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Italian court orders DNA evidence review in British student's murder

A court in Perugia has called for an expert review of DNA evidence in the closely followed case of Amanda Knox. The 23-year-old American is appealing her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Convicted U.S. student Amanda Knox arrives after a break to attend a court session ahead of the Saturday hearing

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the killing

An Italian court has ordered two independent experts to review forensic evidence in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, whose former housemate Amanda Knox is appealing against a conviction of the killing.

Lawyers for the 23-year-old American Knox said the decision by the court in the city of Perugia on Saturday was a "key moment" in a case that has attracted international media attention.

"This is an important step to establish the truth," said Knox's lawyer Luciano Ghirga, who had asked for DNA tests on the knife allegedly used in the murder to be reexamined.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the November 2007 killing of Kercher, who lived with her in a house in the town of Perugia where the pair were studying. Kercher, who had been the victim of sexual violence, was found with her throat cut at the house.

Meredith Kercher

Kercher was killed in 2007, the victim of a knife attack and sexual violence

Defense lawyers claim that DNA evidence in the case is either inconclusive or was "contaminated" during the original investigation.

Three-month wait for findings

Scientific experts from Rome's Sapienza University have 90 days to review the evidence and are due to report their findings to the court on May 21st.

Knox has repeatedly protested her innocence, with supporter groups in both the United States and Britain rallying to her defense and and a television film about "The Amanda Knox Story" to be released in the US this year.

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time, was sentenced to 25 years for a role in the murder and is also appealing his conviction.

Author: Richard Connor (AFP, Reuters)
Editor: Holly Fox

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