Archive for the ‘Justice for Meredith Kercher’ Category

Aviello – The Truth

December 27, 2019

AVIELLO: THE TRUTH.

bongiorno-maori

How Aviello was bribed to bend the trial of Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito

 

LucianoLucia (formerly Luciano) Aviello

Luciano Aviello, a key defence witness for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito during their trial for aggravated murder, has been cleared of the serious count of calunnia, (calumny)  in a little reported acquittal in January 2018.  The news came via an obscure news item in Italian newspaper, UMBRIA24, which reported:

He [Aviello] accused his brother of killing Meredith Kercher but eight years after that slander the court acquitted him because “the fact does not exist”. The trial against Luciano Aviello, repentant of the Camorra, who during the first instance trial to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito wrote five letters to the defenders of the American student, blaming the brother of the murder [of Meredith Kercher] on Via della Pergola. Aviello, a 49-year-old Neapolitan, among other things had told investigators that he had known Sollecito during his period of detention in Terni prison. (Google translation)

Aviello was cleared by an Italian court of the Italian equivalent of ‘Obstruction of Justice’ for allegedly giving the court false information in order to deliberately  sabotage the trial.  In his defence, the transgender 49-year-old claimed he had been bribed to throw the case into chaos by Sollecito’s attorney, Giulia Bongiorno.  He told the Appeal court during the Kercher trial he had been offered €30,000 towards his sex change operation.

bongiorno

Attorneys Guilia Bongiorno and Luca Maori acting for Raffaele Sollecito

Aviello had numerous convictions for mafia activities and was a notorious ‘informer’ according to Sollecito in his book, Honor Bound, who had to be kept in isolation, protected from other prisoners.

Sollecito claims in his book that the Squadra Mobile (Flying Squad) in Perugia had set him up to become friends with Aviello in the hope he would confess to the crime.  Aviello claimed Sollecito confessed that Amanda killed Meredith in an erotic game.  Sollecito claims that when he realised what Aviello had been saying about him, he cut him off as a friend and Aviello was moved away from Terni prison, shortly after.

sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito: Then and Now

Strangely, Aviello was introduced to the trial by Sollecito’s defence to testify that the real killers were Antonio, Aviello’s brother, and a mysterious Albanian.  Given Aviello’s long record of being an unreliable witness and numerous convictions for slander, many consider it remarkable Knox’ attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova called Aviello as a key witness, in collaboration with Sollecito’s attorney, Luca Maori.

The testimony of Aviello, unsurprisingly, was completely dismissed and Aviello told he would be prosecuted for criminal slander (obstruction of justice in an investigation).  He had written five letters to the Prosecutor Manuela Comodi setting out his wild claims.

How Hellmann gagged Aviello’s claims of bribery by the defence

After the trial in which Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of aggravated murder, the case went to automatic appeal.  The judge, Hellmann, refused to allow Aviello to be questioned in the the witness stand on the issue that he had only made his claims because of the bribe by Sollecito’s defence, leading the prosecution to appeal against this, as a point of law.

In the next stage automatic appeal to the Supreme Court, Judge Chieffi ruled Hellmann erred in not allowing Aviello’s testimony to be heard that he had been bribed by Bongiorno to make the false claims, in order to bring chaos and confusion to the case.

Advocate Bongiorno is quoted as saying she would take legal measures to defend her reputation.  To date, there are no reports she has ever sued Aviello for his accusations.

Judge Chieffi sent the case back down to the Appeal Court, this time presided by Alessandro Nencini.  See my article on the Nencini Papers Day 2, 4 Oct 2013.

Aviello gets a second chance at Nencini’s court

One of the edicts of the Supreme Court was that Aviello must be heard for his bribery claims.  The date for Aviello’s testimony was set for Day 2 of the Appeal, 4th Oct 2013.  This time, Aviello appeared in female clothing, claimed he or she was undergoing gender reassignment surgery and asking to be called ‘Lucia’.

Once again, Aviello changed his story and was back claiming again that his brother and an Albanian were responsible for the savage murder.

Aviello’s three versions

Judge Nencini was dismissive of Aviello’s testimony, remarking on Aviello’s “three versions” of his story. Knox’s lawyer, Dalla Vedova, objected to this on the grounds that there had only been two versions. Nencini smiled and said: “Don’t forget the next!”

nencini

Dr. Alessandro Nencini

To complete the farce, two of Aviello’s fellow inmates at Terni came forward to inform investigators that whilst in prison with Sollecito, he had bragged that Solllecito said his father Fransesco would give him €70,000 to disrupt the trial.

The upshot of all of this tomfoolery is that Aviello stood trial recently on the charges of obstruction and slander, related to the above shenanigans, and CLEARED of wrongdoing, by fact that ‘the act does not exist’.

