Monday, July 25, 2011
by Anne Bremner
The following piece was originally written in March, 2010, and still holds true today, as the Italian appeals court hears DNA evidence that may set Amanda Knox free.
One year after the murder of Meredith Kercher, a man has been convicted and two other suspects await trial. Public interest in the case remains strong, and the truth about what happened is emerging, gradually and inexorably. But the truth is not without staunch foes who are doing their best to keep it submerged beneath a sea of resentment. Recently, for example, La Nazione published an article quoting Rudy Guede’s lawyers Walter Biscotti and Nicodemo Gentile, who allegedly made the following comment:
“A request was made to move the trial to the United States. Maybe to an outdoor affair in Alabama, where there’s a tree with a noose ready to hang the negro whose turn it is.”
This statement is spectacular in malicious intent. It goes beyond slander and reaches the level of hate speech. And since I am the one who supposedly made this request, I should clarify the record.
I did not request, and would never request, that Italy yield jurisdiction over a criminal case arising within its borders. This erroneous allegation was made by the London Telegraph, and they formally retracted it the next day, but not before it was widely repeated. Italy is one of the world’s great democracies, with public institutions that befit that status. I have no doubt that the Italian court system will deliver justice in the end.
At the same time, this particular case has been managed by Perugia’s chief prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, in a way the public should know about. Somebody needs to challenge the bizarre conjecture through which Mignini and his associates have turned a straightforward murder into a fable with no precedent in the annals of crime.
And somebody needs to make the point, again and again until the world understands, that Amanda and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent. The case against them is based on evidence so ambiguous and compromised it should have no place in a fair trial. But the prosecution has done a good job of using lies, distortions and innuendo to incite resentment and public prejudice against these innocent suspects, and that is why I am speaking out. No one is paying me to do so. I have practiced law for 25 years, both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney, and I recognize an outrage when I see one. This case is an outrage.
Someday the smoke will settle, the mirrors will be pulled away, and the public will see that. I’m going to stay involved until that day comes. And if people slander me along the way, I’ll take whatever steps are necessary to deal with it.Tweet