Oreste Volturno's Testimony (English)

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Summary of Oreste Volturno's Testimony

Oreste Volturno was the police officer who testified to several matters:

  • He was involved with the search of Raffaele Sollecito's apartment on November 8 and November 16 2007. Volturno testified that the apartment smelled of bleach when opened on November 8th after being closed for the three days prior due to Sollecito's arrest.Jump to Bleach Smell in Testimony Two bottles of bleach were seized from Sollecito's apartment on November 16th.
  • Volturno also spoke to Natalia who did the cleaning at Sollecito's until his arrest. She stated that no bleach was present and would later testify that she was specifically instructed to not use bleach when she took over the job of cleaning from her friend Kiriboga who was pregnant. Kiriboga originally also said she did not know anything about the bleach but during a second interview she changed her story claiming she had used the bleach before. When Volturno asked why she said the opposite before Kiriboga explained that she did not remember the bleach and it was only while being interviewed by Sollecito's lawyer that she suddenly remembered the bleach. Jump to relevant part of testimony
  • The search of Raffaele Sollecito's apartment led to the discovery of two bottles of bleach and Oreste Volturno attempted to discover the origins of this bleach by visiting merchants in the vicinity of Sollecito's apartment but he was unable to locate where or when the bleach was purchased. The defence proposed that the bleach was purchased before mid-October because of the price being the old manufacturer's suggested price which changed Oct 11 2007 although this is a specious argument since the bleach could also have been old stock still on the shelf on Nov 2.
  • Volturno also investigated a €20 transaction with Meredith's bank cards that posted on November 2, 2007. It was determined that the transaction likely happened several days before and the delay in posting was due to the lag created by international transactions.
  • Volturno investigated an informant tip that Raffaele Sollecito had previously attacked a girl with scissors. The officer travelled to Bari where Sollecito attended high school and while Sollecito's middle school records were available the high school records had been shredded. Volturno then testified that he attempted to interview the individual who was the Dean of the school at the time but that man refused to cooperate and was resisting answering questions. The police officer felt that the Dean was hiding something. With respect to previous bad behaviour Volturno was able to find that Sollecito had behavioural issues in middle school and that he was detained but not arrested for possession of two and a half grams of hashish. Jump to relevant part of testimony
  • Volturno also ran wiretaps on the Sollecito family. The outcome of those was recordings of a plan to cover up and mislead the investigation into Meredith's murder. There were efforts made to pressure politicians to intervene.[1] The recordings also revealed a plan by the Sollecito family to interfere with the investigation by enlisting the broadcaster Telenorba and the newspaper Panorama to leak evidence including images of Meredith's naked body. The Sollecito family would eventually be charged related to these acts but after successfully arguing for a change of venue to Bari the Bari prosecutor refused to proceed. The Sollecito's would later be implicated in another allegation of interference when Prison Informants stated that they were paid by Sollecito's family to lie at trial and cause confusion.

Oreste Volturno's Testimony (English)

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

Thank you to Catnip from the PerugiaMurderfile.org community for this translation.

GCM Giancarlo Massei Judge Presidente
GM Giuliano Mignini Prosecutor Pubblico Ministero
MC Manuela Comodi Prosecutor Pubblico Ministero
OV Oreste Volturno Witness being questioned
LM Luca Maori Sollecito defense lawyer Avvocato
GB Giulia Bongiorno Sollecito defense lawyer Avvocato
CDV Carlo Dalla Vedova Knox defense lawyer Avvocato
LG Luciano Ghirga Knox defense lawyer Avvocato
FM Francesco Maresca Kercher civil lawyer Avvocato
INT Intervention

Transcript of testimony given in the hearing of 13 March 2009, pp. 177-213.

Depositions of the witness Oreste Volturno.

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

Particulars: Chief Inspector Oreste Volturno, in service with the Flying Squad, Perugia Police; born at Montegabbione (TR), 12 June 1956.

Judge Massei

GCM:
Please proceed.

