Amanda Knox murder appeal resumes


US student Amanda Knox attends an appeal hearing against her conviction of the murder of Briton Meredith Kercher (AP)

Amanda Knox’s appeal against her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher Knox has resumed in Italy, with the court expected to issue a key decision on whether to allow a review of the case’s evidence and new witnesses.

Defence lawyers are seeking a full independent review of forensic evidence, including on contentious DNA evidence that was found on a knife allegedly used in the murder, and new witnesses. A rejection would be seen as dealing a blow to their hopes of overturning the guilty verdict.

Knox was convicted last year of sexually assaulting and murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Her co-defendant and ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito of Italy, was convicted of the same charges and sentenced to 25 years.

Both deny wrongdoing in the 2007 slaying.

The defence maintains that DNA traces presented at the original trial were inconclusive, and also challenged that they may have been contaminated when they were analysed.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola told the court in Perugia that a review would be “useless” and that “this court has all the elements to be able to come to a decision”.

Knox, a 23-year-old from Seattle, was hunched and pale as she was escorted into the courtroom. Her mother, Edda Mellas, was in court and said she would stay to spend Christmas with her daughter.

The hearing was held just two days after Italy’s highest criminal court upheld the conviction and 16-year-prison sentence of the third person charged with the murder, Rudy Hermann Guede of the Ivory Coast. Guede has admitted being at the house the night of the murder but denies killing Miss Kercher.

He has been tried separately.

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