Photo: Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini during a hearing in the Knox murder trial, June 12, 2009.
Mignini was indicted in the summer of 2006 on charges of abusing his office in connection with the still unsolved "Monster of Florence" serial killer case - a decades old string of murders that targeted young lovers on starless summer nights in the hills of Florence. Italian investigators estimate 14 victims were killed by the same person between 1974 and 1985.
Photo: Authors Douglas Preston, left, and Mario Spezi, right, say they were targeted by Mignini for a book they wrote about the "Monster of Florence" serial killer.
Mignini had quietly appeared in court on and off for his own trial since April 2008, while waging a highly publicized prosecution against Knox, an American student, who, with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, was convicted of murdering Knox' British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox received 26 years for the crime; Sollecito got 25.
Despite wide approval of the verdict in Italy, the Knox case remains controversial in the United States, where there is a perception that Mignini invented a wild "sex game gone wrong" theory of the crime that wasn't supported by physical evidence.
Photo: Amanda Knox reacts during a court hearing at Perugia, Italy, Nov. 21, 2009.
In Mignini's "abuse of office" case, Florence prosecutors have alleged that Mignini used his office to harass journalists who criticized his investigation of the Florence murders. They allege he illegal wiretapped journalists and opened bogus investigations against them.
Asked about the charges by CBS News producer Doug Longhini, Mignini brushed them off saying that they were politically motivated.
The case against Mignini was concluded Dec. 4. A verdict is expected sometime in January of 2010. The prosecutors have asked for 10 months in prison.
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