The Nencini Papers

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.





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