And for once Bindel is on the right side…

We are in the last stages of the trial of Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Rudy Guede is already serving 30 years for the crime, but the prosecution are alleging that Knox and Sollecito were involved in a sex game that turned into murder. Amanda Knox has been represented in the Italian press, and to a large extent in the British press, as an evil dominating sexual woman – ie evil because sexual and female – who master-minded the whole thing.

The judge in the case has allowed the imprisonment of Knox in an overcrowded jail and has refused bail; he has allowed the prosecution to show the jury a reconstruction of their theories about what happened involving computer avatars. There is reason to worry that the fix may be in.

The local magistrate and prosecutor Mignin is under investigation for abuse of office and has form for over-elaborate theories – his pursuit of the so-called Monster of Florence, never actually caught, was hampered by his ideas about Black Magic conspiracies and organ theft. While failing to catch any actual killer, he was quite good at locking up a journalist who criticized him and threatening an American who was writing a book about the case thriller writer Doug Preston .

Obviously Preston has his own beefs with Mignini, but here’s his take on the Kercher case . Needless to say, he thinks Knox and Sollecito are innocent. He is good on the balance of probability and the incredibly dodgy DNA evidence as well as on how the case is part of Mignini’s complicated fantasy life.

Julie Bindel – I have in fairness to record – also thinks Knox innocent , though her analysis depends on feminist theory rather more than on the actual evidence Preston raises. Still, given the supine and sexist attitude of most of the UK press to the case, she is like a little ray of sunshine, for once.

All of this is going on in an Italy whose scandal-rocked Prime Minister pushes through laws to give himself immunity, while owning most of the press and other media and using them to promote himself and destroy his enemies. It is part of the same pattern of seedy insanity as the mysterious death in Rome of Brenda, the trans woman found dead in a burned out apartment, after being involved in scandal around a local politician.

It is all like a noir thriller with no detectives.

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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56 Responses to And for once Bindel is on the right side…

  1. boji says:

    I’ve thought Knox innocent since I read a Vanity Fair article on this trial/fiasco last year – or was that the year before? I wasn’t so sure about Sollecito having totally clean hands mind you, (if he’s the preppy, rich Italian boyfriend) but that’s more to do with the fact that the article was slanted to imply he was getting an easy ride due to nepotism and nationality.

    I do think the entire thing is a nightmare in which no to little justice will be served. How long has Amanda been locked up now? And in solitary I believe. Two years? Three.

    • rozkaveney says:

      I get the impression that Sollecito is a daddy’s boy who tried to sell out his girlfriend under pressure at one point, but it’s clear from what Preston says that Mignini is sufficiently scary in the interrogation room that people do stupid stuff around him.

      The Vanity Fair piece is pretty good, thanks for reminding me of it.

  2. he has allowed the prosecution to show the jury a reconstruction of their theories about what happened involving computer avatars

    For why this is a problem, see this brief by a company specialising in forensic computer graphics (including, as in that case, responding to such reconstructions).

    • rozkaveney says:

      And of course all of these problems are exacerbated when the case being reconstructed involves complicated and perverse sexual violence; the jury will be caught up in the prurience of having watched what is effectively snuff pornography and their sense of what is objectively real and what mere hypothesis will be compromised.

      What’s the betting that that video gets leaked onto the net before all this is done?

  3. annafdd says:

    Er… look, Italy has many faults, but not everything is hopelessly corrupted and the result of a fix. Bail is generally not given in Italy, and certainly not for murder, certainly not for a foreign citizen who is likely to try to abscond.

    I don’t know who killed Meredith Kerchner, but somebody did, and there is indeed evidence against Knox and Sollecito. Is it enough to convict? Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that Preston has on the Monster of Florence issue ideas just as fanciful as those of Mingini. (I followed Pacciani’s trial, which was televised in its entirety, and I have no problem believing it was him, despite the fact that it doesn’t make a good story, and it doesn’t comform to FBI’s profiling.)

    As for Bindel, she just can’t believe that a woman killed in that way, because women are saintly creatures who can only kill if in thrall to a man. Please. That’s what I call a case of with friends like these who needs enemies.