Confused?  You won’t be

The legal implications of the verdict are one or more of the following:

  • Aviello made the allegations his brother and an Albanian committed the crimes in good faith
  • Aviello was indeed bribed to cause chaos in court
  • Aviello was called by the defence lawyers for Knox and Sollecito to disrupt proceedings
  • The court deemed the matter of Luciano Aviello, star witness, was too trivial to prosecute, as the police themselves did not bother to investigate Aviello’s obvious tall story
  • The Squadra Mobile did set Aviello up to inform on Sollecito. He then made up a story about his brother instead, being a compulsive liar
  • The defence were happy to have a compulsive liar and criminal with eight convictions for slander and others for Mafia activity

In his book, Honor Bound, co-written with Andrew Gumbel, 2012, Sollecito claims Aviello was transferred away from the same prison as his because,

I can only assume this was because his presence there no longer served any useful purpose to the authorities.’

He adds, ‘Much later, I sent him a present, an embroided handkerchief, to express my gratitude.’

Why Aviello was put forward

The most likely reason the Sollecito defence wheeled in Aviello – and child murderer, Alessi, who claimed Rudy Guede had confessed to him in prison – is that the Amanda Knox defence – Dalla Vedova – and Bongiorno and Maori, for Sollecito,  knew that the ‘Lone Wolf’ theory, so beloved of the pair’s supporters, did not, and could not, stand up in court and thus, tried to present an alternative scenario of the proven presence of ‘multiple attackers’, other than their clients.  The original merits hearing, Massei 2008, the Nencini Appeal hearing, 2013, and the final Supreme Court, Marasca-Bruno, 2015, all categorically confirm in their verdicts the evidence proves multiple attackers, beyond all reasonable doubt.

You will note, Amanda Knox prefers to never mention this inconvenient matter of fact. She claims to this day: ‘One attacker: Rudy’.

Make of that what you will.

Aviello – who is he?

Born Luciano Aviello, he originates from the Spanish Quarter of Naples.  According to Wikipedia:

Quartieri Spagnoli (Spanish Quarters) is a part of the city of Naples in Italy. The Neapolitan language is stronger here than anywhere else. It is a poor area, suffering from high unemployment and strong influence of Camorra. The area, encompassing c. 800,000 square metres, consists of a grid of around eighteen streets by twelve, including a population of some 14,000 inhabitants.

Aged 49 in January last year, when he was cleared of criminal slander (=obstruction of justice, similar to the Amanda Knox charge and her conviction), Lucia (formerly Luciano) Aviello, would have been aged 42 when he first appeared at the Hellmann appeal in 2011 – as a defence trial witness (merits) called by Dalla Vedova and again at the Nencini trial, aged 44, two years later.  Nencini was directed by Supreme Court Judge Chieffi to hear his testimony, Aviello having been dismissed by Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann at the now notorious hearing in 2011 which he freed Knox and Sollecito.  That hearing outcome was subsequently rescinded and the evidence of Aviello expunged from the records.

Aviello sent five letters to the court

Aviello had contacted the authorities several times up to the trial claiming to know the real killers.  There are five letters recorded by the courts.  His claim was that Knox, Sollecito and Guede were innocent and that the crime had been committed instead by his late brother and an Albanian.  He averred that they had chanced upon the ‘poor English girl’ during a burglary, who had started screaming so one of them had swiftly ‘stabbed her in the neck’ and then tried to silence the screams by placing a hand over her mouth.  Aviello claims he and his brother were living in Perugia at the time.

Blood-stained clothing

Aviello claimed the brother appeared in blood-stained clothing and had an injury to his right arm.  The crux of his story is that he was asked by his brother to hide the murder weapon – a knife – and a set of keys under a stone in a garden in Perugia, which Aviello claims he then set about doing under a pile of bricks.

Aviello at the time of his testimony was serving a 17-year prison sentence for being an associate of the Mariano crime family of the notorious Secondigliano district of Naples, an improverished mafia-controlled area rife with drug-dealing, prostitution, extortion and money-laundering.  The 17-year sentence suggests he was not small fry.  His story remained consistent, too, even repeating his claims at the ensuing Nencini court, despite the threat of a criminal charge of slander.

Two witnesses called by the prosecution in June 2011 backed Aviello up, Cosimo Zaccaro, a fellow inmate who claimed Aviello bragged of having been offered €59,000 by Bongiorno, Sollecito’s counsel, and Alexander Ilic, his cellmate, who said Aviello claimed he’d been offered €158,000 by her.

