Amanda Knox judge Alessandro Nencini faces inquiry after media comments raise 'partiality' concerns


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The Independent Online

The judge who announced the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher is facing allegations of impropriety.

Members of the magistrate's governing body said they will request an inquiry into Florence Judge Alessandro Nencini for comments made to Italian media following Thursday's guilty verdict.

The magistrates seeking the inquiry said Nencini had violated the secrecy of deliberations and that comments on Sollecito's trial strategy suggests "partiality". An inquiry can result in disciplinary action.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Nencini as saying Sollecito's decision not to testify deprived the court of cross-examination.


The defence said the judge's reported comments could form part of its planned appeal of the verdict against their client.

''This is not a vendetta because a judge handed down a verdict other than what we expected," defence lawyer Luca Maori said by telephone on Monday. Maori said Sollecito's defence will ask the magistrate's governing body, the Judicial Ministry, and Italy's supreme Court of Cassation to take disciplinary action, calling the comments on the defense strategy a ''serious" breach.

Knox's defence lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said in an emailed statement that the interviews were ''not appropriate," but he reserved comment on any action until the court's reasoning for the verdict is issued, expected within 90 days of the sentence.

Knox's defence also is planning to appeal the verdict. ''She feels that it is a mistake and she will continue fighting for her innocence," Dalla Vedova said.

The Florence court last week upheld guilty verdicts against Knox and Sollecito, sentencing them to 28-and-a-half years and 25 years, respectively.

Knox, who got news of the verdict at home in Seattle, Washington, has maintained her innocence.