Sunday, April 3, 2011

Amanda Knox case update

Here's an article from Italy which gives an update on the case, as provided by Seattle reporter Candace Dempsey:

The ‘collapse’ of the charges at the appeal court.
By Giangavino Sulas

April 2011, Perugia.
The scientific proof, finally entrusted to experts nominated by the appeals court and not just to the police, is deteriorating and opens up disturbing questions about the procedures used. The witnesses, who when they were not drug addicts (like Hekuran Kokomani and Antonio Curatolo), have problems of deafness, of physical as well as mental health serious enough to be hospitalized in the psychiatric department. (That is the case with Nara Capezzali).

This is the Perugia appeals court for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher. Before the bar are two suspects and on the bench a good three prosecutors (a public prosecutor and two deputy prosecutors). A number worthy of a Cosa Nostra super trial. Evidently there are a few problems. And the problems unfailingly emerge.

If Meredith’s bra clasp, on which the prosecutor maintains is revealed the DNA of Raffaele Sollecito, is now rusted and no longer capable of being analyzed by the experts entrusted by the appeals court, and if the only witness who claims to have seen Amanda and Raffaele together the night of the crime has changed versions, advancing a “vision” of the previous night, what remains against Raffaele Sollecito, the young man from Puglia?

And what remains against Amanda if, always according to the experts, the amount of biological material found on on the knife, the presumed crime weapon, is a level too low to be able to reveal the genetic code? Recall that this is the biological material from which the forensic analyst extracted the DNA of Meredith (on the tip of the blade) and of Amanda (on the handle.)

On the blade there is no trace of bleach
The experts added as well another particular: there was no trace of bleach on that knife. Then it had never been washed to clean the traces as maintained by the forensic police. The only proofs against the two young people have been cleaned away, but Amanda and Raffaele remain in prison after three and a half years. The young man of Puglia has celebrated his fourth consecutive birthday in a cell.

March 26, 2001 was the day for Antonio Curatolo, the homeless man who, since he decided to follow the way of Christ (he defines himself as a Christian anarchist but admitted to make regular use of heroin and other drugs) spends his days and his nights on a Piazza Grimana bench, in front of the University for Foreigners. He appeared before the court because the lawyer Luca Maori, Sollecito’s defense lawyer, discovered a few too many holes in the testimony given by the homeless man to prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, six months after the crime.

Curatolo–who in the last few years in Perugia helped police resolve two heinous crimes thanks to his timely presence on the spot where they occurred–went to court to reveal that on the night of November 1st, 2007 he had noted, from 9:30 p.m until 11:30 p.m., Amanda and Raffaele in Piazza Grimana speaking animatedly. And he tied his memory to the presence of the shuttle buses that at that hour carry young people to the various discos outside of Perugia.

Testimony that destroyed the alibis of the two young people, who’ve always said that they spent the night of Nov. 1 watching a movie together. But there was something wrong with seeing buses on that night. In fact, the owners of the various discos, from Giorgio Brughini, father of Marco Materazzi, to the director of “siae di Perugia,” came to court to say that on the night of November 1, the night after Halloween, all their businesses were closed and the buses stayed in the garage. A solid blow to the prosecution, which quickly removed the tramp. And Curatolo had come into court accompanied by a prison guard.

The homeless man and the experts

He’s serving a sentence of one year and a half in prison for selling cocaine. And in November he can expect another trial for drug dealing.

Before the appeals court judges overturned his deposition: “It was Oct. 31 when I saw Amanda and Raffaele. I remember all the kids were in costume.” Clear reference to the night of Halloween. End of testimony. Curatolo has gone back to prison.

He’s not going to solve the third murder in Perugia. Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, professors at Sapienza University in Rome, are the experts chosen by appeals court judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman when he decided to reopen the investigation and to appoint non-partisan experts because of too many obscurities in the courtroom.

In the first trial, independent experts had inexplicably been rejected.

The two experts should determine whether forensic science can verify what the police verified and whether the (police) forensic expert, when looking at the hook and the knife, applied the cautious protocols established for this analysis and if they can identify contamination.

For the knife, they seem already to have reached a conclusion. After taking samples from different points of the blade, they found an insufficient quantity of biological material. Insufficient to obtain genetic profiles for testing. Then how could they get the DNA of Amanda and Meredith?

The prosecutor Giuliano Mignini is quick to point out: “We knew that very little material was available and that the lab test done by the police was unique because it used up all there was.”

Then why did the court order new tests? In reality, the two experts rejected the work of the police, saying “on that knife there was never enough to get biological material to get DNA profiles.”

This is the truth that emerges from the sensational and shocking new report.

The bra clasp: The only bit of evidence said to link Raffaele Sollecito to the crime is too rusty to test.

Chain of errors.
And the discovery made on the second finding is even more astonishing. When the experts received the bra clasp of Meredith, they found it covered with rust. “Could not be tested,” they ruled.

But where and how it was this important piece of evidence preserved? How is it possible that nobody thought to keep it sealed in a vacuum bag? The history of this clasp after Raffaele Sollecito’s three and a half years in prison really is unique. On the afternoon of November 2, 2007, it was found under the body of Meredith by medical examiner Luca

All of a sudden, someone remembered the hook. They rushed to recover in a house that had, in the meantime, undergone two searches. They found it and, surprise, there was the DNA of Raffaele.

Now there’s just rust.

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