January 22,2015 Amanda Knox‘s former paramour, Raffaele Sollecito, will be going back to court to face defamation charges because of what he wrote in his book Honor Bound. It’s being reported that Sollecito and his ghost-writer, Andrew Gumbel will have ” . . to answer for the crimes of aggravated defamation and contempt for having seriously offended the work of the judiciary, Dr. Mignini and the State Police.” This trial is separate from the Supreme court’s final ruling regarding the murder of Meredith Kercher in March 2015.
When Amanda Knox and Raffele Sollecito published their memoirs about the murder of Meredith Kercher back in 2013, they were on top of the world. They were provisionally acquitted until the next appeal and free to go on book tours. The judge who acquitted Knox and Sollecito did not necessarily believe they were innocent, he just felt there should be more evidence. “Speaking just two days after he . . . handed down a full acquittal on appeal, Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, said the court’s verdict ‘is the result of the truth that was created in the proceedings. But the real truth may be different. They [Sollecito and Knox]may be responsible . . .'” His acquittal was later quashed by the Italian Supreme court.
In reaction to this, many publishers at the time were unwilling to offer Knox or Sollecito a book deal. As one publisher said to the New York Times: “I think it’s a huge gamble for somebody,” . . . “It’s not like she has been exonerated in a clear and definitive way.” In the end, Amanda Knox received four million advance payment from her publisher, Sollecito received close to a million. Their books were only published in the U.S. to avoid lawsuits as the publishers were aware that their stories could be libelous.
In one example from his memoir, Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, Sollecito claims that he saved Amanda Knox from being “thrown under the bus.” In reality, it was because he withdrew his alibi from Knox on November 5, 2007 that they were both placed under arrest and subsequently sent to prison.
Fast forward to 2014, their guilty convictions confirmed. Sollecito’s passport is taken away as he is deemed a flight risk. In June 2014 Sollecito learns that he is being sued for his book containing “aggravated defamation and contempt” against the Perugian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and the State police. The Italian news website Caiazzo Rinasce, reports that Raffaele Sollecito and his co-author, Andrew Gambel are both expected in court to face the defamation and contempt charges for their book, Honor Bound on January 22, 2015 in Florence, Italy.
Precisely which passages of Sollecito and Gumbel’s book were found to be defamatory is unknown. However, it is believed that there are three main reasons why Sollecito’s book is libelous:
- False accusation of crime: a deal was sought by prosecution
- False accusation of crime: a long brutal interrogation
- False accusation of crime: wrong reasoning to Cassation
Holding a library copy of the book in hand, a few passages do pop out. This excerpt from his questioning at the police station might be included:
- Page 63: “One of my interrogators opened the door noisily at one point, walked over, and slapped me. “Your father is a fine upstanding person,” he said, “He doesn’t deserve a son like you, someone who would stand by a whore like Amanda.”
- Page 61: “When I first found out that Amanda had signed her name to [her statement to police], I was furious. Okay, she was under a lot of pressure, as I had been, but how could she just invent stuff out of nowhere? Why would she drag me into something I had no part of?”
He also wrote about after they were convicted of murder:
- Page 203: “Amanda enjoyed an outpouring of support from investigators and law enforcement veterans, and from politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, who thought they could do some good by intervening. Rocco Girlanda, an Italian member of parliament and president of the Italy-USA Foundation, paid a visit at Capanne within days of the sentence and declared that she was nothing like the conniving harpy depicted in court.”
- Page 204: “I felt sure that Mignini and his colleagues were not remotely swayed by . . . Girlanda’s awkward public fantasies about Amanda’s innocence . . .”
Sollecito’s book appears to be full of eye-opening statements. Whether or not they will result in a conviction of slander against the prosecutor and police will be determined next month.