Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 10:48 UK

Father stands by Kercher suspect

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox was arrested with her boyfriend and another man

The father of an American student charged with killing her British housemate Meredith Kercher in Italy says she was not involved.

Speaking before a pre-trial hearing in Perugia, Curt Knox told ITV's Tonight programme he hoped his daughter Amanda would be freed by the court.

Ms Knox, Italian Raffaele Sollecito and Ivory Coast citizen Hermann Guede all deny sexual assault and murder.

Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, south London, was found dead on 1 November.

She was discovered in the bedroom of her Perugia flat with her throat slit.

Some media outlets nicknamed Ms Knox "Foxy Knoxy" - a description which upset her parents.

Mr Knox said: "To tell you the truth I want her cleared of everything because they need to know who she is. She hasn't been a part of this at all."

Ms Knox's mother Edda Mellas said she wanted her daughter home.

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was killed in November 2007

"Everything I read or see on TV, I no longer believe because I know what they did to Amanda and what they have said in print, media - all kinds of media have said about her is totally false, so you wonder how much out there is really true."

They described Ms Knox's former boyfriend Mr Sollecito as seeming like "a very nice, quiet, studious young man".

Ms Mella added: "It was a short relationship, it was two weeks into it when all of this happened but we just got the impression that he was a nice kid."

Tuesday's pre-trial hearing could see the judge decide if the trio will face a trial, although Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresco said any ruling would be unlikely to be made until the end of October.

Miss Kercher's parents John and Arline are expected to attend the hearing.

Meredith police conclude inquiry
20 Jun 08 |  England

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