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Lawyer: Knox is no femme fatale

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 3:18 PM EDT, Thu September 29, 2011
Amanda Knox attends her appeal hearing on Monday in the city of Perugia, Italy.
Amanda Knox attends her appeal hearing on Monday in the city of Perugia, Italy.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The case is adjourned to Thursday, when Knox's lawyers will give their final arguments
  • Rafaelle Sollecito's defense lawyer compares Knox to Jessica Rabbit
  • He says it's time to end the false image of Amanda Knox once and for all
  • Knox and Sollecito are fighting their murder convictions

Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- Defense attorneys for Amanda Knox are expected to present their final arguments in Italy Thursday continuing an effort to to counter prosecutors' portrayal of her as a cunning "femme fatale."

Knox's attorneys statements Thursday follow arguments presented earlier this week by the lawyer of her co-defendant .

Lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said on Tuesday that Knox is not the character the media has painted her as and urged a jury to acquit Knox and his client, Rafaelle Sollecito, of murdering Meredith Kercher.

Bongiorno compared Knox to the voluptuous cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, who protests, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way," in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

Bongiorno, who represents Sollecito -- Knox's former boyfriend -- said the whole trial was based on DNA evidence "on which mistakes were made," and urged the jury to "abandon imagined fantasies" and acquit the pair.

Knox and Sollecito are fighting their conviction for killing Kercher -- Knox's roommate -- in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while Sollecito got 25.

As she began her closing arguments Tuesday, Bongiorno said there was no physical trace of Knox or Sollecito in the room where Kercher was found murdered.

"The room speaks only of Rudy" Guede, the other man convicted separately of killing Kercher, Bongiorno told the jury.

Knox and Sollecito's defense teams have suggested Guede, who is already serving a 16-year sentence for the murder, could have been the sole killer.

Evidence that Guede was in the room shows that "no one could enter that room and not leave any trace," said Bongiorno, who represents Sollecito.

She urged the jury to think about her client as they made their decision.

"The lives of this kid and his parents have been destroyed. You must today evaluate if - if - if these kids committed the crime," Bongiorno told jurors.

Bongiorno, one the highest-profile lawyers in Italy, attacked media coverage of the trial as sensational, saying it could have affected what witnesses told the court.

She rejected the notion that Knox and Sollecito were into violent sex, saying they rubbed noses in "Eskimo kisses."

The lawyer also attacked the circumstances under which Knox was interrogated by police the night of the murder, saying she was interrogated by "hostile" officers, which made it impossible to trust what she said that night.

"If one is not calm, anything can happen," Bongiorno argued.

And she hammered home attacks on DNA evidence that have been a key part of the appeal.

She said police could have contaminated the crime scene or the evidence, playing video from the police investigation itself to make her point.

Knox and Sollecito are appealing the convictions together, having been convicted in a joint trial.

Both defendants were in court Tuesday, with Knox in a long-sleeved pink sweater and Sollecito in a long-sleeved prune-colored shirt. Their parents were in court as well.

On Monday, the lawyer for Kercher's family showed photos of the British murder victim's bloodied body, pointing out multiple stab wounds. He urged the Italian jury not to overturn Knox and Sollecito's convictions.

"I show you these pictures to show you the pain of Meredith," Francesco Maresca said.

"She didn't have defensive wounds. It means that she was tied up, that she had more than one aggressor," the lawyer said.

"Given the type, number and locations of the wounds, there had to be multiple attackers," he insisted, rejecting the defense theory that Guede acted alone.

Amanda Knox appeal in final stretch
Amanda Knox appeal nears end
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He attacked as "useless" a review of DNA evidence that may cast doubt on the original convictions.

Knox avoided looking at the photographs of Kercher's body as they were shown.

Lawyers for the civil suits related to the case presented their closing arguments Monday.

At the hearing, another lawyer called Knox two-faced and "diabolical."

"Within her lives a double soul: one which is angelic, good, compassionate ... tender and ingenuous," Carlo Pacelli said.

But she had another side, he said: "A Lucifer-like, demonic, satanic, diabolical one which sometimes leads her to borderline and dissolute behavior," saying that was the Knox who had killed her roommate.

Pacelli sought to portray Knox as sexually promiscuous and a difficult roommate as he fights for damages for his client, Patrick Lumumba.

Knox accused Lumumba of the murder in 2007. He was arrested but released after his alibi checked out. He later sued Knox for libel, winning 40,000 euros ($54,000) in damages.

A verdict in the appeal could come as soon as October 1.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

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