No new information was heard from the main witness at yesterday's appeal hearing for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito as Rudy Guede, the man responsible for Meredith Kercher's murder, took the stand for the prosecution. Guede was called to refute the testimony of five inmates that told the court last week that Guede informed them during prison yard discussions that Amanda Knox was innocent.
Guede's testimony reiterated the feelings he expressed in a letter written in 2010. In a strange courtroom display, his letter was read aloud by Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini because Guede claimed to be unable to read his own handwriting. Judge Hellmann found this odd prompting him to ask Guede if he understood the big words written in the letter; in a very telling admission, Guede's answer was no.
As Mignini read the words allegedly penned by Guede, the court heard Guede's accusation that Knox and Sollecito murdered Meredith Kercher. Guede has lied repeatedly throughout this case, modifying his stories, based on news reports as it best suited his defense, so hearing Guede's most recent claims, once again, was old news.
Old news or not, hearing these words while Guede was in the same courtroom was shocking to Knox and Solleito none the less. Knox requested to make a statement while Guede was present but the request was denied, leaving her to give an emotional declaration to the court once Guede had been shuffled out.
"Please the Court, I simply want to declare that the only time that Rudy Guede, Raffaele and I were together in the same space is in a courtroom. We never had any kind of contact. I am shocked and anguished by his declarations, truly, because he knows it, that we weren't there. He knows that we weren't involved and I don't know what happened that night. I just wish I could tell him "Look, mistakes can be fixed by first telling the truth." That's all. Thank you."
Raffaele also passionately addressed the court showing disgust that he was unable to face his accuser.
"Rudy said in his chat to Giacomo Benedetti that Amanda wasn’t there, and as a male he saw just a shadow. Then he accused us just because we were already blamed!"
"For almost 4 years I’m fighting against the shadows, and he comes here, and doesn’t even speak. What should I defend myself from, if he doesn’t speak?"
Although Guede's testimony has been dramatized by the media it actually went exactly as expected. No one imagined that Guede would come clean and tell the truth. He did answer my question as to whether or not he had a conscience; the answer is clearly no.
As I predicted shortly after the first trial concluded in December, 2009, we have seen a clear shift in the media leaning toward innocence during the appeal for Knox and Sollecito. As the truth becomes crystal clear, journalists around the world are finally coming to terms with reality. As I have said repeatedly, some may have seen the error of their ways, others are just jockeying their position so they don’t end up on the wrong side of the story.
Even though the media has improved drastically over the past year, it had to be expected that details of yesterday's hearing would be simply too irresistible for even the most disciplined reporters to not exaggerate. Unfortunately this led to another round of sensationalized headlines and misrepresentation of the facts, suggesting to the public that Guede provided shocking new information. It's okay, the headlines carry no weight and will quickly fade leaving Guede's testimony to have no lasting effect on the trial.
When the dust settles from the commotion created during the past two hearings, the media coverage will soon come back to reality, back to the embarrassing heroin addicted super witness, back to the faulty DNA, back to the complete lack of evidence against Knox and Sollecito. The haunting words of Sollecito "fighting against the shadows" couldn't be more relevant as the truth is now being exposed from the darkness. Two who were once condemned will soon find freedom.