The mainstream media like to beat Amanda Knox’s drum, but in a sense they have to. Any proper analyses of this case would probably result in public posturing, retractions, expensive lawsuits and PR disasters. And yet the media pretends to be a cogent source of news.
What do we mean by proper analyses? What’s missing from the media narrative? In terms of the Amanda Knox case, actually a huge chunk of vital information.
Today, February 21st, 2018, at 10:00, Rudy Guede, the Ivorian man first convicted of Kercher’s murder during a first-track trial will find out whether his already reduced sixteen year sentence may be commuted to ten years. In other words, by the end of today, Guede will know whether he’ll be out of jail by the end of this year.
No matter what one says about the guilt or innocence of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, Guede’s original co-accused, no matter how one looks at it, whoever murdered Meredith Kercher has gotten off extremely likely. If Guede’s appeal is granted, the sentence for brutal murder of this splendid student from Southwark, London, will be even less than the minimum sentence of fifteen years handed down to Oscar Pistorius.
Yet as problematic as this situation is, from Guede’s perspective it appears to make complete sense. Though you won’t read about it just yet in the English press, the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata [ANSA, the leading wire service in Italy] are covering Guede’s appeal.
Blasting News, the social news platform, provides useful description on the legal issues at hand. What it boils down to is that there needs to be a kind of internal cohesion in the justice system. If one judge makes a finding, another judge should not deviate from those findings, but remain consistent unless a superior court alters the trial narrative. In this case there were three accused, and two trials – one for Guede, and another for Knox and Sollecito.
In layman’s terms, the findings in Guede’s trial – for consistency sake [for legal efficacy in other words] – needed to be applied as far as possible in the Knox/Sollecito trial. They were and Knox/Sollecito were accordingly convicted and sentenced to a far harsher sentence than Guede’s current sentence, 26 and 25 years respectively.
Ultimately though, Knox/Sollecito using their combined resources, overturned the guilty verdicts. What Guede is arguing now is this: if the court’s didn’t apply his evidence to their trials [it was inconsistent], then he should be exonerated or given a kind of legal credit too.
Blasting News provides the legal-technical explanation as follows:
What the appeal is about
The appeal is on the grounds of “non-compliance” of the rules of procedure and failure to acquire “fundamental elements” of the Court decision Guede is appealing against, on the grounds of ‘internal contradictions’. The alleged contradictions are that in annulling the convictions of the other two defendants in the murder case, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the Fifth Chamber’s written reasons come into conflict with those in Guede’s.
The facts found by Judge Paolo Micheli, at Guede’s trial include:
- Guede did not wield the murder weapon,
- He had had no meaningful prior contact with Meredith, as Guede had claimed in his testimony.
- Therefore, he was not invited to the cottage or let in by Meredith, nor had any consensual contact with her.
- The burglary mise en scène was a second stage of the crime after the murder.
- It, therefore, followed that Knox let in Guede to the murder cottage.
- The crime was sexually motivated, and not one motivated by theft.
- Guede did not steal the rent money or the phones.
- There were multiple assailants.
- Guede was guilty of aggravated murder because of his complicity in the attack and failure to stop ‘as soon as the knives came out’.
- There was complicity with others: “Above all if the certain facts include the consequent outline of that supposed ‘unknown’ (the presence of the three at the scene of the crime) they are abundant, and all abundantly proven”. (– Micheli)
In my view, having researched this case extensively through the course of two trilogies:
- Correct. Guede did not wield the murder weapon, which means Guede, although present at the scene, and although he participated in the torture, he didn’t murder Meredith Kercher, someone else did.
- Correct. Guede had no meaningful prior contact with Meredith. Knox on the other hand did, and so did Sollecito. Sollecito’s contact with Meredith as Meredith’s flatmate’s boyfriend, was more than Guede’s. In the sense that both Knox and Sollecito were more personally close to Kercher than Guede, and given the highly personal nature of the crime [seven cuts and sixteen bruises , including injuries to her nose, nostrils, mouth, and underneath her jaw compatible with a female-sized hand being clamped over her mouth and nose], didn’t it make sense that the attack was committed by someone close to Meredith? Who was closer to her than an American roommate living next door, that didn’t like to be told what to do or how to do it?
- Correct. Meredith would not have invited Guede in, however it’s possible Knox did.
- Half-true. There was no burglary in terms of the way the crime scene was presented [Filomena’s broken window etc.] However a few of Meredith’s belongings were stolen, including her phones and her rent money. If the motive was burglary, why were both Meredith’s phones immediately tossed into someone’s garden? Why wasn’t her laptop stolen? And who would know about Meredith’s rent money besides someone who lived there, who was also paying rent?
- Correct. Knox let Guede in, possibly without Sollecito’s knowledge.
