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Nov-04-2010 18:00printcomments

Appeal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

The couple is appealing their convictions of Meredith Kercher's murder.

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox / Meredith Kercher
Photo: dailymail.co.uk

(PERUGIA, Italy) - Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will appeal their convictions for the Nov. 1, 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, on Nov. 24, 2010. They are serving 26 and 25 years prison terms, respectively.

This appeal in Perugia, Italy, could take only five days or run for several months, depending upon whether the judge approves defense requests for further testing.

Requests made by Amanda and Raffaele's lawyers:

a) That independent forensic experts examine the DNA evidence used to convict them and for the withheld electronic data files, instrument logs and control tests be released to the defense.

b) Sending computer hard drives damaged by police computer experts to be evaluated by their respected manufacturers in hopes of retrieving lost data.

c) An audio test to determine whether a prosecution witness could have heard a scream on the night of the murder.

d) Tests on a probable semen stain smeared by Rudy Guede’s shoe print that was found on a pillow underneath the victim’s body with a Crimescope.

Independent Forensic Examination

Independent forensic examination of Raffaele's kitchen knife, the alleged murder weapon, would result in it being thrown out on appeal. Any DNA that may have been on the knife was destroyed during testing by the prosecution's forensic expert. Dr. Patrizia Stefanoni stopped testing when she received a ‘too low’ reading on other samples. She broke protocol in the testing of the knife which received a reading of ‘too low’ at least four times prior to the results that were then tested out of existence.

She also broke DNA testing guidelines in the process. These tests were done even though the knife had tested negative for blood. The appeal is asking for the withheld electronic data files (fsa), instrument logs and control tests for the knife to be turned over to the defense for examination.

The court found the murder to be unplanned and explains the use of the Raffaele’s kitchen knife by saying Amanda was carrying the 12 inch knife in her purse for protection.

The appeal points out that this is implausible. The knife size is also not compatible with any of the victim’s wounds or the outline of a knife made on the bed sheet. To see the testing notes on the knife tests click here. Raffaele’s appeal is requesting that new testing be done on the Bra Clasp claimed to have his DNA on it performed using LCN (Low Copy Number) requirements. According to Raffaele's appeal the DNA is not even his because there are several alleles that don’t match his profile, which rules him out completely. Raffaele’s appeal contends that testing will show DNA on the clasp is either not his or that it was found on the bra clasp only as a result of contamination. The bra clasp was only recovered 47 days after the murder and video captured that it had been moved from its original location.

The clasp also has the DNA of 3 unknown profiles which shows the clasp was definitely contaminated.

Video of the forensic team clearly show the team members passing the clasp around with gloves exhibiting dirt and spots on the fingers. It may also have been contaminated while being moved around the room or when it came in contact with the pile of objects it came to rest in. Amanda's defense team argue that the court improperly identified bare footprints revealed with Luminol in the hallway outside of Meredith’s bedroom as being made by Amanda the night of the murder. This is despite no footprints of Amanda being found anywhere at the bedroom crime scene.

Luminol is a presumptive test for blood but also reacts to other substances such as household cleaning products. The Luminol revealed the bare footprints but the forensic team claimed not to have performed actual blood tests on the prints.

In July 2009 testing records were obtained by the defense that showed the prints HAD been tested using Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) and all the Luminol prints tested negative for blood. TMB is a highly reactive test that may give false positives but rarely false negatives.

Meredith’s DNA profile was not found in any of the bare footprints as another point. It is therefore unknown what the Luminol reacted to, whether the prints even belonged to Amanda and they cannot be dated.

The Bathmat Footprint

Dr. Rinaldi's measurements of a bloody footprint left on a bathmat said to be made by Raffaele were in error and the print could not have been made by him. The defense argues that inspection of the bathmat print clearly shows that the tip of the second toe blended with the top of the big toe. Dr. Rinaldi measured the big toe including the top of the second toe. This error caused the width of the big toe to measure 30mm. When measured correctly the toe on the bathmat measured 24.8mm, which is incompatible with Raffaele’s toe measurement of 30mm.

It is impossible that Raffaele’s foot made the print on the bathmat. Instead of the court agreeing that this measurement correction rules out Raffaele’s foot, the court states that the vision of a whole smear is different than a footprint daubed on the material, which is not a logical explanation. The court ignored the measurement correction and should have recognized Dr. Rinaldi’s error.

The Alleged Clean up

The court wrongly alleged that Amanda and Raffaele conducted a clean up of the crime scene the morning after the murder between 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It would have been impossible to remove all traces of Amanda and Raffaele while still leaving undisturbed evidence left by Rudy Guede.

The defense argue that there is no proof or logical reasoning to suggest they had 4 hours to clean up and missed so many items. There were many visible items such as the bathmat footprint, bloody shoe prints in Meredith's room and the hallway, fingerprints and blood traces in the bathroom.

The Luminol footprints if cleaned would have appeared as smears instead of defined prints. Trace evidence of a clean up does not exist and the defense contends there were no signs of bleach use or other cleaning to support the claim of one.

