Experts to review evidence at Amanda Knox appeals trial

An Italian court appoints experts to re-examine disputed DNA evidence on the knife allegedly used in murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Perugia: Independent forensic
experts will have 90 days starting next month to review
crucial evidence linking American student Amanda Knox to the
murder of her British roommate, an appeals court said on Sunday.

Knox was convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and
murdering Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 years in

Her co-defendant and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito
was also convicted and sentenced to 25 years. Both have denied

Their lawyers have disputed DNA traces used to back up
the convictions and obtained an independent review at the
start of the appeals trial.

The experts appointed by the appeals court, Stefano
Conti and Carla Vecchiotti from Rome`s Sapienza University,
were formally sworn in at a hearing today, the first of the
new year.

They will begin their review on February 9 at a
university lab, conclude by May 9 and report their findings to
the court on May 21.

Kercher was stabbed to death the night of November 1,
2007. Her body was found in a pool of blood the following day
in the apartment the 21-year-old shared with Knox.
They were both exchange students in Perugia, a
university town in central Italy.

Prosecutors maintained in the first trial that
Knox`s DNA was found on the handle of a kitchen knife they
believe to be the murder weapon, and that Kercher`s DNA was
found on the blade. They say Sollecito`s DNA was found on the
clasp of Kercher`s bra.

The defence says those DNA traces were inconclusive
and that they might have been contaminated when they were
collected and analysed.