Jools wrote:The Judge
Il Messaggero. 27.10.2008.
Surrounded by doubt, elbowing, twists, poison and knives, the first trial in the Meredith Kercher case has just one certainty; whatever decision judge Paolo Micheli makes, it will be respected by everyone. Forty-five years old, ex-officer in the carabiniere, a magistrate since 1990, first as a prosecutor in Orvieto and Perugia and so was in charge of preliminary investigations; he has made good progress. He is a lover of music and he has some CDs of his own compositions in his desk at work and dreams of getting James Talyor to record one of them. Melodies and jazz rhythms that have been put to one side since he was given the Meredith trial. Since then, he’s been up at dawn to finish his work connected to his other cases and then concentrate on the trial of the year, the first ‘multimedia’ trial of its kind. He met his wife in 2003 at a conference she had organised entitled, funnily enough, ‘The Media’s Judgement’.
Micheli was the first person to take action against people who just wanted to make money from interviews and make the trial over which he presides seem ridiculous. He’s already been involved in numerous murder cases as both prosecutor and judge and in this trial there is a witness that he knows well. His name is Antonio Curatolo who is unemployed and homeless. When Micheli presided over a different murder trial in which the victim was an old lady, Curatolo proved to be a reliable and key witness. Will he believe him this time? Mignini and Comodi are trying to convince him that the three suspects are guilty. She has come onto the scene quite recently and is in charge of the investigations into the corruption in local government. A pipe and a trenchcoat, somewhere between Kojak and Colombo. Mignini crossed paths with Micheli in another mysterious case, that of Francesco Narducci, the Perugian doctor whose death was connected to the monster of Florence case.
Damian wrote:Just What the Prosecution Wanted, the Three Accusing Each Other
La Nazione. 26.10.2008. Journalist; E.Pontini.
The attacks and the poison arrived during the last day of the summing up. It had to happen and it happened. Amanda and Raffaele are no longer so united in a common defence. Sollecito against the basketball player and Rudy against them. First he accused Raffaele then the young American woman; ’she rang the doorbell when I was in the bathroom and she had an argument with Mez about money’. He places them at the scene of the crime but never says they are the murderers. His lawyers, Walter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile, speak on his behalf. ‘It was them, Amanda and Raffaele, and they came back to clean the cottage as is proved by the traces of diluted blood next to Meredith’s body’. We didn’t have to wait long for Rudy’s defense team’s’ response to Bongiorno and Maori’s accusations against Rudy. ‘If super-Maori had been there, we would have all slept sounder, considering he would have solved the case in just eight hours. It was sufficient to develop Rudy’s footprint. It’s a pity he is no longer an investigator for the Guardia di Finanza.’, Gentile said. There were also strong words for the Americans and the interference that has come from the other side of the ocean. ‘A request was made to move the trial to the United States. Maybe to an outdoor affair in Alabama, where there’s a tree with a noose ready to hang the negro whose turn it is.’
Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Della Vedova are tryng to stay out of the mix. This, despite the latest technical report, where it says dna compatible with Sollecito’s (and Rudy’s) was found on the bra clasp. ‘We have taken this into account’, they say. Giuliano Mignini who represents the prosecution along with Manuela Comodi, closes the circle, ‘This accusing each other in turns has been going on for a few months.’ When it comes down to it, for the prosecution, they are all right and wrong; all three of them killed Meredith.
