Friends of Amanda Knox video: Mike Heavey

Mike Heavey

Mike Heavey is a close friend of the Knox family, and knew Amanda as a teenager. He is also a county judge and, last year he generated a great deal of publicity when he made use of his office in order to send letters to legal officials in Italy with a request that the the Knox and Sollecito trial be moved out of Perugia. This earned him an official admonishment from the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct. According to the Commission’s order he agreed at that time to stop speaking publicly about the case. That episode shows, at best, poor judgement, and some might even describe his actions as rather stupid and arrogant.

His rebellious participation in the recent Friends of Amanda Knox event is a different matter, however. As can be seen in the video of the event, Heavey gives a fairly short but very competent performance. He spends much of it stressing the importance of the rule of law and due process, name-checking Martin Luther King and invoking the image of Lady Justice. He does a great job of setting the scene for the following presentations.

The most comment-worthy part of Heavey’s own presentation is his claim that he knew of 22 “lies” about the case which had been leaked for public consumption by the Italian police and prosecutors. As he points out, each of these leaks ought to constitute a criminal offence under Italian law. So, if Heavey is counting correctly and if the lies told are of any material importance to the case, then clearly that’s a big problem and the integrity of the process that convicted Knox and Sollecito is thrown into enormous doubt.

If Heavey were able to itemise these lies, then that alone might change a lot of people’s minds about the case. But the trouble is that he doesn’t do that. He goes on instead to mention Amanda’s “Foxy Knoxy” nickname. That’s something that, it might be argued, is prejudicial to her. But, very obviously, it didn’t originate in a leak from the prosecution.

He also mentions a leak from Knox’s prison diary about her sex life. That’s certainly a leak that shouldn’t have happened, and Knox subsequently won a privacy lawsuit against Corriere Della Sera, who printed the story. But it is not clear how the diary was leaked, and I haven’t personally seen anything to suggest that it was ever in the possession of the police or the prosecution team.

Lastly, though, he mentions a claim by the police that CCTV showed Knox entering the flat on the night of the murder. It’s actually true and documented that such a claim was made, a fortnight after the murder. So, one out of three’s not bad. Although it’s not clear that this is really a “leak” as such, since police do talk to journalists all the time about progress in their cases. It has to be said, however, that the low-key way it seems to have been done in this case does give the impression of something slightly underhand.

The footage itself was ruled to be too poor in quality to be admitted at trial, and prosecutors have suggested that it actually showed Kercher, rather than Knox. That doesn’t necessarily make the police statement a “lie” as such, but it certainly doesn’t reflect well on them that they appear to have sold a lemon to the press, particularly given the potentially prejudicial nature of the information imparted.

In all seriousness, if Heavey has confidence in his 22 lies, he could do worse by Amanda than release the list.

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2 Responses to Friends of Amanda Knox video: Mike Heavey

  1. RoseMontague says:

    One of the interesting things I find about this case is the difficulty in separating fact from fiction, a true story from a false one, and trying to figure out the source of a story. Then there are just your usual errors, spin, and misinformation, not to mention because of the language differences mistranslations and misunderstandings. What is clear is that there was a lot of damaging information in the press that pointed to the guilt of Raffaele and Knox that later turned out to be incorrect. My list of the most damaging will follow.When police arrived Amanda and Raffaele were standing outside with mop and bucket in hand. This implies that they were just finishing a clean-up. This story is false.A related story is the one about police finding bleach receipts of purchases the next morning. This story even made it into Barbie Nadeau’s book on the case and is also completely false.And yet another related story to a cleanup is the one about the washing machine still running or warm when police arrived again implying a cleanup of the supposed bloody clothes. This story is also false.Then you have the infamous bloody bathroom picture that was released implying Amanda took a shower in a bathroom covered and streaked in blood. This story was also false and was simply a picture taken after a chemical was applied to the entire bathroom, postulated to be one that turns pink after time with exposure to air. Normal pictures of the bathroom don’t show anything like this picture.Then you have the Harry Potter book that Amanda said she was reading at Raffaele’s but found at her place putting her alibi in doubt but the video of the evidence collection at Raffaele’s place shows it found there. And a related story about Amanda’s missing sweater/sweatshirt that she was wearing the day Meredith was murdered that police claimed could not be found was actually found draped across Amanda’s bed.Perhaps the biggest story pointing to the guilt of Raffaele early was the footprint claimed by police to be his and then proven by a teenage relative of Raffaele’s not to be his at all. And then you have the claim that Raffaele called police after the police had arrived. This one still persists to this day despite proof given by the defense team and is still taken as proven by many despite the fact that it was disproven in court. The interesting thing about this one is it is claimed by one blogger to have been tipped to Mignini via a fax from a local journalist. Which brings to mind the strange relationship between the press and the prosecution in this case. Three of the primary witnesses accepted as reliable by the court were actually brought to police with their stories by journalists, and two of them it had turned out were interviewed by the police before the journalists and at that earlier time claimed they had no information to give to the police. Just bizarre, in my opinion.Then you have the information and claims by the prosecution that is still in dispute and is now being addressed in the appeals. That would be a long list indeed.

    • hijackednickname says:

      It would be a good idea to read the translations of the judges’ decisions…smoke and mirrors is only damaging an already underwhelming defence case

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