By ALESSANDRA RIZZO, Associated Press
PERUGIA, Italy — Italian prosecutors sought to persuade an appeals court to uphold the murder conviction of Amanda Knox, saying during closing arguments Friday that “all clues converge toward the only possible result” of finding the young American woman and her co-defendant guilty.
Speaking for two hours in a packed room, Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola urged the jury to keep in mind the family of the victim, British student Meredith Kercher, who was Knox’s roommate at the time of the slaying. His fellow prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, urged the jurors to ignore the media hype and what he said was a pro-defendant slant surrounding the case.
A verdict in the appeals trial of Knox and her co-defendant and one-time boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is expected at the end of September or early next month.
Next week, a lawyer representing the Kercher family and then the defense lawyers will make their closing arguments. Knox herself is expected to address the court in a final appeal to proclaim her innocence.
With young and photogenic defendants and tales of sex and drugs, the case has captivated audiences worldwide, drawing international media to Perugia since the beginning. On Friday, as the appeals trial draws to a close, the underground courtroom was packed with cameras, reporters and scores of curious residents.
A third person, Rudy Hermann Guede of the Ivory Coast, also has been convicted of Kercher’s murder in a separate proceeding. Italy’s highest criminal court has upheld Guede’s conviction and his 16-year-prison sentence. Guede denies wrongdoing, though he admits he was in the house.
The prosecutors noted that Guede himself testified months ago that he believes Knox and Sollecito killed Kercher. They pointed out that Italy’s highest court said in its ruling that Guede had not acted alone.
However, the court’s ruling does not name Knox and Sollecito as Guede’s accomplices.
Amanda Knox Appeal: Italian Prosecutors Ask To Uphold Murder Conviction (VIDEO).