Monday, June 21, 2010

Raffaele Sollecito's Appeal

Part XVIII in the Knox/Sollecito case

Update, 7/12/10

Here is a better translation of a portion of Sollecito’s appeal dealing with the bra clasp, provided by an anonymous translator:

“But there is more. The lack of full discovery was also found during the course of the trial:
- on July 18 2009, during cross-examination of the technical consultant of Raffaele Sollecito’s defence, Prof. Adriano Tagliabracci, there was an astonishing coup de theatre, in which the prosecution formulated a question which generated the suspicion that the Public Minister was in possession of further laboratory data never made available to the defence. In particular, the data relative to the quantity of the extract used for genetic analysis of the biological material found on the bra clasp of the victim;
- confronted with the reaction of the defence, the office of the Public Minister had to admit that there existed documents compiled by the scientific police never deposited at the conclusion of the investigations (contravening in this way the provision of Article 415 bis c.p.p.), nor sent to the Gup with the request for trial (in violation of Article 416, paragraph 2, c.p.p.).
In other words, the office of the PM denied a complete discovery of the documents of the investigation, extending this breach in the rights of the defence into the trial!”

This passage indicates that the prosecution failed to provide the defense with information relating to the single most important piece of evidence against Raffaele Sollecito all through the pre-trial and well into the trial phase. What is unclear from the appeal document alone is whether or not all information was ultimately released. However, other documents indicate that the prosecution never released all of the information that the defense teams sought.

The following is Google-translated from Raffaele's appeal document (pp. 51-57) with some minor edits. Although it is hard to decipher the meaning in places, it gives a picture of the defense continually asking for information on the DNA testing all throughout the preliminary hearing and trial, and the prosecution continually refusing. I have previously written about the importance of the electronic data files to a proper defense and about the near universality of this disclosure. I am eager to hear the prosecution’s explanation of how their refusal to hand over log files and electronic data files can be anything other than a trampling upon the right of discovery:

“And there is no doubt that, in terms of 'prosecution, failure to discovery on one of the main aspects of the process has been a considerable advantage over the defense, since the case involved Raffaele Sollecito is building right on genetic testing. In fact, it is useful to make a historical reconstruction of the case at hand:
- Following the conclusion of preliminary investigations, the defense could review the technical report of forensic genetic investigations in the signature of Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni, to which were attached tables who reported only the number of alleles, without which they would specify any other information or scientific data (for clarity, we define each variant allele of a gene, the genotype of an individual gene has a relatively Kit alleles he is in possession);
- Given the extreme importance of this for proof on indication of Prof. Pascali expert defense Raffaele Reminder, on June 24, 2008 - pending the period of 20 days under Article. 415 bis -, was made an initial request to Prosecutor acquisition diagrams in electropherograms whereby the forensic results came in content Technical report on forensic genetics. In particular, this request is have specified the absolute necessity (in order of presentation defensive pleadings and petitions under Article. 415 bis cpp) to have the aforementioned documents available to the consultant of the could examine it in detail;
- However, against all evidence, the prosecutor dismissed the request was deemed inadmissible 'because the option in cpp a cover secured and only those acts ';
- To deal with a similar unjust refusal, the defense made on July 3, 2008, a further instance in which it sought to 'acquire forensic laboratories of the numerical values and RFU peaks on all findings, or alternatively to obtain police Scientific CDROM containing the raw data and peak RFU. It was asked, Moreover, in case it was not possible to obtain copies of these data, that the Prof. Pascali was allowed to go to the police service science for a spot inspection of the data and make it directly computerized copy;
- Even that request, however, was inexplicably rejected on 11 July 2008 with the anodyne statement that 'on the charts of Forensic there are already bars with generic value on fluorescence peaks.
The defense then returned to a preliminary hearing with a serious cognitive gap, due to lack of awareness of scientific data used by the police in their scientific investigations. As we shall see, this story had a further follow:
- Preliminary hearing of 16 September 2008, the defense reiterated request to acquire numerical values RFU and peaks at all findings or, alternatively, to acquire the CD-ROM containing the raw data RFU and peaks. The request filed at that meeting was based upon both the incompleteness detected in the diagrams attached to the report, and by the repeated requests made to the office of the C>P> to obtain the missing data;
- After this request, the Gup could not help but detect need 'for purposes of deciding' to understand 'fully (...) as procedure has been adopted for the analysis in question, and whether there further elaborations that constitute the necessary support conclusions reached. 'Consequently, the Gup has ordered the hearing in heard of Dr. Stefanoni calling 'to accompany their testimony with computer media containing data requested by the defense. "The same judge in that case was aware the extreme importance of data capture whereas the investigations living would receive 'the most important elements all.impianto accusatory;
- On September 25, 2008 in observance of the provision of Gup is was deposited by association. Zugarini on behalf of Dr. Stefanoni, the CD-Rom containing the requested data. In this regard like to highlight as the immediate acceptance of the instance in question proves unequivocally from the outset the importance of having the data available full scientific;
- Hearing on September 27, 2008, was then represented to the Gup need to obtain additional documentation because incomplete data, therefore, was asked to Court to acquire the service files (log files);
- However, the Judge, after seeking an opinion to Dr. Stefanoni has also rejected the application based on an uncritical adherence to its comments, coming to claim that "not be needed information contained in the logs (data nell.esperienza forensic are never identified, resulting standards approved by the parameters internationally and which appear to be in use in all Laboratories engaged in Forensic Genetics).
Such an established procedure is not, of course, acceptable under no point of view, since the unconditional adherence to observations of Dr. Stefanoni, has led to support the contention accusatory, without the technical-scientific comparison of an expert third and impartial.
And indeed, if it had consulted a person not bound by any constraint on the charge (ie a neutral), the parties would certainly have benefitted. And 'quite clear that to ask to review its person (Dr Stefanoni) which produced that result is, in fact, nonsense: can not say, claim of self-discipline science by the same technician who testified that result. Any specialist will of course be pushed, albeit inadvertently, to defend the validity of their work, even in front of a simple request for clarification, and justify - after all, understandably, by his point of view - that all data provided are sufficient.

