the cottage to rent out as a retirement supplement.

MAGNINI: On November 2, the house was seized and was seized for a year and a half. But lucky circumstances also allowed a quick breakdown, because they had entered … intrusions, curious, fanatics, and had altered the scene of the crime. The damage to the lady is the lack of perception of rentals for this year and a half, all the damage that was created inside the house, broken doors, broken glass, stains, and reagents; the need to put the grates on the windows because then curious and fetishists came to the house, wanted to enter the house of Meredith, and above all the damage that almost confounded like a permanent damage, because the house, as I said in the opening , is “the villa of horrors”, is “the house of the crime”. 

It was no longer possible to rent it to students, students recognize it all, the story has had a global eco-media, the home is a home that is now part of the imaginary of macabre sites, crime sites, and hence it is a good thing that has completely lost its economic worth.

The proceedings come to a close for the day and Nencini defers the next hearing to hear the rest of the Civil Lawyers to the 16 Dec 2013, as requested by Luciano Ghirga for Knox, and Bongiorno for Sollecito cannot make it for the 17 due to other commitments.

Knox defence will appear on the 16th December.  

The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 5

The Florence Appeal Court has vacated other hearings listed for 25 – 27 November 2013 for the next three days for the Nencini Appeal.

Day 5, 25 November 2013

As a consequence of Hellmann’s decisions being rejected in whole by the Supreme Court, Nencini has a wide scope to cover: almost everything that came up at the 2011 appeal, is having to be dealt with again.

Raffaele Sollecito is present.

Today the lead is taken by Alessandro Crini, for the prosecution. Mignini is no longer involved in the case.  In short, Crini’s aim is to refute the defence’s automatic grounds for appeal.  He describes the Hellmann Court as ‘razed to the ground’ and urges the new court to look at the case as a whole, rather than by piecemeal, as Hellmann did, taking one small part of the evidence at a time and systematically rejecting it.

Criticisms of the previous court out of the way, Crini outlines the problems with Knox and Sollecito’s alibis.  ‘A false alibi is also evidence’, he contends.

CRINI: ‘What is the alibi?   …[…]…  It is a kind of defensive argument that is used by saying no, that “I did not commit the offense” but that “I was somewhere else when someone obviously committed that offence”. 

…[of Knox and Sollecito] it is realized that the alibi is actually false, because it is appreciated that it is false.’

Key is Sollecito’s false claim that he was on the computer that evening.  D’Ambrosio, the computer expert, found no human interaction after 21:10 when the Amélie film crash finished and someone must have clicked on the ‘end’ message.  Sollecito’s internet provider, Fastweb back up that there was no activity that night at the salient time.  In effect, Sollecito’s lies about this is positive evidence against him.

Let’s recap Sollecito’s alibi, as given to the police:

Statement to police 5 Nov 2007 [excerpt]:

QA I have known Amanda for about two weeks. From the night that I met her she started sleeping at my house. On November 1st, I woke up at around 11, I had breakfast with Amanda then she went out and I went back to bed. Then around 13:00-14:00 I met her at her house again. Meredith was there too. Amanda and I had lunch while Meredith did not have lunch with us.
QA Around 16:00 Meredith left in a hurry without saying where she was going. Amanda and I stayed home until about 17:30-18:00.
QA We left the house, we went into town, but I don’t remember what we did.
QA We stayed there from 18:00 until 20:30/21:00. At 21:00 I went home alone because Amanda told me that she was going to go to the pub Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends.
QA At this point we said goodbye and I headed home while she headed towards the center.
QA I went home alone, sat at the computer and rolled myself a spliff. Surely I had dinner but I don’t remember what I ate. Around 23:00 my father called at my home number 075.9660789. During that time I remember Amanda had not come back yet.

QA I browsed at my computer for another two hours after my father’s phone call and only stopped when Amanda came back presumably around 1:00.
QA I don’t remember how she was dressed and if she was dressed the same way as when we said goodbye before dinner.
QA I don’t remember if we had sex that night.
QA The following morning around 10:00 we woke up, she told me she wanted to go home and take a shower and change clothes.

CRINI: “I have nothing to do with the way of murder, I have nothing to do with Via Pergola, because I was in Via Garibaldi “- the singular -” in front of my computer “, with this lightweight drug pastime”.

Thus, Sollecito has insisted he was on his computer on the murder night, yet there is no trace of the interactions he describes.  In addition, he never has, to this day, withdrawn his claim Knox went out without him until 01:00, and declined to testify in court under oath.  He was no doubt advised by his counsel it would be a mistake to change his alibi.