    Let’s try not to be prejudiced here. There have been miscarriages of justice in Italy, but then there have been in the UK too. Just because this happens in Italy, it doesn’t mean that it’s a farcical trial that of course will end up in a fix because it’s well-known that Italians are dishonest and sexists and so on and so forth.

    • rozkaveney says:

      I certainly never meant to imply that Italians are sexist and dishonest: I do though think that there is quite a lot of evidence that some Italian newspapers and politicians are, just like they are here. I stand corrected about bail in Italy – and in the unlikely event that someone in Knox’s position got charged in the UK, she wouldn’t get bail either.

      I don’t know who killed Meredith Kerchner, but somebody did Yes, Guede who has already been convicted, and whose DNA was all over her, not on a knife which probably was not used to kill her and was a kitchen utensil, in the flat where Knox and Kercher lived.

      The reason I linked to Preston is that he makes some sound points about the evidence in this case and has had the experience of being bullied by Mignini. As to his theories on the Monster of Florence, they may be fanciful but not as fanciful as Mignini’s – and Preston isn’t a public prosecutor.

      What Mignini’s treatment of Spezi and Preston, and more generally his theorizing in the Monster case, establish is that he has form for pursuing vendettas and for sticking to wild theories. I think both of these are relevant here,

      Bindel’s reasoning is kind of twittish, I will grant you, but it is worth pointing out that most of the UK press coverage has been based on the idea that because Amanda Knox had sex with multiple partners and took drugs, she is a killer, and Bindel is a corrective to that.

      • annafdd says:

        No, Bindel is not going to convince anybody with this kind of reasoning. It’s one thing to say “it is absolutely normal of 21 year old attractive girls in college in a foreign town to have as much sex as they can and good for them, and the almost totality of them don’t turn to murder for it”, and say “Oh, whenever a Woman does something wicked it’s always a Man that is putting her up to it! Women don’t do this kind of thing! I dare you to find an exception! Myra Hindley was put up to it!” (To which one finds oneself mumbling “Mary Bell, anybody?”)

        It is flawed and possibly dishonest reasoning, sign of a mind that can only function in absolutes. And it is actually counterproductive; if you want to fight sexism you don’t respond with some brand new sexism of your own.

        BTW – the Italian press is very prurient indeed, even the best examples, but they have stopped talking about Knox’s sex interests long ago. They are now going heavily for the gore.

        I could talk for a LOOONG time about the Monster of Florence… but yeah, if two journalists are telling everybody that you are barking up the wrong tree and THEY know who the Monster is, you suspect they either they are hiding evidence, in which case it’s a crime, or they are talking out their asses, in which case they are hindering prosecution. Searching their houses seems a good idea to me, and regrettably, preventive custody has come to be used by Italian prosecutors as a way of pressuring suspects to spill the beans. Not nice, and this guy doesn’t look particularly nice to me, but it doesn’t mean he’s stark raving mad.

        As for his conspiracy theories… this is Italy, where we DID have a masonic lodge intent on subverting the Constitution (and they succeeded, too) and we DID have secret services paying people for planting bombs and then covering up for it.

      • rozkaveney says:

        Oh, I’m sure Preston and Spezio are deeply irritating, but then, I am sure Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito were irritating too. Irritating Mignini seems to be a dangerous thing to do.

        OK good point, Italy does have conspiracies. What they are not in general is black magic organ theft conspiracies as part of serial killer cases; they are cases about people in power abusing that power in order to get even more power. I’d argue that Mignini looking for a high-profile prosecution in which he could play to anti-Americanism, sexual prurience, sexist stereotyping and slippery-slope moralizing about drugs and seem to be the man who gets things done when in trouble over various abuses of power, fits that pattern rather neatly.

