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01 October 2011


This week the news includes the unusual warm debut of autumn we're having (no falling leaves for us here yet, just African temperature and lots of sunshine in what is like a prolonged Italian summer) and the usual government scandals. The list of women our local Casanova Prime Minister slept with reaches 131 presences. Its publication made some young ladies pretty angry because they didn't like seeing their names at the bottom of the list. They probably had no idea the list was casual, which gives you an idea about the level of aspired fame in the Bunga Bunga country. 

But much of the coverage revolves around Amanda Knox's case. Four years after the brutal murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, for whom Amanda, her boyfriend of the time Raffaele and  Ivorian friend Guede were found guilty and sentenced to  26, 25 and 30 years (cut to 16 years on appeals) in jail respectively, the court accepted to revise the case due to its complexity. Today there were the final arguments and a new verdict is expected on Monday. Amanda and Raffaele could be set free because of a review of forensic tests. 

In the U.S. there seems to be a cinematic obsession with this story. Frankly, it's perfect for a film, almost a remake of the movie 'Midnight Express'. Just like American Billy Hayes, who was imprisoned in Turkey for 5 years for hashish possession, Amanda was wrongly accused of murder and is now imprisoned in Perugia. Once again, the good (America) against the evil (Europe),  efficiency against  awry Italian law.


The court wouldn't have accepted to look at this case with a fresh eye if it had been as corrupt as everybody claims. It's true, we've our flaws here, and I'm the first one to lucidily point at them in this blog, but there were too many disturbing aspects in this controversial trial. The court sentenced these people based on the evidence provided by attorneys, who ensured a fair trial and provided with a quality and ethical defense. The fact the court gave these guys a second chance at freedom means they want to look at the case with a fresh eye, which is a positive, civil sign to me. Now that the final arguments are over, I hope the jurors have all the elements to come to a decision. I read what experts say,  it's very rare that one sentence would contradict a definite sentence, but you never know. 

I don't have my own opinion. I didn't follow the case in detail. Too many countries are involved (Usa, UK and Italy) and each one has his own way of looking at it. America defends its student, Britain wants justice for the victim and Italy is keen on wanting to show justice is regular here, in the country where the facts happened. All have reasons but none seems fairly complete to me. Nobody can establish if Meredith was killed because of her criticism of Amanda's sloppy housekeeping skills and her habit to bring men in the apartment they shared, by a trouble Ivorian or if she ended up victim of an extreme sexy game. I only hope jurors wont' be influenced by any of the partial versions and will merely look at facts with their own eyes. 

It's my sincere hope for Meredith in the first place. I don't care about Amanda. If she'll be set free, she is already in the spotlight, she'll find a way to survive with all the interviews to tabloids and books and films that will follow about her dramatic experience. But Meredith can't see the sun anymore because her exchange term in Italy costed her a life. Amanda and Raffaele studied, Raffaele earned his degree and she learned Italian, she's pretty fluent in it now. They weren't brutally treated like Billy in that Turkish prison. They were all properly nurtured. Meredith can't do these things anymore.

And I also wonder: do American students still want to study in Italy now? Like Sophie Egan wrote, "This country has far too much to offer for me to let an incident like this tarnish my experience." I can only add: come here, it's still safe. We don't condemn all innocent students in medieval prisons. And even if we do, we serve them pizza margherita weekly :)))  La vita è bella here!


  1. I have been tracking this case a long time now and I am really baffled. I was shocked to read about the crime and was glad they had caught the people responsible-or at least the ones they thought they were responsible. Today I read about the acquittal of Knox and her then boyfriend. I have to tell you I was surprised....
    You may not follow the case you you are in a position to know and sense more since you live there and after reading your post I also think if this is a "game" Italy had to play....
    One thing is for sure. Americans cannot doubt the safety of Italy. I would advise them to open their eyes and see what happens in their home before they start "shooting" Italy. My mumble opinion of course....
    As for me, I am coming again and again and again so have this Margerita ready! :-)

  2. You know what, Roula, your impression is right. Many Italians believe that Amanda's release is due to all the media and political pressures. There was a huge campaign about her innocence, family members have played a decisive role from America. So many cry and feel the shame that in this case Italian justice has been servant of the United States. Hilary Clinton herself intervened in favor of Amanda.
    I share your views on the authority of Italy. This second appeal was based on results of DNA, which were completely different and my doubt remains strong. The proof key is a hook of the victim's bra. The second time around it was analyzed and didn't contain fingertips anymore. Too long time had passed, of course. So I wonder how can you base your evidence on the second test, while the first result spoke clear.
    In addition, I've a terrible doubt about Amanda's behaviour. Okay, she was manipulated and forced to speak by police on those first days when she was heard by police. I can understand the lies she told. But the fact she went shopping as nothing happened 2 days after her friend was brutally killed leaves me baffled. If I were a parent and knew a disturbing thing like that, I would ask a lot of things to my daughter! Because, hey, being beautiful doesn't mean you're good too!

  3. What more can you say about that honey? :-( What bugs me most is that all those who handle such situations (from Politics to Social matters) think that the common sense is non existence. They believe we are idiots and we have no brains and therefore we cannot think. And then us... I wonder what can we do? We live in times of hidden dictatorship and although we THINK they allows us to think we in fact are forbidden to any of those things. Because we know what is right and wrong and despite that we have absolutely no saying on anything.


Hi! Thanks for stopping by, your opinion counts! Feel free to express yourself xxx

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