Lorena Zugarini's Testimony (English)

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Lorena Zugarini's Testimony

This is an English language translation of the testimony. See Lorena Zugarini's Testimony for the original Italian transcript.


Thank you to ZiaK/Katsgalore from the True Justice for Meredith Kercher and PerugiaMurderfile.org communities for this partial translation.


Key to abbreviations
GCM Giancarlo Massei Judge Presidente
GM Giuliano Mignini Prosecutor Pubblico Ministero
LZ Lorena Zugarini Witness being questioned Assistant chief in Perugia Flying Squad
CP Carlo Pacelli Lumumba civil lawyer Avvocato
LG Luciano Ghirga Knox defense lawyer Avvocato


Deposition of the witness Lorena Zugarini.

The witness, admonished pursuant to Article 497 of the Criminal Procedure Code, reads the oath.

Particulars: Lorena Zugarini born 8 November 1963 in Perugia. Assistant chief of the Perugia Flying Squad at the time and still in service with the Flying Squad.

Prosecutor Mignini

[The beginning has not been translated.]

....

GM:
Did you question Amanda by any chance?
LZ:
Yes.
GM:
Therefore? [sic: typo “quindi” instead of “quando” i.e. “when”]
LZ:
The 5th.
GM:
Did you do anything particular from the 2nd to the 5th other than these routine investigations, crime-scene investigation, I don’t know ...
LZ:
No. Granted, one couldn’t go inside the house because there was the Forensic Police, so we, as the Flying Squad, we are not supposed to enter until the Forensics have finished, always for the question of contamination of evidence.
GM:
The Forensics, when [did] they finish the initial operations?
LZ:
Initial - if I’m not wrong - the 6th; either the 5th or the 6th.
GM:
So on the 5th, you heard Amanda?
LZ:
I was there, in the Questura [Police station] because very few hours of the night, not days, but very few hours of the night, like me also other colleagues - especially those who were from the Section that was more or less, shall we say quote unquote, in charge of the issue of murder - we almost stayed overnight in the Questura, except for two or three hours at night when we’d go home.
GM:
Do you recall when Amanda arrived?
LZ:
So Amanda, I remember that Raffaele Sollecito was called and invited to come and be heard/questioned. They told me that Raffaele was out to dinner, that he’d been given the possibility of finishing dinner, of eating, etc. etc., and to then come to the Questura. And I remember that along with Raffaele there was also Amanda, and honestly, I said to myself: “But how on earth is it that these two are always together?” Because we, on that evening ... that is to say, we, our staff, we had called only and exclusively Sollecito.
GM:
So you were together with Rita Ficarra that evening?
LZ:
I was there in the Questura - when Raffaele was called, Rita Ficarra wasn’t there [yet].
GM:
So you were present when Amanda arrived?
LZ:
Yes, I was present when Amanda arrived, and Raffaele Sollecito. Raffaele Sollecito was taken up to a room that was ..., he was to be heard/questioned by other colleagues if I’m not mistaken, also by Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni. After which, Amanda was made to leave the room, and I personally accompanied her to the outside of the Flying Squad [offices], to where there were seats, and she was made to sit [NdT: also “made comfortable”] there. Then after [doing] that thing, I instead returned back inside the Flying Squad [offices].
GM:
And so you carried out, you heard/questioned various people that evening, no?
LZ:
I heard/questioned more than one person. Raffaele Sollecito, I didn’t hear/question him, me, because there were already colleagues who were hearing/questioning him. I was there inside the Flying Squad [offices], [where] maybe I was reading the recaps/summary informations of the others, or else I was looking for a moment at the case files.
GM:
Do you remember when... When Inspector Ficarra started to hear/question Amanda, you were - shall we say - in the Flying Squad [offices]?
LZ:
I was there, in the offices of the Flying Squad. I was going out of the Flying Squad [offices], together with the Deputy Commissioner, in order to go down[stairs] to the little machine that we have; a drinks and snacks machine. We wanted to go down[stairs] to get something, and I saw that Amanda was talking with some colleagues from the SCO. What she was saying, I have no idea. And in the meantime, I saw Inspector Ficarra come out of the lift on the third floor, that gives access to the Flying Squad [offices].
GM:
So you went down[stairs]. And then?
LZ:
I went down[stairs]. In the meantime, however, I noted that Amanda, while she was there, was an extremely relaxed person, and I even felt very upset/ill because at a certain point she suddenly did the splits there in the corridor. She did the splits and did a cartwheel, saying “I’m doing a sport”. She said it in English, but in English I don’t know it, me. Translated into Italian, like I know it, it’s a sport that she climbs on rocks with bare hands and no ropes, without anything. In order to show what level of training/preparedness she had. Then I went down[stairs] and I went to get something to drink, in fact, and then we came back up and [Amanda was] together with Rita Ficarra, because Amanda was saying the [names of] people who probably would have visited the house on Via della Pergola, whom she and whom Meredith ... [in short, those] who might have known her...
GM:
So, excuse me, let me understand; so you were coming and going in the various rooms?
LZ:
Yes, I was coming and going because in that moment Raffaele Sollecito was inside one room with [some] colleagues, and I didn’t think it was expedient/advisable to enter.
GM:
Did you stop then, at a certain point, while Amanda was being heard/questioned?
LZ:
I went down[stairs], as I’m coming back, to reconfirm, having got the drink, I went back up and I noticed that Amanda was talking with Inspector Ficarra outside [the offices], and that she was saying to her “I’ll tell you the people”. And right there and then, she wrote them down herself in a notebook, on a sheet [of paper] that she had with her. Afterwards, together with Rita, with Inspector Ficarra then, when we saw the facts/information, we said “Ok”, we said [sic] an office where we [could] go to hear/question Amanda for a moment, and take her recap/summary information, since in any case she had to wait for Raffaele.
GM:
Without telling us the content of the declarations, obviously, [can you] if checks were carried out on the cellphones?
LZ:
Well, so, Amanda, she had her cellphone with her afterwards, also because there was no reason to be able to take it from her, and Amanda handed over her cellphone to a colleague from the SCO, after Amanda said “I’ll write down the names with the telephone [numbers] of the people who probably could have known Meredith too”.
GM:
So she handed over the cellphone to the individual from the SCO. Who was that [individual]? Do you remember?
LZ:
I don’t remember because there were various colleagues from the SCO.
GM:
So this [individual] belonging to the SCO, what did he do?
LZ:
He took the cellphone and went out for a moment. I don’t know where he went because I remained inside the room. Shortly afterwards, he came back, and together with Amanda they started to scroll – Inspector Rita Ficarra and the colleague from SCO – they started to scroll through the messages and they asked here “This one, who is it? This other one, who is it?” and Amanda was answering.
GM:
[And] then?
LZ:
After, at a certain point, this [individual was] still taking [down] the report/minutes, since the message was reached that, if I’m not mistaken, was from Patrick, that there was written Patrick above it, she was asked who is Patrick, and there [at that point] Amanda …
GM:
If I can just show [her] the …
LZ:
Yes, that one there.
GCM:
She was shown the copy of the message taken from the cellphone.
GM:
SMS.
LZ:
[The] SMS on Amanda’s cellphone.
GM:
And then?
LZ:
Yes, she was asked for explanations regarding [the] “Certainly, see you later, good evening” [“Certo, ci vediamo più tardi, buona serata”]. We asked her who Patrick is, and in that moment Amanda shed tears – whether she was crying sincerely [in earnest] I don’t know – however she shed tears.
GM:
Did she make any gestures/movements?
LZ:
Yes. She put, I remember that she hiked up/drew up her legs, she crouched on a chair, put her hands around her head, on her ears, and started to say “He’s bad/mean, he’s bad/mean”, to shake her head, she said: “I remember hearing Meredith who was screaming, and Patrick who was hurting her”.
GCM:
One cannot report on the declarations made unless… Please.
LZ:
I beg your pardon.
GM:
What thing...
GCM:
So she had this behaviour?
LZ:
Yes.
GM:
You saw this behaviour?
LZ:
Yes.
GM:
So then what happened? What did you [all] do?
LZ:
At that point, Inspector Rita Ficarra decided to suspend the minutes/written record because the position had changed a bit, because she said to us “I was …” – Ah! I cannot…
GCM:
Yes, you cannot. So she was changed, and you suspended the minutes/written record, and …
LZ:
Yes, we interrupt [sic] the …
GM:
They were in accordance with Article 63.
LZ:
We interrupt [sic] the minutes/written record. I personally said to her if she wanted ...
GM:
Because indications of guilt had emerged?
LZ:
Yes, exactly. I said [sic] to her if she wanted the presence of a Lawyer, [to] which she said “No, I don’t need one”.
GM:
Can you describe for us what you did after, that is to say, what happened afterwards? Did she continue to cry? What did she do?
LZ:
I repeat, I can’t say whether [she was] crying: she was shedding tears: a behaviour that was still strange. She had a moment of, if I may say this, of crisis, seeing this type of message and [us] asking who this person was, after which I left the room …
GM:
Bu you, excuse me, did you ask “But why does he frighten you? Why are you crying?” Did you ask her that?
LZ:
Yes, certainly that was asked of her. She, [in answer to] such a question, said to me: “I remember that inside, that I was inside the kitchen”.
GCM:
Enough. On this, obviously, you cannot report, unless it is necessary/helpful. So you asked explanations about the behaviour…
LZ:
Yes, for me it is helpful/necessary because I didn’t understand such a type of behaviour on [NdT: i.e. “in response to”] a completely normal message.
GCM:
And you asked for an explanation.
LZ:
Yes. I said to her: “What on earth? What is happening? Who is [NdT: my emphasis] this person?”
GCM:
In the scope of the interrogation?
LZ:
Yes. Because until 5 minutes earlier, she was a completely normal person.
GCM:
So you asked for explanations of this behaviour. Ok.
LZ:
[Until] 5 minutes earlier she was completely normal, [and] then when she saw this message, and at the question “Who is this Patrick” she flew off the handle [NdT: “escandescenza” is actually a fit of rage, with violent words and menacing gestures”, I don’t know if the witness used the word in the sense of “fit of rage”, but this is the meaning of the word she chose.]
GCM:
These fits of rage, what did they consist of? [Did] she shed tears and shake her head?
LZ:
Yes. She drew her legs up, [and] put her hands on her head.
GCM:
Hands on the ears?
LZ:
She put her hands on her head, [and] started to do like this.
GCM:
She was shaking her head.
LZ:
She was shaking her head, and said to me “To me, this person …”
GCM:
You cannot. That is to say, you can the declarations made only if they were useful, and to give us an indication about the subsequent investigative activity.
LZ:
For me, personally, I repeat, it was a moment in which I see this message, that is I ask [what] the presence of this message [means], and I see a reaction of this type, I ask myself “What on earth What has just happened?” [sic: NdT: Zugarini also speaks often in the present tense.]
GCM:
And she gave the answer that she [NdT: also “you”] gave.
GM:
Had you Did you, in the investigations that you carried out, had you conjectured [the occurrence] of a sexual assault?
LZ:
I personally, yes, because she [NdT: i.e. Meredith] was naked.
GM:
Because she was naked. But what are the elements that made you think of sexual assault? On what basis did you carry out investigations…? You said that one element was the fact that the young woman was naked.
LZ:
Yes.
GM:
What other elements? I mean, these declarations, shall we say, were they the cause for carrying out investigations on a sexual assault?
LZ:
I’ll go back to reassert that, from the moment when she was shown a message and a reaction of a person to the question “But for what reason are you doing these things? Why are you reacting in this way to this message?, she says to me “I see this person who is doing evil, and I hear my friend Meredith who’s screaming”; in all honesty, we also had a doubt, in short.
MDG:
President, I am trying to reiterate the objection, because here there’s a continuous… it’s a continuous violation.
GM:
However it is impossible…
GCM:
Because the Prosecutor’s question concerned at a certain point [whether] the investigations also turned towards a hypothesis of sexual assault, and she gave him a positive answer saying that yes, because the body was naked, [so] there are other elements too…
LZ:
Other elements of people who knew – especially Meredith’s English friends, who Meredith visited in a regular way, who said to us that Meredith, from what they told us, was a very serious person, who did not give absolute familiarity/intimacy, that is to say, she did not give much familiarity/intimacy… naturally being a girl, and being also a [burdened/serious] type of girl, the young men who gave recaps/summary information said that… that they also, if one can say this, tried it on with her, to which she absolutely never gave them any encouragement…
GCM:
So on the basis of these [pieces of] information the investigations were directed towards …
LZ:
Yes, also the recaps/summary information of people, of people who were heard for recaps/summary information.
GM:
After this, to when the minutes/written record was interrupted, between the interruption of the minutes/written record and the presentation… to the spontaneous declarations: how much time passed?
LZ:
I didn’t understand [you], excuse me.
GM:
Between the moment when the minutes/written record was halted by Inspector Ficarra to the moment when I heard her [give her] spontaneous declarations, how much time passed?
LZ:
That, honestly, I can’t tell you, because from the moment when Patrick Lumumba’s name came out, and we knew that he was in fact the owner of a pub located on Via Alessi, etc. etc., I personally went together with other colleagues …
GM:
So you left …
LZ:
I left Amanda. Also because, to be honest, I didn’t really discuss it earlier, but I had, shall we say, a bit of an exchange of ideas with Inspector Rita Ficarra, because Inspector Rita Ficarra went down[stairs] several times with Amanda to get drinks from down there, from that same little [drinks-and-snacks] machine in the Questura.
GM:
Listen: can you recall for me whether she was subjected to aggressions, to pressure, to blows?
LZ:
Absolutely not! Even if I remember perfectly that, still with Inspector Rita Ficarra, I said to her “We’re talking about a girl [who’s had her] throat slit”, and the owner [NdT: in the feminine] of the actual/current bar that is located within the Questura [premises] was made to come up with a hot drink and little baked goods that were brought to Amanda, and I made a joke that not even in 20 years of [being in the] Police had any colleagues ever brought me these kinds of things like that, in the [same] way as Amanda was being treated.
GM:
So therefore you were present then for the spontaneous declarations?
LZ:
Of Amanda?
GM:
Of Amanda.
LZ:
No. The minutes/written record was interrupted...
GM:
Was there an interpreter?
LZ:
Yes, the interpreter. In fact, Amanda’s recaps/summary information were even taken with a bit of delay because, if I’m not mistaken, Inspector Rita Ficarra came back to the Questura, or at any rate she came out of the lift of the Questura, at around about 23:00 hours, and if I’m not mistaken the minutes/written record began around 01:00 a.m.: around about 01:00 the minutes/written record was taken in the waiting for an interpreter of the local Questura, Anna Donnino, to come from her house to the Questura to be able to take Amanda[‘s declaration], even though she [Amanda] spoke in a fairly passable Italian.
GM:
So you, in effect, lose contact with Amanda, and you deal with ...
LZ:
From the moment when the minutes/written record was interrupted…
GM:
[So when] the minutes/written record is suspended, you begin, you participate in the search for Patrick.
LZ:
I participate in the search for Patrick.
GM:
And then what other activity did you carry out?

