Knox 'joked after Kercher murder'

Amanda Knox, the woman accused of killing British student Meredith Kercher in Italy, played and joked with her boyfriend only hours after the murder, a court heard today.

Amanda Knox also remained emotionless among a group of weeping friends of Meredith as they waited to be interviewed by police.

She cuddled her boyfriend and fellow accused Raffaele Sollecito, at one point playfully sticking her tongue out at him, the trial was told by one of Meredith's friends Robyn Butterworth.

Ms Butterworth, who was at Leeds University with Meredith, said she was among several students waiting to talk to officers in the police station of the university town of Perugia shortly after Meredith's body was found.

"'I found Amanda's behaviour very strange and I found it quite difficult to be around her," said Ms Butterworth.

"She had no emotion. Everybody was upset and she didn't seem to show any emotions."

Describing the group of friends at the police station, Ms Butterworth added that: "'We were all crying. I didn't see her crying."

She said Knox and Sollecito were playing around as they waited to see police.

"I remember Amanda sticking her tongue out at Raffaele," she said. "They were talking and joking, kissing and cuddling."

Butterworth also testified that Meredith, from south London, had told her that she found it a "bit awkward" to be Knox's roommate.

She said her friend had complained that Knox did not always keep the bathroom clean. Meredith also had confided that she was "uncomfortable" that Knox kept a bag of condoms and a vibrator in the bathroom they shared.

A third resident in Perugia, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted last year of the same charges and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Guede, who had also denied the charges, had requested and received a fast-track trial.

Prosecutors say that Meredith was the reluctant object of a sex game by the three suspects that ended violently.

She was found with a stab wound in the neck in a pool of blood under a duvet in her bedroom.

Knox, from Seattle, and Sollecito, an Italian who was her boyfriend at the time of the November 2007 murder, are charged with murder and sexual violence.