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Prosecutor argues to reinstate Knox guilty verdict

ROME -- It took the prosecution seven hours to sum up its case in the re-trial of American exchange student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffael Sollecito, which is now under way in Florence. Both defendants are accused in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, who at the time of her death lived in the same apartment as Knox in Perugia.

Prosecutor Alessandro Crini told the judges that Italy’s highest court had “razed to the ground” the decision taken by the Perugia appellate court, which in 2011 overturned their guilty verdicts and acquitted the two. The high court’s “censorship” has been “spread all over the matter,” he added.

Knox and Sollecito were initially handed down prison sentences of 26 years and 25 years in prison respectively. The prosecution wants their guilty verdict to be reinstated by the Florence court. Crini asked the court “not to repeat the mistakes” in the method used by the appellate court in Perugia that acquitted Knox and Sollecito by “pulverizing the elements” and separating pieces of evidence that needed to be seen together to get a full picture of the crime.

The prosecutor argued that Sollecito’s claim that he spent the night of the Kercher’s murder in front of his computer is part of a false alibi. Sollecito’s interaction with the computer that night was not proven by in any way and therefore his alibi simply failed, Crini told the court.

Crini also claimed that statements made by a homeless man, Antonio Curatolo, who has since died, were credible. Curatolo said he saw Knox and Sollecito close to the apartment where Kercher was murdered that very evening. The prosecutor added that another witness, shop owner Marco Quintavalle, saw Knox in front of his store early the morning after the murder and therefore, proving they had not woken up late in Sollecito’s apartment as claimed by the couple.

Sollecito was present in court for the second time on Monday. Speaking during a break he described the prosecutor’s accusations “uncertain approximations.”

Crini insisted that Knox’s version of the morning after the murder is difficult to believe and “unconvincing.” The “mother of all perplexities,” the prosecutor said, stems from the fact that Knox said she returned home to shower, after having slept at Sollecito’s apartment, but did not see the chaos caused by a presumed theft in the room of another of the girls who shared her apartment.

The prosecution will make its final requests to the court on Tuesday. The lawyers of the civil parties will then sum up their cases. Defense lawyers have two hearings in December to deliver their conclusions. Two additional hearings have been scheduled in January. One will be for rebuttals and the final one will be for the judges to retire to the chambers and issue their verdict, which is expected January 10.

Filed by CBS Radio News correspondent Sabina Castelfranco
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