.....

Civil Party - Attorney Pacelli

CP:
Just a few clarifications on the questioning by the Public Prosecutor, to follow up on a question that Dr Mignini made a short while ago, with regard to how your investigations turned to the, shall we say, sexual aspect, or as if to the sexual backdrop of the crime, because in fact, in answering the Prosecutor, you said “I had formed my own personal opinion of a sexual backdrop, seeing the body of the poor victim semi-naked, or at any rate, naked.
LZ:
Naked.
CP:
So, to follow up in what was perhaps the Prosecutor’s intentions, I wanted to understand: was it also because of the content of the declarations made by Knox on the night of 5 November that your investigations turned towards the sexual backdrop? That is, was it also because of what Knox said to you that night?
LZ:
I’ll return to reconfirm, Attorney, that from the moment when Amanda – who previously had been [one of the] most calm people in the world, because after we had given her hot drinks, water, she had kept her cellphone with her, and all that – from the moment in which a colleague, totether with Inspector Rita Ficarra, showed her the message and from the tone of the message – it is a very normal message as far as I’m concerned, it’s an extremely normal message – [so], not understanding Amanda’s reaction, if until three minutes before she was [one of the] most calm people in this world, not understanding Amanda’s reaction in relation to the message, logically questions were asked of her: “but why do you have this behaviour as soon as you read this message?”
CP:
So after her answers, also because of her answers, you turned towards …
LZ:
When a person says to you: I see, I hear Meredith’s screams…
CP:
Yes, but you were perfectly clear. A final clarification: you, ok [sic: NdT: this could also be translated as “she is well”], after, at a certain point, you go away, however before leaving, [did] you witness/were you present at Amanda’s declarations of accusation, what Amanda declared with respect to Patrick Lumumba?
LZ:
Absolutely, yes, because I turn again to reassert that if you read the message…
GCM:
Yes, absolutely, yes. Please, Attorney. The question?
CP:
In making these affirmations, before making these affirmations, or while she was making these affirmations, was Amanda struck with kicks or punches or slaps?
LZ:
In the most absolute way [No].
CP:
Was she in any way, by any one of you, forced to make declarations, or … the declarations that she made, some of the declarations, or all of the declarations that she made in that moment?
LZ:
Attorney, I tell you again that when we are doing, it is not an interrogation, [but] when we are asking …
GCM:
Yes, yes. Excuse me, but it’s enough to simply say no.
LZ:
When we ask things of a person, we ask them [sic], it’s logical. Maybe tiredness might take over…
CP:
Were any of the subjects that Amanda made declarations about suggested to her in any way, or were they all carried out on her own completely spontaneous will? There was no suggestion of names, of ways, of circumstances?
LZ:
Me, I never saw Amanda before, before 2 November.
CP:
No, but I’m saying 5 November. Was something of what she had [NdT: “had” as in “posssed” not as in “was made to”. I.e. it is the Past Simple of the verb “to have] to declare that evening suggested to her?
LZ:
Absolutely not.
CP:
So you can confirm to us that, at any rate, even in those circumstances and for the whole period from 2 to 5, until all her declarations, even until the arrest, she was always treated with respect, with humanity, and with absolute…
LZ:
I repeat again, I made that joke with Inspector Rita Ficarra, even the current owner at that time of the bar inside the Questura, brought her I don’t remember if it was a camomile tea or a black tea, with little pastries and a croissant.
CP:
I have no further questions.

......

Defence - Attorney Ghirga

....

