I did not kill Kercher: Knox tells courtOctober 3rd, 2011 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS
Perugia (Italy), Oct 3 (IANS/AKI) US college student Amanda Knox Monday reiterated her claim that she did not kill British student Meredith Kercher and urged an appeals court to overthrow her murder conviction.
“I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not there,” 24-year-old Knox told the jury in the central Italian city of Perugia which later Monday was due to issue a verdict.
“If I had been there that night, I fear I would have been murdered as well,” Knox stated, claiming she had been “betrayed and manipulated” and was “paying with her life”.
Kercher had been her friend and had always been kind to her, Knox said. Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were jailed in 2009 for Kercher’s brutal killing in November 2007 in Perguia. They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in jail, respectively.
Sollecito earlier denied accusing Knox of the murder and said he was in a “nightmare” he had never woken up from. He told the jury he had never harmed anyone in his life and the claims against him were “totally untrue”.
Knox, her voice cracking with emotion, said: “I am not who they say I am. The perversion, the violence, the lack of respect for life - I did not do the things they are saying I did.”
Knox and Sollecito both claimed they had never met Ivory Coast immigrant Rudy Guede who was also convicted of Kercher’s killing in a separate trial and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, cut to 16 years on appeal. Guede claims he saw Sollecito and Kercher at the cottage on the night of the murder.
Prosecutors say Kercher was killed when she refused to take part in a brutal sex game at the cottage she shared with Knox. Her throat had been slit and she had been sexually assaulted. Her body was half-naked, lying in a pool of blood and covered with more than 40 stab wounds and injuries.
Knox and Sollecito’s lawyers have based their cases on what they claim was flawed forensic evidence used to convict the former lovers, centred on DNA on a knife - the alleged murder weapon - and on Kercher’s bra strap.
Prosecutors have called for the sentences to be increased to life terms, saying there was also considerable circumstantial evidence putting the ex-lovers at the scene of the killing.
Knox and Sollecito have always maintained their innocence, and Knox’s lawyers, family, friends and supporters say she was wrongly convicted of Kercher’s murder in a “trial by media” and unjustly portrayed as a she-devil and nymphomaniac.
The appeal will be decided by a jury made up of a main judge, a second judge and six jurors from the general public. Judges take part and vote as part of the jury, but guide rather than instruct others how to vote.
The jury can overturn or uphold the convictions of Knox and Sollecito, keep their sentences the same, raise them to life, or cut them.
If the guilty verdicts are upheld, Knox and Sollecito have one more chance to appeal at Italy’s top appeals court.
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- Amanda Knox gets 26-year jail term for Meredith Kercher murder - Dec 05, 2009
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- Amanda Knox And Her Former Boyfriend Convicted In The Murder Of Meredith Kercher - Dec 05, 2009
- Amanda Knox Turns Emotional For The First Time In Murder Appeal - Dec 12, 2010
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- Foxy Knoxy smoking pot and having sex while friend Meredith Kercher is murdered - Jun 13, 2009
Tags: amanda knox, appeals court, brutal sex, forensic evidence, guede, italian city, ivory coast, kercher, lack of respect, meredith, murder conviction, perugia italy, perversion, pool of blood, prosecutors, rudy, sex game, slit, sollecito, stab wounds