So Sollecito and Knox are out.
My immediate reaction is that this is consistent with the behaviour of a survivor institutional-retard state. It is another moment, to use the phrase which Lampedusa never quite used, when ‘everything must change so that everything can remain the same’.
Sollecito and Knox are free so that we can get back to business as usual. It’s a sort of mini Mani Pulite for the legal system.
Anecdotally, what stands out for me more than anything is ignorance. I have asked four separate Italian lawyers, two internationally renowned and two from my local town, what they think about the Sollecito-Knox case and each has said they are sure that in some sense they are guilty. But when you ask why, you realise they are ignorant of even basic facts in the case. A small dose of northern European puritan professionalism would go a long way in Italy. This is a society where no one is capable of saying ‘I don’t know’.
Worth paying attention to:
One of the great UK long-form journalists was in Perugia tonight:
10.31pm: Peter Popham of the Independent tweets:
The video in court is very Italian, lots of extras on camera. Sollecito, who as a local always seemed to accept that a life in jail might be his fate is more together. Knox, who stood up a the start of the appeal and took the fight to the jury, is spent at this point.
John Hooper toys with the Perugia is different angle.
I am not so sure.
The second part of this article highlights the position that Italian ‘justice’ has left the Kerchers in. Their suffering goes on because of the grotesque unprofessionalism of the investigation and trial. The Kercher family will hold a press conference this morning that will be blogged here by the Guardian. Their anguish remains focused on the idea that the use of two knives and the number of wounds in the murder must have required more than Guede. I can’t speak to this or to the behaviour of sex attackers who use knives. What everyone can speak to is the fact that there was no motive and no evidence to put Sollecito and Knox in the bedroom where Meredith Kercher died and a huge amount of forensic evidence — hair, hand prints, finger prints, semen, other DNA — to put Guede there. I wonder if at the presser the Kerchers will mention the fact that Guede can expecct to be out of jail in only seven or eight years after his sentence was reduced on appeal (largely, I would say, to ‘fit’ with the wrongful convictions of Sollecito and Knox). If you run a legal system like a bunch of adoloscents, there will be a price to pay. Laid-back Italy doesn’t seem so cool today.
The Perugia shock blog reminds us that Knox’s 3-year, Euro22,000 criminal defamation conviction for saying the black bar owner she knew had committed the crime is UPHELD. This is very important because it is tantamount to saying the police did not intimidate and hit her during the illegal all-night interrogation for which no tape recordings have ever been produced. I have blogged before that the obvious explanation for her accusation against the bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, is that the first clearly identifiable forensic evidence the police found at the crime scene was the hair of a black male (Guede). They knew they were looking for a black man before they got the DNA match to Guede’s police record. And, in the middle of the night, subjecting Amanda Knox to the kind of pressure and sleep deprivation that produces false confessions everywhere, they got their black man (a mild-mannered barman according to people I know who know him).
(Note that the Perugia Shock blog, written by an Italian non-native English speaker, sometimes slips into the kind of emotional language that is not helpful to understanding the case. However in general it provides excellent, fine-grained coverage that you will not find in a newspaper. The author is being sued for guess what — criminal defamation — by Mignini.)
Want to read the rest of the stuff I have written about the Sollecito-Knox case? Just click on the ‘Sollecito and Knox’ tag (subject Categories and Tags are all listed in the right hand border).