Amanda Knox wins murder evidence review

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The Independent Online

Amanda Knox won a victory in court today when she was granted a full review of crucial DNA evidence used to convict her of Meredith Kercher's murder.

The appeal hopes of the American 23-year-old rest partly on having the evidence re-examined independently.

After a hearing lasting most of the day, the decision went in her favour, giving her family some hope that the guilty verdict may yet be overturned.

The evidence to be reviewed includes disputed DNA traces found on a knife allegedly used as the murder weapon and on the clasp of Miss Kercher's bra.

Lawyers representing Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, also jailed for the murder, requested a fresh look at this too.

Both legal teams maintain that this evidence was inconclusive and have also argued it may have been contaminated when analysed.

Knox was convicted last year of sexually assaulting and murdering the 21-year-old British student and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

The trial in the Italian hilltop town of Perugia saw Sollecito sentenced to 25 years for the same crime.

Prosecutors said the brutal killing followed a sex game taken to the extreme, but the former couple have continued to protest their innocence from behind bars and are appealing against the verdict.

Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, was in the Perugia court room for today's hearing and welcomed the result.

She told Sky News: "There's hope."

University of Leeds student Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found dead on November 2, 2007 in her bedroom at the Perugia house she shared with Knox and others during her year abroad.

Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked body was partially covered by a duvet.