Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jailed Italian Mobster Says ‘Knox is Innocent.’

Another shocking and bizarre twist occurs in the Amanda Knox case. On 10 June, jailed Italian mobster, Luciano Aviello, claims that his brother killed Kercher during a botched burglary attempt. Last week, Knox’s defense team, Carlo Dalla Vedova and Luciano Ghirga, went to the Ivrea prison outside Turin where Aviello is serving 17 years for mob-related crimes. In a videotaped statement, Aviello told the lawyers that his brother, Antonio, went to his house the night Kercher was killed and asked him to hide a bloodstained knife and set of keys. The significance of that statement is that Kercher’s set of keys to the cottage have never been recovered, and the Mariette-knife that the prosecution claimed was the murder weapon was called ‘seriously flawed’ and ‘contaminated’ by several expert defense witnesses.

“It was my brother who killed Meredith on the night of November 1, 2007. Amanda, Raffaele and Guede are innocent,” Luciano Aviello, 41, told Knox's lawyers. "When he [Antonio] came to my house he had a bloodstained jacket," Aviello says in the statement. “He said he had broken into a house and killed a girl and then he had run away.” According to Aviello, his brother and a friend named Florio (an Albanian man) went into the cottage to steel paintings and found Kercher alone. Kercher began screaming loudly and Antonio says that he stabbed her and they ran off into the night. “My brother confessed the murder to me and gave me the blood-stained knife and a set of keys (to hide)." Aviello said that he hid the knife and keys under a wall behind the house in Perugia, Italy where he was living at the time. Antonio's whereabouts are unknown, but he is thought to be in Naples.

Aviello has come forward with this information several times in 2009, and it has been confirmed that Knox’s defense team has known about this information as early as March 2010. The lead Prosecutor in the case, Giuliano Mignini, said he was aware that Aviello wrote to the judge in the Knox case several times but the judge dismissed it. “There is nothing else to say,” Mignini told UK’s the Daily Mail. So now we will have to wait and see if Aviello can produce these two key pieces of evidence. Personally, I think that if this evidence existed they would have already been provided. Here we have another case of a convict trying to get in the news, much like the rantings on the case by another convict, Mario Alessi.


Why would experienced/mob-related criminals rob a known college dorm house looking for expensive paintings? This just doesn’t hold water in my opinion. Where is the physical evidence in the house belonging to these new suspects? Then there is also the fact that Rudy Guede was there, by his own admittance, fingerprints and footprints (as well as his DNA found inside of Kercher’s vagina). Guede also said that he heard a woman’s voice by the door and saw her silhouette as she and the alleged perpetrated (who threatened him with a knife) fled into the night. Not sure how this will be explained. Did they then find Guede in the bathroom of the house and intimidated him into silence? Is Aviello’s statement fantastic or fantastical?

Knox’s appeal is supposed to begin sometime this fall, where Knox’s lawyers are expected to bring up these new claims. Now we must play the waiting game again to see what developments occur and if these key pieces of evidence will be produced.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Amanda Knox Back in Court for Slander

Amanda Knox was back in court today facing slander charges. Knox originally testified that she was smacked in the head twice by a female police officer during her November 5, 2007, interrogation. If found guilty, Knox could face an additional six-years on top of her 26-year sentence for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

One of Knox’s lawyers, Luciano Ghirga, argued in court today that it is improper for the slander charge to be heard by Judge Claudia Matteini, because she had presided over one of the preliminary hearings for the murder charges. This objection by Ghirga prompted an adjournment until June 17th, at which time it is likely that a new judge will be assigned to hear the case.

The trail for the slander charge is scheduled to take place on October 1, 2010. Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito’s, appeals are due to start around the same time. This means that Knox herself might well be involved in two trials at the same time. Worse case scenario for Knox, if she loses the slander case and the prosecution wins the appeal, she could actually be facing upwards of 40 years total.

As for Knox and Sollecito’s appeal, Prosecutor General, Giancarlo Costagliola, has been chosen to prosecute. Unfortunately for Knox and Sollecito, Costagliola was recommended by prosecutors of the last trial, Manuela Comodi and Giuliano Mignini. There is currently a problem deciding who the judge will be, as every judge has in some way contributed to prior hearings on the case in some way. Only the President of the Court of Appeal remains as a viable candidate, but he’s about to retire. So, currently there is no judge left for the appeal. What ever will they do? Most likely a judge from Rome will be assigned to preside over the appeal, at which time Knox and her team will probably ask for change of venue.