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Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and the forgotten murderer

“Innocence is lucky if it finds the same protection as guilt” – Francois La Rochefoucauld

The real forgotten man of the Meredith Kercher murder case is Rudy Guede – the lone killer who has been allowed to get away with a reduced sentence and is likely to be out on parole within a year.  There is no doubt that he was the murderer.  His DNA and fingerprints were found in Meredith’s room, on her clothes and possessions and on her body.  His shoe print was left in her blood.  After the murder he fled to Germany where he was captured later.

Guede’s background and early criminal history

Author Nina Burleigh in her book, “The Fatal Gift of Beauty” provides much information on Guede’s background and his descent into criminality and Patrick King has written a biographical article, ‘The Known Facts About Rudy Guede’ on the website ‘Gather’.  In summary, after being abandoned by his father, Rudy Guede was ‘adopted’ by the wealthy Caporalis, the richest family in Perugia, who owned the Liomatic vending machine company and the town’s basketball team.  In spite of their best efforts, they failed to arrest his decline into criminality.

In the 33 days leading up to the killing of Meredith Kercher he was arrested 6 times.  His modus operandi in carrying out these crimes matched his behaviour in the Kercher case in many important respects.  Yet he was released without charge every time.  He was allowed to make phone calls and then, on someone’s authorisation, he was released.

Police freed Guede and tried to implicate two innocent students

Who did he call?  Who ordered him to be released immediately with no further investigation?  Whoever is responsible has blood on their hands because if Guede had been detained – and there were compelling reasons why he should have been – Meredith Kercher would still be alive today.  This is the failing that corrupt officials most want to protect.  The effort to frame Knox and Sollecito was linked to an equally intense effort to deflect attention from Guede and minimise the overwhelming evidence that he killed Meredith Kercher alone.

Despite this overwhelming evidence, Giuliano Mignini, the Perugian prosecutor, persisted with his joint enterprise Satanic sex orgy theory of her death and continued to prosecute two innocent students, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accusing them of conspiring with Guede, a man they did not even know.  Knox had been introduced to him, whilst in the company of others.  Sollecito had never met him at all.  There was no credible evidence against the two students.

They were convicted in 2009.  Guede had chosen a separate fast track trial and had already been declared guilty by then.  The fast track option guaranteed him a shorter sentence if the decision went against him, as he knew it would.  In 2011 Knox and Sollecito were dramatically released when an appeal court presided over by Judge Pratillo Hellmann declared that “they did not commit the crime” of murder and the charge that they simulated a break-in was dismissed, “because the crime did not exist” – in other words – the break-in must have been real and was probably the work of Guede.  Yet two years later they are still being pursued by an out-of control judiciary while Guede prepares for parole.

Incompetence and Byzantine logic goes all the way to the top                                                                                        

The dysfunctional Italian justice system has failed Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito and the Supreme Court has reinstated the ‘sex game’ theory that was dropped by the prosecution in 2008.  It has ordered a new trial to be held in Florence and it has instructed the new court to find them guilty.  The full judgement report of the Supreme Court is a jumble of twisted logic that defies rational analysis.  It appears to have been written by the prosecution and incorporates many of their disproved theories.  If proof were needed that the Italian system is broken, this is it.  Much of the report attempts to blame the Hellmann court for failing to endorse conclusions that were arrived at in Guede’s trial.  Yet his trial was conducted without reference to Knox and Sollecito who were not represented and were therefore unable to challenge any of the evidence that was presented.

Although the Supreme Court’s role is supposedly one of ensuring that procedures are properly followed in the lower courts, in this case it has published a detailed 74 page report in which it overturns decisions and judgements by Hellmann and reinstates discredited evidence and witnesses.  All this is done without the benefit of considering any of the original evidence that was presented in court or questioning any of the witnesses who gave evidence.

Some of the Supreme Court’s Guede logic explained

Here are just some of the bizarre contortions that the Supreme Court has concocted (explanations first, followed by Supreme Court translations in italics – they are tedious and often incomprehensible but it would be unfair to tidy them up.  They deserve to be seen.):

1.  The Supreme Court has decided that Knox opened the door and allowed Guede to enter the apartment to murder Meredith Kercher.  It has reached this conclusion after overturning Hellmann’s dismissal of the charge of faking the break-in.  The break-in was simulated, says the Supreme Court.  Therefore Guede must have entered through the door.  Meredith was a decent girl who would not have let him in.  Therefore Knox must have done so.

“It was certain that Guede had entered the victim’s home thanks to the intervention of those who possessed the keys, being able validly to exclude the possibility that the victim had opened it, seeing that she never had, it would not have made sense to simulate a break-in (quite apart from the fact that the young English woman was having an affair for the past two weeks with Giacomo Silenzi, who lived in the other apartment at the house on Via della Pergola 7, unoccupied at the time of the offense and she did not intend to respond to Guede’s advances).”