Prosecutor Mignini

GM:
You have carried out investigations on the death of Meredith Kercher?
OV:
Yes.
GM:
Do you remember what type of investigative tasks you carried out? First list them, then describe them.
OV:
In practice the first investigative task that I carried out was as regards two containers of Ace bleach that had been seized at Raffaele Sollecito’s house on 16 November 2007. Immediately after the seizure I went around the shops in the environs of Raffaele Sollecito’s place of residence trying to understand from where they could have been purchased from, and for this purpose I was showing people the photograph of Raffaele Sollecito, the photograph of Amanda Knox. After a couple of days we tracked down the shop which was a Conad-Margherita shop situated right at the start of Corso Garibaldi, where both the owner and the shop assistants were to identify, from the photographs that we placed before them, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox. Raffaele Sollecito was a usual customer of this shop, while the girl had been seen two or three times in his company.
GM:
Together with Sollecito?
OV:
Yes, yes, in his company. In this shop we asked also if by chance they had noticed in the days immediately prior to the murder or straight after if they remembered whether these persons had acquired this product, although they didn’t remember. I have to preface this with the shop is subdivided into two levels, one is higher up where the entrance is and the other is lower down. The one higher up is where all the products are that people take and then go straight to the cashier, while the one below is the delicatessen, cheeses, etc etc where there were two girls working, in addition to the owner, who I think I remember was called Quintavalle. One in particular, an Ecuadorian girl, at the time I recall that it was interesting, she said to us that she had a friend who was doing the cleaning at Raffaele Sollecito’s house and she indicated the cellular device with which we then contacted her, although as for the bleach nothing came out of it, either a person or a mention of something. We were checking that…
GM:
What was this woman called?
OV:
(Kiriboga) … the rest I don’t remember. It was actually through the mobile phone number that she furnished that led us to the person who was then doing the cleaning at that time, up until 5 November, the last day that she did the cleaning, and another Ecuadorian girl who was called Natalia. This one was interviewed on the record but she wasn't able to tell us anything about this bleach. Then subsequent to this episode (Kiriboga) was also heard, she furnished us a version where she said actually that this bleach had been seen by her in Sollecito’s house and that in any case a container had been said, had been bought by Raffaele Sollecito at her request. I asked her why she hadn't mentioned it at the time that I asked her, the first day, in the days immediately after the search, that is between 16 and 19 November, and she said to me that the same questions had been asked at the firm of Counsellor Maori and that at the time she didn't recall this fact, but after having been at Counsellor Maori’s she remembers having bought this bleach. However the investigations proceeded onwards because I asked the owner of the shop if by means of the product barcode it was possible to go back to the period in which it was handed over or sold or at the least ordered and which company was the supplier of this bleach. He told me that the company was a Ponte San Giovanni company I believe, the PAC, and I contacted the person responsible in the detergents department who was a Mr Cicognola, I think, who told me that being a product without an expiry he was not obliged by law to memorize it, that is computerize it, and so he was not able to uncover precisely the shop at which it had been sold, at the time. He furnished us information however, namely the boxes were of 18 containers each and had been consigned to Quintavalle’s shop which was a Conad-Margherita, the same label that was on the container seized at Sollecito’s house dated 1 October, 11 November and 5 November the last consignment. Another box of the same product had been consigned to another Conad-Margherita shop which is located about 50 meters further up from Raffaele Sollecito’s place of residence, whose owner now I don’t remember. Until 11 October the recommended PAC price for this product was 0.85 euro, while from 11 October onwards the recommended price was 1.09 because he says that before there was a more favorable market and so they had a lower price, although no one was able to rule out that in any case the product being at the old price might have been among the others and then purchased for 0.85, the price that then turned out to have been applied to the container seized from Sollecito’s house. As regards this investigation about the bleach, nothing else was done.
GM:
You were in Sollecito’s house?
OV:
Yes, I had been on two occasions. The first occasion was on the 8th of November during a search when different types of apparel were seized, I seem to recall. On a second occasion on the 16 November…
GM:
Let’s go in order; the 8th, did you all have footwear and gloves?
OV:
Yes, yes, we always have footwear and gloves because we've got them in the car, they’re from the office.
GM:
New?
OV:
Yes, they’re taken from the boxes as needed from time to time.
GM:
So you’d entered on the 8th?
OV:
We had entered the first time on the 8th and I remember that numerous items of apparel were seized, underwear, jumper…
GM:
Was there a particular smell there on the 8th?
OV:
Yes, there was a smell of bleach permeating the inside of the apartment because it was sealed and we broke the seals because it had been sequestered prior.
GM:
These items of clothing, where had you put them?
OV:
The items of clothing were pointed out to our colleagues from the Scientific Police who were taking them and putting them into paper envelopes, one by one and then they were sealed and cataloged inside a big box.
GM:
So they actually also had overalls?
OV:
Our colleagues from the Scientifica yes, we only had the footwear and gloves.
GM:
And then, the second time?
OV:
The second time was the 16th of November although I had not gone inside the apartment because the footwear had run out and I stayed outside on the landing cataloging the items of evidence that were being handed over to me in envelopes and I was putting them into a big box.
GM:
You had gloves on, though?
OV:
Yes, yes, I had gloves on.
GM:
Other investigative tasks?
OV:
One other investigative task had been carried by me personally on Ms Kercher’s credit cards, because from an account statement extract that had been faxed to us by her parents there was a 20 euro withdrawal at the IMI-San Paolo in Perugia. I contacted them, I believe around the first part of the month of December 2008, I think the 8th, the 9th or the 10th, I don’t recall now precisely, I contacted the manager of the bank, of the IMI-San Paolo in the person of Dr Farsi and I asked him if it were possible to trace back the person who had made this withdrawal or at the least verify that this withdrawal had been made. I also asked him if there were security cameras and he said to me: “Yes, there are, although the security camera only covers the bank entrance and not the ATM, but in any case the video cassettes are reset each week”, time had already passed because the account extract had been faxed to us towards the end of the month of November by the Kercher family, I did the first investigations on it on the 10th of December, or on the 8th of December, so from the 2nd of November more than a month had gone by and the recordings had already been reset multiple times. Mr Farsi examined the funds journals of all four ATMs, of the head office and the branches that there are in Perugia and responded to me by letter that according to the journals there was no withdrawal of that kind neither on the 2nd of November nor in the days preceding…