Zaccaro was in prison for a variety of charges including drug, fraud, and theft.[48] His previous charges include three charges for slander that resulted in two convictions.[49] Zaccaro had originally met Aviello in the informants section of Ivrea prison in 1987.[50] He testified that Aviello had told him that he knew Alessi but he did not necessarily believe that was true and that Aviello was likely just bragging.[51] Zaccaro also testified that one day Aviello was crying which led to them talking.[52] Aviello confided in Zaccaro that Sollecito was paying him to testify at the trial and cause confusion.[53] Aviello told Zavvaro that he had been given €70,000 and that it was in a bank in San Paolo.[54] Zaccaro also testified that Aviello had a letter from Raffaele Sollecito thanking him for all he was doing for him.[55]  –

Alexander Ilic:

Ilic testified that he met Luciano Aviello in the summer of 2010 at Ivrea prison.[56] Aviello had told him that he had met Raffaele Sollecito while at Terni prison and that he had since met with Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno.[57] Ilic testified that Aviello claimed that the Sollecito’s were paying him €158,000 to testify at the trial.[58] Aviello planned to use the money for gender reassignment surgery.[59] Ilic testified that Aviello had papers about gender reassignment and that he showed him one that had the signature of Raffaele Sollecito although Ilic did not know the exact content of the signed paper.[60] In addition Ilic told the court that Aviello had neckerchief that he said was a gift from Raffaele Sollecito and that Sollecito had sent Aviello books to study while in prison.[61]

The claim of being bribed by Sollecito’s counsel would have been in response to Aviello’s defence against the perjury charge that he only said what he did because he was bribed by Bongiorno.

There was also the police officer, Chiacciera, Marco:

A police officer that investigated Luciano Aviello.[62] The testimony was short but Chiacchiera told the court two items that are of interest to the credibility of Aviello’s claims. The first was Aviello’s involvement in the murder investigation of mafia member Salvatore Conte. Conte had been killed by his own organization because he was considered a risk due to his cocaine addiction. The police had thought telephone intercepts figured out that the murder was committed by Marcelo Russo at the order of Salvatore Menzo.[63] In November of 2007 Luciano Aviello contacted Dr. Paci the prosecutor in this murder requesting that he be heard because he had relevant details.[64] In March of 2008 Aviello was interviewed by the police regarding Conte’s murder and he told them a involved story including several additional murders and about a plot to kill a magistrate using explosives.[65] The police attempted to confirm Aviello’s claims but that went nowhere. Aviello had told the police that two bodies were buried near a tree in a field but when the police excavated the field they found nothing.[66] Further, the story Aviello told them did not make sense given the location and how the murders took place.[67] A second attempt to confirm Aviello’s claims resulted in Aviello being allowed out of jail for the day to lead police to another body.[68] Again Aviello was unable to produce a body to support his story.[69]

Chiacchiera also investigated Aviello with respect to his claims regarding the murder of Meredith Kercher. Aviello was a defense witness who claims that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent and that his brother killed Meredith in a botched art theft. Aviello claimed to be living in Perugia at the time and that fact is central to his story. Chiacchiera testified that he attempted to confirm Aviello’s claims of living in Perugia at the time of the murder. Chiachhiera told the court that he was able to determine that Aviello had two cellphones at the the time but that neither of them had ever connected to a Perugia cell tower.[70] Chiacchiera also told the court that Salvatore Menzo the individual with whom Aviello claimed to be living was actually living elsewhere in Italy.[71] Lastly, Chiacchiera attempted to find anyone who had seen or interacted with Aviello in Perugia and was unable to find anyone who knew him.[72]

Then there was Monica Napoleoni, who was the first senior lead police officer on the scene (the first was the postal police returning one of Meredith Kercher’s phones, found abandoned):

Monica Napoleoni was also tasked with looking into Luciano Aviello’s story that his brother and a unknown accomplice were the real killers. Aviello had said he was living at #11 Via della Pergola (the murder happened at #7 Via della Pergola) but when Napoleoni went to find #11 no such address exists and after checking with civic records that address has never existed.[73] Amanda Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova pointed out that Aviello was not certain and that he had said it was perhaps #11.[74] Napoleoni told that court that she had checked all the neighbouring properties and Aviello had not been a resident at any of them.[75     SOURCE: The Murder of Meredith Kercher 

Multiple assailants or ‘Lone Wolf’?

Let’s recap:  Aviello was secured as a witness by Dalla Vedova to claim the multiple assailants were other than the accused: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.  Crini, for the prosecution at the Nencini appeal put it to Aviello that he had been ‘convinced’ to make up this story by Bongiorno.  Bongiorno claimed his testimony was irrelevant.  Francesco Sollecito, Raffaele’s father. said it was ‘laughable’ to claim that he or Bongiorno had offered to pay off Aviello.

fracesco

Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele: ‘My son has never seen a dead body, never mind killed anyone.’

