Amanda Knox Murder Conviction May Fall On Conflicting Testimony Of Star Witness


Mar. 27 2011, Published 12:12 p.m. ET

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A key prosecution witness in the appeals trial of convicted murderer Amanda Knox gave conflicting testimony in court on Saturday regarding whether he saw the American student near to the scene of the crime the night Meredith Kercher was killed, has learned.

In the original trial Antonio Curatolo, a local homeless man and convicted drug dealer, said he saw Amanda and her boyfriend and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito in a square near the house on the night of the murder adding that he remembered seeing buses in the square.

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This testimony directly contradicted Knox and Sollecito's claims that they were at Sollecito's house the night of the murder, and played a crucial role in their convictions.

On Saturday at the appeal hearing held in Perugia, Italy, Curatolo repeated that he saw the two "talking excitedly" in the square but said he thought it was Halloween night – which would be the night before the Nov. 1, 2007 murder, and repeatedly said he saw the two in costumes.

He then later claimed that he saw police at the house the morning after he saw the couple in the square.

Police went to the house on November 2, which would have been the following day, and found the body of Meredith Kercher stabbed to death.

The confusing testimony was a positive step for the defense who had long sought to discredit him, the AP is reporting.

Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Sollecito, said the hearing "marked an important step forward for the defense's arguments."

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Chris Mellas, Knox's stepfather, said that "it couldn't go any better today."

"He confirmed that there were disco buses and that he saw the kids getting on and that it was Halloween. Perfect!" Mellas said after the hearing.

Amanda Knox, 23, and Raffaele Sollecito have been in prison in Italy since November 2007 for the sexual assault murder of Meredith Kercher with Knox sentenced to 26 years and Sollecito sentenced to 25.


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