Rudy’s Guilty, 30 Years in Prison
Corriere dell’Umbria. 29.10.2008. Journalist; E.C.Bertoldi
The judge will give the written explanation of the sentence within ninety days. He found Rudy Guede guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated voluntary murder and conspiracy to commit sexual violence. He was acquitted of robbery. Before entering court one of Rudy’s lawyers, Valter Biscotti, tried to be optimistic. He said that the heavy rain that was falling outside was a positive ’sign’. ‘It was raining when Rudy was arrested and he will be freed with the rain.’, In pronouncing guilt, the judge in effect accepted the prosecution’s case. He also made reference to a whole series of elements which had emerged during the hearings in his decision to send Knox and Sollecito to trial. This again implies that judge Micheli has decided that the evidence gathered by the prosecutors and the scientific police is valid. He also mentioned the biologist Patrizia Stefanoni and has evaluated her work and believes that the procedures followed were both correct and reliable. These procedures led to the findings of dna on the kitchen knife at Sollecito’s house (traces attributed to Amanda and Meredith), Raffaele’s dna on the bra clasp and all the other elements which have caused controversy in Italy and especially in America. There’s been some strong criticism of the Italian scientific police from the States and some of it has been a little clumsy. The testimony of Herukan Kokomani was excluded by the judge. This means he didn’t believe it was credible or reliable. This is an important victory for the defense teams because he was the only witness who says he saw all three together. This has not been proved by other things, phone calls, text messages etc. At the trial, Amanda and Raffaele’s defense teams will have other cards to play. When did the three plan this ‘violent erotic game’ if Amanda received a message from her boss Patrick Lumumba at 8′50 (sic? d) and the murder happened between 9-10 pm? (sic? d) Another important element which emerged concerned the slander against Patrick, for which Amanda was officially charged yesterday. The judge believes the accusations against Patrick were made in order to achieve immunity. This was the hypothesis put forward by Patrick’s lawyer, Carlo Pacelli. When Sollecito’s lawyers shared a brief word with their client after the reading of the verdict, the young student , eyes wide open, said ‘Does this mean I’ve got to wait another day before I get my freedom back?’ He’ll find out today.
Other papers just mention Amanda’s dna on the knife. d
Damian wrote:What Influenced the Judge
Il Messaggero. 29.10.2008. Journalist; Christiana Mangani.
Extract from an article in today’s Messaggero. d.
What evidence did the judge consider to be valid? He seems to have been convinced of Amanda and Raffaele’s involvement in the crime by Meredith’s friends’ testimony. The two suspects are believed to have spoken about details of the body that nobody could have known. Also Mrs Capezzali’s testimony was considered to be reliable. She said she heard screams from the house in via della Pergola. Then there’s Amanda’s dna found on the knife, the traces of blood in the bathroom and Raffaele’s dna on the bra clasp. The judge also believed Rudy was an equal accomplice with the other two. However, what seems to have convinced him most of all is the behaviour of the three; the confusion in their memories, the triple versions, trying to ‘cover’ for each other (at least in regard to Raffaele and Amanda). Other testimonies were weaker, in particular, the Albanian who claimed to have seen the three the night before the murder. His testimony was excluded from the body of evidence.
Messaggero Umbria. 30.10.2008. Journalists; Carmignani, Ugolini.
There was no connection to satanic rites, manga comics or particular dates, ‘I put those to one side’. It’s the scientific evidence coupled with a logical reconstruction of the facts. Paolo Micheli, 45 years old and the judge who presided over the preliminary hearing which sentenced Rudy Guede to thirty years in prison and sent the other to face trial. Here, he explains how he arrived at these decisions.
What was the starting point for arriving at the sentence?
I took the opposite approach to that of the defence teams. The lawyers claimed that there was no proof of conspiracy between the three because they didn’t know each other and Kokomani’s testimony wasn’t reliable. They also said that it would have been impossible for them to have organised the crime since they had previous commitments which then fell through. My starting point was the three’s presence in the room where the crime was committed.
So you consider Sollecito’s dna on the bra clasp to be valid evidence? The defence team have contested this and said it got there through contamination.
I don’t believe it was contaminated. The dna either came from outside or it was in the room. It’s not possible that Raffaele Sollecito’s dna was in that room. He had no reason to go there.
About the knife which is believed to be the murder weapon. The lawyers have also spoken about it being contaminated.
It’s true that Amanda’s dna was also on another knife found at Sollecito’s home but there can’t have been contamination. I checked both the objects seized from the cottage in via della Pergola and Sollecito’s appartment in corso Garibaldi. Only once, on Nov6 last year, were objects taken from both locations on the same day and the officers who entered the two buildings were not the same.
With regard to the conspiracy to murder, how do you explain the fact that the couple never phoned Rudy and that they hardly knew him?
