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Lawyers argue evidence in Knox murder trial

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:29 AM EDT, Sun October 2, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Only proof in Amanda Knox case is that she's innocent, her lawyer says
  • Prosecutors argue evidence in the 2007 stabbing of Meredith Kercher is strong
  • Knox and her then boyfriend Rafaello Sollecito were convicted of the killing in 2009
  • Their attorneys argue police made mistakes and evidence does not support their convictions

Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- Amanda Knox is the victim of prosecutors who have decided she is guilty "regardless of logic and reason," her attorney said Friday during statements in the appeal of her 2009 murder conviction.

Knox and former boyfriend, Rafaello Sollecito, are appealing their 2009 convictions for the death of Knox's former roommate, Meredith Kercher, whose body was found half-naked with her throat slashed on November 2, 2007.

Prosecutors said in their statements Friday that evidence against the pair is clear, from bloody footprints with particular characteristics to the spot where Knox's DNA was found on a kitchen knife believed by investigators to be the murder weapon.

"They are young, but so was Meredith. They've murdered. And they have killed for nothing. And for this they must be condemned to the maximum sentence," Manuela Comodi said.

But Knox's attorney, Maria Del Grosso, said her client is the victim of bad casting in a script in which prosecutors have decided she is guilty, "regardless of the logic and reason."

For the convictions to stand, Del Grosso argued, prosecutors need, "proofs, proofs, proofs, and in this case there is only the proof that they are strangers to this crime."

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No ruling is expected until Monday, when Knox and Sollecito are expected to give final statements, according to the judge.

Knox's father, Curt Knox, said he is hopeful his daughter will be able to return home soon.

"It has been a very hard journey and hopefully we're near the end of it," he said.

Prosecutors claim Knox slashed Kercher's throat as Sollecito and a third defendant, Rudy Guede, held her down.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while Sollecito got 25. Guede was convicted in a separate trial and is serving 16 years.

Knox and Sollecito's defense teams have suggested Guede could have been the sole killer and argue the police investigation was shoddy and incomplete.

Del Grosso said there was no evidence of a cover-up attempt, as prosecutors claim, and accused prosecutors of using a double standard when it comes to evidence in the case.

Sollecito's lawyer, Donatella Donati, told the court that her team suffered repeated roadblocks each time they asked for further reviews of the evidence and said it was clear that some of the evidence had been contaminated.

On Thursday, defense attorneys argued Knox had been denied a translator and was discouraged from getting a lawyer when she was arrested, and portrayed her as a young girl, inexperienced with world travel and unable to speak Italian.

Knox's attorneys also argued for the exclusion of some DNA evidence in the case, including evidence of blood that prosecutors said belonged to both women found in a bathroom they shared and evidence from the knife, which Knox attorney Carlo Dalla Vedova on Thursday called a "concentration of nothingness, a fantasy."

Friday morning, prosecutor Giuliano Mignini said Knox and Sollecito tried to blame the killing on Guede because Guede is black.

Comodi showed jurors a photograph of a bloody footprint found in the bathroom of the home were Kercher was killed. There was no way the footprint was Guede's as defense attorneys had contended, Comodi argued. She said experts have concluded that the footprint was not Guede's and probably was Sollecito's.

She also told the court that just because the footprint was found "not usable" for positive identification, it doesn't mean that they are "non usable'" when you can do a process of elimination.

Comodi also used her microphone to demonstrate how the location where Knox's DNA was found on the presumed murder weapon -- at the junction between the blade and the handle -- suggests a stabbing motion, rather than a cutting motion.

Also Friday, Carlo Pacelli, the attorney for Patrick Lumumba -- who was initially accused in the case -- called Knox a "mixed concentration of sex, drugs and alcohol" who, despite the portrait painted by defense attorneys, was a "diabolical defamer."

Lumumba, the former owner of a bar where Knox worked, sued Knox for libel. In the Italian court system, criminal and civil portions of a case are heard in the same proceeding.

CNN's Hada Messia contributed to this report.

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