Saturday, May 21, 2011

Knox Appeal: Tears & Twists

As expected, The two court-appointed experts—Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti—from La Sapienza University officially stated that they could not retest the contested DNA evidence and are now assessing the reliability of the tests that were originally conducted (as has been previously predicted—nothing new). Today, during the seventh hearing (which laster about two hours), the two experts asked the court for a six week extension to examine DNA evidence on the knife and bra clasp and their request was granted. Vecchiotti and Conti will finish their report 30 June 2011 and describe their findings to the court at a 25 July 2011 hearing.

Dressed in a beige satin top and black trousers, a teary-eyed and emotional Amanda Knox briefly addressed the appeals court in Perugia today. “I don’t want to spend my whole life in prison as an innocent,” she asserted during her 90-second statement.

Another important decision made today was the decision to allow five new defense witnesses, all of whom are inmates in Italian prisons who claim to have information clearing Knox and Sollecito. Which, if any, are we to believe? The new witnesses, as have been well documented for months now, include convicted child murderer, Mario Alessi—along with newly documented, three witnesses called to back up Alessi's claim—as well as jailed mobster, Luciano Aviello .

And, as if there wasn't enough drama in this case already; a new surprising and bizarre twist has now emerged! Today, the court discussed a three-page handwritten document dated 6 May 2011, that was sent to the court and to Knox's defense team by (oh yes, it’s true!) another inmate, Tommaso Pace.

In this latest version, Pace sent a written statement to the court claiming that a drug dealer had paid €100,000 to have Meredith Kercher murdered over an unpaid debt. In his letter Pace named the man he said had ordered the murder, paying two brothers to carry it out, and said that the Marietti knife (alleged murder weapon) was not the weapon used to kill Miss Kercher. Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman ruled that he would delay any decision on whether or not to admit Pace as a witness but said that the first prisoners would be heard on 18 June 2011 (the next hearing) with special arrangements being made for them to testify.

After the witnesses and experts testify, the court will adjourn for a summer break and pick up again in September, at which time the prosecution and defense lawyers will give their closing arguments. A verdict by the appeals court is expected after the summer, but don’t hold your breath.

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