Was evidence showed the need to provide all documentation scientific defense.
It 'important to note that log files are much scientific data relevant, if not indispensable, especially in situations (such as the case in point) where the peak height must be assessed together with other parameters (such as area) is also higher to determine the plausibility or, conversely, the unlikelihood attribution to a person's DNA. So it is true that during the preliminary hearing in court, the Dr. Stefanoni - at the request of the consultant that the Prosecution asked if it was important given the "peak area" – said "Normally not. "However, what is more surprising is that the very Dr. Stefanoni candidly admitted that it had no other experiences on (p. 68 transcription.'s preliminary hearing Oct. 4, 2009). The opinion of Dr. Stefanoni, in fact, emerged in all its fragility when the consultant has made the defense Reminder noted a recommendation of the International Society of Genetic Lawyers, which states that the method used to interpret traces of mixed DNA and consider l.area l.altezza of peaks "(p. 99 of those transcripts.)
The GUP at this point, he invited Dr. Stefanoni to be received by October 8, 'the data relating to the calculation of peak areas related to the finding 165 / B indicated by prof. Pascali in the third column, in his name, all.allegato referred to the report filed, and diagram on the second run on the sample elettroferografica 36B.
The epilogue of this long run-up occurred on October 8, 2008 with the filing by Dr. Stefanoni the CD-ROM containing the data dell.amplificato electrophoresis sample DNA called 165 / B (finding piece of cloth with hooks), and the CD-Rom containing: Sample data info for the two races dell.amplificato electrophoretic sample of DNA known as 36 / B (Finding knife) electropherograms of the second electrophoresis.
As can be seen from the picture just outlined, the defense did not have provision, at the conclusion of preliminary investigations, all acts of investigation as required by law, so much so that this uncertainty lasted at least for the preliminary hearing stage (and beyond, as you say).
For example, consider the simple analysis of the peak - technical data that was provided to the defense until after the hearing at the hearing Preliminary Dr. Stefanoni, damaging irreparably the rights of defense -revealed that the amount of DNA used for analysis was quite modest, which led the consultant to the defense clarified, that the interpretation given to the forensic graphics has minimally complied with the guidelines laid down by the International Society of Forensic Genetics.
But there is more. The lack of full discovery was also found in during the process:
- On July 18, 2009, during cross-examination technical consultant Defense Raffaele Sollecito, Professor Adriano Tagliabracci, there was an astonishing coup de théâtre, as the accusation made questions that have created the suspicion that the prosecutor had hold additional laboratory data ever made available to parties. It was, in particular, data on the amount of extract used for genetic analysis of biological material found on the hook of the bra of the victim;
- In front of the defense reaction, the Office of Public Prosecutor had to admit that there are acts performed by forensic ever deposited at the conclusion of the investigation (in contravention Thus the provision of art. 415 bis cpp) or sent to Gup with the request of trial (in violation of Article. 416, paragraph 2, cpp).
In other words, the Office of the PM or denied full discovery of documents investigation, pushing this lesion of the right of defense to the debate! We will now give an account of evaluations of the Court of Assizes of Perugia. The sentence I can refer about the motivations of the order of rejection "of All.audience 14/09/2009 defenses of the defendants objected l.avv n the interference with the right defense, arguing in this regard, which were verified the void. After hearing the other party seeking to disregard l.exception, this Court issued l.decree, which read out with which l.exception of nullity was rejected and was available to proceed further "(p.7. above).
Passing the order of 14 September 2009, the Assize Court noted as follows: 'respect of invalidity l.exception advanced and illustrated memory today filed for violation of the right of defense question exception is not admissible, l.activity sampling and comparison of traces biological object activity.exception the nature of prior technical investigation covered with the possibility dall.article 360 for parties to participate in and comment in this context is not apparent that there has been no lesion of the right of defense, for the nullity that would assessed in a case of a 415 dell.article knows nzione not provided by any specific provision or by a 415 Criminal Procedure Code that principle of mandatory nature of the void during preliminary dell.audience compare 1/10/2008 GUP measure included in documents filed today in support the plea of nullity that aspect has been addressed and its exception has not been repeated in terms of which all.article Code 491 Nell.audience of Criminal Procedure also before this Court on 18.7.2009 issue was not raised in terms of the void under the compare the transcripts of the hearing on 18.7.2009, with particular Refer to pages 102 et seq and 114 et seq therefore logical to conclude that l.aspect in all.exception now advances to integrate a nullity ta question But to sanction by the Supreme Court ruled on the matter for example compare Cassation Judgement second section 29573 of 2006 and Section Supreme number 21593 2009 its fifth exception was belatedly raised. As for the broken and also being the subject of advanced today than that penalty is justified in the presence of a omitted on filing all.entire investigations in this case l.omission h a covered part of the supporting documentation'”


