Amanda Knox Trial Resumes
September 5, 2011 by staff
Amanda Knox Trial Resumes, American student Amanda Knox appeal of his conviction, 2009 for killing her British roommate Meredith Kercher moved toward a verdict Monday in the midst of heated discussions on key DNA evidence.
By order of the court, independent experts have been serious doubts about the original DNAanlysis of a retainer clip and a kitchen knife that helped convict Knox and her then Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito.
“We are delighted that the experts agree with our experts,” said Knox’s stepfather, Chris Nicks, told reporters before the hearing in the university town of Perugia, where the murder took place in 2007.
“This is the nail in the coffin of this evidence,” he said.
Dents attended the hearing along with Knox’s father, Curt Knox and Knox’s friend from his hometown of Seattle.
Knox, 24, looked tense throughout the hearing and did stretching exercises during breaks in the trial, while Sollecito appeared relaxed and smiling.
The lawyers have said they expect a verdict later this month in the appeal, which began in December 2010, but has progressed very gradually.
Media reports said earlier in October was the deadline for completion.
Kercher, 21, was found semi-na*d with her throat slit in a pool of blood in her bedroom in the house she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007.
The investigation became an instant media sensation, with the British tabloids focused on the sordid details of the lifestyle of Knox in Perugia. Since then there have been several books about the case and even a television movie.
Prosecutors in the original trial said the killing was the result of a sexual assault by the drug Sollecito, Knox and third person, Rudy Guede, who has been convicted separately and is serving a sentence of 16 years.
Sollecito and Knox are serving 25 and 26 years in prison, respectively.
During the initial police interrogation, Knox said she had been at home at the time of the murder and that he believed the murderer was Patrick Lumumba, who owns a local bar later found to have been innocent.
Now she says she was Sollecito’s house at the time of the murder.
At Monday’s hearing, a lawyer for the victim’s family questioned the conclusions of experts in new DNA, leading to heated discussions.
Asked about theanlysis of Kercher bra buckle believes in the original trial that contains the DNA of Sollecito, one of the independent experts, said Carla Vecchiotti found to contain too much debris to be reliable.
Vecchiotti said that besides the DNA of the victim, who had found small traces of at least 17 others including Sollecito and herself – presumably as a result of his being carried out by the latest evidence.
“I did not mention in my report, because there are too many,” he said.
“Your DNA could be that, like mine. DNA of anyone could be there!” Vecchiotti, who is head of forensic genetics laboratory at the University La Sapienza of Rome, cried the Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca.
She said some of the tests might have been contaminated by dust containing mixed DNA traces and by sloppy police work.
Giulia Bongiorno, an Italian Member of Parliament and the lawyer representing Sollecito, said: “There is no evidence against Raffaele Sollecito and that means everything else will disintegrate.”
The author of the original DNAanlysis, forensic science police Patrizia Stefanoni also took the stand and defended his work in a very technical audience attended by some of the experts from Italy, a leader in DNA.
Stefanoni has said he plans to sue to defend their reputation.
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