Testimony of Paolo Brocchi

THE WITNESSES, CAUTIONED IN ACCORDANCE WITH ART. 497, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE READS THE CUSTOMARY BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Palazzoli Law Offices 2nd story window: Paolo Brocchi
The Palazzoli Law Offices 2nd story window.

BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION: Paolo Brocchi, born in Rome on March 2, 1968.

GianCarlo Massei: Go ahead, counsel.

Luca Maori: Good morning. Defense lawyer Maori, Sollecito.

Paolo Brocchi: Good morning.

LM: It’s a question of completeness, but I must do it. The first question is this: what do you do?

PB: Attorney.

LM: Where is your firm?

PB: Via del Roscetto number 3 in Perugia.

LM: Listen, Counsellor, you suffered in 2007, in October 2007, a robbery.

PB: Yes.

LM: Can you tell us how this theft happened, how the robbers entered and what was removed?

PB: Well, the theft was in fact discovered by my colleague, attorney Palazzoli. Being the owner of the premises, he told me on a Sunday afternoon because the theft occurred … was consummated during the night of the 13th and 14th of October 2007, on the night between a Saturday and a Sunday. The theft was discovered by my colleague attorney Palazzoli Sunday afternoon because he entered the office to retrieve a professional file and, upon entering, he discovered the burglary. The person or persons who entered inside the office, from what we could reconstruct together with the crew of the flying squad, who intervened on the spot, entered through a window near the desk which was broken, the glass of this window with the help of a piece of rock, a stone large enough that we then found on the spot. The window was broken, then these people or this person opened the handle. The shards were clearly scattered everywhere, because it was a rather large window. After that, on top of these shards we found our clothes. Basically the shards were scattered on the floors and then above the glass were our jackets, mine and those of my colleague Palazzoli that had been hung on hangers right in the corridor next to the window.

LM: Sorry to interrupt you, precisely in order to reconstruct the dynamics of the event. It would seem that the 13th of October was a Saturday.

PB: From what I remember, Yes.

LM: Your colleague had been in the office until …

PB: No, I stayed in the office. On Saturday I was in the office because I had a client. On Saturday afternoon, which was abnormal thing, but for the discussion of an urgent matter, I was summoned to the office for that Saturday morning, then actually arrived in the afternoon and I left the office at 8:30 pm that Saturday.

LM: 8:30pm on Saturday and then the following Sunday, evening …

PB: The next day, Sunday, I was called on the telephone by attorney Palazzoli who told me, “look, I entered the office, I have already alerted the police, who then because of jurisdiction in the historic center, as we learned, they alerted the flying squad of the State Police

LM: Is your property alarmed?

PB: The building had an alarm system, but that night it was not activated, because I discovered in reconstructing the affair, it had just been installed. That evening I went out around 8 or 8:30 and I remember perfectly that I didn’t activate the alarm system. The strange thing that I can highlight in this respect is that I noticed that the alarm system the next day, when we went, it was damaged because the light was always on, even if it is disabled, and the person or persons who entered din’t damage the alarm, but they just deactivated the phone dialer, so with this the their shows a certain competence in electronics, and alarms because to disable a phone dialer without damaging the alarm I wouldn’t be able, despite being the owner, so I would not have this expertise.

LM: Another thing. You said then from a window that br…

PB: Yes, apparently.

LM: This breaking and entering was only there.

PB: Yes.

LM: Is it a window that overlooks the main road or onto a private courtyard?

PB: No. So, the window overlooks a private courtyard which then is protected from the public area, by another gate. So chances are, I do not know if this can be … because then near that window there are other windows of other apartments, which are … There is a window which is about one meter from the balcony of my office, then anything is possible. But anyways this person or these people, if they were passing through from a public street, would have had  to open a gate that overlooks a private property and then, with the help I do not know what resources, climb up about three meters, four meters, on a vertical wall to get to the terrace of my office where the window was located, where it is still located and then through this window to enter inside the office If it were this way.

LM: The burglary occurred in this window three or four meters up.

PB: Roughly.

LM: Did you find ladders nearby?

PB: No.

