And mayonnaise all over

In the finest traditions of the Italian judiciary, the presiding judge in the Sollecito-Knox appeal — Claudio Pratillo Hellmann — has been giving interviews to the press.

You can guess what he said: this has been a terrible mess, creating appalling trauma for innocent people, in particular the Kercher family. We really have got to get an independent prosecution service set up — like the CPS in the UK — and start following our rules about criminal investigations. Plus, we need a full public enquiry into the whole thing, not least the conduct of the police, why no tapes of the Knox interviews were ever produced, allegations of physical attacks on journalists, and so on. And don’t even get me started on Mignini…

But of course I am joking. What Hellman really said (let me stress I have not had time to read the original text in Italian but John Hooper is a serious correspondent) is that it is quite possible Sollecito and Knox were party to the murder, that Mignini is at the top of his game, and that the issues are really very complicated.

Many open-minded Italians will forgive Hellman because his brave decision to do the only sensible thing and have the forensic ‘evidence’ looked at by more serious people decided the outcome of the case. He is likely just covering his fanny, as they say in America. But in covering his fanny he is ensuring that everything will stay the same. Which means that people less interesting, less white, less attractive and less well funded than Sollecito and Knox will continue to get stitched up unnecessarily.

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