The Contradictions Of Shopkeeper Marco Quintavalle
Further evidence of the numerous contradictions incurred in the decision of the 1st degree, also emerges with indisputable proof from further passages in the Motivations. The Court held that, “The version given by Amanda Knox whereby she remained with Raffaele Sollecito at the house on Corso Garibaldi from the evening of 1 November to 10am the following morning” (p73) is contradicted by the statements made by Marco Quintavalle at the hearing of 21 March 2009. At that sitting the witness reported seeing Amanda entering his shop in Corso Garibaldi the morning of 2 November at around 7.45am. Despite being heard immediately after the murder (transcript of the hearing on 21 march 2009. p. 82), Quintavalle revealed this fact for the first time only in November 2008, i.e. one year after the murder! Even the circumstances which led to this new witness, should, at least, suggest the need for great caution in assessing its reliability.
In reality, this precaution was not observed in any way. The testimony was, in fact, deemed credible because “Inspector Volturno did not ask Quintavalle if on the morning of 2 November he saw Amanda Knox in his shop. He asked him – as Quintavalle recalled – about purchases made by Raffaele Sollecito. Quintavalle did not say he saw Amanda Knox the morning of the 2 November both because he was not asked and because, as the same Quintavalle stated, he considered the fact insignificant (…) The witness provided a precise description of what he noticed on the morning of 2 November; and certain physical features of the girl (blue eyes and white face) together with the unusual hour, could well have fixed what Quintavalle said he saw in his memory” (p75 and 76 of the sentencing report).
The above example is merely the contradictory result of a partial reading of the testimony of the witness. Specifically, at the hearing of 21.03.2009 (transcript, p.83), Sollecito’s defence asked: “The specific question is this. Did Inspector Volturno come with photographs of Amanda and Raffaele?” Quintavalle responded “With photographs, no, I don’t think so”. Inspector Volturno questioned about the same set of circumstances, however, declared “A few days later we tracked down the Conad-Margherita shop situated at the beginning of Corso-Garibaldi, where the owner recognized the photographs we showed him, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. Raffaele Sollecito was a regular customer of the store, while the girl had been seen two or three times in his company” (transcript of the hearing on 13.03.2009, pp.177 and 178). Yet, on being asked “Did Inspector Volturno ask you if you knew Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox?” Quintavalle replied, “About Amanda they didn’t ask me, that is, they did not ask me if Amanda came to the shop” (transcript of the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.83). This fact was contradicted by the declarations from his assistant, Ana Marina Chiriboga, who, when asked by Knox’s defence, “When the police came and spoke with Marco Quintavalle, they didn’t speak with you the first time. What did Marco Quintavelle say about this interview? Of what did they speak?”, replied, “Nothing, he told us that they asked him if he knew Amanda and Raffaele. Since we had already seen a bit on TV, so we commented” (transcript from the hearing on 26.06.2009, p.54). And again, to the question of the defence, “So they had arrived. What did he say?”, “That he knew them”, Chiriboga replied precisely, “Yes, ah, they wanted to know if he knew them? Him, yes, he said he knew them, but I said I didn’t, also my colleague said that…” (transcript hearing 26.06.2009, p.55), and to the further question, “Quintavalle replied that he knew Amanda and Raffaele, yes?” the witness replied “Yes” (transcript of the hearing 26.06.2009, p.56). Therefore, we do not see how it is possible for the motivations to affirm that Quintavalle did not report to have seen Amanda Knox the morning of 2 November only because he was not asked” (pp 75 and 76 of the motivations).
This prompts two observations. If it is true that Quintavalle provided a precise description of the girl’s entry into the shop (who is assumed to be Amanda Knox), it is strange that a person with a ‘strong’ visual memory (Quintavalle’s declarations, hearing 21.03.2009, p.78), when asked “Did you notice what eye colour Sollecito has”? (transcript 21.03.2009, p.115) responded “I believe they were brown, but I’m not quite sure, really no, I didn’t notice, I didn’t notice that, I don’t remember”, although Raffaele was his regular customer. To highlight the importance of this fact, furthermore, we should acknowledge that if Quintavalle was impressed by the physiognomy of Amanda, because it is characterized by blue eyes on a white face, then analogously he should have been equally impressed by that of Sollecito: a boy with such clear blue eyes and so fair a complexion. Moreover, Quintavalle remembered all this despite not having seen Amanda from the front but turned three quarters, “Then she entered, I saw her let’s say, three quarters left, three quarters of the left side. I didn’t see her from the front (…)” (transcript from the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.75).
The Motivations, furthermore, seem to have ignored this fundamental fact: that in his declarations Marco Quintavalle also affirmed having seen Amanda in his shop a couple of weeks before 2 November (transcript from the hearing of 21.03.2009, p.76), this time in the company of Raffaele. In this regard it has to be noted that this fact cannot in any way be true, since Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had known each other – and this fact is certain and conclusive – just a week before the murder. Nonetheless, the memory of the witness is so sharp as to enable him to describe even the clothes worn on that occasion by the two young people: “[Raffaele] had light clothing, a light coloured shirt, beige, some similar colour, also light trousers. Then I noticed that strangely he had no glasses on that evening (…). She was wearing jeans, then had a pair of boots let’s say Timberland make (…) she had a sweater (…) of wool or heavy cotton (…) red or something similar” (transcription of 21 March 2009, p.77).
In this regard, following the reasoning of the court, this episode also – noting the unusual hour (“one evening, I had closed the shop, it was a few minutes past 8: p.76) and the particular features of the girl (blue eyes and light skin) – should have remained fixed in the memory of the witness. Yet, strangely, this did not happen, since Quintavalle claimed not to have recognized Amanda on the morning of 2 November (only a few days after that first meeting), because it was as if seeing her for the first time, “for me I didn’t know this girl” (transcript of 21 March 2009, p.72).
The motivation has downplayed the fact that Quintavalle decided to speak with investigators only a year after the crime was committed. According to the defence, however, this fact is symptomatic – in addition to those things already mentioned – of the unreliability of his testimony. Quintavalle only decided to make contact with prosecutors after intense pressure from the journalist Antioco Fois, a regular customer of his shop. These statements then allowed the witness to participate in broadcasts on national TV networks. A fact that, in the deposition, Quintavalle sought to play down. In fact, when asked the question “Don’t you remember an interview done with TG2?” he replied, “TG2? TG2 came and filmed me in secret, I said: ‘Look I have nothing to say, nothing to declare’. Then with the camera they took over the counter of the shop [i.e. presumably the camera was now visible] and I told them that they should do nothing, they had to go” (transcript of the hearing 21.03.2009, p.111); while in this regard, the assistant Chiriboga affirmed that Quintavalle had reported having given this interview and, when asked by the President “So what did Quintavalle say about this interview?” the witness responded “He said: ‘I have been interviewed’, we said: ‘But at what time?’ He said he was interviewed after we went out to lunch” (transcript from the hearing of 26.06.2009, p.70).
It is clear, therefore, that a memory of more than a year after the fact would require very careful assessment of its reliability, while making it more necessary to find further supporting evidence. In reality, the testimony of Quintavalle is completely unreliable as it was not even confirmed by the statements of his employees, on the morning of 2 November. Ultimately, Quintavalle, like Curatolo, is nothing but a witness produced by the mass media. Not infrequently, following the outcry caused by a particular incident in the news, witnesses emerge whose statements, rather than being the result of direct knowledge, convey a ‘mass media synthesis’ of what has been learned from reporting in newspapers and on television. In spite of this the Court has erroneously considered this witness reliable, extrapolating and emphasizing only a few of his statements and forgetting, however, those that would lead to diametrically opposite conclusions.
As is apparent from a reading of Chiriboga’s testimony, the question Quintavalle posed to his assistant occurred around the time of a television interview which he gave after the witness statements of October 2008. In the transcript of Chiriboga’s examination it reads:
PRESIDENT – And when did he recount this to you?
WITNESS – I don’t remember the exact date, but it was the day they went to interview them>> (transcript of hearing 26 June 2009, page 72).
It is therefore incomprehensible that Quintavalle’s question to his assistant following the witness statements to the Public Prosecutor, almost a year after the episode itself and on the occasion of a television interview, could constitute certain and credible verification of the witness’s story.
Public Prosecutor – Mignini
Question: All right, so you are the owner of a grocery store?
Question: What’s the name?
Quintavalle: Marco Quintavalle.
Question: No, I mean the store?
Quintavalle: Margherita Conad, Corso Garibaldi – 6/8.
Question: All right then, so you were interviewed once by the mobile police team and then you came to me at the District Attorney’s office. Do you remember this?
Question: Did you know Raffaele Sollecito?
Question: How did you know him, and for how long have you known him?
Quintavalle: I knew him because he was a customer who came to my store almost every day.
Question: What did he usually buy?
Quintavalle: Well this and that, I don’t really remember exactly, I don’t know, bread for sure. Honestly I don’t remember exactly what he bought.
Question: Listen, so, what kind of detergents did he buy, did he purchase cleaning products?
Quintavalle: Yes, he did buy cleaning products. In particular, speaking of the cleaning of his apartment, one of my clerks, Marina Ciriboga, used to go and clean for him for a time, and he asked her if she knew anybody who could clean for him, and she found him someone, I believe it was the lady who was here earlier.
Question: So Ms. Ciriboga cleaned for him for a while, then someone else did it?
Quintavalle: Well at first there was this friend of Ms. Ciriboga who I think was the lady who was here earlier, I think, and then she couldn’t go for a while, I don’t know if she went back to Ecuador or what, and Ms. Ciriboga subbed for her for a while so she wouldn’t lose the job, I suppose. So she replaced her for a while. And on that occasion he bought 3 pairs of gloves, 3 different sizes, according to my clerk, that’s what he bought.
Question: Your clerk, Ms. Ciriboga?
Quintavalle: No, my cashier, I mean the other one, Urgiles Torres, and besides the gloves, she remembers that he bought Ace [bleach] too. But this was naturally a long time before my clerk went to his house to clean. He bought various detergents, that’s what she said.
Question: When did she go to clean for him?
Quintavalle: Before. A long time before. I, now….
Question: A few months?
Quintavalle: Certainly a few months.
Question: Did he buy Lysoform?
Quintavalle: I don’t know, I can’t tell you because I am very rarely at the cash register.
Question: But you personally don’t know then from your direct experience what Sollecito used to buy?
Quintavalle: No, no.
Question: Ok so, how did Sollecito behave? What kind of conversations did you have?
Quintavalle: I was never in his confidence, he was a very serious person, a very serious young man, very polite, very serious and polite…
Question: So he wasn’t overly familiar?
Quintavalle: No, not with me.
Question: So who else did you know, did you meet Rudi as well?
Quintavalle: But Rudi came let’s say in the evening, frequently, around 6:30 pm, dressed, well, wearing tennis shoes, shorts, sometimes he came into my store and he bought maybe, as far as I can remember, a piece of bread and a can of Coke.
Question: Right, so, I mean, he always paid, or?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
Question: So…but did he spend a lot of money?
Quintavalle: No no, just as far as I can remember, since I am not very often at the register, he would just buy a piece of bread maybe and a can of Coke.
Question: All right, so Sollecito though, when did he come, did he come often?
Question: How often, more or less?
Quintavalle: Every day, sometimes even twice in one day.
Question: Did he come alone or with other people?
Quintavalle: I almost always saw him by himself, a few times he was with a male friend, I think.
Question: Right ok so do you remember this friend, meaning, what did he look like, what physical characteristics did he have, height, etc.?
Quintavalle: Yes, a friend of his that I know well by sight, but I don’t know his name. Let’s say…
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, Italian.
Question: So did you ever see Amanda?
Quintavalle: Well I…
Question: Tell us when you saw her for the first time.
Quintavalle: Well I, when, the day I saw her in my store basically, can I say it or….
Question: Tell us.
Quintavalle: Well basically I came, that is, the afternoon of November 2nd I went back to work and I parked in the parking lot of Sant’Antonio upstairs, the uncovered lot, and I saw there were a lot of Police cars or Carabinieri cars, I don’t know, but I stopped, I went to the bar where I always go to have a coffee before going back to work, and I said: What happened? And they told me what happened, they told me a dead girl had been found. And so I was talking with the people at the bar, and we said amongst ourselves: It was probably a girl coming home alone from a night out, she probably met up with some creep. That’s what happened, even because of the knife that was used. The first thing anybody thought was that. And in that moment I thought, since I got there very early in the morning, I always get there early in the morning…
Question: The morning of the 2nd?
Quintavalle: The morning of the 2nd, I parked there in the same parking lot at Sant’Antonio upstairs, on the righthand side, basically where the houses are. I tried to think back to that morning in other words if I had seen anyone. I thought back to that morning to recall if I had seen some creep walking around, in other words it was just automatic for me to think of it. I remember that I parked and there were only 2-3 cars in the upstairs lot, there were very few cars.
Question: What time was it?
Quintavalle: Let’s see…it was early, 6, 6:15, around that time, let’s say. Then I went to the bar, and I didn’t meet anyone in the parking lot, and from there to the bar it’s a short distance, and I went to have a coffee, and I tried to remember if I had seen anything. And I also thought about who came in that morning.
Question: Who came in?
Quintavalle: An Algerian boy who works in construction came in, I used to see him every morning, he was waiting, I don’t know if he was waiting for a ride or waiting for the bus or what. Then I went to my shop. At the shop I did the usual things that you do, then at 7:45 I open the shop, I have a rolling shutter, when you press on the button, I always press it, the button is between the wall and the fridge. So you have to kind of stick your hand in like this, 10 cm, and I always open it with my right hand, that’s just how I do it. So while I was pressing the button, out of the corner of my eye I saw the outline of a girl who was waiting outside for me to open. And naturally I, my shop is an old-fashioned shop, I stopped there to greet her, as I always do when someone enters, my shop has an automatic door, but the sensor, the photocell, is set very low, on the entrance itself, otherwise everytime you walked by the door would open. And so in order to come in you have to get very close, and it takes the door a few seconds to open, let’s say 2 or 3 seconds. And when the girl came in I looked at her to greet her, and she looked at me, from a distance of oh, say, one meter, or 70-80 cm, something like that. And right at that moment I didn’t recognize the girl, even if I had seen her before, I didn’t recognize her, so for me, I didn’t recognize this girl. She came in, she went to the upper part of the shop, in the sense that my shop is divided into two spaces and between them there is an opening, let’s say 2.5 meters wide. There is a small ramp and she went to the left part of the store while I remained where I was, I went behind the counter and I continued to do what I had to do in other words. After I don’t know, a minute, a short time, I couldn’t say exactly, but corso Garibaldi is a very narrow street, and I was working behind the counter but with the corner of my eye I saw the girl going out again, I recognized her, with the same coat she had when she came in, so I recognized her, and the same hat, and I saw her going back, with the corner of my eye, to the piazza, basically going down hill. That’s it.
Question: What color was her coat?
Quintavalle: Her coat was gray. Should I describe how she was dressed?
Question: Tell us what then…
Quintavalle: Well that’s it basically. I thought of this, in the afternoon I thought of what I had seen in the morning. This girl made an impression, let’s say, because she has very light eyes, very blue, very clear…
Quintavalle: Yes, she had very blue very light eyes, and a hat, I say a hat, I don’t know if it was a cap or something else, anyway something on her head and she was wearing jeans, I remember. And then this gray coat and a scarf, in my memory it was a bluish color, something like that. A little bunched up here around her face, like this, not tight, in other words a scarf, like they are worn…
Question: Please describe it because this is being written down, so if you make a gesture it will not come through in the description.
Quintavalle: Excuse me. The usual way you wear a scarf. Not tight…
Question: Was it bunched up around here?
Quintavalle: Yes a little bit here around the collar of the coat, the neck part, let’s say.
Question: So the neck was hidden by the scarf?
Quintavalle: Yes yes, you mean her neck?
Quintavalle: No, no, I didn’t see the neck, no, no, the face.
President: What color did you say the scarf was?
Quintavalle: It seems to me that I remember a bluish color, that’s how I remember it, something like that in other words, a bluish color.
Question: How tall was this girl?
Quintavalle: I think she was around 1.65 – 1.67.
Question: So she wasn’t tall?
Question: Did you notice anything else about her, besides her blue eyes?
Quintavalle: Yes, I remember that she had a very white face, very white indeed, that’s what made an impression on me, what I remember, because that’s the image I have in my head, this very white face, with those blue eyes it was very striking, but very white. I saw that she had a very white face.
Question: How was this girl built?
Quintavalle: Normal body structure.
Quintavalle: Yes, a very normal girl.
Question: Can you tell us her age?
Quintavalle: Young, I’d say if you saw her…
Question: Hair color?
Quintavalle: 20 – 21 years old.
Question: Hair color?
Quintavalle: I didn’t see her hair.
Question: What did the girl do when she came in the store?
Quintavalle: The girl came in, she looked at me, I looked at her and she didn’t say anything, she went to the upper part of the shop, because there are two spaces and in the middle there is an opening of let’s say 2.5 meters, and then she went into the lefthand part, in other words going further into the store naturally and not towards the exit.
Question: What do you sell in that part?
Quintavalle: Well in that part we sell, on the righthand side we have biscuits, then at the far end we have pasta, then milk, then at the end going back towards the exit there are wine and beverages, then on the left there are the shelves, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, health and beauty, coffee, in other words, various and sundry, all those things a grocery has in other words. Sundry articles.
Question: Listen so do you remember the face of this girl?
Question: That which you could see?
Question: Did you see her eyes?
Quintavalle: Yes when she came in, I saw her, let’s say, like this, three quarters from the left side. I didn’t see her straight on, when she came in naturally I was here on the right between the shop window at the entrance, here’s the door that opens divided into two parts, here’s the sliding door, not that it slides opening this centrally, one part slides, going in it’s the righthand side of the door, going back to the left side, here’s a window and the counter. I was in this position, between the counter at the entrance and the window, basically right next to the door that opens.
Question: So did the girl ask you anything or say anything?
Question: So then you learned of the crime later on?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, Friday afternoon when I went back to the shop.
Question: And you saw the pictures at some point?
Question: Of Sollecito and Knox?
Question: What’s the matter?
Quintavalle: Listen basically my clerk Ms. Ciriboga one morning, I don’t remember when, a few days later, I don’t remember the day, I just don’t remember the day, 4 – 5 – 6 days later, I just don’t remember. Basically when the news came out that they had, I am telling you because she went, she said: Can I go have a coffee? And she went to the bar in Piazza Rimana, she went to the newsstand in other words. And in other words everybody was talking about it, and she went there. And she said to me: They have arrested Raffaele. And I said…she was talking, naturally, about what had happened. And I said: Impossible. This was my reaction, naturally. And I said: But are you sure? And she said: Yes, yes, Raffaele. And I told her to go buy a newspaper. I don’t remember which, I really don’t. And the minute I saw the paper I said to myself, “this is the girl from the other morning.” In reference to…
Question: To Knox?
Quintavalle: Yes of course to her, but I meant referring to that morning…
Question: So you saw the photo of Amanda Knox and you said…
Question: You said to yourself, “this is the girl.”
Quintavalle: I didn’t have the absolute mathematical certainty, because in the original photo you couldn’t see the color of her eyes, but I had a sense of oval, the way of looking, that glance, for me it was her.
Question: Had you seen her other times?
Quintavalle: The day I saw her I didn’t connect her with someone I had seen before, I didn’t make that association. Then looking at the photos, the build, the way she wore her hair, straight hair very flat to her head like that, I remember an evening, I had closed the shop, it was just past 8 pm, and I was sitting at the cash register because I was counting the register, and Raffaele came in, in my store, in the upper part I have the same kind of door that opens with a photocell, from right to left, and a part that closes. In the part that opens I have a kind of curtain that I close in the evening to show that the shop is closed, basically one of those curtains. And on the right side there is no curtain, I mean there is but I don’t use it because it’s broken, and I didn’t have it fixed. So he came basically to the closed doors, which don’t open from the outside, because it’s the exit, whereas the entrance already had the garage door pulled down, and he came to the part without curtains and…I remember how he was dressed, should I describe him?
