Knox prosecution witness now has second thoughts

American student's appeal against conviction for killing Meredith Kercher gets unexpected boost

A key prosecution witness testifying in Amanda Knox's appeals trial gave conflicting reports yesterday about whether he saw the American near the crime scene the night her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered in 2007.

The contradictory testimony and confused dates offered by Antonio Curatolo, a self-described drug addict and homeless man now in prison for an unrelated conviction, cast doubt on his credibility. The defence termed him clearly unreliable, while the prosecution maintained that, despite some lack of precision, the witness was lucid and clear in what he remembered.

Knox was convicted in 2009 of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher, a student from Surrey, in the house they shared in Perugia. She is currently serving a 26-year prison sentence.

In the first trial, Curatolo placed Knox and her co-defendant and ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in a square near the house on the night of the murder. He said the two were chatting and added that he remembered seeing buses in the square. Yesterday he repeated that he saw the two "talking excitedly" in the square and said he thought it was Halloween night. That would have been the night before the 1 November murder, but he was unclear when Halloween night actually is. Despite the date confusion, he repeatedly said that he saw young people dressed up in costumes.

But, at another point, he also said he clearly remembers seeing police at the house the morning after he saw Knox and Sollecito in the square. Police went to the crime scene on 2 November, when Kercher's body was found, stabbed to death and lying in a pool of blood.

"Police and Carabinieri were coming and going, and I also saw the 'extraterrestrials' – that would be the men in white overalls," Curatolo told the court with a smile, referring to forensic experts gathering evidence. The 54-year-old also confessed to a long-standing drug habit.

Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Sollecito, said the hearing "marked an important step forward for the defence's arguments." Chris Mellas, Knox's stepfather, said that "it couldn't have gone any better today."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before