Knox: 'I could hear Meredith screaming'

Court in Perugia to see Amanda's rambling statement written the day after British student's murder
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The Independent Online

A rambling handwritten statement by Amanda Knox in which she recalls hearing the screams of her murdered British flatmate will be accepted as evidence in her ongoing trial in Italy.

Ms Knox, 21, has previously claimed that she spent the night of 1 November 2007 at her boyfriend's flat, and not in the Perugia apartment she shared with Meredith Kercher.

The statement, in which she writes of how "I saw myself cowering in the kitchen with my hands over my ears because in my head I could hear Meredith's screaming", echoes what her lawyers call her "false confession" to police in the hours following the murder. That verbal admission under interrogation by detectives was declared inadmissible by the judge in the murder trial of Ms Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. But this statement, written the next day, will be accepted.

"In regards to this 'confession' that I made last night," Ms Knox writes, "I want to make clear that... they [sic] were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I paranoid I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn't remember a fact correctly.

"I understand that the police are under a lot of stress, so I understand the treatment I received. However it was under this pressure and after many hours of confusion that my mind came up with these answers."

But she then mentions Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, who hired her to work in his bar in Perugia, and who was the original third suspect in the murder until a strong alibi and lack of evidence saw him cleared. Mr Lumumba is suing Ms Knox for defamation in a civil part of the complex trial. "In my mind I saw Patrik [sic] in flashes of blurred images," Ms Knox writes. "I saw him near the basketball court. I saw him at the front door."

A source close to Ms Knox's family explained that the fantasy-like nature of these descriptions was due to the fact that the police told her to use her imagination to describe the events of the night. "She was asked to imagine what might have happened," said the source.

In the document Ms Knox tries to distance herself from the damaging "confession" she had made only hours before. "I've said this many times," she writes. "These things are unreal to me, like a dream, and I am not sure if they are real things that happened or just dreams my mind has made to try to answer the questions in my head and the questions I am being asked."

She also claims that the reason she produced the scenario of "cowering in the kitchen" was because "the police have told me that they have hard evidence that... I was in the house, my house, at the time of Meredith's murder. I don't know what this proof is but if it's true then it means I am confused and my dreams must be true."

But in fact there has so far been no "hard evidence" that Ms Knox was in the house at the time of the murder.

Rudy Guede, who was jailed for 30 years in 2008 for Ms Kercher's murder, was connected by handprint, fingerprint, bootprint and DNA evidence to the room where Ms Kercher died. The sole forensic evidence of Ms Knox having participated in the murder, however, was her fingerprints on a knife which allegedly had Ms Kercher's DNA on the tip. The knife was found not at the crime scene but in Mr Sollecito's house. The only evidence linking Mr Sollecito to the scene is his DNA, which was identified on the clasp of Ms Kercher's bra.

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