Sunday 24 September 2017

Italian court urged to re-convict Knox

Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of killing Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey - Knox's 21-year-old room-mate, who was found with her throat slit in her bedroom in 2007.
Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of killing Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey - Knox's 21-year-old room-mate, who was found with her throat slit in her bedroom in 2007.

An Italian appeals court was today urged to reinstate the conviction of Amanda Knox for the murder of her British room-mate.

Prosecutor Alessandro Crini implored the appeals court not to repeat mistakes he says were made by the court that freed her. He said Italy's highest court had "razed to the ground" the Perugia appellate court's 2011 decision to throw out the guilty verdicts.

The high court ordered a fresh appeals trial, this time in Florence, saying the earlier appeals decision was full of contradictions.

Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of killing Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey - Knox's 21-year-old room-mate, who was found with her throat slit in her bedroom in 2007.

They were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years in jail, respectively. After being freed in 2011, Knox returned to the United States and has not returned to Italy for the current trial.

Knox and Sollecito denied any involvement in the killing, saying they weren't in the apartment at the time and had no motive.

ITALY'S highest court this morning overturned American student Amanda Knox's acquittal for the murder of her roommate, ordering a re-trial. She was convicted in 2009 of killing British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007, and served nearly four years in jail after being sentenced, but was released on appeal in 2011.
ITALY'S highest court this morning overturned American student Amanda Knox's acquittal for the murder of her roommate, ordering a re-trial. She was convicted in 2009 of killing British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in 2007, and served nearly four years in jail after being sentenced, but was released on appeal in 2011.
MARCH 2011 -Amanda Knox escorted by police upon arrival in court before the start of a session of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse.
OCTOBER 2011 : The home belonging to Curtis Knox, the father of Amanda Knox in Seattle, where she lived following her return to the States.
OCTOBER 2011: Amanda Knox acknowledges the cheers of supporters while her mother Edda Mellas comforts her on October 4, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.
OCTOBER 2011: The Knox family, including Amanda Knox's father, Curt Knox prepare to depart from Rome on their journey back to Seattle.
OCTOBER 2011:Amanda Knox's sister Deanna Knox reacts after hearing the verdict that overturns Amanda's conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court.
OCTOBER2011: Amanda Knox's mother Edda Mellas waits in Perugia's Court of Appeal before hearing that Amanda won her appeal against her murder conviction on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
OCTOBER 2011: Amanda Knox breaks down in tears after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher at the Perugia court on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
OCTOBER 2011: Amanda Knox's relatives react as they listen to the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher.
OCTOBER 2011: Amanda Knox enters Perugia's Court of Appeal to learn that she won her appeal against her murder conviction on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
OCTOBER 2011: Raffaele Sollecito hugs his lawyer Giulia Bongiorno as he arrives at Perugia's Court of Appeal the day of the verdict in Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's appeal of their murder convictions on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
OCTOBER 2011: Clothes hang from the cell windows of the 'Casa Circondariale di Perugia' prison which currently holds Amanda Knox, with the City of Perugia in the background on October 02, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
OCTOBER 2011: Television journalists report from outside Perugia's Court of Appeal in Perugia, Italy. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are awaiting the verdict of their appeal that could see their conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher overturned.
SEPTEMBER 2011: Amanda Knox speaks to her lawyer Luciano Ghirga as she is escorted from her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 30, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 2011: Amanda Knox attends her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 30, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 2011: Luciano Ghirga lawyer of Amanda Knox attends the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal
SEPTEMBER 2011: Amanda Knox is escorted to her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal in Perugia, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 2011: Raffaele Sollecito attends his appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 29, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. .
SEPTEMBER 2011: Amanda Knox attends her appeal hearing on September 26, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
SEPTEMBER 2011: US defendant Amanda Knox who was sentenced in December 2009 to 26 years in prison for the grisly murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, in what prosecutors said was a drug-fuelled sex game that turned violent, is escorted on September 26, 2011 into court for the resumption of her appeal trial at the Perugia courthouse.
SEPTEMBER 2011: US student Amanda Knox is seen in court on September 23, 2011 as her appeal trial against her conviction for the murder of British housemate Meredith Kercher is winding up, with prosecutors set to present their final arguments
JULY 2011: US Amanda Knox smiles during a session of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse on July 30, 2011. A forensic expert in Amanda Knox's appeal against her conviction for murdering her British roommate in Italy said today that no DNA was found on the blade of the presumed murder weapon. The original trial for the 2007 murder in the medieval Italian university town of Perugia had heard that traces of victim Meredith Kercher's DNA were found on the blade of the kitchen knife and that Knox's DNA had been identified on the handle.
JULY 2011: Amanda Knox smiles to her friend Madison Paxton in Perugia's Court of Appeal during a session of her appeal against her murder conviction on July 30, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
JUNE 2011: Amanda Knox returns after a break in Perugia's court of Appeal during the appeal hearing against her murder conviction on June 27, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.
JUNE 2011: US defendant Amanda Knox sits on June 18, 2011 in court during her appeal trial at the Perugia courthouse.
PERUGIA, ITALY - MARCH 26: Amanda Knox comes back after a break in Perugia's court of Appeal during a session of her appeal against her murder conviction on March 26, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of the murder of Ms Knox's former British flatmate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Their trial took place in December 2009 with Knox and Sollecito receiving sentences of 26 and 25 years respectively. Rudy Guede, an unemployed man from Ivory Coast, was also convicted of the Meredith Kercher's murder.
MARCH 2011: US Amanda Knox takes place in court before the start of a session of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse on March 12, 2011.
JANUARY 2011: Italian Raffaele Sollecito gestures as he arrives for his appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse on January 22, 2011. .
DECEMBER 2010: Amanda Knox, flanked by her lawyers, attends a session of her appeal against her murder conviction in Perugia's court of Appeal on December 18, 2010 in Perugia, Italy.
DECEMBER 2010: Amanda Knox arrives in court before the start of the hearing of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse on December 18, 2010.
NOVEMBER 2010: Amanda Knox arrives in Perugia's court of Appeal during the first session of her appeal against her murder conviction on November 24, 2010 in Perugia, Italy.
NOVEMBER 2010: Raffaele Sollecito arrives at the Perugia courthouse for the first session of his appeal trial on November 24, 2010.
MARCH 2009: Former exchange student Amanda Knox of Seattle, Washington arrives for the Meredith Kercher murder trial at the Perugia courthouse on March 28, 2009 in Perugia, Italy.
JANUARY 2009: US student Amanda Knox arrives at court in Perugia, charged with the alleged sex-murder of her British housemate in the Italian university town of Perugia on January 16, 2009.

A third defendant, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial of sexually assaulting and stabbing Kercher. His 16-year sentence, reduced in appeal from 30 years, was upheld by Italy's highest court in 2010. Prosecutors have argued that the murder was carried out by more than one person.

Mr Crini argued that the earlier appellate court had "pulverised the elements," separating pieces of evidence that needed to be seen together to get a full picture of the crime.

He said Knox and Sollecito made efforts to deflect suspicion. He alleged they staged a break-in at the apartment to make it appear the killer was an outsider; he alleged Knox cleaned up the apartment in an effort to remove any evidence linking her or Sollecito to the crime, and that she falsely accused another man of the crime.

The defence has argued that the robbery was not staged and that it would be impossible to selectively remove incriminating evidence.

After more than six hours of arguments, the hearing was adjourned until Wednesday when the hearing turns to possibly significant new DNA evidence, the main new element of the second appeals trial. The prosecutor will also make his sentencing demands.

The Florence court ordered experts to test the tiny trace of DNA not examined in the previous trials.An expert testified that the trace on the purported murder weapon was consistent with Knox's DNA and not Kercher's.

Knox's DNA had previously been identified on the knife, and her lawyers see the new evidence as confirmation that Knox had used the knife - found in a kitchen drawer at Sollecito's apartment - for cooking.

The first trial had identified another trace of DNA on the tip of the knife as belonging to Kercher, but that evidence, which was key in securing the convictions, was discredited by expert testimony to the Perugia appeals court.

Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, said there was nothing new so far in the prosecutor's summations. "No new arguments were made, but it was a good presentation," Ghirga said.

Sollecito was in the Florence appellate court for a second time today, listening intently as Mr Crini claimed that his alibi that he was working at his computer at the time of the murder was false.

"After all of this time," Sollecito told reporters outside court, "I just continue to confront a situation of repeated accusations that have no foundation in reality or likelihood."

A verdict had been expected on January 10, but may be delayed as the closing arguments have run longer than anticipated by the court.

Press Association

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