Kercher murder accused 'confused by stress'

The woman accused of murdering British student Meredith Kercher may have been confused about what really happened because of stress, a doctor told her trial today.

American Amanda Knox gave conflicting statements to police in the wake of 21-year-old Miss Kercher’s death in Perugia, Italy.

Neurologist Carlo Caltagirone was giving evidence on behalf of Knox, who is on trial with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

They are accused of murdering Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey in England, during a sex game at the apartment she shared in Perguia in November 2007. They deny the charges

Dr Caltagirone told the court that Knox was under stress after long police questioning, which might have led to her confusion.

“To be questioned for long hours in a foreign country without fully realising the situation one is in ... can lead to a lot of stress,” he said.

Knox initially accused Diya Lumumba, a Congolese man who owns a pub in Perugia where she worked, of being the killer. As a result of her accusations, Lumumba was briefly jailed. He was later cleared and is seeking damages from Knox.

Knox, 22, of Seattle, Washington, has since maintained that she spent the night of the murder at Sollecito’s house.

In June, the American testified in court that she was beaten by police and was confused when she was questioned. She said it was the pressure that led her to accuse Lumumba.

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