Police officers testifying at the trial of two suspects in the slaying of a British student in Italy said today that the Italian suspect carried a knife to the police station, while his American co-defendant looked nervous and repeatedly hit her head with her hands.
Police officer Daniele Moscatelli told a court in Perugia, central Italy, that Raffaele Sollecito looked "quite confused and nervous" during the questioning in the hours that followed the murder and was carrying a "long" knife in his pocket.
"He said he was a fan of arms and knives," Moscatelli said. The knife is not believed to be the weapon with which 21-year-old Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death in 2007.
Another police officer, Fabio D'Astolto, said during his testimony that at the police station, American suspect Amanda Knox "was nervously walking up and down the hallway bringing both hands to her head and hitting it," he said, mimicking the gesture.
Knox and Sollecito are on trial on charges of murder and sexual violence for the slaying of Kercher, who was found dead on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment she shared with Knox.
They have denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say a third man, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, tried to sexually assault Kercher and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.
Guede was convicted of murder in a separate trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Knox's DNA was found on the handle of a knife found at Sollecito's house that might have been used in the slaying, and the victim's DNA was found on the blade.
Both defendants attended the hearing Friday, walking in the courtroom escorted by police.
Knox declined to answer questions called to her by reporters during a break in the proceedings, but her stepfather, Chris Mellas, said she is "doing OK."
Sollecito stood up in court to reiterate claims that police had denied his requests to call his father and a lawyer the night he was questioned, and that police took off his shoes leaving him barefoot even when he walked with investigators to his apartment for an inspection.
Knox has also claimed she was treated badly during police questioning. Police have denied mistreating or otherwise abusing the suspects.Reuse content