Meredith murder case DNA evidence 'should be scrapped'

Key DNA findings in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher should be thrown out, lawyers for the couple accused of killing her said today.

The application was made as the trial of US student Amanda Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito resumed in the central Italian city of Perugia after a two-month break.

Both are accused of murdering Ms Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey in England, at the apartment she shared in Perguia in November 2007. They deny the charges.

Prosecutors say that Miss Kercher was killed during what had begun as a sex game.

Defence lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito said that some of the documents for DNA samples that prosecutors say link the defendants to the case were not made available to them early enough in the case.

The prosecution say Knox's DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the murder, while Miss Kercher's DNA was found on the blade. The knife was found at Sollecito's apartment.

Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told the court today that they were not told how forensic experts decided that Miss Kercher’s DNA was on the knife’s blade, limiting their ability to dispute the claim.

He also said the DNA traces allegedly belonging to Miss Kercher on the knife were “too low” to be attributed with certainty.

“Since the beginning, we’ve always just discussed who the DNA belonged to, but no one has explained why and how the forensic experts reached that conclusion,” he said.

Italian prosecutors say forensics and DNA experts have followed procedures while submitting the results of DNA tests to the court.

Both defendants were escorted in court by police guards. Knox smiled to lawyers and family members as she walked in.

A third person, Rudy Hermann Guede of the Ivory Coast, was convicted in a separate trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

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