Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Amanda Knox's parents sued

I always know when there's a new Amanda Knox update, because I get bunches of hits on her old MySpace photo (left). I don't even need Google alerts!

Today, Knox's parents (Curt Knox and Edda Mellas) were sued for libel by Italian police. Say what?! (I didn't even know you could do that.):

The unusual charge against the US couple stems from an interview they gave to the Sunday Times three years ago, in which they alleged that she had been physically and verbally mistreated during questioning after [Meredith] Kercher's murder in 2007. The police denied harming Knox.

Curt Knox and his wife, Edda Mellas, were charged in their absence by a court in Perugia . They are scheduled to stand trail on 4 July.

A repesentative of the Knox family said there would be no comment on the development.

Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher in the cottage the two women shared in Perugia. Kercher was found semi-naked, with her throat slashed.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and Sollecito to 25 years. Both deny wrongdoing, and their appeal against conviction has begun.
As I have written before (see above links), I think there is an even chance that Knox is guilty, but of course, could never be convicted in a US courtroom, where evidence is required. In Italy? Apparently not. There seems to be no forensic evidence whatsoever.

After reading that several jurors showed up in court wearing Italian flags (in anti-American sentiment), I was floored. In the USA, that alone would be enough for a mistrial. In Italy? Apparently not.

Anyway, now her parents are not allowed to trash the cops, another American pastime I totally took for granted:
The Italian court was told, according to the Italian news agency ANSA, that "they said, contrary to the truth, that Amanda had not been assisted by an interpreter, that she hadn't been given food or water, that she had been abused both physically and verbally", and "that she had been slapped on the back of the head and threatened".

Libel is a criminal charge in Italy, and carries a sentence of six months to three years, as well as a fine.
This is what they call a judicial system? Maybe in the Vatican, but not in the days of FORENSIC FILES, okay?

Italia, be ashamed, be very ashamed.


Comments welcome, but be advised: No nastiness on this thread, or its the trap-door for you. I put up with a lot of crap from the peanut gallery when I first started blogging (again, check the threads), but I don't now. Anti-Amanda misogynists and/or anti-American Italians, take heed.


JoJo said...

As you can imagine, this story has been pretty much front and center up here, since she is from Seattle and attended UW.

From everything I've read, it is my belief that she is not guilty. The investigation and forensics were shoddy at best. The prosecutor has his own legal issues. I believe that the cops were very harsh on her. Unfortunately if an American is suspected of committing a crime in another country, they are pretty much stuck and subject to that country's legal system.

But the mere fact that neither Amanda nor Raffaele have turned on each other is what speaks volumes to me on their innocence.


I don't think she's guilty..and this Italian justice is a joke.

thene said...

Would wearing clothing depicting the American flag really constitute a mistrial? I'm remembering all the fuss about whether Obama was or was not wearing an American flag lapel pin at various points in the 2008 election campaign (serious business, news reporting, mmm) - is it or isn't it normalised? Is it or isn't it obligatory? Is Obama anti-Italian for ever wearing an American flag?

Context, yeah I know, but it's not like nationalism isn't routine in the USA. And, when the Obama administration is so damn keen on deporting immigrants who've been convicted of felonies - isn't American nationalism and anti-foreigner sentiment likely to be a common source of prejudice in trials? Has the conviction of an immigrant in the USA ever been declared a mistrial because a juror was wearing a flag t-shirt, or bandanna?

white rabbit said...

I have little or no knowledge of and no opinion on the Amanda Knox case but I do have to say that there is a lot of American superciliousness about the Italian criminal justice system which may not be terribly well placed. It's not some sort of inept third world kangaroo court. It's just different.

Jus sayin...

DaisyDeadhead said...

Thene, my mistrial knowledge consists mostly of (don't laugh) various neckties worn by lawyers being used as appeal fodder.
(i.e. peace symbols, flags, naked women, etc.) I don't think any judge would even allow jurors to make any statements like that, at least in the present day. There are old southern stories about jurors dressing in "all white" (now guess what THAT meant) since it was harder to make the case on appeal that dressing in all white was a sign of prejudice. (Southerners typically wore white in the summer too, and would plead "hot weather" as an excuse.)

Since judges do not want appeals, they now go out of their way to prevent them. As I said, I doubt any judge would allow it. They will ask lawyers to change "offensive" (or somehow questionable) neckties, even. On the TV show "Gangland" they even mentioned the Crips and Bloods and the attendant colors blue and red, which takes on significance when worn by attorneys, jurors and courtroom personnel. (Judges require an eagle eye these days!)

If a case involving an immigrant who was said to visit all manner of bad press on a place, was being tried, and a bunch of jurors wore American flags? Instant appeal. Therefore, I think most judges would sendem back and tell them to change out of it.

"Mistrial" was probably incorrect, but in the old days, possible. Judges try to avoid this at all costs, though, and would likely intervene.

No way that would happen here to such a high-profile case. Now, a lesser-known immigrant in some backwater? It might fly, but the higher court would hand grant an appeal on those grounds.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Hand down, grant... I meant to say one or the other, not "hand grant"--yeesh! :P

WR, when I see some (any) forensic evidence in this case, I will change the post and privately stop referring to the Italian court as yahoos. Until then, they ARE yahoos.

Fingerprints! Even Sherlock Holmes heard of em.

Anonymous said...

is our beloved radical daisy kinda sorta almost praising our justice system?

wonderful and creepy post!

Anonymous said...

February 21, 2011 4:30 PM
Amanda Knox movie set to debut on Lifetime despite opposition
Posted by Kevin Hayes

(CBS/KIRO) SEATTLE - A controversial movie about American student Amanda Knox will debut Monday night on Liftetime.

Knox remains jailed in Italy while appealing her conviction in the murder her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

"Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy," which features "Heroes" star Hayden Panettiere, will air despite opposition from both the family of Meredith Kercher and from lawyers representing Knox, reports CBS affiliate KIRO.

A report in the British media said a graphic scene showing Amanda Knox participating in the fatal stabbing of her English roommate has been removed from the movie.
CBS affiliate KIRO spoke with author and forensic scientist, Mark Waterbury, who believes Knox is innocent.

Waterbury examined the case for a new book. He said the new movie could damage Knox, because it's airing while the case is still in appeal.

In his new book, "The Monster of Perugia: The Framing of Amanda Knox," Waterbury wrote Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted because of corruption in the Italian legal system.

Waterbury not only believes Knox is innocent, but he also claims she was framed by corrupt prosecutors.

Despite the fact that Lifetime reportedly dropped the graphic murder scene, Waterbury worries that potential jurors could see the movie adding to the fact that the media has a huge impact on the Italian justice system.

"It is not reality, it is a movie depiction. They took a lot of misinformation and they made a movie of it. That's kind of the way they were convicted in the first place," said Waterbury.

A spokesman for Knox's family said that the movie is an "ill-timed, profit-driven venture" and said many family members don't plan to watch.

Kercher was slain on Nov. 1, 2007, in Perugia, Italy, in a case that has generated publicity in both the United States and Europe.

Knox, Sollecito and another man, Ivory Coast national Rudy Guede, were convicted of the murder in 2009 in the Italian courts. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito 25 years. Both deny wrongdoing and their appeals trial is under way.

From CBS/48 HRS MYSTERY webpage

Max B said...

Well, at least the Italians still respect Habeas corpus, that is to say, ad subjiciendum, unlike some disgraceful countries I could mention.

senchi said...

that lifetime movie sucked. i'd like to know the real story. i hope some day we will.