LM: Have you found other equipment?

PB: No. We also did an inspection, as I recall, with the crew of police squad. We say, the property just below the office has a door, as we say secured with a type of grating that a particularly gifted person could even climb up. It might, I don’t know, this is a guess.

LM: However of course it was not easy to climb.

PB: Absolutely not.

LM: Before you spoke about this rock, this stone.

PB: Yes.

LM: Where was it found, outside or inside?

PB: Outside, on the balcony, because clearly the person or persons who did this, with the aid of this very heavy rock, because it was enough to break a double glazing, so it was not a thin glass, but it was the kind used for thermal insulation more than anything else, certainly not for security reasons, apparently it required a massive impact of a certain magnitude in order to then somehow succeed in breaking it otherwise a small stone fragment would have been not clearly enough.

LM: What was removed in the office?

PB: Well, at first we noticed that the office was in a state of general confusion: all the archives were turned upside down, all the documents and files had been reduced to a heap, the office files, the desk files. However, from the first inventory that we made there at the time, a newly purchased computer was missing, owned by attorney Palazzoli, a laptop notebook the brand I absolutely do not remember, USB keys that you use for entering and saving data, a portable Canon printer that was my property and then a few days later, just when I was physically contacted by a a crew member of the Milan squad chosen agent Rita Spessi I realized that they had also stolen a mobile phone, which was only partially working, because just via that phone my submitted complaint came up in the joint survey system, SDI’s police forces. Then there was also a mobile phone, which I had abandoned and for which I didn’t even keep any memory, which was placed in the drawer of my desk.

LM: Counsellor were checks and money also stolen?

PB: No, however there weren’t any.

LM: On this I should challenge you that in the complaint of theft you referred to some Banca delle Marche checks.

PB: No, I will explain why. Those checks at first appeared missing, there were empty check pads , but then, as a result of checking with the Bank, those checks had been canceled, so in reality were not taken. The check that we made in the Bank the following Monday pointed out that I had canceled those checks and there was a record of the cancellation at the Bank, so nobody had stolen them.

LM: Another thing, before I talk about the discovery of the computer, you told us about this little devastation that was created within your office.

PB: Yes.

LM: You told us  then of the rummaging around, in addition to, as said before, of broken glass with clothes on top. Was the photocopier also then used?

PB: This I cannot say. It was safely usable because there are no Copier security codes, but this I’m not able to …

LM: Did they access the heater?

PB: Yes, the heating, when we entered, was on as usual, so much so that there was a torrid temperature inside the office because it was on, I think, more than twenty-four hours in a row at a time, moreover, in October, which wasn’t even particularly cold. However I noticed that this person or these people who came in the office also used the drinks that were present in a cubbard, leaving … they even opened all the first aid cabinets, meticulously researching everything that was in there, but more than anything disinfectants, a pressure gauge, things like this, but they did make a selection of material present in the first aid Cabinet.

LM: Going back to the computer owned by the …

PB: Of Attorney Palazzoli, Yes.

LM: Was it later found?

PB: Well, we never saw it again. I say that on the 27th of October 2007, at about noon, it was a Saturday, I was in the office in an unusual way because I had actually only the first three hours at school and the last three hours are normally always … six hours on Saturday morning, but that morning I left before and I was in the office. I arrived in the office, on the voicemail was a call fem the Police Commissioner Venezia Garibaldi from the Milan state police, chosen agent Rita Spessi Venezia squad who tells me they’ve found a suspect, whose biographical details aren’t given to me, not even gender, she just tells me that they found some goods in the possession of a suspect which, if I remember correctly, had been found inside a kindergarten, a school, an educational institution and at this point, because among those items that were in the possession or held by this individual, this person, there was also this phone, revealing my name when turned on and hence the agent, through joint research with SDI sees that there’s my complaint of theft of October 15, 2007 and then asks me if indeed those goods are my property.

LM: The phone and computer.

PB: Certainly the phone, the computer was described, it wasn’t mine, I expressed doubt in the sense that … among other things I hadn’t ever seen or used it, because it belonged to a colleague who had just purchased it, and just recently, had just had it a short time. On the computer I expressed doubts, on the mobile phone rather, through then among other things the mention of all the names of contacts, customers and friends, I was able to confirm with certainty that question at least of my SIM card loaded on this phone.