Computer activity and data retrieval

Raffaele’s appeal shows a 20 minute video was activated at 9:26 p.m. on his computer. It doesn’t prove they stayed to watch the video, but it does place them in his apartment at 9:26 p.m. to activate the video, which makes the eye witness account of the park bench witness unreliable because he claimed they both were at Piazza Grimana at that time. The hard drives of Amanda and Raffaele’s computers were damaged during police testing.

The appeals are requesting that they be sent to be evaluated by their respected manufacturers to try and retrieve the lost data. Raffaele’s could show computer activity during the time of the murder. Amanda's computer would show photographs/emails of her and Meredith which would reveal a friendly relationship contrary to that depicted by the press and prosecution.

The Witnesses

Shop owner Marco Quintavalle's testimony on seeing Amanda at his store the morning of Nov 2nd is contradicted by the testimony of Inspector Orestes Volturno. Inspector Volturno's service records show that on Nov 19, 2007 he and another officer showed photos of Amanda and Raffaele to Marco Quintavalle and two employees and explicitly asked if they had been in to buy bleach at a date close to the murder.

Quintavalle said they had been to his store a few times but not on November 2nd. He only came forward almost a year later with a different story. Store employee Ana Marina Chiriboga's testimony backed up that of officer Volturno. No bleach receipts or sales records were ever produced to confirm Quintavalle’s story.

Since his testimony has been directly contradicted any reasonable appellate judge will dismiss his testimony as unreliable.

Between 10:30 p.m.-11:35/40 p.m. there were three witnesses whose car had broken down right across the street from the cottage who saw that the gate was already open, no one came or went to the cottage during that time and no lights were observed on.

They testified that they did not hear a scream. Yet the judge believes Nara Capezzali, who alleged hearing a scream at 11:30 p.m., even though she made several other provably inaccurate claims.

The defense is also requesting audio tests to determine if it’s possible for a scream to be heard through all the walls.

Antonio Curatolo, the park bench witness, is a professional witness who testified in two other trials. Curatolo testified nine times that he saw Amanda and Raffaele until near midnight. He testified only once that he saw Amanda and Raffaele until 11:00 p.m. The court ignored the nine other statements and chooses to believe the one. Curatolo also stated he left the piazza after the Disco buses stopped for the night when no buses operated that night due to the holiday.

Both Amanda & Raffaele argue strongly that there is no proof of their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard of proof that is very high and difficult to meet based upon Italian law and Italian Supreme Court cases.

For more clarity of the issues raised in the appeal please log on to: Injustice in Perugia

Press release: http://injusticeinperugia.org/




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greg p November 27, 2010 8:56 am (Pacific time)

A complete travesty with an inside look at the corruption in Italian justice system maligning an innocent couple for the murder they didnt commit and then to reduce the true killers sentence sticks a knife further in than the killers of Julius Caeser.


HarryRag November 9, 2010 5:07 am (Pacific time)

Inn my opinion prosecutor Mignini needed to create characters for Amanda and Raffaele that would fit into a satanic cult. It's amazing how successfully he was at this, but he has likely had a lot of practice at framing people, and after all, this has always been a screwed up world, for most parts ruled by insensitive creeps.


HarryRag November 9, 2010 4:58 am (Pacific time)

www.truejustice.org shows OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE that it is part of an organization that is funded by some unknown person or organization, who I think may be the prosecutor and his henchmen or a news organization (perhaps the Daily Beast) that publishes books about this case. This is a good article, although it does not include everything known about this case, the article does provide you with a link to injusticeinperugia.org where you can learn the truth about this case. Go there, look at the crime scene photos and judge what happened for your self.


HarryRag November 9, 2010 4:41 am (Pacific time)

My opinions: I've spent well over 1000 hours studying this case and it is more than slightly obvious that Amanda and Raffaele were framed. We, the people of all countries must put a stop to this criminal activity on the part of the authorities. If I had the authority to make the laws, the authorities would pay dearly for their crimes, there would be mandatory prison time for felony, loss of license to practice law and they would be baned from working for any government agency (city, county, state, and federal) when released from their long stay in prison. Also all their money and property would be awarded to the victims. It is not right for the tax payers to pay for their crimes while it cost the guilty party nothing. I've seen too much of this type activity go unpunished. We the people of the world, must gain and maintain control of our governments or the abuse of the citizens of the world will continue. It is ironic that Amanda, her parents and her lawyers have been charged with slander while the authorities are known to be guilty of numerous counts of perjury.


Anon November 8, 2010 10:49 pm (Pacific time)

"Those who argue her appeal should be more aggressive than what is presented here." This was about the what to expect in the upcoming appeal. Do their appeals argue that Rudy Guede did it? If not, your criticism is not justified.


