At present a large chunk of my life is dedicated to the wonderful world of travel-retail and duty-free. But away from work I have always been interested in crime and am often gripped by cases such as the one involving Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito. Both are currently serving 26 and 25 year sentences respectively in Perugia for the murder of Surrey student Meredith Kercher around three years ago.
I am not going to pretend I am a lawyer, barrister or whatnot, but throughout the case I have smelt a rat. Firstly there is no obvious motive, secondly no murder weapon has been found and thirdly it is widely believed that DNA evidence used to convict the pair was contaminated.
The saying no smoke without fire also springs to mind which could mean Knox and Sollecito were in the vicinity when Kercher had her throat slit and were involved in some way, but a part of me feels Knox and Sollecito are innocent and that the real truth is yet to emerge. Once again I am no expert, but it seems there are grounds to suggest the original trial was flawed or that several elements of it were suspect to say the least. I guess it is a case of watch this space.
In the past week or so Knox and Sollecito have launched their appeals and a moral victory has already been secured with the judge agreeing to an independent re-examination of forensic evidence used to secure their convictions. The judge has also granted the entrance of a new witness, Luciano Aviello, a member of the mafia who is currently in prison and believes that Kercher was killed by his brother and an Albanian man.
The question is why has the judge agreed to both of the above? Perhaps he believes the pair did not receive fair trials or maybe he like many others in Italy are embarrassed by the case which is making headlines around the world and portraying the Italian judicial system in a negative light.
Having seen footage and read quotes from Knox’s address at the start of her appeal, something tells me she is not a murderer and is in fact genuine. Over the years I have listened to and watched criminals on television documentries speaking from their cells, attempting to show remorse and making out they have changed, but doing so without feeling. It is almost as if they are only doing it because they believe it might just secure an early release from a life sentence. There is something in the way Knox speaks which suggests she is genuinely suffering and fearful of the prospect that innocence may not be enough.
“Foxy Knoxy” as she is now known as may be no angel and as I said previously could well be linked in some way to this horrendous crime. But assuming she had no involvement in Kercher’s murder and the whole thing is one “enormous mistake” as she said this week, she must surely be contemplating the prospect of paying with her life― not physically as the death penalty does not exist in Italy, but in every other way possible― for a crime she did not commit. If this and all subsequent appeals are unsuccessful she will no doubt liken the 20 years or so ahead of her in jail to the death penalty. Let’s face it. If she was ever freed what sort of life would she have on the outside? She would be too old to start a family and surely be unable to fulfil her dreams and aspirations of the previous years.
Spare a thought for the Kercher family while all of this is going on. What must they be thinking? The fact that Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede does in fact seem guilty as charged and is likely to be behind bars for another 16 or so years (his sentence was recently reduced from 30 years on appeal) must be providing a small crumb of comfort. But the longer the Knox and Sollecito saga drags on, the longer it will be before they can grieve for Meredith properly and the longer it will be before they can properly set about the unenviable task of rebuilding their lives.