Amanda Knox defence lawyers to focus on DNA evidence in retrial

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 2:30am

A court hearing Amanda Knox's second appeals trial yesterday accepted a request to run additional DNA tests on the presumed weapon in the murder of Meredith Kercher.

The judge agreed to test one DNA trace not previously examined because it had been deemed too small. A court-ordered review in the first appeals trial discredited DNA evidence on the kitchen knife linked to Kercher.

The court also agreed to hear testimony from a jailed Mafioso who has accused his brother in the murder, but rejected most of the other defence requests for new testimony or evidence.

Knox and Italian Raffaele Sollecito spent four years behind bars for the murder of Kercher, who was found half-naked in a pool of blood in the house she shared with Knox in 2007, her body riddled with stab wounds.

An appeals court overturned their convictions in 2011 and Knox returned to Seattle, but Italy's Supreme Court in March ordered a retrial after an appeal by prosecutors against what they slammed a "superficial ruling."

"We need a key step forward on the DNA evidence. We insist the traces on the knife be re-examined," Luciano Girgha told retrial judge Alessandro Nencini.

The knife, recovered from a kitchen drawer in Sollecito's house, bore tiny traces of Knox's DNA on the handle, and Meredith's DNA on the blade.

Knox, 26, has insisted she will not return for any of the retrial.

If Knox is convicted again and loses another Supreme Court appeal, experts say there is a remote chance that she could be extradited and imprisoned.

Sollecito, 29, has been living in the Dominican Republic but he has said he will attend court later on in the trial.

Rudy Guede, who has denied the murder, is the only person still in jail for the crime.

The prosecution has always claimed the murder was the result of "an erotic game that spun out of control".

Additional reporting by Associated Press