MPs urge probe into Knox treatment

SOME Italian MPs are seeking a probe into the prosecutors’ office in Perugia, where American student Amanda Knox was convicted of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

They say she has been treated unfairly.

The request to the Italian justice minister is spearheaded by a lawmaker who has frequently visited Knox in prison and has written a positive book about her.

The lawmaker also sent a letter to the Italian president seeking his intervention.

Both the petition and the letter cast doubt on the prosecution’s case, alleging that an appeals trial under way has undermined the reliability of evidence originally collected against the former student.

They also maintain Knox should not have been kept behind bars since her arrest.

Knox was found guilty of murder in 2009 and jailed for 26 years.

Kercher, 21, from Surrey, a Leeds University student, was found with her throat cut in November 2007.

“These distortions, not without reason, are fuelling accusations against the administration of justice in our country,” lawmaker Rocco Girlanda said in the letter to the president.

The petition to Justice Minister Angelino Alfano was signed by 11 lawmakers, all members of Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s coalition.

It asks Alfano to consider sending inspectors to judicial offices in Perugia — a move that is considered very serious in Italy and is typically read as a sign of discontent from Rome.

There was no immediate response from authorities.

Knox’s boyfriend Italian Raffaele Sollecito was convicted of sexual assault and murder in 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to 25.

The two have always denied wrongdoing.

“Who will compensate two 20-year-olds — in the hoped-for case that the appellate trial recognises their innocence — of the four years of life and freedom that they have been unjustly deprived of, and which no economic compensation could ever reimburse?” said Girlanda.

“The so-called evidence and testimonies of the prosecution have proved to be at best considered contradictory and unreliable.”

Girlanda is an ally of Berlusconi, who has vehemently attacked Italian magistrates and is seeking to reform the system to limit their powers.

Girlanda also heads a foundation that seeks to promote ties between Italy and the US, and has established what he says is a close friendship with the 23-year-old American.

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