Pausing for a moment, Sollecito has provided a false alibi from the outset and yet has never amended it, supplied the correct details of what he was doing, nor explained why he said it.

Crini turns to the prosecution star witness, Antonio Curatalo.  He points out Hellmann made the mistake of focussing on the person and ignoring the content of the eye witness testimony.

CRINI: Toxic or non-toxic, Curatolo is confident of his memory, which, let’s say, places the two defendants at compatible times – then there is the issue of the date we will address – in this Grimana Square.

He touches on timings, the time of death, which he believes is more likely 22:30 than after 23:15.

CRINI: ..we’re talking about phones that to be found in the [woman’s] garden around midnight have certainly left the house … that is, they probably left home in the same context as the murder. So even this aspect, let’s say, somehow returns its likelihood to the possibility – as it were to say – that time of 22:13 [when it is last pinged at the cottage]is a time that must somehow already belong to the offence, otherwise we say, the time becomes no longer consistent.  The timetables that derive from this- these indicators are all pretty elastic, the first of which is the time of death , with respect to which, once the defendants have been placed, and in the hourly part of which  Curatolo indicates from ten pm onwards in Grimana Square …

Then there is the issue of the reliability of Quintavalle, who claims to have seen Knox outside his shop circa 7:45 in the morning after the murder and who went to browse around the cleaning section of his grocery store.  The issue here is that it took him a year to come forward and then only at the urging of an acquaintance.

CRINI:  Quintavalle gives us certainty, that is, the certainty of seeing him, as a layman of Via Garibaldi, of having seen Knox in front of his shop at the opening of the blinds, that particular morning. Quintavalle, he’ll remember seeing Knox once with Sollecito, but at that moment he has a stranger, but it makes clear to us that despite the delay in propagation …[…]…he did it I did not say right away, but almost immediately, that is to say later a few days that this photograph began to circulate on printed paper, or it was seen on television, etc., and so on.

Crini is abundantly talkative and it is now 13:15 and proceedings break for lunch until 14:00.

Resuming, Crini  refers to the bloody footprint on the bath mat with no blood leading up to it.  This, he points out, indicates a clean-up in the surrounding area.  He covers the luminol-highlighted footprints in the hallway – identified as those of Knox, Sollecito and Guede – and the one in Filomena’s room as being the most important, as it includes the mixed DNA of Knox and Meredith.  He dismisses the defence’s claim the footprints were not blood.

CRINI:  For a policeman, the most striking feature is precisely the blood pound found on the small bath mat…[…]… the most impressive figure, because it is a unique one, as though it were a spoken word, it is this imprint that we find on this pattern, on this mat, a celestine, greenish mat, that of the small foreigners’ bathroom.

Coming onto the footprints exposed by luminol, which reacts with the iron element in haemoglobin to produce a fluorescent light in the dark:

CRINI ;…[…]…[re Luminol]. in my opinion is the most important element of this whole story – at least in one case we are superimposed on the DNA of the victim, on this footprint, with the DNA of Knox. Then we, to imagine – understand? – that this DNA comes from something other than Kercher’s blood, we have to conjecture that there is a substance that is exalted by Luminol through a reagent X, which is certainly not signalled, but which we hypothesize, and that for the very part that was torn, clearly left either by Knox or by Kercher, of course, or perhaps by Kercher, but in that case then on that point, let’s say, there would be the Knox DNA itself. 

He believes the most incriminating evidence of all is against Knox:

…[…]… So there is a fluorescence in Romanelli’s room, which remarks at the same time – we are not in the victim’s room, we are not in the Knox room, indeed, that of Knox is totally cleaned from this point of view – simultaneously refers to DNA victim and Knox.

…[…]… That in this room of the Italian, in which the presence of the other two is certainly there … yes, precisely in that room they were given a convention the two strangers, leaving their DNA exactly in the same spot in the room.’

In other words, Knox has trailed Meredith’s blood into Filomena’s room and shed her own DNA on exactly the same spot as the victim’s and that they were mixed together.

Next, there is the issue of the staged burglary, the clean-up operation and the attempt to subvert investigators.  Only one person had the motive to go to these lengths, he claims.  He specifies the glass from the window found on top of the clothes and not underneath.  He sets out why the staged burglary is a part of a ‘post factum plan’. The plan he explains is to point to a third party, Guede, as the sole perpetrator.  He doesn’t accept that the fact of the break in at the Milan nursery just days before shows a pattern and argues that Guede would not have broken in to the cottage.

