Knox prosecutor rails against 'obsessive' media as appeal wraps up

 

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The Independent Online

The prosecutor contesting Amanda Knox's appeal against her conviction for murder urged the jury yesterday not to be swayed by a media campaign in favour of the young American, as both sides began their final arguments.

Following doubts cast on key DNA evidence used to convict Knox, 24, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, of murdering the British student Meredith Kercher in November 2007, prosecutors told the Perugia court that confirming the guilty verdicts of both was "the only possible result".

Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola told the jury to be aware of an "obsessive media campaign that makes everyone feel like the parents of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito".

Mr Costagliola said: "As you make your decision, I'd ask the jurors to consider the thoughts of the parents of Meredith Kercher, a serious, studious girl whose life was taken by these young people from good families."

The comments echoed remarks made the night before by Meredith's sister, Stephanie, in a TV interview.

"In these four years, Meredith has been completely forgotten," Stephanie Kercher told the Port A Porta programme. "But we need to find justice for her; we need to find the truth for her. There's not much of Meredith in the media. The focus has completely moved away from Meredith to Amanda and Raffaele."

The Kercher family, who have made it clear that they were satisfied with the original verdict, will make final comments to the court on Monday through their lawyer, Francesco Maresca. Yesterday, outlining the prosecution's case, Mr Costagliola said bloody footprints in the house, mobile phone activity and witness testimony that appeared to contradict Amanda Knox's alibi all pointed to her presence at the scene of the crime. "All clues converge toward the only possible result of finding the defendants guilty," he said.

He also challenged the results of the independent review of the DNA evidence, which appeared to rubbish the prosecution's claims that the defendants' DNA had been reliably identified on the murder weapon and on a torn bra clip. The prosecution team knows the DNA evidence is likely to prove pivotal in deciding the outcome of the appeal.

Knox's stepfather Chris Mellas said the prosecution's summing up was "a farce" because many prosecution witnesses "had already been completely discredited in the first trial".

Defence lawyers will make their closing arguments next week, and Knox is expected to address the court in a final appeal to proclaim her innocence. The decision is expected on 3 October.

A third person, Rudy Hermann Guede, has already been convicted for his part in the murder, following separate proceedings and appeals.

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