      • annafdd says:

        I’m pretty sure there is no magical organ theft conspiracy afoot in the Monster case either. And hell yeah, publicly attacking a prosecutor in Italy can land you in jail, but so can being snippy with a police officer everywhere. And anti-americanism is an ugly beast, but then so is the tendency to think that these Third World countries are all corrupted and out to get the foreigner. And ultimately, you know, it’s not the prosecutor who convicts, it’s the judges. Who are not, in Italy, “a jury of one’s peers”, they are three professional judges and two lay people. Which means that emotional arguments with them always go so far, and historically have not carried a lot of weight.

      • rozkaveney says:

        a new investigator, Michele Giuttari, seemed almost deranged: he was hunting down a satanic sect that used the sex organs as “wafers” in black masses. Anyone who got in his way was assumed to be part of the conspiracy. That’s from the Guardian review of Preston’s book but I remember reading about that aspect of the case in the TLS review as well. Giutarri worked with Mignini on the Kercher case as well.

        This is probably a good point to add that I was suspicious of the case against Knox and Sollecito from the beginning and only became aware of other issues around Mignini’s grand-standing and abuse of power much more recently.

        It’s probably also worth pointing out that I get obsessed with miscarriages of justice in the UK and US as well, even if I don’t post about them; it’s part of my background in civil liberties wonkery.

      • annafdd says:

        But does Preston say whether this was actually part of an indictment, or was it just general wonkery on the part of Mingini and Giuttari? Because if you start talking about the Monster with anybody below Modena and over Rome you’ll hear madder theories than this from seemingly sensible people. This was huge in popular immagination in Italy for decades, and especially in people living within driving distance of the hills of Florence. It’s our one and only serial killer (well, ok, no, there’s Donato Bilancia as well, but he is very small potatoes).

        There was another trial for satanist – I think around Modena. A dozen people were arrested, grisly details where aired, and a large trial was mounted. And they were all cleared. As far as I know, the only cases where people have been convicted in relation with satanic practices are cases where there had been very solid criminal cases and, motives being murky, the satanic stuff was proposed. Ad a rule, the judiciary in Italy tends not to be too fond of Catholic notions of the devil, although of course there are isolated exceptions.

        Miscarriages of justice do happen in Italy, but they are of the sort where innocent people spend a long time in jail while they go through all the grades of judgement. Italian justice is horrible in this – you get your punishment before sentence. (One of Toni Negri’s codefendants, eventually totally cleared of all charges, was in jail for seven years and was the founder of my chapter of Amnesty International.)

        But the fact that you end up being tried by several sets of judges means that there is more likelihood of guilty people being set free than of guilty people being incarcerated wrongly.

        That is why Pasolini said that we know who planted the bombs and who is responsible for covering up, but that we will never be able to prove it. He also meant that there was a conspiracy in covering up, and of course he was right, there was. But on the whole, the outrage in Italian justice is that lots of poor bastards who are guilty of run-of-the-mill crimes, like thefts, selling drugs, being drunk and disorderly, and so on, tend to go swiflty to jail, people who have murdered and swindled on a grand scale tend to go free. For example most mafia cases ended up being heard on appeal by one particular division of the Appellate Court, headed by a guy called Corrado Carnevale. And he always invalidated the sentences on technicalities. He was even tried for collusion, but cleared.

        So where the various people who bombed Piazza Navona, Piazzale Brescia, the Florence-Bologna train not once but twice, and Bologna Station. And the people who covered it up.

        Andreotti was cleared of colluding with the Mafia, although to his credit, he cooperated fully with the trial, unlike others I could name, and was cleared on merit, not because of statute of limitations.

      • annafdd says:

        The one exception is, of course, the Sofri case. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but it is a very interesting case. It all starts with an anarchist named Pinelli that fell to his death from a police station. Several people had been in the room with him when he “felt unwell”, or “had an active swoon”, and managed to “fall” out of a pretty high up window. One of the people in the room was a police officer called Calabresi. Not surprisingly, nobody was ever tried.

        So some time later Calabresi was killed in his car while, IIRC, parking under his home flat. There were witnesses who saw the killers, but were unable to identify them, and nobody was ever indicted.