CRINI: It is clear that, by the probability that this is any how a property altogether off limits for him from the point of view of his very easy recognizability, it is of solar evidence. And then it is clear that this hypothetical theft – fake – certainly, it seems the more faked to the extent that it turns out that ex post is known to be that of Rudy rather than a stranger. When the hand print tells me “it’s him”,  what does Rudy think he’s doing trying to rob people at home? But there is not an attempted theft built in this Baroque way, in this way it is absolutely devoid of any actual burglary on the concrete plane. ..[…]… we say the camouflage profile is a profile that involves both scenarios [Rudy’s bloody handprint and the staged mise en scène].


After a short break the hearing resumes

Crini points to the behaviour of the defendants, in particular Knox’s various email and memoriale claims, and makes clear that the issue of the motive for the calunnia is still to be determined.  By this, he means whether her falsely accusing Patrick of rape and murder was because of undue police pressure or, ‘aggravated’, as a tactical device to throw suspicion away from her own involvement by subverting the investigation onto him.

CRINI: ‘There is an email sent to a number of people, including one who is a person who then posts this mail to the investigating bodies, and then there are two verbal statements by Miss Knox Amanda, which are – here, here are all – that’s just one of the full night of 05 on 06 and the other on the morning of 06. Those are statements in which you also introduces this character, Lumumba, and it is not that you introduce it so, pour parler, you introduce it to throw out the conditions for him then to be arrested for murder. ‘

Crini has it that Knox didn’t just blurt out Patrick’s name under police pressure, she insisted on underlining it over and over again.  When she handed her privately written and entirely voluntary memoraile to the police she referred to it as ‘a present’.  There is something about her email to 25 people that tells us she knew perfectly well it would find its way back to the Perugia investigators.  Here we have the sense of a puppet-master pulling strings and controlling the narrative.  Amanda Knox is going to tell us how it is, right from the start.

The very late phone call by Sollecito to the police is deemed significant regardless of whether it was before or after the Postale Police arrived.

CRINI: So the Postal Police arrived at 12:35, or, following the on-site (CCTV) camera and analyzed by the Mobile Team, at 12:26. Now, we have a phone call of 12:51 and one of 12:54. 

…[…]… frankly I must say that even if the call had been made five minutes before the arrival of the Postale,  it would still have been a phone call delayed with regard to the state of affairs…[…]… most of all, it seems to me that the thing takes on a completely implausible window dressing,… I use the word “suspect” a very suspicious piece of cloaking from the investigations of the Judicial Police. So, to arrive at noon in a situation such as this …it’s  not convincing, in the opinion of the Prosecutor. 

But even at a time that follows this unexpected arrival of the Post Police, it is an element that… it is not that he says “I’m calling the Carabinieri.” And then he says “well, I’m late but somehow” … No. He says, “we have already called the Carabinieri” and then adds that other element, which the judgments have well underlined, “there was a theft, but they did not steal anything

As well as Sollecito’s various statements, there are those of Knox.  For example, her claim that Meredith’s door being locked was normal.

Crini expresses scepticism about Knox’ story about experience with the faeces in the large bathroom toilet, her shower and seeming indifference to the blood.  There are anomalies between Knox’ and Sollecito’s accounts: she said Filomena’s door was shut, thus could not see any disturbance, whereas he claimed it was wide open, when he arrived at the cottage on the morning of 2 November 2013.  Knox showed foreknowledge of the scream and the sexual assault, even though she had not seen into the room when the door was broken down.  She accused Patrick and included elements of truth about the scream and sex attack and embellished her stories with ‘dreamlike’ references to ‘fish blood’ on Sollecito’s hand.  Crini believes Knox’ calunnia is a deliberate strategy and a clear piece of evidence against her.

Expanding Crini, continues:

CRINI: Now, for heaven’s sake, it is conjectured that Knox did not even look in there [Laura’s room] to see if something had happened,  [Laura’s drawer was hanging open] It is a fact, that he [Sollecito]tells us that that door was open when he arrived. Then it’s a bit strange – you know – that this Knox, when she arrives and gets ready for its shower, finds a situation of doubt, certainly worthy of suspicion, but for this very reason … let’s say this suspect construct does not add that suspicion that would immediately make the need to call the police, right? If you find theft at eleven, at eleven and two minutes you have to call the Carabinieri. 

But of all these things she sees, she does not see the most striking, which, I repeat, was available to her, because … not only, but then also the Mezzetti  room. was a bit tricky. But it was a visual view as the door was still open. And then, in this situation, …there is a bathroom with a flush to pull, there is a bathtub with blood inside, there is a locked door, a situation that then Knox a little suspicious, because Knox says, though, “I’m sorry, so I went out from outside and went to see, trying to figure out what could be in that room”. 

Knox claims she came back to the cottage to find the door open, and despite her uneasiness and the cold November air and no heating, she claims she proceeded to have a shower and change, with door still unlatched in case whoever had gone out to empty the trash or whatever needed to come back in.

CRINI: ..then you come home, to the boy’s house, in Via Garibaldi, and return [together]to Via della Pergola. It is there that at that moment we are aware of the presence of a theft. But at that point we are at that time that it is back to the remarks made by Sollecito…

 So, the combination of all these elements is plainly plausible this eleventh hour tale of eleven to  eleven, with all this set of elements that are, sufficient to induce suspicion. I would say … the theft not seen, frankly would make a clown smile. 


Crini looks at the behaviour of the couple as a whole, their individual discrete actions painting a wider picture of deception.

CRINI: The locked door, in a situation that everyone else tells us not to be a normal situation. And this is the first segment of the borderline declarations. Then there is the second segment, because Knox intervenes, spouting the name of Lumumba, we say it’s severely calunniatory, she wants to emphasize this figure.

 This person is jailed, like a murderer, and goes out on the 20th, which is just the day Guede is caught following the call from Benedict’s Skype of 19. So let’s go ahead and consider this thing as well , an element … a little girl. She is a little girl who, however, told Mama that she was a little worried that this wretch was in jail. 

In an intercepted conversation with her mother, Edda Mellas, on a prison visit, Knox had stated Patrick was innocent and yet neither she or her mother did anything about it.

CRINI:, Knox Amanda, says meaningful things, because it provides a context that, in their historicity, of the process, which was not available at that time.  Let’s not miss that English friend’s report, corroborating that Knox makes it known that she has seen Meredith’s position in the room. This is also a source of suspicion,

When the door to Meredith’s room had been kicked down, Knox and Sollecito were to the back of the cottage and were not there to see inside it.

CRINI…[…]… the substance of the words, which they refer to … “Well, that’s all plausible, basically, I mean, there was a theft and say .. what happened happened, surely … you want there to be some kind of violence “? Bah. And why? And why should you go, as you say, in the face of a theft situation, you have to go to the fact that the girl was raped? 

For what reason, if, say, the data is not known to the person concerned, how can she somehow refer to it? And because she must, tell of a scream? …[…]…we see how incongruous it is to say, there are bruises around all parts right in the mouth area . 

 But meanwhile it is important that Knox delivers us two data, she reports two data: the cry of the poor Meredith Kercher, and the dark violence ; which are data that are not normal in the context in which the action has developed. …[…]…

The speech is set in the face of slander, it is in the necessity of having to include other elements that are somehow complementary to slander

Crini elaborates in which way controlling the narrative enables Knox to spin a web of deceit.

 If I shed the slander of a person who may not be there, but maybe it may be plausible if nothing else but the colour of his skin. ..The segments of truth that part of the narrative, precisely. But not as a natural development of the chaos caused by this wretched man climbing the window. No, absolutely no! They describe the process on other bases: the process of aggression that then is over, as it is over. And then you understand the scream, and then you understand the violence. But if I start from theft, there is not much screaming or violence to see. 

 When I blurt out a slander about a wretch [Patrick] who has nothing to do with it, …these pieces of truth that are the ones that emerge from these words – as if to say – uttered by this girl who finds herself in this particular situation and therefore has the need to build this strategy of defence, in particular. 

Drawing in Sollecito’s similarly false narrative and proven false alibi, Crini asserts:

CRINI: And then we also have this other piece, which has no relevance to itself, but it is significant. At a certain point, when we say the accused Sollecito states what he says, that is, “I was at home alone at the computer and I even smoked” – I do not want to repeat the statement, but it seems we are loaded on it – for Knox, Sollecito in her memory, becomes one who had his bloody hands. The fish. …[…]… why do we have to hypothesize this dreamlike component? It appears like a pochettino, a bit ‘baroque, right? a bit excessive, a little bit of weight, a little justification, here is a little justification to make sense of the statements that instead … which instead have a primary meaning from the point of view of the indictment,’

And thus, Crini elegantly sums up Knox’ strategy in particular.  Her calunnia and determination to control the storyline all makes sense within the context of her involvement in the crime:  He has spoken for seven hours.

Nencini adjourns the prosecution submissions to continue for 9:30 tomorrow, together with the civil lawyers.

There is an excellent ‘bird’s eye’ view from the courtroom today from ‘Yummi/Macchiavelli’ for True Justice of Meredith Kercher, well worth a read, together with a photo of Crini.



The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 4

On 3 Nov 2013 ahead of the next session, Rudy Guede joins in the press clamour by issuing a statement that ‘Meredith Kercher’s killers are still free.’

Guede, who was born in Ivory Coast and grew up in Italy, made the claim in a letter sent from his prison cell in Viterbo to the Italian TV show, ‘Quarto Grado’.

“I want to point out that whoever committed this terrible crime is still free,” Guede said.


Day 4, 6 November 2013  Today the court will hear evidence pertaining to reports by Stefanoni (2007-2008), Conti-Vecchiotti (2011) and Berti-Barni (Rome RIS, 2013).


Carlo Dalla Vedova makes a submission to cast doubt on Stefanoni’s report.  This is dismissed by the judge as already having been settled at trial.  Taggliabracci had made submissions that Stefanoni had been ‘suspect-centric’ in her approach and that she had failed to disclose her raw data and controls. According to ‘Yummi (Machiavelli)’ who reports from the case today in person in a tweet :

Dalla Vedova said Tagliabracci was the only Italian source in the RIS report, all others are foreigners, emphasized the American labs [TJMK]

In a thinly veiled sideswipe at Conti and Vecchiotti, Nencini directs Barni to formulate opinions ‘without reference to American standards’.

C& V’s report had been full of references to American standards which led to specious claims by the defence that Stefanoni had not followed ‘international standards’ In ‘The Great DNA Sting’, it is noted.

The Italian Scientific Police follow the guidelines of the ENFSI – the European Network Forensic Science Institutes. Dr Stefanoni observed that they followed these specific guidelines whereas Conti and Vecchiotti basically picked and mixed a random selection of international opinions:

“We followed the guidelines of the ENFSI, theirs is just a collage of different international opinions”.

In other words, Conti and Vecchiotti were not referring to the specific guidelines and recommendation of one particular international forensic organisation despite giving that impression at the appeal in Perugia. They cited a number of obscure American publications such as the Missouri State Highway Patrol Handbook and Wisconsin Crime Laboratory Physical Evidence Handbook. The Italian Scientific Police are under no obligation to follow the DNA protocols of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Wisconsin Crime Laboratory.

Raffaele Sollecito makes a ‘spontaneous declaration’.  In Italy, these are statements to the court by defendants, which have little evidentiary value, as the speaker cannot be cross-examined on what they say.  Nencini had urged Sollecito to make statements.  He had declined to take the stand during the first instance trial phase.

There had been speculation that Sollecito was preparing to flee the country after he took a holiday in the Dominican Republic, which does not have an extradition treaty with Italy. But his father said his son’s decision to return for the hearing showed he had no plan to escape Italian justice.

We can give credit for Sollecito’s appearance to Francesco, who has suffered a nightmare, by Sollecito’s own account.  In Honor Bound he writes:

Papà was spinning like a dervish to clear my name’


He recounts how Francesco was asked for €8K up front from a consultant to monitor the RIS, but who was loath to criticise them.  Another demanded €50K and ‘I’ll get your son out of prison.’


Elsewhere in the book, Sollecito relates how his father all but gave up his job as a respected urologist in order to visit his son dutifully in Capenne Prison, ‘for six hours a month’ all the way from Terni.  One gets a sense of the sheer stress Sollecito put his family under and the desperate attempts by his father to get his son to show respect for the court.


Addressing the court, Sollecito is reported as saying:


First, Sollecito spoke of his Italian family and background and stressed that he was an honest man. He said Knox was his first true love, and he insisted he had no reason to want to murder anyone just a week before his graduation. He added that he has never enjoyed going to parties or drinking alcohol, although he admitted to smoking a joint now and then.

Sollecito also spoke of how difficult it had been for him in prison and how he feels he is constantly scrutinized for anything he does, even traveling abroad.


“I never knew Rudy Guede and I only knew Meredith a little bit. It doesn’t make any sense that I would have had any interest in her that could have led to such an atrocious act, against a 20-year-old girl, it has no basis in reality. And this thing, unfortunately, is going on for too many years,” he said.


