“Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the evidence was insufficient”

The doubts of Gennaro Marasca, the Neapolitan judge who presided over the Supreme Court of Cassation panel that acquitted the two defendants accused of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia.

by Gianluca Abate, March 30, 2015

Source: «Amanda Knox e Raffaele Sollecito, le prove erano insufficienti»

Judge Gennaro Marasca

Someone like him, someone who has spent a whole career condemning “the judges who speak to journalists” (the last time he did was on the board council of the Supreme Court, criticizing his colleague Antonio Esposito for the interview granted after the conviction of Silvio Berlusconi), someone like this is certainly not a magistrate to go for interviews after the verdict that has split Italy sending definitively discharged Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, defendants in the trial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Yet, despite the reluctance, the judge was unable to avoid the phone calls from colleagues and friends from Naples, all looking (in vain) for any details.

And now, the President of the Fifth Chamber of the Supreme Court that issued the ruling two days ago is a magistrate from Naples, Gennaro Marasca, one of the best known robes in the city. He, with the always courtesy, has limited himself to respond to everyone that the sentence will speak for itself, but that the decree of ruling issued at the end of the trial can already say many things. What acquitted Amanda and Raffaele was the same identical manner in which the former senator for life Giulio Andreotti was acquitted, that is, applying the second paragraph of Article 530 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

There is, in this Marasca explanation, most of the reasons for the judgment, since the rule states that “the judge pronounces judgment of acquittal even when it fails, is insufficient or is contradictory evidence that the fact exists or that the accused committed it.” And, not surprisingly, at the Palazzaccio [SC] Piazza Cavour in Rome, it is noted that an article of the law is rarely indicated (as in this case) in a decree of ruling of the Court of Cassation.

An Excellency

And to say that Marasca wasn’t even suppose to get to those courtrooms. Certainly not because of demerits (he is considered one of the best judges in Naples, and not by chance on January 25th 2014 the head public prosecutor of Nola, Paolo Mancuso, cited him among the “excellency” together will Carlo Alemi, Giuseppe Fusco and Nino Vacca), but because his ambition – four years ago – was to be nominated prosecutor general of Naples. He applied to the CSM (the magistrates’ governing body *translator’s note) but it was rejected. The reason? It so happens that, in the country where judges put back their robes on after doing politics, the magistrates’ governing body decided not to nominate him because “it can’t be ignored – as written in the motivation report – that Marasca has held for several years after 1994, the post of council member for the city” at the time when Antonio Bassolino was mayor. (Note: Bassolino was indicted for corruption and fraud along with 29 others for the improper channelling of state funds for garbage collection and disposal in the Campania region, but acquitted in 2013)

« Justice was served: it’s our job»

That episode is now forgotten. Marasca more than once has reiterated that “I like my job at Cassazione”, also because – he confided to some of his colleagues – it’s that place where “we try to apply the law sometimes forgotten in local offices”. And as an experienced judge, Marasca has even been able to manage the sudden popularity in an Italy that was divided between those who exulted at the acquittal of Amanda and Raffaele and those who instead contested the decision. To those who asked him if justice had been served he replied that a judge must base his decision on the elements of the trial and that, therefore, “justice had been served only because we did our job”. Of course, the most simple solution would have been to annul the appeal and remand to a new trial, but the “insufficient evidence” was judged “impossible to be filled” even later. And therefore – the president explained to the colleagues – if those are the elements, “what need is there to have a new trial?”

Share Button