Paolo Farsi's Testimony (English)

From The Murder of Meredith Kercher
Jump to: navigation, search
This is an English language translation of the testimony. See Paolo Farsi's Testimony for the original Italian transcript.

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

Key to abbreviations
GCM Giancarlo Massei Judge Presidente
LM Luca Maori Sollecito defense lawyer Avvocato
PF Paolo Farsi Witness being questioned Branch manager of bank
DR Daniela Rocchi Defense Counsel for Raffaele Sollecito Avvocato
MDG Maria Del Grosso Defense counsel for Amanda Knox Avvocato

Transcript of the court hearing of 3 July 2009

[59]

Deposition of the witness Paolo Farsi.
GCM:
You have been summonsed as a witness, you have to tell the truth, you are reminded of this obligation, you have to swear the oath you find in front of you, and tell the Court your particulars.

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

PF:
Paolo Farsi, born in Perugia on 24 June 1963, as a profession I work in banking, I am the manager of the San Paolo Mutual branch here in Via Baglioni, close to here.
GCM:
Please.
LM:
The first question which you have already partially responded to in the sense that you have already disclosed, what type of work do you do?
PF:
Now I’m manager of the Sao Paolo Mutual branch at Number 8, Via Baglioni which is exactly 100 metres from here and I’ve been manager of this branch for about five years and in practice nothing of the question had involved me because the Police had …
LM:
Now I will ask you some questions.
PF:
There, you’ll ask me some questions, perfect.
LM:
I will show you now an account statement extract relating to Meredith Kercher’s credit card, here it is if you can look at it. Naturally this is a document contained in the prosecution file, show it to him, then after give him… now then, if you could look at this English bank statement, if you can tell us which bank it is and if you can tell us something in relation to a transaction effected on the 2nd of November 2007.
PF:
Well then, this is an account statement of a specific card, of a credit card I would venture to call it which also bears an IBAN, that is, practically it is a card that works also as a savings account, in the sense that it can also accept deposits [60] as we will see, let’s say basically it’s a credit account that comes from the University of Leeds and then shows, obviously, the usage made of this card by let’s say the owner.
LM:
If you are able to say to whom this …
PF:
It was opened in Miss Meredith Kercher’s name, Ms, now I also had another sheet with the registration but Miss Kercher Coltson (phonetic) well OK it’s the English address I don’t know if you want…
LM:
No, no, nothing and what bank is it?
PF:
The bank is the Nation Wilde located Stcroidon (phonetic) in Surrey, honestly…
LM:
Therefore the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom.
PF:
United Kingdom, English bank, therefore this English bank issued this card where… a credit card that is the property of Signora Kercher where money from England could be deposited as witnessed by this credit from the University and she could obviously spend this money either by paying in shops or by withdrawing it from ATMs, this was the usage…
LM:
In relation to the withdrawal at your bank can you give some indication…
PF:
Yes now then…
LM:
(incomprehensible) and if you can explain.
PF:
Certainly. Now let’s say this statement bears the date… on the left the dates of the various transactions and it’s the first five that I see are all cash withdrawals from Unicredit cash machines etc, the fifth dated 2 November that now then I will tell you what it means or in any case what it ought to mean, the 2 November date shows cash San Paolo IMI Perugia, 20.00 euro, at a 1.44 exchange rate which corresponds to 13.88 pounds which is the debit that is made on the card equivalent to 20.00 euro therefore it means that the card-owner or in any case whoever had the card had made a… obviously the card had a PIN I think that everybody… had made a withdrawal [61] at a branch of the San Paolo IMI in Perugia of which I am now speaking to you about of 20.00 euro.
LM:
The data?
GCM:
The date you’ve said?
PF:
The date is 2 November, the date the account statement shows, I will now say why it had been forwarded to me in the sense that…
LM:
You were contacted by the Police during November 2007?
PF:
Exactly, I was contacted I think in December, now I think I have letters in… that is, I was sent a fax from Inspector Vo…
LM:
You had never been contacted in November?
PF:
Can I get my material?
LM:
Ask the President for authorisation, Mr President, the witness asks…
GCM:
Certainly, you are authorised to avail yourself of your own documentation, to consult the same.
PF:
Let’s say I had been brought in via fax, first by phone but immediately via fax with a request on 10 December in which he was telling me exactly that in sending me this particular account statement and also the card registration, there’s another… another part of the account statement that actually “if you would be kind enough to be able to say whether on the date of 2 November there had been a withdrawal of 20.00 euro effected at your ATMs with a credit card number which was… – here it is not shown but it was shown on the registration that I also have… – for the purposes of facilitating the research there are attached communications etc” because it was obviously important knowing when this withdrawal had been made, this is what I obviously had understood also because the news was not public etc, therefore at this point what did I do, I initiated research of two types, the ATM has its let’s call it a funds journal or ledger which is physically tied to what on another sheet are produced [62] the various receipts that go to the customers but there is a journal of a type that shows all the transactions, we immediately made a physical examination of this journal without a result, an important point which I have forgotten, the San Paolo IMI that is the bank that at the time was calling itself this now it calls itself San Paolo Mutual in Perugia had four branches therefore since no branch was specified I also brought in the other three branches because each of them is equipped with an ATM through which theoretically this withdrawal could also have been made, let’s say the first… the search for this movement [of funds] had been negative at all the branches in the sense that… let’s say that Support who directly print the machine and the requested reports at central accounting which are a bit more detailed because the sheet-feeder sometimes getting jammed maybe doesn’t report everything, the reports don’t have this credit card number, keep in mind that 20.00 euro is the minimum withdrawal because the denominations are of 20.00 and 50.00 euro therefore the students normally when they have to top up with small amounts of change go and get the 20,00 euro therefore on this… I had requested now here’s an important thing being the date 2 November which is shown on the account statement I had requested the 2nd of November and the preceding days, up to 5 days before, up to the 30th I think of October because… for what reason, because this is the thing that could be the nub, the date of this withdrawal is not known that is the date that is written here, at least according to Italian bank usage, is a posting date that is it is the date on which the central accounting of that bank added that withdrawal to the customer’s account statement.
GCM:
Excuse me, when you say the date that is written here to what…
PF:
Therefore it’s a posting date not…
GCM:
That of 2 November.
[63]
PF:
That of 2 November.
GCM:
Which this account statement bears.
PF:
Exactly, not necessarily contrary to Italy it may mean the date on which the withdrawal was made, with us the value date is shown but this is a specific card, in any case there is no other reference which allows us to understand when the withdrawal was made, for which reason as I said we investigated with respect to… and likewise for the days preceding because logic says that the withdrawal could have been made in the days preceding, in the 5 days prior which is the reasonable period, it is impossible that it could have been 10 days earlier in my opinion that is… we went to 5 days there was nothing in any case no withdrawal either at my ATM or at those of my colleagues’. Here it has to be said that technically… the support that we had we aren’t reporting it… I had noted one thing there are not the full set of card digits so it was difficult to carry out this trace, I questioned my central accounts, who are following this issue and they told me that it wasn’t easy… at least whether it amounts to an ATM issued by our bank or in any case a card whose number is substantially truncated it’s difficult to go and trace movements like this, so they told me: “look the only way is to ask the bank that issued the card the exact date and time of this withdrawal, that is Nation Wilde”, this answer here I’ve put it in… even though I had it verbally but obviously speaking with the inquirers I put it in writing for the Police saying: “look the only real way to find this out, and even the machine because it could have been one of these four, is to ask the English bank about it” this is what I did actually, that is among other things I was asked twice in December and then again in April, wait I have another letter from 9 April, I spoke once again with Inspector Volturno I told him this in fact, I [64] made myself available to also write to the English bank but probably… it’s a but unusual that we would write, that is it’s something a bit specific probably we wouldn’t have received a reply, I don’t know, but the Inspector had assured me that they would have done it…
GCM:
So as an indication you would say: “On the 2nd of November, no, but in the 5 days preceding, this transaction is possible”.
PF:
According to me yes seeing the Italian cards ought to be like that.
GCM:
Please Counsel.
LM:
It’s possible though… now then replying directly to a question from the President, you carried out this research on the 5 prior days?
PF:
Yes.
LM:
And you had?
PF:
And nothing came out… any po… I even got the printouts this card number isn’t there although there are some technical aspects, I repeat it’s the first time that I find myself doing research of this type and also central… my central accounting assured me on this that is the numbers that are on these printouts in some cases are the number of the card that makes the withdrawal, in other cases not, therefore research that is done like this on this printout can have gaps in the sense that there could be… Certainly if it’s written here San Paolo IMI Perugia it’s certain that a withdrawal was made at one of the four machines in Perugia of our bank unless it’s a technical error by the bank that wrote it although it’s difficult to go and identify it at the machine itself beginning with the sheets…
LM:
And so therefore you wouldn’t know even the effective date?
PF:
No absol…
LM:
2 November is written, 2 November could be the 2 November how could it be…