Yet Aviello stood by his claim to the very end that he was bribed to subvert justice and at the end of January 2018 he was cleared.  So what exactly was this about?

The Naples Camorra

Being a member of the notorious Camorra Aviello, is ipso facto anti-state and anti-police, not to mention governed by an oath of omerta (=silence: thou shalt not grass) nor help the police in any way.

Who are the Mariano family of Secondigliano in Naples?

Robert Salviano who wrote a book about the Camorra writes in an excerpt in VANITY FAIR:

in 2010, the Secessionists themselves split into two groups—veterans of the war with Di Lauro, known as the Old Colonels, and upstarts led by a notoriously violent kid in his early 20s, known as Mariano, who rides around not on a motor scooter but on a powerful dual-purpose Transalp motorcycle, wearing a full-face helmet in the fashion of killers.”

In 2016 it was reported that, ‘Police posed as hotel staff to capture the fugitive Salvatore Mariano, who had been on the run since March, and was one of the most-wanted members of the Italian mafia’, supposedly one of the 100 most dangerous fugitives in Italy, wanted for drug-smuggling.  This was the world in which Aviello lived, as a Mariano family member.

‘Harrowing scream’

So, let’s take Aviello at face value.  He was offered a substantial amount of money (he claims), towards an expensive sex-change treatment, by Bongiorno, acting for Raffaele Sollecito.  Two of his prison buddies come forward to verify he had boasted of being given this money in exchange for muddying the waters of the trial for the defence.  The core story is that his brother Antonio– who was then a missing person – was essentially the perpetrator, together with a mysterious Albanian named ‘Floris’.  He describes the nature of the attack, including the screams and the hand over the mouth remarkably accurately.  There are finger bruises found around Meredith’s mouth and both Guede and Knox also mention hearing the screams, as did an independent neighbour, who described it as ‘harrowing’.

Where is the missing key to Meredith’s room?

Aviello then says he was approached by a blood-stained Antonio claiming to have the murder weapon – according to Aviello, this was a flick knife – and a set of keys.  Aviello was offering to lead the police to the spot where they were hidden.

What if?  What if Bongiorno and Sollecito did plot to substitute the real murder weapon with a fake one?  And what about the missing key belonging to Meredith?  Did Sollecito supply Aviello with a copy of it or was it the real one?

Mafia

Of course, Aviello being who he is, a mobster involved in Serious Organised Crime, with no respect for law and order, was never going to be taken seriously and indeed, the police never did take him up on his offer.  The courts thought he was a joke, with the judges making quips about his truthfulness, or lack thereof.  However, we have to ask, Why did the Sollecitos and indeed, Knox – via Dalla Vedova, who actually went to Turin to video tape Aviello’s allegations – resort to this tactic?  Did they have an alternative knife and did they have possession of a set of keys?

‘Just a ploy’

In an interview with CSmonitor, Barbie Nadeau is quoted as saying, ‘“I think it’s a ploy by the defense to show that the trial was unfair and that some of the witnesses that the prosecution were allowed to call were ludicrous,” says Barbie Latza Nadeau, the author of “Angel Face – The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox.”

“As a mafia turncoat, he was considered credible enough to be used by the state in mafia-related matters, so Knox’s defense are asking why he shouldn’t be heard on this case.”

But suppose the police, prosecution and the courts had taken Aviello seriously?  It would appear Knox and Sollecito tried to ‘fix’ the trial.  In Italy, defendants are allowed to lie.  Indeed, they are expected to.  However, it does seem Aviello is vindicated in his claim he was bribed by Bongiorno and incited by Dalla Vedova to knowingly lie and mislead the trial.

The court accepted his story as to why he lied.

With form as long as his arm and serving a 17-year prison sentence, together with a history of mafia thuggery – he is said to have killed a dog –  it must have seemed like a miracle to Aviello to have been acquitted!  Especially against the word of a now powerful far right politician, in Bongiorno, and the establishment, as represented by the court and the state prosecution service.

As singer Tom Petty once put it:

‘Even the losers get lucky sometimes’.

 

 

 

 


Sources: UMBRIA24, The Murder of Meredith Kercher com, Court documents.