Quintavalle: He was wearing light-colored clothes, a light-colored sweater, maybe beige or something like that, and some light-colored trousers. Then I noticed that he didn’t have his glasses on that night, which was strange, because he always wears them.
Question: The night before?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, I am talking about the evening after 8 when I, naturally, since I knew him, I mean I knew him by sight, you let him in of course, he came in and behind him my clerks in that moment were going out, he came in and my clerks went out, and with him was the young lady.
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
Question: So you recognize her?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
Question: How was she dressed?
Quintavalle: She was wearing jeans, and a pair of boots like Timberlands or something like that, and a sweater but I don’t remember the color, it seems like it was a cotton and wool sweater or something like that, but it seems to me that it had a collar, not a closed sweater in other words. It was very colorful, for sure, but I am not sure, because although it seems to me it was red or some color like that, I am not sure.
Question: This thing she was wearing the evening when Raffaele came?
Question: So it was a kind of coat?
Quintavalle: It wasn’t a coat, she was wearing jeans and this sweater, I don’t know if it’s correct to say sweater, if you mean the closed ones, I don’t understand these things.
Question: An article of clothing in other words?
Quintavalle: Yes, she didn’t have a coat, she had jeans and this, on top of the jeans she had a sweater, let’s say.
Question: Red in color, you said?
Quintavalle: Well, I, it was colorful, not gray, not beige, it was a color…let’s say a bright color, I want to say, but I am not sure.
Question: And when did this episode occur?
Quintavalle: Well, I, I have been asked this question several times, but I’d say a few weeks before probably.
Question: Before November 2nd?
Quintavalle: Yes, it’s a little hard for me to place.
Question: She had no scarf that evening?
Quintavalle: No, no.
Question: All right, but when you saw the girl on the morning of the 2nd, how did she move? Did she seem relaxed?
Quintavalle: Well let’s say she just came in, and she looked at me, as I said, just a little like so, with that very white skin. And it made an impression on me because she seemed, I mean she had a very tired expression, it seemed to me…but that’s normal enough, because sometimes they come back in the morning after they’ve been out all night dancing or at parties or something.
Question: Would you say your visual memory is strong or weak?
Question: Very strong?
Question: And when you saw the photos of Amanda Knox, you immediately thought of…
Quintavalle: Exactly, exactly.
Question: You thought right away of this girl?
Quintavalle: Exactly. Basically having seen the photo, I repeat, I wasn’t sure because in the paper I couldn’t see her eyes, in the newspaper photo, I recognized the oval of her face, the regular nose, this very pretty oval, with these very clear eyes.
Question: Regarding the color of Amanda’s eyes, I don’t know if it is a notorious fact that they are blue, but I would like, the only color image available is that of this book, and I would like to show it to the Court.
Dalla Vedova (Defense): We object because that is a photograph that has been modified because it does not correspond, exactly…you can see clearly that the face is not the same. So either it is an official photograph. With this new software they can modify the appearance, so that is not the photograph of Amanda, it has been modified.
Question: You can see the color of her eyes quite well.
Dalla Vedova (Defense): The defense considers it a modified photo, therefore…
President: You object?
Dalla Vedova (Defense): We object because it is not reliable, if it was a photo, a mugshot for example when she was arrested, we would not have this type of objection.
President: It will be shown anyway. Objection noted. Can you tell us who it is?
Quintavalle: Yes in my opinion it is her…
President: The color of these eyes you see in the photo, do you see them brighter, or modified in some way?
Quintavalle: Well for me the color of her eyes here in this picture, I do not see it.
President: They don’t look the same to you?
Quintavalle: No, I don’t see it. The color I saw, I don’t see here.
Question: Let her be viewed.
President: Excuse me. Do you recognize the girl you saw on that occasion in this courtroom?
Quintavalle: Yes, I saw her this morning at the entrance.
President: So you recognize her now, she’s here?
President: Are you sure?
President: Is it her? Are you sure this is the girl you saw?
Quintavalle: Now I am sure, yes.
President: The girl you saw the morning of November 2nd you said, around what time?
Quintavalle: 7:45, because I open at 7:45.
President: At 7:45 in the circumstances you told us about earlier, you recognize the girl who is present in this courtroom, precisely in Amanda Knox, is that right?
President: On the other hand in that book, in the photo on the cover of that book you don’t see the same…?
Quintavalle: I recognized her in a precise manner on television, because on the television I saw her face…
President: To be perfectly clear, though, on the cover of that book who is that, whose photo is that? Do you recognize her?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, I recognize her. But I repeat that the light from the eyes that I saw in person was different, in my opinion, from the photo. That’s what I am trying to say.
President: Of course.
Prosecutor: No further questions.
President: Note that the cover of a book has been shown.
Civil party – Attorney Maresca
Question: Can you tell us something about the delivery of cases or in any case the frequency of the delivery of cases of bleach to your shop?
Quintavalle: You mean Ace bleach?
Question: Yes, Ace.
Quintavalle: Well yes ok Ace.
Question: What was the frequency, what were the modalities of delivery?
Quintavalle: You mean of Ace bleach.
Question: Of delivery and restocking.
Quintavalle: Ace bleach is a very commonly used product. You want to know the ways in which it is delivered, it is delivered with the Conad truck, after I buy it from the Conad warehouse in Ponte Felcino. The frequency with which Ace arrives, they are big cases, I don’t know if there are 15 or 18 bottles of 1 liter each, I only sell that size, 1 liter, the classic size for Ace bleach.
Question: I don’t know.
Quintavalle: Well because there are many types of Ace bleach. The classic type is one liter, the most frequent let’s say.
Question: You only sell the one liter bottles?
Quintavalle: One liter and the classic type, yes. Because there are various types. The frequency, I’d say every 2-3 trucks, is one case of Ace bleach.
Question: Do you remember the dates in October and November when cartons of Ace bleach were delivered to your shop?
Quintavalle: I, naturally, when…
Question: About how many times during October and November?
Quintavalle: You see when the merchandise arrives it all arrives together, on an average there are 300-400 pieces, so for me it’s difficult, the only thing I can do is look at the invoices from the deliveries, because naturally I don’t remember every single thing I unload, one case is the same as another when the supplies arrive.
Question: Do you remember that on this point you cited these, well, these dates, basically these methods of delivery and operators?
Quintavalle: Yes because they asked me for an invoice of delivery of the supplies. Yes, yes, I remember.
Question: So you have already discussed these things?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, I remember.
No further questions.
Defense – Attorney Maori
Question: Mr. Quintavalle, you are very, very precise in your recollections, naturally a shopkeeper must also be very precise in remembering how people look. Earlier you mentioned both to the Public Prosecutor and to the Civil Party that you have been examined by multiple people, both the police and the prosecutor’s office?
Quintavalle: Well I was interviewed in my shop by Inspector Volturno who was with another gentleman whose name I don’t remember but now I know.
Question: Do you remember when you were interviewed by Inspector Volturno?
Quintavalle: I think it was around November 15-20.
Question: The year is very important?
Quintavalle: It was 2007.
Question: What did Inspector Volturno do, he came to your shop?
Quintavalle: Yes, Inspector Volturno yes, they came to my shop and they asked me if Raffaele had bought…
Question: No, first they would have asked you if you had seen Raffaele and Amanda, or not?
Quintavalle: You mean did they ask me?
Prosecutor: We object, he can’t discuss the content of the declarations.
President: Well let’s ask the questions, if there is good reason for objection we know that, obviously, all the parties know it. So let’s go ahead and ask the questions, and if there are objections to make they will be made, but let’s let the questions be questions.
Question: The exact question is this. Did Inspector Volturno come with photographs of Raffaele and Amanda?
Quintavalle: Photos, no, I don’t think so.
Question: Did Inspector Volturno ask if you knew Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox?
Quintavalle: They didn’t ask me about Amanda, I mean about if they had come to the shop, they never said anything about Amanda.
Question: Are you sure they didn’t ask you?
President: The witness has to tell the truth, what he responds, he responds. Maybe we should say that right now to the witness. You must respond according to your oath.
President: If it should happen that you have to answer questions about things you are not sure about in your mind, you will say, “it seems to me, it doesn’t seem to me.”
Quintavalle: That’s clear.
President: That way we can avoid asking the same questions over and over. Because the witness must be allowed to answer in a tranquil state.
Defense: You are perfectly right, President. I object right now, the service record has been produced…
President: Pardon me Attorney, but the objections we make them with the declarations made by the witness.
Defense: In reference to the fact that he declared right this moment that he didn’t..
President: Excuse me.
Prosecutor: President, there is an objection, they must object to the declarations made, not the service record signed by Inspector Volturno.
President: On this point the defense and all of us will make a note, because the objections are to be made on declarations already made. Are there other objections?
Defense: My question was that, my question, President, is very simple.
President: Go ahead.
Question: If it had been asked of Mr. Quintavalle if he had seen Amanda and Raffaele or not, and what his answer was?
Quintavalle: I remember that they asked me if he used to come, among other things they found one of my receipts in their house, in any case I said yes, he used to come. If you are referring to the fact that I didn’t connect Amanda…
Question: Please just answer the question.
President: Excuse me Attorney, let’s let the witness finish answering, otherwise it becomes a kind of..
Quintavalle: In that case I’ll say one more thing, that Inspector Volturno also left me his phone number, and he said to me: If anything else comes to your mind, call me. I remember it perfectly. But at that time I did not connect the fact of Amanda and this fact here, I didn’t make the connection.
President: When you say: This fact here. What are you talking about exactly, which fact?
Quintavalle: I mean the fact of their question about whether Raffaele had bought Ace bleach in my shop. I never connected her with that. If they had asked me…also because I repeat, when the young lady came to my shop I didn’t see her leave with anything at all, because when I saw her go by, with the corner of my eye I just saw her leaving, but I didn’t see whether she had a bag or anything in her hands.
President: Are you talking about the morning of November 2nd?