2.  The Supreme Court believes that there was more than one attacker.  Judge Hellmann’s conclusion was that Knox and Sollecito were not involved.  He accepted evidence that the murder was probably carried out by a lone assailant and the defence teams produced witnesses who were able to demonstrate that the attack could easily have been carried out by one man.  The Supreme Court refuses to accept this and prefers the evidence of the prosecution’s experts over the defence.  From the Supreme Court’s perspective, Hellmann was wasting his time listening to any experts, save for those of the prosecution.  He should have accepted their evidence that there must have been multiple attackers and used this as a plank in a construction of a guilty verdict.

Hellmann was satisfied that the prosecution had failed to prove that Knox and Sollecito were present because there was no credible evidence that placed them at the scene. Once the so-called DNA evidence had been dismissed by independent experts and the witnesses were found to have been unreliable at best, Hellmann had no choice but to acquit.  If the prosecution or the Supreme Court believes that other persons were involved, it should be for others to provide evidence of this, not the Knox and Sollecito defence teams.

“Even considering the type of activity undertaken by the attacker, it is very difficult to imagine an isolated and individual action, because it includes actions to strip the victim (who was fully dressed when the aggressor came), to violate her in her private parts and to strike her with the knife, and the victim was definitely grabbed by the wrists to avoid a reaction, since the DNA of Guede was found on the cuff of the sweatshirt of young English woman; but the varied nature of the lesions, their number and their wide distribution led to the belief that there was more than one attacker. In particular, it appeared that many injuries were caused by activities of grasping, others with a pointed and cutting weapon, they were very different in size and type of injury and had struck the victim, now from the right and now the left. This led to the conclusion that more attackers holding her limited the girl’s movement, and struck her from right and left, depending on the position taken with respect to her, but above all covering the mouth, in order to avoid repeating the cry that had been heard, as represented by the two witnesses mentioned above.”

3.  The Supreme Court maintains that Hellman’s rulings are inconsistent with Guede’s guilty verdict, which was arrived at before Knox and Sollecito’s verdicts because of Guede’s fast track trial.  Therefore it states that Hellmann must be wrong.  In other words, a trial in which Knox and Sollecito were not represented and in which evidence was presented that their lawyers had no way of challenging, must be accepted as the final word on the crime and any subsequent trial verdict should be consistent with this first verdict (which has already been ratified by the Supreme Court).

Guede was found guilty of acting with others to murder Meredith Kercher.  Hellmann has concluded that Knox and Sollecito were not present when the murder took place.  Therefore (according to the Supreme Court’s logic), some unknown others must have been present with Guede and it is up to Knox and Sollecito and their lawyers to work out who these others might be and find them.  Otherwise it must be assumed that Knox and Sollecito were Guede’s co-conspirators and must be found guilty in their next trial.

This particular example of the Supreme Court’s logic implies that there was no need for Knox and Sollecito to have any trials at all, since their guilt has been definitively determined by Guede’s trial process.  What Guede said in his trial must be believed if it contradicts anything that Knox and Sollecito claim.

The definitive conviction of Rudy Guede had been reached, but the Court of Second Instance considered it to be of a particularly weak indicative level, “since from the moment the judiciary examined Guede it was celebrated by using the fasttrack’, weakness that would be affirmed in breach of the principles affirmed by this Court (which had to recognize that even a plea bargain may be acquired and evaluated pursuant to art. 238 cod.proc.pen.) and would have led the Court of Second Instance not to concern itself with the content of that final judgment, even when observations on the debatability of the decision of First Instance were at odds with the decision given, if found to be unsustainable.  Likewise on the point of complaint about a lack of reason.  The judgment of absolute unreliability expressed on the declarations of the same would not be correct, since Guede had never changed what he said about others being present, indicating always the current defendants.

4.  Hellmann found Knox and Sollecito not guilty of faking the break-in ‘because the crime did not exist’.  In other words, Hellmann accepted the defence’s argument that a break-in was the method used by Meredith’s murderer to access the property and that this had nothing to do with Knox and Sollecito.  By implication, the perpetrator was Guede.  The Supreme Court does not accept this, because Guede was never charged with breaking and entering, so Hellman has undermined the prosecutors and courts that handled Guede’s trial and appeal.  The Supreme Court believes that Knox and Sollecito were the only people who had any motive to arrange or fake a break-in.  Of course, Knox and Sollecito were not represented at Guede’s trial and their lawyers were never able to argue that the break-in was probably Guede’s work.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has resurrected the prosecution’s arguments about how the break-in was staged, so has exceeded its remit by straying into making decisions about the evidence.  Hellmann’s appeal court considered expert witness testimony about the break-in and concluded decisively that it really happened and Knox and Sollecito were not responsible.  Defence experts were easily able to prove that breaking and entering through the broken window was not only possible, but likely and attempts by the prosecution to suggest that the pattern of broken glass at the scene implied that the window was broken from inside had no credibility.