Extract from the Chieffi report:

2.1.6   Violation of Articles 190, 238 para 5, and 495 Criminal Procedure Code, with respect to the order rejecting the Prosecution’s request for a [new] hearing of Luciano Aviello. Aviello was examined on 18 June 2011 at the request of Knox’s Defence, but he subsequently retracted [his statements] before the Public Prosecutor, who then submitted a request for a new hearing that was denied, even though the original statement [SEE EXPLANATION BELOW] had been received in evidence, in which [i.e., in the retraction] the convict declared that he learned from Sollecito in prison that it was Amanda [SEE EXPLANATION BELOW] who had committed the murder, in the course of an erotic game and also over a question of money, with the knife known as Exhibit 36. [The Prosecutor General argues that] the Hellmann Court did not explain the dispensability of the evidence, seeing that, amongst other things, the interview statement [SEE EXPLANATION BELOW] was received (and it is not clear how it could have been used); the more so in that the statement [SEE EXPLANATION BELOW] made reference to confidences on the part of Sollecito, which could not have been held to be irrelevant for the purposes of the proceedings. Accordingly, the Hellmann Court of Appeal ran afoul of the aforementioned laws, having evaluated only the retractions contained in Aviello’s declarations but not the new statements concerning the confidences allegedly received from Sollecito, as well as violating Article 511bis, 511 para 2, and 515 Criminal Procedure Code for having arranged the receipt of a statement not preceded by an examination of the party concerned.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito don’t want you to know what they did on the eve of the murder of Meredith Kercher

June 19, 2019

Not only were the pair decreed by ALL the courts to have lied ‘umpteen times’ (Marasa-Bruno), they never have revealed what they did that evening.

The time from when they left the cottage at between 4:0 and 5:00 in the evening up until 9:00 or even 11:00 pm remains mysterious.  It is fascinating both omitted to tell police they were in the Old Town of Perugia until about 9:00-ish that evening.  In Waiting to be Heard and her Prison Diary which she knew was being read by prison staff Knox doesn’t mention going into the Old Town at all.

Sollecito in Honor Bound and in his police statements is equally evasive.  However, police knew they were there and Sollecito only mentions it when they do.

Why lie?  What are the pair trying to hide?

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Police also pinged Rudy Guede in the Old Town, who claimed he had popped by for a kebab (the one that caused him an upset stomach inside the cottage).

 

Amanda Knox and the ECHR: Why the judgment is defective

February 6, 2019

Italy’s defence against ECHR and why it was rejected

CDV AND AK

Knox barrister Carlo Dalla Vedova and Amanda Knox

Summary:  The main issues revolve around the question of admissibility.  I have identified two or three possible grounds of appeal on points of law.  They are:

  • Italy submitted that date-wise, the application by Knox had been submitted too early as the hearings had not yet been finalized.  ECHR rejects this saying that the hearings finalized very shortly after.  As far as I can see, this is not so.
  • The ECHR relies on comments by Hellmann Appeal Court, which was largely superseded and outranked by Chieffi Supreme Court, to argue factors of free will.
  • The ECHR relies heavily on police minutes and the fact interpreter Donnino and a police office, RI, fail to record details of their expressions of familiarity with Knox, or make a note that (i) Knox was asked if she wanted a lawyer and declined, (ii) that start and end times are not recorded, and that (iii) hours are condensed into minutes. Is it an error of law to assume these police minutes represented a failure of procedure?

ECHR PANEL

ADMISSIBILITY

 

This takes up the larger part of the ECHR deliberations.  We can see that the dates are out of time and we can see it is keen to ‘get round’ this.  The relatively minor issues of police eagerness to befriend Knox, albeit misguided and improper, has clearly outraged the ECHR.

 

“I. PRELIMINARY REMARKS

 

  1. The subject of the dispute

 

  1. The Court notes from the outset that the applicant’s complaints relate solely to the criminal proceedings at the end of which she was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for slanderous denunciation of DL and not to the other proceedings. of which she was the subject.

 

  1. Failure to exhaust domestic remedies in respect of the complaints under Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (a) and (c) of the Convention

 

  1. The Government submitted that, at the time of the introduction of the application, on 24 November 2013, the applicant’s conviction for slanderous denunciation was not final and that, therefore, this part of the complaint should be declared inadmissible.

 

  1. The Court reiterates that the exhaustion of domestic remedies is assessed, with certain exceptions, at the date of submission of the application to the Court (Baumann v. France, No. 33592/96, § 47, ECHR 2001- V (extracts)).

 

  1. However, it also recalls that it tolerates the completion of the last level of domestic remedies shortly after the filing of the application, but before it is called upon to decide on the admissibility of the application (Zalyan et al. Armenia, Nos. 36894/04 and 3521/07, § 238, March 17, 2016, and Škorjanec v. Croatia, No. 25536/14, § 44, March 28, 2017).

 

  1. In any event, in the present case, the Court notes that the conviction in question was confirmed by the judgment of the Court of Cassation filed on 18 June 2013, at the end of three degrees of jurisdiction, and that the reference to the Assize Court of Appeal concerned only the existence of the aggravating circumstance.
  2. In view of the foregoing, the objection raised by the Government must be rejected.”