        Twenty years go by and a guy walks into a police station, with a priest, to accuse himself of the murder and name three other people as instigators. These other people where leaders of a small left-wing party called Lotta Continua, and had, since then, either faded into obscurity or kept working into politics at various levels. One of them was Alberto Sofri, who had an impeccable reputation, had done nothing criminal in his life, and was considered a respected and sensible intellectual. The only evidence against him and the others was the testimony of the alleged killer.

        The trial went on for a dozen years. It went through several stages of judgement, including one in which the popular judges absolved, but the professional judge wrote a “suicide” motivation for the sentence, with the clear intention of having it voided on appeal, as it indeed was.

        Public opinion was vastly on Sofri’s side. Several highly regarded jurists came down in their favour. And yet, Sofri and the others were eventually condemned, the sentence confirmed on appeal and confirmed again at the Supreme Court. They all turned up to serve their sentences, still declaring themselves innocent, and Sofri even turned down a presidential pardon degree because he maintained that since he was not guilty, he did not want to be pardoned. Eventually he did accept the pardon because one of his co-defendants was dying of prison.

        Most people will tell you that that was a clear miscarriage of justice, and I would have agreed with you for a long time, until I read something Sofri wrote which made me very uneasy.

        Of course, as you can imagine, the paper produced by the various trials is so enormous that very few people have actually waded through all of it unless they had to, that is, unless they were involved in the trial.

        The bottom line is that, if there is not ironclad evidence against you, you are very likely eventually to be cleared, which is very small consolation if you have spent fifteen years in jail in the meantime.

      • rozkaveney says:

        does Preston say whether this was actually part of an indictment, or was it just general wonkery on the part of Mingini and Giuttari? It doesn’t seem to have made it into any actual indictments, that time,but I haven’t read Preston’s book.

        What it does establish is form. Giuttari and Mignini have a taste for baroque scenarios and playing to the gallery with them.

        Thanks for your clarification about how the Italian system works out – it will be useful to see how that affects the Kercher murder trial.

  4. I’m not wholly convinced by Preston’s approach (determining someone innocent because of how they look?), but I agree with both him and Bindel – for once – that there has been no real evidence against Knox & Sollecito made public. The construction of the case makes no sense. I don’t know how disclosure is handled in Italy, and whether the prosecutors have some secret, damning facts to spring, but they’d have to be big ones.

    I’ve always thought the trail was pretty much nonsense.

    I *did* agree with Preston that the “I had sex with her, then somebody else killed her” defence is almost always a hugely unlikely lie, though. Of course, there’s also the much less common someone else killed her, then I had sex with her defence. Funnily enough, that one didn’t succeed either.

    • Sometimes the “I had sex with her, then somebody else killed her” defense works. 😦

    • annafdd says:

      The evidence seems to be
      a) some of Knox’s DNA on the bra Meredith was wearing. A faint trace, and maybe not reliable;
      b) DNA both from Meredith and Knox on a knife found in Sollecito’s house reputed to be the murder weapon. These, too, are faint traces
      c) Phone calls between Knox and Guede both before and after the murder. Since she says not to know him, this is probably the most damning piece of information.
      d) details about Meredith’s body told by Knox to some friends that she should not have been able to see;
      e) Repeated lies and inconsistencies in the accounts Knox and Sollecito have given of their whereabouts that evening – for example, Sollecito said he’d been working on his computer but the computer was last accessed earlier in the evening;
      f) the most damning, but also the most evanescent: the behaviour, unanimously found chilling, of Amanda in the aftermath of Meredith’s death. Of course one can be indifferent and callous without being a murderer

      Personally, the thing that I find most damning is the fact that early on Amanda Knox’s story was that she was in the house while Meredith was killed and had recognized the killer as Patrick Lumumba, who was the owner of the pub where Amanda worked and had often criticized her work performance. He was lucky enough to have an ironclad alibi and was completely cleared. Not evidence, but pointing a finger at an innocent man is not something I find pleasant.

      My personal opinion? she was complicit in killing Meredith Krechner, but I would not sentence either her or Sollecito to life in prison based on the available evidence. I am in general more comfortable with a guilty party going free than risk to jail an innocent.

