Archive for the ‘Justice for Meredith Kercher’ Category

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


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  • The ECHR relies on comments by Hellmann Appeal Court, which was largely superseded and outranked by Chieffi Supreme Court, to argue factors of free will.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?




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.




  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.




[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.




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.



Translated from Italian into English by 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.


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.


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

In addition, it notes:

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

What the Florence Court of Appeal Found 10 February 2017

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

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

[Excerpt Police Statement 6 Nov 2007]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

SourcesThe Murder of Meredith Kercher

True Justice for Meredith Kercher


The Nencini Files

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 11

Day 11, 30 January 2014

It hit me like a train” – Amanda Knox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 10

Day 10, 20 January 2014

A pranknoun

  1. 1.

a practical joke or mischievous act.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


Media reaction from The Daily Beast has the following reaction:


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



The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 9

Day 9, 9 January 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There is some light relief.

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

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

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

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







The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 8

Day 8, 17 December 2013

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

Today sees the closing submissions of the Knox defence.

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

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

The emails can be read in full here on TMOMK

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

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

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

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

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

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

She tells us she knows who the killer is:

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

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

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

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

Then comes Knox’ latest theme :

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNOXI am not a psychopath.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally, Dall Vedova’s last point:

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

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

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

There was a rush to judgment.

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






The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 7

Day 7, 16 December 2013

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serena Perna gets straight to the point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He asks, does DNA fly?  The bathmat:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




The Nencini Papers

September 27, 2017

nenciniDay 6

Day 6, 26 November 2013

Get away, you beast, for this man

does not come tutored by your sister;

he comes to view your punishments.

                                    Inferno, Canto XII, lines 18–20 Dante


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crini’s testimony concludes at 14:15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He refutes that Knox was under pressure by the police.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Knox defence will appear on the 16th December.  

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