A defense lawyer for American student Amanda Knox has begun closing arguments in her appeal of a murder conviction for the death of her roommate in Italy.
Attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova told the Perugia court Thursday that Knox has been "crucified" in the court of public opinion after prosecutors called her a "witch" and a "she-devil" whose innocent looks hid a life of sex, drugs and drinking.
Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for the 2007 death of British student Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors say Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Kercher were involved in a sex game that turned violent. Sollecito and a third defendant in the case, Rudy Guede, are currently serving 25- and 30-year sentences respectively. All three have proclaimed their innocence.
The defense says the DNA evidence used against Knox was unreliable, and it accused police of bungling the case.
Knox is expected to make a statement to the court later Thursday.
Once her lawyer has completed his closing argument, the prosecution will have a chance to respond.
A verdict in the case is expected on Monday.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.