Report: Italian prosecutor sues West Seattle Herald

Report: Italian prosecutor sues West Seattle Herald »Play Video
Amanda Knox looks on during the first day of trial at Perugia's court, Italy, Friday, Jan. 16, 2009.
SEATTLE -- The murder trial of former University of Washington student Amanda Knox has taken another bizarre twist. But this time, a small Seattle newspaper is in the spotlight.

An Italian prosecutor is going after the West Seattle Herald for a story printed on page 4 of the newspaper, according to a report by The Sun, a British tabloid.

The report states prosecutor Giuliano Mignini has filed a defamation claim against the Herald for its coverage of a fundraiser hosted by Friends of Amanda, a group "devoted to the truth about Amanda and the charges against her."

The Herald reported Knox's supporters believe Mignini is "inadequate" and "mentally unstable."

In addition to the suit, Mignini has also demanded that U.S. officials to shut down the Herald's Web site, according to the report. The paper has a circulation of about 12,000.

Robinson Newspapers, publisher of the West Seattle Herald, refused to comment on the report on Friday, saying he has not received any legal documentation to support the tabloid's claims.

But the Herald's sources aren't alone in questioning Mignini's judgment.

Seattle attorney Anne Bremner is helping Friends of Amanda.

Bremner says Mignini has consulted a psychic in the Knox case, and his complaint against the Herald just raises more questions.

"But you have to wonder about him because he has no jurisdiction here. We don't have criminal indictments here for defamation and you can only defame somebody if what you say isn't true," Bremner said.

Bremner says the West Seattle Herald has nothing to worry about, but Knox's prosecutor does.

"He's (Mignini is) being prosecuted himself. He's under indictment for abuse of office, so this indictment he's seeking indicts himself in terms of what he's doing in the Amanda Knox case," she said.

Because the case goes before a judge about three days each week, the Knox trial could take as long as a year to reach its end.