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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
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

Savvy Media Ltd: Media Sales executive - Crawley

£25k + commission + benefits: Savvy Media Ltd: Find a job you love and never h...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible