The Nencini Papers

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.

 

 

 

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