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.
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.


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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs