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Knox ‘naive, but no murderer’, trial told

THE woman accused of killing British student Meredith Kercher was no murderer, merely naive and foolish, a court heard yesterday.

Giulia Bongiorno, who is defending Amanda Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the Italian case, compared Knox to the film character Amelie in the 2001 French film of the same title.

That is the film Knox and Sollecito claim they were watching on video the night Kercher, 21, was fatally stabbed in the throat in 2007.

“Amanda, just like Amelie, has a lot of energy. She is naive ... [and] candid” like the French film character, Ms Bongiorno told the court.

“The approach of Amanda toward life isexactly the same of Amelie, spontaneous, immediate and imprudent.”

Bongiorno, who successfully defended former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti on charges of Mafia association a few years ago, argued that Sollecito, an Italian, wound up being wrongly accused of Meredith Kercher’s murder because of a bloody footprint in the bedroom of the house in Perugia where she was killed.

Sollecito, 25, and American Knox, 22, are accused of murder and sexual violence in the death of Kercher. Both defendants insist they are innocent.

Kercher was a 21-year-old exchange student from Leeds. All three were students in Perugia, a university town in Umbria, in central Italy.

A verdict in the trial is expected toward the end of this week.

Prosecutors have argued for conviction and life imprisonment – Italy’s stiffest penalty – for Knox and Sollecito.

“Raffaele was about to graduate, and was cultivating his dreams, but a footprint took those dreams away from him,” Bongiorno said.

She contended that analyses indicate the print was made by a shoe of a different kind and size than the ones Sollecito wore.

Prosecutors have said that the Kercher was the victim of a drug-fuelled sex game involving Knox, Sollecito and a third defendant, Rudy Guede, of the Ivory Coast.

Guede, 22, was convicted of the same charges in a fast-track trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He is appealing his conviction.

The Kercher family is seeking €25 million in damages from Knox, Sollecito and Guede.

Knox also faces a defamation suit from her former employer, Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba, who was held for two weeks after she accused him under interrogation.

Her landlady is also seeking damages, having been unable to rent out the cottage dubbed the “house of horrors” after the murder.

Knox’s parents reportedly face a defamation action lodged against them by Perugia police for an interview with the Sunday Times in which they charged that interrogators “abused” her and denied her the assistance of a lawyer.


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