Posted by Tim Ireland
October 3rd, 2011
Amanda Knox has just been found not guilty of murdering her room-mate Meredith Kercher. An Italian court upheld her appeal against a 26-year sentence, and similarly overturned a 25-year sentence imposed on her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.
Below is a screen capture from an article published by the Daily Mail soon after the verdict. This article by Nick Pisa was clearly published in error, as it declared that both Knox & Sollecito were found guilty, when nothing like this happened:
But what is more significant is that we know this article was prepared in advance of an event that no-one at the Daily Mail could possibly have witnessed… which means that Nick Pisa and the relevant editing staff at the Daily Mail were prepared to print the following eyewitness accounts as if they were genuine, when everyone involved with preparing this article must have known that they described events that had yet to happen:
“Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction….”
“As Knox realized the enormity of what judge Hellman was saying she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears.”
“A few feet away Meredith’s mother Arline, her sister Stephanie and brother Lyle, who had flown in especially for the verdict remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.”
In the same article, the Daily Mail of all papers has the temerity to sniff at the “media circus” around the trial; one caption even labels them ’scum’. But I can only see one ‘news’ paper inventing reactions from the prosecution following an event that never happened:
Prosecutors were delighted with the verdict and said that ‘justice has been done’ although they said on a ‘human factor it was sad two young people would be spending years in jail’.
The Daily Mail even give a full account of events that didn’t follow the event that didn’t happen:
Following the verdict Knox and Sollecito were taken out of court escorted by prison guards and into a waiting van which took her back to her cell at Capanne jail near Perugia and him to Terni jail, 60 miles away.
This is a clear-cut case of entirely invented detail that cannot be explained away as part of any standard verdict-preparedness process. In fact, it goes well beyond the ‘X actually said this to my face’ antics of Johann Hari, but I doubt very much if we will see Nick Pisa admitting to any wrongdoing or offering to attend journalism school anytime soon.
UPDATE (4/10/11 10:28): Tim emails Nick Pisa for a quote.
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