      But Preston’s interview is unbelievably rubbish. Sollecito and Knox are good children from good families, people like that don’t murder. Right.

      And the Vanity Fair piece drips with “local color” and sneaky language. “Our criminal system derives from the Inquisition”. No, not really, it derives from the French penal system, and was extensively reformed exactly to be more similar to the adversarial American system. (This may be because the old system, reformed some ten years ago or so, was defined as “inquisitorial”. That simply meant that the prosecutor was supposed to ascertain the truth of the facts, not argue for the defendant’s culpability as happens in the American system.) And smoking pot is in Italy “often a crime with no consequences” unlike everywhere else in the world, where the home cultivation and consumption of cannabis is totally unheard of and always leads to incarceration for long periods of time, especially if you are a white college student. Right.

      And while the Italian penal system and its jails have very, very serious problems, it is a bit rich of the American press of all to moan about it.

      • f) the most damning, but also the most evanescent: the behaviour, unanimously found chilling, of Amanda in the aftermath of Meredith’s death. Of course one can be indifferent and callous without being a murderer

        See, I find that part very dubious indeed. It smacks of Lindy Chamberlain – and is a bit too close to Preston’s “good kids” approach which, as you pointed out, is nonsense.

        I think c) & d) are the most problematic, but do not in themselves necessarily mean any involvement with the murder, although they might point to a willingness to cover it up when discovered – that’s a crime, but a separate one. The Lumumba issue could be calculated finger-pointing, or could be genuine error.

        My personal opinion is that they tried to cover up a murder, for whatever reasons – fear, panic, misplaced loyalty, whatever. That’s bad, but it doesn’t make them murderers.

        Frankly, since the case is going ahead, I suspect it won’t be possible to get a clear idea of any of it until it’s actually being heard – so much of the reporting is vague and insubstantial.

      • annafdd says:

        I’d agree with you on f. It’s disturbing, but being insensitive jerks is not punishable by law.

        I have no idea what they are guilty of, and I suspect that, due in part to the usual fumbling by the Scientific Police, we’ll never know. I very much doubt that they had nothing to do with it, but in dubio pro reo. However, given the evidence they have and that they obviously believe in, the prosecution has to make a case as best they can. It’s their job.

      • paulathomas says:

        f is to my mind not all that damning it could a shock reaction.

        More difficult for Knox is the DNA evidence, the faintness does not strike as diffficult for the prosecution. However DNA is only usefull if it when and how it was depossitted can be shown.

        I agree that both Bindel and Preston are operating operating on both sexist and xenophobic levels, doesn’t make them wrong but does make their reasoning suspect.

      • However, given the evidence they have and that they obviously believe in, the prosecution has to make a case as best they can. It’s their job.

        Yes, but ONLY if the evidence indicates that the case meets the requisite standards for public interest – I have no idea what it is in Italy, in the UK a case should have a 50%+ chance of success before the CPS will pursue it.

      • annafdd says:

        I suppose they believe in their evidence. I am far away and out of touch, and I don’t know right they are. There have been cases of people convicted on less scientific evidence than this, but then in those cases there have been tons of other circumstancial evidence (Anna Maria Franzoni springs to mind).

      • I guess we’ll just have to wait and see :-/

      • annafdd says:

        I just remembered something – in general, there is no prosecutorial discretion in Italy. Once you have been notified of a crime, and if you believe there is substance to it, you have to prosecute. This is part of why justice is so terribly clogged up.

      • Ah, now that makes a LOT more sense! So, does that mean that they have to prosecute even if there isn’t a good case? Even if they are fairly sure they’ll lose? That seems very odd, and wasteful.

      • annafdd says:

        They have to prosecute if there is enough evidence that a crime has been committed.

      • But in this case, someone has already been convicted for it! Doesn’t that count?

        *confused*

        What do they do if there’s evidence of the crime but insufficient evidence that any potential suspect actually, you know, did it?

      • paulathomas says:

        They surely can’t prosecute if they have evidence of a crime but no or insufficient evidence against any suspect?

      • annafdd says:

        Well, no, of course not. But they cannot, for example, decided not to prosecute a rape because they only have the testimony of the victim. Once they know of a crime, they have to initiate an inquiry and at the end of it decide whether they can be reasonably convinced that somebody is guilty or not. They can make a circumstantial case – of course, the judge or judges may well not convict.

        I have no idea of the details, not having studied law, but the idea is that there is a strong automatism in the law. However I am not sure how things have changed since the reform. We used not to have negotiation and deals, either. We now do, but they tend not to work very well. They also are not left the the discretion of the prosecution – if the defendant pleads guilty they are more or less assured a reduction of the sentence of 1/3. This is obviously not certain, though, because Guede pleaded guilty and still got the maximum, 30 years (life sentences were abolished some time ago).

        What I am not sure of is whether we have jeopardy laws.

      • while the Italian penal system and its jails have very, very serious problems, it is a bit rich of the American press of all to moan about it.

        This part, I completely agree with. Rather what I thought about the anti-Portuguese crap spewed out during the extend McCann reportage.

      • rozkaveney says:

        Some traces of one’s DNA on items in the flat where one lives are not damning evidence – particularly when the traces have been seriously damanged by washing. The fact that the traces were damaged has been claimed as evidence of an attempt to hide the truth, whereas simple household cleanliness is far more likely.

        The whole attitude thing? You have to ask yourself how you would have reacted if a flatmate you didn’t get on with was suddenly horribly dead. A nervous fit of the giggles is, I fear, quite a likely reaction.

        Also, one of the things people have been most upset about is that Knox and Sollecito went off and bought her sexy underwear – that may be inappropriate but it is the sort of thing people do.

        Innocent people confronted with – let’s point it out – quite mad theories about their involvement with the murder tell a lot of lies and dig themselves in deeper by doing so. This is one of the reasons why in some countries people get to ‘lawyer up’ early on and why it is not an admission of guilt. The stuff about not knowing Guede and the stuff about the computer
        fall into that category; in situations where you are being accused of having a threesome that involved torturing and killing your flatmate, you probably don’t think that saying, I was smoking dope and having sex, is enough of an alibi.

        My memory – and I’m writing this in a hurry so don’t have time to check – is that Knox didn’t bring up Lumumba, so much as rushed to incriminate him when he was suggested. Either way, yes, disgraceful behaviour but the sort of foolish thing people do in a panic.

        Why do you think she was complicit in the killing? And in what way?

        Here’s the thing people are missing – Preston is not saying, good-looking kids from nice families don’t kill. What he is saying is that, if you are looking for the sort of people who get involved in spontaneous torture-death threesomes, nice kids with no previous form for eg torturing animals are not the major group you profile. What Mignini and the British press are saying is, it is a rapid slippery slope from sleeping around and taking drugs to you and your main boyfriend and some other guy repeatedly torture-stabbing your flatmate and watching her be raped and then finishing her off. I think Preston has a point.

        Similarly, Bindel’s point is 1, that we know quite a lot about the Myra Hindleys and Rosemary Wests of this world,the women who help their men kill, and she doesn’t fit that profile and 2. the Queen of the Damned figure who incites the men around her to torture and kill is not something that happens outside male fantasy.

        Absent any strong evidence to the contrary, I think she is pragmatically correct.

      • annafdd says:

        I am very, very wary of profiling. The reason lots of people just can’t resign themselves to Pacciani being the Monster is that he just didn’t fit the profile. A profile btw made up by the FBI, who know very little about small Tuscan villages. But if you watched the trial, you realized that these are not small salt-of-the-earth people, they were quite frightening, and capable of quite incredible violence.

        BTW, the knife was found in Sollecito’s flat, where Kerchener never went, which is why it’s so important. And, despite what Preston says, most household cleaning agents in Italy do not contain bleach.

      • rozkaveney says:

        the knife was found in Sollecito’s flat, where Kerchener never went But it was a kitchen knife, which means that it would get DNA traces just from use, and is precisely the sort of thing which gets taken back and forth between flats.

