Italian court orders forensic review in Knox case

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An Italian appeals court on Saturday ordered a review of key forensic evidence in the case of Amanda Knox, the American woman convicted of murdering a British student here in 2007.

The ruling is seen as an important victory for Knox's appeal, which is set to conclude some time next year.

There will be fresh tests on the presumed murder weapon -- a kitchen knife found in the house of Knox's then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito that was said to have Knox's DNA on the handle and that of the victim on the blade.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison last year for killing Leeds University student Meredith Kercher, 21, who shared a house with Knox in the town of Perugia in central Italy where both women were studying.

Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann also ordered a new analysis of Kercher's bra clasp which was found to have traces of Sollecito's DNA. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years for the murder and is appealing together with Knox.

Kercher's body was found semi-naked in a pool of blood in her room on November 2, 2007. A third person, an Ivorian man named Rudy Guede, has also been convicted for the gruesome murder and is serving a 16-year sentence.

Prosecutors said Kercher was sexually assaulted and killed in a probably drug-fuelled and apparently motiveless attack by Sollecito, Knox and Guede.

© 2010 AFP

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