Knox father: DNA experts missing key info from Italy police

18th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The father of Amanda Knox, the American woman convicted for the murder of a British student in Italy, said Wednesday that DNA experts for the appeal were missing key information held by Italian police.

"The independent experts have made requests for specific information from the forensic police related to the DNA testing of the knife in particular... this data is not being provided," Curt Knox told AFP.

Amanda Knox was sentenced in December 2009 to 26 years in prison for the murder of Meredith Kercher in a drug-fuelled sex game that turned violent. She has repeatedly protested her innocence and is appealing the sentence.

Her father, who travelled to Perugia ahead of the next appeal hearing on Saturday, said the independent experts appointed to review key forensic evidence had not been given access to all the evidence.

"They have requested the "row data" which in DNA testing is a vital part of the process of testing," Curt Knox said in an email.

"I'm told that this data is not being provided and this is the reason for the independent experts to request an extension to filing their final report," he added.

Kercher was found on November 2, 2007, with stab wounds to the neck in her room in the cottage she shared with Knox. During the appeal, fresh DNA tests were ordered on the presumed murder weapon and a bra clip found at the scene.

The DNA team had 90 days to review the evidence but are likely to use Saturday's hearing to request additional time to submit their final report.

"Amanda is not afraid of the truth," Knox said.

"It will be interesting to understand why the forensic police are not willing to provide the independent experts the information they feel is necessary in order to provide a fully reviewed final report," he added.

Amanda Knox made an appearance in court on Tuesday, for the first hearing in a slander trial in which she is charged with falsely accusing Italian police of beating and intimidating her during questioning after the gruesome murder.

The slander trial dealt briefly with procedural matters before adjourning until November 15.

Amanda's father and mother, Edda Mellas, were also ordered to stand trial for alleging their daughter was beaten by Italian police in an interview they gave Britain's Sunday Times in 2008.

Knox said the couple would be pleading not guilty at the trial, which is set for July 4.

Though Knox will only be in Perugia for a couple of weeks, he said several of Amanda's friends from the United States had been to visit her throughout her imprisonment.

"She is holding up as well as you would expect for a person who has been in prison now for three-and-a-half years for a crime she didn't commit and still has faith in the Italian Justice system to seek the truth in her appeals trial," he said.

© 2011 AFP

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