(This article was first published on Ground Report – 21 August 2012.)

This is what happens when police get tunnel vision. They shoot the arrow, then they draw the target. They lose their objectivity and that’s why we have juries. – Raymond Kelly

Many religious fundamentalists, both Roman Catholic and Protestant still believe in the reality of evil and witchcraft. This means that a man like prosecutor Mignini has no difficulty in seeing the work of the Devil in a crime scene and can conjure up an unlikely scenario, untroubled by minor inconveniences like evidence and criminal profiling. It also means that, with God on his side, it may be easy for him to believe that the ends justify the means. After all, someone who rises to the top, perhaps because of a ‘superior’ ability to convict criminals, will not permit dissent when he pronounces. Thus have magistrates, judges and civic leaders behaved though the ages.

Witches are often outsiders

Witches are often outsiders, not well known to the local community and unable to easily call on character references. On the other hand, local petty criminals are often part of the townscape. Their parents and teachers will be known. Their descent into criminality will have been observed, but as locals, they may be allowed some slack.

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This has been a tough article to write. There was a murder that need not have happened. The police may have been at fault. They had the chance to keep the culprit in custody for other crimes, before he killed. They failed. Then two innocent people were accused. The media supported a witch hunt. The victim’s family was cruelly misled. So it goes.

The family of Meredith Kercher has suffered a double tragedy. First they lost Meredith, who was murdered by burglar Rudy Guede on November 1st 2007. Then they lost seven and a half years of their lives, shackled to a failed justice system that pursued two innocent people in and out of prison, in addition to successfully prosecuting and convicting Guede.

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The acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito last Friday surprised everyone. The Supreme Court’s decision respected the facts of the case but most observers had become so jaundiced with the workings of Italian justice that few expected such an outcome.

What was in the minds of the judges as they deliberated for ten hours? What do we think they knew and what factors might have influenced them?

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On March 25th the Italian Supreme Court will rule for what could be the final time on the Meredith Kercher murder. This bizarre case has now transfixed three countries for seven years since a prosecutor obsessed with conspiracies and witchcraft constructed a fantasy around three people when only one – Rudy Guede – was Meredith’s killer.

After being falsely accused, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito served four years in prison, but were released following a successful appeal in 2011. No credible witnesses have linked them to the crime and the forensic evidence has been discredited by international experts, including Professor Peter Gill, the pioneer of low copy number DNA technology. Sollecito’s attorney Giulia Bongiorno said it was the first time that ‘two people have been convicted of a crime when there is no evidence putting them at the scene’.
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This goes to the heart of the conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. The ‘judicial truth’ established in Rudy Guede’s trial process destroyed Knox and Sollecito’s right to a fair trial.

In this clip we see Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini acting as an apologist for Guede – the man who murdererd Meredith Kercher. There can be no better example of the workings of Italian ‘justice’.

It’s not easy to frame innocent people.  Mistakes are made.  Witnesses fail to get their stories straight.  Fraudulent evidence is noticed.  Real forensic experts from elsewhere point out what is wrong with it.  Criminal profilers explain why the suspects are unlikely to have been involved.  The whole shambolic nature of the enterprise is unpicked and revealed for the fraud it is.

The mass media may not pay attention to this.  Newspapers like a simple narrative and for them the prosecution story may be fine.  We have all heard the expression, “Don’t believe what you read in the papers”, but you don’t know how true it is until you or somebody you care about is in the news.  It pays to be sceptical of every source.  Check facts and verify statements.  Don’t trust the messenger.

Acting on these principles, a group of innocence campaigners have built a website.  It covers the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito Case in detail.  Please read it.  You will learn how Meredith Kercher and her family have been failed and continue to be failed by Italy.

I was asked to provide a case summary, or overview.  I had no hesitation in doing so.  The creators of the site have done a fantastic job.  They have the facts at their fingertips and they are set out clearly.  Please use those facts when you talk to your friends.  Every journey starts with a single step.  Start here:


“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” – George Orwell

The battle to control the past reaches the next phase on March 25th when the Italian Supreme Court is expected to rule again on the innocence or guilt of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. In its previous incarnation in 2013 it overturned Judge Hellmann’s acquittal of the pair and ordered that the conviction should be reinstated at a further second level trial. This was duly done in Florence last year by Judge Nencini.

Who controls the past controls the future

For the Supreme Court, the events that happened on the evening of November 1st 2007 in Perugia are no longer relevant. The fact that Rudy Guede murdered Meredith Kercher is beside the point. We are looking at the Italian concept of judicial truth here, not reality. George Orwell understood the importance of controlling the past as he explained in his dystopian novel, ‘1984’. The truth of Meredith Kercher’s death is in the past. The only person who is still alive and who was there was Rudy Guede and we are unlikely to hear from him on the subject. He has been effectively silenced by a tightly controlled judicial process that minimised his role as lone murderer by implicating others for his benefit.

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It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.” – David St. Hubbins (Spinal Tap)

Coline Covington is a psychoanalyst – and by all accounts a respected one. She has practised for over twenty years in London and her clients have included “senior executives, politicians, artists, writers, film-makers, and people working in the health professions”.

She hails from the USA and was awarded a BA at Princeton University, moving on to Cambridge University for postgraduate studies, subsequently gaining a doctorate in sociology from the LSE. She has worked for local authorities and the Metropolitan Police and is a former Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council. She is a Training Analyst and Supervisor of the Society of Analytical Psychology and the British Psychotherapy Foundation. She is also former Editor of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. This is altogether an impressive resume.  Continue reading

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy

Part Three – Myths 21 to 40

Myth 21 – Amanda Knox is sex crazed and owned a sex toy

A novelty vibrator was a joke going away present. Knox indicated in court that it was about one inch long and her friend Madison Paxton confirmed this. John Follain, the journalist who was close to Mignini, suggests in his book that it was four inches long. Why was this brought up at all? The only purpose of putting this irrelevant detail in the pubic domain was to shock more censorious jury members, titillate a prurient media and decrease the possibility of a fair trial. There is no evidence that women who own sex toys are more likely to murder than anyone else.

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Let us suppose that you have a daughter, sister or friend who travels abroad to study. And let us suppose that her house mate is tragically murdered in a botched burglary. That would be pretty traumatic for a young person you might think, but that is not the end of the story.

She stays in town without access to her belongings – they are locked in the villa where the crime took place. Most of the victim’s friends leave as fast as they can. Your daughter stays to help the police. They wear her out with questioning, subject her to an all night grilling and then frame her and her boyfriend.

If you don’t think this can happen, you have not been paying attention. If you don’t think a traumatised adolescent can be made to say whatever the police want them to say, you know nothing about the way miscarriages of justice are created.

It gets worse.

The prosecution briefs the media with ‘misinformation’ (if we are being polite). Most of it is never used in court, but it blackens your daughter’s name around the world and helps to ensure that she is found guilty in a trial that lasts a year. By then she has been in prison, as an innocent person, for two years. The same thing also happens to her now ex-boyfriend.

There is an appeal. Two years later, after another trial that lasts a year, a judge who has actually looked at the evidence pronounces that your daughter and her friend are not merely innocent because guilt cannot be proved, they are innocent because he is certain that they did not commit the crime.

Meanwhile the murderer, the man whose DNA and prints were all over the victim’s body and room, has received a reduced sentence because he chose a short trial and apologised. Conveniently for the prosecution, the ‘motivation report’ – the final judicial summary of the case against him – asserts that your daughter and her friend committed the crime with him and your daughter struck the fatal blow. This whole process took place without allowing your daughter’s lawyers to cross examine the murderer or challenge any of the evidence. She and her friend were not party to his trial.

Never mind, it is all over, you think. After four years the innocent people are out of prison and home.

It is not all over. The prosecution appeals against the acquittal and succeeds. Another trial is ordered and this time the Supreme Court gives clear instructions that the verdict should be guilty. The new appeal court complies.

There will be another appeal. If you think Kafka had it tough, you have no concept of judicial cruelty.

By now over seven years have passed since your daughter’s friend was murdered. Her attempts to reach out to the bereaved family are rebuffed. They believe she is guilty and want to see her in prison again. They have employed a tough lawyer and are suing her for damages as well.

The tabloid media still think that this is a did she/didn’t she thriller. Very few journalists are interested in studying the case and trolls continue to defile your daughter’s name across the internet.

And that is roughly where we are now.

The list of judicial and procedural malpractice is a long one. There is a petition asking for the governments of three countries to examine it. Read it. I hope you will be shocked. You should be.

Please sign the petition – and be thankful if your daughter has led a less traumatic life.