Trial of US student accused in Italy sex-murder resumes

Nov 30, -0001
PERUGIA: The trial of US exchange student Amanda Knox accused of killing her British housemate during a drug-fueled sex game gone awry in 2007 resumed Monday in the central Italian university town of Perugia.

Defence lawyers failed in a bid to have the case thrown out because of a long delay in being given access to crucial DNA evidence, Italian media reported.

Central to the prosecutors' case against Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is the supposed murder weapon, a knife found in Sollecito's apartment allegedly bearing Knox's DNA on the handle and the victim's DNA on the blade.

The trial resumed in the medieval walled town after a two-month summer recess.

Knox and Sollecito are accused along with a third defendant -- already convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail -- of killing 22-year-old Meredith Kercher after she refused to join in a group sex session.

While claiming innocence, Rudy Guede of Ivory Coast, who worked as a casual labourer in Perugia, had opted for a so-called "fast-track" trial limited to evidence from the probe.

Both Knox and Sollecito have been held since a few days after Kercher was found semi-nude in a pool of blood with her throat cut in the house in Perugia that she shared with Knox.

In the prosecutors' scenario, Guede held Kercher down while Sollecito and Knox stabbed her.

Kercher's family are seeking 30 million euros (40 million dollars) from the alleged killers.

Two judges and six jurors will decide the fate of Knox and Sollecito, who face 30 years in prison if convicted. A verdict is expected later in the year. AGENCIES





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