 

Was the ECHR application premature?

 

By the ECHR’s own rules, as stated above, the submission was lodged 24 Nov 2013, when all domestic channels were supposed to have been exhausted.  The calunnia conviction against Lumumba had been finalised through Chieffi & Vecchio Supreme Court 18 June 2013.  However, the second – and completely separate – case of calunnia brought by the police and prosecutor did not go through Boninsegna until 14 Jan 2015, on whose motivational report Knox and the ECHR heavily rely, over a year later.

 

Knox was acquitted by Bonisegna, hence, there was nothing for her to appeal against.  Further, Boninsegna had nothing at all to do with the merits of the Lumumba callunia, tried in 2009 and upheld at every stage, even by the egregious Hellmann court, whose judgement was largely expunged.

 

Why does the ECHR rely heavily on Hellmann and Boninsegna and not the superior Supreme and final court of Chieffi?

 

Even curiouser, Knox and the ECHR also rely heavily on quoting Hellmann of 3 Oct 2011.  Yet Hellmann was overrided and superseded by the superior Chieffi Supreme Court, finalised 9 Sept 2013.

 

The ECHR quotes Hellmann at some length, when it surely should have referred to Chieffi.

 

As an example, the judgment, translated from French, quotes Hellman as follows:

 

  1. The Court observes that, in its judgment of 3 October 2011, [Hellmann] the Court of Appeal also emphasized the excessive length of the interrogations, the applicant’s vulnerability and the psychological pressure suffered by her, a pressure which was likely to compromise the spontaneity of his statements, as well as his state of oppression and stress. It considered that the applicant had, in fact, been tortured to death, resulting in an unbearable psychological situation from which, in order to extricate herself, she had made incriminating statements in respect of DL (see paragraph 85 (8) and (10) above). ).

 

Yet the Chieffi Supreme Court in spiking much of Hellman’s lower court judgment writes:

 

So Knox was in a position, even after an initial although long moment of bewilderment, amnesia and confusion, to regain control of herself and understand the gravity of the conduct she was adopting; at the very least, in the days immediately following her heedless initiative she could have pointed out to the investigators that she had led them in a false direction, availing herself of the support of her Defence team, given that in the meantime she had acquired the status of a suspect. Her persistence in her criminal attitude (discovered only through her taped conversation with her mother) proves the clear divergence with behaviour that could be interpreted as an attempt at cooperation, as the Defence would have it, and does not lend itself to evaluation as a response to a state of necessity, the very existence of which depends on a condition of inevitability and thus on the non‐existence of any alternatives, so that it cannot even be recognized [as existing] as [her own] erroneous hypothesis. Neither can the exercise of any right be invoked, given that the right of [self] defence does not extend under the legal system of any constitutional state to the point of allowing one to implicate an innocent person so seriously – it is worth recalling that he [Lumumba] underwent a period of incarceration uniquely and exclusively on the basis of the false accusations of the defendant.

 

 

How Material is Knox’ Claim of being denied Legal Assistance?

 

Having ruled in favour of admissibility, the ECHR ruled that as the nature of Knox’ complaints of being hit and being placed under great duress triggered at least the lowest level of a potential Article 3 complaint, that of degrading and inhuman treatment, Italy should have taken it upon itself to launch an investigation of its own initiative into the allegations made against the interpreter [Donnino] and another officer [RI].  ‘RI’ claimed to have cuddled Knox, stroked her hair and held her hands.  This, the ECHR rules, had the effect of undermining Knox’ dignity and independence of will.

 

It has several criticisms surrounding this behavior including the fact it is not minuted in the police notes, and nor is the start and end times of the supposed ‘interrogations’ at 1:45 and 5:45.

 

The serious issue of course though is that of being allowed a lawyer. The ECHR writes of Italy’s defense (‘the Government’)

 

  1. The Government observes that the statements made by the complainant on 6 November 2007 in the absence of a lawyer were declared unusable in relation to the offenses under investigation, namely the murder of MK and the sexual violence perpetrated at against him. However, it states that, according to the established case law of the Court of Cassation (judgments Nos. 10089 of 2005, 26460 of 2010 and 33583 of 2015), spontaneous statements made by a person under investigation in the absence of a defender can in any case, be used when they constitute, as in this case, an offense in themselves. He added that the applicant had the assistance of a lawyer when the first indications of his responsibility for the murder of Mr K appeared.

