Amanda Knox trial blogger shut down

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by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on May 11, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 11 at 5:17 PM

New supporters begin to speak out as Amanda Knox fights to overturn her conviction for killing her British roommate. But a controversial prosecutor is silencing that support and using the Italian court to do it.

A man by the name of Frank Sfarzo is behind a popular website that's followed the Knox trial from the beginning.

But the website, Perugia-Shock.blogspot.com, has been shut down by a prosecutor with a growing appetite for silencing anyone who criticizes him

Sfarzo and head prosecutor Giuliani Mignini aren't exactly best friends.  A lone picture of the two of them is about as close as they may ever get.

Speaking via Skype, Sfarzo talked about a judge's order to shut down his popular website.

Sfarzo often criticized the justice system in Perugia, especially Mignini, a man Sfarzo says is growing more desperate as Amanda's appeal goes on. 

"He's already falling apart. There is nothing against Amanda and Raffaele, there remains nothing,” he said.

In a country that doesn't have the free speech protections we do, the prosecutor - Mignini - is suing Sfarzo for defamation.  He's not alone. He's just the latest in a growing list of people being sued or threatened by Giuliani Mignini.

There's Amanda Knox, already serving 26 years for killing Meredith Kercher, now charged with defaming the police by saying they hit her, called her a liar, and abused her during questioning.

Her parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were sued for repeating her daughter's claims.

American Crime Writer Doug Preston, another Mignini critic, who felt so threatened he fled Italy.

"In Italian, with no lawyer present, in which Mignini accused me of heinous crimes, demanded that I confess,” he said.

Mignini even threatened to sue westseattleherald.com and Steve Shay.

"It just didn't seem rational to quote somebody in context and then be slapped on the wrist by somebody 8,000 miles away,” said Shay.

Knox is appealing her murder conviction and 26-year sentence. Her case was given fresh hope earlier this year, when a judge appointed experts to re-examine the evidence against her.  But the prosecutor is also appealing, asking that Knox's sentence be increased to life in prison, which is allowed under Italian law.

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