News / USA

Knox Back on Trial for Meredith Kercher Murder in Italy

Amanda Knox during an interview on the 'Today' show in New York, Sept. 20, 2013.
Amanda Knox during an interview on the 'Today' show in New York, Sept. 20, 2013.
Reuters
A fresh appeal by American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex- boyfriend against their convictions for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher started in their absence on Monday with defense lawyers pointing to a lack of DNA evidence.

Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of killing 21-year-old British student Kercher in what was described as a drug-fuelled sexual assault.

After winning an appeal in 2011 quashing the guilty verdict, both were freed from prison. But Italy's supreme court overturned the acquittals in March, citing “contradictions and inconsistencies”, paving the way for the new appeals trial.

Defense lawyer Giulia Bongiorno told the court there was no DNA evidence that Knox had been at the murder scene, while there was plenty of proof that Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, the only person still in jail for the murder, had been there.

“How is it possible to find enormous quantities of traces of Guede and not a trace of Amanda,” she asked the court, adding that the only trace of Sollecito was on Kercher's bra clasp, which the defense say was due to contamination.

Kercher was found with more than 40 wounds, including a deep gash in the throat, in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, a picturesque town in central Italy's Umbria region that attracts students from around the world.

Knox, 26, has always denied involvement in the killing. She told U.S. television this month that “common sense” told her not to return to Italy for the new appeal. She is not obliged to attend and can be represented by her lawyers, who said she is watching the retrial closely from home in Seattle.

“I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't re-live that,” she told NBC television.

Sollecito, 29, who has also always protested his innocence, plans to attend some of the hearings, his father Francesco said, adding he was confident his son's innocence would be confirmed.

“Deeper examination can only demonstrate what we already know, that is that Raffaele Sollecito has nothing to do with what that poor girl had to suffer,” he told reporters.

EVIDENCE REVIEW

The defense team called for further investigations such as tests of semen stains found on a pillow and an examination of a very low DNA trace found on the alleged murder weapon - a kitchen knife found in Sollecito's house.

Francesco Maresca, a lawyer for the Kercher family, argued there was already sufficient evidence stacked against Knox and Sollecito and the supreme court's decision to throw out their acquittals had reinforced his view.

“We have always maintained that they are guilty and that they were present at the crime scene,” he told reporters.

Knox has said she wants to visit Kercher's grave in England, but the Leeds University student's family said in a statement at the weekend that this was Meredith's “safe place” and that they hoped “that is respected by all”.

Nicknamed “Foxy Knoxy” in many tabloid headlines, Knox was initially portrayed as a sex-obsessed she-devil by prosecutors but a lobbying campaign by her family helped modify perceptions.

In a memoir published this year, she painted herself as a naive young woman and a victim of Italy's snail-paced justice system, which drew heavy criticism for its handling of the case.

If found guilty, she could appeal again to Italy's supreme court. If that failed, Italy could request her extradition.

The supreme court said in June that the appeals court that freed Knox and Sollecito had not taken all the existing evidence into consideration. It said Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence, was unlikely to have committed the crime alone.

Prosecutors said Kercher was held down and stabbed after she resisted attempts by Knox, Sollecito and Guede to involve her in an orgy. The supreme court said the theory of a sex game that spiraled out of control should be re-examined.

The prosecution's case was weakened in the last trial by forensic experts who undermined the credibility of DNA evidence provided by police and sharply criticized their initial response procedures at the scene of the killing.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid