Kercher murder: Knox appeal resumes

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

Amanda Knox has appeared in an Italian court for a key decision on whether a review of the evidence used to convict her of Meredith Kercher’s murder will be allowed.

The appeal hopes of the American 23-year-old rest partly on having the forensic evidence re-examined independently.

Her lawyers also want to introduce new witnesses in the ongoing process.

The student from Seattle cut a hunched and pale figure as she was escorted into the same courtroom in Perugia where her original trial was played out.

Her mother, Edda Mellas, was in court for the hearing and said she would stay in Italy to spend Christmas with her daughter.

Found guilty in the Umbrian hilltop town last year of stabbing the 21-year-old British student to death after a sex game, Knox is hoping to have the verdict overturned.

At the hearing, prosecutors will put forward their arguments against her appeal. Lawyers representing the civil parties in the case – Meredith Kercher’s family and Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, a barman she falsely accused – will also speak.

Defence lawyers for Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, also jailed for the murder, are arguing for a fresh look at the evidence, including disputed DNA traces found on a knife allegedly used as the weapon and on the clasp of Miss Kercher’s bra.

They maintain that this evidence was inconclusive and have also argued it may have been contaminated when analysed. The court is expected to rule later on whether such a review and the introduction of new witnesses will be permitted.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola said a review would be “useless” and that “this court has all the elements to be able to come to a decision.” A rejection would be seen as a major setback to the former couple’s hopes of overturning the guilty verdict.

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