Saturday 21 April 2018

Emotional Knox faces delay in murder appeal

Joe Sinclair in Perugia

Amanda Knox is facing another summer in jail after DNA experts were given extra time to review the evidence against her.

A tearful Knox told the court in Perugia, Italy, that being in prison was "very frustrating and mentally exhausting".

Speaking after the hearing Kurt Knox said his daughter was disappointed at the delay but would "make it through, knowing she is innocent".

The court also ruled that five serving inmates who have written letters claiming to have information on the Knox case would be able to give evidence.

At least one is expected to say that Rudy Guede, who has also been jailed over the murder, has claimed in jail that Knox did not take part in killing.

Wearing a white satin shirt and with her hair tied back, Knox made an emotional address to the court, saying, "I don't want to spend my whole life in prison as an innocent."

Knox, 23, is appealing against her conviction and 26-year prison sentence for killing her housemate, the British student Meredith Kercher, in the Italian hilltop town of Perugia.

Two DNA experts from Rome's Sapienza University are considering disputed DNA traces found on a kitchen knife -- the alleged murder weapon -- and on the clasp of Ms Kercher's bra.

They have been given another 40 days to collect all the information on the original forensic tests, and must submit a report on June 30.

Prosecutors said in the first trial that Knox's DNA was found on the knife's handle and Kercher's DNA was found on the blade. But the defence says those DNA traces were inconclusive and could be the result of contamination.

The experts could not re-test the tiny traces and are now assessing the reliability of the original tests.

University of Leeds student Ms Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat slit on November 2 2007, in her bedroom at the house she shared with Knox.

Her semi-naked body was partially covered by a duvet.

Knox, from Seattle, and her former lover Raffaele Sollecito, 26, were later charged with sexual assault and murder following what prosecutors claimed was an extreme sex game. They were handed prison sentences of 26 years and 25 years respectively last December.

Guede, a small-time drug dealer, was handed a 30-year sentence for murder and sexual violence in October 2008, which was later cut to 16 years.

Sunday Independent

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