The document presented here is a translation of the Matteini ruling confirming the detention in prison of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, who at the time were all suspects in the murder of Meredith Kercher. The ruling was issued on November 9th 2007, three days after they were arrested, and several weeks before the arrest of the one man currently definitively convicted of Kercher’s murder, Rudy Guede. Matteini presents the initial theory of the investigators.
Very little of the evidence on which the ruling was based survived until Knox and Sollecito’s trial: the shoe print which investigators had claimed was Sollecito’s turned out to be Guede’s; the pocket knife they believed at this stage to be the murder weapon had no trace of blood; the supposedly suspicious exchange of text messages between Knox and Lumumba simply, as both had stated, confirmed that Knox did not need to go into work that evening; and Sollecito had called the Carabinieri before the arrival of the Postal Police officers, not afterwards as investigators claimed. Yet despite the lack of any factual foundation to the theory presented at this stage, the one assumption which has lingered throughout the various trials is that three people were involved – an assumption which has as little factual foundation now as it did then, but which, by effectively setting in stone the theory that the murder was carried out by people “in complicity” with each other, deprived Knox and Sollecito of their strongest argument: that Guede acted alone. When Guede was finally identified and arrested, investigators simply switched one suspect for another, releasing Lumumba within 24 hours of Guede’s arrest. The Matteini ruling is valuable for the way it sheds light on how this theory was set in motion by the erroneous assumptions made by investigators very early on in the case.
The copy of the Matteini report on which the translation on this site is based is missing page 6, and so rather than leave the page untranslated, I have used the translation of the same page published in the Telegraph as the basis for that section. A few minor style modifications were made, for example writing the names of individuals in first name-last name order, to better integrate that section with the rest of the document. Page numbers of the original Italian document are indicated in the text in square brackets.