I thought the Russian justice system was bad – well it’s obviously true since it’s non-existent as a justice system: the courts with a few exceptions aren’t for real. They tend to be just rubber-stamping bodies. Politically motivated trials tend to veer into obvous kangaroo land lately. OK, this is nothing new – we’ve known this all along about Russia.
But Italy? Turns out its highest criminal appeals court, the cassazione (SC), is every bit as ridiculous as Russia’s Pussy Riot court. The SC has just released its “motivations” in reversing the acquittal of Knox and Sollecito, and it’s a masterpiece of idiocy. Yes, the SC probably rubber-stamped the prosecution’s appeal. Easy! But the polemically charged stuff that reads OK in an appeal is completely ridiculous as a court ruling. The SC went beyond issues of law or even of logic – it bluntly told the appeals court (two judges, six laymen) that they should have trusted a certain witness. He was a homeless drug addict but never mind, the SC knows better who you should give credence to – even though you have seen and heard the witness. This second-guessing is beyond belief. It’s a parody of justice.
But that’s in the tradition of the SC – in 1999 they wrote that a woman in tight jeans cannot be raped because removing the jeans is impossible without her help, implying consent. Perhaps I should just recognize that Italy isn’t much less corrupt than Russia. That the SC never gave a damn whether Knox and Sollecito were properly acquitted or were guilty. Perhaps one or two judges were good friends of the prosecutor: “He’s a good guy and we owe him a favor.” Oh, and there’s John Kercher’s lawyer Francesco Maresca who’s got the case of his life – “the guy needs some dough, he loves living large and he takes us out with our families, such a sweetie. We need to help him win a few million from that rich capitalist pig Sollecito Sr. And if we acquit now, his fees will dry up – not fair! After all, if the kids are really innocent, we can fix it later…and Francesco will share the spoils.”