This behaviour by the Supreme Court renders appeal trials unnecessary since any decision made, whatever the evidence, can be ignored at whim at a higher level.

Lack of motivation and manifest illogicality of the same regarding lack of simulation of the crime (of breaking and entering): the acquittal of the two accused of the crime of simulation, ‘because the crime does not exist’, not in their failure to establish criminal liability, but was instead the result of the paradoxical recognition of the responsibility of Guede, who was not charged with this, to have committed the attempted theft, and who also had been convicted by a final judgment under art. 238a cod.proc.pen. for the crime of aggravated murder, but not for the simulation of crime, recognized in the judgment of him, but considered attributable to others partaking in the crime. The arguments raised by the Appeal Court would not be able to support the opposite view to that put forward at First Instance in adherence to the available data, failing to show how the thief had been able to climb at night without a ladder, how absence of traces could be explained, given that the climb had to have been done twice, the first to open the shutters and the second after the launch of stone, how could it be explained that the broken glass were all found inside the house and had not prevented the ascent of the climber, who did not leave traces of blood on the windowsill. Then, if the thief had actually broken glass before entering, one cannot do not see how the glass could be found even under clothing.  Furthermore we ask how the petitioner can explain this happening when Kercher was still awake, why the thief would go to all this trouble and then not steal anything, except the phones of the above, once who became caught up in the killing frenzy, after a violent approach, also in terms of sex. The alternative hypotheses formulated by the lower courts would have to be tested by using inductive reasoning and instead not only were subjected to logical scrutiny and verification with the findings of the proceedings, but they were certainties which were made fallacious consequences arising from the initial hypothesis, with absolutely reprehensible circular reasoning.

As for the simulation of the offence, the plea advanced on the point would be equally unacceptable to the defence, as proclaiming the innocence of Sollecito, the lower courts had not been able to do other than to deny the existence of the fact; given the fact that the offence was considered to exist in summary proceedings that saw Guede, does not constitute an aporia, since the conclusion was arrived at in the light of a much more limited outline.  The Appeal Court found specifically that they were at least two and more persuasive reconstructions of historical fact, so has to undermine the foundations of the conviction that only presupposed Sollecito and Knox could have had an interest in simulating the theft.

With the reason discussed on page. 93 of the submission, the Procurator General has complained with soundness against to the reconstruction made by the Court of Appeal, on the facts established in the immediacy of site inspection in the locus delicti commissi, held to point to simulation of crime, arguing that it is interwoven with factual inferences arising from conjecture, and no reliable evidence base, in sharp contrast, among others, to reconstruction made in the context of trials held against Rudi Guede to the crime of murder, concluded with a judgment of this Court dated 16.12.2010, under which the simulation was deemed to be definite and certainly attributable to entities other than Guede.  According to the judgment of First Instance, Guede had no interest to simulate the theft (and in fact was not sentenced for that offense, even though the fact was discussed in the judgment that he was given, accepting that it had occurred), where the interest was recognised to be in the hands of the person who allowed Guede to enter the lodging of the young student, using keys (given that no force had been detected.) The simulation of the offense was deemed to exist on the basis of a set of data of high demonstrative aptitude, constituting a valid inferential basis, which was followed by a logical dissertation from p. 35 to page 42 of the judgment of First Instance, which is anchored in: 1) the fact that nothing was missing from Romanelli’s room that had been targeted (even jewels and computer), 2) the fact that there were no evidence of climbing on the outside wall of the house to cover the distance of 3.5 meters between the ground floor and the window from which the mysterious thief would come, and there was no trace of trampling of plants on the ground below the window, 3) the fact that there were no traces of blood on the window sill from the climber who would have been cut by shards while sneaking inside the room, 4) the fact that the glass shards were found inside and not all outside the window, a sign that the stone had been thrown with closed shutters that formed a shield and prevented the fragments from spreading outside, 5) the fact that the pieces were abundant over the clothes and objects that would have been ransacked by the thief, which showed that the ransack had occurred before the glass broke, 6) the fact that the noise of the rock, in the event launched from the ground, would have aroused the concerns of the young English woman, so as to make her ask for help outside the house, before being attacked (the expected useful period of time between the two operations and the launch of the climb). The analytical dissertation of the first judges, in the light of these insights into the improbability of the dynamics that accredit entry into the house through the window, not only for the hard work, but also for the uncertainty of success which it presented, for the reiteration and the noise of the movements that would have attracted the attention of those who had passed on the street, has been entirely overlooked by an overlapping axiomatic assumption, excluding Guede from interest in simulating the theft.