LM: It is a Sony model … no, sorry …

PB: No, the phone is a Nokia.

LM: It is a Nokia 6310.

PB: Nokia surely, the model now …

LM: Like this, just to …

PB: Yes, exactly.

LM: 6310.

PB: It’s just that color there, if I remember correctly.

LM: However this one’s not yours it’s mine.

PB: No, it’s fine.

LM: So you were told by the agent Spessi the name of the person who was caught?

PB: No, absolutely not.

LM: She then knew the name of that person?

PB: No, this is what happened. On the 27th of October, Saturday, the agent calls me. Everything concludes with this phone call in which I recognize at least the cell phone. On October 29th, a Monday afternoon I am in the office and I’m on the phone with customers. On the 29th of October, I may be wrong, but I think I’ve reconstructed it so much mentally, not taken notes, I have to be honest. On October 29th  my attention, I was on the phone, is drawn to a certain excitement in the common area of the building. I hear voices on the corridor, I’m still on the phone, then I approach and see that an office collaborator, Dr. Luciano Morini, is talking to someone. Before I could realize what had happened, tells me: “Look Paul here is guy who says that he was found with the merchandise, goods, and objects that have been reported as stolen from you, from you and from your colleague Palazzoli, but that he has bought them legally in Milan near the Milan Central railway station.” Whereupon I go out in the corridor and see, on the edge of the doorway that separates the building from the public road, a person of color who holds a basketball ball and is dressed in exercise clothing. I was astonished because we were also in late October, also quite cool, so I was shocked to see this person in sports clothing, a basketball jersey and a basketball ball. I recognized the basketball ball because I played basketball for twenty years then I know how to recognize it. I say to him the following words: “look, I don’t know who you are”, this person’s response: “I don’t know who you are either,” my reply “look, we are interested only in getting our stuff back.” At that point I return to the office. I don’t know if the person stayed in the public area in front of the office, so much so that then I close the door and there it ends. A few weeks later, a month later maybe, I don’t know, long after in the newspapers I see photographs of a person who is connected to the facts of this trial, this process, I recognize the person who had been there that afternoon, October 29th, before the facts which led to this trial, at this office to affirm that, Yes it was in fact traced to this location in Milan by the crew of the police squad, the Commissioner Venezia Garibaldi, but that he did not … He didn’t say to me, but to my colleague Morini, that he had not taken anything from anyone but had purchased those things.

LM: Who is this person? Can you tell us his first and last name?

PB: Dr. Luciano Morini that …

LM: No, No, I say … your intern told us. She said that this black person who she didn’t know, who she saw for the first time on October 29th 2007, then later she got to see from newspapers who he was.

PB: Yes.

LM: Can you give us the name and surname of the person?

PB: I believe she recognized that this person was Mr Rudy Hermann Guede, who is not accused in this trial, but it’s still involved in other …

LM: Always in reference to October 29th, the moment he comes to your office, before you said: “this person arrived, talked to my colleague Morini”.

PB: Yes.

LM: And you said to him: “I don’t know you. Are these exactly the words that you said before?

PB: I, when I was on the landing, I uttered …

LM: What Guede said to you.

PB: What I said to him, because I spoke first I said: “look, I don’t know who you are,” he replies: “I don’t know who you are either,” among other things in perfect Italian, with a perugian accent , which struck me, because talking about a person … but everything is possible. Whereupon I told him: ‘ look, cut to the chase, we don’t care. We are interested in only repossession of our stolen items”, the end.

LM: However naturally you knew the subject of the conversation between …

PB: Because a few moments before Dr. Morini reported to me: “look there’s a guy out here who says he bought these things that you and your colleagues have reported stolen, says he purchased them legally in Milan”.

LM: One last thing. Regarding the computer of your colleague Palazzoli, do you remember the brand, the model?

PB: No, this I am not able to do.

LM: Thank you.

GCM: You are welcome.

