Decision nears in Italy in Amanda Knox slain roommate case
PERUGIA, Italy — The prosecution wrapped up its case today for indictments of Amanda Knox of Seattle and her former Italian boyfriend in the slaying of a British student a year ago.
The Associated Press
PERUGIA, Italy — Prosecutors rejected claims today that police contaminated evidence used for its case and requested that Amanda Knox of Seattle and her former Italian boyfriend stand trial for allegedly killing a British student.
The prosecution closed its arguments today at the courthouse in Perugia, central Italy, and a judge is expected to rule Tuesday whether Knox, 21, and Raffaele Sollecito will be tried for the killing.
Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Leeds University in England, was found dead in her bedroom Nov. 2, 2007, from a stab wound to the neck. Prosecutors say she was killed while an unwilling participant of a sex game.
They also asked that a third suspect, Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast, be sentenced to life. Guede is undergoing a fast-track trial at his request.
All three, who appeared in court today, deny wrongdoing.
Prosecutors claim that key evidence linking Sollecito to the death is from his DNA found on the victim's bra.
But Sollecito's defense argued today in the closed-door hearing that multiple DNA traces were found on the bra — not just from one person — suggesting the evidence was inadvertently contaminated by police. Lawyers said the traces were compatible with the DNA of fellow suspects Knox and Guede, as well as of other people.
"This is not a genetic trace belonging to one single person, but it's a mix, a combination resulting from contamination, obviously involuntary, and therefore should not be admitted as evidence in court," one of Sollecito's lawyers, Giulia Bongiorno, said. She cited an examination by a defense team expert.
Prosecutor Manuela Comodi said during a break in the proceedings that "we gave a substantially different interpretation on the same elements" than the defense, including the bra.
Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told reporters after the hearing that his American client "has faith and can't wait for this nightmare to be over."
"She's been in jail for a year, and she doesn't even know why," he said. Italian law allows for suspects in serious crimes to be jailed before indictment, if they are considered a flight risk.
Prosecutors claim that Knox stabbed Kercher in the throat, while Sollecito and Guede held her down and Guede tried to sexually assault her.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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