5.  The Supreme Court states that Hellmann’s appeal court should have considered the final judgement against Guede and ensured that his court’s decisions were consistent with that ruling, rather than being based on the evidence that was presented to him in his own court.  Again, this ludicrous ruling renders the holding of appeal trials completely unnecessary if another defendant in the same case has opted for a fast track trial and his or her conviction has been ratified by the Supreme Court in a separate hearing and others have been implicated.

In this particular example, the Supreme Court believes that an attempted theft was faked after the murder and that this fake theft was not carried out by Guede.  (I am not making this up.)  The earlier Supreme Court confirmation of Guede’s guilty verdict endorses this theory, so Hellmann must accept it as well and use it as evidence against Knox and Sollecito.

Failure to evaluate the content of the final judgment against Rudy Guede

On page 20 of the relevant judgment (no. 7195/2011) the Supreme Court pointed out that it “must be observed, as the lower Court has properly considered, that subsequent to the homicidal act, a supplemental activity occurred that was intended to simulate an attempted theft, which the lower Courts and the defence of the plaintiff himself agree to have occurred at the hands of others and not the accused”.

So the contested decision opens the way to the defect complained of as violation of the law and lack of adequate reasoning in the crucial passage of the reconstruction of the crime that relates to the presence of accomplices in the crime, in the home as well as in the availability of the victim, one of Knox on that accursed evening, the profile that is certainly not meant as automatic proof, but which constitutes a significant segment in the reconstructive itinerary, to be assessed together with the other evidence. On this point the Court of Reassessment must make a closer examination bearing in mind these regulations, as well as an evaluation of the data in the wider osmotic analysis of indicators.

6.  Guede made a Skype call from Germany while he was on the run.  It was recorded by the Perugia police.  During this conversation and following leading questions from the friend he was talking to, Guede appeared to agree that Sollecito might have been present when Meredith Kercher was killed.  The Supreme Court criticises Hellmann for not giving sufficient weight to this transcript and suggests that it is a valid item of evidence that should be used to confirm Sollecito’s guilt.  Once again the Supreme Court strays from procedure into the domain of weighing items of evidence, which is not its role.

The Court of Second Instance, for completeness, should not have disregarded the conclusions that emerged from the First Instance judgment of Guede (confirmed in subsequent stages of court proceedings) in which Giacomo Benedetti, Rudy’s trustworthy friend, his former classmate, had asked him to tell him, in the course of a connection via Skype, if it had been Amanda or Lumumba who had murdered, and Guede had told him that the text, that the girl “had nothing to do with it” adding that the congolose (Lumumba) “nothing to do with the shit”; Guede had told his friend that the man responsible was an Italian, and in response to the question of Sollecito, he answered in vague terms, with a phrase like “boh, I do not know, I think so, yes”, repeating it several times (cft. p. gup 41 of the judgment the Court of Perugia 28.10.2008.) The same defense of Sollecito reported a passage of the judgment of conviction at First Instance of Guede, in which it was bluntly concluded that it was impossible to believe him. The judgement of his total unreliability in the process that involved him directly, could not be overcome by recovering fragments of inputs to, among other things denial of evidence acquired, to subvert the reconstructions made, as for example on the time of death (videinfra). So once again, the Court’s assessment was based on a platform of data absolutely incomplete, leading to conclusions without adequate logical support, and above all conflicting with other available evidence, incompleteness and inconsistency that must be overcome in the (new) Trial Court, in reference to this crucial point of the reconstruction, which concerns the presence or absence of the two young defendants in the house on Via della Pergola, to whom obviously Guede was added.

Speculation is not evidence  

There is no evidence against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.  In Rudy Guede’s trial the “evidence” the prosecution presented was intended to lessen the liability of Guede and to imply that Knox and Sollecito were the main perpetrators of the crime, although their lawyers were not present to dispute this.  The Micheli report shows that this Court prejudged the two defendants.  The Supreme Court ruling on Guede simply changed the statement “Rudy Guede acted together with Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito” into “Rudy Guede did not act alone”.  The court then goes on to require that the two verdicts be linked.

The Supreme Court is promoting its own pet theory of the crime, based on prosecution theories dating back to 2007 and 2008 which can be summed up as follows:

Rudy Guede did not have a date with Meredith, he did not break in and Meredith would never have let him in.  Therefore Amanda Knox, as a keyholder, must have let him in and organised a sex game which included Sollecito and which led directly to Meredith Kercher’s death.  This scenario must be adopted by the Florence Court and then Guede’s verdict can be made congruent with a new guilty verdict for Knox and Sollecito – simple.

“It’s too late to correct it,” said the Red Queen: “when you’ve once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the consequences.”