Voices (in background)

PF:
No listen, I can be more precise because this is important.
LM:
This is true.
PF:
That is I stop myself here but reasonably I stop myself here in the sense that I have in mind account statements typical of an Italian bank account where an ATM withdrawal is done on 1 November maybe it has the posting date 3 November and the value date 1 November, the value date is the date of the withdrawal not of the… interest accrues from that point therefore the exact date is the transaction, here we find only a date that is a posting date, I can’t go any further I can’t say “it is the 2nd it isn’t the 2nd”, I’m feeling it necessary to rule out that it was afterwards I’m thinking according to logic with respect to the 2nd and I’m thinking that it could be likely to be prior but I’m saying it for my… that is I have never seen a statement from an English bank (incomprehensible) this I… maybe it works differently in England, I don’t know.
LM:
The difference with respect to our account statements, whether our account statements if you can confirm it or not have the effective date or the value date?
PF:
Yes, it can happen that the value date coincides with the effective date, that is the value date from which… the date the interest starts debiting the customer’s account which equates to the real date and the posting date which is always after.
LM:
Here we only have…
PF:
Here there is only this date which I read according to my financial nose as a posting date although not having another date that maybe could have been…
LM:
And therefore…
PF:
Because this… in this case there’s a card, it’s a prepaid one in some way that is there’s no need for the value date because the money in it can come out yesterday, today, this card doesn’t have interest, that is it allows withdrawals only of the money it contains which is non-interest-bearing…
LM:
I understand.
PF:
And whether therefore there occur (incomprehensible) on the 2nd or the on the 1st it is the same thing from the point of view of… so there isn’t this value date that would have been useful…
LM:
Therefore to leave the value date aside. Therefore now then according to you how can… would it have been possible to ascertain from which machine this sum had been withdrawn?
PF:
I repeat…
GCM:
If it had been possible to ascertain it obviously.
PF:
Certainly.
GCM:
And if yes when.
PF:
Of course. I report what my central accounting told me that seeing the reliability I permitted myself to reply to the Police with, they tell me “this type of research can… for this type of research only the card-issuing bank can carry out the task” because evidently it has the technical data, technology that the ATM cannot reproduce while the bank that issues the card evidently has another dataset that allows understanding when that withdrawal was made and at what machine, that’s what they told me I’m repeating verbatim what my technical people said.
LM:
Therefore it was enough to ask Nation Wilde for information?
PF:
I would say… I want to say then that my centre advised me this and told me to write…
LM:
And what did you do you referred this to the investigators?
PF:
I referred it obviously even in writing a good two times, I remember also verbally in March I also noted the date a bit in the sense that… alright the case is sensational therefore I say “alright but go and… that is you go ask the…”… I’ve never asked these things of a foreign bank, that is it never happened to me I don’t know even if it would be possible to [67] answer, that is I cannot go and ask another bank “give me the date of something” it’s only as part of an investigation I think they could do that, I don’t know then if this…
LM:
Checking this account statement how many withdrawals can you see that had been effected at your bank?
PF:
Only that of 2 November.
LM:
And the others?
PF:
The others from 22 October onwards all of them at Unicredit Perugia, even here Unicredit has a flotilla of branches, there’s not even the ATM that is… so there are four withdrawals from Unicredit on 22 October, 25 October… no with the dates 22 October, 25, 29 and 31 in Perugia and the 2 November San Paolo IMI.
LM:
So to conclude the withdrawal from what I have understood from your deposition, the withdrawal has definitely been made at San Paolo, you’ve ruled out these four branches in Perugia because you have checked your…
PF:
I also made the other managers check…
LM:
Although could it be some other branch? Externally with respect to Perugia?
PF:
Outside Perugia you mean? That is let’s say that this data Perugia unequivocally refers to an ATM in Perugia I can’t see what other meaning Perugia would have there, that is according to me since our head office among other things is in Turin therefore it is not a Perugian bank, ours that is, it’s not even the head office, they are cash machines, San Paolo IMI Perugia I would attribute it… to a machine in Perugia, but I repeat it’s logic that says this in sum, clearly it’s information I repeat that the foreign bank might be able to supply I think…
GCM:
There aren’t further questions, for cross-examination there aren’t…
DR:
Only one question.[68]
GCM:
Yes excuse me Counsellor, please.
DR:
You have said that you have written multiple times to the investigation?
PF:
Yes inasmuch as I wrote twice they phoned me and sent the fax asking for a reply…
GCM:
Counsellor Rochhi, also for the Sollecito Defence.
DR:
Yes, yes. You weren’t saying you wrote many times?
PF:
Twice.
DR:
Twice, did you know if checks have been carried out then?
PF:
No, no, I limited myself verbally with Inspector Volturno to saying that I had written and that they would have been able to ask, that is once I had said to them: “you could try asking” but to be available but I don’t know if the English bank then would have answered me, that is in the sense I wanted to be… I was unhappy not being able to help with the matter, I said something like that but thrown out there in the sense that then clearly who could ask I think is the authorities… that is it has never happened to me before to ask for information of this type in the past for banking reasons and I don’t know even for reasons of privacy if the bank, they are more (incomprehensible) that they don’t give information to me as a bank, that is to us as a bank no one asked us therefore…
DR:
Therefore you don’t know then if it was done?
PF:
No, I still don’t know if they had been asked, this I…
DR:
OK, thank you.
GCM:
There are no questions…
MDG:
One very quick question, Counsellor Del Grosso, Knox Defence, you therefore have not been able to rule out that this withdrawal transaction had been made at these four Perugian branches, I seem to have understood that from your printouts there aren’t… there could have been gaps therefore not being…
PF:
Not being traceable technically, that transaction, [69] that is I go and find that number is not there although it could be there, that is logic says that there ought to have been a trans… that ought to have been made in one of those four branches.
MDG:
Okay, thanks.
PF:
But it’s not traceable technically.
GCM:
Good, there are no other… excuse me just one thing.
PF:
By all means.
GCM:
This transaction, for what value is it?
PF:
20.00 euro.
GCM:
20.00 euro, the other transactions shown on that statement, what amount are they for?
PF:
They’re 60.00 euro, 50.00 euro and one for 250.00 euro.
GCM:
Therefore the earlier…
PF:
This was the smallest.
GCM:
Of bigger amounts then.
PF:
Well, even 50.00 euro because the denominations are 20.00 and 50.00 in the ATMs, rather in all of the ATMs.
GCM:
Then it’s possible to give an indication of the various transactions, of the amounts of the various transactions?
PF:
That is let’s say alright…
GCM:
The last then the last transaction 20.00 euro.
PF:
The last transaction on the 2nd… ah well because rightly you won’t see them, on the 2nd November 20.00 euro, on the 31st October 250.00 euro.
GCM:
Yes, then?
PF:
29 October 50.00 euro, 25 October 50.00 euro, 22 October 60.00 euro.
GCM:
Although these dates you’ve already said are merely a posting date.
PF:
It’s a posting date, yes.
GCM:
Not of the actual transaction.
[70]
PF:
That is I understand can’t exclude…
GCM:
Yes, yes.
PF:
Logically the real dates should be prior although…
GCM:
Alright.
LM:
Only to expand on your question, Mr President.
GCM:
Yes please.
LM:
He is not able to rule it out but he does not have the certainty therefore it could be either a date…
PF:
Certainly, certainly.
LM:
A posting date that is an effective date.
PF:
What I want to highlight is that I action things on the basis of account statements that I look at everyday with Italian eyes, not having ever seen an English account statement I don’t know what technology… for example this is a prepaid card that can also accept credits therefore credit transfers which we in Italy are starting to issue now, maybe in England they’ve been around for some years so it might also be possible there is a technical situation about these things that different to the one that I know I have to say it because it’s not that I’m an expert on the English banking system, therefore I repeat I (incomprehensible) on an Italian logic but this could be different…
GCM:
I understand, if there are no questions the witness is excused, you may go thank you.
LM:
We ask for acquisition.
GCM:
Acquisition of the statement is requested, the parties not opposing, the statement that was placed under the examination of the witness just named is acquired, that it be made available to the parties.