 

  1. In addition, the Government alleged that the applicant had been sentenced for slanderous disclosure not only on the basis of the statements made on 6 November 2007, but also on the basis of “a multitude of other circumstances”, recalled in the judgment of conviction of the Assize Court of 5 December 2009 (see paragraph 80 above).

 

  1. The complainant submits that she was not informed of her right to legal assistance during her hearings on 6 November 2007, since a defense lawyer was not appointed until 8.30 am that day, and denounces the impact of the use of this evidence on the fairness of the proceedings.

 

  1. Admissibility

  2. Noting that this complaint is not manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 35 § 3 (a) of the Convention and that it does not face any other ground of inadmissibility, the Court declares it admissible.

  3. Application of general principles to the facts of this case

 

  • The applicability of Article 6 of the Convention
  • 146: <snipped various case law>

 

  1. The Court notes at the outset that the first question in this case is whether Article 6 § 1 of the Convention was applicable to the facts of the case. It recalls in that regard that, on 6 November 2007, the applicant was heard twice: at 1.45 am and 5.45 am

 

  1. It notes that the two statements were originally collected as part of the police’s acquisition of summary information, during which time the complainant had not been formally investigated.

 

  1. With regard to the statements taken at 1.45 am, the Court reiterates that the guarantees offered by Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 of the Convention apply to any “accused” in the autonomous sense of the term. the Convention. There is a “criminal charge” where a person is formally charged by the competent authorities or where the acts of the latter on account of the suspicions against them have a significant impact on his situation (Simeonovi, cited above). , §§ 110-111).

 

  1. Applying this principle to the present case, the Court therefore wonders whether, at the time of the hearings, the domestic authorities had reasonable grounds to suspect that the applicant was involved in the murder of Mr K.

 

  1. It observes in that regard that the applicant had already been heard by the police on 2, 3 and 4 November 2007 and that she had been tapped. It notes that the facts of the case also show that, on the evening of 5 November 2007, the attention of the investigators focused on the applicant (see paragraphs 12-14 above). She notes that while she went to the police station spontaneously, she was asked questions in the corridor by police officers who then continued to interrogate her in a room where she had been interrogated. subjected twice, for hours, to close interrogations.

 

  1. In the Court’s view, even assuming that these elements are not sufficient to conclude that, at 1.45 am on 6 November 2007, the applicant could be considered to be a suspect within the meaning of its case-law, it is necessary to note that, as the Government acknowledged, when she made her 5:45 statements to the public prosecutor, the applicant had formally acquired the status of a person under indictment. The Court therefore considers that there is no doubt that, at 5.45 am at the latest, the applicant was the subject of a criminal charge within the meaning of the Convention (Ibrahim and Others, cited above, § 296). .

(b) The existence of overriding reasons for the restriction of the right of access to a lawyer.

 

Knox and her lawyers again has a second bite of the cherry and rehashes what was surely res judicata by Chieffi:

2.1.16 ‐ Inconsistency and manifest lack of logic in the reasoning concerning the failure to recognize an aggravating circumstance in the aims underlying the confirmed offence of calunnia. [The Prosecutor General argues as follows:] In upholding the offence of calunnia as charged against Ms Knox, the second instance court ruled out any link with the murder. It was not explained on what basis the court had inferred that the young woman had been stressed by the interviewers and that therefore she had committed the calunnia to “free” herself from the questions of the investigators, seeing that none of the young people who were living in that house, none of Ms Kercher’s friends, and many others in the days immediately following the murder, all of whom were summoned and interrogated, had the insane idea of committing a calunnia to free themselves from the weight of the unpleasant situation.

 

<snip>

 

[43] The objective facts are therefore absolutely irrefutable, as was deemed in both trials; whereas the argument adopted from a subjective point of view, according to which the young woman resorted to extreme behaviour by giving the name of Lumumba only in order to get out of a situation of mental discomfort into which she was driven by the excessive zeal and unjustifiable intemperance of the investigators, cannot be well‐founded given that – as it was ascertained – the accusation of Lumumba was maintained after her first statements and re‐affirmed in the letter, which was written in complete solitude and at a certain distance in time from the first uncontrolled reaction in response to an insistent request for a name by the police.

[Chieffi, Supreme Court, 9 Sept 2013]

 

In other words, the Chieffi Supreme Court overrides the lower Hellmann Appeal Court in its claim that Knox blurted out Lumumba’s name because of stress.  Yet the Knox defence, Dalla Vedova and the ECHR relies on Hellmann rather than Chieffi.

The whole issue of whether Knox was denied a lawyer, I am sure could be an article in its own right.

 

CONCLUSION

 

So, we have a heavy reliance on the judgments of Hellmann and Bonisegna, when it seems to me, Hellmann is overrided by Chieffi who upholds Hellmann’s own final conviction anyway and Boninsegna is well past the earliest admissibility date, quite aside from not being directly involved in the Lumumba calumny at all.