PhanuelB November 7, 2010 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

This article does not properly state the strength of the exonerating evidence in the case. It looks too much like a run of the mill challenge everything and claim reasonable doubt defense. This crime was committed by a local thug from the Ivory Coast named Rudy Guede. There is a mountain of evidence against him. Amanda and Raffaele didn’t know him and they didn’t get together with him for a sex orgy. Guede's DNA was inside the sexual areas of the victim; his palm print was there in the victim's blood; he flees; he has defensive wounds; he admits being there; he has motive and a history of armed break-ins identical to what was found at the crime scene. Amanda Knox worked in a bar and Rudy Guede was a bar crawler so she had seen him around, nothing more. Raffaele didn't know who he was. There was no physical trace of Amanda Knox in the room where the murder occurred, none. As for other DNA evidence, remember that Amanda lived there. It’s no surprise to find her DNA where she lived. The trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito was a show trial and a kangaroo court that has shamed all of Italy. Those who argue her appeal should be more aggressive than what is presented here. It all starts with Rudy Guede.


HarryRag November 5, 2010 9:31 pm (Pacific time)

My opinion: The people of Italy and the world must not allow evil people such as prosecutor Mignini remain in positions of authority. Mignini is a danger to all people in his jurisdiction. Please do not allow this man to continue with his abuse of innocent people. His dishonesty is more than conclusive to the most casual observers.


HarryRag November 5, 2010 8:37 pm (Pacific time)

Prosecutor Mignini who: was indicted for abuse of power during the summer of 2006, charged / prosecuted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher Nov 2007, was charged with abuse of power in April 2008, succeeded in convicting Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher during Dec 2009, Dec 2009, said "It grieved me to have to ask for a life sentence for a woman of only 22 and a man of 25, but yes, I have suffered over this. It is not easy to ask for life sentences for two young people in their twenties. I too am a human being. I, too, have a heart", was convicted for abuse of power in January 2010 (sentenced to 16 months in prison), charges he brought against 20 innocent people were dropped in April 2010, due to lack of evidence (falsely accused), charged Amanda Knox with slander and insisted on a life sentence during 2010.


grimbal November 5, 2010 7:46 pm (Pacific time)

What the hell! All three are guilty as sin.


Banardi November 5, 2010 2:55 pm (Pacific time)

C'mon, this is lead Knox-groupie Bruce Fisher's BS propaganda twaddle. An obsessed middle-aged man who has fallen in love with Amanda Knox. Rest in Peace, Meredith Kercher. No matter what any delusional fanclub from the USA says, we know who the real victim in all of this is. The only real injustice in Perugia will be if your murderers are set free on appeal.


jccourt November 5, 2010 11:59 am (Pacific time)

God bless Meredith Kercher and her Family, for this irreparable Tragic loss. Our prayers goes to you! Hi There Everyone! Enough is Enough! this Farce has been going on for far too long, Amanda Knox is Totally innocent of this Horrendous crime. The Italian Prosecutor in this case, Giuliano Mignini is already a convicted Criminal! and a Blight to Justice all over the World. Join us to Fight this Injustice! Join us if you Love your Daughters! How? The first thing to do, is to give Generously to: the Amanda knox defense fund [www.amandadefensefund.org] Thank you! No DNA at the Crime Scene= no case I Repeat No dna at the Crime Scene= No Case.


sam November 5, 2010 11:42 am (Pacific time)

this is an excellent article and clearly shows that the guilty conviction was wrong and that Amanda and Raffaele are innocent people. I am sure that they will win their Appeal and that they will be free to go home very soon.!!!


truth-loving November 5, 2010 10:37 am (Pacific time)

Great conclusive article.This innocent young lady has suffered enough. The truth will set her free.


Justice November 5, 2010 9:41 am (Pacific time)

This is not a news article. This is just propaganda.
Every single statement made in this article is either incorrect or a misleading interpretation of the appeal documents of defense.
The majority of other evidence against AK and RS are conveniently not mentioned.
In any case, the defense team will do their work in court to try to defend their clients and a jury/judges will decide.

Editor: That was not a comment, just propaganda... do note that this is a press release from injusticeinperugia.org and dult marked.


archie2u November 5, 2010 9:23 am (Pacific time)

I thought this article did a good job of summing up the weaknesses in the prosecution's case. I am actually amazed at how many pages the Massei motivation report (the court's version of the reasons for conviction) were devoted to the expert testimony describing all of the problems with the DNA "evidence". I understand now why some people say that that report was actually written for the appeal of the conviction to have good grounds. Go ahead and visit the "truejustice" site, and after you get tired of the snide comments, and realize that they filter out any comments or analysis contrary to their set views, you will realize that you have to go elsewhere for information.


Sarah November 4, 2010 9:43 pm (Pacific time)

Very informative Press Release. injusticeinperugia.org has done a great job showing what a sham this conviction was. This case is riddled with ridiculous problems. Amanda and Raffaele are clearly innocent and should win the appeal.


Bob November 5, 2010 7:18 am (Pacific time)

I think the defence is weak in terms of the changing alibis and explaining Knox's written statements post-arrest. What is FOA's explanation regarding how Meredith's blood was found in the bathroom? I.e. Guede's bloody footprints led straight to the front door. I.e. He couldn't have taken the victim's blood into the bathroom. Who did then?


Sally November 4, 2010 11:28 pm (Pacific time)

This article really shouldn't be presented as a new story when it presents only one side. And referencing only one website is misleading. What about www.truejustice.org which shows the OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE that DID convict them.

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