Amanda Knox will learn on Saturday whether she will be granted a full review of the forensic evidence used to convict her of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
The appeal hopes of the American 23-year-old rest partly on having the evidence re-examined independently.
Found guilty in Italy last year of stabbing the 21-year-old University of Leeds student to death after a sex game, she is appealing against the verdict.
At the hearing in the same courtroom in Perugia where her original trial was played out, 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 seeking a full review of the forensic evidence, such as disputed DNA evidence found on a knife allegedly used in the murder 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 on whether such a review will be permitted.
But Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas, hinted at potential problems in the event the decision goes his stepdaughter’s way.
He said: “The vast majority of forensics experts in Italy have already weighed in one way or another. I would imagine they are going to have a hell of a time (finding an expert).”
Knox’s chances were dealt a blow this week when Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast man also jailed for the murder, failed to get his conviction overturned at Italy’s highest court in Rome.
Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found dead on November 2, 2007 in her bedroom at the house in the Umbrian hilltop town she shared with Knox and others during her year abroad. Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked body partially covered by a duvet.