Andrea Vogt: Knox had the court eating out of her hand


Saturday 13 June 2009 00:00

It was all about the girl.

Her white cotton blouse with the slightly puffed short sleeves, her hair pulled back in a simple high ponytail with a big blue band, a la high school cheerleader.

Amanda Knox seemed calm, betrayed only by the visible cold sore on her upper lip, a sure sign of the stress she was under leading up to this day.

She began in slow and cautious English, peppered with "ums" and a bit of Seattle slang that gave pause to her translator, who she eventually ditched, switching to colloquial, casual Italian, complete with colourful expressions like "Mama Mia" and "grandissimo!"

Watching her every move were dozens of journalists, photographers and television crews from the US, UK and Italy, many of whom had already filed stories speculating about whether she'd pass or fail.

Either way, she didn't disappoint on the details. The day began with two hours of judicial procedural wrangling and indecision about how to handle the massive media presence in the courtroom. Protests went up among the broadcast crews when the judge announced the jury's decision to allow only five video cameras in the courtroom and the press would have to work it out between them who got to film and how the footage was shared.

After a bit of classic Italian impasse, it was finally agreed that all cameras would be allowed to roll for the first five minutes, then out they would have to go, relegated to a small, stuffy press room at the back of the courthouse, where audio and a small closed circuit television broadcast the proceedings for the harried press.

It was 11.30am when she finally stepped up to the stand. From that point on it was six hours of the Amanda Knox story, from how she got her "Foxy Knoxy" nickname on the soccer field, to why Meredith Kercher's English friends criticised her, to how Ms Knox is silly sometimes, but not the crazy person she's been portrayed as.

Today, however, will be a harder day, as the Kercher family's attorneys and the prosecutors will have the chance to trip her up, utilising some of the details she revealed herself on the stand yesterday. That was just a warm up; today she'll have to be on her game.

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