Lawyer mocks Amanda Knox dominatrix image

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Amanda Knox is no "Venus in Furs", one of the defence lawyers at the American's ongoing appeal trial in Italy against her conviction for murdering British student Meredith Kercher said on Tuesday.

In a passionate courtroom outburst, Giulia Bongiorno -- the lawyer for Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who is also appealing -- brandished a copy of the 19th-century novel seen as a seminal work about sado-masochism.

"Give up on the 'Venus in Furs'," Bongiorno told prosecutors in court -- the name of the 1870 work by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.

Turning to the jurors, she said: "You have been provided with a deformed portrait of these two young people..... Amanda has been transformed into a 'Venus in Furs' in contrast to a fake and weak man."

Bongiorno, who is also a deputy in the Italian parliament, likened the image of Knox from prosecutors as a "Jessica Rabbit" -- the fictional alluring femme fatale in the cartoon film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit".

Referring to her client, Bongiorno added: "The little evidence there was on Amanda Knox was blamed on him. Some people gain a family through a girlfriend. He gained a crime. And they had nothing on her."

A verdict in the appeal by Knox and Sollecito is expected within days.


© 2011 AFP

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