LG: Excuse me attorney Brocchi, I’m Ghirga. Your law firm was on what street?

PB: Via del Roscetto 3.

LG: First … the height you said, if you could repeat it.

PB: The office is on the ground floor, technically, not on the first floor, it is a ground floor raised up, which means that from the public area in front you climb ten stairs entering the building door, then there’s an access door on the left.

LG: And the terrace window?

PB: It is on the other side of the building.

LG: From the outside how much can it be …

PB: I said before that it’s a few meters, maybe three, four, however I am not able … because I never measured.

LG: Though you spoke of access to another path, which would be off via del Roscetto?

PB: Exactly, there is exactly one crossroad that is called via del Lupo, to descend.

LG: Via del Lupo.

PB: Via del Lupo, if I remember correctly, coming down until there is a blind road, you arrive in a courtyard to the rear of the building and from there there is a further courtyard which is privately owned, which is bordered by a gate. If this person or these people came from there, they would have also had to open that gate and then get in by crossing that mechanism that I described before eventually getting inside the office.

LG: Thanks, I wanted to clarify this.

GCM: Prosecutor, go ahead.

PM: (Incomprehensible – off MIC)?

PB: In fact I do not know. given that I was alerted about these events from this chosen agent Rita Spessi of Commissioner Venezia Garibaldi, some time later, together with her colleague, I put in a stolen goods release request at the Central Criminal Court of the Prosecutor’s Office in Milan, via Manara, to repossess the goods. After 24 hours an attendant called, an operator, a Registrar of the Central Criminal Court on the telephone he tells me: “look, counsellor, we saw the request, but for us, for form 21, there is no procedure”. To which I said, “But what do you mean there is no form 21 procedure? The agents must have done a CNR no? Normally, after having found a subject in possession, in possession of stolen material goods, they will have at least notified … ” “Look, there were no proceedings”.

PM: (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: Form 21, known form in the sense that in the Prosecutor’s Office there are various forms, 21, 44, 45, documents concerning, et cetera, et cetera.

PM: (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: No, I looked for it as a form 21, but they also … I had also asked: “Have patience, would you look for it among the other forms”, whereupon he said: “we don’t find anything.” Since some time had passed, it created a few surprises. That ‘s, that’s all.

PM: But they have been notified (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: No, never.

PM: Then this procedure however is not the duty of (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: I don’t know this. I’m only saying that the release of stolen goods request I presented and the Central Criminal Court of the Prosecutor telephoned me saying that they found neither the statement of my coworker and as offended persons nor any procedure relating to those acts.

PM: This when did it happen?

PB: 2008, last year in the spring, months after …

PM: You have by any chance checked if there was (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: No, No.

PM: (Inc. – off MIC)?

LM: I object to these questions of the Prosecutor because I would like to make it known to the Court that we know that there is a criminal case, even the Prosecutor D’amico in Milan has it. We also asked the acquisition, we have it right here …

GCM: Excuse me, Counsellor, what is the reason for the objection?

LM: Why is he asking if there is any criminal proceedings by the public prosecutor, when in reality …

GCM: Excuse me, but the Prosecutor questions the witness on what the witness knows. Then, if circumstances arise from other sources, they will be obtained. The objection is overruled. Proceed, Prosecuting Attorney.

PM: (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: Yes, it’s a sixteenth century building.

PM: Do you know, let’s say what was the path (Inc. – off MIC)?

PB: I can deduce, having found the glass shards inside, which … (at this point the Prosecutor’s microphone is switched on)

PM: So you couldn’t hear me before.

GCM: However we have answers …

PM: The answers were …

GCM: Yes.

PM: I understood.

GCM: Other questions … excuse me, the prosecutor asked if you …

PM: If there was a procedure and you say there is no case …

PB: No, I am not saying that there isn’t, what I don’t get is why the Central Criminal Court of Milan prosecutors, calling me over the phone, told me the next day that there was no statement for that date. Now, anything is possible, that they registered it later, I don’t know.

PM: You haven’t had any news then …

PB: Never, ever.

PM: Did you see any requests for continuation of investigations?

PB: Never, ever.

