Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Massive Incompetence of the Perugian Police in the Amanda Knox Murder Trial

Perugian Police In Action
The massive incompetence of the Perugian police is breathtaking.  However, to be fair, their destruction of major evidence in the case may not have been  incompetence.  It may have been deliberate obstruction of justice, in order to frame the suspects under the command of chief prosecutor Giulano Mignini, no stranger to illegal and unethical methods of prosecution.  Let's review, shall we?

1.  Failure to affix the Victim's Time of Death.
Meredith Kercher's body was not examined by the coroner for more than 48 hours, making it impossible to fix the time of death in the usual manner -- by analyzing the drop in temperature, the onset of rigor mortis, etc.  The TOD is critically important to a murder case, because individuals can be eliminated from suspicion if they can establish their whereabouts at the time of death.  Fortunately, Meredith had a pizza dinner with several friends on the night of her death, and it is established that she last ate at 6 pm.  Food traveling through the digestive tract can be used as a secondary method of determining the TOD.  Mignini's control (formally or informally) of the entire Perugian legal structure resulted in a highly biased "motivation report," also known as the Massei Report after the judge who issued it.  The Massei Report disingenuously pushed the possible time of death to 11:30 pm, even though Kercher's stomach contents indicate her death occurred between 9:00 and 9:30 pm.  Both Knox and Sollecito were seen at the latter's apartment, 15 miles away, at the time of death.  They should have been eliminated as suspects early on, absent a conscious effort to frame them.

2.  Destruction of Computer Evidence.  The prosecution claimed Knox and Kercher disliked each other and had issues about rent money, cleanliness and other things.  However, this could have been proved or disproved by photos, email, letters and other documentation in the computers of the victims and the suspects. However, the Perugian police destroyed three out of four hard drives, ostensibly by accident:  those of Knox and Kercher, and one of Sollecito; the remaining drive on Sollecito's laptop was compromised by the use of the police for surfing the internet.  The defense proposed that the fried hard drives of the first three computers be sent to outside experts to see if the lost data could be recovered, but the prosecution refused.  It is reasonable to suspect that the police willfully destroyed evidence that refuted their case.

Update:  Another blogger in Perugia states that a fourth computer was also seized by the police, a laptop belonging to housemate Filomena Romanelli.  Her laptop was returned to her with the hard disk fried as well.  Gee, what an incredible string of bad luck!  Oh well, one out of five ain't bad.

3.  Failure to Tape the Interrogation of Amanda Knox.  A team of 12 interrogated Amanda Knox for many hours, during which she says they deprived her of food, water and sleep, screamed threats and insults in her face, cuffed her on the back of the head and subjected her to psychological torture.  It was from the use of this method that they coerced her into signing a false confession implicating her boss, Patrick Lumumba, who was targeted as a suspect. However, the police did not record the interrogation, either with video or audio, as required by Italian law, so Knox's claims cannot be verified.  It is entirely possible that the police did indeed tape the interrogations, but then  either destroyed the tapes or withheld them from the defense in order to obstruct justice. (As noted by author Mark Waterbury, the Perugian police recorded everything -- phone calls, text messages, email.  Not recording these interrogations would be out of character.)

4.  Failure to analyze a bank's security camera across the street from the crime scene.  The bank's camera would have recorded all comings and goings at the murder house, but the police did not access the camera until after the recordings were overwritten.  Although DNA, fingerprints and footprints clearly establish Rudy Guede's presence in the murder room, they do not refute the prosecution's claim that Guede was the invited guest of Knox and Sollecito, rather than a burglar who entered through a broken window on the second story.  (The Massei Report implausibly argues that the broken window was "staged" and not the actual point of entry by Guede.  Their argument is absurd and not supported by any evidence.)

5. The "loss" of twenty-nine wiretapped and recorded phone calls between Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, and between Raffaele and his father, and unable to be reviewed  by the defense (see here). One can only imagine the conversations that devastated Mignini's fanciful and imaginary theory of the crime.  It is reasonable to assume that these calls were "lost" because they exonerated the accused.  Either the police make the Keystone Kops look like CSI Miami, or they willfully obstructed justice by destroying exonerating evidence.  I report, you decide.
The government and legal system of Italy is very corrupt.  As disclosed by Wikileaks, our State Department is aware of this corruption.  Therefore, the willingness of judges and police officials to purposely frame innocents may seem unbelievable, but in Italy it appears to be both possible and probable.

Sources:  The Monster of Perugia:  the Framing of Amanda Knox, by Mark Waterbury, PhD. (See here for relevant excerpts.)
                Doug Bremner, M.D.  (See here)


zeb1956 said...

Thank you for the simple and very basic report

Huaimek said...

Yes ,I'm sure you are absolutely right . My feeling is that this case will end up at the ECHR , that is well used to unravelling many Injustices of the Italian Legal System .