“I humbly request you to please look at the reality of this situation and to consider the immense wrong that has been done,” he told the judges


‘Yummi/Machiavelli, the on the spot reporter for True Justice for Meredith Kercher, tweets as follows:

            Sollecito said his family absolutely never had issues with justice. And he is a proud ‘member’ of that family

  1. He also played the ‘national’ card, as he re-emphasized ‘I am Italian’ twice and then addressed the court ‘I am an Italian, as you are’
  2. Sollecito mentioned the defense’s arguments (he has an orthopedical issue with his foot etc.).
  3. The questions of all parties to the experts were intended to elicit information to be used in arguing the unrelated previous finding
  4. He mentioned Meredith’s name only once, to say he barely knew her.
  5. Sollecito talked with a faint voice, a long speech in which he described himself as a victim.

What Sollecito is doing here is manipulating people’s emotions (and indeed, one of the jurors, Genny Ballerini came out later to say she was on his side).  Ballerini, much later, gave an interview to OGGI claiming she thought the prison sentence was ‘too long’.

I myself once felt so sorry for Sollecito, despite being convinced of his guilt, I sent him some funds of £10 through his Go Fund Me page.


To see how well Sollecito elicits sympathy, it is worth visiting his book, Honor Bound wherein on p 126 he recounts his visit to Dachau concentration camp, as an Erasmus student in Germany, and compares it with his taking a shower in Capenne:


‘I thought about the forced marches and the hymns of joy prisoners were forced to sing.  I thought about the mass slaughter, all those people killed for no reason, just as Meredith had been killed for no reason.’


A cold callous psychopath skilled in stirring people’s emotions, or an ill-fated waif unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?


Back to the court room, where people are now beginning to fidget after a long day.  Nencini declares the evidence phase closed.  Aviello’s testimony is to be sent to  the Attorney General’s Office (the state prosecutor, possibly to see if any charges can be brought).


The next court dates are 25 Novemebr, for the prosecution arguments, 26 Novemner, the civil parties, 16 December of Sollecito’s defence and 17 December for Knox’.  The closing submissions, rebuttals and deliberations are listed for the 9th and 10th January 2014.  In Italy, courts are expected to give the verdict immediately after this, at the hearing.




The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 3

Day 3, 30 October 2013

Berti and Barni of the RIS have tested the LCN DNA sample 36-I and have filed their report.

The subject of the question, as formulated in the body of the assignment minutes of the assignment, recites the following:

“Examined the documents of the case and in particular the findings of the expert report submitted on 29 June 2011 by Prof.ssa Carla Vecchiotti and Prof. Stefano Conti, together with the statements formulated by the consultants of the parties Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni and Prof. Giuseppe Novelli in their papers filed at the hearing on September 6, 2011, and provided the analysis of the sample previously worked, the peritians say about the attribution of the track marked with the letter (I) found on the finding no. 36 and if DNA itself can be identified as referring to Meredith Kercher or the condemned Rudi Herman Guede.

In the event that the sample is not possible for failure to perform, poor conservation or any other cause, the pertinent experts will give the Court of Justice immediate notice by fax.”

The document is in the form of a laboratory report and is highly technical.  The key finding is the following:

The comparison between the genetic profiles of the trace I and the genetic profiles of the comparison subjects and the subsequent biostatistic analysis allowed to find:

  • a high degree of compatibility. statistically supported. between the genetic profile of Amanda Marie Knox and the genetic tracers of the I track;
  • a high degree of incompatibility. statistically supported, among the genetic profiles of the remaining subjects (Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, Rudy Hermann Guede, Raffaele Sollecito) and the genetic profiles of the trace I.

In plain English, the Sample 36-I is neither starch nor rye bread and is compatible with Amanda Knox.  There is incompatibility with Meredith, Guede or Sollecito.  It also demonstrates that the sample was not ‘too low copy number’.

The court will convene on 6 November 2013 to have the report entered into evidence.

Predictably, the US press erupts with headlines about how ‘the DNA on the knife is not the victim’s’ as though the sample 36-I near the handle cancels out the one lower down on the blade, a completely different sample, 36-B, which shows a near full profile of Meredith Kercher (15 alleles).  New York Daily News is typical:


The knife was used for cooking, not killing.

Stunning testimony in the third Amanda Knox trial revealed Wednesday that new DNA found on the purported murder weapon belonged to the suspect — and not the victim.


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