GM:
Do you recognize it?
OV:
Yes, it’s this one.
GM:
I don’t know if it is in the evidence file, otherwise I ask for its production.
GCM:
What is it?
OV:
It’s the reply of the San Paolo bank corporation as regards the investigations on the withdrawal of the 20 euro.
LG:
What date is this letter?
GM:
4 January 2008.
OV:
Actually he in his letter was telling me that that 20 euro withdrawal, that sum hadn't been done neither on the 2nd of November nor in the days immediately preceding and that practically at this point the investigations were at a standstill because there being no withdrawal there was no…
GM:
I ask its production then.
GB:
Mr President, it’s a finding on what we have done, as everyone will recall, a question the other time to a witness and the reply was given that there were no further investigative activities. Up until today, that letter was not in the file, we want to peruse it and give our opinion tomorrow maybe.
GCM:
Certainly. We can proceed in the meantime.
GM:
Other investigative activities that you all had carried out and that you yourself had participated in?
OV:
Other investigative activities that had been carried out by me personally were activities concerning an authorization or power of attorney, a authorization of his as regards Giovinazzo, at the schools attended by Sollecito.
GM:
What had you found out in particular? Was it an activity integral with the investigation?
OV:
Yes, actually from examining the class rolls, the boy’s personal file and everything what we were looking for was not found, that is, a fact that had happened at school. Amongst other things it wasn't possible to verify it because the class rolls from 2003, which is the last year that Raffaele Sollecito attended secondary school, every five years they’re sent for pulping and so we had arrived when they had already been pulped, for this reason this investigative task was not able to be carried out.
GM:
What were you supposed to have been doing?
OV:
Whether there had been the wounding of a girl on the part of Raffaele Sollecito during the course of school lessons. I preface this with the headmaster of the middle school, at the time the headmaster of the middle school attended by Raffaele Sollecito, that he had also been interviewed for summary information [SI][2] by me personally, he provided a certain resistance, as if he wanted to hide something. This I believe I also had him…
GB:
Mr President, these are…
GCM:
Maybe if you can refer to the behavior he had displayed.
GB:
Mr President, also as to the modality, for heaven’s sake, I don’t believe it’s a prohibition that they are referring to things heard in interview, but if they are however witnesses heard in interview, then they have to be heard or not or he gives us a summary and then we hear them or else he really avoids commenting every time.
OV:
Counsel, I have said in summary what I have heard and in my view it was omertoso[3].
GB:
No, look that this cannot be put into the transcript!
GCM:
Please! The parties will direct…
OV:
He was a little bit reticent.
CGM:
Let’s avoid this, “in my opinion” introduces an evaluation and therefore he cannot express it, only the behavior that he displayed, maybe if he has answered all questions or else some question he hasn't.
OV:
He answered all questions, but in a very vague manner.
GCM:
Please proceed.
GM:
What other things had you found out specifically?
OV:
We had found at the Carabinieri station in Giovinazzo, in Sollecito’s file, there was a precedent signaled by the Carabinieri station at Castellaneta, in Taranto province, relating to the year 2003 I believe, when he had been stopped together with another two boys because they were in the possession of the quantity of two and half grams net of narcotic substance, in the form of hashish.
GM:
Then other things?
OV:
Then there were investigative tasks carried out in relation to the death of his mother. Investigations were made at the pathologist’s, at 118.
GCM:
Excuse me, pertinent matters.
GM:
Well, this one about the substance…
GCM:
Yes, the substance yes, but he was introducing other things.
GM:
Other investigations that you have carried out?
OV:
I did phone and ambient intercepts.
GM:
What investigative leads emerged from the ambient and telephonic intercepts?
OV:
Investigative leads actually hardly any although all the activity that had been done had demonstrated that, on the part of the family, there was an intention to quicksand, to derail…
INT:
It’s not possible!
GCM:
Excuse me, excuse me everyone. If you’re able to say the facts, the specific circumstances.
OV:
There are several things…
GM:
Those are facts though, it’s not an opinion, then if it’s true or not…
GCM:
By what thing was this behavior manifested that you are now summarizing, but the summary constitutes an evaluation.
OV:
Actually they wanted to eliminate the personnel who were carrying out the investigations, whether professionally or physically.
GCM:
What emerged under that aspect?
OV:
Menaces, political contacts, those Honorables currently in Government, like the Honorable Nania, the Honorable Formisana, the Honorable Mastella who were going to have to intervene to find a way to put an end to this thing and this before Cassation’s decision, then evidently, after Cassation’s decision, these persons detached themselves, I don’t know, however the names were…
GCM:
Cassation’s decision relating to the Re-examination Hearing?
OV:
Yes, to the Re-examination Hearing. These persons were named and they’re in the phone intercepts, with the records, the transcripts and everything.
GCM:
Please proceed.
GM:
You carried out other investigative tasks?
OV:
No.
GM:
Do you recall a dossier that was acquired, was it acquired relative to everything an investigative task that had been effected?
OV:
Yes, the dossier had not been acquired, it had been seized and is still under seizure.
GCM:
If you can be more precise about this thing that we know nothing about… what does it concern?
OV:
It concerns a dossier where actually the Sollecito family, with this dossier, wanted to carry out a media attack on the investigations under way, on the Public Prosecutors who were following up on the case and everything else and it was given to the Telenorba television station and also to the Panorama newspaper, and even on this matter there are the phone intercepts that we have been talking about. Then it had been seized because a warrant writ had been made and our personnel went to the Telenorba headquarters and seized this dossier with the video-cassettes.
GM:
And on the occasion of the publication of the images?
OV:
Yes, the images had been… On the occasion of the publication of the images in a transmission, which now I don’t remember the name of, which had been transmitted by Telenorba.
GM:
Images that portrayed?
OV:
Portraying the body of Ms Kercher completely naked in the middle of the room and other things.
GM:
No other questions.
GCM:
The Civil Parties? No other question. The defense, please.

Defense Counsel Maori

LM:
Counsellor Maori, Sollecito defence. Inspector Volturno, let’s start in order: investigation that you did in relation to the infamous bleach. You made service notes?
OV:
Yes.
LM:
Can you tell us which ones they are?
OV:
There’s one for the 19th…
LM:
Pick it up if you have it. And one from the 28th.
OV:
Yes.
GCM:
You are authorized to consult your documents.
LM:
Let’s start from the 19th; so you make this service note where you refer to the activity that you carried out a couple of days before?
OV:
From the 16th to the 19th, from the day the two containers had been seized to the 19th on which I make the note.
LM:
Exactly. You took various people’s witness statements.
OV:
No, I had questioned them informally at the shop, not as for a statement.
LM:
Who did you question?
OV:
Quintavalle, (Kiriboga) because she’s his shop assistant and the other girl whose name I don’t recall now.
LM:
This Natalia.
OV:
No, Natalia was not at the shop as a shop assistant, Natalia was the friend of (Kiriboga) who was doing the cleaning in Sollecito’s house, but she wasn’t working in the shop.
LM:
You have said earlier that you had photographs of Amanda and Raffaele.
OV:
Exactly.
LM:
And you had shown them to the persons who were to be found inside the food store?
OV:
Yes.
LM:
So therefore both the owner and the shop assistants.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
And you had asked if these persons had presented themselves or not inside the shop in the preceding days.
OV:
No, I had asked if they were customers of the shop, because I did that with all the shops in Corso Garibaldi, not only with Quintavalle, showing them the photos I was asking them if they were customers.
LM:
You though say different things in your notations, not different, in the sense that you specify that you had questioned the owner, Mr Quintavalle, and he mentioned that Sollecito was one of his usual customers and that Ms Knox had come into the shop only on a couple of occasions together with the boyfriend.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
You confirm this?
OV:
Certainly, it’s written in the notation.
LM:
Shortly we will ask for the acquisition, the production of the two notations. Therefore in these words Mr Quintavalle made it known that Sollecito and Amanda Knox … so, Amanda Knox had entered into the residence always in the company of Sollecito?
OV:
Yes, into the shop, on those two occasions on which she had entered she had entered always in the company of Sollecito.
LM:
How come these were not annotated, an SI statement was not done?
OV:
Because the notation is enough for me.
LM:
They’re two different things.
OV:
Yes, but as regards the investigative tasks I informally question them and put in annotations, that’s also investigating.
LM:
On that occasion, that is I’m still talking of the 19th, had (Kiriboga) been asked if she had been Sollecito’s maid?
OV:
No, although given that I had asked… wait, I had asked the owner and both the two assistants if they had ever seen these persons in the shop and they said to me: “yes, they’re usual customers, only that he comes more often and she’s come on a couple of occasions”. Then I asked if they had bought bleach in the days prior to the murder and nobody said to me: “no, I can’t say” and (Kiriboga) said to me: “I’m less able to say than Quintavalle because I’m located in the small goods section which is downstairs, while the bleach is on the side of the shop above under Mr Quintavalle’s supervision”.
LM:
But you hadn’t asked (Kiriboga) whether she had been Sollecito’s maid?
OV:
No, I hadn’t asked if she had been a maid.
LM:
You then had spoken of the fact that (Kiriboga) subsequently, when interviewed, had made it known that she had in her turn been interviewed by me.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
This statement, that I had then immediately deposited and afterward it was reviewed by my learned friend, have you read it?
OV:
(Kiriboga)’s statement?
LM:
My statement which I deposited.
OV:
No, I haven’t read it, I have mine.
LM:
You haven’t read it?
OV:
No, I've read mine, the one that I've taken from [190] (Kiriboga), I haven’t read yours.
LM:
(Kiriboga) during the course of the statement says that: “the same questions that were being put by you…” by you the police officers, were also being put by me.
OV:
Yes, she says, in fact it’s written in the statement.
LM:
Therefore you again confirm not having read the statement that I've deposited?
OV:
No, I haven’t read your statement. She says to me: “Counsellor Maori asked me the same questions” and I've put it into the statement.
LM:
Very good, there’s congruency between the questions on my part first and on your part subsequently. Let’s go the second; on what relates to the bleach, you on the 16th November effected a domestic search.
OV:
Yes, I was present at the search but I had not entered into the apartment.
LM:
Yes…
OV:
And on the 16th November the two containers of bleach were seized.
CGM:
In the house used by Raffaele Sollecito?
OV:
Yes.
LM:
I see in the seizure record signed by you that as regards the Ace brand bleach “on the cap there was a small sticker Conad brand bearing the numbers 085”.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
Therefore signifying what?
OV:
85 cents.
LM:
Therefore referring to the price.
OV:
To the price.
LM:
And how was this sticker?
OV:
Conad – Margherita.
LM:
But was it faded, was it old, was it new?
OV:
This I don’t remember, there was a sticker, the price was visible and…
LM:
Who redacted the record actually?
OV:
Perhaps…
LM:
Pick it up so that at least we can see…
OV:
Yes.
LM:
Go to page 3, it’s the first item of evidence, exhibit RS3.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
Here it says: “digits – after the numbers 085, which you have clarified as being the purchase price – digits barely visible with a magnifying lens.”.
OV:
Yes.
LM:
Therefore signifying what?
OV:
That it was faded but the amount could be read.
LM:
Therefore it was an old sticker?
MC:
No!
LM:
Pardon me, I am asking the questions because you Madam Prosecutor want to suggest…
GCM:
Counsellor, please!
MC:
You’re right because the no came out too loudly.
GCM:
Here though we can’t hear even the witness, but everyone is asked to not do so.
OV:
085 the sticker was barely legible.
LM:
Therefore was does it mean.
OV:
That it was a bottle…
LM:
You remember now this sticker that we've identified?
OV:
Yes, yes, definitely.
LM:
Therefore was it an old sticker or a new one?
OV:
Old.
LM:
Therefore surely prior to the 11 October as you have indicated?
OV:
Definitely, but prior as a price.
LM:
As a purchase as we will see. In relation to the credit card the police had received the letter of 4 January 2008, in this letter the owner, manager Paolo Farsi, tells you that it is not possible to effect a check, a check relative to the fact that there had been withdrawals with that card on 2 November at the ATM in Perugia or environs, and this thing needed to be asked of the issuing bank directly.
OV:
Yes, not exactly.
LM:
I’m reading it here.
OV:
Mr Farsi says that on the 2nd November and in the days immediately following there was no withdrawal of that amount made at that bank. If we want to know something more precise it was necessary to go to the English bank issuing the credit card, which was not done because from the moment that he tells me that no withdrawal of that amount was made neither on the 2nd day nor in the preceding days I had not considered it advisable to carry out this investigation.
LM:
I’ll read out what has been written in this letter: “our central accounting, suitably appraised, informs us that…”
OV:
I have it.
GCM:
Yes, also to facilitate the witness’s listening. Continue Counsel.
LM:
“Our central accounting, suitably appraised, informs us that the only way to find out the information for that withdrawal (branch involved, date and time) is to ask for this information from the English bank issuing the card itself, seeing that each issuing bank is certainly able to retrieve all the activity performed on each of its issued cards”. Then to my question, which you have already partially replied to, seeing that the 2nd of November, it was the 2nd of November from at least from the indications that had been given to you, that an ATM withdrawal had been made from the San Paolo bank, and seeing that the San Paolo bank had said to you: “it is necessary to ask the issuing bank to be certain who had made this withdrawal” why hadn’t you felt it within your scope to ask the English bank who had made this withdrawal at what time, on what date and at which branch?
OV:
Because I hadn't thought it useful, because the period before this which you have read out tells me that on the 2nd of November nor on the days immediately preceding there was no 20 euro withdrawal either at the IMI-San Paolo bank in Perugia or from the other three branches in the province of Perugia.
LM:
And if this withdrawal were to have been made somewhere else, in the province of Terni, you know perfectly… you’re an experienced police officer…
OV:
No because the account statement…
GCM:
Wait until the question is finished.
LM:
You’re an experienced police officer and you well know that all the ATMs have a security camera and therefore who, and if it were to have been withdrawn effectively on that 2nd of November by means of that credit card, the person who would have made the withdrawal would have surely been captured by the camera. You’d never thought of this?
OV:
Counsel I have already said before that the check had been made, that the camera covers the entrance to the bank and not the ATM and we had received the account extract at the end of November and the bank resets the video every week. If I need to repeat it again just tell me!
CGM:
Don’t worry, it could also be useful to us because these are particularly technical subjects and therefore maybe sometimes…
LM:
Apart from which there’s the memory in the camera by which it is possible to effect…
GCM:
Counsel we will take notice.
LM:
An experienced person like you would have had to effect…
OV:
In fact.
GCM:
Let’s only ask questions please.
LM:
I show you now this letter from National Wide, a fax from 30 November 2007, referring, precisely, to Miss Kercher, with the reference “cash San Paolo – IMI, Perugia, 20 euro of the 2nd November, AT 1440”, it’s information naturally in your possession.
OV:
I have it too in fact it’s IMI-San Paolo Perugia, not Terni, Counsel.
LM:
I never said Terni, I only said…
OV:
No, you said: “if it were to have been made at Terni”, I can tell you that for Perugia the investigations had been made both at the central IMI-San Paolo office and at the three branches in the province of Perugia and the day journal of all four ATMs had no trace of this 20 euro withdrawal, neither on the 2nd nor the days before.
LM:
Therefore you didn’t feel it within your scope to ask the issuing bank…
OV:
No, for me that line of inquiry had finished.
GCM:
Counsel he has already given a reply to this, perhaps…
LM:
Maybe the face of the killer could have been found if things had proceeded differently! We take notice on this, it wasn’t done and therefore I’m not able to ask further questions on the point.
GCM:
Please proceed, Counsel.
LM:
Investigations at Giovinazzo. You have spoken before in response to the Public Prosecutor’s question of the fact that you had investigative leads in relation to a wounding done by Sollecito at school and therefore you had gone to effect a transfer of these investigations. Had you seized the class rolls?
OV:
No, we had photocopied them and did authentications of various notes on various class rolls.
LM:
And which were the notes in relation to Sollecito, these serious notes?
OV:
No, they weren’t serious notes, they were notes in relation to Sollecito that we had however photocopied because we had considered it advisable to do so.
LM:
For example, “Sollecito plays with his pen notwithstanding being reprimanded for it”.
OV:
It was a note.
LM:
Therefore when a person is accused of murder you…
GCM:
Excuse me, Counsel, let’s avoid opinions though! Let’s stay on circumstances of fact!
LM:
Another note: “Sollecito is throwing paper pellets at his classmate”.
OV:
Another note Counsel.
LM:
These are the notes that you have…
OV:
They are notes however that I had had the disposition to acquire, to verify, I had photocopied them and I had them authenticated.
LM:
You hadn't found one note that Sollecito had wounded…
OV:
No, because…
LM:
Allow me to finish.
GCM:
Excuse me, let’s always wait for the question to finish. Please Counsel.
LM:
You hadn’t found notes that Sollecito had wounded a classmate, boy or girl?
OV:
No because as I have already said before the school rolls of Molfetta Middle School, Einstein High School, Via Togliatti, had been sent for pulping because every five years they are sent for pulping and we found no trace in those rolls where maybe there was this note that we were looking for, but we had not been lucky.
GCM:
You were looking for this on the basis of what?
OV:
There was an investigative lead that there had occurred, an incident during Sollecito’s scholastic attendance, [197] where there had been a girl injured with scissors and we were looking for a note of the sort, but the rolls had been sent for pulping and we had not found it.
LM:
What does “lead” mean?
GCM:
What were you aware of? That a girl had been injured with scissors?
OV:
Exactly, during Sollecito’s school attendance and we had gone to see if the class rolls, during middle school and high school, were holding a note that would have referred to this incident, but unfortunately the class rolls had been pulped.
GCM:
It could have been anyone in the class who could have occasioned this fact, not necessarily…
OV:
No, no, we had gone to see if there were a trace of this fact.
GCM:
And who it might have been?
OV:
Exactly.
GCM:
The hypothesis was that it could have been Raffaele Sollecito.
OV:
And we had gone to check, but the rolls were at the pulpers and so it had not been possible to look them up.
GCM:
You had not been able to find neither the truth of the fact nor the author?
OV:
Definitely.
GCM:
Please proceed, Counsel.
LM:
Just to clarify Mr President, seeing that your curiosity is also ours…
GCM:
No it was a question pertinent to the question and the answer otherwise it would not have been able to be understood, it was not a curiosity. Please.
LM:
This investigative lead what does it mean? Someone had said to you: “there was a wounding with scissors in Sollecito’s class”?
OV:
There had been report of this incident and we had gone to find out about it.
LM:
But what does “there had been report” mean? An informant?
OV:
An informant.
LM:
And this informant how…
OV:
I am not obliged to discuss informants.
LM:
The informant’s name no, this is true, but you are obliged to tell us in what manner this information had arrived, by phone, through a person who turned up at the Police Station and had made known that a boy or a girl had been injured, this you can say.
OV:
By word of mouth, an encounter on the street with a person who was aware of certain things and this fact had been mentioned to him and we had gone to find out.
LM:
And you found out that Sollecito was throwing paper pellets!
OV:
We had found out nothing because the rolls no longer existed.
LM:
And he was disrupting the lesson!
GCM:
No, excuse me Counsel. Let’s stay solely on the questions. Please.
LM:
You before had made reference to ambient intercepts, quicksanding, etc…
OV:
Yes.
LM:
And there was reference to a proceeding in Cassation?
OV:
To an appeal in Cassation.
LM:
A proceeding before the Supreme Court of of Cassation, therefore an appeal for Cassation. Given that neither myself, Counsel Maori, nor my learned friend, Counsel Bongiorno, were the defenders at the time of the proceedings in Cassation, I was only in on the phase on the merits, not for the proceedings in Cassation, and Counsel Bongiorno had not even been nominated for any kind of proceedings, can you explain what type of quicksanding would have been carried out by these gentlemen and then if there had been any final outcomes in relation to these intercepts?
OV:
I have not spoken about quicksanding, I spoke of attempts to derail and quicksand and tamper.
GCM:
Maybe these aspects can be circumstantiated.
OV:
There were intercepts Mr Justice on which I am not able to refer.
GCM:
Therefore we are directed to the contents of the intercepted conversations?
OV:
Exactly.
GCM:
Following these conversations however intercepted, about which you say you are not able to refer to, were you able though to carry out investigations, from succeeding investigative activity?
OV:
Yes, also following these intercepts the famous seizure was made of the dossier that had been made by the Sollecito family and that had been broadcast by Telenorba and by Panorama.
LM:
Were criminal proceedings begun?
OV:
Yes, criminal proceedings were begun which however I don’t believe form part of these proceedings, they are different proceedings.
LM:
Do you know if the subjects have been investigated?
OV:
This I don’t know.
LM:
One other point Inspector. You in your experience have you done, not only in these proceedings but also in others, any activity directed with the prison for acquiring documents? In these proceedings you have acquired documents like memoirs, notebooks, from any of the accused?
OV:
No.
LM:
You are certain of this?
OV:
I don’t remember, show me the record but I haven’t acquired…
LM:
I’m not speaking of records, I’m speaking of…
OV:
If it was acquired there’s a record.
LM:
I am speaking of whether if you have ever received from a non-commissioned officer of the Penitentiary Police a notebook, a memoir of Raffaele Sollecito’s from around the middle of the month of November 2007?
OV:
No.
LM:
The notebook, this photocopied notebook, prison of Perugia, travel notes, which were the reflections of Raffaele Sollecito and which should have been handed over to us lawyers, were photocopied inside prison and they were handed over by whoever.
OV:
To me?
LM:
Can you confirm this circumstance or not?
OV:
I’m telling you no.
GCM:
Excuse me, Counsel. He has already twice replied no.
LM:
Let’s formalise his negative response in a more forceful manner, and then we will see in the course of the proceedings if his declarations are truthful or not. I ask its acquisition, or rather I would like to produce therefore I ask acquisition into the documents of the court file of the two annotations of the 19 November 2007, of the 28 November 2007 of Inspector Volturno, as well as a copy of Raffaele Sollecito’s class rolls from Molfetta High’s third class, as well as a copy of the San Paolo corporation letter of 4 January 2008, signed by the manager Paolo Farsi.
OV:
Sorry for interrupting, those photocopies are from the Giovinazzo middle school, not from Molfetta High.
LM:
Yes, from the middle school.
GCM:
So they’re from the middle school?
OV:
Yes, from the middle school because as I’ve been saying those from the high school…
GCM:
And how come, do they have a different practice?
OV:
They have a different archival philosophy.
GCM:
On these requests? But the Public Prosecutor had asked for the production of the San Paolo corporation letter.
MC:
But why are we always making triplicate productions, we have already produced it.
LM:
It’s your letter.
GCM:
The Public Prosecutor has produced the letter.
MC:
Then it’s Public Prosecutor production.
GCM:
Yes, it’s Public Prosecutor production and the others are Raffaele Sollecito Defence productions. Notice is taken that, given the absence of opposition, they are to be acquired for the purposes of utilisability.

