Rocco Girlanda is a Member of Italian Parliament and President, Italy-USA Foundation. He led an effort with 10 other lawmakers to write a letter sent May 25 to the Italian president stating that the prosecution handled their murder case against West Seattle raised Amanda Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, unfairly.
Amanda Knox and the letter written by 11 lawmakers on her behalf
The story, and the backgrounds of the 11 lawmakers
Eleven Italian lawmakers signed a letter May 25 to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano questioning the fairness of the treatment of West Seattle raised Amanda Knox by the prosecution that handed her a 26-year jail sentence for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Knox's appeal process continues. They also questioned the handling of her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito's case.
Here is the letter, in English:
The lawmakers, led by Member of Parliament Rocco Girlanda, called for an investigation. Girlanda is President, Italy-USA Foundation, and is with the Chamber of Deputies - Judiciary Committee in Italy.
The lawmakers told Justice Minister Angelino Alfano, in a letter and petition, that the two defendants had not been treated fairly and they call upon him to use his office to “help reconcile and mitigate the many controversies that this incident has generated on this side of the Atlantic and beyond.”
According to Seattle-based author and journalist, Candace Dempsey who has followed the trial, and wrote the book MURDER IN ITALY, true story of Amanda Knox, "These complaints may not fall upon deaf ears since the 11 politicans are allies of Premier Silvio Berluscioni, no fan of Italian magistrates."
She told the West Seattle Herald, "This letter is a big deal because Italian (lawmakers) were once a solid anti-Amanda block and that has changed. Actually everyone thought she was guilty when I started out reporting about the case and I just called for a fair trial." Here is her column that appears regularly in the Seattle PI: http://networkedblogs.com/in0oN. She is "officially" a www.seattlepi.com blogger.
A spokesperson for the Italy-USA Foundation (Fondazione Italia USA) explained that the president of Italy in this case has "much more power to influence the prosecution" than Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
He said, "The government (headed by Berlusconi) can just send inspectors to the prosecutor's office. The President of the Republic of Italy is also the President of the Council of Magistrates, a sort of independent government of judges and prosecutors, that can decide sanctions and can also remove a prosecutor from his function.
"All of them (the 11 lawmakers) are member of The People of Freedom, the center-right political party founded by Silvio Berlusconi, the major party in Italy."
Here are their backgrounds:
Rocco Girlanda, entrepreneur and media proprietor, born in 1966, from Gubbio (Perugia, Umbria)
Lucio Barani, medical doctor, born in 1953, from Aulla (Massa Carrara, Tuscany)
Gabriella Carlucci, Italian television presenter, born in 1959, from Alghero (Sassari, Sardinia)
Francesco De Luca, laywer, born in 1961, from Naples (Campania)
Carla Castellani, medical doctor, born in 1944, from Rieti (Latium)
Mariella Bocciardo, manager, born in 1949, from Genoa (Liguria)
Gian Carlo Abelli, politician, born in 1941, from Broni (Pavia, Lombardy)
Gianni Mancuso, veterinarian, born in 1957, from San Pellegrino (Bergamo, Lombardy)
Agostino Ghiglia, journalist, born in 1965, from Turin (Piedmont)
Tommaso Foti, manager, born in 1969, from Piacenza (Emilia Romagna)
Domenico Di Virgilio, medical doctor, born in 1939, from Montefino (Teramo, Abruzzo)