Anonymous said...

Lesion = Breach

I've noticed that web translators often drop negatives (i.e., the word "not").

For example, your translation says Tagliabracci's testimony "created the suspicion that the prosecutor had hold [of] additional laboratory data ever made available to parties."

I think we all know the negative is missing and a proper translation would read, "additional laboratory data NEVER made available..."

I do not have this document. I appreciate you posting it, but wonder if a negative was also dropped in the following phrase: "the interpretation given to the forensic graphics has minimally complied with the guidelines laid down by the International Society of Forensic Genetics." Possibly, that should read: "has NOT minimally complied..."

But I could be wrong.

I've started reading the web-translated version of the motivation report. Beats looking at the umpteenth rehash of biased arguments on various web sites. I've only slogged through 50 pages. I am sorry to see it is not objective, though it is clearly kinda trying to be. I dunno. Something frightening and addictive about the tilted logic that surrounds this sad case.

An astonishing coup de théâtre, indeed.

Anonymous said...

It does seem clear that the prosecution fought discovery every step of the way on this no matter how you read the google translation.

To Anon @ 3:43AM:

Here is that passage in the original Italian: Ma v’è di più. La mancanza di una piena discovery è stata riscontrata anche nel corso del processo:
- in data 18 luglio 2009, nel corso del controesame del consulente tecnico della difesa di Raffaele Sollecito, Prof. Adriano Tagliabracci, si è assistito ad un sorprendente coupe de theatre, in quanto l’accusa ha formulato domande che hanno ingenerato il dubbio che il Pubblico Ministero fosse in possesso di ulteriori dati di laboratorio mai messi a disposizione delle parti. Si trattava, in particolare, di dati relativi alla quantità di estratto utilizzata per l’analisi genetica del materiale biologico rinvenuto sul gancetto del reggiseno della vittima;
- di fronte alla reazione della difesa, l’ufficio del Pubblico Ministero ha dovuto ammettere che esistono atti compiuti dalla polizia scientifica mai depositati al momento della conclusione delle indagini (contravvenendo in tal modo alla disposizione di cui all’art. 415 bis c.p.p.), né trasmessi al Gup con la richiesta di rinvio a giudizio (in violazione dell’art. 416,comma 2, c.p.p.).
In altri termini l’Ufficio del PM ha negato una completa discovery degli atti d’indagine, sospingendo questa lesione del diritto di difesa fino aldibattimento!


Anonymous said...

Let's just suppose there was no Brady protection or open discovery here in the US. Where would the Duke case be now? Interestingly, the DNA came back negative for the defendants but that did not stop Mr. Nifong. What derailed his case was the misleading summary report in Mr. Meehan's material and Mr. Nifong's misrepesentation to the court. I suspect things would have gone very differently had the defense not had access to the full scientific data. A full trial with appeals is entirely within the realm of the possible. What still would be different is that the Duke defendants would not have spent all of that time in jail. This continual incarceration of Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito has been unconscionable. Withholding the underlying DNA data from the defense is beyond unconscionable.

Rose, I know you are tired of hearing about the Duke case, but the lucky breaks that came along in that horror show have been entirely absent in the Knox case, and it is fascinating as well as heartbreaking to see where that can lead.


Chris Halkides said...


I agree with you. I would only add that the Duke Three were lucky that Officer Gottlieb got involved after the rape kit was presumably out of the hands of DPD. What is really frightening is to contemplate Gottlieb going back to 612 N. Buchanan after the arrests and collecting more evidence.


Anonymous said...