Quintavalle: The morning of November 2nd. I don’t know if she bought anything, I don’t know. My clerk does not remember if she bought anything. I am not able to say for sure if she bought anything or not.
President This is on November 2nd?
Quintavalle: Exactly. And so when they came I…
President: When the police came?
Quintavalle: When the inspectors came I didn’t think about telling them: look, the morning of November 2nd I saw the young lady, I didn’t think of that, I just didn’t think of it.
President: Go ahead Attorney.
Question: You said previously that Inspector Volturno left his phone number with you?
Question: Did you call him?
Quintavalle: You mean did I call him?
Quintavalle: You want to know if I called Inspector Volturno?
Question: Didn’t you say that you realized later that that person, you had connected the person who came to your shop on the morning of November 2nd with Amanda Knox?
Quintavalle: In other words if I should have said…you are asking that I, if I called Inspector Volturno to tell him this? No, no, I didn’t call him.
Question: And afterwards were you questioned by anybody else?
Question: Nobody at all?
Quintavalle: No, no.
Question: Not even Mr. Mignini?
Quintavalle: Well yes, when I went to Mr. Mignini’s office, yes, of course.
Question: How did you happen to go to Mr. Mignini’s office?
Question: First of all, when did you go to Mr. Mignini’s office?
Quintavalle: I went in mid-November of 2008.
Question: So a year later?
Question: Why was that, after a whole year?
Quintavalle: I will explain. At that time above my store, I mean the building right next to my store there lived a young man whom I have known since, he lives upstairs, and since I am right in Piazza Grimana I know pretty much everybody, and so this young man, Antioco Fois lived in this apartment, and after he graduated from college he started writing for the Giornale dell’Umbria. And so he, well, for two or three years, I can’t say we were exactly friends, but I knew him, since he comes often to my shop. And he started to research about life in Corso Garibaldi, so we became closer. One day he even sold tissues there, like facial tissues, to see how much those guys make who sell tissues at stop lights. And so we became closer when I saw more of him. He stopped by often and said to me: but don’t you know anything at all, did you see anything? Did you hear anything? And I said to him one day: Look, here it is, etc. etc., I think, one day I told him that I thought I had seen Amanda. And he didn’t really react. And then he repeated it to me: “I think I saw Amanda.” And one day he came and he said: Listen, if you saw Amanda, I think maybe you should say so. And I said to him: I don’t think it matters if I saw her or not, I said. And besides that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about getting involved in this story, obviously, as I am not now.
Question: I don’t believe that.
President: Excuse me Attorney, please, let’s skip the comments.
Question: I would like to say something in relation to this. Because the question has to do with why he showed up a year later. So.
Prosecutor: I object to this question because the witness has to tell the truth, and when the witness presented himself, when and how he identified himself are irrelevant. What is relevant is what the witness is saying. The witness is bound to tell the truth. The fact that a witness comes later, or that a witness comes in after a while depends unfortunately on a whole series of factors that we all know about.
President: Let’s avoid overlaps.
Prosecutor: There are other witnesses who will come, there are many motivations I don’t agree with, because the witness, because people who know things should come and report it right away, but often, witnesses think, I know what they think because I know this type of mindset, they say to themselves: what I know doesn’t matter anyway. Because each witness only sees, in an abstract manner, his own little piece of information, without being able to connect it, or understand its role in the big picture. And so the witness comes when he thinks he should come. He should come right away, that is the best-case scenario. But in this case, they waited. The witness explained why, I don’t see why these questions must continue to be asked…
Defense: Ok but that’s enough now, Your Honor, this seems a little much.
President: Let’s go on. But the question is admissible, in part because it is useful to verify the reliability of the witness to evaluate his statement based on how convincing it is in regards to this case. And therefore to evaluate the deposition, how the deposition matures, in which occasions, in which circumstances, on the basis of whose judgment, that of the witness or that of others. And therefore the question will be admitted, we can close this parenthesis.
Question: I would like to…?
Quintavalle: I wanted to finish. He came back after a few days…
President: Are we talking about Fois?
Quintavalle: Yes, Antioco Fois. He came back to the shop and he said: Listen, it is important that you report this fact since she declared that she got up at 10 am that day, and it is important that you report this for the record. And so I decided right then to report it. That’s it.
President: So you went right away?
Quintavalle: I went. And here I have finished.
Question: I just want to ask one more question relative to the bleach, to the questions by the Civil Party. You spoke of the fact that the price of bleach was…1.09. Since when?
Quintavalle: I think it’s been a while that I have been selling it for 1.09.
Question: Is it possible that that’s been the price since October 11, 2007?
Quintavalle: No, because I can’t remember if it was 1.05 maybe, but anyway it’s been 1.09 for a long time, I believe.
Question: Is it possible that it was 0.85 before that, a long time before?
Quintavalle: No, no, not at my shop. Maybe in other types of shops, but not at mine, no.
President: Pardon me, do you just have one kind of bleach?
Quintavalle: Ace bleach, yes.
President: And do you have various sizes of it?
Quintavalle: No, there are many types of Ace bleach, but I have, being as it is an old-fashioned shop, naturally I couldn’t have a large assortment.
President: So you just have one…?
Quintavalle: The classic one liter size of Ace bleach.
President: 1.09 or 1.05, these are the prices your remember?
Quintavalle: At that time it was 1.09, as I remember.
President: In those days, meaning?
Quintavalle: At that time we’re talking about when Raffaele used to shop at my store, is what I mean.
No further questions.
Defense Attorney Rocchi
Question: Listen, I wanted to ask you about the morning of November 2nd, who was in the shop when you went to open, to open or at least…?
Quintavalle: When I open there is nobody there.
Question: That morning…?
Quintavalle: When I arrived at my shop, I go in alone, I have the keys, I am the owner and I go in alone. Then my clerks came.
Question: And the fact you reported happened before or after your clerks arrived?
Quintavalle: After, it happened after my clerks arrived.
Question: So the two clerks were already there?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, my clerks get there at 7:30 a.m.
Question: Did you ask them about what happened?
Quintavalle: Of course.
President: Pardon but when you say what happened, what are you talking about?
Quintavalle: I mean when the young lady came into my shop.
President: Because you said: I saw her out of the corner of my eye, I hadn’t opened yet. Is that right?
Quintavalle: No, no, when she came in I opened the rolling shutter.
President: So the fact is what? That you saw her before, then you go in and then she comes in too and then she leaves.
Quintavalle: By what happened I mean from the moment when she came into my shop.
President: So when this girl came into your shop the clerks were already there?
President: But you had seen this girl before the clerks got there?
Quintavalle: No, no, they were already in the shop.
President: They were already inside?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes, I open, they get there at 7:30 a.m., and I open at 7:45, my clerks get there at 7:30, naturally from the upper part, and I open the door.
President: So they were already inside the shop but the shop was not yet open to the public?
Quintavalle: You can’t get in that way from outside, it’s just an exit, the photocell doesn’t open.
Question: So you asked them something about these facts?
Quintavalle: Of course, I said to the girl who was at the register, meaning Urgiles Torres…
Question: Can you explain to us first of all who these girls were?
Quintavalle: Well one is named Ciriboga Anna Marina, one is named Urgiles Torres Maria Eulalia, they are my clerks and they are from Ecuador, they have been working with me for a long time, Urgiles Torres for five years, 5 and a half, the other for 3 years and a half, just about that.
Question: What did you ask them?
Quintavalle: Well I asked Urgiles, because since she was at the register, naturally if you buy something you have to pass by the register, and she doesn’t remember.
Question: Listen when did you ask them this question, are we talking just Urgiles or also Ms. Ciriboga?
Quintavalle: That morning when I saw the photograph, I said to my clerk, I mean the one who was at the cash register, because the other one let’s say is more of a factotum. She might clean the floors or stock the shelves or something, I said “This girl…”
Question: I’m sorry, who cleans the floors? Which is the one who cleans the floors and which works the register?
Quintavalle: Let’s say that Ms. Ciriboga is more suited to this type of job, while the other…I mean we all do a little of everything naturally, but when there are customers in the shop then it’s Urgiles at the register, or myself.
Question: At what point, when did you ask them this question?
Quintavalle: Well naturally when it came out, when it happened, I said, the fact that I saw it in the paper, I said: But this is the girl from the other morning. And I asked her if she remembered. And she said she remembered, and that was it, as far as I can recall.
Question: So at that time they remembered what you were asking them?
Quintavalle: At that time my clerk said: I think you’re right. But she didn’t really remember, she’s the type who forgets her purse, her phones, she’s one of those who don’t remember things.
Question: So you asked them this, but when the police came to ask you for information, you said nothing about this circumstance?
Quintavalle: Are you talking to me?
Quintavalle: When they asked me what?
Question: When the judicial police came to your shop to ask for information relative to the murder that had taken place?
Quintavalle: But they only asked me…
Question: But when they came surely they told you why they were asking these questions?
Question: They came to ask you for information relative to the homicide?
Question: But you didn’t think…
Prosecutor: Let him respond.
President: The Public Prosecutor can exhaust the examination. So the defense is asking, when the police came and they asked you what? About the bleach you were saying?
Quintavalle: Yes, they asked about the Ace bleach and they asked me for my cash register record, the daily book let’s call it where all the sales are recorded, the roll of receipts, because one is given to the customer and one remains in the book, so to speak. And they took it to see on which day there had been the purchase of Ace bleach at 1.09.
President: And the defense was asking, it didn’t occur to you to mention this episode of the morning of the 2nd?
Quintavalle: No, no. Question:
President: Excuse me, when they came to ask you these questions, did they show you their credentials?
Quintavalle: Of course.
Question: And they told you why they were there.
Question: What did they want, meaning what were they investigating?
Quintavalle: The murder.
Question: But you did not mention this episode even though you asked your clerks about it?
Quintavalle: No, I didn’t, I didn’t connect it with..
Question: That will be all, thank you.
President: Excuse me but when did you ask the clerks about it?
Quintavalle: When the photograph appeared in the paper and I recognized her, I thought, the young lady.
President: When did the photo come out?