 

Having ruled that objections by Italy can be swept aside, including that of failure to exhaust domestic avenues, the ECHR then goes on to rule on Knox’ lawyer status without proper reference to the latest and highest courts.  I can understand the argument that Italy should itself have investigated the police brutality alleged by Knox anyway.  The rest of the reasoning seems misguided in light of what higher courts than those referred to have found.

Sources:

JUDGEMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF CASSATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ITALY (PRESIDED OVER BY DR SEVERO CHIEFFI) IN THE MURDER OF MEREDITH KERCHER

Translated from Italian into English by www.perugiamurderfile.org 9 September 2013

ECHR recent judgments List of judgments and decisions

The Murder of Meredith Kercher.comECHR

Amanda Knox demands $10,000 to talk to law students

January 28, 2018

ak hand

Amanda Knox after the dramatic annulment in 2015

Acquitted ex- murder defendant hires herself out for talks

Row over Knox charging to speak to students

A media storm erupted when it transpired that the acquitted murder defendant was paid ‘up to $10,000’ to speak in front of law students at Roanoke College last week

Amanda Knox is reported as having registered as a speaker with an entertainments agency. Her entry shows she expects between US$5,000 – US$10,000 plus expenses for an appearance.

ak agency

Kercher Attorney slams the enterprise as ‘inappropriate’

The Meredith Kercher attorney, Fransesco Maresca is quoted deploring her tactlessness towards the victim’s family.

ANSA, the Italian News Agency, reports him as saying:

I hope I can convey how inappropriate this behavior is and how the family of Meredith Kercher can be adversely affected.

‘Demonized’

The gist of Knox’ talks are that she is a victim of ‘demonization‘ by the Italian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini and the press. In particular, Nick Pisa of the DAILY MAIL, has been hammered in the Netflix documentary, ‘Amanda Knox‘, as writing salacious reports during the trial.  The Netflix film was also shown at Roanoke College the day before as the background to her talk, which was on the theme of ‘Truth Matters‘.

Attendees at the event report Knox spoke ’emotionally’.  Her book Waiting to be Heard was also on sale at a discounted price.

Misogyny

Knox maintains she is the victim of misogyny and a belief the aggravated murder was part of some kind of satanist rite by the Roman Catholic prosecutor.  Court records do not support her claim that this was the grounds for her prosecution, although the fact of Halloween – the murder took place 1 Nov 2007, the day after – as was her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito‘s penchant for self-proclaimed satanist Marilyn Manson, his expressed wish on FACEBOOK for ‘extreme experiences‘ and the violent manga material found at his apartment, were observations brought up by Mignini at the initial remand trial before Judge Matteini. Matteini concluded the crime was so serious and the likelihood of Knox absconding to the US was high. Thus she remanded the pair in custody.

Convicted, then unexpectedly freed

After the pair were convicted in 2010, after a trial, the convictions were upheld by the Appeal Court. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, who annulled the conviction in 2015 on the grounds of a ‘flawed investigation‘ and ‘undue press influence‘. The judges, Marasca and Bruno, did however, remark in their written reasons that it was a judicial fact she was certainly present at the cottage during the murder, did wash off Kercher’s blood from her hands and did cover up for Rudy Guede, also convicted.

‘The burglary scene was staged”, the courts ruled

The final Supreme Court ruled that the burglary was staged. In the Netflix film, Knox claims, ‘Guede was the local burglar and he burgled my house.’

The pair were freed for the legal reason of ‘Not Guilty due to insufficient evidence‘. The words, ‘innocent‘ and ‘exonerated‘ do not appear anywhere in the judgment. In addition, the conviction for falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba of the assault and murder was upheld, for which Knox served three years, in addition to one year in remand.

Raffaele Sollecito bid for compensation rejected

Knox’ co-defendant Sollecito failed in his attempt to win €500,000 in compensation last year, as it was deemed he lied time and again to the police, thus excluding himself from any because of misconduct during the investigation.

‘I was wrongfully imprisoned for four years’ Knox tells audiences

In her latest move, Knox is touring America demanding up to $10,000 per event claiming she has been declared innocent and exonerated. She tells audiences that she was ‘wrongfully imprisoned‘ for four years. However, that conviction, for Calunnia (=US equivalent Obstruction of Justice) against Patrick Lumumba has never been overturned, and remains on her record.

Amanda Knox has an application to the European Court of Human Rights outstanding, since 2013, claiming a breach of Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 3 (torture).

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
midnight.

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.

Conclusion

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
-Metallica

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 file.com, 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 FreelanceDesk.com 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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