By Calvin Palmer
Like a bad Hollywood film script, an imprisoned Italian mobster is claiming that his brother and not Amanda Knox murdered British student Meredith Kercher.
Luciano Aviello, 41, who is serving a 17-year sentence for being a member of the Naples-based Camorra mafia,, told Knox’s lawyers that his brother, Antonio, murdered 21-year-old Kercher and asked him to hide the knife used to kill her.
Aviello said his brother showed up to his house wearing a bloodstained jacket the night of the murder saying he broke into a house and killed a woman.
“I had everything under a little wall behind my house and covered it with soil and stones,” Aviello said. “I am happy to stand up in court and confirm all this and wrote to the court several times to tell them but was never questioned.”
Aviello claims he wrote to the court three times to give his testimony, but was ignored.
The claim may offer fresh hope to Knox, who in December was convicted of murdering the Leeds University student and sentenced to 26 years in prison.
It will form part of an appeal that her lawyers are preparing and that is expected to be heard in the autumn in Perugia, Umbria, where the crime took place.
Kercher’s half-naked body was found on November 2, 2007, lying in a pool of blood in a bedroom in the cottage she shared with Knox.
Aviello is from Naples but was living in Perugia at the time of the murder.
He alleged his brother and an Albanian man named Florio broke into the hillside cottage. Kercher saw them and started screaming. His brother tried to silence her by putting his hand over her mouth but she resisted and he allegedly ended up fatally stabbing her.
Aviello insists that the two men convicted alongside Knox of the murder – her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede, a local drifter – are also innocent of the crime and should have their jail sentences of 25 years and 16 years quashed.
It is not known what has motivated Aviello to point the blame at his brother, although defendants who cooperate with Italian police and prosecutors can often expect their jail sentences to be reduced.
Hmmm, I wonder if that could be his motivation? I should imagine that Luciano is also bored in prison and this story is a good way of getting back into the limelight.
The whereabouts of Antonio Aviello are unknown. Now, isn’t that convenient?
If Knox’s lawyers fall for these allegations, my advice to her would be, hire new lawyers before the appeal is heard.
And my second piece of advice would be, get used to life in prison, you are going to be there for a long time.
Still, on a slow news day, it makes for an amusing, if ludicrous, read on a par with a London Double-decker being found on the moon and Elvis Presley being seen stacking shelves in Walmart.