I concur completely. In my mind the Knox case has surpassed the Duke/Durham disgrace in outrageous prosecutorial, police, scientific and community behavior and in devastation to the defendants and their families. Mr. Mignini has out-Nifonged Mr. Nifong. And the U.S. appears powerless to address it. Let's hope that is not the case.


Anonymous said...

Do you have any thoughts on this TMB test issue
coming up in some of the blogs?

Debrah said...


This update on a story from The New Yorker that I read months ago might shed some light on the Italian press.

Seems Debenedetti is an upscale version of the Times' Jayson Blair.

Although if what he says isn't true he couldn't have gotten away with such deception for at least a decade; however, the American press cannot be held in much higher esteem.

"He claimed that the editors of the provincial newspapers that accepted his fake interviews without any documentation had to know that they were invented, but didn’t care. 'Italy is a joke,' he said. 'Information in this country is based on falsehoods.'

"He made fun of La Nazione for believing his story that he had had obtained an 'exclusive' interview with 'the Homer of the Caribbean,' Derek Walcott, hiding under a table in Saint Lucia on the day of the Haitian earthquake. 'Didn’t it seem strange to them?' he asked wryly.

"Debenedetti knew, he said, that the major Italian newspapers of record, Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica, fact-checked their reportage, so he never approached them, but observed that the conservative press had an 'inferiority complex,' and was likelier to accept his work, especially if he gave a right-wing slant to the 'interviews,' however improbable, so he did so."


RoseMontague said...

I have had the opportunity to read Amanda's and Raffaele's appeals and I think that there are several excellent points that have been made. I have discussed these on an individual basis over the last few weeks on several different boards. This post will attempt to put these things together at one place. It is by no means a comprehensive list. Chris has already outlined a part of Raffaele's appeal that is of interest to him and one that he is more qualified to talk about than me. The appeals contain many arguments about legal issues as well as DNA issues that I will not be addressing. The items that I will focus on here are ones that helped me come to the belief that Amanda and Raffaele are innocent.

1. The intercepted phone call. This is from Amanda's appeal and translation comes from Katy_did at JREF.

"The report on a conversation, an 'environmental' interception, which occurred 4 November 2007 at the Questura of Perugia reads:

<< The moment where we begin listening to the conversation, from the part where it is written that AMANDA SPEAKS ON THE TELEPHONE, and she says: "I was the only one who was with her and so they want me to squeeze my brain [rack my brain?] to say things..."

Then the girl relates to the other speaker that there is a boy with her who is helping her, who is nice and also speaks a bit of German; then she passes the phone to Raffaele for him to speak to the person on the other end. Raffaele (in English): "I can't do anything, we are in the Questura, they're squeezing our minds (literally: taking a kick at the mind) then the boy passes the phone again to Amanda).

Amanda: "There is nothing you can do. Yesterday with the girls who lived in the house, we tried to understand what happened. >>

And also: << Resuming discussion of the interrogation she underwent[??]: "I'm feeling bad... They shouted at me... I slept only two hours last night... I'm very stressed..." >>

And also: << One of the two girls begins immediately to say: "I don't feel well at the moment, jumping at anything", and then: "How are you, Amanda?"
Amanda: "Not good, I am treated like a criminal".

Two things here are significant to me. The police have been shouting at Amanda as early as the previous day (3 November) and she feels they are treating her like a criminal. They are also tapping her phone calls. Is she a witness or a suspect?

Chris has provided a quote showing the police were not intending to wait for Amanda's mother to arrive before arresting her (even without the false accusation). It is clear to me that Amanda should have been provided a lawyer.

My next part will talk about two of the important witnesses used by the prosecution.

RoseMontague said...

Here is how Frank puts the two witnesses in context:

So, we know who the world has to thank if justice was done (for the moment). Not the police, nor the scientific police, nor the prosecution, or the judges. With their findings, with their theories, with their intuitions, with their DNA, knives and footprints, they provided lots of circumstantial evidence, but not the proof. And only the proof convicts.
The world, instead, has to thank the Giornale dell’Umbria, that worked on some witnesses and had them to remember seeing Amanda and Raffaele at critical times.
And, as we know, the Corte d’Assise believed the two strange eyewitnesses.

Both witnesses came to police long after the murder, both were led to the police by reporters of the same newspaper, both have given conflicting and contradictory statements that are discounted or ignored by the Massei report. to follow is a translation of the part of Raffaele's appeal as translated by katy_did:

Further evidence of the numerous contradictions incurred in the decision of the 1st degree, also emerges with indisputable proof from further passages in the Motivations. The Court held that, "The version given by Amanda Knox whereby she remained with Raffaele Sollecito at the house on Corso Garibaldi from the evening of 1 November to 10am the following morning" (p73) is contradicted by the statements made by Marco Quintavalle at the hearing of 21 March 2009. At that sitting the witness reported seeing Amanda entering his shop in Corso Garibaldi the morning of 2 November at around 7.45am. Despite being heard immediately after the murder (transcript of the hearing on 21 march 2009. p. 82), Quintavalle revealed this fact for the first time only in November 2008, i.e. one year after the murder! Even the circumstances which led to this new witness, should, at least, suggest the need for great caution in assessing its reliability.
continued to next post

RoseMontague said...

continued from above.

