Over three years ago I was contacted by Professor David Anderson, a retired endocrinologist who lives in Umbria. His Italian home is a short drive from Perugia. He had an idea for a book. Was I interested in getting involved?
We had first met in 2012 in Seattle at a gathering of supporters of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who were framed for the murder of English student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007. They were eventually released in 2011 after four years in prison.
Within days of her arrest as a suspect in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox was told that she had tested HIV positive. This was a lie and the circumstances surrounding this fake test form part of her appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
You can read more about the ECHR submission here: http://bit.ly/1XmI1BH
As she records in her book, “Waiting to Be Heard”; the HIV episode occurred in November 2007, during the first month of her incarceration and almost a year before she was charged. She and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were in custody because a judge had decided that they “might kill again” and because she might be a flight risk. This was an abuse of the Italian law on preventive detention which is only intended for suspected terrorists and known violent offenders.
The trap is sprung
The fake HIV test result news was announced to Amanda at a nightly infirmary appointment – this was a daily occurrence while her mental state was being assessed.
(Photo shows Oprah Winfrey.)
I was looking for the Google cache of the misnamed ‘True Justice for Meredith Kercher’ hate site today. I don’t like to give those trolls any direct hits if I can help it. For some reason the cache does not show at the moment. All you get is a tab with links to ‘similar’ sites which takes you to other hate sites like their fake wiki. Still unwilling to give them the hits, I clicked on the ‘more results’ link. This took me to another Google selection.
This is how I found the cache of Uber Fuehrer Peter Quennell’s rant about Oprah Winfrey from 2010. He got very cross when Oprah had the temerity to talk to Amanda’s folks about the travesty of the 2009 Massei trial. Quennell plays the race card as hard as he can, especially for Oprah. This is part of what he wrote, with my comments in brackets:
“Oprah Gets Snowed: Why Was She Not Made Aware of The Race Card Being Played?”
(Quennell likes his headlines capped.)
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested on November 6th 2007. After a year in prison they were indicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher.
On November 7th 2007, the day after the arrest, the Italian Minister of the Interior, Giulia Amati, declared that they were guilty. Their photographs were then placed on a ‘wall of shame’ at Rome Police Station, alongside pictures of convicted Mafia gangsters. This top level condemnation from the government emboldened the media. News coverage continued on the basis that they had already been convicted.
Keep taking the tabloids
Within hours of Meredith’s murder, journalists flocked to Perugia. As soon as Knox and Sollecito were arrested, coverage went into overdrive. In the early weeks of the investigation, The Times of London was posting as many as three stories a day on its website. Everything that the police told reporters was published as truth. Many ‘facts’ turned out to be lies. None of this mattered. A good story doesn’t have to be true.
Image (C)Daniel Butcher 2007
The presumption of innocence is the principle that a defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, which has to collect and present evidence that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant does not have to prove anything. This principle is a cornerstone of justice in most advanced countries.
Except in Italy
Soon after Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested, Judy Bachrach wrote an article for Vanity Fair magazine. She quoted ecclesiastical judge Count Neri Capponi who informed her that things would not go Knox’s way. “Our system stems from the Inquisition and also from medieval law,” he explained. What this means, in effect, is that justice in Italy “is based on the supremacy of the prosecution. This nullifies the fact—written in our constitution by the way—that you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
When someone you know is accused of a serious crime, you immediately reassess everything you think you know about them. If you scarcely know them, you will probably go along with whatever the police and prosecution say. If you know them well, you may be surprised. You may even know them so well that you refuse to believe that the accusations can be true.
If you know them, well, – so, so; not too well, but more than a little, you are still likely to be swayed against them. The British girls knew Meredith quite well; Amanda, not so much. Some had never met her. In the circumstances, their behaviour is understandable.