Amanda Knox verdict expected next month; court says no more DNA testing


Amanda Knox arrives in court before her appeal trial March 12, 2011. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the 2007 killing of Leeds University student Kercher, 21, with whom she shared a house.


Tiziana Fabi

A court in Italy Wednesday rejected calls for new DNA testing in the appeal trial of Amanda Knox, a young American convicted of murdering a British roommate.

With the conclusion of witness hearings and the court's rejection of the prosecutor's request regarding DNA testing, the court in Perugia said the prosecutor could sum up the case September 23, AFP reports. A verdict is expected next month.

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Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of murdering British student Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found dead in the apartment she shared with Knox and other roommates in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. Kercher, who was 21, was found semi-naked with her throat slashed.

In December 2009, Knox was convicted and sentenced to 26 years and Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Knox and Sollecito have always insisted they are innocent and pressed forward with an appeal of the conviction.

The court's rejection of the prosecutor's request comes after a panel of experts questioned the methods used to collect DNA for the first trial. The questioning of the original DNA analysis has boosted the defense and was the basis for the appeal of the conviction.

A new round of DNA testing could have extended the appeal for months and lessened Knox's chance for getting out of prison, AFP states.

The prosecutor in the case said the ruling means Knox is likely to be aquitted.

"There is an ill wind blowing in this case. The judge and his assistant are clearly against us. I can see both Knox and Sollecito being freed which will be a shame as they are both involved," said Manuela Comodi, as reported in the Telegraph.

Prosecutors said a new review of the DNA is necessary because the original one was "inadequate" and "unreliable and flawed."