In reality, this precaution was not observed in any way. The testimony was, in fact, deemed credible because "Inspector Volturno did not ask Quintavalle if on the morning of 2 November he saw Amanda Knox in his shop. He asked him - as Quintavalle recalled - about purchases made by Raffaele Sollecito. Quintavalle did not say he saw Amanda Knox the morning of the 2 November both because he was not asked and because, as the same Quintavalle stated, he considered the fact insignificant (...) The witness provided a precise description of what he noticed on the morning of 2 November; and certain physical features of the girl (blue eyes and white face) together with the unusual hour, could well have fixed what Quintavalle said he saw in his memory" (p75 and 76 of the sentencing report).

The above example is merely the contradictory result of a partial reading of the testimony of the witness. Specifically, at the hearing of 21.03.2009 (transcript, p.83), Sollecito's defence asked: "The specific question is this. Did Inspector Volturno come with photographs of Amanda and Raffaele?" Quintavalle responded "With photographs, no, I don't think so". Inspector Volturno questioned about the same set of circumstances, however, declared "A few days later we tracked down the Conad-Margherita shop situated at the beginning of Corso-Garibaldi, where the owner recognized the photographs we showed him, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. Raffaele Sollecito was a regular customer of the store, while the girl had been seen two or three times in his company" (transcript of the hearing on 13.03.2009, pp.177 and 178). Yet, on being asked "Did Inspector Volturno ask you if you knew Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox?" Quintavalle replied, "About Amanda they didn't ask me, that is, they did not ask me if Amanda came to the shop" (transcript of the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.83). This fact was contradicted by the declarations from his assistant, Ana Marina Chiriboga, who, when asked by Knox's defence, "When the police came and spoke with Marco Quintavalle, they didn't speak with you the first time. What did Marco Quintavelle say about this interview? Of what did they speak?", replied, "Nothing, he told us that they asked him if he knew Amanda and Raffaele. Since we had already seen a bit on TV, so we commented" (transcript from the hearing on 26.06.2009, p.54). And again, to the question of the defence, "So they had arrived. What did he say?", "That he knew them", Chiriboga replied precisely, "Yes, ah, they wanted to know if he knew them? Him, yes, he said he knew them, but I said I didn't, also my colleague said that..." (transcript hearing 26.06.2009, p.55), and to the further question, "Quintavalle replied that he knew Amanda and Raffaele, yes?" the witness replied "Yes" (transcript of the hearing 26.06.2009, p.56). Therefore, we do not see how it is possible for the motivations to affirm that Quintavalle did not report to have seen Amanda Knox the morning of 2 November only because he was not asked" (pp 75 and 76 of the motivations).
to be continued (again)

RoseMontague said...

continued from above:

This prompts two observations. If it is true that Quintavalle provided a precise description of the girl's entry into the shop (who is assumed to be Amanda Knox), it is strange that a person with a 'strong' visual memory (Quintavalle's declarations, hearing 21.03.2009, p.78), when asked "Did you notice what eye colour Sollecito has"? (transcript 21.03.2009, p.115) responded "I believe they were brown, but I'm not quite sure, really no, I didn't notice, I didn't notice that, I don't remember", although Raffaele was his regular customer. To highlight the importance of this fact, furthermore, we should acknowledge that if Quintavalle was impressed by the physiognomy of Amanda, because it is characterized by blue eyes on a white face, then analogously he should have been equally impressed by that of Sollecito: a boy with such clear blue eyes and so fair a complexion. Moreover, Quintavalle remembered all this despite not having seen Amanda from the front but turned three quarters, "Then she entered, I saw her let's say, three quarters left, three quarters of the left side. I didn't see her from the front (...)" (transcript from the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.75). to be continued

RoseMontague said...

The Motivations, furthermore, seem to have ignored this fundamental fact: that in his declarations Marco Quintavalle also affirmed having seen Amanda in his shop a couple of weeks before 2 November (transcript from the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.76), this time in the company of Raffaele. In this regard it has to be noted that this fact cannot in any way be true, since Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had known each other - and this fact is certain and conclusive - just a week before the murder. Nonetheless, the memory of the witness is so sharp as to enable him to describe even the clothes worn on that occasion by the two young people: "[Raffaele] had light clothing, a light coloured shirt, beige, some similar colour, also light trousers. Then I noticed that strangely he had no glasses on that evening (...). She was wearing jeans, then had a pair of boots let's say Timberland make (...) she had a sweater (...) of wool or heavy cotton (...) red or something similar" (transcription of 21 March 2009, p.77).