Defense Counsel Bongiorno

GB:
Counsel Bongiorno. Respecting the three politicians to which you have made reference to in the ambient intercepts, you have carried out subsequent investigations yourself personally, or did others, to see if these politicians had committed breaches, were they enrolled on the notification of crime register; or were they politicians, these three to which you have referred, mentioned in the ambit of conversations, and then that’s it, finished?
OV:
Mentioned in the ambit of conversations as persons to be looked at.
GB:
Have you investigated if then effectively these politicians had been contacted, had they pressured Cassation?
OV:
No.
GB:
Respecting instead the Telenorba thing…
GCM:
Excuse me Counsel, you hadn't investigated or else there were no…
OV:
No, I hadn’t investigated, they only emerged from the intercepts as persons who…
GB:
Because then confusion is created, in the intercepts there are these names, those that I have understood and he has confirmed to me, then they haven’t followed through on investigations on these matters and that’s it, finished. Instead the fact of Telenorba is a fact on which investigations do exist or don’t they.
OV:
There are investigations, the dossier had been seized.
GB:
Who’s following up on the investigations?
OV:
Bari I think.
GB:
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bari?
OV:
Yes.
GB:
With respect to these investigations, do you know what outcome they’ve reached?
OV:
No.
GB:
When were they begun?
OV:
I think after the seizure of the dossier, of the video cassettes, of the materials.
GCM:
Therefore what period are we in?
OV:
This I don’t know, I don’t remember.
GB:
Do you know if case archivation was requested, or of remand to trial? You don’t know anything about this?
OV:
No, I don’t know.
GB:
That is you at that point, in terms of jurisdictional competency as to what was relating to the Telenorba matter, Bari was dealing with it. Is this the idea?
OV:
Definitely.
GB:
And so then you don’t know what…
OV:
No.
GB:
No other questions.

Defense Counsel Dalla Vedova

CDV:
Counsel Dalla Vedova for Ms Knox. I wanted two clarifications, the first in relation to the activity that you had carried out in dealing with the Marco Quintavalle matter.
OV:
Yes.
CDV:
You have said that you had asked the manager of the commercial enterprise if he had ever seen the two accused.
OV:
Exactly.
CDV:
Exactly what was the response?
OV:
He said that Sollecito was a usual customer while Amanda Knox had been seen on a couple of occasions in company with Sollecito.
CDV:
You asked this question of the other managers?
OV:
Yes, I went round all the shops in the street, but the others hadn't recognized them.
CDV:
In Corso Garibaldi?
OV:
Yes. The only other one who had recognized Sollecito’s photo was the other Conad above his place, where he had been seen one or two times, rarely however.
CDV:
And Amanda?
OV:
No, Amanda no.
CDV:
You carried out other investigations in the surrounding zones or just in Corso Garibaldi?
OV:
Corso Garibaldi and surrounding zones but I did not…
CDV:
But still all business concerns?
OV:
Yes, business concerns that had that product on sale, the famous bleach that then had been seized, it was done due to that.
CDV:
Therefore only business concerns that were selling this product, not in general?
OV:
Exactly, no.
CDV:
In relation to another activity where you appear to have participated in, that is the 16 November search of Sollecito’s house, in the objects collected there appear the entire contents of the topmost drawer of the kitchen cupboard, specifically 6 spoons, 4 knives, 5 (..) , 2 ladles, 1 breadknife with serrated edge 35 cm in length in total. You are aware that there already had been, a seizure had been made from that same drawer of another knife?
OV:
This no because I had gone back to work on 7 November and the day after I did the first search in Sollecito's house where the clothing and intimate apparel were seized and then the second time, the 16th, the one that you are referring to, I participated in the search but I didn't enter inside the house and they were bringing me the envelopes that I was putting into a big box about which I’m not able to tell you what there was in the envelopes, I can see from the subsequent record.
CDV:
I wanted to know whether you had already been ordered on a seizure…
OV:
No, because I had come back to work on the 7th and that day when that seizure was done I wasn't there.
CDV:
Because it appears that…
OV:
The seizure of that knife that you are talking about had been done when I was still not back at work, I came back on the 7th.
CDV:
However you knew that already…
OV:
No, I became aware gradually that investigations were going forward but I did not know that.
CDV:
Therefore when did you come to know of it? On the 16th you had gone at 16:30…
OV:
Yes.
CDV:
At 16:30 you already knew that in the case in hand Dr Chiacchiera and his assistants had already organised the seizure of a single knife on the 6th November.
OV:
I on the 16th knew what we had seized that day, not what had been seized prior because given that there were multiple apartments and a whole flood of…
CDV:
No, I was not asking you if you knew.
OV:
No, I didn't know.
CDV:
I was asking if you knew if there had been a seizure already done at that house.
OV:
No I didn't know, I came to know about it subsequently.
CDV:
Therefore after your one?
OV:
After.
CDV:
All the same you are aware that there exists a seized 31 cm knife with a 17 cm blade retrieved from the same drawer?
OV:
If it’s that one in the kitchen yes.
CDV:
You know today.
OV:
No, not today, I knew about it before but in any case not on the date you’re saying, subsequently.
CDV:
Thank you.

Prosecutor Mignini

GM:
You are aware of an article appearing in Panorama recently on the case containing an interview with members of the Sollecito family.
OV:
No, I am not aware of this.
GM:
Thank you.

