Florence Judge Alessandro Nencini, who presided over a judicial panel in the murder trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, has been accused of impropriety over comments he made to the media about the case.
The Associated Press reports defense lawyers for Sollecito called Nencini’s comments
to the media about the defense strategy a “serious” breach and said they will request disciplinary action from the magistrate’s governing body, the Judicial Ministry, and Italy’s supreme Court of Casssation.
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Sollecito, Knox’s former boyfriend and co-defendant, didn’t testify in the trial. The judge reportedly suggested that the decision may have worked against the defense.
“The ability not to be heard in a trial is a right, but it deprives the subject of a voice,” Nencini is quoted as saying by the Italian il Messagero newspaper, according to the AP.
The comments may be used in an appeal by the defense.
Nencini denied any wrongdoing.
“If my words generated a misunderstanding about the absolute legitimacy of the choice of a defendant to make voluntary statements, I regret it,” he said, the news agency ANSA reported, according to Time magazine
Knox and Sollecito were found guilty in the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate, 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher. Knox returned to the United States after a 2011 acquittal, which was later vacated. Nencini was the presiding judge in the appeal of a lower court’s guilty verdict. The panel upheld the guilty finding and is expected to issue reasoning within 90 days of the sentence.
Members of the magistrate’s governing body said Nencini violated the secrecy of deliberations and made comments that suggest “partiality.” They will request an inquiry.
Disciplinary measures could include a transfer or monetary penalties, according to the Associated Press report.
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