- Half-true. The crime was only sexually motivated in the sense that there was a sexual rivalry between Knox and Meredith. The “sexual nature” of the crime, however was “staged” to impute a male attacker, or put otherwise, to negate the possibility of a female housemate with no alibi being involved in her housemate’s murder. This was why Meredith’s body was staged to appear sexual, her body moved from the original killing scene and placed on a sheet, both legs spread wide open, her hips propped on a pillow and her bra removed after the murder. Thus, the sexual crime, just like the burglary crime, were both staged to distract from the actual crime – the murder of Meredith Kercher.
- Correct. Guede did not steal the phones, but whoever did, had the presence of mind to attempt a transaction on Meredith’s phone at her British bank account moments after the murder. Who would think to siphon money from Meredith’s account but a student of computer engineering, or someone who was actively using international banking services herself?
- Correct. There were multiple assailants, hence Meredith had virtually no defensive wounds, and did not scream out during a botched stabbing of her throat. Meredith’s death was extremely unpleasant. She drowned in her own blood, an event that would have taken minutes to kill her, and would have involved violent expirations of blood, as well as arterial spurts from her throat. She would not have screamed if she was unable to scream, if she was being muzzled.
- Correct. Guede was guilty of complicity in Meredith Kercher’s murder. He held her down, perhaps assuming it was a game between friends, perhaps simply because he was asked to help, and perhaps he “helped” because he wanted to impress Knox [and/or sleep with Knox].
- Correct but arguably unproven in court. There was complicity with others.
In the Supreme Court ruling in which Knox and Sollecito had their convictions annulled, in March 2015 it was found that Knox ‘had covered up for Guede’ when falsely implicated her former boss; Knox told police Patrick Lumumba was the culprit.
It was only after Lumumba was arrested and jailed for about two weeks, when the police began processing the scene, that they discovered evidence that pointed to someone else, someone that wasn’t Lumumba. Although Knox, Sollecito and Lumumba appeared in court together, Lumumba was released due toi lack of evidence, and despite Knox’s allegation against him.
Bloody fingerprints found at the scene were run through forensic systems, and matched one Rudy Hermann Guede. Because of Guede’s immigrant status, his prints were on file, which is how and why he was caught. On November 20th, about three weeks after the murder, Guede was arrested in Mainz, Germany.
South Africa’s News24 reported at the time:
Frankfurt – A fourth suspect in the gruesome murder of a British exchange student nearly three weeks ago in Italy was arrested in Germany on Tuesday, German police said. The suspect, 21-year-old Rudy Hermann Guede from the Ivory Coast was seized in the western German city of Mainz while travelling on a bus or a train, a police spokesperson said.
“He was travelling without a valid ticket,” the spokesperson said, without giving further details.
Fingerprints at the scene
Guede, already known to Italian police, faces charges for the murder and sexual assault on November 1 of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, who was found with her throat slit the following day, sparking lurid headlines.
Detectives reportedly discovered Guede’s digital and genetic fingerprints at the scene of Kercher’s murder in the central Italian city of Perugia. Three other suspects were arrested on November 6 – Kercher’s American housemate, Amanda Knox, Knox’s Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a Congolese musician and bar owner, Patrick Lumumba Diya.
Italian forensic experts said on Friday that they had found DNA traces of Kercher and Knox on a knife at Sollecito’s home, which Kercher is not believed to have ever visited. Investigators have reportedly found no evidence linking Diya to the scene of the crime.
Known for petty thieving
Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that Guede was picked up as he was travelling on a train between Mainz and the nearby city of Wiesbaden. Under Schengen procedures, he will be extradited to Italy, but it may take two or three days.
Guede has lived in Perugia since he was five and was adopted by an Italian family at age 17. Italian and British press reports have described him as a drug dealer, while Ansa has said he is known to police for petty thieving. The case has been beset by leaks from Italian police and intense media speculation that have been criticised by lawyers representing the accused.
Police said Kercher’s assailants “apparently had a sexual motive” though initial autopsy results showed the Briton from south London had not been raped.
Blow dealt by a man
Investigators have said that the depth of the fatal knife wound in Kercher’s neck indicated that the blow was dealt by a man. It was possible that Knox cut herself with the knife while holding it or washing it.
The probe had initially focused on a flick knife belonging to 24-year-old Sollecito as the possible murder weapon. Kercher was in Italy on a student exchange programme.
From Blasting News:
The legal issues facing the Supreme Court today
The crux of Guede’s appeal for a review of his case is that it is a legal absurdity to find as a fact he did not commit the actual killing, but that the police are not looking for anybody else as ‘the multiple attackers’, despite Knox and Sollecito walking free notwithstanding the evidence of the presence of either or both of them at the scene (the ‘unknown others‘) ‘they are abundant, and all abundantly proven’.
Marasca & Bruno proclaimed that the two main reasons for the annulled convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were because of ‘a flawed investigation’ and ‘undue press influence’. The pair were released because of ‘insufficient evidence’. It raises the question, if it was ‘flawed’ for Knox and Sollecito, then would not the same state of affairs apply to Guede?
If the Italian courts find in Guede’s favor, the absurdity of the Amanda Knox case will be full exposed.