Quintavalle: In the paper.
President: When did the photo appear in the paper?
Quintavalle: Well five or six days later, in November, somewhere around then.
President: So before the police came?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
President: So you asked the clerks about it?
Quintavalle: Yes, as far as Ciriboga goes I don’t remember, but I remember perfectly that I asked Urgiles about it.
President: All right. Defense Attorney Rocchi
Question: Do you remember the date when the judicial police came?
Quintavalle: Earlier they said November 20 or something like that.
Question: Thank you.
Defense Attorney Ghirga
Question: In regard to the date, if we say November 12 is when the mobile police squad came, can you remember any better…?
Question: You can’t remember anything else?
Quintavalle: No, no.
Question: All right, let’s go back to the Ace bleach briefly. On November 2nd the price of the classic one liter size was 1.09?
Question: You said, the question is: when did the price change from the 0.85 that we show here as having been the old price?
Quintavalle: No, no, I never sold Ace at that price.
Question: Ok, we have finished with Ace for the time being, but we have other things we need to evaluate and we will evaluate them. When did you decide voluntarily to go see Mr. Mignini, if I say to you November 15, could that be the date? November 15, 2008?
Question: Shall I help you remember?
Question: When you were identified, and gave all your personal information, born in, resident in, did you also leave your cell phone number?
Question: Which is 33565… I won’t say the whole thing.
Quintavalle: Yes, I remember it perfectly. Because the attorney asked if I could leave my number.
Question: So Sollecito Raffaele was your customer?
Question: Would you say a regular customer?
Question: Amanda Knox was your customer on November 2nd?
Quintavalle: No she wasn’t my customer.
Question: I asked you a question, if Amanda Knox was your customer on November 2, 2007?
Question: She was in your shop twice, Amanda Knox was, on November 2nd?
Quintavalle: On November 2nd yes.
Question: At least twice?
Quintavalle: At least twice, yes.
Question: Because you mentioned one time before, now you remember a second time?
Question: You mentioned that Raffaele came when the shop was closed?
Quintavalle: Yes that was the second time I saw her.
Question: You mean November 2nd was the second time.
Quintavalle: November 2nd. Yes.
Question: So the second time was November 2nd, I was asking you about before November 2nd?
Quintavalle: I think so, before November 2nd.
Question: I am asking you if before November 2nd, Amanda Knox had already come to your Conad store twice?
Quintavalle: I believe so.
Question: You believe so?
Quintavalle: I think so. Because I reconstructed it afterwards.
Question: She came at least twice before November 2nd, then there was the episode on November 2nd which I haven’t asked you about. Listen, do you remember if at the end of your deposition on November 15, 2008 with Mr. Mignini if you were invited, I mean warned, not to reveal the contents of your deposition to anyone?
Question: Did you respect this prohibition?
Quintavalle: There was the interview…
Question: Wait a minute, I’m going to let my colleague Della Vedova continue questioning on this point. Because here, Your Honor…
President: Attorney, we can’t do it…
Defense: I just asked…
President: Yes, Attorney, I understand what you asked…
Defense: These aren’t just details, these are official prohibitions..
President: But there is article 198 comma 2, which we need to refer to, that sets the limits.
Defense: I just asked him if he had been warned not to reveal…
President: He already answered you.
Defense: He said yes.
President: It was the next question.
Defense: I asked him if he obeyed the warning, he answered “to be honest, no.” Now my colleague Dalla Vedova will continue.
Prosecutor: We need to see when the records of the integrative activities of the investigation were filed. Because that’s when the secrecy ends.
President: Of course. But the reference was to the deposition in question and to that…with this clarification by the Public Prosecutor.
Defense Attorney Dalla Vedova
Dalla Vedova: I would like to go on with this last observation made by my colleague for the defense. Because I just wanted to remind you and have your confirmation that the Public Prosecutor, at the end of the report made on November 15, 2008, warned you as to the importance and delicacy of the investigation and the need to avoid disclosure so that the circumstances related by the witness would not influence the investigation. Therefore, in the limits of article 341 numerals 32 and 9 comma 3 of the Penal Procedural Code, you were warned against examining and communicating the facts and the circumstances which were the object of the investigation, which you have described in this report, for the duration of the law. In parentheses it says: 2 months. Furthermore you were warned that if you did disclose these facts, you would be penally punishable according to the limits of article 379 bis of the Penal Code, later integrated into law 397 of 2000. Do you remember this warning?
Prosecutor: (not into the microphone)
Dalla Vedova: Please Public Prosecutor, I would like to finish the question.
President: We have already asked this question.
Dalla Vedova: Do you remember this?
Quintavalle: Well I remember he told me the report is secret, I think that’s how they say it.
Dalla Vedova: That you were warned, I will repeat the text to you, I am reading from the text, if you like I will show it to you as well. You were warned, you were prohibited, as the witness, from communicating the facts and the circumstances of the investigation. Which for the record, was for the duration of the law: 2 months. Do you remember this?
President: This is the question the witness is asked to answer, please note. But if we’re going to ask questions like the one you asked, meaning he was warned about article 198 comma 2, as the defense knows, the witness cannot be obliged to refer to circumstances that could lead to his penal prosecution. And therefore any questions that may be asked on this point will not be admitted. The witness is here up to this point.
Dalla Vedova: Yes but there is article 63 too.
President: Attorney, this is where we are. At 198 in the testimony stage.
Dalla Vedova: Next question. You gave an interview to RAI TV on December 2, 2007. I.e., 15 days after this report was made.
President: Before you answer. This question will not be admitted because the witness, from November 2nd, we are still within the 2 month time frame, so he cannot be called to respond. In reference to 198 comma 2. So the question will not be admitted.
Question: Your Honor, may I request to show an interview that was shown on national television, RAI 1, on the show called Porta a Porta, on December 2nd? Where we can see.
OUTSIDE THE MICROPHONE – There is no justification!
Dalla Vedova: I ask to be allowed to finish.
President: For goodness sake the objections may all be made, but let’s wait to make them until the defender has had his say, please stop it. The witness must wait to be, not invited, but required by the President of the Court to respond, if necessary. Otherwise he will wait. Go ahead, Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: This defense believes that it is important in order to evaluate the reliability of the witness, as you have already stressed previously, Your Honor, and that the interview that the witness gave on television on December 2, 2008, be evaluated. In other words, 15 days after the witness remembered and deposed. And I therefore ask to be allowed to show the Court an excerpt from this interview, including the filming of the witness we have here before us today, and to listen to his declarations, obviously. In order to understand exactly the effective reliability of the witness.
President: Any objections?
Prosecutor: Ms. Comodi – Given the warning of secrecy which is part of all the reports of the Public Prosecutor, the prohibition, in other words the warning to the person who makes his declarations of the prohibition against disclosing the declarations he just made, obviously this ceases in the moment that the secrecy of the investigation is lifted. So I produce to the Court in particular the notice of filing, because Mr. Quintavalle was examined during the course of an integrative investigation, ex article 430, following the indictment. Therefore I am producing the notice of filing ex article 430 which was made on November 21, 2008. If the Court wishes I can produce all of the…I produce a copy of the fax sent to the Prosecutor after the release of the copy….no no wait a minute, I’m wrong on that, never mind. I wanted to also produce the copy of the acts of investigation made by the Public Prosecutor ex article 430 by the Attorneys. But I think I can’t find them. So in the meantime I have these.
President: What the Court wants to know is when the secrecy the witness was bound to ended, in order to decide about the eligibility of the question. We can say still to be determined for any decision on the admissibility of the production of the document, if you like. But as far as the question goes, this is where we are.
Prosecutor: Just one second with the notifications because the Attorneys were notified ad horas. Also to understand that indication of 2 months, that’s obviously the usual amount of time if the secrecy doesn’t end before that.
President: If the secrecy ended before, the question will be admitted. If it hadn’t ended yet, it will not be admitted.
Prosecutor: I wanted to go on making a few observations.
President: So the date was…Attorney, what was the date?
Dalla Vedova: The interview we have here was on December 2, 2008.
President: When was the secrecy over?
Prosecutor: A while.
President: It was finished. So the question may be asked.
Prosecutor: Although there is no objection to the viewing of this video because anyway we’ve all seen it already, we’ve seen it too, and Mr. Quintavalle just repeats exactly what he said today, obviously in accordance with the diverse questions that he is asked. Because you answer a question, if there is no question there is no answer. And I wanted to say that…I wanted to object in any case to the method and the relevance of this viewing, since the reliability of the witness cannot be verified via his post-factum behavior, but rather his behavior prior to the declarations that he gave to the Public Prosecutor. Keeping in mind that this interview was done 15 days after the Public Prosecutor had questioned him. I think this is a post-factum which is totally irrelevant to determine reliability. In part because whereas Mr. Quintavalle is obliged in this courtroom and before the Public Prosecutor to tell the truth about the facts he is asked about, but with a journalist he does not have the same obligation. So I don’t see how this interview, the contents of this interview, or the viewing of this interview which happened after, I repeat, the declarations that he made, can possibly influence the evaluation of the reliability of this witness by this Court. So I do object for that reason.
Dalla Vedova: Can I say something briefly.
President: Let’s skip the replies.
Dalla Vedova: Just a comment on the document filed. This is actually a notice of filing, but neither my colleague Ghirga nor I received that notice. So.
Ghirga: Honestly it’s November 24.
President: November 24th.
Dalla Vedova: That’s the first thing I had to say about this.
President: May the Court note that a notice is exhibited carrying the date: November 24, 2008.
Dalla Vedova: Back to the comment about the timing of the declaration.
Prosecutor: Sorry but on procedural issues replies are not permitted.
President: Ok no replies.
Order President: Having heard the deductions from all parties, noted that the notice was give on November 24, 2008.
Prosecutor: I have all the original notifications here.
Maresca: Your Honor the Civil Party obviously associates itself with the deductions of the Public Prosecutor in objecting to the viewing of the video, for the same reasons stated by the Public Prosecutor.
President: Therefore it is decided that in regard to the notification date regarding the recording of information from the witness Quinatavalle Marco, here with us today, not being subsistent the prohibition mentioned in article 198 comma 2, therefore under this profile the question is admitted. The same is admitted with reference to the need to evaluate the reliability of the witness, because even though it is noted that in question are declarations made post-factum, to use the same expression, it is useful in any case to hear these declarations as they were made, if there is any kind of coherence, an evaluation, and this coherence will certainly influence the evaluation of reliability which we all have to make. So please, go ahead. The viewing of the video is perhaps something else again, perhaps we can see if the declarations made by the witness are his own, if he confirms them, so perhaps we can go ahead and watch the video. The concern is that we are examining the witness right now and if this is going to take an hour…
Dalla Vedova: The part we want to show is no more than 5-6 minutes.
President: Ok well let’s see if we can turn on this monitor that we have. This is the show called Porta a Porta Attorney you said?
Dalla Vedova: Yes.
President: From December 2nd?
Dalla Vedova: We are talking about the show on RAI 1 called Porta a Porta from December 2, 2008.
Dalla Vedova: Your Honor first of all before we start watching the video I wanted to ask a precise question of the witness about the timing.
President: Go ahead.
Question: Do you remember Mr. Quintavalle that the hearing before the Court of Assizes was scheduled for December 4, 2008. Do you remember?
Quintavalle: Yes, it got postponed if I’m not mistaken.
Question: And it was then postponed to the first hearing of January 16, 2009?
Quintavalle: I don’t remember, but I think it was postponed.
Question: So how did you know then that the hearing of the case was originally set for December 4, 2008, do you remember who told you, how you know?
Quintavalle: I don’t know…I don’t know that.
President: We get that you’re trying to demonstrate reliability but let’s not go overboard and ask every single imaginable question, let’s just ask the questions that might have some value.
Prosecutor: It was in all the newspapers of the world.
President: Excuse me, Public Prosecutor, no, please don’t…
Dalla Vedova: Your Honor I would like to not be interrupted, I am asking nicely to not be interrupted.
President: Did you read the newspapers at that time?
Quintavalle: I’m not a big newspaper reader, but I remember the trial was going to start, if I’m not mistaken, in December, and then it was postponed, if I’m not mistaken.
President: Yes, that’s right. But do you read the papers habitually?
President: Do you watch television, like the news?
Quintavalle: Yes, I do, when I have time, unfortunately I’m never home because of work, but in the evening I watch TG2 sometimes.
President: Go ahead Attorney, we can continue.
THE VIDEO IS SHOWN AS REQUESTED BY ATTORNEY DALLA VEDOVA
Dalla Vedova: This is the part I wanted to show in regard to the witness. Because Your Honor, in relation to this interview and in relation to the request he already mentioned by the journalist who went to him and asked him to go to the Public Prosecutor to make his declaration on November 15, I think that in this interview, since that journalist is there, it would be opportune to show this part too. If you authorize it.
Prosecutor: I object.
President: Does the witness speak?
Dalla Vedova: The journalist who had spoken with the witness is speaking, but it is a circumstance that was mentioned by the same witness this morning, when he mentioned Antioco Fois, so I believe that in order to evaluate exactly the facts and by that I mean the reason, especially after a year, that the witness remembered this fact, because there are important elements in this video, so I am asking to show it in relation to that.
Maresca: We object because these are declarations by Fois, it’s already stretching things to watch the video at all, but watching Fois seems really like…
President: This Court does not see any concessions having been made. But we’ll stop here because these are other people talking, they are not part of what we are doing today, they are not declarations by the witness that we could use for any objections. So we’ll stop here.
President: Perhaps, excuse me, did you hear this interview?
President: Were you the one speaking?
President: It was you speaking as the interviewer?
President: Go ahead Attorney, do you have any questions on the declarations we just heard.
Dalla Vedova: Yes I wanted to analyze.
President: Attorney in order to move ahead, if the journalist should tell us perhaps about the circumstances, if there were different circumstances, we could eventually order a comparison of what was declared etc. But as things stand right now we can’t use anything that doesn’t match, for example, what the journalist said, to question the witness. The parties know the rules, they can ask the witness any questions they think..
Dalla Vedova: The question I wanted to ask the witness relative to the role of the journalist, is if he recognizes him and recognizes the facts mentioned by the same. This is a document that had a very strong mass media impact, a fact that people knew about. I would like him to confirm that.
President: What’s the question then Attorney? I don’t understand.
Dalla Vedova: If the witness recognizes in the journalist the person who induced him, and especially the circumstances?
President: The one who interviewed him?
Dalla Vedova: The one who interviewed him and who suggested later he go to the Public Prosecutor.
President: We saw, Attorney, we saw a video, part of a video, in which a journalist appeared who the witness said interviewed him, meaning Mr. Quintavalle. So is it about that journalist?
Dalla Vedova: In regard to that journalist the question is, I ask you, did you participate and confirm, because we see you from behind, do you confirm that it is you in that interview. And I would like to ask you if you, after having seen the video, just another minute, if you recognize the person you mentioned previously, meaning Mr. Antioco Fois, and the case mentioned by him. If you recognize that which the same, or at least one of his colleagues says in this interview. I wanted to ask this, but I need to show the video.
President: The witness has already told us that he spoke about this visit to his shop made on the morning of November 2nd by a girl he says he recognized as Amanda Knox, to Antioco Fois. So do you know Antioco Fois well?
Quintavalle: Yes it was Antioco Fois but I mean nobody forced me to go make a statement.
President: It was Antioco Fois you spoke with?
President: And following this conversation you already mentioned, he said to you that it could be an important circumstance, and you went to see the Public Prosecutor?
President: Go ahead Attorney, if there are circumstances. Defense Attorney Dalla Vedova
Dalla Vedova: Do you also know Giuseppe Castellini, the director of Giornale dell’Umbria?
Quintavalle: Yes, I met Giuseppe Castellini after…after Fois, a few days later…
Dalla Vedova: You told us you knew Fois already…?
Quintavalle: I got to know him later in other words, I knew Fois for at least 2-3 years before the events, because he lives above my shop, at the door next to my shop. He was a student who came to me for sandwiches, he came…I knew him in the normal way.
Dalla Vedova: You met Giuseppe Castellini after what then? You said: I met him after Fois. After Fois what?
Quintavalle: After I went to depose, before I didn’t know him, after the statement I made, so before I didn’t know him, I had never seen him before.
Dalla Vedova: After November 15, 2008?
Quintavalle: Yes, I never saw Castellini before in my life, that was the first time I met him, after that.
Dalla Vedova: What relations did you have with this person?
Quintavalle: With Castellini?
Dalla Vedova: Yes?
Quintavalle: None, I called him, I talked to him on the phone because I wasn’t satisfied with the interview, in fact I only saw half the interview and the other half I went to bed, I wasn’t satisfied.
President: Can you tell us why?
Quintavalle: Because the interview wasn’t the way I gave it, and it disturbed me, the fact that it was all bits and pieces upset me.
President: So there were parts you had said which were not reported?
President: Which parts?
Quintavalle: “I think it was her”, came out “it was her” . I saw some changes in my opinion, I wasn’t happy with the interview.
President: Well, but can you give us some details, because otherwise…
Quintavalle: To be precise, unfortunately, I didn’t even watch the interview.
President: Go ahead, Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: Mr. Quintavalle, why did you complain to Mr. Castellini about these discrepancies?
Quintavalle: Because in my opinion the interview was not as I gave it.
Dalla Vedova: But Castellini wasn’t the one who did the interview?
Quintavalle: No, it was that lady, that lady there, I don’t remember her name.
Dalla Vedova: Do they work for the same company?
Quintavalle: I don’t know, I don’t know.
Dalla Vedova: What did Castellini say to your complaints?
Quintavalle: He said, let’s say he glossed over it, anyway the interview was done, I wasn’t happy but it had already been on TV. Castellini told me that he thought it was good, normal in other words.
Dalla Vedova: Did you also have relations with Francesca Bene?
Quintavalle: Francesca Bene… no, not relations.
Dalla Vedova: None at all? She was the journalist from Giornale dell’Umbria?
Quintavalle: I think I saw her once. I don’t…
Dalla Vedova: And Luca Fiorucci?
Quintavalle: I think I saw her once.
Dalla Vedova: And another journalist from Giornale dell’Umbria, Luca Fiorucci, did you have any relations with him?
Quintavalle: I don’t know him.
Dalla Vedova: Ok well back to your relationship with Antioco Fois, how many times did you two discuss the murder of Meredith?
Quintavalle: A lot, a lot because he came, since he lived above my street, you know pretty much everybody comes to my store, and over time he would ask me sometimes: What do you think about it? And basically he talked to me about these things in other words. But nothing special, just in general, let’s say. I don’t think he ever asked, in part because I don’t know anything about these things. He just asked my impressions. Just talking.
Dalla Vedova: When did he suggest you go to the Public Prosecutor?
Quintavalle: I decided to go when I felt it was the right thing to do, that it was important, it was important because when he came, this was after a while, he said “why don’t you go and make a statement?” and I said “listen I really don’t think it’s important, the fact that I go and say…”
Dalla Vedova: Do you remember the first time he said that?
Quintavalle: The date?
Dalla Vedova: Yes, more or less the month.
Dalla Vedova: You remember you deposed on November 15, 2008?
Quintavalle: No, no, not a month, much much less.
Dalla Vedova: Shortly before November 15?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
Dalla Vedova: What did he say to you exactly?
Quintavalle: Well he said to me…well I had mentioned this thing to him informally…
Dalla Vedova: Do you remember?
Quintavalle: No, no, I don’t remember. Anyway I had mentioned this to him informally: Listen, that morning I saw this and that. As I had mentioned to others as well, I didn’t just say it to him, that I had seen this thing, it’s not like I just told him.
Dalla Vedova: Who else did you tell?
Quintavalle: I said: Look, I don’t think it’s important that I go and say I saw the young lady because it’s not my business. He came back after 2 days, let’s say he talked me into it in the sense that he said: Look it could be important, because she says she got up that day at 10, whereas you saw her at 7:45. So this is what made me think I should tell someone.
Dalla Vedova: Listen, why didn’t you call Inspector Volturno since you had his phone number, the one who came right after the crime. Why didn’t you think it was a good idea to advise.
Quintavalle: The fact that I had seen her it wasn’t like it was such a big deal to me, and I repeat, I didn’t think it was important. And then as far as being absolutely certain, if I see a person I recognize them, but I can’t be absolutely sure, because it’s not like I asked her to show her I.D. that morning. So I am not 100% sure. I said, absolute truth is not human, humans can never be 100% sure of anything, I will be absolutely sure if I see her again in Heaven. Then I’ll be sure.
President: Excuse me but on this last point. You said before that the girl you saw on the 2nd, you recognize her as Amanda Knox?
President: Can you confirm this?
President: With your human level of certainty.
Quintavalle: Yes, with my human level of certainty.
President: You are sure it was her then?
President: The defense attorney had asked you a question to which you did not respond, then we never got back to it. Did you speak about this only with Antioco Fois or with others as well?
President: With whom for example?
Quintavalle: For example, you mean about the fact that I saw the young lady that morning?
Quintavalle: For example my clerks know it, also another friend of mine…I only told a few people.
President: Can you also tell us when you mentioned it? Was it at the time it happened?
Quintavalle: My clerk, Urgiles Torres knew it right away along with the other clerk. Then maybe I, it’s not like I went around saying it to everybody. Over time, I don’t know, a friend of mine, my wife knows. So in other words I told a few people like that.
President: All right, go ahead Defense Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: Do you remember after the interview on Porta a Porta if you gave a second interview?
Quintavalle: It was the same interview.
Dalla Vedova: It was the same interview?
Dalla Vedova: You don’t remember an interview you gave to TG2?
Quintavalle: TG2? TG2 came and filmed me secretly, I told them: Look, I have nothing to say, nothing to declare. They filmed my counter in the store with their camera and I told them not to film anything, I told them to go away.
Dalla Vedova: What was this film, where was it, how was it utilized?
Quintavalle: I didn’t see myself, because they only filmed the shop, I didn’t want them to naturally, they told me the camera was turned off, but in reality it was turned on and they filmed the counter. They didn’t film me.
Dalla Vedova: Do you remember the date?
Dalla Vedova: December 2008?
Quintavalle: Yes, December 2008, yes, yes. Over the Christmas holidays if I am not mistaken.
Dalla Vedova: After December 4th?
Quintavalle: Yes, yes.
President: Why December 4th?
Dalla Vedova: Because that’s the date the trial started.
Quintavalle: Your Honor they came to my shop and they wouldn’t leave…
Dalla Vedova: President I am trying to clarify this, this second interview with TG2…?
Quintavalle: But it wasn’t an interview, I didn’t give an interview.
President: You didn’t give an interview on that occasion?
Quintavalle: No, no, I…
President: They just filmed the counter?
Quintavalle: They filmed the counter, and I told this lady who said she was from TG2, I believe, I said: Look it’s this way and that way and what I had to say I said in my statement. But when they had assured me the camera was turned off, I didn’t want to just throw them out of my shop.
Dalla Vedova: So you said to them: I will give you an interview with the camera turned off.
Quintavalle: No, no, I didn’t give an interview…
President: Did you or did you not give an interview?
President: Not with the camera on…?
Quintavalle: What happened is they came into my shop and they were insistent. “Listen, I’m not giving any interviews,” I said, but they stayed and stayed, they just wouldn’t leave, they would go out and then come back in…there was a lady journalist, I told her: Look, I have no intention of giving an interview, I am not giving an interview, what I had to say I said, and I think it was her, period. With the camera off. I said, my clerk called me over: Look, I think…And they went over to the cash register, “Listen, I think they are filming you,” my clerk said. I went to her and I said: What? And I told them: Listen, I don’t want the cameras on,” at which point the cameraman even got mad. He said: Look, this camera is turned off. But it wasn’t turned off.
President: I understand. But the detail you were being asked. You didn’t want the cameras on?
Quintavalle: Certainly not.
President: But with the camera off you made some declarations?
Quintavalle: No, no, I just said.
President: We understand.
Quintavalle: I said: Listen, I am not giving any interviews.
President: We understand, go ahead, Defense Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: At this point I must dispute the testimony with the reservation of producing the transcript of this second interview with TG2. I dispute the witness’s testimony because there is an interview with questions and answers. So it is not true, in my opinion, what he is saying, the fact that he did not answer. He gave an interview and he answered some questions.
President: The defense attorney reserves the right to produce this interview. The dispute of the witness’s testimony if there are, if there is the possibility, the details, the declarations, the complaint, and the acts specifically required in order to make the dispute. Otherwise he just has the possibility, he reserves the right to produce this as a document.
Dalla Vedova: Listen, besides this interview did you give any others?
Quintavalle: Absolutely not.
Prosecutor: What interview? He just stated…
President: Are we talking about the interview on Porta a Porta?
Dalla Vedova: Yes.
President: This encounter you referred to.
Dalla Vedova: Did you have any other contact with other journalists?
Quintavalle: Listen, a lot of journalists came but I never spoke to any of them.
Dalla Vedova: Did you have any favors from any journalists?
Quintavalle: Absolutely not.
Dalla Vedova: Did you get any favors especially for going on Porta a Porta?
Quintavalle: Excuse me what exactly are you talking about?
Dalla Vedova: A favor, some money?
Quintavalle: Money? I signed a waiver for free, I wasted my time and energy to do that interview.
Dalla Vedova: Time?
Quintavalle: Time and energy.
President: Let’s please go on with the questions, obviously I mean the relevant ones and not the ones that have already been asked.
Dalla Vedova: All right then, going back to the report of November 15 where you had been warned not to talk about this information…
President: He has already answered this. Please go on, Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: I wanted to ask, when did you feel like you were no longer bound by the secrecy the Public Prosecutor had sworn you to? The Public Prosecutor.
Maresca: We object. We have all understood the attempt by Attorney Dalla Vedova to harp on this acquisition of this testimony using invalid means. In my opinion these means are not legitimate. I formally oppose the continuation with this manner of questioning the witness. I ask for your decision on this matter.
President: This question will not be admitted, in part because besides the fact that it presupposes an evaluation by the witness as to when he thought etc., so therefore it will not be admitted. Are there further questions?
Dalla Vedova: Did you know you were bound for 2 months?
President: Let’s not go back over the same questions. We have already done so several times, at some point we will discuss it. But the witness has already been asked to respond on this circumstance. He did so, more than once, and then we went back to it yet again. But at this point…
Dalla Vedova: Listen, how tall would you say Sollecito is?
Quintavalle: Sollecito, that’s not easy, let’s see, one meter and, I think he’s shorter than me, so I’ll say 1.72 – 1.73.
Dalla Vedova: Did you notice the color of Sollecito’s eyes?
Quintavalle: I think they are brown, but I’m not sure, to be honest I didn’t notice, ever, I just don’t remember, I sure don’t.
Dalla Vedova: All right, and in regard to the visit you had from Inspector Volturno soon after the finding of the body, do you remember if he asked you a question about Sollecito and Knox, besides asking about the Ace bleach?
Prosecutor: He has already responded, President, I object. He has responded more than once.
President: Yes, to the questions asked.
Dalla Vedova: It doesn’t seem to me that he really responded. If I can hear the witness say so, if he says he has already answered, then he has answered.
Prosecutor: He has already responded, Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: We can look at the report but it was an important circumstance I wanted to analyze, it doesn’t seem to me that he has already answered.
President: There is no reason, perhaps a few questions will be repeated, it is possible, because maybe our memories cannot memorize all the questions that have been asked. Let’s avoid too many interruptions.
Maresca: Pretending to forget the responses is a method we all know, but in the end…
Dalla Vedova: Please don’t include me in that, I don’t know this method, I’m sorry.
President: Excuse me, honestly it is happening to me that I cannot remember all the questions that have been asked. So it can happen to anybody. The questions regarded just the bleach or was there something else?
Quintavalle: Well they came and they asked…
President: About the bleach you have said?
Quintavalle: Yes about the bleach for sure, but the other questions, to be precise, I don’t remember.
President: Please Attorney can we go on?
Dalla Vedova: Also in this context do you remember having seen the photographs?
Prosecutor: Already asked.
President: This question has already been asked, Attorney.
Dalla Vedova: That’s all for now, thank you.
Defense Attorney Ghirga
Question: When you say they sequestered the cash register record, do you remember if you had rung up anything?
Question: The morning of the 2nd.
Quintavalle: Exactly, that’s the problem, you see my entrance door…
Question: I asked you if the cash register record had been sequestered, let’s talk of…
President: Perhaps he’s getting there. Go ahead.
Question: I was trying to cut to the chase. Do you remember if they had bought anything, or if anything had been rung up?
Quintavalle: I wasn’t at the cash register, my clerk was. It can happen, I mean I opened the door and the young lady came in, then she went to the upper level. I can’t rule out, I mean sometimes in the morning when we’re cleaning, we have to throw away boxes or trash, and my clerk might open the door, leave it open and leave, but generally we put the trash right outside the door of the shop and then throw it in the dumpster later. So I can’t rule out that hypothetically somebody else may have entered the shop from the other side. And I don’t know if a receipt was issued or not, because I wasn’t at the cash register. So it could be, I couldn’t swear to it though, it is possible she might not have been alone in my shop, but I can’t swear to it because I don’t know for sure. It’s unlikely, but it could happen…
President: Pardon, in reference to this question, do you remember the first receipt of the 2nd?
President: What was the total?
Quintavalle: I don’t know.
President: You didn’t check?
Quintavalle: I don’t know because I surrendered it.
Question: So you don’t know if she bought anything?
Quintavalle: I don’t know. It could be because a lot of people come, for example you might come in wanting something I don’t have, so you just leave.
Question: No further questions.
Public Prosecutor Mignini
Prosecutor: So this girl on the morning of the 2nd, you saw her going away, you said it in the interview?
Prosecutor: I would like to ask you now as part of the trial, an official part of the trial records. So you saw her going away, in which direction?
