raffpressconferenceWell, Let’s See What’s Really Going On in Italy

Rome, July 2 2014

“I am not Amanda Marie Knox.” (Really?)

Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers organized a press conference in Rome to explain the points of their appeal document. They had probably noticed, when the appeal was filed, that the media only reported that the appeal had been filed, and no one described its content.

You need indeed a strong motivation to study 400 pages in legalese and report about it. And nobody in the media has that motivation anymore. Not for an old case which should have been closed forever in March 2013 by the Supreme Court, and which instead got completely out of hand, sinking into return-to-square-one mistakes and technicalities.

We had admired, from the technical point of view, the appeal written by Sollecito’s lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori. They managed to translate all arguments of innocence into a procedural question, because that is the only thing the Supreme Court considers, the critique of the reasoning in the ruling. You can’t say anymore “this piece of evidence is wrong for these reasons”, you have to say “the reasoning in the ruling about this piece of evidence is wrong for these reasons, violates these laws, ignores this jurisprudence.”

An operation that Sollecito’s lawyers run excellently. They probably did not feel happy that such a supreme theoretical effort passed unnoticed in the media. That’s maybe why they felt like explaining their points, together with Raffaele, in a simple chat with the reporters, eye to eye, and with no legalese.

There’s nothing easier than appealing a ruling full of mistakes, and Sollecito’s lawyers went to great length in their reasoning and jurisprudence to expose them.

They even “worked” for Amanda, when they demolished the reasoning in the ruling about the witness Quintavalle, who one year after the arrests said he remembered that Amanda, the morning after the crime, went to his store, to do nothing… For the judge that bizarre testimony –solicited, like others, by a local reporter– was considered totally reliable. Bongiorno and Maori demonstrated that it’s not.


Bongiorno and Maori confuted the whole Florence ruling, but you can tell that they still fear that the SC may ignore their explanation and uphold that ruling. So, they inserted a subliminal message to those judges: if you still want to believe the “evidence” that was used to convict, at least consider that specifically against Sollecito there’s nothing, since he was for sure at home until 9:26 and there is none of his DNA on what you call the murder weapon. Therefore, if you have to convict –if you still want to believe that there is his footprint in the bathroom, that his DNA is found on the hook of a bra– convict him only for “favoreggiamento”, for helping with the cleaning after the crime.

In this way he would be sentenced to jail time already served, and nobody would go to jail. And Amanda, after her conviction, may still ask for a revision trial if her lawyers find new elements to contest.

Bongiorno worked pro-Knox, but even more against Knox. Her plan-B was a separation of Raffaele’s position from Amanda’s, almost an accusation, perhaps not that fascinating, but which every lawyer would do. What else can you do if you explained away each point in all possible ways but still they don’t want to understand?

Actually there are a few problems for the SC to comply with plan B, because what Bongiorno stated today, “Nobody saw Raffaele out of his house”, as we know, is not true. The Florence ruling, indeed, believed the testimony of the tramp who testified to have seen Amanda and Raffaele together from 9:30 pm. So it wouldn’t be possible for the SC to take Bongiorno’s plan-B without removing something from the Florence ruling. They would have to at least dismiss Curatolo, and then they can convict Amanda for murder or unintentional murder, and Raffaele for the cleaning and cover up.

However, the plan-B, that Bongiorno calls the sub-ordine request, that we call the subliminal message, which is usual to be proposed, and is almost mandatory, doesn’t mean that those who propose it believe it to be true.

Actually the subliminal message had been sent also during the Florence trial, and wasn’t heard. But now Bongiorno has one more reason to propose it, and doesn’t want that reason to be wasted: according to the Florence verdict Amanda went out in the evening since her text to Lumumba was said to come from the signal of a tower that serves the cottage area at 8:35 pm. We solved that problem in 2007, when we realized that in truth there were technical reasons for a cellphone to appear hooked to a tower in delay. The Florence ruling, instead, simply took that data as a proof that she was out. So, she’s been running a lot… since five minutes later she would return home to open the door to Popovic…who testified regarding Amanda’s presence at the house of Raffaele.

This is obviously just another mistake of the Florence ruling, but Bongiorno uses it to reinforce the plan B in a way that if the SC forgets about Curatolo and Popovic, then they’ll still be able to say that Amanda went out, but not Raffaele. And that’s how Raffaele can be convicted only for the aftermath.

Bongiorno explained these things today. She didn’t say that Amanda went out. She said “according to the Florence ruling, Amanda went out, since her cellphone hooked the cottage tower, you take the conclusions”.  But we can’t take that conclusion that she suggests.


The press conference was preceded by a particular kind of advertising, with people spreading the rumor that Raffaele had changed his version of the story, saying that Amanda had gone out, and suggested, with other details too, that she was involved in the crime.

That didn’t happen. Raffaele only repeated Bongiorno’s concept that “the court said that she went out”. He reminded us that he is not Amanda Knox, that he can only speak for himself, that he was for sure at home, and underlined that in his opinion and in the opinion of his whole family she is innocent. He also repeated Bongiorno’s conjecture that Amanda’s memoriale, (which memoriale? The first, the second, the third?) exonerates him. We think that his exoneration will not be with “Amanda’s memoriale” –as it always existed and never exonerated him– but eventually the demolishing of the Florence ruling performed in the two excellent appeals of his lawyers and Amanda’s lawyers, Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga.

Then he even complained that the press (in truth, some press) had written that he would have changed his version of what happened (didn’t he know that that information was passed to the press by a couple of women who were speaking on his behalf?)

“Only a fool or a criminal would change version after 7 years, and I’m not a fool nor a criminal”, he indeed concluded.

In other words, he didn’t say anything different from before. In the evening he tweeted the article from the New York Times website, which ironically, after all his efforts to be considered as Raffaele Sollecito, keeps calling him “Amanda Knox Co-Defendant”. So, since he likes it so much, we imitate it…

In sum, this press conference looked like another subliminal message, to the media this time. It was like saying “write that she went out. We don’t say it, but you write it…” Unfortunately we understand italian well and we can’t write what we didn’t hear. We were there and we didn’t hear Raffaele and his lawyers say that Amanda went out, as some press had, wrongly, anticipated (because it also exists the journalism that reports on the future…).


So, what happens now: the accusers will file their counter-appeals, the defense teams will answer.

Then what can the SC do? Anything goes.

They can uphold the conviction, and the defendants can only hope to have a revision trial, which is quite difficult to obtain.

They can order a new trial for one or both of them.

They can reduce the penalties for one or both of them.

They can cancel the conviction for both…

Appointment next year in Rome, to appeal a conviction in the Supreme Court.

By Frank Sfarzo