An Italian blog written in English, Perugia-Shock, critical of the prosecution and its handling of the murder case of Meredith Kercher, was taken down by Google tonight, May 10, by court order of the Florence court. Its author, Frank Sfarzo, pictured top right, who believes West Seattle raised Amanda Knox is innocent, is being sued by head prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, pictured top left.
Google shuts down site run by Italian blogger critical of Amanda Knox prosecutor Mignini
The popular website that has followed the Meredith Kercher murder trial involving West Seattle raised Amanda Knox, www.perugia-shock.blogspot.com, was shut down at about 6:00 p.m. tonight Seattle time. The site, written in English, has been operated for three years by Frank Sfarzo, who is Italian. He often reported from inside the Perugia courtroom, or just after court let out, and has been critical of the justice system in Perugia, particularly of head prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, its treatment of Amanda Knox and its mishandling, as he sees it, of their DNA evidence.
Late edition: The website can still be viewed through April 27, 2011 in Cache form-Wayback Machine Internet Archive:
Tonight, (Tuesday, May 10, May 11 in Perugia) Knox's stepfather, Arbor Heights resident Chris Mellas, who currently lives near Perugia and the prison where Knox is held on a 26-year sentence for the murder of Ms. Kercher, told the West Seattle Herald, "By judicial decree, at the request of Mignini to Google, the site was removed from public access. Google complied with the request."
While Sfarzo has been targeted by Mignini since 2008 or earlier, this seizure of Perugia-Shock comes just 48 hours after the American airing of a CNN documentary "Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story" which some media observers say embarrassed Mignini in his interview with CNN, including his interviewer, CNN reporter Drew Griffin. Griffin mentions in the documentary that Mignini approached him another day after the interview concerned he did not come across well.
"Mignini sued me for defamation," Sfarzo told the West Seattle Herald tonight by phone from Perugia. "The lawsuit went to the court in Florence, and the judge in Florence made a decree of seizure of the blog. Google did it and did not tell me why, but that it was a judge order. I learned by email.
"Mignini sued me," he continued. "The real reason I don't know. I wrote some sentences that he found (personally) insulting."
Sfarzo told the Committee to Protect Journalists, or CPJ, that his troubles started on October 28, 2008, the day Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were indicted and a third defendant was convicted of murdering Kercher. Several members of Squadra Mobile, Sfarzo told CPJ, approached him just outside the Perugia court and pushed and hit him. “You are pissing us off!”–they told him, referring to his coverage.
Ironically, a year ago January, Mignini was handed a 16-month prison sentence for “abuse of office” in a separate murder investigation, convicted by a Florence court of exceeding his powers by tapping the phones of police officers and journalists investigating an unrelated murder case.
For more information on the history of Frank Sfarzo as it relates to Amanda Knox, and the Committee to Protect Journalism, and its involvement with those media Mignini has attempted to hush, check out PI reporter Candace Dempsey's recent article here.