x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

‘Foxy Knoxy’ on trial again for Italy murder

Star defendant absent from second appeals trial which opened yesterday into the murder of her British roommate.

US student not in court for second Kercher case appeal

FLORENCE // The second appeals trial of US student Amanda Knox for the murder of her British roommate opened yesterday, but the star defendant was not in attendance.

Italy’s highest court in March ordered a new trial for Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, after overturning their acquittals of the gruesome 2007 killing of Meredith Kercher.

The court of cassation gave a harsh assessment of an appeals court acquittal in 2011 and said it was full of “deficiencies, contradictions and illogical” conclusions.

During opening statements, lawyers for Knox and Sollecito requested an array of new expert opinions and evidence to reach a definitive verdict, including an examination of the handling of the crime scene.

Knox’s defence lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said there was a risk of an “infinite trial”, since the charge of murder has no statute of limitations.

Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said intense media attention on the case had affected the three previous trials.

The appellate court in Florence is expected to re-examine forensic evidence to determine whether Knox, nicknamed “Foxy Knoxy” by tabloid newspapers, and her ex-boyfriend helped to kill Kercher, 21. The two women had shared an apartment in the Umbrian university town of Perugia.

The prosecution advanced the theory that Kercher died during a sex game that went wrong.

Knox, who is now 26 and a student at the University of Washington in Seattle, is not compelled by law to return to Italy for the trial.

“We refute the idea that because Amanda is not coming, that Amanda is guilty, that Amanda is using a strategy,” said one of Knox’s defence lawyers, Luciano Ghirga.

“Amanda always said she was a friend of Meredith’s.

“Amanda has always respected the Italian justice system.”

Kercher was discovered on November 2, 2007, dead on the floor of her bedroom in the cottage she shared with Knox and two Italian women with a knife wound to her throat. Knox and Sollecito, 29, were convicted and later acquitted of Kercher’s death.

Knox served four years of a 26-year sentence, including three years on a slander conviction for falsely accusing a Perugia bar owner of the murder, before leaving Italy a free woman after her 2011 acquittal.

* Associated Press