Sunday, July 3, 2011
Kercher Family Lawyer, Francesco Maresca: A Force to be Reckoned With
What has thus far been lost, or more like “ignored,” by the American media is the fact that Francesco Maresca—lawyer for the Kercher family—believes that Knox, Sollecito, and Guede were all involved in the murder of his client’s daughter. This is important because Maresca represents the interests of the victim and her family. Maresca has attended all hearings and has been an active member in this case; he has also been an outspoken source apart from the police and the prosecutors involved. So this also means that the Kercher family believes in the guilt of all three as well, which they have publically acknowledged apart from their attorney.
Francesco Maresca has always been a public voice throughout this entire process. After nearly every hearing on the case, Maresca has been the most significant voice, because he remains the most independent lawyer involved in the case. Among the many hats that Maresca had to wear, he was always concerned about the dignity of Meredith and her family. Maresca implored the judge in the original trial to have the media excluded from hearing evidence that involved graphic photos and or testimony to “preserve Meredith’s memory and dignity,” and because this would be “very traumatic” for the Kercher family. NOTE: Maresca also informed the court that he had no objection to journalists hearing the proceedings, but just without video. Judge Massei made the decision that neither would occur.
And then there were the days where Maresca showed the media his animated side. After one hearing, Maresca even used sarcasm to get his point across. Speaking in regard to whether or not more than one person was involved in the killing Maresca said, “If it was only one person then that person had more than two hands.” He later answered that question much more directly: “…the attack [on Kercher] was strong, and repeated, and carried out by more than one person.”
Maresca has always been outspoken in providing his, and the Kercher family’s, view on who was involved. In his closing argument in the original trial of Knox and Sollecito, Maresca told the court that the case against Knox and Sollecito was “crystal clear,” and sufficient enough for the judges and the jury to find them guilty.
Meredith Kercher’s family remained silent during the trial, except when called to testify, and they looked relieved when the verdict was read. The Kercher family also spoke at a press conference after the trial, but they spoke mostly about the memory of Meredith. They did, however, give a glimpse into their beliefs about who killed their daughter/sister. The family praised the efforts of police, prosecutors, and jurors, and Meredith’s brother, Lyle, said, “Ultimately we are pleased with the verdict.”
And then there was the article written by Meredith’s father, John Kercher, in the UK’s Daily mail at the start of the appeals trial in which he made a strong plea for the cruel, callous, and inaccurate PR games, of Knox’s family, to stop. In it, he makes it very clear his (and his family’s) feelings of Knox’s involvement in his daughter’s murder. “To many, she seems an unlikely killer. Yet to my family she is, unequivocally, culpable. As far as we are concerned, she has been convicted of taking our precious Meredith’s life in the most hideous and bloody way.”
Overall, they remained dignified throughout the entire process, letting Maresca do the talking for them. After the guilty verdict was handed down to Knox and Sollecito at the original trial, Maresca spoke on behalf of the family regarding the decision. “The Kercher family got the justice they were expecting,” Maresca told the press. “We got what we were hoping for.” He later added, “It is a good sentence that fills the Kercher family with satisfaction. Justice was given to the family for this tragedy. These are heavy convictions for very young kids. It is a tragedy on all sides.”
Then it was Mr. Maresca who led the charge against the Sollecito family for providing local Bari TV station, Telenorba, with a crime-scene video of Meredith, which showed her lying half-naked on her back on the floor, with the wounds to her throat clearly visible. And, without any shame, Telenorba committed the ultimate taboo televised the video.
“This is an example of gross journalistic misconduct, which evidently violates all the rules of how to report a story,” Maresca said. Spurred by complaints from Maresca, a full investigation into the Sollecito family ensued. Charges were soon announced, for this and other offenses allegedly committed by the Sollecito family, and that trial is ongoing.
In a recent interview with Umbria Left regarding the previous hearing and Rudy Guede’s testimony, Maresca said, “In my opinion Guede once again confirmed the presence of all three accused at the site of the murder that night. It seems to me the truth of a co-accused already found guilty. To me it appeared absolutely clear,” Maresca concluded.
Even more recently, the two court appointed experts submitted a 145-page report filed to a tribunal in Perugia explaining their results, after examining the only two pieces of DNA evidence that the court would allow to be contested by either defense team. The conclusion that they came up with was that the DNA evidence “might have been contaminated” (I will cover this report extensively in subsequent posts).
To this report, Maresca countered that “the word of the independent experts would not be the last word, and said he would raise his objections during the last week in July, when the report will be formally discussed during a week of hearings.” Maresca also asserted that the scientific police and the consultants, whose results the independent experts are reviewing, have “far more experience” than the independent experts. “I was surprised that these experts were so certain, and gave such strong, drastic opinions, given that they don’t have the same number of years of experience under their belt,” Mr. Maresca said.