PM: Back to the location of this … so this study is on the ground floor …

PB: The raised ground floor.

PM: … raised ground level floor. From what points can you get there?

PB: Well, in via del Roscetto there are two windows on the raised ground floor, facing the street, which are then the offices of my colleague Palazzoli and mine. Then there are …

PM: How far off the ground?

PB: From via del Roscetto it’s at least three meters, three meters Yep, yes because I’m two meters tall…  three meters. Then from Via del Lupo, going down, the landscape, the street level … There is a slope to descend, up to this inner courtyard, because it is a blind Street via del Lupo. Then, from that side the height, let’s say, increases slightly because there’s this little slope, so then the landscape goes down and there is a courtyard from which you can gain access from the municipal land to the courtyard surrounded by an iron gate. Through this gate you come to this courtyard, then there is a reinforced door with a grate, so with grilles and from the ground level, looking up, you get to this balcony, terrace which is relative to my office which is located about … more than three meters, between three and four meters from the ground.

PM: So, this grated door, it’s a door, so it’s not a window.

PB: No, it’s a door

PM: That is it reaches the ground.

PB: Yes.

PM: How high is it?

PB: For all the size of access, more than two meters surely.

PM: You said it’s about three to four meters.

PB: Yes.

PM: Therefore, in addition to this door, there is another meter to get … or a meter and a half, two meters?

PB: I assume at least another meter.

PM: Another meter to get to the balcony.

PB: At Least.

PM: Where was the stone found?

PB: On the balcony outside.

PM: You said that inside  … Can you describe what you found? How was the …

PB: The situation.

PM: So the stone was outside.

PB: The stone was outside, the glass was inside, the glass of the window, in part on the entry corridor and was covered by our clothes, mine and those of attorney Palazzoli, which were placed directly on top of the glass.

PM: They were on top of the glass.

PB: On top of the glass, and what struck us, “maybe” we said “to not make noise walking on them”, I don’t know, it’s just a guess. Then in the copy room there were other glass fragments coming from that window, the only one broken, which were placed on a mat that is right in front of a computer desk. Then, right there were drinks, just nearby, open, partially consumed. Then we go to the other room, where there is the filing cabinet, which was completely wrecked. The drawers were all opened, every file was taken out and papers were jumbled all over the floor, there was a mountain of papers, an entire archive mixed practically, so much so that many things we’ve never even found, some after, others before, others after. In short, this was the situation. Then inside my office, on the desk, there was a leather suitcase of mine, and on this case were arranged in an orderly manner screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, all pointing towards the window, all perfectly aligned and oriented towards the window. Even in there there was total upheaval of papers. A chest of drawers was opened, inside were files, all current forensic cases, a years worth of documents in order, all of which however with effort we found again later. Mixed up one over the other. Also there was another file cabinet full of my working files that was open, all of the files were mixed up. Then in the desk all the folders with the business contracts, including that of the purchase of the building, ransacked. There was a BancoMat ATM Point of Sale which was … Let’s say there was an activity, because there was a receipt that was scattered near the apparatus, so there was … at least this person or these people had a look  to assure themselves of what that machine was. This was …

PM: Listen, was your phone returned?

PB: No. I asked the magistrates, I sumbmitted…

PM: So it is in the possession of the police or of the Prosecutor?

PB: The Crime Office, I presume.

PM: All right. I have no further questions.

GCM: Plaintiff are there questions?

LM: None, Chairman. The defense in order to conclude the cross-examination. I would like to leave a note that of course is contained in the files of the public prosecutor’s Office and on the basis of this act then ask questions to the witness.

GCM: Maybe we’ll put this Act …

LM: It is about… This may also be useful to the attorney because it indicated the number of criminal proceedings of Rudy Guede, an error note is made dated 1 February 2008 by the Prosecutor, the Deputy D’amico, who is in fact conducting an investigation against Rudy Guede for the crime of theft, receiving stolen goods and for the crime of illegal weapon possession. Law 110 of ‘ 75. This designation has also been provided to the Prosecutor’s Office in Perugia, to Dr. Male, by fax.