LZ:
[up to now she’s been speaking about searches carried out in via della Pergola.]
LG:
No, you didn’t have them [they are talking here of shoe covers. Then Ghirga changes subject suddenly] because ... Listen, now let’s turn to the evening of the 6th when you participated with Inspector Ficarra in the recaps/summary information of Amanda Knox.
LZ:
Of the 5th.
LG:
No, of the 6th, because it is after midnight, [it is] one-forty-five. The night between 5 and 6, that is the beginning of the minutes/written record, and 01:45 hours, so we understand each other, and they are called summary informations/recaps.
LZ:
Thank you.
LG:
No, I didn’t mean anything. You said the 5th, for me it is the 6th, that’s all: it’s not contentious/a contradiction.
GCM:
Please Attorney.
LG:
And then, it’s not actually necessary.
LZ:
No, no.
LG:
Do you recall whether, having begun these interrogation activities, one or other of your colleagues who was participating in Sollecito’s interrogation came in to inform you in some way of the progress of Sollecito’s interrogation?
LZ:
Yes, there was Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni who every so often came there to see how it was going, and the thing that she then told us that Sollecito was not longer giving the big [sic] alibi as far as Amanda was concerned.
LG:
And the operation regarding the SMS message of which you spoke, [that] came about after this information, shall we say, let’s call it information, communication.
LZ:
I believe so, yes.
GCM:
Excuse me on this; did you communicate this immediately to Amanda Knox? This is what the Attorney was asking.
LG:
I have said, this quote-unquote interrogation began …
LZ:
Yes. I beg your pardon, Attorney.
LG:
And a colleague comes, you say that a colleague comes, I don’t know whether it’s Napoleoni, at any rate someone comes …
LZ:
No.
GCM:
Please. Continue, Attorney.
LG:
I am referrign to this thing that you precisely reported: Sollecito returned [sic] the alibi to Amanda.
LZ:
Yes.
LG:
Something of the sort. He no longer gives a big [sic] alibi; he removes the alibi, I don’t know: the operations concerning the little message found in Amanda’s telephone, did these occur after this communication?
LZ:
Anyhow I tell you that when the Deputy Commissioner, or whoever entered inside that room on her behalf, it’s not that they spoke in front of Amanda, so Amanda could not hear the content of our discussions. After which, I honestly, I believe that the message was shown to Amanda after the presence of Deputy Commissioner Napoleoni or someone on her behalf.
LG:
Last question, Mr President: these courtesy activities – a hot drink, a croissant, or whatever – did they happen after the conclusion of the two interrogations of Amanda, shall we say?
LZ:
Absolutely not.
LG:
So when did they take place then?
LZ:
Well, they took place either before taking [sic] Amanda for the first time, also because we had to wait for the interpreter, if I’m not mistaken, Anna Donnino, who had to come from home because they had called her from the Questura to bring herself [sic] to our offices because we had, in fact, to hear a girl, in the English language, even though she spoke Italian fairly well: for reasons of our own peace [of mind] and for reasons of Amanda’s ease/peace of mind, the interpreter was called. So during the wait for Anna Donnino to arrive, Amanda was provided with both hot drinks and water, and whatnot.
LG:
And later you don’t recall whether there was another… You said it first, yourself.
LZ:
No, also later.
LG:
Also later?
LZ:
Also later.
LG:
That’s what it seemed to us. Thank you.
LZ:
No no, I have said [that] the lady from the bar – the bar is closed at night in our place; if I’m not mistaken [it closes] around 5, 5-thirty – the bar must have been open already, I already said that the owner of the bar came to bring her chamomile or tea, in short.
LG:
Thank you.


.....

Judge Massei

....

GCM:
And a last thing: when the circumstance about the alibi came to light, that Raffaele Sollecito thus did not seem, no longer confirmed the alibi, [when] this fact came to light, did you bring it to the knowledge of Amanda Knox, this fact?
LZ:
No, no, absolutely no. Absolutely, not, because ...
GCM:
How was it brought to [your] awareness.
LZ:
I remember that the Deputy Commissioner came there and said to us: “Listen carefully to/Question carefully Amanda, because there are discrepancies on what Raffaele has said, even during the previous days”.
GCM:
As far as you know, [this] was not brought to Amanda Knox’s awareness?
LZ:
As far as I am concerned, no.
GCM:
Very well.

....