Vedova walks through his vindication of Amanda Knox

Carlo Dalla Vedova, the lawyer of once convicted murderer Amanda Knox, speaks to the Law Soc

In 2007 Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested and convicted for the murder of Meredith Kercher, a British student studying in Italy. After spending four years in jail, in 2015 the sentence was overturned by an Italian court due to “absolute lack of biological traces”. Carlo Dalla Vedova was Knox’s lawyer and last Friday he spoke to TCD Law Soc.

 

Vedova began the event by accepting the Praeses Elit award from the Law Soc, he graciously mentioned his team “I need to share this with all the people that have been working with me”. He followed this by introducing himself as being the lawyer of “one of the most followed cases in the world”.

 

He gave a background of Meredith Kercher’s murder and those involved in the case. Vedova then immediately began highlighting what he believed to be issues in the case from the media to the police’s procedure.

 

Vedova emphasised how there was a language barrier, as Knox was American, and the police spoke Italian. How she was interviewed for long periods of time and late at night.  How she was, apparently, physically hit by a policeman. Noticeably, how there was no tape of Knox’s confession. Vedova questioned 45 police officers and each claimed it was due to lack of organisation. And how “only after four days from the discovery of the body” the case had been closed, with Knox marked as the guilty party. Furthermore, he seemed frustrated by the police’s method of playing Knox and her ex-boyfriend off each other, by telling one of them the other had confessed.

 

Vedova seemed to be emphasising the incompetence of the police and “the mistake of the authority” when several witnesses came forward claiming that the initial man arrested for Kercher’s murder had been in a bar at that time. The police replaced this suspect with Rudy Guede, the man later convicted of Kercher’s murder.

 

Vedova’s skills as a lawyer and intelligence were clear by this point as he shifted the blame onto the police, failing to emphasise how the police were lead to the initial man by a false confession, Knox, his client gave.

 

Vedova explained that the media had played a huge part in influencing people’s perceptions. He stressed that the media should be respected and that their role is not only important but necessary, even when, with modern technology, journalists may have their focus on meeting a deadline and the facts may not be completely accurate. He stressed how today lawyers and police alike face the issue of witnesses going to a journalist instead of authorities and how it is difficult to establish the reliability of this account and how it can sway public perception.

 

The case was eventually taken to the Supreme Court where Vedova claimed that “we were able in the appeal to show there was no evidence”, and thus the ruling was overturned. He pointed out that as humans we make mistakes, and Knox’s initial ruling had been one. They had “twelve, fifteen hearings” before they got to the Supreme Court, illustrating his resilience as a lawyer and person.

 

Vedova seemed confident of Knox’s innocence, citing that she “never changed” her story, and was more interested in discussing the media’s role and the police’s apparent lack of procedure. He finished talking about Knox by portraying her in a highly positive note, saying they didn’t sue for compensation of the state for her four years false imprisonment despite the financial burden it had placed on her family.

 

During the question and answer portion, Vedova stated “I never ask, I don’t want to know” when it comes to a client’s innocence or guilt. He said in the way doctors have a duty to treat, lawyers have a duty to defend. He encouraged law students to work together not only with their team but the court, asking for respect of the courtroom “like it is mass”.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that Carlo Dalla Vedova is a brilliant lawyer with his ability to capture the audience’s attention with the information he wanted to give, which put his client in the most innocent and positive light while still sticking to the facts. For every reason of convicting Knox guilty he had a counter argument which was always sound and filled with logic.

 

He placed doubt in my mind whether her court ruling and public condemnation had been the influence of the media and faulty police proceedings, and whether we were ever really sticking to the facts.

  • VoiceofEurope

    Of course Carlo Dalla Vedova knows the truth. He knows his former client is guilty.
    Dont get fooled !

    • Carlo Dalla Vedova evidenced his belief that Amanda Knox is innocent by noting her consistency of statements. It is normal practice of defense lawyers to avoid asking their clients of their innocence or guilt. It doesn’t help defense lawyers doing their job to know that answer, but that doesn’t dictate what they believe about those clients.

