Italian murder trial saga draws to an end
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 25, 2011, 15:27
Rome: After lurid headlines, multiple books and even a film, a verdict in Amanda Knox's appeal against her conviction for murdering a British student in an Italian university town is now expected within days.

Media coverage of the killing of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia on the night after Halloween 2007 has concentrated on Knox -- portrayed alternately as an American naif abroad or a brooding figure consumed by hatred.

The truth is that even the verdict -- expected later this week or early next week after closing arguments in the appeal -- may not shed light on what exactly happened that gruesome night in the stone cottage that Knox and Kercher shared.

Several observers have said the convictions of Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito could be overturned after experts commissioned by the court cast serious doubts on some of the DNA evidence that helped convict them.

The prosecution has tried and failed to get the judge to order another analysis of the alleged murder weapon and Kercher's bra clasp and has pointed to other evidence, as well as damning details of Knox's initial questioning.

Knox and Sollecito "deserve life sentences," prosecutor Manuela Comodi said on Saturday in her final argument before the six-person jury.

"Reasonable doubt. For me, there has never been any," she said.

But prosecutors have failed to establish any real motive and have put forward a theory that Kercher, 21, may have been killed as part of a drug-fuelled sexual attack by Knox, Sollecito and a third person, Rudy Guede.


First Published: Sunday, September 25, 2011, 14:57

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