      • Ooh, good article. I also rather like Gladwell.

  5. phantomas says:

    uhm…what said, mostly…

    All of this is going on in an Italy whose scandal-rocked Prime Minister pushes through laws to give himself immunity, while owning most of the press and other media and using them to promote himself and destroy his enemies.

    Someone like you who deals often with press misrepresentations and reports of events, I would like to think you above these generalizations. If Berlusconi really had all this power over the press, do you really think the press would be able to say what they say – constantly, all the time, on all the channels but one (rete4) – about him?

    As to the case…I don’t know enough (do any of us) to have an opinion about it. I will say that Italian justice is extremely slow and its proceedings over-complicated. It’s not the same as saying that it always fails.

    • annafdd says:

      Berlusconi owns the press. What he does not own is the judiciary, something that has always been a source of no little annoyance for him.

      • phantomas says:

        And still the judiciary has never found anything to convict him with. Uhm.

        Well, we obviously disagree.

      • annafdd says:

        They did actually. He was convicted of lying regarding his involvement with P2.

        Several of his co-defendants have also been convicted of other small matters like fraud and bribery, while he was untouchable because of immunity.

      • phantomas says:

        Just for the record, I didn’t write that he doesn’t own the press (he surely does to a significant extent). My comment was aimed at the supposed belief about his power over the press.

      • annafdd says:

        That would be why Daniele Luttazzi has a prime time slot on Rai 1, and Michele Santoro and Enzo Biagi never stopped working, right?

  6. paulathomas says:

    On the “forensic reconstructions in court” issue I really don’t have a problem here providing the defence can challenge it.

    I’m always wary of criticising other country’s justice systems especially as I remember the fear on an Italian colleague’s face when he heard how, to him overly, hasty the British system is. He was really shocked that you could go to gaol after one trial and did not have an automatic right of appeeal. He found the idea that any trial could last less than three months really frightening.

    • annafdd says:

      Unless you are found red-handed over the corpse, with three witnesses who just saw the murder one of which is a priest and another of which is the local pharmacist, you are likely to keep on appealing for the next twenty years or so. However in most cases you’ll spend that time in jail. The exception is Sofri, who was left on bail because the murder happened twenty years before and he had led an unimpeachable life since. Both he and his two co-defendant turned up when they were finally (and very controversially) and definitely convicted though. Which is more than can be said of Craxi.

      All in all, the British system seems to be preferable to me.

  7. mevennen says:

    >As for Bindel, she just can’t believe that a woman killed in that way, because women are saintly creatures who can only kill if in thrall to a man. Please. That’s what I call a case of with friends like these who needs enemies.

    Yes, I completely agree. She says:

    >What I have found in cases where women are accused of such horrific crimes is that a man close to her is the main instigator.

    They may not result in murder, but the recent spate of cases where women have been involved in child abuse would seem to give the lie to this one. I suspect that the view of women in which they are portrayed as saintly creatures has meant that an awful lot of behaviour has simply gone unnoticed or been disbelieved. I’ve met enough female sociopaths to suspect that Knox possibly is one, but I have no evidence for this.

    • annafdd says:

      Just off the top of my head, and just from Italian history, there have been two child killers, one who killed her sixteen year old daughter because she thought the kid was “making eyes” at her man, and another who killed her two-year old boy smashing his head in for reasons that have never been cleared, but may have to do with the fact that she wanted to trade him in with a new one. Then there is Erica Nardi, who killed her mom and drowned her ten year old brother in the family bathtub before telling everybody that evil Albanians had killed everybody in her family. Admittedly she was helped by her boyfriend, but it is pretty obvious that he was the submissive partner.

  8. Whether or not Knox is innocent, the way that she has been vilified by the press is unforgiveable. Right from the start when it became apparent that a pretty young girl was involved in the case, they called her ‘Foxy Knoxy’ and took a prurient interest in the details of her personal life and appearance. Then when it turned out that *horror* she was a young woman who actually enjoyed sex, even kinky sex… well, she was obviously some sort of jezebel entrapping innocents.

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