Amanda Knox Slander Trial: Knox Appears in Court, Arguments Set for November
PERUGIA, Italy (CBS) Arguments in the slander trial against Amanda Knox, the American exchange student convicted of murdering her British roommate in Perugia, Italy, have been scheduled for Nov. 8 by an Italian judge.
The slander case is based on statements Knox made about her Nov. 2007 interrogation as a possible witness after the discovery of the body of her housemate, Briton Meredith Kercher.
Francesco Maresca, the attorney for the eight police officers listed on the request for trial filed Friday, told the Seattle Post Intelligencer that the complaint was "all based on what she [Knox] said herself on the stand on the 12 and 13th of June."
"I was very, very scared because they were treating me so badly and I didn't understand why," Knox previously told the court. She said she only confessed to being in the house at the time of the murder after she was hit by police.
Knox appeared visibly "drawn and pale" when she appeared in court Friday for a hearing in the slander case, according to CBS' The Early Show. Her parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, told the morning show that they have tried to keep their spirits up despite what they feel is "almost...harassment" of their daughter by the police and prosecutors.
"We have to find a way to keep going, we're not leaving our innocent daughter in jail for a crime she didn't commit," Mellas said.Maresca is also the attorney representing the Kercher family in their civil suit against Knox for their daughter's murder. Additionally the judge overseeing the slander case is handling Knox's criminal appeal, prompting many observers to claim a touch of deja vu, according to the Early Show.
Although arguments are scheduled to be heard in November the actual trial may not take place until after Knox's criminal appeal has been heard and ruled on, which may not happen until January, according to the Post Intelligencer. If she wins the appeal the slander charges may be shelved, however the prosecutor appears determined to pursue the charges in order to prove Knox was not mistreated, the paper reported.
"It is not that it is important for the police department or for any of the individual officers, but rather for an overall sense of justice and for establishing the truth," prosecutor Manuela Comodi told the paper.
Meanwhile, Knox's attorneys say prison is taking its toll on the young American student.
"She's very down," her lawyer, Maria del Grosso of Rome told the Post Intelligencer. "I've told her to be tough. It won't help to fall apart now. "
Knox was convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison last December, for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.
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