Italian murder trial saga draws to an end

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.

PTI



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

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