In this regard, following the reasoning of the court, this episode also - noting the unusual hour ("one evening, I had closed the shop, it was a few minutes past 8: p.76) and the particular features of the girl (blue eyes and light skin) - should have remained fixed in the memory of the witness. Yet, strangely, this did not happen, since Quintavalle claimed not to have recognized Amanda on the morning of 2 November (only a few days after that first meeting), because it was as if seeing her for the first time, "for me I didn't know this girl" (transcript of 21 March 2009, p.72).
to be continued

RoseMontague said...

The motivation has downplayed the fact that Quintavalle decided to speak with investigators only a year after the crime was committed. According to the defence, however, this fact is symptomatic - in addition to those things already mentioned - of the unreliability of his testimony. Quintavalle only decided to make contact with prosecutors after intense pressure from the journalist Antioco Fois, a regular customer of his shop. These statements then allowed the witness to participate in broadcasts on national TV networks. A fact that, in the deposition, Quintavalle sought to play down. In fact, when asked the question "Don't you remember an interview done with TG2?" he replied, "TG2? TG2 came and filmed me in secret, I said: 'Look I have nothing to say, nothing to declare'. Then with the camera they took over the counter of the shop [i.e. presumably the camera was now visible] and I told them that they should do nothing, they had to go" (transcript of the hearing 21.03.2009, p.111); while in this regard, the assistant Chiriboga affirmed that Quintavalle had reported having given this interview and, when asked by the President "So what did Quintavalle say about this interview?" the witness responded "He said: 'I have been interviewed', we said: 'But at what time?' He said he was interviewed after we went out to lunch" (transcript from the hearing of 26.06.2009, p.70).

It is clear, therefore, that a memory of more than a year after the fact would require very careful assessment of its reliability, while making it more necessary to find further supporting evidence. In reality, the testimony of Quintavalle is completely unreliable as it was not even confirmed by the statements of his employees, on the morning of 2 November. Ultimately, Quintavalle, like Curatola, is nothing but a witness produced by the mass media. Not infrequently, following the outcry caused by a particular incident in the news, witnesses emerge whose statements, rather than being the result of direct knowledge, convey a 'mass media synthesis' of what has been learned from reporting in newspapers and on television. In spite of this the Court has erroneously considered this witness reliable, extrapolating and emphasizing only a few of his statements and forgetting, however, those that would lead to diametrically opposite conclusions.

Sorry about splitting these things up, getting a max character limit exceeded in my posts.

RoseMontague said...

Now we come to Curatolo. Quintavalle's testimony disputed Amanda and Raffaele's claim that they were at Raffaele's the morning after the murder (and not cleaning up evidence at Meredith's place). Curatolo's testimony disputes Amanda and Raffaele's claim that they were at Raffaele's the night of the murder.

The appeals point out several problems with the testimony of Curatolo, the first of which is the fact that this would be the third case he has acted as a witness in as he sat on his park bench watching the world of crime go by.

Problem number two is the confusion regarding both the dates and times Curatolo mentions him seeing Amanda and Raffaele. It is pointed out that Curatolo mentions the buses which by two new witnesses (owners of bars in the area) actually were running the night before. The times Curatolo gives are very contradictory and if looked at from one standpoint almost give Amanda and Raffaele an alibi rather than disputing their story. I don't have anything other than a Google translation of this section now, but will post it a t some point if I get it.

My next section will deal with the non-visable Luminol enhanced foot prints.

RoseMontague said...

From Amanda's appeal:
During the hearings, and in particular the submission of documentation
on SAL States (work in progress) of the Scientific Police in July
2009, revealed for the first time that the same samples (positive luminol)
were analyzed with the test to detect the tetramethylbenzidine
presence of blood.
This test was negative for all tracks, as expressly provided in
SAL tracks from 176 to 183.
A negative test of all tracks is nullifying the technical scientific
exclude the nature of substance from the blood.

Here is a Google translated section dealing with this subject in Amanda's appeal:

On this point, is back once again to the statements of Dr. Stefanoni
said that the sensitivity and reliability of tests for the tetramethylbenzidine
exclude the nature of blood
Ø <> (verbal hearing transcripts
Preliminary October 4, 2008, p.. 175).
Prof. Tagliabracci has incontrovertible proof in a way that:
Ø <> (July 18, 2009 hearing transcripts, P.. 74).

Continued again

RoseMontague said...

Ø <> (July 18, 2009 hearing transcripts, P.. 74).
The statements of Dr. and Prof. Stefanoni. Tagliabracci are confirmed
by Dr. Gino, who said similarly that:
<> (September 26, 2009 hearing transcript, p.. 74).

