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Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM

Inquiry over post-conviction press statements

11 March, 16:19
Knox, Sollecito judge unlikely to be disciplined by CSM (ANSA) - Rome, March 11 - The Italian judiciary's self-governing body, the CSM, is likely to drop an inquiry into a Florence judge who broke Italian legal convention by giving press interviews after convicting Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in February, judicial sources said Tuesday.

In Italy, judges usually only talk about their verdicts via written explanations published at least a month after they are handed down.

But Alessandro Nencini, the head of the panel that sentenced Sollecito to 25 years and American citizen Knox to 28 and a half years at the repeat of the appeals-level trial, gave three interviews to different newspapers that were published February 1.

As a result, Nencini was accused of being biased.

One of the most controversial aspects is that in one of the interviews, Nencini seemed to suggest that the fact Sollecito had not allowed himself to be cross-examined had damaged his chances of getting off.

The judge told a CSM commission Wednesday that he did not give interviews, but rather spoke in passing to reporters at the courthouse.

He also denied saying the murder was the result of ''kid's play'' gone wrong, or expressing an opinion on Sollecito's defense strategy.

The hearing transcript will be available within a week, when the CSM commission will make its opinion official.

The consensus seems to be that Nencini's statements to the press may have been ill-timed, but not enough to justify a transfer, judicial sources said.

Nencini is still not out of the woods, pending the result of justice ministry and Cassation Court inquiries that could lead to disciplinary action against him.

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