The fact that there were no calls is easy to explain; since Oct27, Rudy hasn’t had a mobile phone. It was taken off him by the police. One of the couple knew Rudy. Meeting people in Perugia is easy, it could have been a chance meeting too.
Didn’t you believe Rudy’s version?
There were enormous contradictions. First of all, there is Alex Crudo’s testimony. Rudy said he saw this young man various times on the night of the murder and the following day but Alex denies this. He said he didn’t see him before or after the crime, just in the evening of Nov2. Why did Rudy tell this lie? Perhaps because he was with the other two? Also, he didn’t say at the beginning that he recognised Amanda’s voice. for example.
Do you think the prosecution’s reconstruction is plausible?
There are some doubts about the dynamics and the position of the victim’s body when she was stabbed. These are however not sufficent to repudiate the hypothesis of sexual assault.
In fact, you found Rudy guilty of sexual assault even though the results from the autopsy were not conclusive on this point.
Sexual assault is also an ‘invasion’ of the body as was described in the autopsy.
It is certain that the rapist pulled the victim’s top up. Some blood had also run down onto the trousers. It’s therefore plausible to think that whoever violated the victim put their hand down her trousers.
There were three of them and one had a knife. Why then wouldn’t they have been able to make her do what they wanted?
Because she screamed. Also with a knife at her throat and being held down it’s likely that she shouted out. There is a witness, Nara Capezzali, who said she woke up and was shocked by this scream.
Rudy’s lawyers said that their client’s dna was found on the right sleeve of the victims sweater bacause he touched it, not because he was holding her down with force.
This element needs to be put into context. On the victim’s right-hand there was one small cut, a few milimetres long, in between two fingers. On the left-hand, there were four clearly visible cuts. Also the tip of the finger had blood on it. This indicates that the victim’s right-hand was being held as she tried to defend herself with the left. After the fatal stab, she put her hands on the wound.
How important was the clash between the lawyers to your decision?
Not very important at all.
Yesterday evening, judge Paolo Micheli ruled that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito must await trial in prison.
ORIGINAL ITALIAN SOURCE
Corriere dell’Umbria wrote:This was in the Corriere dell’Umbria a while ago. They are extracts from Micheli’s 17 page refusal of house arrest. He would have been responding to things the defence lawyers said in their formal request for their client’s release.d.
“It makes no sense to imagine that contamination occurred during the collection of evidence or during the wait (there shouldn’t have been the delay in collecting the bra clasp) between November2 and December18. Although one can think that in times of crisis (’vacche magre’) gloves which are meant to be used once are used again, gloves and shoes were definitely changed when going from one house to another. In any case, the inspections of the houses were carried out by different people at different times. Studying the documents with regard to successive inspections of the house (in fact, there were at the same time) not involving the scientific police, at via della Pergola7 and corso Garibaldi110; 9’40am November6 at the house where the crime was committed, Napoleoni, Bigini, Gubbiotti, Barbadori e Zugarini; 10am at Sollecito’s house Chiacchiera, Finzi, Passeri, Ranauro, Camarda, Rossi e Sisani. Where’s the source,or even the suspicion for the contamination?” Micheli however, also makes a criticism. “It needs to be said that leaving the bra clasp for 46 days, which was moreover at a scene where there was evidence of sexual violence and after taking the bra, represents a serious oversight. It is also worth remembereing though that the consequent risk connected to this oversight was that evidence could have been lost, not the discovery of new traces that got there who knows how….It is incorrect to say that things were taken from the victim’s room, sorted in a different place where there could have been Sollecito’s dna (who knows how?) and then taken back. It is true that the black lamp was near the bed on November2, with the cable near the door. On December18 it was on the desk and the cable was hanging down and ended up under the small rug, near the bra clasp. Looking at the images however, one can see that the cable was a few centimetres from the bra clasp; it wasn’t on it or in contact with it. How could that cable, which for reasons of physics was touching just certain parts of the floor since it was not morpholocically uniform, have acted as blotting paper for the accused’s dna? Likewise, how can one imagine that Kercher’s dna ended up in a shirt box, in which the knife was placed more or less in accordance to the protocol.”