The conclusion I get from this is that there is no evidence of Amanda's bloody footprints anywhere, none of the Luminol footprint can be dated because of the lack of Meredith's blood and there is no way to date any of the DNA found in these footprints. The only remaining footprint is the one on the bathmat that is disputed in various circles as belonging to either Rudy or Raffaele. I don't see any other footprint evidence from Raffele anywhere, I believe it is Rudy's print on the bath mat.

RoseMontague said...

Nicki at PMF has graciously provided me the translation of the section dealing with the TMB tests, despite it arguing against their position. My sincere thanks for this:

"During the debate and specifically through the submission of the SAL documents (Project Progress Report) it has appeared for the first time that the same samples (positive to Luminol) have also been analyzed by means of the tetramethylbenzidine test in order to detect blood presence. Such test has resulted negative for all traces, as clearly indicated in the SAL for traces from 176 to 183. From the technical-scientific point of view, such negativity of all traces resolves the issue of the traces being haematic substance. Nevertheless, the Court of Assise, in order to prove that indeed the traces are of haematic origin is stating on purely hypothetical grounds what already said about the knife, that is that negativity of the tetramethylbenzidine test could be a consequence of the scarcity of the sample. This argument is not supported under the light of the arguments regarding exhibit 36 and specifically regarding sensitivity of the tetramethylbenzidine test in order to detect the haematic nature of a sample. Regarding the latter, it’s worthwhile to report once again Dr Stefanoni statements where she clarified the issue of sensitivity and reliability of the test used to exclude blood origin of the trace:
Ø <<”It’s very sensitive I can’t tell you now but it is in common practice
Q: You also state occurrence of false positives
A: yes in the sense that it doesn’t distinguish between human and animal blood, for example
Q: But when it yield a negative response it seems to be quite reliable
A: Yes, that it is not blood ( transcripts from the preliminary hearing Oct 4, 2008, page 175 )
Prof Tagliabracci has incontrovertibly stated that :
Ø The generic analysis performed by means of the tetramethylbenzidine test is very sensitive, capable to detect up to 5 red cells ( transcripts from hearing of July 18th 2009, page 74)
Dr Stefanoni and Prof Tagliabracci statements have been confirmed by Dr Gino, who similarly explained that :
Ø <The tetramethylbenzidine test is a normally employed lab test to understand if a trace if of haematic origin, it’s a very sensitive method even if it is not very specific as we have seen false positives with this test…with tetramethylbenzidine test, so something that turns out positive than in reality is not blood (transcripts from hearing of Sept 26 2009, page 74)
Therefore the risk is that using the tetramethylbenzidine test, samples may yield a false positive result and not the opposite (false negative), due to scarcity of material -as gathered by the Court of Assise"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. In other words it was proven that there were no footprints attributable to
RS and AK made in blood. And the court overlooked this.

RoseMontague said...

There is some discussion of the effect possible cleaning may have had on these footprints (see JREF for example) but from what I have read coupled with the fact that none of these prints tested positive, I think it is highly unlikely that they were Luminol positive because of blood residue.

RoseMontague said...

That should read: effects of possible cleaning and/or the application of the Luminol test before the TMB test....

Randy said...

thank you for the posts RoseM...

it is always nice to get the real words and not internet rumors or repeated half truths...

"I am an attorney and an Administrative Judge. I have kept up with the evidence and reviewed Judge Leibovitz’s decision. The only conclusion I can draw is that the privilege of upper middle class America saved these defendants. Judge L cut them slack many times when she did not have too; times when a poor defendant would not have been given a break. This Judge knew these defendants wore suits before the trial, as well as during trial (which is the first time for many defendants), and just decided to hold the Government to a more exacting version of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To make all the findings that she did and still let, for example, Joe Price off because she did not know exactly what he did at the crime scene was an unnecessary break for Joe. How could anyone know exactly what happened with all of the witnesses coordinating their stories and lieing? Finders of fact draw conclusions from circumstantial evidence each and every day. The inferences she had to draw were perfectly reasonable. What was unreasonable was her unwillingness to draw those inferences.

The prerogatives of privilege, as exercised in this case, should frighten us all."

this is a comment someone made at

Robert Wone was an attorney in the DC area who was murdered in 2006. 3 men just were on trial for a cover up and found not guilty. They had a judge only trial and the judge said in her gut she thought they knew who killed him but the prosecutors did not prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

The details in this case could almost rival the ones in the Meredith Kercher case. Wone was working late and asked to spend the night at his friend's house in DC instead of heading home to his wife in the VA suburbs. About 90 minutes after he arrived, he was killed. The 3 men on trial were all in the house at the time and said an intruder came in and killed him. The prosecutors say the 3 knew who did it and covered up the crime. No one has been charged in the murder to date. The prosecutors were trying to pin the murder on the brother of 1 of the men in the house. He did not live there but has had several run ins with the law.

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
komponisto said...

Would somebody mind kindly providing a link to the original text of Amanda's and Raffaele's appeal documents?

RoseMontague said...

