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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.


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