Parents of Amanda Knox are sued by Italian police

Italian police are suing the parents of Amanda Knox for libel after they claimed in a newspaper interview that officers had physically and verbally abused their daughter following her arrest in 2007 for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher.

Curt Knox and his wife, Edda Mellas, claimed in a Sunday Times article in 2009 that "contrary to the truth", their daughter "had not been given an interpreter, had not received food and water and had been physically and verbally abused," according to court documents. They are also accused of falsely claiming that Knox was "hit by a cuff behind the head" and threatened, "If you ask for a lawyer, things will get worse for you."

Five members of the Perugia flying squad will stand as plaintiffs in the libel trial, which begins in the city on 6 July. Knox, who has begun her appeal against a 26-year term for murdering Ms Kercher, has also been accused of libelling the police, with that case due to begin on 17 May.

Knox claimed that unduly aggressively questioning by police officers caused her to blame innocent bar owner Patrick Lumumba for the killing of Ms Kercher. Mr Lumumba later sued her for defamation and was awarded €40,000. The accusation against Mr Lumumba was seen to be very damaging for Knox, in a trial which at times appeared to dwell more on her personality than the forensic evidence gathered against her.

Two other people were convicted along with Knox for the murder, which prosecutors say occurred when a drug-fuelled sex game got out of control, culminating with Ms Kercher's throat being cut.

One, Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, is also appealing his 25-year sentence. The other, Rudy Guede, from Ivory Coast, has exhausted the appeals process and is serving 16 years. Defence lawyers for Knox and Sollecito claim there are numerous gaps in the prosecution's case and insist that a miscarriage of justice occurred.

The weakness of the forensic evidence and the failure of the prosecution to provide a convincing motive for the crime has led some, particularly in the US, to express doubts about the safety of the conviction.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
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: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
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