PB: But it was in writing when the proceedings? Ah, excuse me, I can’t ask …

GCM: Let’s see the document. Then both parties have read this document?

LM: There is an error in the writing of Dr. Mignini, Dr. Minnini, but one understands that it is his fax and was also filed …

GCM: The Amanda Knox defense knows this …

LG: (Incomprehensible.-out microphone).

GCM: The question is in regards to this document?

LM: The question is this, Dr. D’amico points out that all the material seized and that is your computer and your Nokia phone, already by 1 February 2008, prior to 1 February 2008, was sent to the police headquarters in Perugia.

PB: So it’s in Perugia.

LM: The question is this, I want to know, you requested in the early days of the year 2008 at the Perugia police station the return …

PB: No, I made the request to the Milan prosecutors, believing that they were the Crime Office of Milan prosecutors, because those people showed me that they had found the goods in Milan and were the result of a possible criminal activity. So I decided to make the return of stolen goods request to the Milan prosecutors.

LM: Reading the letter sent by Dr. D’amico to the Prosecutor’s Office in Perugia, both the computer and the phone are indicated. Can you read in this letter the mentioning of two items of your property and of your colleague?

PB: I say that the phone was certainly Nokia, October 27, 2007 is true, because it was that Saturday. The Sony Vaio computer I can’t be precise because the brand I didn’t remember exactly, because it wasn’t even mine, so I don’t know. The attempted aggravated theft, 56, 624, 625, 648 …

GCM: Only on objects.

PB: Yes. No, objects … I can tell you about the phone.

GCM: Then only the phone.

LM: I ask for the inclusion of this document to show that, in fact, that this is a criminal case.

GCM: Agreed. Other questions?

PB: So it’s pending in Milan. The strange thing that I can only say to the President that this … among other things I see that it bears the 21/2007 form . Then I don’t understand how did the Central Criminal Clerk’s Office tell me that there was no pending …

GCM: Excuse me, attorney, let’s return to the testimony, then to circumstances of fact.

LM: Let’s go back to the reconstruction of the means of entrance to your office by the thief. In answering the Prosecutor explained, as you explained to me before this window is located at a height from the street level to about three to four meters, compared to street level.

PB: From via del Lupo, Yes.

LM: You also referred to a door, a door of iron that was near …

PB: Yes, I confirm.

LM: And this iron door how far away it is from the window?

PB: It is perpendicular, a plum line, right under the window.

LM: Then there was, let’s say, an unevenness on this door that could allow any …

PB: A person physically equipped, not me; a person physically equipped, not one like me, maybe could have climbed with the risk of falling to the ground, because clearly there are no protections, there is nothing but a vertical wall.

LM: I understand. One last thing, the window from which they entered these thieves, as you have indicated, is higher than the other windows?

PB: No, because the office is level and is exactly … compared to the office say or the height of the window?

LM: With respect to the street level and of other windows.

PB: No, at that point, when one reaches the balcony, we are virtually at the same level as the other windows.

LM: One last thing, when the man came, Rudy Guede, on the 29th of October in your office …

PB: Not in the office, he was on the …

LM: On the landing.

PB: Not even, he was at the entrance between … on the steps between the public property and the entrance to the office … the building, pardon. He did not enter the office..

LM: His intention was to come the office, to come to you?

PB: I do not know, so much so that he didn’t even know my name because, when he clobbered, he struck upon a “law firm” because obviously someone might have told him what goods were … but, then again, there I didn’t speak about it, so I don’t … these are all things narrated to me by Dr. Morini, so they are not to my direct knowledge.

LM: Thank you.

GCM: When did this happen?

PB: This happened on Monday afternoon around five, in the late afternoon of October 29th, 2007.

GCM: So how many days after the theft?

PB: The theft was the 13th of October, that was the 29th.

GCM: If there are no other questions, the witness is dismissed. There are no other questions; the witness may go.

GCM: We’ve acquired the communication coming from the Prosecutor’s Office, Court of Milan, February 1, 2008, in terms of usability. Who is summoned?

LM: Attorney Palazzoli.

Documents

Paolo Brocchi Transcript – (English) – (Italian)

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