Knox stands up to the examination of her life

American student accused of the murder of Briton Meredith Kercher survives questions from the prosecution

For the second day in a row, Amanda Knox was cool, calm and collected. So much so that some wondered how the same girl who broke down in a state of dazed confusion during an all-night police interrogation could withstand two such intense days of pressure on the witness stand, with the whole world watching. But she did, for the most part with flying colours.

Ms Knox, the fresh-faced American from Seattle, is on trial for the murder and sexual assault of Meredith Kercher, a British student. Prosecutors argue that Ms Knox, her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Ivory Coast-born drifter Rudy Guede strangled, stabbed and suffocated Ms Kercher in the Perugia apartment she and Ms Knox shared on 1 November 2007. For the past five months, prosecutors in court have built their case against her, including multiple character, police and scientific witnesses.

In the courtroom yesterday, the tension between the 21-year-old student and the Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini was palpable – she at times defensive, he at times flustered. But she came across confident and poised, even under fire, though somewhat "thoughtless", a word she used to describe herself.

This was particularly evident when asked by the Kercher family lawyer, Francesco Maresca, about comments she made to Ms Kercher's friends, when they had said they hoped the Leeds University student had died quickly and painlessly. "Why did you say you thought she died a slow death?" asked Mr Maresca.

"I heard that her throat had been slit and from what I have seen on CSI, it is not something fast or easy. Blegh," she said, making a gagging motion. "Blegh. It is disgusting. The brutality, to die that way."

Ms Knox's strong, but unscripted personality, inappropriate as it may seem at times, is one element her lawyers were banking on to rehabilitate her bruised image in the eyes of the eight-member jury. She gave a fairly consistent story on both days – though her testimony is in direct conflict with what has been said by a number of prior witnesses. An Albanian witness said he saw her near the scene of the crime the night of the murder. "Tutto falso," she said. "All false." So did a homeless man. "Impossible," she said.

Police say she was treated firmly, but fairly. She claims she was browbeaten and pressured until she could come up with a scenario for the crime, which she did, naming an innocent man, the Congolese pub owner Patrick Lumumba. Ms Knox said she was confused, having flashbacks and was unable to distinguish between truth and her own imaginings at the time. Mr Lumumba spent two weeks in prison.

Ms Knox gave one piece of important information about the blood found in the bathroom (police have told of finding DNA samples of Ms Kercher and Ms Knox's blood on the sink, bidet and a cotton bud box in the bath). Ms Knox told the judge that she had not seen any blood in the apartment or bathroom the day before Ms Kercher's death. Only the morning after.

After Ms Knox, one other witness was called to the stand yesterday – a college friend from Seattle. University of Washington psychology major Andrew Seliber, 22, told how Ms Knox studied and worked hard, but also liked to rock climb, play music and party occasionally. Once she left for Italy, she raved about her roommates and posted enthusiastic reports on Facebook and in emails home.

"She told me her roommates were great, that they got along well and she liked them very much," he said. "She was having the best time of her life."

Then the hearing took a bizarre turn, with half an hour of testimony about the exact nature of a Seattle college party, considered pertinent because it was Ms Knox's only other run-in with police. Ms Knox and Mr Seliber told of a normal Greek Row college party that got a little loud. Neighbours called police. When they arrived, Ms Knox said she took responsibility, talked to them, and was given a $200 fine for disturbance, which her friends pitched in to pay.

But a Mail Online article cited by Mr Mignini told a very different story – a raucous, out-of-control party where rocks were hurled into the streets. Lawyers requested the article be entered into evidence. Mr Maresca also weighed in, saying an FBI report had confirmed the rock-throwing. Then Ms Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said a sheriff in Seattle "told us something very different than the article, which was just gossip," he said, casting doubts on the prosecutor's reliance on such information. When asked, Mr Seliber described the get-together as just an ordinary, everyday party in Seattle. "Nobody threw stones at cars."

Finally, Mr Seliber explained why Ms Knox was given the nickname "Foxy Knoxy". It was because of the way she ran when she played soccer as a child. "It was not a name she called herself. I never called her Foxy Knoxy. I have never heard any of my friends call her Foxy Knoxy," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea