Kercher trial resumes

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The trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Perugia, central Italy, reopens today after a summer break of nearly two months. Forensic experts and other defence witnesses will take the stand as the American student and her Italian former boyfriend defend themselves against charges that they killed her British room-mate.

Ms Knox, 22, and Mr Sollecito, 25, are charged with murder and sexual violence in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher, with whom Ms Knox shared an apartment in Perugia. Both deny wrongdoing and are expected to appear in court today. A DNA expert and for the defence is expected to challenge some of the evidence.

In particular, prosecutors say Ms Knox's DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the slaying, while Ms Kercher's DNA was found on the blade. Ms Knox's defence has maintained that DNA from Ms Kercher is too little to be attributed with certainty.

The closing arguments are expected to begin during October, lawyers say. If convicted, Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito face life in prison.