Amanda Knox has seen her hopes of freedom delayed further as experts were granted three months to review crucial evidence used to convict her for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
The 23-year-old American, dubbed Foxy Knoxy, hopes an analysis of disputed DNA traces found on a knife and on the clasp of Miss Kercher’s bra will help clear her name.
But an independent forensic team have now been given 90 days to conduct their examination, meaning she may not learn her fate until the summer.
Knox, who is appealing her conviction, appeared tense as she arrived in court in the Italian hilltop town of Perugia.
Speaking after the hearing, her step-father Chris Mellas said she was increasingly concerned for her future but insisted the developments were “definitely a step in the right direction”.
“We support anything they want to do in order to reach the truth,” he said.
“It’s hard not to be impatient but what can you do? Amanda’s not getting any younger and she has been in jail now for well over three years and she doesn’t deserve being in there.
“She’s doing all right but I think the days of her relaxed attitude are behind her.
“She could relax during the last trial because she felt she would be released because she is innocent but she knows that the truth didn’t matter then and so now she is more apprehensive. She just wants to get this all out of the way.”
University of Leeds student Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was discovered with her throat slit on November 2, 2007, in her bedroom at the house she shared with Knox and others during her year abroad.