Monday, October 10, 2011

DECISION IN PERUGIA

Perugia
Image: Wikimedia Commons

I had not intended to post on the Amanda Knox appeal verdict, partly because any mention of what has happened excites such strong feelings on both sides of the Atlantic and the case and partly because so many millions of words have been written about it that I did not think that mine could add anything useful.

However, I did follow the whole case closely and wrote several factual articles about it for Italy Magazine, including this interview with Steve Moore, the former FBI agent who was convinced that Miss Knox was innocent.  

Since last Monday's verdict, several readers of this blog have asked me what I think and on Thursday James asked me to contribute to an article he was planning on the decision.   The fact that I agreed to do so does not mean that his views are mine and this is what I told him:

As I live in Italy and have been following the Knox case closely, James has asked me to comment here.  I do not wish to give an opinion on the appeal verdict but I will address James's question about whether the case is being discussed in Italy.  The answer is "Yes" but not heatedly, at least not here in Sicily.  Most people I have spoken to about it have expressed surprise at the verdict but accept the appeal court decision. 

Things were very different outside the court in Perugia, of course, and the shouts of "Vergogna!" ["Shame!"] reflected suspicions that the verdict returned had been politically manipulated:  Mr Berlusconi has made no secret of his contempt for the judiciary and it would suit him if the judges at the first trial could be made to look incompetent, runs this reasoning.  Personally I do not believe this as the judiciary is the one body that has not been afraid to stand up to him.  It should also be remembered that Perugia is a city whose economy depends largely on its ability to attract foreign students.

If anyone has been made to look stupid in this sad case, it is the Italian police and certainly the fact that they appear to have been careless with some of the items used in evidence weakened the Prosecution's claims.  Nevertheless, the appeal court judge said unequivocally that Knox and Sollecito were absolved of the crime not because of contaminated evidence but because they simply did not do it.  I do not think there has been enough emphasis on this in the foreign press.  [It is true that the judge has since said they may have been guilty but in the trial he had to find on the facts as presented to him.]

Whether Italians fall into the "innocent" or "guilty" camp, there is one thing that they are all agreed upon and that is their sympathy for the family of Meredith Kercher.  And, like everyone else, they want to know who was really responsible for this horrific deed.

However, at the end of the week in which Amanda Knox went home, few people here are still discussing the case:  Italy is a country whose citizens have many other issues on their minds.

9 comments:

Jenny Woolf said...

Thanks for this balanced opinion on this media circus.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Jenny.

James Higham said...

It's a sad thing which one day must have an end.

Patricia said...

I appreciated your comments on this case, Pat.

Trubes said...

This is such a difficult case, I just cannot begin to comprehend how two such, seemingly, well educated and priviledged young people, could commit such a heinous crime, It is beyond belief. However, there must have been compelling evidence to bring them to trial, in the first place.
Thus saying, people do commit awful crimes, young and old, rich and poor, from all walks of life, etc, etc.
I can't make judgement as i am not qualified to do so, but as James Higham, so eloquently said,
'It's a sad thing which one day must have an end'....Well said James.
On a lighter note, Welshcakes...Guess which blogger I am going to meet soon? Should you care to drop by my site you will find out...I'm so excited!

Di..xx for Simi,xxx.

Winchester whisperer said...

The glamourisation of crime by the press is sickening

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree, James. Thanks, Patricia. Hi, Trubes. Well, it now seems that they did not. A terrible thing, whoever did it. Have seem your blog now. x
Absolutely, Ww.

THE GARDEN CAT COTTAGE said...

Very well written.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, GCC. I really appreciate that.

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