  • Ms. Francis is right that the statements the police had Amanda Knox sign were false confessions, but Amanda wasn’t the one leading them to the wrong man. They accused her of lying when she initially denied meeting Patrick and going to the cottage. They insisted she had forgotten what happened, and demanded she tell them what she thought would have happened if she had gone to the murder with Patrick. In fact the 5:45 AM statement even acknowledges that Amanda was imagining what could have happened, but the police coerced her to sign the statements as though they were truth they were not.

  • carlofab

    Police knew within ten days of the arrests that they had arrested three innocent people.
    Forensics found no trace of any of the three in the murder room. Bloody fingerprints there identified Rudy Guede, who had entered Amanda’s apartment through a window to rob the place, and murdered Meredith when she returned unexpectedly. But police had already paraded three innocents through Perugia with honking horns and flashing headlights, and at a sensational press conference with the mayor and chief of police in attendance had declared “case closed!” Everything that followed was a cover-up that dug them deeper into a hole until there was no turning back. Police and prosecutor were ultimately willing to send two innocent students to prison for a quarter of a century to save face.

    Nina Burleigh writes that Italians have an expression for this level of embarrassment, which in Italy is akin to the cuckolded husband: “To admit they had been wrong was not an option. ‘The imperative which they implicitly obey in all their decisions,’ wrote Barzini, of his fellow
    countrymen, is no farsi far fesso – not to be made a fool of. To be fesso is the ultimate ignominy, as credulity is the unmentionable sin. The fesso is betrayed by his wife … falls for deceptions and intrigues. […] By filing slander suits against not only Amanda Knox but also her parents, by kicking them while they were down, the Perugians reminded the world that vendetta is an Italian word.” [Burleigh, The Fatal Gift of Beauty, pp. 305-6.]

    Judge Hellmann (who first acquitted the students) wrote that Amanda’s false accusation against Patrick is evidence she has no idea what happened in Meredith’s room the night of the murder. If she had been there, she would have known Patrick was not, and that he was either at his tavern or at home with his family, with a solid alibi either way. She would also have known that Rudy Guede was the killer, and would have had no reason not to name him. Hellmann found her guilty of the calumny only because motive for that offense (even under duress) is irrelevant in Italy. The European Court of Human Rights is currently looking at the unrecorded police interrogation that produced her pointless and false allegation.

  • pat a.

    “he seemed frustrated by the police’s
    method of playing Knox and her ex-boyfriend off each other, by telling
    one of them the other had confessed. ”

    Actually, that never happened. Police never told either one of them that the other “confessed;” nor did they ever accuse Knox of murder. Sollecito changed his story (he was the one called in that evening, and had already demonstrably changed his story before being called in) and (reportedly) when this happened Knox was told “he’s taken away your alibi.” They never accused Knox of the murder during this questioning session.

    • VoiceofEurope

      Yes. Absolutely. Both, Knox & Dalla Vedova are transporting the untruth ! Day by day. Even after 10 years. And yes, Dalla Vedova knows Knox is guilty. Remember only the – very telling – exchanges of glances with Curt Knox when it came to the “declaration of innocence” during the press – speech of little Deanna Knox in 2011.

      • Alexthekay

        Don’t you feel a complete prat with these endless silly lies?

        • VoiceofEurope

          Ha …. this from the mouth of an unteachable valiant Knox – Soldier, …. obviously unable to weigh evidence and see the facts & the truth !

          No, I don’t “feel a complete prat”. Of course not !

          Truth makes me and all my comrades unassailable ….

  • ProfessorAnderson

    This is only part of the story, and I have no doubt that as with many innocent Italians in prison for murders they did not commit, but for a major campaign outside court, these two would still be in prison serving life sentences. Nigel Scott and I, in our book ‘Three False Convictions, Many Lessons’, (2016, Waterside Press) argue that structural weaknesses in our essentially psychopathic medieval justice systems allow at public expense well paid Constitutional Negative Empaths, to force judicial truth’ to trump real truth. In this they are aided by press and public basking in confirmation bias and the schadenfreude of a witch trial.

    This was a simple case of a break-in by a known recidivist thief armed with a knife who was after money, which then went horribly wrong when a young woman came home and locked herself into her flat. And there is a crime within the crime – why was the system constrained to turn a simple crime for which there were oceans of evidence, into an impossible one for which there was none? Such miscarriages will continue until politicians address the urgent need for reform of the system itself, something with which I know Carlo della Vedova does not agree, at least he didn’t when I spoke to him in 2011..

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