Prosecutor Comodi

MC:
Let’s go back for a moment to the bleach. You have perfectly described the investigations that you did, including on the items, the various items that had been sent from PAC 2000 to the two shops in Corso Garibaldi, therefore I won’t go back to that because I imagine the Court has understood perfectly. You have also said that the bleach found, one of the two?
OV:
Yes.
MC:
One of the two containers found in Sollecito’s house had… you can repeat it, a sticker?
OV:
The Conad-Margherita sticker with the price.
MC:
With the price?
OV:
0.85.
MC:
Which therefore corresponded according to your investigations to what item?
OV:
To a consignment of bleach to one or other shop before the 11th of October.
MC:
And had they been sold out before the 11th?
OV:
No, usually the shopkeeper puts an order in for a new box when he sees they are getting close to finishing.
MC:
When was the subsequent reorder?
OV:
The subsequent consignment was the 5th of November and from the 11th of October the PAC-recommended price was €1.09, while up until the 11th of October it was €0.85.
MC:
When you had spoken of an old sticker what did you mean?
OV:
That it was a bit worn on top.
MC:
And that the price was old?
OV:
No, the price was legible, with the magnifying lens you could in fact read it was corresponding to the price that was in force prior to the 11th of October.
MC:
When you had interviewed Raffaele Sollecito’s cleaning lady…
OV:
(Kiriboga) or Natalia?
MC:
The one you had asked… let’s put it this way: what questions did you ask both of them as regards the bleach?
OV:
If they had ever used bleach inside Sollecito’s residence.
MC:
And what had they replied?
OV:
Natalia, who is the one who actually did the last cleaning, up to Monday 5th…
LM:
Can we have the other two answer directly when they are heard?
MC:
There is no prohibition on this because they are on the witness list.
LM:
I ask for the contents of the declarations!
MC:
Yes, but they are on the witness list therefore there is no prohibition, the important thing is that the main witnesses are then heard.
LM:
No, the member of the Prosecutor’s Office cannot answer on this.
MC:
No, I can refer to it then, why not?
GCM:
Excuse me, everybody….
MC:
We’re arguing a point of procedure, but you can mention the main things that were said to you and have been said to you.
GCM:
Therefore you had interviewed…
OV:
Yes, both the two girls who were doing the cleaning at Raffaele Sollecito’s house. Natalia, who was the one who had actually done the cleaning until 5 November 2007, had said that she had never used bleach because Raffaele Sollecito asked her to use Lysoform, that is she was using Lysoform inside Sollecito’s house, Viakal and other products but never bleach and she didn't remember seeing the two containers under the sink. While (Kiriboga), when she was interviewed, subsequent to the meeting at the Maori law firm, said that a container had been used by her to wash the floor rags and for this reason she had asked Sollecito to buy some bleach, he went out and came back with another container which was likewise Ace bleach, same as the first, and with which she then washed those rags and remembered well that under the sink there were two containers, one half full and the other full.
GCM:
And this washing when would it go back to?
OV:
So then (Kiriboga) told us she had been working as a cleaning lady at Sollecito’s house until the end of September, then due to the state of her pregnancy she sent her friend.
GCM:
And how had you found these containers when you had seized them?
OV:
One was half full and the other was full.
GCM:
Therefore the woman, let’s repeat this again one more time, the woman who instead did the cleaning subsequently?
OV:
Subsequently to this she said she had never seen the two containers in the house.

Kercher Civil Lawyer Maresca

FM:
Counsel Maresca for the Kercher family. Inspector, a clarification if you can tell us the people who were placed under telephone intercepts.
OV:
So then there was Francesco Sollecito, Vanessa Sollecito…
FM:
Tell us also the…
OV:
Francesco Sollecito is the father, Vanessa Sollecito is the sister, then there was Francesco Sollecito’s current wife, Marisa Papagni, then there was the uncle, Giuseppe Sollecito, then there were still more people forming part of the family but I don’t remember the names.
FM:
These phone intercepts were all carried out by you?
OV:
Yes, by me and by my colleagues.
FM:
They were all authorized with the relative writ obviously?
OV:
Yes, they weren't only telephonic, they were also ambient.
FM:
You have mentioned earlier about attempted pressuring of political personages etc. Can you tell us the names of these political personages?
OV:
Yes, I have already said them before…
FM:
And then they became the object of intercepts themselves, that is I’ll frame the question like this, did you also intercept the phone call of the political personage or else was it just as matter of choice?
OV:
No, it was a matter of choice, phone calls to these people had not been intercepted and in any case the politicians were the Honorable Nania, the Honorable Formisano and the Honorable Mastella.
FM:
Do you remember…
OV:
Persons who were named by them as possible…
FM:
When you say “by them”, by everybody or by some members in particular?
OV:
By some members of the family, above all by the father and the sister.
FM:
Do you remember if the lawsuits by the Kercher family for the Telenorba incident and for the Panorama incident had been filed at Perugia or at Bari?
OV:
This I don’t remember, in any case I know that Bari is proceeding as regards concerning the seizure of the material broadcast by Telenorba.
FM:
Thank you.

Judge Massei

CGM:
But the two people who were working at Raffaele Sollecito’s house, you took their witness statements [the SIs]?
OV:
Yes.
CGM:
Therefore those circumstances you were referring to them on the basis…
OV:
Yes, of the SIs.
CGM:
The house in use by Raffaele Sollecito how big is it? If you remember?
OV:
So then I seem to recall that it gives out onto a landing on the ground floor, there is the front door, there’s the kitchen on the right, a room used as a kitchen, then there is the bathroom immediately to the left of the front door, then stairs go up and there’s the bedroom upstairs.
CGM:
Therefore it covers these environments?
OV:
Yes.
CGM:
And you before have hinted at the presence of the odor of bleach when…
OV:
Yes, when you go in there’s the kitchen and you could smell the odor of bleach.
CGM:
Where was it, was there a place where there was more…
OV:
Yes, the kitchen because there’s the tiled floor and given that the apartment was placed under sequestration and sealed when I went for the first time on the 8th of November to do the search this bleach odor was still permeating the inside.
CGM:
And the bleach in the kitchen environment?
OV:
In the kitchen environment.
CGM:
Although the kitchen was tiled.
OV:
It was tiled.
CGM:
The other environments instead, what type of flooring was there?
OV:
Look I think there might have been parquetry in the bedroom but I’m not sure.
CGM:
Very well, you may go.

Notes

  1. Kington, Tom italy.internationalcrime "Phone-tap drama in Meredith murder" The Guardian 22 June 2008
  2. Summary informations are part of the logistical paperwork of a criminal investigation and regulated by the criminal procedure code. My First Dictionary of Legal Matters says: “To acquire intelligence useful to the investigation, members of the investigative task force [the polizia giudiziaria] are able to collect summary informations from the suspect (Article 350 CPC) or from other persons (Article 351 CPC).” — il mio Primo Dizionario delle Materie Giuridiche, (2008) [Simone, 2008], p 546. ISBN 9788824469760. The Code provides strict regulation about how, when and where such information can be used, against whom and in which venue, and for what purposes and consequences.
  3. Mafia code of silence.