Saturday, March 12, 2011

Knox Appeal: Homeless in Perugia

With the appeals on the verge of heating-up—in anticipation for the expected May 21st report from independent experts on crucial physical evidence in the case—today the court heard from witnesses disputing the testimony of homeless man, Antonio Curatolo. Mr. Curatolo testified that he saw Knox and Sollecito on the night of the murder several times in Piazaa Grimana, which overlooks the cottage (crime scene). Mr. Curatolo also testified that he was certain because he remembered seeing buses and other students in the piazza waiting to board buses to go to discos in town.

On this day, the fifth appeal hearing, six witnesses took the stand—including some operators of shuttle bus services that run from the piazza in question to discos on Perugia’s outskirts, as well as people doing work for two discos. In short, the witnesses said shuttle bus services were not running that night.

Roles of the seven defense witnesses (one hasn’t testified yet):

Rita Pucciarini, organizes events in Perugia
Giorgio Brugnini - owner, Disco Etoile 59
Mauo Mandarini - owner, Disco Gradisca
Arturo Liasullo, manager, SIAE
Massimiliano Bevilacqua - Bus company
Gaetano Ini- Bus company
Rosa Ini- Bus company

Rita Pucciarini, who at the time of the murder worked for the Red Zone disco, told the court “There were no buses [running that night]… I’m certain because discos focus on Halloween, which is a big draw. It’s like New Year’s Eve.”

Luciano Ghirga, a lawyer for Knox, said the testimony “removes the two from the scene of the crime.” Prosecutor Manuela Comodi said the testimony was “useless” as there are other discos in Perugia and other bus shuttle services whose operators had not been heard. Comodi also said, “If ever there is testimony that is completely useless…this is it.” Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca, noted that he “remains convinced of the reliability of this witness [Curatolo].”

There has been no word yet whether the prosecution will be entering Rudy Guede’s Motivation Report into the record. Antonio Curatolo is expected to take the witness stand again during the next hearing, which is scheduled for 26 March 2011.

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