Quintavalle: Towards Piazza Grimana, because I was close… Corso Garibaldi is narrow, even if you…
Prosecutor: Going downhill then?
Quintavalle: Yes, even if you don’t want to you see who’s going by, from the corner of my eye I saw a girl because she had the same hat, I saw her profile going by, the same coat, going south, in other words towards Piazza Grimana.
Prosecutor: Did you see her again, did you watch her, did you follow her at all or did you just see her?
Quintavalle: I was in my shop, at the beginning, I saw her and that’s it.
Prosecutor: So you confirm what you said before?
Prosecutor: No further questions.
President: There are no further questions, the witness can go.
Why the grocery store owner who claimed to have seen Amanda Knox shopping for cleaning products in his store on the morning after the crime is unreliable.
One of the elements on which the Corte di Assise of first level based its belief in [the defendants’] guilt is represented by the testimony of witness Quintavalle, owner [titolare] of a grocery store located on Corso Garibaldi, not far from Sollecito’s house but also just a few minutes from Via Della Pergola: he, in fact, stated that he had seen on the morning of 2nd November, a young lady enter his store early after having waited for it to open, whom he later recognized as Amanda Knox. According to the prosecution (and the Corte di Assise of first level) this demonstrates that, contrary to the alibi provided, she did not stay at Sollecito’s house sleeping until the late morning, but instead went early to Quintavalle’s store due to an urgent need to purchase a detergent suitable for cleaning the house on Via Della Pergola of her and Raffaele Sollecito’s traces, before the police could intervene and collect samples, it being inevitable that sooner or later the alarm would have been raised regarding what had happened.
In truth even if in theory this occurrence really happened, it would be a weak piece of circumstantial evidence, as on its own it is not sufficient to prove even a presumption of guilt, but in any case this Court does not consider the testimony of the witness to be very reliable, especially with regard to the identification of the early customer [mattiniera cliente] as Amanda Knox.
In fact it should be remembered that Mr. Quintavalle, questioned by the Police who were searching for useful information in the days immediately following the perpetration of the crime, by which time the newspapers and the media were busy working on the story on a wider scale, did not mention the girl who had waited for the opening of the store on the morning of 2 November and had then entered as soon as he had opened to the public, heading to the section where household and hygiene products were on display (even if then – according to the same Quintavalle – she left without buying anything). Nor did he come forward in the following days or in the following months to report what had happened. In fact he presented himself to the Police following continuous requests [sollecitazioni] by a young apprentice journalist who lived in the area of his store, only one year later, declaring to be convinced, thanks mostly to the color of her eyes (blue) and of her complexion (very pale), that the girl who had entered his store that morning was indeed Amanda Knox.
Now, that over a year passed before Quintavalle presented himself to the Police is not at all irrelevant in evaluating the reliability of this witness, especially in terms of the authenticity of his memory and the accuracy of the identification.
Indeed this was not a witness who came forward a year after the fact to give testimony [oggetto della deposizione] just because he later became aware of the relevance of his testimony, nor was he a witness who developed the wish to come forward, to report facts about whose relevance he knew of since the beginning, having had to overcome within himself some personal reasons that had previously dissuaded him from coming forward; no, instead he was a witness who – based on what he himself stated – took a year to be convinced of the accuracy of his perception and his identification of Amanda Knox as the girl he saw, despite having been able, in the days immediately following the occurrence [crime], to appreciate the relevance of his testimony.
In fact, from the testimony of Inspector Volturno at the hearing of 3.13.2009 it was revealed that photographs of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were shown to Quintavalle, as they were to his staff and the other shop owners [esercenti] of the area, and that they were asked in particular whether the two had made any purchase for cleaning products, precisely because it was a line of enquiry of the investigation [punto oggetto di indagine]. Therefore Quintavalle cannot claim that he did not report to Inspector Volturno what had happened on the morning of 2 November because he was convinced that it was not a relevant fact.
Quoting from the written transcripts of the hearing of 3.13.2009:
QUESTION – Did you carry out investigations into the death of Meredith Kercher?
RESPONSE – Yes.
QUESTION – Do you remember the kind of inquiries [accertamenti] you made? First list them to us and then describe them.
RESPONSE – Basically the first inquiry I made was with regards to two bottles of Ace bleach that had been seized at Raffaele Sollecito’s house on 16 November 2007. Immediately after they were seized I went around the shops nearby Raffaele Sollecito’s house trying to understand where they could have been purchased and in connection with this I showed the photograph of Raffaele Sollecito, [and] the photograph of Amanda Knox.
After a few days we traced the store, which was a Margherita Conad store – located right at the start of Corso Garibaldi, where both the owner and the assistants recognized Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox in the photographs that we showed to them. Raffaele Sollecito was a regular customer of this store, whereas the girl had been seen two or three times in his company.
QUESTION – Together with Sollecito?
RESPONSE – Yes, yes, in his company. In this store we also asked if by chance they had noted in the days immediately preceding the homicide or immediately after if they remembered whether these people had purchased this product, however they did not remember…
In any case, with the story being by then in the public domain and with Amanda Knox having been arrested already on 6 November 2007, he had good reason [ragionevolmente motive] to report the fact at the moment that Inspector Volturno asked him for information.
Furthermore his staff, who were also there in the store on the morning of 2 November 2007 and who, nevertheless, did not note anything in particular, have reported that he expressed [prospettò] to them, in the days immediately after the fact, his doubts about the identification of Amanda Knox as the young lady [giovane] seen entering his store: he had not expressed to them his certainty that it was her but only that it could have been.
But then, how can one maintain that this certainty, which did not exist in the days immediately following, when recollection would have been made easier and more genuine, was reached during the course of the year, when by then the continuous coverage of the story and of its protagonists was in the media and the solicitations of the apprentice journalist, perhaps particularly excited by the possibility of a scoop, could really have compromised in some way the authenticity of his memory, allowing a conviction to be planted [in his mind] that the direct perception of the event had not been able to plant? Or rather, the certainty was surely reached at a subjective level, considering the assuredness of Quintavalle in giving testimony in front of the Corte di Assise of first level, but how can one say that this was based on a correct perception of the occurrence and an exact identification of the girl seen entering the store?
But these doubts about the reliability of his testimony increase if one considers that – according to Quintavalle’s testimony – he was only able to catch a glimpse of the girl [vedere la ragazza soltanto di sfuggita], first and foremost only out of the corner of his eye [con la “coda dell’occhio”] and then from closer for a few moments, but never head-on [frontalmente] (as testified in the hearing of 3.21.2009 “…Yes then she entered, I saw her let’s say like this, 3 quarters left, 3 quarters to the left side. I never saw her head-on…”) and there is no indication that the grey coat that the girl was wearing – according to the witness – was ever owned by Amanda Knox.
The Public Minister observed that the witness could have confused a grey coat with a black and white striped sweater, which Amanda Knox owned, but this is merely a conjecture that is not in any way verifiable, given that a coat is very different in shape and texture compared to a sweater.
But it seems even more strange that Amanda Knox, who according to the arguments of the Public Minister, was in a hurry to purchase detergents to clean the apartment on Via Della Pergola, so much so as to wait in the early morning for the store to open, entered by going to the section where the cleaning and household products were on display, which was certainly well stocked, leaving, however, without having purchased anything. In fact Quintavalle stated that the girl left without having purchased anything.
Quoting from the testimony of the hearing of 3.21.2009:
… If they had asked me… also because, I repeat, when the young lady came into my store I did not see her leave with anything, because when she passed by, and she passed by again, when she left I caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye as she was leaving, I did not notice that she had a shopping bag [busta] or anything in her hands.
PRESIDING JUDGE [PRESIDENTE] – Are you talking about the morning of 2 November?
RESPONSE – Of the morning of 2 November. I don’t know if she bought anything, I don’t know. My assistant doesn’t remember if she bought anything. I’m not in a position to say whether she bought anything or not…”.
If one were to maintain that Quintavalle was perhaps mistaken, because instead she actually did buy some products, it would be correct to observe that Quintavalle was mistaken on this point, and in the same way about the clothes she wore, then he could also be mistaken on the identification of the young lady as Amanda Knox.
Ultimately, the testimony of witness Quintavalle does not appear reliable and, in any case, represents an extremely weak piece of circumstantial evidence.
Marco Quintavalle – (English) – (Italian)
Ana Chiriboga – (Italian)
Oreste Volturno – (Italian)
Meredith: i segreti nella casa del delitto January 2009 Porta Porta documentary with Marco Quintavalle interview starting at 40.10
The shopkeeper who ‘saw’ Knox buy bleach by Bob Graham
Much was made of the shopkeeper, Marco Quintavalle, who claimed he saw Knox and Sollecito the morning after the murder in his shop buying cleaning materials. He was one of the so-called ‘super-witnesses’, but his testimony, when tested in court, proved to be less than reliable.
When Quintavalle made his statement, it was more than a year after the murder but at a time when the prosecution needed to place Knox in a closer proximity to the murder scene and to explain why there was a lack of her DNA in Meredith’s bedroom.
Knox, declared Quintavalle, had appeared in his small shop at 7.45 the morning after the murder and he remembered her from her ‘vivid blue eyes, her blue scarf and grey coat’.
The shop was close to where Knox and Meredith lived and, according to Quintavalle, Knox was among the cleaning prodcucts. ‘She looked as if she had seen a ghost, she was so pale,’ he added.
It took me more than several months to track down Quintavalle, for he had moved soon after giving the testimony. I asked him how he had remembered the details so clearly. ‘This I can tell you was the truth,’ he said. ‘I recognised Amanda from the pictures of her.’
When I confronted him with CCTV evidence that he had not entered his shop until later than 7.45 he stumbled and claimed he might have had the time wrong.
When I told him I’d also interviewed a second person in the shop who worked part-time and who actually knew Knox – and was definite that the American had not appeared at all, Quintavalle terminated the interview.
Despite police claims that a till receipt existed for bleach found at Sollecito’s home, none was produced in court. Knox said she had never owned a blue hat or grey coat.
Innocence Project – Eyewitness Misidentification