Five new witnesses step forward to aid Knox

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The Independent Online

In what may prove to be a pivotal development in Amanda Knox's efforts to overturn her 2009 conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, the appeals court in Perugia has allowed extra time for a review of DNA evidence by independent forensic experts. It also allowed five new witnesses sought by the defence – all inmates in Italian prisons who claim they have information clearing Knox and her Italian co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito.

Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 25 years in prison for Ms Kercher's killing, but have always declared their innocence.

Independent experts are looking at DNA traces on two pieces of evidence that allegedly linked the defendants to the crime: a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon, and the clasp of Kercher's bra.

The defence says those DNA traces were inconclusive and that they might have been contaminated when they were collected and analysed.

The two court-appointed experts could not retest the tiny traces and are assessing the reliability of the tests originally conducted.

The experts are now set to report their findings to the court on 25 July.

Pending the review, the trial will continue on 18 June with the new testimony.

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