The Nencini Papers

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.

 

 

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