Knox back in court for slander accusation
Amanda Knox appeared in public yesterday for the first time since her murder conviction, returning to court to face slander charges for saying she was beaten by police during questioning over the death of her roommate.
The 22-year-old American sported a shorter haircut and a yellow T-shirt at a preliminary hearing held behind closed doors in a Perugia courthouse. The brief appearance marked the first time she had been seen since December, when she was escorted out of the courtroom in tears after hearing the guilty verdict.
Knox has said she was beaten by police during questioning over the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher, the 21-year-old Briton who shared an apartment with Knox.
Police have denied the misconduct and filed slander charges against her. Yesterday's hearing was devoted to technicalities and quickly adjourned.
Knox said in June 2009 testimony that she had been the subject of a "crescendo" of police pressure and that a policewoman hit her twice on the head. She said that behaviour led her to accuse an innocent man, who was arrested as a result before being later cleared.
Knox's attorney Luciano Ghirga said yesterday that defendants should be granted the right to defend themselves in court without the risk of slander accusations.