I have both posted on my docstoc page:

komponisto said...


Debrah said...

Knox celebrates birthday by cooking crab cakes on floor of cell

RoseMontague said...

Looking at this video again of the "collection" of the bra clasp 47 days after the murder does it strike anyone else that this appears to be a bit theatrical? It is almost that they are aware of the supreme importance this little piece of evidence will play in the future.

bra clasp

Seriously? Is this a joke? It reeks, according to me.

Chris Halkides said...


I agree. The fact that they make a big deal of the clasp before it was analyzed is very troubling. The bra clasp, as well as several other articles, were collected in mid-December. This happened shortly after a shoe print that had been attributed to Sollecito’s shoe was reassigned to Guede’s. This would have left the prosecution woefully short of evidence against Sollecito; some have said that they would have had to release him if not for the clasp.

The knife, as you pointed out elsewhere, has its own set of believability issues.


Anonymous said...

I saw the Dateline piece about Billy Wayne Cope on TV
last night. The similarities between the cases are amazing. Being that the case is in your backyard I was wondering what your take on it was. Or do you prefer not to think of South Carolina as being in your back

Anonymous said...

Looking at this video again of the "collection" of the bra clasp 47 days after the murder does it strike anyone else that this appears to be a bit theatrical? It is almost that they are aware of the supreme importance this little piece of evidence will play in the future.

bra clasp

Seriously? Is this a joke? It reeks, according to me.

If they hauled a Hollywood-video/lighting crew out six weeks after the murder to collect this single piece of evidence, it begs the question of whether they did the same for all the other evidence. Like you said, it's almost like "they know" something special about this minor piece of evidence a priori. I'd die to see other footage of the forensics sample collections in this case. Was all of the evidence dropped, rubbed, passed around?

If all of the previous evidence was mishandled like this, it would make the bra-clasp collection not seem very extraordinary. However, it would show a more general pattern of incompetence by Scientifica Polizia.

But if the previous evidence collection was more careful to avoid contamination, it would be in great contrast to the bra clasp collection. If this latter scenario is true, I personally directly points to evidence planting / misconduct by the police. Based on the destruction of the computer equipment, which to me is unequivocally malicious, I wouldn't be surprised if the bra clasp evidence was simply planted.


RoseMontague said...

halides1 said...
The knife, as you pointed out elsewhere, has its own set of believability issues.

Yes. The problems with the knife are explored in great detail more in Amanda's appeal than Raffaele's. Since it is the primary piece of physical evidence against her this is to be expected.

I have done a good bit of reading regarding this and I am going to give you my non-expert opinion on what is my understanding of the problems with this piece of evidence. I want to make it very clear that I am giving a personal opinion here because much of this DNA stuff is hard to get a handle on for someone who is not a scientist.

The biggest problems are the lack of both negative and positive controls. With LCN DNA, even under the best laboratory conditions, in a lab specifically designed for this type of testing, there is a significant portion of the negative controls that come up positive for DNA. This is a sample using sterile water rather than a real sample to test, that is prepared the same way as if you were testing other material that you are looking to find DNA. This DNA comes from different places, but not directly from the evidence sample. Sometimes it is DNA from the lab workers and testers, sometimes it is from the equipment used in the tests that may have some very small amount of DNA remaining from previous tests, sometimes it may just be floating around. A negative control testing positive means that there is contamination coming from somewhere. If your true sample then tests positive for DNA, that result should be discarded because there is now no guarantee that it is not the result of contamination. In this case Stefanoni either did not use a negative control or neglected to include that information in what was provided through discovery to the defense team.

Then you have positive controls. If you are testing correctly with no contamination you should expect two tests on the same sample to show up with similar results. This helps to confirm that the test is not a fluke. Stefanoni did not use a positive control and used up the entire sample (less 20% she split up to test for blood-the result of which was negative)in one test. The test was not duplicated and cannot be retested.

My understanding of LCN DNA testing seems to indicate that the sample is prepared differently than in a standard DNA test, also tending to help validate the results. From what I understand, Stefanoni did not prepare the sample in the way it should have been if she was to test for LCN DNA. The lab itself was not set up for this type of sensitive testing with positive air pressure and other procedures to fight against contamination that could show up of these extremely sensitive tests.

From Amanda's appeal(Google translation): "The lack of respect for international protocols is explained by genetic
The statement is remarkable that this is "a recommendation, but
not a requirement" (May 23, 2009 hearing transcript, p. 25).."

My personal opinion is that Meredith's DNA was not on the knife

Chris Halkides said...


I was unaware of the Cope case until you mentioned it. There are some disturbing similarities that warrant a closer examination. Thanks.


Larthia said...

Sorry if it's in here somewhere and I missed it, but do you know where I can view the original document in Italian? Thanks

Chris Halkides said...


It is at the docstoc page mentioned a few comments upthread.