Knox parents face trial over Italian police abuse claim

15th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

The parents of Amanda Knox, the American woman convicted for the murder of a British student in Italy, were ordered to stand trial on Tuesday for alleging their daughter was beaten by Italian police.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were indicted in their absence in Perugia by an examining magistrate who upheld a request from Italian police to charge the couple with slander, Knox's lawyer Carlo della Vedova told AFP.

The trial, set for July 4, is based on allegations in an interview Knox's parents gave Britain's Sunday Times in 2008 in which they said police officers had "physically and verbally" abused their daughter during questioning.

Knox said his daughter had told them she was hit on the back of the head several times, warned the situation would only get worse if she asked for a lawyer and taunted with threats that she would never see her family again.

The police officers involved have denied all the allegations.

Knox, who is now 23, was indicted in November 2010 on the same charges and faces a separate trial for those accusations starting on May 17.

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.

She is currently appealing the sentence, claiming that key forensic evidence used to convict her is unreliable and should be rejected. The next hearing is scheduled for March 12.

Kercher was found on November 2, 2007, semi-nude in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck in her room in the cottage she shared with Knox.

Knox's then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a man from Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, were also convicted of the murder.

© 2011 AFP

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